How to Make Homemade Barbecue Sauce
Making homemade barbecue sauce is just a matter of combining ingredients and simmering it to blend the flavors. Choosing ingredients that combine well, with just the right touch of sweet, sour and spice, can be an art. Start with these flavor combinations and spice it up or down to fit your flavor preferences.
Barbecue Sauce Ingredients
With the exception of the mustard based sauces favored in South Carolina, most American barbecue sauce begins with a tomato base in the form of ketchup. You can use pureed tomatoes or tomato sauce instead if you choose, but ketchup is the base most often used.
In addition to the ketchup, you will need to add a balance of sweet and sour as well as spices or heat to add interest. Let us look at each ingredient category.
For acidity or sour, some form of vinegar is commonly used. In addition, lemon juice and orange juice add additional tang and flavor, when included.
Balance the acidity with sweeteners in the form of molasses, honey, maple sugar or brown sugar. Some recipes even use cola or Dr. Pepper as a sweetener. The amount of sweetener used will depend on which sweetener you choose and how sweet you like your sauce. Start with less than you expect to need and taste your sauce as you add more to get the sweetness you prefer.
Additional flavorings are common and depend on your preferences. Common flavorings include sautéed onions and garlic, mustard powder or Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper, minced chili peppers or dried chili flakes and liquid smoke. Do not try to overload the sauce with all of these flavors. Start simply with the ingredients that you like.
Simmer your sauce for 20 to 45 minutes to blend the flavors and thicken the sauce. You can thin the sauce with water, orange juice, lemon juice, or sherry if needed.
Basic Barbecue Sauce Recipe
- 1/2 cup of ketchup
- 1/2 cup of vinegar
- 1/2 cup of molasses
- 1/2 cup of orange juice
- 1 to 2 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
- Tabasco sauce as desired
- Mix all ingredients together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spice it up with and a few dashes of Tabasco sauce to taste. Add more or less spice to your own tastes.
- Simmer for 30 minutes to blend flavors and thicken the sauce.
Southern Style Sweet Barbecue Sauce Recipe
- 1/2 large onion
- 1 tablespoon butter
- chili pepper, chopped and seeded
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
- juice of 1 lemon
- garlic salt
- black pepper
- Mince the onion and sauté it in butter for a few minutes until translucent.
- Add a chopped and seeded chili pepper and stir for another minute.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Season the sauce with garlic salt and fresh black pepper to taste.
- Simmer for 20 minutes to blend the flavors.
By Linda Carol Wilson
With our busy lifestyles, preparing a quick meal that is healthy and tasty does not have to be impossible. Next time you need a quick, easy, and tasty meal try these recipes for Pork Chops with an easy Curried Orange Sauce and a yummy Broccoli Salad. The coolness of the broccoli salad goes great with the curry in the pork chops sauce. The salad can be made ahead and refrigerated for serving later to save you time in the evening.
Sunny Broccoli Salad
1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar, depending on your taste
2 tbsp white vinegar
7 cups chopped fresh broccoli
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
8 slices bacon, cooked, drained, crumbled
In a large bowl, mix the mayonnaise, onion, raisins, sugar, and vinegar together. Add the broccoli and mix well to coat. Refrigerate until serving time. Before serving add the sunflower seeds and bacon; toss.
Yield: 12 to 16 servings
Pork Chops with Curried Orange Sauce
4 (1 lb total) boneless center-cut loin pork chops
3/4 tsp curry powder, divided
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup orange marmalade
1 1/2 tsp prepared horseradish
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
nonstick cooking oil spray
In a small bowl, combine the paprika, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the curry powder. Sprinkle the mixture over the pork chops.
In another small bowl, combine the remaining curry powder, orange marmalade, horseradish, vinegar, and red pepper.
Heat a skillet that is coated with nonstick cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add the pork to the skillet and cook three to five minutes on each side or until the pork loses its pink color. Remove from pan and set aside to keep warm.
Add the marmalade mixture to the pan and cook for a few seconds while scraping pan to loosen the browned bits. Spoon sauce over the pork chops.
