A few days ago, Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream released Strawberry Pretzel Pie ice cream "specially made for Dolly Parton."

Of course, anything to do with the queen of country music and the fairy godmother of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine pretty much broke the internet.

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It seems all the fuss is about the crust.

Jeni's is currently sold out of the ice cream, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy Strawberry Pretzel Pie, so here's my recipe. Not ice cream, but certainly delicious.

It's a cool combination of classic gelled strawberry pie and no-bake cheesecake. The pretzel crust holding up this layered dessert adds a lovely, salty surprise.

Because we can’t have just pie for dinner (or can we?), I cooked some pork ribs I picked up at the farmers market.

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These tomato-braised country-style ribs turn out tender and juicy. The sauce and cherry tomatoes, another market find, gently tenderize the meat in the cooking process. A quick broil gives the edges just the right crust that is missing from the method of braising instead of grilling.

These recipes probably won't go viral, but I do believe they could garner some fans.

Strawberry Pretzel Pie

Makes 12 servings. Recipe is by Teresa B. Day.

CRUST: 

1 cup crushed pretzels (about 5 cups whole pretzels)

½ cup crushed pecans

4 tablespoons sugar

¾ cup butter, melted

FILLING:

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature

⅓ cup sour cream

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup whipping cream

For the topping:

1 (3-ounce) package strawberry Jell-O

1 cup boiling water

1 cup cold water

1 pint strawberries, halved

1. For crust: Mix pretzels, pecans and sugar in a food processor. With processor running, pour in melted butter and mix until blended.

2. Press evenly into a 9-inch springform pan or 9-by-13-inch baking dish covering the bottom and up the sides.

3. Chill for at least an hour before filling.

4. For filling: With a mixer, beat cream cheese, sour cream and vanilla together until smooth.

5. In a separate chilled bowl, whip the whipping cream until stiff peaks form.

6. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

7. Pour into the chilled crust. Chill until set, about 2 hours.

8. In a separate bowl, dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Then stir in cold water. Chill for one hour.

9. Add strawberries to Jell-O and chill for another hour.

10. Spoon strawberry mixture over the top of pie. Chill overnight before serving.

Tomato Braised County Style Pork Ribs

Makes 4-6 servings. Recipe is by Teresa B. Day.

2-3 pounds country-style pork ribs (about 6 ribs)

1½ teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

8 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning blend

1 tablespoon fresh oregano

1 tablespoon fresh parsley

¼ cup honey

1. Heat oven to 350 F.

2. Pat ribs dry then season with salt and pepper.

3. In a Dutch oven or heavy skillet with a lid, add tomatoes, onion and garlic. Stir in tomato sauce and Italian seasoning.

4. Place ribs on top of sauce and cover with lid.

5. Bake in oven for 1 hour or until ribs are tender or reach at least 145 degrees.

6. Transfer ribs to a baking pan and set aside.

7. Return the sauce to the stove and heat to simmering over medium heat.

8. Stir in oregano, parsley and honey and cook on medium-low heat until thickened, about 20 minutes.

9. Spoon the sauce over the ribs and broil uncovered for 5 minutes on high. Serve.


Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. Contact her at ieatbrla@gmail.com.