How To: Recipe Adaptationw

Just after I posted my Sweet, Tangy & Crunchy Slaw recipe I had an epiphany. I was outside thinking about the ingredients and flavors of the slaw dressing when an idea struck me like a bolt of lightning. I thought to myself, "Self, this could be the base of many barbecue recipes!"

What follows is the extrapolation of that thought.

My epiphany was wondering how many barbecue derivations I could make using the slaw dressing as the base. At first the goal was to only change three of the ten ingredients, but that became unworkable. I then expanded the rule to allow only four changes. I had initially set the goal at ten other sauces and/or dressings, but in the end I was able to dig up twelve.

To add a little more fun to this experiment I recruited the younger two of our three daughters -- Shelby and Chloe (the eldest, Hailey, is at church camp) to do some "kitchen chemistry". I thought that they might enjoy seeing the morphing of flavors with just a few changes. I was right. They dug it down to their shoes and said, "Daddy, can we do this again? It was fun!" That's about all a foodie daddy needs to hear to make his week.

Here's what we came up with:

Base Recipe
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Distilled vinegar
1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1/2 tsp Ground mustard (powder)
1/2 tsp Ground white pepper
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper, ground fresh
Juice of 1 lemon (approximately 2 Tbsp)

Creamy Slaw Dressing
1 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Mustard Slaw Dressing
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Yellow mustard
1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Asian Slaw Dressing
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Pineapple juice
1/4 Apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Soy sauce
2 tsp Sesame oil
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Eastern Carolina-style BBQ Sauce
1 cup Distilled vinegar
1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp Hot sauce
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Western Carolina-style BBQ Sauce
1 cup Distilled vinegar
1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp Ketchup
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

South Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce
1 cup Distilled vinegar
1/2 cup Yellow mustard
1/4 cup Dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp Ketchup
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Memphis-style BBQ Sauce
1 cup Ketchup
1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Molasses
2 Tbsp Yellow mustard
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Kansas City-style BBQ Sauce
1 cup Ketchup
1/2 cup Dark brown sugar
1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Honey
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Texas-style BBQ Sauce
1 cup Cocktail sauce
1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp Chili powder
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Asian-style BBQ Sauce
1 cup Hoisin sauce
1/2 cup Pineapple juice
1/4 cup Rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Minced garlic
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Island-style BBQ Sauce
1 cup Pineapple juice
1/2 cup Dark brown sugar
1/4 cup Guava nectar
2 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

BBQ Mop Sauce
1 cup Apple juice
1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Canola oil
2 Tbsp Molasses
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Method
Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

The idea here isn't to give you the be-all-end-all recipe for each style of sauce or dressing, but, rather, to demonstrate how a simple base recipe can be the starting point and/or inspiration for a completely different recipe.

Recipe adaptation is your friend!

Note: The ingredient amounts you see in the picture were scaled-down for experimentation.

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Grill Girl Robyn Medlin

Tune into The Cooking Channel tonight at 9PM EDT to see my buddy, and grill girl herself, Robyn Medlin, in a BBQ and grilling episode of Food(ography).

I've interacted online with Robyn for quite a while and we finally met this past March at Kingsford University. She brings a fun, young, vibrant and decidedly welcome female vibe to an otherwise male-dominated avocation. To that end she conducts women-only clinics to help the ladies overcome the fear of the flame.

Tune in, and I think you'll see what I mean. Oh, and be sure to check out her site for some great recipes and grilling info.

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Pork Be Inspired

The good folks at The National Pork Board have teamed up with Guy Fieri to present a great new recipe that is perfect for summer grilling. They've also provided an excellent grilling gift pack that I'll be giving away.

If you've been following this blog at all you know that I am a huge fan of pork on the grill. You just can't go wrong with the versatility and great flavor of barbecued pork.

In addition to tasting great, it's also good for you. Many people don't know that ounce for ounce, pork tenderloin is as lean as a skinless chicken breast. And now that the USDA has lowered pork cooking temperature guidelines to 145º, you can now get an even juicier, tender, medium-rare grilled masterpiece.

Go get a couple slabs of spare ribs and try this new recipe from the self-proclaimed "Pal-of-Pork" himself.

Cuban-Style Grilled Spare Ribs with Mojo Sauce

Ingredients
8 lbs pork spare ribs, trimmed of excess surface fat, silverskin removed, cut into 5 or 6 slabs
2 Tbsp granulated garlic
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Mojo Sauce
1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup Fresh orange juice
1/3 cup Fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp Fresh lime juice
3 Garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp Chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp Chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp Finely chopped chives
1 Tbsp Honey
1/2 tsp Ground cumin
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Method
Preheat an outdoor grill for indirect medium heat. For a gas grill, remove cooking grates. Preheat grill on high. Turn one burner off. Place disposable aluminum foil pan over off burner and add 2 cups water. Replace grates. Adjust heat to medium (350°F). For a charcoal grill, place disposable aluminum foil pan on one side of charcoal grate; add 2 cups water. Build fire on opposite side, and let burn until coals are coated with white ash. Spread coals in grill opposite pan and let burn 15-20 minutes. Position cooking grate in grill.

