Tag Archives: ketchup

BBQ Sauce – BEST Homemade Sweet & Tangy!

BBQ Sauce – BEST Homemade Sweet & Tangy!

It’s like BBQ sauce candy! My Homemade BBQ Sauce is the perfect balance of sweet, tangy and a little spicy! This recipe is one of my versions of a classic “Kansas City” style sauce, meaning it is a tomato based sauce with a sweetener and a vinegar. Ketchup, dark Molasses, brown sugar, cider vinegar and spices are the core ingredient’s that make up this delicious blend of barbecue sauciness. It’s not too sweet or too tangy and it has just a pinch of heat to remind you that it’s a BBQ sauce. It really can’t get any easier to make BBQ sauce then this here recipe. It will definitely make it hard for you to go back to the bottle stuff with the high fructose corn syrup. In fact, I guarantee that you will find yourself dipping that spoon back into the pot to get one more lick of this homemade sassy sauce!

One of my favorite things to do with this sauce is adding a couple tablespoons of bourbon in the last 5 minutes of simmering.  Everyone will be asking you for the recipe for sure! If you have a mix of adults and children spilt the sauce into 2 portions, keeping one with bourbon and one with out.

Using the liquid smoke, which is simple to find at your local grocer now a days, is ideal for emulating that smokiness you would get with outdoor barbecuing. I have you adding in chipolte chile powder and a Spanish smoked paprika too which gives off a delicate flavor to the sauce without being too overbearing.

The 3 basic BBQ sauce type’s out there are a tomato based, a vinegar based and a mustard based. Believe it or not, there actually is a mayo based as well. The “Kansas City” style is the tomato based and probably the most popular through out the U.S. There’s a “Memphis” style similar to Kansas City with the tomato base but a thinner, more vinegar type sauce. The actual vinegar and mustard type sauce’s are quintessential to the Carolina’s. South Carolina being partial to the mustard type sauce and North Carolina to the vinegar type sauce. Then there’s that white BBQ sauce that’s mayo based, a signature sauce of Big Bob Gibson out of Alabama.

Once you see how easy it is to make your own delicious, sassy BBQ sauce I have a feeling there will be no stopping you! Enjoy your summer with this introductory BBQ sauce recipe! You might want to tag team all this barbecuing with some crab cakes, zucchini spaghetti, or spanakopita, and end with my amazing blueberry pie made with my perfect pie crust in 5 minutes!!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Ketchup
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules
  • 1/2 tsp onion granules
  • 1/2 tsp chipolte chile powder (If you can’t find “chipolte” chile powder just use chile powder it will still be wonderful)
  • 1/2 tsp Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 2 dashes of Wocestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp of Bourbon – If you are a party of adults …it’s AMAZING!

Directions:

  1. Put all above ingredients into medium sauce pan and whisk to combine
  2. Bring to a low simmer 20 minutes
  3. The sauce will be delicious in only 5 minutes – delvelops more depth of flavor by simmering longer!
  4. Basting your grilling meats in the last 3-5 minutes with BBQ is deal so as not to burn and oven cooking meats in the last 10 minutes (the sugars in the BBQ Sauce will burn if you put it on too early)

 

My MasterChef Sauces

My MasterChef Sauces

masterchefpicThe creation of these MasterChef sauces. a spicy, sweet and sour mango and a ginger-peanut sesame sauce, all began while surfing the net a few weeks ago, I accidentally ran into the MasterChef homepage advertising “Casting calls are coming soon to a city near you”.  My kids, Reilly and Bella were there at the time and enthusiastically shouted, “you should do it”! I think what sealed the deal was reading the “Come and meet the MasterChef casting team for your chance to be on the show!” The excitement started to seep in and I began to seriously consider going to the New York City MasterChef open call. If anything, I knew it would be a step in the right direction and a great learning experience let alone the adrenaline of it all!

After sending in their required online pre-registration form and printing out the nine page hard copy form to be submitted at the casting call I thought it would be a good idea to look over the FAQ page. The FAQ’s certainly had a list of what to do and what not to do. The “to do’s” started off like this:  First, bring one prepared dish to serve to their food judges. Second,  we would be given 3 minutes to plate our dish at their casting call location and for some reason I had initially thought I had 5 minutes to plate so that was a bit of an eye opener! Third, there wouldn’t be a kitchen to cook or warm our dish up so we were to come prepared! Fourth, we are to supply our own dishes, utensils, etc.

