The Simple Art of Cooking: A Great Hamptons Labor Day Combo

Walter Hinds had left an imprint in the Hamptons back in the late ’90s, and is presently holding court as executive chef at B. Smith’s in Sag Harbor.

I first met Hinds when he was the executive chef at 75 Main in Southampton. Born in Port Jefferson, this Long Island boy, inspired by his Panamanian culinary roots, decided to carve out a career in cooking. His tour of service is impressive beginning with Peter Kump’s New York cooking school and such celebrated restaurants as Tavern on the Green, Gotham Bar and Grill, as well as Lucas Carton in Paris. No doubt, this experience and all that followed spoke volumes as he carved his niche into chefdom.

Hinds has been at B. Smith’s through the season, bringing with him his seasonal light approach to the food served such as his sautéed fluke with tomato confit and saffron sauce and his farm stand salad of heirloom tomatoes, Mecox Bay Dairy Sunrise cheese and local peaches. Chef Hinds continues to serve B. Smith’s favored ribs, Southern style, for a Labor Day ribs on the grill celebration. To accompany the ribs Hinds offers his farm stand salad with roasted corn vinaigrette for a yummy holiday weekend!

FARM STAND SALAD WITH ROAST CORN VINAIGRETTE

Serves 6

For the vinaigrette

3 ears local corn in their husks

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the salad

3 to 4 heirloom tomatoes, rinsed and cut into wedges

1/4 pound Mecox Bay Dairy Sunrise cheese, thinly sliced

4 to 5 local yellow peaches, rinsed and cut into wedges

1/4 pound blanched fresh or frozen peas

About 5 cups mesclun greens

Preheat oven to 300°F.

1. Place the corn on a sheet tray and bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. When cool enough to handle cut the kernels from the cobs and place in a bowl. Season the kernels with olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to mix and set aside. Can be prepared ahead and refrigerated in a suitable container.

2. When ready to serve, arrange the greens on the bottom of a large salad bowl and place the tomatoes, cheese, peaches and peas over the greens. When ready to serve, toss the ingredients with the roast corn vinaigrette. Taste to adjust seasoning as necessary, and serve.

B. SMITH’S BABY BACK RIBS, SOUTHERN STYLE

The ribs are rubbed with a spice blend and grilled over hickory chips for added flavor. For do-ahead ease coat the ribs up to a day ahead with the dry rub.

Yield 6 to 8 servings

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1/3 cup sweet paprika

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons finely ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Hickory wood chips or chunks for grilling

3 slabs pork back ribs, about 1 1/2 pounds each*

1. For the dry rub, in a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients through the cayenne pepper. Set aside.

2. Soak hickory chips or chunks in a large pan of water. Prepare a 200°F to 250°F indirect charcoal fire on an outdoor charcoal grill with aluminum drip pan for where the meat will cook. Place a large handful of the soaked wood chips on the charcoal, or if suing a gas grill, fill a smoker box with wood chips.

3. Using a small sharp paring knife, remove the membrane from the underside of the ribs. In a small bowl place 1 cup of the dry rub (extra dry rub can be stored in a sealed container in the pantry for up to 3 months to use on meat or poultry). Use caution not to contaminate the unused dry rub with raw meat juices. Liberally coat both sides of the ribs with the rub. Stack the ribs on a large baking sheet and let sit for about 30 minutes at room temperature, or refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature before grilling.

4. Place the ribs on the grill rib-side down and allow to cook over indirect low heat for a bout 3 to 4 hours, until the meat is tender and pulls away from the bone. Turn the ribs every 45 minutes during the cooking time. During this time the heat will need to be replenished with hot coals and soaked hard wood. Transfer to a cutting board and slice between the bones for serving.

* If using baby back ribs cook them for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. If using St. Louis Memphis cut, cook for 3 to 3 1/2 hours over the low heat prescribed.

Above recipe adapted from B. Smith Cooks Southern Style (Scribner).

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