BC’s Barbecue Sauce

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I think one of my favorite parts of summer foods is the condiments. I know, silly, but really when you think about it you use so many and you interchange them, mix them up and give new life to them. You can add the seasoning that seems to be popular at the moment. I’m looking at your chipotle and sriracha!

Case in point, you have a slab of ribs. What you do and don’t put on them makes the world of difference. Slather them in a honey or brown sugar barbecue sauce and you have some lip smacking sweet ribs. Tangy Carolina mustard sauce or a classic barbecue sauce and you’re eating completely different ribs.

With so many nights to grill out in the summer you can stick to a few tried and true or venture out and play around a bit. This barbecue sauce recipe is what I would label a “classic” sauce. It’s not overly sweet or tangy. It really is a middle of the road sauce, but hits all of the key notes at one point or another. It is a great one to have under your belt and then you can play around with it if you’d like or leave it alone. I love it because after it’s been cooked, but before it’s been grilled on foods, it has a bit of a tangy, spicy kick. Once it’s been grilled on to food though, it takes on a thicker, sweet sauce. So, since I can never have enough barbecue sauce, I tend to dip some of my meat into the sauce as well.

As Ina Garten says, this recipe contains a lot of ingredients, but they are all that I have in my pantry any how and the recipe is pretty easy so it’s not anything you should shy away from. Chop and onion and some garlic and pour in the rest and leave it on the stove for 30 minutes. You’ve got yourself enough barbecue sauce for a good portion of the summer!

If you’re unsure, the recipe can easily be halved and still leave you with plenty of sauce for quite a few meals.

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BC’s Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 large onion)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 cup (10 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over low heat, add the onions, and cook for 10 t 15 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Use the sauce immediately or pour into a container and refrigerate. Will last for weeks in the refrigerator.

Yields 1 1/2 quarts

Source: Barefoot Contessa Foolproof

Lobster & Potato Salad

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The temps are climbing and it is time to bring on some great summer foods. Of course, having lived most of my life on the East coast, summer equals seafood. Living in Maine, that means bring on the lobster! I’m a lobster purest and I’ve said it before, frankly the best way to eat one is with some warm butter, but if you want to switch things up a bit, like I do from time to time, it’s always nice to have a few other recipes up your sleeve.

This recipe calls for picked lobster. I made the mistake of cringing at the price of packed lobster meat, the tourists have arrived therefore the high prices have too. I decided to just buy the lobsters steamed and pick them myself. Well, I only saved $10 and while I’ve gotten good at picking them pretty quickly, it just isn’t worth it. So, do the math and decide for yourself. Me, I’d rather have that time back to sit on the hammock. Granted, I would have probably been cleaning or hanging out with the kids, but still.

Anyways, this is a really fresh salad. The flavors are bright, although pretty strong so taste as you go. It really does balance well with the lobster meat and potatoes. Make sure to use a nice white wine otherwise you’ll just ruin the poor dish. You’re using lobster, so don’t go cheap now! While I tend to love lemon and use a lot of it with seafood, I don’t always add a full lemon worth of juice. Taste as you go.

This is lovely for entertaining, but simple enough to enjoy for a weeknight meal. It can be used as either a side salad for a barbecue or the main event. You can enjoy leftovers, but the flavors will intensify.

Lobster & Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs unpeeled small Yukon Gold potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp Champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 Tbsp drained capers
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions (6 to 8 scallions)
  • 1/2 cup (1/4-inch) diced celery
  • 1/2 cup (1/4-inch) diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 lbs cooked lobster meat, 1-inch diced (about 4 to 5 lobsters)
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh tarragon

Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water by 1 inch. Add 1 tablespoon sat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes, until just tender. Drain in a colander, cover the colander with a clean kitchen towel, and allow the potatoes to steam for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut them in quarters or halves, depending on their size, and place them in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, egg yolk, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. While whisking, slowly pour in the olive oil, making an emulsion. Stir in the wine and capers.

While the potatoes are still very warm, pour half of the vinaigrette on the potatoes and toss them gently, allowing them to soak up the vinaigrette. Stir in the scallions, celery, red onion, and lobster and add enough vinaigrette to moisten. Reserve any remaining vinaigrette. Add the zest and juice of the lemon, the tarragon, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and toss carefully. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to blend. Taste for seasonings and add more vinaigrette, if necessary. Serve at room temperature.

Source: Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa Foolproof

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On one of the warmest days so far, I had scheduled myself to make cupcakes. It has been a really long time since I’ve made them and I felt like we, and you all, needed some. I thought to myself, “Hey, the readers need to see some more delicious baked goods like back in the old days.” So, it was all for you, I promise! I dropped my daughter off at school and my little guy and I got started in the kitchen. I made the cupcakes and then realized I forgot to add the one ingredient that was really going to make these cupcakes pop. I could blame the toddler, but this mistake was all on me. I tossed half of the cupcakes in the freezer (because I will be making those other cupcakes again next week) and figured out how to save this situation.

I was going through some saved frosting recipes and I happened upon this Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting. I had everything I needed, except heavy cream. Sigh. I had been halted by a whopping two tablespoons of heavy cream. The next day, with heavy cream in hand, I made these adorable cupcakes. I loved the way they turned out and my teaser on Instagram and Facebook showed me that everyone thought they were cute too. Everyone was fooled when they realized that this wasn’t ice cream, but frosting! I think I am going to play around with this concept some more in the future!

The frosting is made a little thicker than normal, so that it sits up on the cupcake nicely. You could easily thin it out, but I wouldn’t go too far because there is something about having it thicker and it mimicking ice cream. This is a pretty forgiving recipe, especially if you have worked with butter cream before. Play around with the peppermint extract and food coloring to get what you desire. The cupcake recipe I used was one of my favorites and yields 30, but the frosting yields 14, so please keep that in mind.

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Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (or 2 sticks) of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
  • 2 drops green food coloring
  • pinch of salt, as needed
  • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

In bowl of stand-mixer, beat butter on medium speed for 30 to 60 seconds or until smooth. Add sugar, cream, peppermint, and food coloring and beat on high speed for about 3 minutes. Adjust frosting to your liking (more sugar for thicker, cream for thinner, and salt if too sweet). Stir in chocolate chips by hand.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the frosting and place on top of cupcake.

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days, if they last that long!

Frosting yields 14 heavily frosted cupcakes.

Source: Chocolate Cupcakes, Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting ~ Sally’s Baking Addiction

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I’m on a seafood kick now that it’s summer. While I eat it often during the winter, the summer really brings out that craving for it. That’s the wonderful part of living on the coast of Maine. What I really love about seafood is that it is so quick to prepare. I can whip something up while the little one is napping and eat an awesome lunch before we wakes up. Granted, I always save him some as well because he’s a big eater and knows when someone has eaten something and hasn’t shared. I’m telling you, he knows!

These shrimp pack just enough of a kick, but aren’t too spicy. I’ve said it before, I’m not into foods that are extra spicy and super hot. Since my husband doesn’t eat seafood, I’m making these just for me so I make them to my liking. The lime gives the flavor a nice bright pop to compliment the chipotle. These can be cooked on the grill or sauteed in a pan. Use on top of a salad, as an appetizer, or as a main dish. Heck, throw them on top of a nice steak and you have a little surf and turf!

Chipotle Lime-Glazed Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chile powder
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Combine shrimp, garlic,zest, salt, chile powder, and pepper in a medium bowl, tossing to coat shrimp.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shrimp to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in lime juice and butter; cook 1 minute, tossing to coat. Remove from pan.

Source: Cooking Light, December 2013