Note: You can turn this into a diabetic friendly meal by substituting Splenda or Equal for the sugar in the broccoli salad and using a low-sugar or sugar-free marmalade in the pork chops sauce.
For more quick and easy recipes visit http://grandmasquickfixrecipes.blogspot.com
For more of Linda’s recipes and diabetic information go to http://diabeticenjoyingfood.squarespace.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Linda_Carol_Wilson
These chicken recipes will make you feel like a gourmet cook in front of your family and friends! No one would guess you prepared this dish in minutes. But that is okay; we won’t tell! This dish cooks on top of the stove in a matter of minutes. Add some minute brown rice and steamed broccoli for a quick, easy, and complete meal that is quick and easy. If you want to serve dessert, that can be quick and easy, too. Serve vanilla ice cream topped with fresh berries.
Quick and Easy Chicken with Wine Sauce
4 (1 lb) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup butter
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup white wine (or chicken broth)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup whipping cream
Pound each chicken breast to about 1/4-inch thickness. On waxed paper or in a pie plate, mix together the flour, salt, and pepper. Coat the chicken with the flour mixture and shake off excess flour. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook over medium-high heat about 3 to 4 minutes per side or until browned and cooked through. Remove from the skillet and cover with foil to keep warm. Add the mushrooms and wine to the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes. Add the parsley and whipping cream to the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, a couple of minutes or until the sauce thickens. Serve the sauce over the chicken.
For more of Linda’s quick and easy recipes visit her blog at http://grandmasquickfixrecipes.blogspot.com
For more of her recipes and diabetic information visit http://diabeticenjoyingfood.squarespace.com
I am always looking for good barbecue chicken recipes. I like to experiment and make my own marinades. A good marinade has 5 basic ingredients:
Take one ingredient from each of the above categories and mix to make your own custom marinade. Most marinades work best with two parts oil to one part acid, but be careful not to add too much oil or you may get some nasty flare-ups on the grill.
This is one of my favorites chicken marinades. It is easy, but packs a lot of flavor.
Barbecue Chicken Marinade
- 1 C. Soy Sauce
- 1/4 C. Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/2 C Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Brown Sugar
- 1 Tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 Clove Garlic – Minced
- 1 Tsp Fresh Oregano – Chopped
Mix all of the ingredients in a plastic zip top bag until well blended. Add the chicken and refrigerate over night. I prefer to use bone in skin on chicken pieces because they tend to hold the moisture in better when grilling. You can use this marinade for as little as two hours, but for full flavor at least twelve hours is recommended.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Prepare your charcoal grill to cook over indirect heat and close the vents, both top and bottom, half way. Put the chicken over indirect heat and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Many people end up with dry chicken with skin that pulls off when you try to bite through it. This is caused by cooking over too high of heat. Cooking over direct high heat doesn’t give the skin time to render the fat out and become crispy. It also makes the meat dry out much more quickly.
By Katherine Oosthuis
Chicken Pies are feel-good food. This Chicken Pot Pie Recipe is just the thing for rich and flavorful dinner idea. the perfect home-cooked meal for your family. The wine adds an amazing flavor to the pie filling. Using ready-made puff pastry will help you save time.
You can make the whole thing ahead of time and bake it just before serving. A really great idea and time saver, is to make a double portion of the pie filling and then freeze it for when you need a meal in a hurry. You can try tasty variations once you’ve mastered the basics. Not exactly low-fat diet friendly but perfect served with buttery mash and baby peas.
Some Chicken Pie Baking Tips
* You can make the chicken pie ahead of time and bake it just before serving.
* Make a double portion of the pie filling and then freeze it for when you need a meal in a hurry.
* Always have a ready-made roll of puff pastry in the freezer for when you feel like pie.
* be sure to make a few small slits in the top of the pastry so that the steam can escape during the baking time.
* Use left-over chicken or ready-cooked chicken if you want to save time.
* Use vegetables in season as these will be cheaper and readily available.
* Adjust the seasoning in the filling to suit your own taste.
* Wine adds amazing depth to the flavor of the filling so if possible don’t leave it out.
