Monday, August 18, 2008

GF BBQ Sauces & Rubs

What separates a good barbecue from a fabulous barbecue? Delicious sauces and rubs! The flavor of any meat, fish or vegetables can be greatly enhanced by marinating, using a rub and or basting with a sauce towards the end of the cooking process. The terrific news is that all homemade marinades, rubs and sauces are easy to make and easy to make gluten-free. Barbecue sauces can be made with a limitless combination of ingredients to produce traditional to very uncommon flavors. Although there are probably a million different formulas, there are five different groups of ingredients that combined together will produce delicious barbecue sauces; tomato ingredients, sweet ingredients, sour ingredients, liquids or flavorings and spices. We have a simple formula that you can use to experiment an develop your own signature sauces:
  • 4 cups of tomato ingredients
  • 1 cup of sweet ingredients
  • Up to 1 cup of sour ingredients, add a little at a time to taste
  • Up to 1/4 cup liquid or flavoring ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • Up to 4 teaspoons spice ingredients
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes; stirring occasionally. Season to taste.

Ideas for Ingredients: Tomato ingredients
  • Gf Catsup, tomato paste, tomato sauce
Sweet ingredients
  • Gf brown sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup
Sour ingredients
  • Vinegars, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, wine
Liquids and flavors
  • Fruit juices, jellies, gf hot sauce, mustard, soft drinks, gf soy sauce, gf chicken and beef stock, water, Worcestershire sauce
  • Allspice, basil, cayenne, celery, chervil, chili powder, chipotle powder chives, cilantro, coriander, cumin, dill, dry mustard, fennel, garlic, ginger, lemon, lime and orange zest, marjoram, mint, nutmeg, onion, oregano, paprika, parsley, tarragon, rosemary, sage, savory, salt, thyme, etc.
Be sure you right down your formulas so you can recreate your favorites! Rubs are a combination of sugars, salts and dried spices and peppers. The prepared rub mix is ‘rubbed’ all over the meat you are going to grill or BBQ prior to cooking. For meats, we like to apply the rub generously about 4-6 hours before cooking. For fish, we apply the rub sparingly and just before cooking. Sauces can be basted on over rubbed foods or the rub can provide the flavoring by itself with terrific results! The formula:
  • 1 cup sugar ingredients
  • 1 cup salt ingredients
  • 1/3-1/2 cup paprika
  • 2-4 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1-2 Tablespoons pepper
  • 3-4 spice ingredients, up to 1 teaspoon each
Directions: Blend all ingredients well.

Ideas for Ingredients: Sugars

  • Brown sugar
  • Maple sugar
  • White sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic salt
  • Onion salt
  • Celery salt
  • Same as for sauces
You can’t go wrong by following the general formulas and you’ll come up with special sauces and rubs of your own!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Pretty as Peach

Delicious peaches are now in season everywhere. The fuzzy exterior is sweet to taste and melts in your mouth, while the juicy flesh tantalizes your taste buds. Take advantage of these delicious fruits while they are in season. Always pick "tree-ripened" peaches for optimal flavor. Look for peaches that are sweetly perfumed and give slightly when pressed between your palms. Don’t let skin color or size deter you from choosing the best peaches. Often large peaches can be just as sweet and tender as the smaller ones, and unless it is green, different skin colors just reflect the different variety.

If your recipe requires peeled peaches, simply blanch the peaches by placing them in boiling water for 1 minute and immediately follow by submerging them in a large bowl of ice water. The skins will practically fall off. To remove the pit, cut along the seamline and twist the h lves in opposite directions and gently pull apart. If the pit doesn’t come out with the tip of a paring knife, slice the remaining half and pull the pieces away. If you want to enjoy the skin, but don’t want to eat the "fuzz", rub the fuzz off under cold running water.

Nothing beats the taste of a ripe, fresh peach, however cooking peaches often deepens their flavor and accentuates the sweetness that the fruit has to offer. Peaches can be baked, grilled, poached, puréed, canned, dried and frozen.

Try these delicious recipes this summer with fresh "tree-ripened" peaches:

Peach Cobbler
Peach Pie
Peaches and Berries
Peach Ice Cream

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Great Grilled Corn!

Grilled corn is a great accompaniment to any summer barbecue and one of the easiest meals to make. If you’ve wondered which is the proper way to grill or roast corn, with husks, without husks, in foil, without silks; the answer is all of the above.

Grilling adds a roasted taste to corn that enhances the natural flavor and sweetness. Grilled corn is the perfect side dish to almost any grilled or barbecued meat or fish. Take advantage of summer’s sweet gift, fire up that barbecue and start grilling corn!

To grill corn in the husk:

First, soak the ears of corn in cold water for 2-3 hours before grilling. There is no need to remove the silks because they will come off easily with the husks after they are cooked. However, if you want to season the corn with a flavored butter, or even just butter and salt, you may want to fold back the husks and remove the silks. It will then be easier to apply your butter and seasoning. Rewrap the husk around the ear and lay the ears directly on a prepared grill. Turn the ears often with tongs so they cook evenly and don’t burn. A fair amount of black husks is normal. The corn should take between 10-15 minutes to cook through. Try these grilled corn recipes, Cajun Grilled Corn on the Cob, Jerk Grilled Corn on the Cob and Chili Grilled Corn on the Cob.

To grill corn without the husk:

Remove the husks and silks and lay the corn directly on a prepared grill. Turn the ears frequently with tongs for even cooking. Cooking time: approximately 5-7 minutes.

To grill corn in foil:
This method is actually steaming the corn inside the foil wrapper, not grilling, however you can accomplish this method on a grill as well as in the oven. Place the ear of corn inside a piece of foil. Rub ears with butter, salt, herbs or any flavoring. Wrap the foil around each ear of corn. Place ears directly on grill and grill, turning with tongs, for 8-10 minutes.