The “do not do’s went like this:  no air mattresses, no alcoholic beverages, no animals (unless health related), no candles, no cans or bottles (except water bottles), no chairs that do not fold (i.e. lawn chairs, chaise lounges, molded plastic chairs), no digital or still cameras, no fireworks, no hair dryers, no illegal drugs, no tents, no video, cameras or camcorders of any kind, no weapons of any kind, no children under the age of 13 years are allowed at the audition venues. There you have it!

Well OK,  I had a little organizing to do and a plate to figure out for my MasterChef casting call debut! I really wanted to wow them! The part about the “NO kitchen” and “come prepared” got me to thinking that a cold dish of some sort might be a wise way to go! An appetizer is probably the most logical then, right? Yes that’s it, it came to me.  I would make my “Fresh Shrimp and Chive Rolls” with the new MasterChef sauces that I have created which I can decorate the plate with. A julienne of daikon radish, carrots and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds with micro herbs for some pizzaz would add in the finishing touches. I also thought I needed to add in some height so I came up with baked egg roll shells that I form in a cup cake pan. I got this idea from my “Bloody Mary shrimp and Mango-Curry Shrimp in Wonton cups at Nancy’s Show” except I decided to use egg rolls shells instead of won-ton because they are a little bit lighter.

Now that I knew what I was going to make I thought I would practice my plate decorating with my MasterChef Sauces by shooting it in this weeks show so I could share this fun experience with all of you! It was definitely a lot of work to do this and go to the casting call but I did it! It was an awesome experience being there and the “MasterChef team” was pretty dynamite. They had everything down to a science and moved around with ease offering up a very warm welcome to all the competitors. I am super glad that I took Reilly and Bella’s advice on going for this.

I kicked you know what with my dish and the plating. I went there and did exactly what I set out to do with my presentation with 8 or so seconds left before they yelled “TIMES UP”! That part I have to say was such a RUSH because it reminded me of chopped!!! I was then the first to be called back in with 8 others for that first plate presentation part from our first group of 30 plating competitors.  I might be over thinking all of this a little, but I was so tired from preparing the food and shooting the show I feel as though I forgot to prep myself on what exactly to say about “me” when they pulled us 8 into interview. Although, I had them laughing a bit. I got the feeling what was more important to them was the person who said the right things in that second interviewing, more character not food ability. Gods only knows I do have lots of that so if it doesn’t work out this time I NOW know what they want next time around! I still have to wait until the end of October to see if I hear from them (they are still traveling to other states). I had an incredible time and will keep you all posted. Thank you all for your support, it means a lot! Hope you enjoy “My MasterChef Sauces” Show! 

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Ingredients for Ginger-Peanut Sesame Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp smooth peanut butter (Teddy’s All Natural)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp wasabi powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2-1 tsp Siracha (can find this next to Tabasco products)
  • 1 whole lime
  • 1 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 3 tbsp pineapple juice – Use 1 1/2 tsp of this 
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp half and half

Directions for Ginger-Peanut Sesame Sauce:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl (EXCEPT corn starch mixture) and whisk
  2. Squeeze only 1/2 of the lime in at this point
  3. Add to medium pan over medium/high bring to a low simmer – whisking constantly this will be about 2-3 minutes
  4. When this begins to thicken turn down to med/low and add in 1 1/2 tsp of corn starch mixture and keep whisking- this will be about 3-4 minutes
  5. Remove from stove and cool
  6. When cooled add in 2 tbsp half and half and a squeeze of the other half of the lime and whisk briefly til smooth
  7. Add to ramekins for a dipping sauce or put into squeeze bottle to decorate plate with

Ingredients for Spicy, Sweet and Sour Mango Sauce:

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup mango
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp Siracha
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 3 tbsp water
  • 1 lemon

Directions for Spicy, Sweet and Sour Mango Sauce:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl except the corn starch mixture
  2. Whisk til combined – use juice from 1/2 lemon here
  3. Add to a medium size pan over med/high heat and bring to a low simmer to melt sugar – 3 minutes
  4. Add in corn starch and keep whisking at a low simmer til the mixture is transparent again and thickened – 5 more minutes
  5. Mash Mango pieces into sauce with a fork
  6. Remove from heat and press thru a sieve into a bowl and let cool completely (can add a little squeeze of the other half of the lemon if too thick)
  7. Pour into ramekins for dipping or put in a squeeze bottle to draw on plates …have fun decorating!

