So the Fourth has come and gone, and the official season of the grill is in full swing. I will admit to being right there, at the top of the bell curve rarely utilizing the oven to make dinner this time of year. And yes, many of the sides I make this time of year are raw, from the garden, salads that are “cooked” more likely through exposure to salt and/or vinegar than radiating heat. Soaring temperatures and humidity is showing no signs of easing up, and I am no than glad to cook outdoors. In my heart I am a wood or charcoal griller, however, when you are in a relationship and have to negotiate the purchase of mutually used items I confess we have a propane-fired number. In order to get the smoky notes that only wood can give I use herb stems, garlic and onion peelings, or any aromatic trimming that might otherwise land in the compost pile to lace so much of what I grill. Placed either underneath the food itself or over the high flame of an indirect set-up I am constantly looking to add that note of cooking al fresco. Because all the caste-offs I use are still “green” they do not catch fire, but rather smoke, which gives my that primal taste I crave.
Though there are times I actually have to turn on a burner to boil water for some grains or blanch, ever so quickly, a vegetable. Still not sure if I made a mistake and did not get the grill with a burner unit – I figured I would constantly be battling with the evening breeze.
I have put us on a once to every two indulgence of b-b-que ribs or butt. And the reason for this is that we both require a slab each (at a minimum) and 5-pounds of butt is gone by lunch the next day. Clearly, we have pork control issues. While I tend to be a dry rub kind of guy once in a while I like it wet, however, I can not imagine using any of the commercial sauces out there for they are too sweet, too ketchup-based and not nearly as complex as I like it. Why don’t I just remember this in May when the temperatures are still kitchen friendly, and just put up a couple of jars?
Spicy Bar-b-que Sauce - yields approx. 3 cup
2 chipolte chiles
1 small onion - diced
3 garlic cloves - chopped
2-tablespoons tomato paste
1/2-cup ketchup manis
1/4-cup pomegranate syrup
1-1/2 pounds tomato – roughly chopped
1/8-cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper