Tuesday, May 11, 2010

BBQ Bonanza!

Ok, I suppose the title of this blog post is a bit more exciting than it deserves but I had a lot of fun creating this meal. After living 2.5 years in a grill-less existence, I finally know someone with a grill! And it's starting to get warm outside,so, what better way to welcome in the spring than with a little grilling?

Three yeas ago (when I was the proud owner of a grill) I bought a cookbook full of BBQ sauces, rubs, marinades, etc. Since I moved back East, the cookbook has been gathering dust on my bookshelf, so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to crack it open again! I decided to make two things for this meal:

First, a BBQ rub. Basically that’s a mixture of dry spices that I turn into a super-spice (the elusive 6th spice girl?) and then rub all over meat. When I told the butcher at Whole Foods what I was planning on doing, he helped me pick out a skirt steak, which he said would grill up quickly as well as have a lot of flavor. The rub I used (recipe below) had a great flavor when combined with steak, it was savory and it had a little kick. I think it would also go pretty well with chicken, especially oven baked chicken wings or chicken drumsticks (yes, I’m back on the chicken wagon!)

The second thing I made was a BBQ sauce. What intrigued me the most about this sauce is that it’s made with Coca-cola, which gave it both a sweet and spicy flavor. According to the cookbook, pot roast braised in Coca-Cola is a favorite in Venezuela. Along with the steak, I also grilled up veggie kabobs (heirloom tomatoes, green peppers, yellow peppers, mushrooms, and onion). The BBQ sauce was really tasty with the steak but it was great to dip the grilled veggies into.

Bonus about this meal: I was able to prepare four hours in advance (since the steak marinated with the rub for a few hours). Also, there is leftover rub and BBQ sauce that will last at least a month so that I can always whip up something very quickly when I’m feeling like a lazy cook but still want an air of fancy, homemade goodness.

Overall score : 8 out of 10.


Ingredients –
¼ cup coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
¼ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
¼ cup paprika
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
½ - 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon celery seeds

Directions –
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir or whisk to mix. Transfer to a jar, cover, and store away from heat and light. The rub will keep for several months. Makes 1 cup.

Recipe – Coca-Cola Barbecue Sauce (Compliments of Barbecue! Bible : Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades, Bastes, Butters, and Glazes)

Ingredients –
1 cup Coca-cola
1 cup ketchup
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons A1 Steak Sauce
1 teaspoon onion flakes
1 teaspoon garlic flakes
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions –
Combine all the ingredients in a heavy nonreactive saucepan and gradually bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat slightly to obtain a gentle simmer. Simmer the sauce until reduced by a quarter (6-8 minutes). Use right away or transfer to a large jar, cover, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate. Makes 2 cups. Will keep for several months.

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