Arancini Reuben Balls

Arancini Reuben Balls

My homemade Arancini Reuben Balls are absolutely gourmet. Arancini balls, also called risotto balls, are an Italian appetizer made with left over risotto, stuffed with mozzarella and prosciutto, then breaded and deep fried! Oh boy, they are out of this world. They are crispy on the outside, and creamy and cheesy on the the inside. You can eat them plain or serve them with a tomato sauce.

My homemade Arancini Reuben Balls are made with risotto, diced corned beef, Swiss cheese, cream cheese and sautéed jalapeño’s to incorporate that “popper” flavor! I serve them with my gourmet thousand island dressing which I make with Greek yogurt and a creamy horseradish to compliment the corned beef. The flavors of the risotto balls paired up with the thousand island dressing are outstanding!

Do you remember having poppers? You know, those deep fried jalapeno’s stuffed with cream cheese? Wow, I used to love those little morsels and I haven’t had them in ages so that’s why I thought it would be fun to put a twist on my Risotto Reuben Balls. It was a great idea too because the cream cheese lightens up the risotto balls and the jalapeno’s give it that something extra special!

You’ll be so happy when you make these homemade gourmet Arancini Reuben Balls with your left over St. Patrick’s Day corned beef. They freeze up really well too which will make for a nice little treat at a later date although I highly doubt you’ll have any left behind.

My thousand island dressing is fantastic as a dip for my baked sweet potato fries too. You might want some other appetizer’s to go along with the Risotto Reuben Balls like my crab cakes, or bloody Mary shrimp. You could even serve them as an appetizer to a homemade pasta dinner served with a Caesar Salad and some chocolate pecan pie for dessert! Hope you enjoy the show 🙂

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Risotto Ingredients and Directions – Total time to make approx. 30 minutes: (I halved my recipe specifically for the Arancini Reuben Balls but I usually make full (dbl) this amount) 

  • 1 cup Arborio Rice
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 2 tbsp butter and a drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 4 cups hot chicken broth – homemade or store bought
  • 1/2 cup grated Reggiano Parmesano

Directions: 

  1. In small pot heat 4 cups chicken stock til simmering
  2. melt 1 tbsp butter in different medium size pot 
  3. add onion to medium size pot and sauté on low til soft and translucent. 
  4. Turn up heat to med. and add in 1 cup Arborio rice and saute til the rice looks chalky while stirring all along
  5. Pour in 1/3 cup white wine, keep stirring and when wine is absorbed begin to add in 4 cups of the simmering chicken stock ONLY 1/2 cup at a time-it will be approx 4 minutes for each addition 
  6. ONLY add in chicken stock when previously addition is completely absorbed while STIRRING all the time
  7. Stir in 1 tbsp butter and 1/2 cup Reggiano Parmesano after the last of the chicken stock is absorbed, then let cool to make Arancini Reuben Balls.

Ingredients- Makes 20 – 1 1/2″ Arancini Balls:

  • 1 1/4 cup diced into 1/4″ pieces of corned beef
  • 2 cups cooked risotto (see below for recipe my recipe for risotto)
  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated and packed Jarlsberg swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated and packed mozzarella cheese
  • 2 jalapeno’s finely diced and sauteed just til barely softened 2 minutes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 lg eggs
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Directions for Arancini Reuben Balls:

  1. Put all of the above ingredients into a large bowl and stir with spatula til mixed
  2. Use cookie scoop and from balls, roll in hands after scooping to get nice and round
  3. Whisk eggs in a med. bowl
  4. Add bread crumbs to another and begin the dip formed risotto balls into egg and them into bread crumbs and place on dish
  5. Put breaded risotto Reuben balls in frig for 20-30 minutes
  6. When the Reuben balls are chilled heat 1/2″ vegetable oil in medium size pan and begin to heat on low for 5 minutes and then turn up to med/high to 350º
  7. Add in Arancini Reuben Balls in 2 batches into hot oil
  8. Fry for about 2 minutes and then turn over for another 2 minutes til golden
  9. Remove to cookie rack covered with paper towels to absorb excess oil
  10. Plate up Arancini Reuben Balls with my homemade gourmet thousand island recipe below 🙂

