Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Double Heresy!

Funny, how when I think outside the box, it's really just an exercise in pigeonholing me right into my own. What the hell does that mean? Well, I love this season. I love to cook on an open flame. So, after watching one too many "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," I wanted to get in on some southern style barbecue. One problem, there is a deplorable, abhorrent ingredient in barbecue sauce.................KETCHUP. I loathe it. I call it the crutch of the undeveloped palate. I don't think I use it on anything. The moment I slather it on anything, all I taste is ketchup. But, I like the idea of a finishing sauce. This is where the heresy comes in. What I did today, offended 2 groups of people. I offended Italians AND BBQ-ans :). I made an Italian dry rub and developed an Italian barbecue sauce.(As if such a thing does or even could exist) That explains me thinking outside the box. What I did was think outside someone else's box, so I could feel more comfortable inside my tiny, safe, little Italian box. Anyway, I made a dry rub of Sicilian sea salt, Calabrian dried hot pepper powder and fennel seeds. To this, I added some fresh sage, and lemon zest with a little fresh garlic, with olive oil and lemon juice. Beat it up in the Cuisinart, and poured it on. I tossed the lemon in the cavity and trussed it up, let it sit for 2 hours. In the meantime, I developed the sauce. Started by sauteing red onion, added garlic. I added some double concentrate Italian tomato paste. I let that caramelize for a little while, then added red wine vinegar. I reduced that down, then added the secret ingredient. I used the roasted hot pepper paste with which I made the N'duja. Into it I added some anise seeds, honey, lemon zest, sage leaves, and bay leaves. Cooked it down for a half hour or so. This thing was super hot, in my opinion it needed more sweet. Either way, it was still super tasty, and right up my alley, as far as flavor profile is concerned. In the end, as you can see by the picture, it was successful. If making something this good to eat is called heresy, I'll be a heretic any day of the week. Gonna try some heretical baby backs tomorrow!


  1. That looks incredibly decadent.

    I'm very intrigued by your italian bbq sauce.

    Good job!

  2. It is highly recommended, you must try it. Like I wrote, add more sweet, it would be perfect.

  3. Scott, with your antipathy to ketchup, you'd like Chicago. I have no idea how this got established, but most of the hot dog stands there refuse to serve ketchup. I was in a place once where I overheard them asking a customer to leave for using "the K word" in their presence.

    Like you, I think Italian cuisine and BBQ culture have a lot to contribute to each other. If those Calabrians ever get BBQing, god help us all!