The first time I met KBK was on a golf course in Colorado. I was on the home stretch of a summer trip to Aspen with my then girlfriend (now wife) and her parents, and we rendezvoused with this old friend of my father-in-law's to celebrate his wife's birthday. It was my inaugural family vacation, an interview of sorts, and just as I was getting comfortable came the real smell test... a round with this duo who had famously asked the former boyfriend of my object of affection to hold the pin during a lightning storm. Hardly a gimme, to be sure, but the lightning stayed at bay and we enjoyed a memorable round of golf; well, memorable in the sense that it was the first time I heard my future father-in-law take some liberties with the English language. Clearly this KBK character brings out the best in everyone.
Later that afternoon, as we convened for dinner, our subject arrived decked out in what can delicately be described as the sartorial opposite of what everyone in the state would consider common attire: pink linen blazer, black & white striped pants, suede loafers; if this were a movie on mountain-fashion KBK would have been comically miscast. Though I will give him credit for consistency... in the ensuing years I've seen the man wear enough Lilly Pulitzer to make a Palm Beach bridge game take notice. The last time I saw him was this spring in San Miguel de Allende... he had a beard and was wearing a Moroccan tunic. Yet while KBK's attire places him firmly in the running for the Most Interesting Man in the World, his escapades in the kitchen, at least the one we'll celebrate here, are decidedly Midwestern utilitarian. Which makes sense, given that his home-away-from-road is Evanston, IL.
Step one: head to the store and grab about 3 racks of baby back ribs. If your grocer-of-choice has decided that the best way to merchandise these is on a styrofoam tray under cellophane, then leave and find a good butcher. Lay them out on tin foil.
Two: mix your rub. Red pepper based. Add some salt, a little sugar, garlic and onion powder, and anything else you might need to spice it up. Then work it into both sides. Wrap the racks in tin foil and drop them into a pre-heated 275-degree oven for three hours.
Three: pull them out of the oven, unwrap, and baste with some good molasses-based sauce.
Four: grill each side over medium/high heat for about 5-7 mins. At this point the meat is more than likely falling off the bone. Pull off the grill, tent in foil, and finish up whatever else it is that you're cooking.
Five: Have a drink, enjoy the season.