Chicken Pot Pie Recipe Ingredients
* olive oil and butter, for frying
* salt and milled pepper
* 500g deboned chicken thighs, diced
* 2 leeks, sliced
* 2 celery sticks, sliced
* 1 packet (250g) white or brown mushrooms, sliced
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* 2 Tbsp (30ml) thyme leaves
* 1/2 cup (125ml) white wine
* 1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
* 1 tub (250ml) cream
* 1 small packet (80g) baby spinach, blanched and chopped or frozen vegetable mix
* 1 cup (250ml) fresh or frozen peas
* 1 roll puff pastry, defrosted, divided into 4
* 1 extra-large egg yolk, beaten
Cooking Instructions For Chicken and Mushroom Pot Pies
1. Preheat oven to 220 C.
2. Heat the oil and butter in pan and lightly saute the seasoned chicken until browned. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and set aside.
3. Fry the leeks, celery and mushrooms until soft but be careful not to brown too much. Add the chopped garlic and fry for another minute.
4. Toss in the thyme leaves, wine, chicken stock, cream and browned chicken. Let this simmer for 25 minutes – the liquid should reduced by about half. Stir through wilted spinach and peas.
5. Spoon filling into 4 ramekins /small pie dishes and cover each with pastry. Crimp edges with a fork and make a few slits in the pastry to allow steam to escape from the chicken pies while they are baking.
6. Brush the tops of the pies with egg yolk and bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry has gone that delicious golden color.
This Chicken Pot Pie serves 4 people.
Everyone needs a little Cooking Inspiration. Try a few more of our Chicken Pot Pie Recipes and sign up for our Chicken Recipes Newsletter.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Katherine_Oosthuis
Chicken: Easy Recipe Ideas to The Rescue.
Easy Chicken Recipe Ideas:
Chicken can be an easy and quick meal when properly done. A chicken breast, thigh, or leg can be quickly pan cooked and then served with a variety of sauces. Boneless chicken cooks very quickly, but bone in pieces can still be a reasonably quick meal. You can also use chicken tenders, precooked chicken, rotisserie chicken or leftover roast chicken. Try these ideas to get you started.
Start with a sauteed chicken breast or thigh:
Basic Sauteed Chicken
1 or more chicken breast, halved, boneless and skinless
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- Rinse chicken and pat dry.
- Optional: Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook, turning once, until they are browned, approximately 3 minutes per side.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate or platter. Make one of the sauces below.
- Serve immediately with sauce. Serves 2 per whole chicken breast.
Sauces to Jazz up your Chicken:
1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange liqueur, (optional)
1 teaspoon honey
2 medium oranges, peeled and sectioned
Directions (see note below):
- Pour off the fat from the pan after cooking the chicken.
- Combine the cornstarch, orange peel and salt and add to the 1/2 cup of orange juice. Stir the orange juice mixture into the pan and stir to loosen the browned bits (called fond) on the bottom of the pan.
- Stir in the orange liqueur and honey.
- Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
- Add the orange sections and heat through. Serve over chicken. This makes enough for 4 chicken breasts. If serving more, increase recipe.
NOTE: I like to use the fond (browned bits) in the bottom of the pan to add flavor to the sauce, however, if you want your sauce to be perfectly clear and orange, without any brown, then start the sauce in a new, clean saucepan.
Hot Pepper Jelly Sauce:
- For 2 chicken breast halves:
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons hot-pepper jelly
- Combine the pepper jelly and the mustard, set aside .
- Pour off most of the fat after cooking the chicken. Add 1 tablespoon of water and stir to loosen the browned bits on the bottom. Return the chicken to the pan.
- Add the jelly mixture and the lemon juice and shake to coat the chicken with the sauce.
- Cook until the sauce is reduced to a glaze, about 20-40 seconds.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate or platter. Serve immediately.
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 Tablespoon Butter or olive oil
- 1/2 cup dry Marsala Wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
While chicken cooks, heat butter or oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms and the wine. Boil until liquid is reduced by half. Add the cream to the pan and boil until a sauce like consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon Marsala Sauce over cooked chicken and serve.
Chicken and Pasta with Peanut Sauce
- 1 package (8 ounce size) angel hair pasta, cooked
- 4 chicken breast halves, cooked and diced.
