Wednesday, February 27, 2008

bbq and pomegranates

last night while some were trying to figure out where to get their starbucks fix, i was trying to figure out how to use the pomegranate molasses that i had ordered from the Zingerman's website
.i'd all ready opened it once and had a taste and it was definitely more on the tart side, somewhat vinegar-y you could say. i've been researching different ways to use it and nothing had really inspired me so i knew i was on my own. i ended up deciding on trying to make some good ol' bbq sauce with it. i mean, i am in north carolina right? and bbq is big here so why not try and create something based on local fare with a non-local ingredient.
after reaching that decision, i had to think about what goes in a bbq sauce? i knew vinegar, sugar, and either tomatoes or ketchup and a medley of dried seasonings were the norm. for mine, i wanted to keep it low key and easy to do again if i were to be happy with the result. i started out by skimming the fridge and trying to see what i might need from in there. hmm... what to grab??? ketchup, some rosemary i had in a glass of water and half of a yellow onion leftover from monday night's hotdog and coleslaw dinner. again, im in the south. hotdogs and coleslaw are not reserved for the summer. and no, they don't have to be nathan's and your slaw does not have to be from the kfc down the street. there are just some things us ny'ers are oblivious to i guess. anyways, my time at the fridge was done. off to the cupboards.

my raiding of the cupboard produced a gallon sized ziploc bag of dark brown sugar,a jar of regular sugar, sweet hungarian paprika,one clove of garlic, olive oil and white distilled vinegar. now to the spice carousel. spin,spin,spin,weeee! good ride no? now stop.after that lovely ride, down came the red pepper flakes. i was now set and ready to venture into bbq world. oh wait, i did make one last stop at the wine rack and grabbed some armenian pomegrante wine that i thought might work nicely in tonight's sauce creation. so really now i was set. here's what i had gathered:

  • 1 large bottle of ketchup
  • 1/2 of an onion
  • fresh rosemary sprigs
  • dark brown sugar and regular sugar
  • sweet paprika
  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • olive oil
  • plain vinegar
  • red pepper flakes
  • pomegranate wine
  • our star ingredient - pomegranate molasses
  • salt/pepper- always at hand

i had now acheieved what the french would call "mise en place." all that i needed was ready. time to get busy. here's the breakdown of how much you'll need of each of these ingredients...

  • 2 tsp of olive oil
  • 2 tsp of chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 1 c of chopped onion
  • 1/4 c of pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 c of vinegar
  • 1/2 c of dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 c of sugar
  • 1/4 c of pomegrante wine
  • 3/4 c of ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp of sweet paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. in a medium saucepan over a low flame, add the 2 tsp of olive oil and swirl to coat. add the next 3 ingredients and allow to cook for about 7 minutes. it should look something similar to this...

2. once these 7 minutes have passed, add the chopped onion and increase your heat to medium.toss the onions to coat them with the garlic and rosemary mixture. cook long enough for the onions to have time to soften. you don't want the onions to caramelize, you just want them to be somewhat glossy. this should take 8-10 minutes.congratulations- you've made it past the halfway mark. 3. add the next ingredients from the molasses to your sugars and give this a quick stir. once the sugars have melted and we are now onto step 4.

4. add your final 4 ingredients- ketchup through the seasonings and give your mixture one final stir to combine everything and then bring to a boil. once it hit's that boiling point, down goes your heat and bring on the simmer. 15-20 minutes is plenty.

5. this step is optional but i chose to do it this time- you can strain your final product through a sieve to remove the onions you cooked in step 2. however, if you want a chunky sauce, then go ahead and leave them in there. it's not going to have any impact on flavor, just texture.

now, to figure out what to serve this sauce with. chicken? sure. pork? why not. turkey? go for it. beans? could work. if you decide to venture out and try to make this, let me know how it turns out and what you pair it with. have an idea of your own? please share because i do still have quite a bit more of that molasses left and i'd like to put it to good use. if you're looking for more ideas,here are some recipes that highlight the use of pomegranate molasses:

Simply Recipes
Food Network

No comments:

Foodie Blog Roll