Mix granulated garlic, salt, and pepper a together in a small bowl to make a basic seasoning mix (the bright, bold flavor will come later from the mojo sauce). Season ribs all over, rubbing seasoning into the ribs well. Arrange ribs over foil pan (a rib rack works great) and cover the grill. Grill, turning occasionally, until the ribs are nicely browned and the meat is beginning to pull away from the bones, about 1 1/2 hours. (For a charcoal grill, add 12 briquettes to coals after 45 minutes.) This gets the ribs nice and smoky for a great base flavor.

Carefully transfer ribs to a platter. Wrap each slab in a double thickness of aluminum foil. Crimp foil edges to seal packet. Return the ribs to indirect medium heat. (For charcoal grill, add 12 more briquettes to coals.) Cover and grill ribs until very tender (caused by steam in foil), about 1 hours.

Meanwhile, make mojo sauce. Process ingredients in blender into smooth sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate to blend flavors, at least 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning once more just before serving. Makes about 1 1/3 cups.

Return ribs to platter. Carefully unwrap ribs--the ribs will be very steamy and hot, so take care--and discard foil. (Ribs can be prepared up to 1 hour ahead at this point. Or cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.)

Prepare a hot fire in grill. (For a charcoal grill, build a fresh fire, let burn until coals are covered with ash.) Return unwrapped ribs to grill and cover. Grill, flipping occasionally, until sizzling, 6 to 8 minutes.

Transfer ribs to a carving board and let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into individual ribs and place on a clean platter. Serve ribs with mojo sauce, allowing each guest to spoon sauce over ribs to taste.

Prep: 30 minutes
Total time: 3 hours
Serves: 6

As I mentioned, The National Pork Board is providing the following grilling gift pack to one fortunate reader:

  • Guy’s new cookbook - Guy Fieri Food: Cookin’ It, Livin’ It, Lovin’ It
  • Four big, bold BBQ sauces featured in Guy's BBQ Sampler Set (I reviewed them here)
  • $25 gift card to purchase pork at a local retailer
  • The ultimate grilling tool set
  • Digital thermometer

The rules are pretty simple.

  • To enter, just leave a comment here telling me a little about your favorite pork from the grill.
  • This giveaway is open to all entrants residing in the United States only.
  • Since I need a way to contact the winner, your comment must either link to or contain your e-mail address.
  • No entries will be accepted after 12 PM Mountain Time Sunday, July 17, 2011.
  • The winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries (via random.org).
  • The winner selected on Monday, July 18, and will be contacted via e-mail.
  • In the event that the winner cannot be contacted another winner will be chosen at random from all remaining eligible entries (via random.org).

Important: Again, I must have a way to find your e-mail address. If it's not in the comment text I will look at your profile and/or your blog(s). If you don't see your comment posted within a few hours, it's because I couldn't find your e-mail address.

Disclaimer:This is not a paid endorsement. The National Pork Board is not sponsoring this giveaway. They are simply supplying the prize pack.

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Review: Guy Fieri BBQ Sauces

Famed Food Network celebrity chef Guy Fieri recently unveiled a new line of four barbecue sauces, and I was sent a bottle of each to sample and review. I have to admit that I was leery of yet another offering from a television personality, but I was wrong in this case.

When I received the sauces the first thing I did was read the ingredients of each. I was very pleasantly surprised and almost shocked to see that they contain no high-fructose corn syrup. That's a small miracle in the world of commercial barbecue sauces these days. The ingredients were generally natural, and each of the sauces is also gluten-free; so far, so good.

Here is how each of the sauces are described on the bottle:
Kansas City Barbeque Sauce
Chef Guy’s Kansas City BBQ Sauce is your traditional, go-to sauce that you’ll dig on just about everything. Sweet, smoky molasses, a hint of apple cider vinegar and a little black pepper heat will rock everything from beef brisket to chicken wings or anything else you can throw on a grill. Gluten free.

Bourbon Brown Sugar Barbeque Sauce
Chef Guy’s sweet, sticky Bourbon Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce rocks on just about anything. Smoky bourbon, sweet brown sugar and a hint of spicy black pepper create off-the-hook flavor that’s a perfect complement to everything from beef to chicken, pork and seafood.

