Gail Simmons shows you how to use foods you already have in your pantry to make easy, delicious recipes. In this episode of the Pantry Project, Gail shows viewers that cocoa powder can be used in three sweet and savory recipes. Gail explains that there are two main types of cocoa -- natural, which is acidic and bitter, and Dutch process, which has extra alkaline that mellows the flavor of the powder. Since cocoa has no sugar, it's great for adding depth to savory dishes, but when combined with sugar, it is great for classic baking.
In this video, Gail demonstrates how to make the Smoky BBQ Baby Back Ribs -- a surprisingly simple and flavor-filled recipe. She first prepares her rub by combining naturally unsweetened cocoa powder, lightly packed dark brown sugar, paprika, ancho chile powder, ground black pepper, salt and ground cumin in a bowl. She then generously applies the rub to both sides of two cleaned, trimmed racks of baby back ribs. With their meat sides up, she puts them in a dish, covers them in plastic wrap, and leaves them to marinate in the fridge for at least three hours and up to overnight. After the ribs are marinated, she places them on a foil-lined pan, and cooks them in a 325-degree oven to slow roast them for two and a half hours. At the end, she turns on the broiler for five minutes to caramelize the ribs. After they've cooled slightly, Gail slices the rack into double-cut ribs and serves them with barbecue sauce.