Foodbuzz 24x24: BBQ for all!

Happy springtime! Who's ready for some BBQ? I am! and this last Saturday so were ten of my favorite friends and family! We had an afternoon full of bocce, laid back adirondack chair sitting, and of course bbq.

Having been working for months on developing recipes for the Salisbury 2011 BBQ Festival, I'm getting to be a pro at including BBQ sauces in places they've never been before, and that's just what I did for this garden party: BBQ in every dish from drinks to dessert! Ever had a bbq whiskey sour? Me neither. Still haven't as I don't drink, but I sure did make one, cocktail shaker and all, for my guests who do. BBQ deviled egg? BBQ jelly? Mac'n'cheese? ICE CREAM?!?!?!?! All a great big yes!
from left to right: peach soda, bbq whiskey sour, lemonade
 Now, adding bbq to your drinks is actually far easier that it sounds. All you need is bbq simple syrup! What do you mean you've never heard of a bbq simple syrup?!?! Oh, that's right. It didn't exist before last Friday night.
¼ cup bbq sauce
¼ cup water
1 cup sugar

In a medium saucepan combine sugar, bbq sauce and water. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool.

Now, how can you use it? You can replace the regular simple syrup  in a cocktail, as I did for a whiskey sour (which I've been assured was quite tasty), or you can add it to sodas and lemonades!
1 1/2 oz whiskey
1 1/2 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz bbq simple syrup

Pour the bourbon, lemon juice, and sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake well. Strain into a chilled sour glass.
4 cups frozen peaches
2 cups water
7 ounces sugar
juice from 1 lemon
Bottle of carbonated water

In a medium saucepan, bring the peaches and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce and simmer for twenty minutes.

Remove saucepan from heat. Line a colander with a cheesecloth and place over a larger bowl to catch the syrup. Pour peaches and syrup into the lined colander.

Let cool for twenty minutes. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth and squeeze out peaches as much as possible. Throw away the pulp. 

Pour juice back to saucepan and add sugar and lemon juice. Place over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool.

To prepare drink: Combine 1/4 cup of the peach juice mixture with 8 ounces carbonated water. Serve over ice. For a bbq peach soda, add in one tablespoon of bbq simple syrup!
1 3/4 cups white sugar
8 cups water
1 1/2 cups lemon juice

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave pulp. In pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice and remaining 7 cups water.

For bbq lemonade add in half cup of bbq simple syrup!
Now we also needed an appetizer for snacking while we were happily enjoying a game of bocce...okay, the truth was everyone else was enjoying a game of bocce while Butchie, her boyfriend and I were in the kitchen trying to put the final touches on food, but i'll pretend I was knocking around a bocce ball in stead of my head onto the counter. :) I had decided to use my BBQ pickled eggs I had stored up a couple weeks ago and turn them into deviled eggs! 

Now, for those of you who are close to me, you know who Melvin is. He was my "pet" robin who lived above my door last summer. He unfortunately ran away from home after becoming an empty nester. I saved his next, sterilized it thoroughly, and keep it around for sentimental reasons. BUT I still threw away the deviled eggs that actually touched it because, really, it's still a bird's nest. If you like this idea, you can buy fake birds nests at many craft stores or online.
9 bbq pickeld eggs
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons bbq sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 chives minced
Tarragon leaves, for garnish
Cut each egg in half lengthwise. Transfer the yolks to a small bowl and mash well with a fork. Stir in the mayonnaise, bbq sauce, salt, and pepper until smooth. Pipe filling into each egg.

Distribute the minced scallion and tarragon over the eggs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Now for one of the recipes I developed for the Salisbury 2011 BBQ Festival: bbq sauce jelly. Yes, jelly. Like a pb & j. Sounds a bit crazy right? Not at all. It's actually made with a cider base and comes out very sweet and tangy. It's surprising. It's shocking. Best of all, it's very simple to make, store, and will be very useful for other recipes.

2 cups apple juice
2 cups bbq sauce
1 package (1-3/4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
5-1/2 cups light brown sugar
7 half pint jars, lids, and rings

Preheat oven to 200. Place jars, lids and rings on a cookie sheet in the oven, and leave for at least 20 minutes.

In a large sauce pan combine the apple juice, bbq sauce and pectin over high heat. Stir constantly. When the mixture boils, quickly stir in sugar. Continue stirring until the mixture boils for at least 2 minutes. Check the set every two minutes until the jelly has reached the level you prefer.

Remove from the heat. Skim off any foam that may have formed on the top of the jelly. Pour the hot jelly into sterilized jars. Be sure to leave a fourth of an inch from the top unfilled.

Put lids and rings onto the jars, wiping off any jelly that may have gotten on the sides. Seal firmly and invert, lid side down on the counter for one hour. Return to right-side-up and store. Once opened keep refrigerated.
from left to right: the drink station, the set table, and mac'n'cheese in a mason jar
 Now part of my idea for this bbq party was to use mason jars as often as possible. I used them for drinking glasses, the macaroni and for the dessert. And here I thought mason jars were just good for canning! The jars used for the macaroni and cheese were actually a find of my mothers. They are the perfect size and width for an individual serving of shells.

This recipe does not use bbq sauce, thought it could, easily. Instead this recipe uses bbq pork seasoning that can be bought at any grocery store. To spice it up and show a different side of bbq the onions were roasted in bbq pork sesoning, ready to be included in a delicious gruyere mac'n'cheese.

as adapted from epicurious

1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1 onion
2 tsp. bbq pork seasoning
2 tablespoon butter
3 T flour
2 cups cups milk
2 cups cream
4 cups of dried pasta
1/2 cup pasta water
3/4 cup Gruyere cheese 

Slice the onion in half and then in thin slices against the grain. Heat a large saucepan to medium and add the oil, onion and a pinch of bbq pork rub. Carefully sauté the onions until a nice deep brown. Add the butter and stir to melt. Once melted stir in the flour and cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Slowly add in milk, stirring to incorporate. If you do this too fast it will be lumpy. Add 1/2 cup at a time at before stirring to allow the mixture to simmer together first. Once all the milk has been added, add the bay leaf and let the mixture simmer gently for 10 minutes stirring regularly so it doesn’t burn to the bottom. Taste and season.

Cook the macaroni until al dente, reserve 2 cups of the pasta water and drain. Stir cheese slowly into sauce reserving a tablespoon or two of the top. Add pasta, and stir in just enough pasta water to coat all of the pasta with the sauce. Taste and season again. Transfer to a casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Turn on your broiler and broil until bubbly and brown on top.
 For the main dish I decided to do you one better than serving a pulled pork bbq. I made a knock off of a local dish served by Dangerously Delicious Pies: a pulled pork pocket pie! Now, being fair, finding a GOOD pulled pork recipe, aka one that will not offend the purists of BBQ is not exactly as easy as it sounds. Now, I may be a judge for the upcoming Salisbury 2011 BBQ Festival but that does not mean in any way that I am qualified to instruct you on how to make a perfectly done pork butt. As a matter of fact, the equipment needed to do this properly is something that most of us will never own. The grills needed for slow cooking bbq for hours and hours to get the perfect meat are above the pay grade of a for kicks and giggles city bbq-er like myself. Now, we city folk can cook our pulled pork in the oven or a crock pot, but really, it's not going to be the same as some good pit bbq. I'm going to suggest you start this recipe with the best pulled pork bbq you can find or make yourself.
9 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 2 cups
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup milk
1 egg mixed
5 cups Shredded pork
Bbq sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the butter and mix until it is crumbly. Add the milk all at once and mix until it begins to come together. Lightly flour your hands and the countertop and turn the dough out onto the countertop. Knead the dough ball until smooth. Using a rolling pin roll the dough to 1/3 to 1/2-inch thickness, then cut into rounds using a 2 inch rounds. Roll each round as thinly as possible, roughly a 5 to 6 inches in diameter.

Place 1/3 cup of filling onto center of one piece of dough. Brush the edges with egg wash and top with second piece of dough. Seal edges by pressing together with tine of fork. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Brush tops with egg wash.

Bake for 20 minutes on a parchment lined sheet, until browned and ready to serve.
Now for the last and certainly not least aspect of the meal: dessert. How can you manage to get bbq sauce into a dessert? Yes, bbq ice cream....but....I am contractually unable to give you the recipe. The best I can do on this site is that juicy sneak peak above. I have donated it to the Salisbury 2011 BBQ Festival. Coldstone Creamery will be making and serving my BBQ ice cream at the festival. So if you want a taste you'll need to be traveling to Salisbury North Carolina on May 14. It's just two weeks away so you have plenty of time to plan. But, I won't leave you high and dry without a bbq dessert.  I highly recommend baking them in individual mason jars!

18 large peaches, cut into thin wedges
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
2 tablespoons sweet honey bbq sauce
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 + 2 tablespoons cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Toss peaches with sugar, lemon juice, bbq sauce and cornstarch in a 9x13 baking dish and bake in middle of oven 10 minutes.

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.

Remove peaches from oven and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Bake in middle of oven until topping is golden, about 25 minutes. 

Serve with ice cream. 

I hope you've enjoyed the plethora of recipes as much as I enjoyed creating them!