OK, by now you may have worked out that recipes aren’t my strong point. I’m not really one to stand in the kitchen repeatedly making a recipe with slight variations until I find the perfect proportions. To all those who do – I salute you. It’s admirable, and I’m certainly happy to make use of your hard work at times, but for me – well, my life is just too crazy for that. So my usual technique involves a mix of looking up recipes online, thinking about what sounds good & what seems crazy, smelling different spices to see if they smell like they belong in whatever I’m making, and just making it up as I go along. Of course, this gets me in trouble when someone asks for my recipe because they really liked something, but it does make for somewhat more variety (or spice) in our lives.
So tonight I decided I needed barbeque sauce. This is something that is very individual to start off with. Some people prefer more it vinegary, some more sweet, some spicier, smokier, etc. – I mean, we have a restaurant in town that has 5 different sauces on the table! So really, the idea of a “recipe” that would make everyone happy seems ridiculous to start with – doesn’t it? 😉
This time I got a small bowl, started with some brown sugar & some salt, added some tomato puree (Pomi Strained tomatoes), Chipotle Tabasco (it’s smoked), Worchestershire sauce, powdered garlic, and some kombucha vinegar. That didn’t quite make it, so I added some apple cider vinegar, and more hot sauce & Worchestershire. Then I heated it for a minute just to make sure everything was melted together. Parents & kids enjoyed it, and what’s leftover went in the fridge, where I’m sure the flavors will marry some more with time.
In typical fashion, I looked online for recipes after I made mine. I found one with fresh onions & garlic – sounds good, but needs to be cooked – another with basil and mustard powder, and one that mentioned bourbon (mmmm). There was lemon juice, chili powder, and butter (this would effect storage time, I’d assume). I was thinking that some clove or allspice like you would use in home made ketchup would have been good too. Maybe next time. Also cumin or paprika could lend their smoky nuances. This would be a good place to sneak in some healthy spices, like cinnamon or tumeric too. Varying your sweetener – using honey (but don’t cook it, it will get bitter) or molasses would be good (definitely healthier).
Many of the recipes I saw involved cooking – some for hours. I’m sure that does alot to blend the flavors and thicken the sauce, and it reminds me of when I was a kid & we used to cook spaghetti sauce for hours. I don’t do that anymore. Just don’t think the payoff is worth the effort. I enjoy 10 minute marinara just as much – probably more since I don’t have to slave over the stove for hours! The same is true for barbeque sauce. I’m sure more effort might have improved it somewhat, but what I achieved in 5 minutes was perfectly lovely – and SO much healthier than anything you’d buy in a jar with a list of ingredients as long as your arm – not to mention cheaper than anything you’d buy in the health food store. Quick, cheap & yummy – right up my alley.
What about you – any tips, tricks, or favorite spices for barbeque sauce?
This post is part of Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist