Cook's Corner: Dishes for Easter dress the table

Published 6:44 pm Friday, April 21, 2006

By By Lisa Tindell
Now that Easter has passed, a lot of things can happen - especially in my book.
It's the official start of outdoor cooking (and you can now wear white without my beating you up!). If you plan to do some grilling and/or barbecuing (there is a difference), then this week you may find some great add-ons for your meat.
It has been my experience that most grilling does not contain any kind of sauce that is cooked on the meat while it is still on the grill. This is the type of cooking that my husband does and it is wonderful. None or very little rub (or sprinkled on) seasonings are used when he cooks. Usually just a little pepper or maybe a dash of Creole seasoning is added to the meat as it cooks.
Now if you're barbecuing, that's a whole new story. I do like barbecue and will consume it if placed before me. Barbecuing usually takes less time to prepare since it is not as slowly cooked. Basting with sauces usually occurs during the last 10 or 15 minutes of cook time so as not to burn the meat. Most sauces contain a good amount of sugar thus causing burning to take place if not carefully monitored.
If you plan to cook on the grill for a large number of people, it may be wise to go the route of grilling. That way, if the person wants to add some extra flavoring to the meat, they can do so after the main course reaches their plate. At that point you could offer a variety of sauces or dips to compliment the meal.
These are a few ideas that you may find helpful, not matter which method you use to cook the meats. I hope you enjoy.
Since I love blackberries, this one sounded pretty good to me. At least it's a change from the ordinary smokey-flavored sauces.
Blackberry Barbecue Sauce
One-half cup blackberry preserves
1 and one-half cups ketchup
One-eighth cup brown sugar
One-eighth tsp. cayenne pepper
One-quarter tsp. mustard powder
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
In a medium bowl, mix together blackberry preserves, ketchup, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, mustard powder, and red wine vinegar. Use to baste pork or beef ribs while grilling.
Some folks like to spice things up a little bit. I like my seasonings a little hot from time to time. The following recipe can be spiced up a little by adding an extra drop or two of hot sauce.
Spicy Barbecue Sauce
Two-thirds cup distilled white vinegar
One-fourth cup Worcestershire sauce
One-fourth cup soy sauce
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
One-half cup barbeque sauce
1 tbsp. ketchup
In a medium bowl, mix distilled white vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, hot pepper sauce, barbeque sauce and ketchup. Place desired meat in the marinade, and marinate in the refrigerator at least one-half hour before grilling as desired.
This next recipe calls for a can of beer. For those of you who don't purchase beer, I'm sorry but I've not been able to come up with a reasonable substitute for that liquid. Someone once told me you could use apple juice in the place of beer if the recipe called for one-half cup or less. This recipe calls for 12 ounces - so I'm not sure how it would work. I realize there is a certain acidic content to beer that may not be found in the apple juice. If you come up with a suitable substitute, please let me know.
Old School Sauce
1 (28 ounce) bottle ketchup
1 (12 fluid ounce) can beer
1 small onion, diced
1 and one-half cups dark brown sugar
One-half cup prepared mustard
3 tbsp. barbeque (or Cajun) seasoning
2 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
In a slow cooker, combine ketchup, beer, onion, brown sugar, mustard, barbecue seasoning, vinegar, pepper, and garlic powder. Simmer on low setting for 12 hours or overnight.
And, last but not lease, here's a recipe to try if you want something out of the ordinary. In certain areas of the country a white barbecue sauce is what people prefer. I've had this type of sauce before and feel it is better suited to chicken or other white meat. Pork tastes pretty good if you use this sauce, but I still prefer traditional sauces on my ribs or chops.
White Sauce
One-half cup cider vinegar
One-fourth cup water
Three-fourths tsp. ground black pepper
2 tbsp. white sugar
One-half cup mayonnaise
In a small nonporous bowl, combine the vinegar, water, ground black pepper, sugar and mayonnaise and mix well. Use on your favorite meat.
While researching for this week's recipes I came across many, many, many interesting recipes for other sauces, marinades and rubs.
Since summer is upon us and the grilling season is now underway, I plan to share more of those recipes with you over the coming weeks.
Until next week, Happy Cooking!

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