Wednesday, August 17, 2011

BBQ sauce

Today I went into my pantry and I wondered how did I manage to accumulate so many spices, seasonings, oils, vinegars and condiments... Seriously, I have 8 kinds of oil and as many vinegars and I would not even know where to start to count just how man herbs and spices I have. Yet I always find myself needing another spice or finding a jar of fancy mustard or chutney that I "must have". It probably does not help that I love to try new foods and that I seek out farmers markets and fine food stores. But I was not always like that.

As a child, I was a picky eater and I was scared of food that was seasoned with anything but salt and pepper (or the occasional onion powder). As I grew up and moved out of my parents' house, I became more adventurous with my food choices and soon my spice cabinet grew from 3 to more like 50. Owning over 50 spices is one thing, but using them are another. No problem there for me. On any given day you'll catch me using 8 kinds of spices just for barbecued veggies...

Every time I order food at the restaurant, I also try to guess what was used to make it so that I can replicate it at home. One thing that I have been trying to replicate at home for quite some time is a good barbecue sauce and this weekend I finally decided to give it a try.

I looked up a bunch of recipes online and decided to use a recipe from Chateleine magazine as my base. Let me tell you that by the end of it, my recipe had not much in common with the recipe I started with. You see what tastes great to one person or what one person is looking for in a barbecue sauce can be totally different so it's important to taste ad taste some more while your making your recipe. A little bit a tweaking can go a long way to make an okay recipe into something spectacular.

Homemade Barbecue sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup pureed onion
2 cups ketchup
2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1/4 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3-4 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon hot pepper flakes
3 tablespoons chili powder
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and the onion. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
This is what your onion will look like once pureed.  Before putting it in the blender, you should chop it  first otherwise it will heat up the onion too much
Add ketchup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, vinegar, chili powder and pepper flakes. Continue stirring frequently, until flavours develop, 5 to 8 minutes.
Ladle into clean mason jars. Let cool at room temperature, about 30 minutes. Wipe rims clean, then twist lids on tightly. Keep refrigerated for up to a month.
Makes about 4 cups

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