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Adam Richman cooks an all-American feast of cola ribs and caramel apple dump cake

Celebrate "The Food That Built America" with these recipes from Adam Richman.
/ Source: TODAY

Television show host, culinary explorer and author Adam Richman is gearing up for the 5th season of his hit show "The Food That Built America." To celebrate the premiere, Richman is stopping by the TODAY kitchen to share two of his favorite comfort-food recipes featuring classic American ingredients: apples and ribs. He shows us how to make tender, oven-baked sweet and spicy baby back ribs with cola-infused barbecue sauce and a quick apple dump cake with caramel.

Sweet and Spicy Dr Pepper Ribs

Hidden in a jewelry center in Mexico City is a place called Hilaria. The brilliant chef there taught me how to make her signature ribs. Her use of citrus, not just as a flavoring but as a marinade to soften the meat, was incredibly brilliant. I was afraid the sauce would come out too sweet, but she found great counterpoints bringing in sour and spicy notes as well.

I love Korean flavors like gochujang, and the thickness of the paste makes it ideal for brushing onto ribs. Let them cook until they get a nice crispy bark and you'll have a great meal on your hands.

Salted Caramel Apple Dump Cake

OK, I admit it. "Dump cake" sounds like a Sir Mix-a-Lot song. And I know anything with the word dump in it doesn't necessarily sound appetizing, but this kind of cake is easy, consistently crowd-pleasing, terrifically easy to make with kids and can be done with the fruit filling of your choice. If you don't feel like making your own apple pie filling, you can always use store-bought or the canned fruit of your choice. Feel free to omit the salt if it's not your thing, but it does create great contrast to the sweetness of the cake. And who can resist topping it with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream?

If you like those fun and flavorful recipes, you should also try these:

Smoked Paprika Onion Rings
Française Dip Sandwich