Cinnamon-Cayenne Baby Back Ribs with Agave Glaze

I have a big problem. Every time I learn just how bad a particular food is for you, I can’t get it out of my head. You see, as my interest in nutrition/health continues to grow over the past couple of years, I read more and more about the health benefits (and defecits) of many food stuffs. Recently, while Brian and I were weekending in Portland, we hit up a Chili’s chain restaurant in search of some margaritas. (BTW, problem #2, for later discourse, is my inexplicable longing for chain restaurants when I am out in the middle of nowhere – restaurants that I am not particularly amenable to frequenting in “real life”). Regardless, as we perused the menu at Chili’s, we were fascinated that all of the menu descriptions were adorned with calorie counts. Let me just say: OHMYGOD. I was most taken aback by some of the “healthier” stuff’s deadly characteristics (um, 1400 calories for a salad?? almost 1300 for a grilled chicken sandwich??), and yet still bummed by some of the more notorious items (ribs and burgers clocking in over 2,000 calories, etc.).

Moral(s) of the story:

1) i took immense pleasure in the country fried steak (1270 cals) I ordered, of which I ate half and was glad with every bite that it was not a salad.

2) though it is probably not great for business, I appreciate having the information.  maybe this kind of exposure will inspire restaurants to offer healthier food.

3) I haven’t been able to get ribs out of my mind since — and here is a killer recipe! These ribs are quick cooking, relative to most rib cookery which typically takes 4+ hours (this recipe only takes 1 hour), and have a great sweet/spicy flavor combination. Yum!

Cinnamon-Cayenne Baby Back Ribs with Agave Glaze
Just the Tip / Inspired by Eat Live Run

Here’s what I used:

  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 pounds pork baby back ribs (1 rack)
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar

Here’s what I did:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika, ground cinnamon, cayenne and salt. Place ribs on a double layer of tin foil (large enough to wrap around ribs) and season the ribs on both sides with the rub. Completely cover the ribs in foil and place ribs on baking sheet.
  3. Bake 1 hour or until meat starts to pull away from bones (we did 1 hour plus 10 minutes).
  4. Switch the oven to broiler. Open the foil and brush the ribs with the agave. Broil ribs 5 minutes until well browned and glazy.

3 thoughts on “Cinnamon-Cayenne Baby Back Ribs with Agave Glaze

  1. Shawn says:

    Whoa wait Aluia… You guys were in Portland and hit a Chilli’s? Major foodie faux pas! 🙂

  2. Mmmm! I love dry rub ribs! I’ll have to keep your quick-cook method in mind. I like it. They’re going on my menu in the near future, that’s for sure!!

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