Carolina #6 Barbeque Sauce & Marinade
Chef Guy’s Carolina #6 BBQ Sauce & Marinade is the perfectly tangy and versatile "mop & slop" sauce. Apple cider vinegar, sweet brown sugar and a little bit of cayenne pepper heat is a rockin’ combination to be slopped right on pulled pork or used as a marinade or baste for any grilled meat. Gluten free.

Pacific Rim Barbeque & Wok Sauce
Chef Guy’s Pacific Rim BBQ & Wok Sauce is great on its own or as an off-the-hook wok sauce. Sweet ginger, some chile heat, nutty sesame and soy sauce are a rockin’ combination for stir fry, pork ribs, salmon or shrimp.
For my review I barbecued some chicken over Kingsford charcoal and cherry wood. I used a simple and fairly neutral dry rub so that it wouldn't unnecessarily muddy the flavors of the sauces.

Here are my unfiltered thoughts that I jotted down as I tasted each sauce:
Kansas City Barbeque Sauce
  • Vinegar punch for a KC sauce.
  • Not at all sugary.
  • Seems more like a Memphis-style sauce.
  • A bit thin for a KC sauce.
  • Good flavor.

Bourbon Brown Sugar Barbeque Sauce
  • Rich and thick, with a pleasant smooth & velvety consistency.
  • Mellow & subtle sweetness with a slight bourbon undertone.
  • Very nice!
  • A 50/50 blend with the KC sauce makes a great combination.

Carolina #6 Barbeque Sauce & Marinade
  • Bold cider vinegar flavor.
  • Mellow lingering spiciness.
  • Slight black pepper flavor.
  • Would be great on pork, but probably too spicy for the average person.
  • Maybe cut with the KC sauce?

Pacific Rim Barbeque & Wok Sauce
  • Bold soy flavor.
  • Background flavor of hoisin & ginger.
  • Salty.
  • A little goes a long way.
  • Mildly spicy.
  • Thick with lots of flavor complexity.
When I was done I mixed the leftover samples and, through the magic of barbecue sauce alchemy, came up with what would be a killer pork sauce:

  • 1/3 cup Carolina
  • 1/4 cup KC
  • 1/4 cup Bourbon
  • 1/8 cup Pacific Rim

I also had my ladies try each of the sauces and the favorite was the Bourbon Brown Sugar.

In conclusion, these sauces are good. They offer clean and generally bold flavors that are a welcome departure from typical mass-market sauces. Whether or not they are true to their stated barbecue regions is an argument with no end.

These sauces are rollin' out nationwide, so keep your eyes peeled and try them if they become available in your area. I think you'll be very glad that you did. In addition to being good out of the bottle they make a great barbecue sauce chemistry set to invent your own signature sauce.

Obligatory Disclaimer: This is not a paid endorsement. The sauces were sent to me free of charge, but the thoughts expressed are solely my own.

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Boise Music Festival

This month is the second annual Boise Music Festival. Last year over 70,000 people descended on Ann Morrison Park to enjoy over 40 bands, great food, and all manner of other fun.

There is also an outstanding $10,000 KCBS-sanctioned barbecue competition held at the event, and they need teams!

I competed at the festival last year and it was an outstanding contest. KCBS rep-extraordinaire Jim Monihan is the organizer, and he always puts on a quality event. With this being the second year, I expect it to be even better.

If you're a competitor in the area, or just passing through, I encourage you to enter this contest. I personally guarantee that you'll have a great time.

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Sweet, Tangy & Crunchy Slaw

In the past I've shared a couple different slaw recipes. One is a Southwest creamy and spicy version, and the other walks the line between creamy and tangy. This time I offer a simple vinegar-based sweet and tangy slaw that packs big crunch.

This version is a great balance to sweet barbecue. It's tailor-made for a monster sauce-all-over-your-face and juice-running-down-your-arm pulled pork sandwich. Oh, and it's also great atop a grilled brat with a little mustard.

Since there is no dairy in this recipe it's perfect for outdoor events where you don't have access to ice or refrigeration. It holds up very well without the food safety concern of mayo-based slaws.

Ingredients
2 bags (16 oz each) Coleslaw
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Distilled vinegar
1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1/2 tsp Ground mustard (powder)
1/2 tsp Ground white pepper
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper, ground fresh
Juice of 1 lemon (approximately 2 Tbsp)

Method
Combine all of the ingredients, except the slaw in a large mixing bowl and whisk until the sugar is dissolved.

Add the slaw and fold to coat it all.

Cover and refrigerate for 3-6 hours, or overnight, stirring occasionally (whenever you think of it).

Serve and enjoy!

Sweet, Tangy & Crunchy Slaw

Easy, huh?

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