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
4 green onions, chopped
Saute bell pepper, green onion, and bean sprouts until tender-crispy. Set aside.
Mix peanut butter, soy sauce, and ginger in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Add chicken broth. sauteed vegetables. Heat through and toss with chicken and pasta. Serve immediately.
Roasting a Turkey
There are many methods used by Southern Cooks to cook a moist and tasty Roasted Turkey. Most methods rely on basting. The turkey can be basted every 30 minutes with a basting bulb, or covered with cheesecloth soaked in butter. Other methods include brining the turkey (soaking in a salt water solution for 8-10 hours), or injecting a basting solution into the meat. Whatever method you prefer, proper roasting is key to tender moist meat.
- Completely thaw the turkey. Start early and thaw the turkey in the refrigerator or in a place where the air temperature is no higher than 40 degrees. A 20-pound turkey takes about two or three days to thaw completely. Be sure the turkey is thawed completely, until no ice appears in the inner cavity and the meat is soft. Be careful: If the inner cavity is still frozen or even partially frozen when you put the turkey in the oven, the outside of the bird will be done before the inside, and the inside temperature will not be hot enough to destroy disease-causing bacteria, or if it is the outside meat will be dried out before the center is done.
- Remove the neck and giblets from the cavities. If this is your first time cooking the turkey, be sure that both cavities are emptied. Reserve the neck and giblets for use in preparing the giblet gravy, if desired.
- Prepare the stuffing. If you are preparing the stuffing early, mix only the dry ingredients. It is recommended that you cook the stuffing separately, but if you do stuff the turkey, do not stuff it until you are ready to roast it. Stuff the cavity loosely. Do not pack it. If you choose to cook the stuffing separately, you can place a quartered onion and some celery leave and other desired herbs in the cavity for flavor.
- Prepare a basting sauce. I prefer to baste with melted butter to which I add fresh or dried herbs. You can also baste with a mixture of wine and butter. Baste the turkey with your sauce and place a loose tent of aluminum foil over the turkey to prevent the skin from burning before the turkey is cooked. This tent will be removed during the last 45 minutes or so of cooking. If you are using cheesecloth, soak the cheesecloth with the basting sauce and place over the breast and drape onto the thighs. When using cheesecloth, you do not need the foil tent. Baste the turkey every 30 minutes during roasting.
- Roast your turkey at 325 degrees for the recommended time for the weight of your turkey. These times are approximate and should be confirmed with a meat thermometer. Be sure to check the thermometer about 3/4th of the way through the time indicated so as not to overcook. Dry meat will result if the turkey is overcooked. The following table gives approximate times for roasting turkey at 325 degrees F.
|Wt. of Turkey||Unstuffed||Stuffed|
|10-18 lbs||3- 3 1/2 hrs.||4 – 4 1/2 hrs|
|18-22 lbs||3 1/2 – 4 hrs||4 1/2 – 5 hrs.|
|22-24 lbs||4- 4 1/2 hrs||5 – 51/2 hrs|
|24-29 lbs||4 1/2- 5 hrs||5 1/2 – 6 1/2 hrs|
The turkey must be roasted all at once. You cannot partially cook it ahead for later finishing. Partially precooking has been shown to increase the chances of food borne illnesses.
- For safety and doneness the internal temperature must reach 180 degrees F in the thigh and 170 in the center of the breast. If the turkey is stuffed, the stuffing should reach 165 degrees F in the cavity. This temperature is essential to prevent food borne disease, and should be measured with a meat thermometer. The pop-up thermometer that comes in many turkeys serves as a good approximate of doneness, but should not be relied on as the ultimate authority. When placing the meat thermometer in the thigh or breast, it is important not to touch the bone. The bone conducts heat and will be hotter than the meat. Do not allow the cooked meat to come into contact with anything that has touched the raw turkey.
- During the last 30 – 45 minutes of cooking, remove the foil tent to encourage browning. If you desire to use a glaze, spread it over the turkey now with a pastry brush.