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This Thousand Island Dressing is great on Reuben Wraps also

INGREDIENTS FOR THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING:

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I ONLY use Helman’s)
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 Heaping tbsp finely chopped cornichons
  • 1 Heaping tbsp sweet relish
  • 1 Hesping tbsp grated sweet onion
  • 1 Heaping tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp creamy horseradish
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp “seasoned” rice wine vinegar
  • 2 dashes of Siracha

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put all ingredients into a large bowl and whisk til combined

 

Baked Spinach Wrapped Reuben’s

Baked Spinach Wrapped Reuben’s

These baked spinach wrapped Reuben’s from St. Patrick’s Day leftovers just melt in your mouth. They are zesty, creamy and tangy made with thousand island dressing  & horseradish, melted Swiss cheese, thinly slice tomatoes and drained sauerkraut. They almost make you want to skip the bland corned beef and cabbage and call it a wrap! In this version of my thousand island dressing I add in prepared horseradish which compliments the corned beef so well, and I substitute 1/2 the mayo for Greek yogurt.  It’s quite good, in fact it would be a great addition to a turkey, roast beef or fish sandwich and it will keep nicely in the frig for several days. These baked spinach wrapped Reuben’s would be delicious with my baked Yukon potato fries and zucchini torta!

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Ingredients for Thousand Island Dressing with Horseradish:
(makes 1 3/4 cup of sauce…keeps for several days in frig)

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (Hellman’s)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp prepared hosreradish (Inglehoffer cream style)
  • 1/3 cup drained pickle relish
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp fresh zested or grated spanish onion
  • 1/2 Tsp Tabasco

Directions to Thousand Island with Horseradish:

  1. Put all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk, set aside

Ingredients for Baked Spinach Wrapped Reuben’s – makes 4 Wraps:

  • 2 cups thinly sliced and chopped leftover corned beef
  • large spinach wraps
  • 1 cup drained Boar’s Head Sauerkraut
  • Swiss cheese slices
  • 4 small tomatoes thinly sliced (with out juice and seeds)
  • 1 recipe Thousand Island Dressing with Horseradish (above)

Directions for Baked Spinach Wrapped Reuben’s:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375º
  2. Lay out 4 spinach wraps
  3. Lay down 2-4 pieces of Swiss cheese as the base layer
  4. Spread 3 Tbsp Thousand Island Dressing with Horseradish sauce all over each wrap, keeping sauce in 1″ from the edges
  5. Put 3 or 4 slices of tomato down right across the middle
  6. Sprinkle 1/2 cup corned beef next running across middle to bottom…closer to to the bottom edge of the circle
  7. Add in 3 Tbsp drained sauerkraut to the middle of the wrap on top of the tomatoes
  8. Fold in the sides and begin to roll up from the bottom
  9. Place seem side down on cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes
  10. A tiny bit of the stuffing will be sizzling out at the ends but that’s ok
  11. Use a spatula to remove spinach wrap and place on serving dish, cut in 1/2 and serve with the homemade thousand island dressing with horseradish and my baked Yukon potato fries and zucchini torta!

Greek Yogurt Remoulade

Greek Yogurt Remoulade

Having a homemade gourmet dipping sauce as tasty as this and made with greek yogurt is pretty much a no brainer for me.  This sauce has the tang from the yogurt, a little sweet from the ketchup and a nice spice from the fresh garlic and Siracha…..yum.  You need to try this sauce with the  Baked Yukon Potato Fries recipe.  It’s such a nice combination and a change up from plain ketchup!  The gourmet remoulade sauce is outrageous on sandwiches too.

You may want to try this on jumbo crab cakes too:

Jumbo Crab Cakes

Jumbo Crab Cakes

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

    • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
    • 1/3 cup Hellman’s mayo
    • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. ketchup (6 tbsp)
    • 3 dashes of Siracha – OPTIONAL (Siracha is a hot chili sauce sold next to the Tabasco at the store or what ever your favorite hot sauce is!)
    • Juice from 1/2 lime
    • 1 lg. garlic clove (put thru press )
    • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar (I use “seasoned” rice wine vinegar)
    • Freshly chopped chives to sprinkle on top of finished remoulade

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DIRECTIONS:

  1. Whisk all of the ingredients except the chives in a mixing bowl, then top with chopped chives.