Recipes From Christmas In November Part 1 – The Man Cabin

Michael and Ann Olson Entertain – Ribs, Pull apart Bread and Banana Foster

I was super lucky to return this year to Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. This three day festival prepares you for anything the holiday season could throw at you. Here you’ll learn how to decorate, bake, entertain, set up a bar, and experience all the joys of the holiday season. There’s an actual “Man Cabin” that is open to all, and each year Anna and Michael Olson grill up some amazing Alberta pork and this year they added in some extra demos of pull-apart bread and bananas foster! Here’s the recipes for these delights, dishes that will make your party the one everyone is talking about.

Mike Olson Pork Ribs

Mike Olson Pork Ribs

Michael’s BBQ Back Ribs

Serves 4-6

Yes, you can do these ribs in your oven or in a gas grill but I love the aroma of the smoke that comes off a pellet or charcoal grill. Be a pal and supply plenty of paper napkins, a finger bowl, bone bowl and toothpicks for after dinner!

2 racks pork back ribs
3 Tbsp/45 ml yellow mustard

Spice Rub:

¼  cup /60 ml paprika
1 Tbsp/15 ml granulated garlic
1 Tbsp /15 ml ground cumin
1 Tbsp/15 ml ground coriander seed
1 Tbsp/15 ml mustard powder
2 Tbsp /30 ml brown sugar
1 Tbsp/15 ml salt
1 Tbsp/15 ml ground black pepper

Blend all the spice rub ingredients together.  Any extra rub after using can be stored in an airtight container.

Mop (Basting & glazing liquid):
1 cup /250  ml BBQ sauce
½ cup/125 ml cider vinegar
½ cup/125 ml  beer

  1. Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel.
  2. Using a fork, peel away the thin membrane from the curved side of the ribs by inserting a tine under the membrane at one end and lifting up to peel away (using a paper towel to grip onto it helps.)
  3. Brush a thin layer of mustard over the surface of the ribs on all sides – this will help the rub to stick to the meat. Generously sprinkle both sides of the ribs with the spice rub and pat on.
  4. Cook in a preheated 225 °F (107 °C) grill or smoker, with the lid down, for 3 hours. During the last hour of cooking, baste the ribs with the Mop every 15 minutes.  Test the ribs for tenderness by lifting up one end of a rack with tongs and twist to look for a slight “give”. You can shut down the bbq and rest the ribs in there while bringing out the rest of the menu and setting the table.

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This soft, tender bread is baked with a topping of Cheddar cheese, cream cheese and jalapenos, and it is perfect to serve with a pot of chili, a hearty soup or stew, or anything BBQ.

Makes 12 portions

¾ cup/175 g cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp/45 g  unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup/125 mLnchopped pickled jalapenos
2 Tbsp/30 ml jalapeno pickle juice
2 cups/220 g coarsely grated Cheddar cheese
3 Tbsp/20 g finely grated Parmesan cheese

3 cups/450 g all-purpose flour
2 ¼ tsp/8 g instant dry yeast
1 tsp/5 g salt
¾ cup/175 ml 2% milk, heated to lukewarm
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp/5 ml honey

  1. For the filling, beat the cream cheese with the butter and garlic in a mixing bowl by hand, until smooth. Stir in the chopped jalapenos, pickle juice and then stir in the Cheddar and Parmesan. Set aside.
  2. For the dough, stir the flour, yeast and salt together in a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Add the milk, egg and honey and mix on low speed (or using electric beaters with the hook attachments on low speed) just until the dough starts to come together. Add 1 cup (200 g) of the cheese mixture and continue to mix on low speed until the dough become elastic and smooth, about 5 minutes.  Place the dough into a clean bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise on the counter for about 90 minutes, until doubled in size.
  3. Grease a 10 to 12-inch (25 to 30 cm) skillet or a 9-x-13-inch baking pan. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knock it down to deflate it and then shape it into a rope and cut into 12 equal pieces.  Loosely shape the dough into balls (they do not have to look precisely round) and arrange these in the prepared pan.  Dollop the cheese filling overtop the rolls (it doesn’t have to fully cover the rolls.) Cover the pan with a tea towel and let this rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C). Uncover the pan and bake the bread (place on a baking tray if using a skillet, in case some of the cheese spills over) and bake for 25 minutes, then reduce the oven to 325 °F (160 °C) and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until the bread has turned a rich golden brown and all of the cheese has melted and is browning at the edges. Cool the bread for at least 20 minutes before serving in the pan, ready to pull the rolls apart from each other.



Serves 6-8 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes

This is a dessert from New Orleans that would typically be prepared tableside with flourish and flair and then spooned over ice cream. It can be easily prepared on the BBQ, which is safe if you’d like to flambée it.

1/2 cup/115 g  unsalted butter
1 cup /100 g packed dark brown sugar
½ lemon
½ orange
3-4 bananas, sliced
pinch cinnamon
splash rum
vanilla ice cream, for serving

  1. In a sauté pan over high heat (or on the BBQ on high heat), melt butter and brown sugar in a heavy-bottomed skillet, stirring until it begins to bubble. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon and orange halves. Add bananas and cinnamon and stir until the sauce bubbles again. Add the rum and flambée* carefully. Remove the pan from the heat and ladle it over scoops of vanilla ice cream and serve immediately.

* If you’d rather not flambée, then add the rum at the same time as the bananas and remove the pan from the heat when it begins to bubble.  The rum can also be omitted, if making it family-friendly.