Inset: Ray Tamarra/Getty
Curtis Stone‘s favorite cooking accessory these days is a little more high-tech than a super-sharp knife or a cast-iron pan.
The Top Chef Masters host has been bringing his iPad into the kitchen, propping it up on a cookbook holder to watch shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black while he whips up dinner, dessert or even cocktails.
“A lot of people think they don’t have enough time to cook, and a lot say they don’t have time to watch television,” Stone tells PEOPLE. “You can combine the two, watch from your iPad in the kitchen.”
Inspired by his new kitchen companion, Stone created several recipes themed to his favorite shows of the moment. His Arrested Development Up In Flames Drunken Banana dessert features two banana halves coated in brown sugar caramel and set ablaze with a float of rum—a nod to the show’s infamous frozen banana stand and that the Bluth family is “a little bananas,” Stone says.
House of Cards fans know that lead character Frank is a regular of Freddy’s BBQ Joint; in honor of the fictional spot, Stone whipped up pork baby back ribs, coated in a sticky North Carolina-style sauce made with “plenty of vinegar, mustard and a touch of heat.”
“I absolutely love barbecue and since coming to the States it’s one of those things that I look for in every little town in the Midwest or the South that I go to,” the Australian chef says. “And every time I watch House of Cards on Netflix I think, ‘My God, I want some ribs.’”
Making barbecue ribs “is easier than you think,” Stone says—but if you’re looking for a truly simple recipe, try his orange Russian, a riff on a white Russian. The drink uses orange liqueur and orange zest to celebrate Orange is the New Black, and is even named after character Red, who is the prison chef.
Up In Flames Drunken Bananas with Spiced Ice Cream
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
⅛ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 medium bananas, peeled
¼ cup golden rum
2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
2 scoops spiced ice cream (recipe below)
1. In a 12-inch nonstick frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon.
2. Slice bananas in half lengthwise and lay, cut side down, in the butter mixture. Cook until the bananas are caramelized on the underside and the sugar mixture has melted and become golden brown, about 3 minutes.
3. Remove pan from the heat and add rum. Using a long match, carefully ignite the rum. Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area and away from any flammable material. Allow the flame to burn out, then turn the bananas over.
4. Return the pan to medium heat and stir in the cream, basting the bananas for about 1 minute.
5. Divide the bananas between two plates. Top each with several spoonfuls of sauce and a scoop of ice cream, then drizzle the remaining sauce over and around the ice cream and bananas. Serve immediately.
Spiced Ice Cream
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
⅛ tsp. ground ginger
Large pinch ground cloves
In a medium bowl, break up the ice cream with a spoon, then mix in the nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Keep covered in freezer until ready to serve.
Freddy’s Sticky Saucy Barbecued Ribs
For barbecue sauce:
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp. smoked paprika
½ cup whiskey
1¼ cups cider vinegar
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1½ cups ketchup
1 cup honey
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. yellow mustard
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
For spice rub:
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
3 tbsp. sweet paprika
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. ground cumin
4 racks pork baby back ribs (2½ pounds each)
¾ cup cider vinegar
1. To make the barbecue sauce, in a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in garlic and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
3. Stir in paprika, whiskey and vinegar. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in remaining barbecue sauce ingredients and bring the sauce to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often to prevent scorching until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat. [Chef's note: The barbecue sauce can be made up to 2 weeks ahead of time. Cool, cover and refrigerate, then reheat before using.]
4. In a medium bowl, mix all spice rub ingredients. Place ribs on 2 large baking sheets and rub each rib all over with the spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
5. Position racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover the ribs on the baking sheets with foil. Bake for 45 minutes, then baste the ribs with barbecue sauce, rotate the baking sheets and recover ribs with foil. Bake an additional 45 minutes, or until the ribs are tender and the meat has shrunk from the ends of the bones.
6. Baste ribs again with barbecue sauce and continue baking, uncovered, for 10 minutes, brushing lightly with the barbecue sauce every few minutes. Make sure to allow the sauce to set before applying the next coat.
7. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the racks into individual ribs. Arrange the ribs on a platter and serve with the remaining sauce on the side.
Red’s Orange White Russian
¼ cup Kahlúa
2 tbsp. vodka
1 tbsp. Cointreau
2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
1 navel orange
1. Fill a rocks glass halfway with ice cubes. Add the Kahlúa, vodka and Cointreau; gently stir to blend.
2. Pour cream slowly into the glass over the back of a spoon so that it floats on top of the Kahlúa mixture. Using a fine grater, grate some orange zest on top. Serve immediately.
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