Alabama white sauce

I am really, really lucky.

And by really, really lucky I mean I live about a mile away from Martin’s BBQ Joint. This is nationally acclaimed BBQ practically in my back yard!

One of my favorite things there (which is a pretty major decision; it’s all amazing) is the Alabama white sauce. It’s incredible on Martin’s smoked wings, but it’s also incredible on turkey sandwiches, meatballs, you name it. Fortunately Pat Martin shared the recipe with Garden & Gun a while back, so I get to make it at home now, too. I scale it way down to 1/4 of his recipe (see below); you can see Pat’s original proportions here.

Alabama white sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise (I use Duke’s)
  • 5 ounces cider vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp. kosher salt (heaping)
  • 1/2 tbsp. black pepper (heaping)
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Stir it all together (I use a whisk), then store in a squeeze bottle or Mason jar
  2. Add to everything you can think of.

Chile-lime-tequila compound butter

I have to admit, I was a little intimidated by the thought of making compound butter. It just sounded so…. complicated? Fancy? Something?

WELL. It turns out it’s just adding  yummy flavors to something already yummy: butter. I can do that! The Yankee was making our traditional Sunday night steaks and wanted something to give them a little kick. He found this recipe at Chow, and it was crazy easy to pull together.

 

Chile-lime-tequila compound butter

Ingredients

  • You need:
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, room temp (Chow said unsalted but I never have that)
  • 1 minced jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeds and membranes removed (wear gloves, people. Or don’t rub your eyes after — duh)
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1/2 a lime’s worth)
  • 2 Tbsp. tequila
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt (which technically you could eliminate if using salted butter, but I like it salty)

Instructions

  1. Use a rubber spatula or mixer to soften butter till it’s very spreadable, then add remaining ingredients and mix till thoroughly combined (I never did get the very last bit of lime juice and tequila to incorporate, but it didn’t seem to affect the flavor)
  2. Either smooth into cute ramekin or roll into a log in plastic wrap, and place butter in refrigerator to re-harden

Ingredients

  • You need:
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, room temp (Chow said unsalted but I never have that)
  • 1 minced jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeds and membranes removed (wear gloves, people. Or don’t rub your eyes after — duh)
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1/2 a lime’s worth)
  • 2 Tbsp. tequila
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt (which technically you could eliminate if using salted butter, but I like it salty)

Instructions

  1. Use a rubber spatula or mixer to soften butter till it’s very spreadable, then add remaining ingredients and mix till thoroughly combined (I never did get the very last bit of lime juice and tequila to incorporate, but it didn’t seem to affect the flavor)
  2. Either smooth into cute ramekin or roll into a log in plastic wrap, and place butter in refrigerator to re-harden

- See more at: http://oneparticularkitchen.com/2010/04/19/chile-lime-tequila-compound-butter/#sthash.Rwqf8fH6.dpuf

That’s it! We put little pats of these on our steaks and it was awesome.

And I still have some left! Any suggestions for what else to do with it? I’m thinking kickin’ garlic bread is next.

Beer can chicken

I picture it something like this:

A kitchen…

Folks preparing a cold chicken for frying…

“Hey Vern! Watch this!”

Friends collapse in hearty guffaws

… crickets …

“Hey, what if….?”

And there you have it. Just like that, beer can chicken was born.

This chicken is so good and so easy! All the crispy goodness of fried chicken without the added fat or highly flammable liquids. And it’s so low maintenance that it’s great for serving a crowd — no standing over a hot stove required. What’s not to love?

The pan itself we’ve had so long that I don’t even remember where I picked it up, but you can get a really basic model for about ten bucks. All it really needs to do is help the beer can, and therefore the chicken, stay upright on the grill. You can do it just on a beer can without a pan, but it’s pretty tippy that way.

So beyond the pan all you really need is:

  • A chicken (duh)
  • A can of beer
  • Spray cooking oil
  • Whatever spices strike your fancy at the moment
  1. Start by opening the beer and drinking about 1/3 of it. I know, I know, but these are the sacrifices we make for cooking
  2. Using a church key, make a few more holes in the top of the can (like you’re opening canned milk) and dump in some spices; we use Char Broil It as raved about mentioned here along with some salt and pepper
  3. Now place the can in the pan (this feels like Green Eggs and Ham); put the chicken over the can, then spray the chicken with Pam. Got that?
  4. Now pat your spice mix of choice onto the chicken. Don’t be shy — get plenty on there
  5. Put the whole thing on the grill or in an oven — either way at about 350F
  6. Roast for about 30-45 minutes, or until internal temp is 180F

That’s it, people! A whole chicken done! This is great with roasted broccoli and some fresh bread. Enjoy!

Chicken and broccoli rice bowl

This was such a quick and easy weeknight meal! And a light one too, which I love in the summer. Or spring. Whatever — it’s hot enough to be glow-inducing during the day already, so it sure feels like summer to me.

For this I made two cups of sushi rice in the rice maker:

And steamed two cups of broccoli, then sprinkled on some lemon juice:

And The Yankee grilled some teriyaki-marinated chicken:

Then we layered all that in bowls and added a bit of soy sauce. A la peanut butter sandwiches! Super easy fake-out take-out, minus the MSG headache.

What are your favorite summer meals when it feels too hot to eat?

Yankee ribs

Have I mentioned lately how useful it is to have a husband who used to be a butcher? It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

Here’s how The Yankee keeps me from being a size six! Or eight. Never mind.

You will need:

  • Pork ribs — lotsa pork ribs
  • One can pineapple chunks
  • One bottle beer — cheap is fine
  • Dry rub of your choice; Char Broil It is our favorite
  • Your favorite barbecue sauce — Sticky Fingers is our favorite

Not a long list, right? You can do this.

  1. Start with the ribs. On the concave side of them, make a slit down the middle and pull off the membrane. The Yankee says this is non-negotiable
  2. Put them in a shallow baking dish (or two… or five, depending on how big your hungry mob is) and pat on the dry rub on both sides
  3. Scatter the pineapple chunks over the ribs, then pour in the remaining pineapple juice and a bottle of beer, divided evenly if you have more than one pan
  4. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 250F for at about two and a half hours till nice and tender
  5. Slather on the barbecue sauce and get thee to a grill! They’ll only take about 20 minutes total — you’re just sealing on the sauce, not cooking the meat
  6. Serve with cornbread , crackaroni, roasted broccoli, and a roll of paper towels