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In a rush for ribs? Use your microwave

Published Oct. 16, 2005

You can have it both ways - great grilled flavor and microwave speed.Partially cook the ribs in your microwave and finish them off on the grill with a snappy sauce. The fat cooks out during microwave cooking so there are no flare-ups on the grill. Transfer the ribs immediately from the microwave to the grill; the partially cooked meat should not be allowed to stand at room temperature.

Shortcut Barbecued Ribs 1/2 cup tomato sauce 2 tablespoons molasses 1 tablespoon vinegar 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon minced dried onion 1 teaspoon cornstarch 1 teaspoon dry mustard 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 1/4 teaspoon salt Dash pepper 3 to 3 1/2 pounds pork spareribs or loin back ribs, cut into serving-size pieces

In a 2-cup glass measure stir together tomato sauce, molasses, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, onion, cornstarch, mustard, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook in the microwave, uncovered, on 100 percent power (high) 2 to 3 minutes or until bubbly, stirring once;

set aside.

Arrange ribs, bone side down, in a microwave-safe 12- by- 7 1/2-by-2-inch baking dish, overlapping as necessary. Cover with vented microwave-safe plastic wrap. Cook on 50 percent power (medium) 15 minutes. Rearrange and turn ribs over. Cook, covered, on medium 15 minutes more.

Immediately remove ribs from baking dish and transfer to barbecue grill. Cook over medium coals about 15 minutes or until no pink remains. Brush frequently with sauce and turn ribs over occasionally.

Cook the remaining sauce in the microwave, uncovered, on high about 30 seconds; pass with ribs. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 382 cal., 26 g pro., 6 g carb., 27 g fat, 108 mg chol., 311 mg sodium.