Wednesday, May 20, 2009

BBQ Sauce - From Indiana

This week's first guest post comes to you from Indianapolis, IN. Now that the weather is warm everyone is outside for a BBQ. Just in time for your Memorial Day Cookout (or Indy 500 Party), here is a great recipe for BBQ sauce from scratch. This is great on brisket, pulled pork, chicken, or your favorite grilled veggies (for those non-meat eaters out there). Enjoy!

"Brisket's Best Friend" aka Homemade BBQ Sauce
3 cups Ketchup
2/3 cups Apple Juice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
3 Tbsp. Honey or Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp. Molasses
1 Tbsp.Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp.Garlic Powder
2 Tbsp.Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Celery Salt (or your favorite variety of salt)
1 Tsp. Cayenne pepper
1 Tsp. Mustard Powder
Optional: Jalapenos, habeneros

Combine everything except ketchup, mollasses and honey in a medium sauce pan
Cook over medium heat until the mixture boils, stirring occasionally
Reduce heat to med-low and add remaining ingredients, stir to combine
Simmer for a minimum of 1 hour
Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator

Notes: This sauce comes out sweet, with a little bit of a kick at the end due to the cayenne. If you like a sweet sauce add more honey or maple syrup and reduce the cayenne. If you like a hot sauce add some jalapenos or habaneros. I recommend roasting them first. Use additional water or apple juice if you want to thin out the sauce.

Roasted Jalapenos
Using your grill or broil feature on the oven, char the outside of the jalapenos until the skin begins to turn black. Place the cooked peppers in a plastic bag and let them sit for a few minutes. This will help more easily separate the skin from the flesh of the pepper. Remove the seeds and mince your peeled jalapeno and throw it in the sauce. I recommend using at least two jalapenos for a nice kick.

Lunch! A Quick and Tasty Idea

I love free samples - and last week at Whole Foods they had a sample with fresh apples, sharp cheddar, fig spread, pressed and served warm on ciabatta bread. Since I had to run there on Monday for some dinner ingredients, I decided to create my own version. We had apples at home. I just picked up some bread and fig spread. I didn't heat mine - just served it with a simple salad and an Izze sparkling clementine soda. Delicious!

Apple, Goat Cheese, and Fig Sandwich

1/4 of a gala apple, sliced thinly (use the other 3/4 for the salad or for a snack later)
Crumbled fresh goat cheese
1-2 tablespoons Fig spread
Ciabatta bread or a fresh roll

Cut apple into thin slices, set aside
Cut open bread, being careful not to cut all the way through
Spread fig spread on both sides of the bread
Spread the goat cheese on both sides
Top with apples, close bread

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunday Night Pizza Night

It's not's homemade! For less time and less money we had a delicious pizza night to cap off our weekend.
Somehow we haven't made this in a while - it used to be a frequent addition in our menus. Last week I was watching a cooking show (can't remember who) and they were giving tips on how to make pizza. What I did take from the show was to use cornmeal on the counter to make sure the dough doesn't stick and to just push the dough with your fingertips (no rolling pin or fancy tossing).

This was a quick and easy dish. I'll break down the cost of the ingredients below. Some are pantry items and some are items that I bought just for the pizza. If I only used a portion of a package I adjusted the cost accordingly.

I like the crust a little crispy so that the piece stands on its on when you pick it up. To achieve this, I put my dough on a pizza stone and precook it for about 5 minutes before putting any toppings on. This keeps it from getting soggy.

We had a nice green salad alongside our pizza with goat cheese, portobello mushrooms, and diced tomatoes (no sauce).

Homemade Pizza
Pantry Items:
Fresh basil from our new plant
Olive oil
Salad Dressing
Salt and Pepper

Items Purchased Just for Pizza:
$2.00 - Whole wheat pizza dough
$2.25 - Half a small log of fresh goat cheese
$1.50 - 1 portobello mushroom (from a pack of 6)
$1.00 - 2 plum tomatoes
$.15 - 1 clove of garlic

Items Purchased for Salad:
$2.50 - Salad mix
$.75 - A few slices of vidalia onion

Total: $10.15

Preheat oven to 425 or 450 degrees

Dice portobello mushrooms into small pieces
Mince garlic
In a small skillet, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat
Add in garlic and mushrooms and saute until just softened - 3-4 minutes
Remove from the heat and set aside

Cut open the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds
Dice the tomatoes into small pieces and set aside

Tear a few leaves of basil into small pieces and set aside

Put a piece of wax paper on the counter and put down a light dusting of cornmeal
Put the dough on top and use your fingertips to push the dough out until desired thickness
Transfer to a pizza stone or baking sheet (be sure to put a little cornmeal on the stone first)
Bake for 5 minutes and remove from oven

Drizzle a little olive oil on top of the pizza dough
Sprinkle tomatoes and mushrooms evenly on top of the pizza
Crumble goat cheese evenly on top
Sprinkle half the basil on top of the pizza

Bake for approximately 15 minutes (or longer for crispier crust)
Remove from oven, top with the remaining basil
Cut and enjoy!


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