Getting saucy in the kitchen

April 22, 2011 § 3 Comments

I hadn’t planned on doing a ton of cooking yesterday, but the day felt differently about things. I had a couple of days off for Passover (I’m not Jewish, but my company observes) and had been planning to make country style pork ribs in the slow cooker. I made a double batch of BBQ sauce last week so I’d have enough sauce to cook in with a bit left over to serve on top. First time I’ve tried making my own sauce, and I have to say, it is absolutely delicious. Definitely a keeper (see recipe below).

Being in the kitchen and immersing myself in tweaking recipes or prepping things so I can time them to come out so they’re ready to eat together, losing myself in the feeling of food…it’s all so therapeutic. No matter how much I have on my mind, eventually I become completely immersed in measuring, chopping, kneading, pouring, stirring — whatever the task at hand is. It’s almost meditative. When I come back from it, I may still be stressed and upset, but I am calmer and more well-balanced, better prepared to face what needs facing.

Dinner

Country-style pork ribs, fresh bread, apricot-maple goat cheese

So while I was in the kitchen, I went ahead and whipped up a batch of my favorite bread (which I loaded up with apricot-maple goat cheese from my favorite local farm — accented the ribs perfectly; also, see notes for modifications I make to the recipe), a blackberry cobbler(see notes), and a couple of quarts of ice cream (vanilla and praline — both came out great). The bread dough was much wetter than usual, which made it difficult to handle, so I was concerned about how it would come out flavor- and texture-wise. It turned out just fine, even though I forgot to steam it so the crust is a little chewier than usual.

Dessert

Blackberry cobbler, homemade praline ice cream

I had been planning to whip up some cheese grits, but I was a little under the weather and thought (rightly) that I probably wouldn’t be able to eat more than a few bites of anything, so it would just be a waste of grits. Most things I’m fine with having leftovers, but I just don’t care for leftover grits. Something about the texture. Leftover ribs, I discovered a while back, make excellent pulled pork. I’ll use some of it later in the week to make pork and cheddar pies, then freeze the rest.

NOTES:

Bread: The recipe calls for hand-milled wheat flour; I use King Arthur’s from the store. I also store the extra dough already divided into loaf sizes in quart Ziplocs

Cobbler: I grew up with pie crust cobbler and still love it that way, but this recipe has an almost cakey crust that’s absolutely delightful. I often have this cobbler for breakfast as well as dessert (though usually sans ice cream). The recipe calls for 6 cups of fresh berries; I find that 2 bags of frozen berries works perfectly — just thaw and drain before cooking.

RECIPE:

Laura’s Sweet ‘n’ Sticky BBQ Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4c brown sugar
  • 1/2c chili sauce
  • 1/2c rum
  • 1/4c ketchup
  • 1/4c Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4c garlic vinegar
  • 3Tbsp molasses
  • 3tsp onion powder
  • 1tsp ground dry mustard
  • dollop of vanilla
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

In a 3qt saucepan over low heat, mix all ingredients. Simmer 30 min., stirring occasionally. Let cool, then refrigerate until ready to use. Note: You may wish to remove the garlic cloves before storing.

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§ 3 Responses to Getting saucy in the kitchen

  • Lance says:

    I think it saddens me to know that you made pork ribs with your time off for Passover.

    I use a recipe for barbecue sauce from Cooking A to Z, and the basis is more or less the same (brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire, vinegar, molasses). I may well have to use rum next time I make some. And…vanilla? Really? Interesting! Any sense of what it adds?

  • ellwhy says:

    Will it help if I make charoset on Easter? The vanilla enhances the sweetness a little — I like a very sweet sauce with just a hint of the vinegar tanginess. It’s a fine sauce without the vanilla, but I found when I added the vanilla it really gave it more depth and rounded it out.

  • […] Below is the recipe for the ragout. I prepared the snap beans like this; boiled the potatoes for about 20 minutes, sliced them up and added them to the beans; and the bread recipe is the same one I’ve mentioned previously. […]

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