It’s warm enough to go outside and barbeque! Time to toss aside those snow shovels that loyally sat at the ready for months. Time to dig out the barbeque tongs, the chips, the gas, and get grilling.
License to Grill was published 15 years ago. Author Chris Schlesinger set a new standard for ideas, techniques, and quality.
This barbeque sauce is wonderful if you just follow the recipe. But it’s really a template for you to experiment with. Change proportions, add and subtract ingredients. Here you have the base for a family of sauces to carry you deep into summer.
So, uncover the grill and get started. This is no store-bought sauce. This one is for you.
Molasses Rum Barbeque Sauce
Yield: about 2 cups
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced medium
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 cup of your choice
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 one cup catsup
- ½ cup molasses
- ¼ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground allspice
- 1 pinch of ground mace
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil until hot but not smoking. Add the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until transparent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the rum, vinegar, catsup, molasses, sugar, allspice, and mace and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 20 minutes, then remove from the heat, season to taste, and set aside.
Source: License to Grill by Chris Schlesinger
In upstate New York today, it was in the high 60s so that Halloween snow is gone. But more snow is on the way. That’s why this was a Kindling Day. Warm, blue sky, no snow or ice. The perfect day to gather firewood and kindling. There may not be another day like this until April.
“This is crazy,” my oil delivery man said to me. I think he was a bit disappointed at the temperature.
“That vine on the side of the house?” I pointed. “It’s budding.” And that vine has not had leaves for two weeks.
“Oh” he was now truly unhappy.
“Don’t worry. Snow on Thursday,” I said.
“Great.” He whistled his way back to the oil truck.
After a few hours of lifting things, I wanted a quick, “comfort food” meal. I know that I rant about only cooking from scratch, but the truth is there are days when some grocery store beans are a great start. A start.
I took a 28-ounce can of baked beans and augmented it: sautéed celery and onion plus some molasses. The result is a one pot meal that, coupled with a good beer, lets the day end on a perfect note.
And for that molasses? Look for something a bit different. Suzen and I found some sugar cane molasses at a Middle Eastern market in Brooklyn. More subtle, and probably more sweet, it made for great beans.
Brian’s Baked Beans, Augmented Style
Yield: 2-3 people
- 1 28-ounce can of baked beans
- 1 stalk of celery, finely diced
- 1 medium sweet white onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup molasses
Open the beans and pour off some, but not all, of the liquid. You’ll be adding about ¾ cup of liquid between the molasses and vegetables. You want beans here, not soup.
Dice the celery and onion. Melt the butter in a 2-quart sauce pan. Add the vegetables and sauté until translucent. Add the baked beans and the molasses. Stir to combine. Heat until it bubbles, stirring occasionally.
Source: Brian O’Rourke