17 July 2013

Just a Little Outside the Box -- Blueberry BBQ Sauce

All this week I have been obsessively watching "The Mind of a Chef -- David Chang" on Netflix.  If you even remotely like food or cooking, you should watch the entire series.  It's produced and narrated by Anthony Bourdain, who I love through and through.  He reminds me of myself a little with his brusque straightforwardness.  It's an easily misunderstood personality.  I think I would have a blast with him at a bar.  There would be lots of drinking and cursing.  Mr. Bourdain is not the focus of the series, though.  David Chang is front and center.  He's one of the hot chefs in the world right now.  He runs a few restaurants and came from very humble beginnings.  I am sorry, Mr. Bourdain, because I am now totally infatuated with David Chang.  I could stare at his adorable dimples all day long and don't even get me started on how his crazy mind works.  The series gives you a glimpse every now and then into how he makes the connections to invent dishes.  The man is brilliant and adorable and he can cook food for me anytime he feels like dropping by.  Oh, and he loves ramen, even the instant kind.  That makes me love him even more.

it's so very, very lovely.  and purple.
So, all the David Chang watching got me to thinking.  A lot.  Thinking about stepping outside the box and using some ingredients in unexpected ways.  He does that and is really, really good at it.  The one thing most people know about Southern food is barbecue.  There are about a million different variations.  It all depends on where you are.  Arkansas barbecue is sort of a weird mixture and (in my opinion) really under-appreciated.  Most people know about Memphis dry rub, the molasses based sauces of the deep South, and Texas brisket.  Well, Arkansas BBQ gets a little contribution from all these.  I am probably biased, since it's what I grew up with, but I think the three done together and done right are magical.  This BBQ sauce takes it's cue from the local stuff -- it combines the sweet with the spices and uses blueberries as its main ingredient.  That's right blueberries.  The finished sauce is sort of a disconcerting color, but I was just saying that I don't eat enough purple food.  I've upped my purple food intake another notch.

All I can say, really, after all that is just try it.  It's delicious.  Dip some chicken nuggets in it -- that's what my kids did.  Eat it on a burger -- that's what I'm gonna do.

Blueberry BBQ Sauce
makes about 2 cups

Print me, Please!!!

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 chopped small red onion
1 finely chopped spicy red pepper
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup bourbon
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup spicy ketchup (I used my homemade spicy ketchup)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground black pepper
salt to taste

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to get translucent.  Add the pepper and garlic and saute for another minute.  Stir in the bourbon; bring to a boil.  Meanwhile, mash the blueberries just to break them up a little.  Stir the mashed blueberries, ketchup, maple syrup, vinegar, nutmeg, allspice, and pepper into the onion mixture; bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the mixture is thickened.  Remove from the heat and let cool for 15 minutes.  Transfer the mixture to a blender, cover, and blend until smooth.  Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

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