Fourth of July Recipe: Ribs, Chocolate Flavored

Baby back ribs is probably not the healthiest meat on the planet, but everything in moderation, right?

In this recipe, we bumped the flavor with a simple rub, quickly tenderized the meat with apple juice and took it to the next level with a bittersweet dark chocolate and some chipotle.

Complement this dish with a spinach and walnut salad and it won’t feel like you’re cheating.


- 3 pounds baby back ribs
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic
- ½ cup apple juice

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Chipotle Chocolate Sauce Ingredients:

- 1 tablespoon Butter
- ½ teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder
- ½ cup Half and half
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate baking bar (60% cacao or more)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


1. Heat cast iron skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix paprika, cumin, salt and pepper, and rub on all sides of baby back ribs.

2. Working in two batches, cut seasoned ribs in half.

3. Brown both sides until crispy.

4. Place each section in an oversized piece of heavy duty aluminum foil. Place sliced garlic over ribs and divide apple juice and pour over.

5. Create an airtight seal and place in a preheated grill for 90 minutes. You will need a grill with at least two burners as ribs should only be placed on the side that is not lit.

6. Remove from foil and place directly on the grill. Brush with chocolate chipotle sauce. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn over and repeat, then EAT!

Chocolate Chipotle Sauce:

1. To make the sauce, sauté butter over low heat, add cumin and half and half. Continuously stir until hot but boiled over.

2. Add chocolate pieces and continue to stir until smooth. Then mix in apple cider vinegar. Set aside until ready to brush over ribs.

Elizabeth Carrion, a Dominican, co-founded Mi Cocina, a New Jersey-based catering service that also offers cooking classes, with her sister, Ana Martinez.

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