Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Next Food Network Star...How About The Next Great Barbecue Sauce?

HINT: It's not his or hers. IT'S MINE...And JB's

The July issue of Bon Appétit arrived the other day with an inviting looking cover showing Barbecued Ribs. It was the winning recipe of Rory Schepisi, competing in one of the weekly competitions on The Next Food Network Star. I took a look at the recipe. It was pretty darn good for having to put it together in 2 hours.

One thing does worry me a bit though. The Food Network put this at the bottom of the recipe:

This recipe was provided by a finalist, who may or may not be a professional cook, for The Next Food Network Star. Food Network has not tested this recipe and therefore, we cannot make representation as to the results.

I sure hope Bon Appétit tested it before putting it on their cover!

While we're nitpicking, the grilled cantaloupe, alongside the ribs, probably looks better than it tastes. The best idea for grilled fruit that I've run across is Bobby Flay's grilled lemons. For some reason, I find that a positively sensational idea. Others have done it since, but he was the first one that I saw.

I also love grilled peaches. Their grill-marked sweet juiciness go so well with barbecued meats and what about with lemon pound cake? Hmmm. That would be good with a little (or a lot) marscapone sauce scented with lemon rind.

Here is a recipe that you do not have to test. THIS is the best barbecue sauce in the land. It's a knock-off from my revered and greatly loved James Beard. His recipe called for 2 sticks of butter (which of his earlier ones didn't?) and I've changed his method quite a bit. But try it, you'll like it.

James's and My Barbecue Sauce
(So what if I pretend that we worked on it together?!)

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 big onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons supermarket chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried basil or 2 tablespoons fresh basil

Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed medium or large pot. Add the onions and salt. Stir to mix well over medium high heat. When you hear them sizzle, stir again, cover and cook on low heat for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When you lift the lid, there should be plenty of steam. If there isn't, raise the heat a bit, cover and continue to cook.

The onions should be completely softened, before you go any further.

With heat on low, add the chili powder and cayenne. Stir over low heat for 3 minutes. (Okay, 2 minutes is better than nothing.) Add garlic and cook one minute. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, covered. Let cool slightly and pour into food processor, fitted with the metal blade. Pulse until smooth-ER, but not completely textureless. Return to pan until ready to use.

This freezes beautifully.

I always make sure to serve big baked potatoes with this barbecue sauce. And, of course, besides ribs, you can use it on chicken, even vegetables and tofu.


Cynthia said...

Like you, I sure hope Bon Appetit tested it before putting it on their cover.

Sue said...

I know! Let me know what you think of my barbecue sauce, if you try it.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

If you like peaches on the grill, try wrapping them in prosciutto first. My brother taught me that trick and they are so yummy if you're into the sweet-salty thing.

Sue said...


I LOVE that idea.

Cynthia said...

Will definitely let you know when I try the BBQ sauce.

Sue said...

I think you'll enjoy it.