Extra Special Challenge: Late Summer BBQ

I recently had the pleasure of hosting the lovely Jennie and her family during their visit back to Arkansas. Which, like any good visit, included a big BBQ throwdown. We decided it would be a fun change of pace for each of us to make two recipes to share with you.

First up, my Hot Mess BBQ sauce. My husband uses it on his pork ribs and pulled pork, but it’s also good on chicken. It’s a little sweet, a little vinegary, a little mustardy, and a little fruity. Just the way we like it.

Looks pretty good, huh?

Hot Mess BBQ Sauce

  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 4 T butter
  • 2 c. ketchup
  • 1/2 c. spiced rum
  • 1 c. coke
  • 1 c. cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c. sorghum (or molasses)
  • 1/2 c. apple juice (orange is good too)
  • 1/4 c. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 T. dry mustard
  • 1 T. garlic powder
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1 t. crushed red pepper (or less, if you don’t like spicy)

Melt butter in large saucepan, add onion and cook until soft, stirring. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until blended. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer at least 30 minutes–an hour is better if you have the time. Remove from heat. This is better if you make it the day before but it’s good straight from the pan too.

Next, we have a side dish. We had some lovely late summer corn and I wanted to make something refreshing and light with it. This salad has a nice combination of smoky, crunchy corn with a little bright citrus and was a big hit with the crowd.

Pan-Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad
(adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)

  • Kernels from 6 ears fresh corn (or 3 cups corn)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeds removed and minced
  • 1/2 c. red onion, chopped
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 1 medium avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 c. crumbled queso fresco (or feta)
  • 1/2 c. chopped cilantro

Heat the oil over high heat in a large skillet (preferably cast iron). Add the corn kernels, salt and pepper to taste, and cook 5-10 minutes. Try not to stir too much–you want the corn to be a little charred. Once the corn is done, add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Dump the corn and garlic into a large bowl. Add beans, tomatoes, jalapeño, onion and the lime juice and until evenly mixed. Taste and add more salt or lime juice if needed. Once the seasonings are right, add the avocado, cheese and cilantro and stir gently, just to combine. Serve at room temperature.

Next up, Jennie’s fabulous BBQ creations!

Your Authors: Happy and Full of BBQ

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