Hoisin-Honeyed Baby Back Ribs

4 to 6 servings

"These ribs are great in summer, as they can be baked ahead and grilled right before serving. I like to serve this with Vermont Coleslaw (recipe follows) and corn bread or grilled corn on the cob."

Advance Preparation: May be prepared 1 day ahead through the roasting stage, then covered, and refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling.

The Clever Cook Could: Use Chinese-style ribs and serve as an appetizer. Use the marinade on pork tenderloin or chicken.

-- Excerpted from the Main Courses chapter

1/2 cup hoisin sauce

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 scallion (white and light green parts only), cleaned and finely chopped

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

4 pounds baby back pork ribs

In a medium bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, honey, oil, scallion and vinegar and stir to blend well. Put the ribs in a plastic lock-top bag and pour in the marinade. Turn the ribs in the bag to coat them evenly. Close the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the ribs on a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap them tightly, place the packet in a roasting pan and bake for 1 hour. (Or put the ribs in a roasting pan and cover the pan tightly with foil.)

Remove the ribs from the oven. Remove the ribs from the foil, drain and reserve the juices. Pour the marinade and juices into a small saucepan and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Prepare a barbecue grill or an oiled grill pan for medium-heat grilling. Grill the ribs for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until they reach the desired doneness, basting occasionally with the marinade juices, making sure the ribs do not burn. Place on a serving platter and serve with the reserved juices, if desired.

Per serving (based on 6): 779 calories, 41 gm protein, 9 gm carbohydrates, 63 gm fat, 127 mg cholesterol, 22 gm saturated fat, 260 mg sodium, trace dietary fiber

Vermont Coleslaw

4 to 6 servings

"A touch of Vermont maple syrup gives this dressing a unique sweetness. Coleslaw takes just a few minutes to put together now that shredded coleslaw vegetables are available. Try these with grilled ribs on a summer night. This is also a great picnic addition. Serve with sandwiches, hamburgers, or barbequed chicken."

Advance Preparation: May be prepared up to 1 day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Toss before serving.

-- Excerpted from the Appetizers, Soups and Salads chapter

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 pound shredded coleslaw mix

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley or dill for garnish (optional)

In a serving bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, maple syrup, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and mix until well blended. Add the coleslaw mix and toss evenly with tongs until coated. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavors meld. If desired, garnish with parsley or dill.

Per serving (based on 6): 234 calories, 1 gm protein, 7 gm carbohydrates, 22 gm fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 3 gm saturated fat, 284 mg sodium, 2 gm dietary fiber

Crostini With Mascarpone, Fresh Berries and Drizzled Honey

4 to 6 servings

"These little toasts are just the thing for afternoon tea or as an elegant end to a meal. Mascarpone is a very soft, rich cheese that tastes a little bit like sour cream but is much denser in texture. The smooth cheese provides a textural contrast to the crisp toast, tart berries and honey. These take a few minutes to put together. Serve them with a dessert wine."

The Clever Cook Could: Arrange a soft, creamy blue cheese, a strong Cheddar and a triple-cream cheese in a basket. Place slices of toasted raisin-nut bread around the cheese. Place a pot of white truffle honey or another unusual variety in the basket. Let your guests make their own selections.

-- Excerpted from the Desserts chapter

12 1/2-inch-thick slices French bread

1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

2 cups fresh berries, such as blackberries or raspberries

1/4 cup fragrant honey, such as orange blossom, white truffle or lavender

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Arrange the toasts on a platter and spread about 1 teaspoon of mascarpone on each. Arrange a few berries on top of each and drizzle lightly with honey. Serve immediately.

Per serving (based on 6): 225 calories, 5 gm protein, 43 gm carbohydrates, 4 gm fat, 7 mg cholesterol, 2 gm saturated fat, 321 mg sodium, 4 gm dietary fiber