- After dinner, separate the stuffing from the turkey and refrigerate leftovers immediately. Within a few hours bacterial will begin to grow causing disease if the meat is not quickly cooled. Large chunks of meat will cool slowly, and therefore should be refrigerated immediately to begin the cooling process. Meat, stuffing, and gravy can also be cooled, then frozen for future use.
- Luke warm leftovers allow bacterial growth. Food eaten cold will not have the opportunity for further growth, however when heating leftover, they should be heated to at least 165 to kill bacteria.
How to Cook a Tender Juicy Steak
By Diane Watkins
You invest a lot of time and money into the steaks for a special occasion and when dinner time comes, they are tough. What happened? How can you cook steaks as tender as your favorite restaurant?
Choose the Right Steak
The first step to cooking a good steak is to choose the right grade of steak. The top quality beef is graded USDA Prime and commands top prices. USDA Prime grade meats are sold to the restaurant industry and specialty markets and are not as likely to be found at your local grocery chain.
The next grade of beef is USDA Choice. USDA Choice is tender, flavorful and only slightly lower in quality than USDA Prime. The meat is well marbled with fat and will be tender and juicy when properly prepared. USDA Choice makes up about 70% of all graded beef and is readily available in your supermarket. USDA Good graded beef is an acceptable grade of beef that has only minimal marbling of fat. It is leaner, but may not be as tender as USDA Prime or Choice.
Next, look at the color and texture of the meat. A good steak should be firm to the touch, moist, and bright in color. It should be well marbled with thin streaks of white fat throughout and a thin crust of steak on the outside. In our fat conscious society, we tend to look for lean cuts of meat, but the thin streaks of white fat marbled throughout the meat are the key to a tender juicy steak.
Choose the Right Steak Cut
The most tender and juicy steaks come from the sirloin, the short loin, and the rib. These steaks include the sirloin steaks, porterhouse steaks, t-bone steaks, rib steaks, delmonico steaks, and the filet mignons. Steaks containing bone will weigh more than those without, but the bone adds flavor to the steak.
Aging is a desirable process that intensifies the flavors and makes the meat more tender. Aged steaks are more expensive and usually only found in high end supermarkets and specialty markets. An aged steak is recognizable by its darker color.
Increase Tenderness with Marinade
Once you have purchased your steak, you can further increase the tenderness and juiciness by marinating it. Try a marinade made of ½ cup each good wine and olive oil mixed 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice or herb vinegar. Add any seasonings that you like such as garlic, freshly ground pepper, onion, or herbs.
Place the steak in a ziplock bag, pour in enough marinade to just cover it, and refrigerate overnight. Marinating a steak like this will add flavor and tenderness.
If you routinely store steak in the freezer before cooking, try pouring the marinade over the steak before freezing. The steak will marinate when thawing and be ready to cook.
Be Careful with Meat Tenderizers
There are meat tenderizers available to sprinkle onto your steak, and they certainly do tenderize the meat; however, meat tenderizers can sometimes over tenderize the meat, changing the texture of the meat into mush. If you should choose to go this route, do it carefully.
Choose Your Cooking Method
When ready to cook, slash through the outside fat layer on the steak in a few places to prevent curling, but do not cut into the meat. The more tender steak cuts can be broiled, grilled, or pan fried. Less tender cuts should be pan fried or slow braised. Steak should never be cooked in liquid.
When pan broiling, use a very heavy skillet such as an iron skillet or griddle and heat the pan before adding the meat. The heavy metal will hold the heat for proper heat distribution and not cool down when the steak is added. A hot pan will quickly sear the outside, trapping the moisture inside.
When cooking, try to turn the steak only once. Cook the meat until browned on one side and half done, then turn and finish the other side. Turning too often will stew the meat rather than searing it and produce a less juicy steak. When the steak is done, remove from the pan and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.
Make a Sauce
While the meat rests you can make a sauce with the pan drippings if desired. Use your favorite sauce, or fry mushrooms and onions in the pan. When nearly done, add a tablespoon each of butter and flour and cook until lightly browned. Add a splash of wine and loosen any bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Allow to cook until thick, taste and adjust seasonings, and serve over the steak. Enjoy!