The date: Sunday, June 12, 2011
The menu: Grilled chicken with homemade barbecue sauce, homemade baked beans, cabbage slaw with cilantro dressing, and English muffin bread.
The inspiration: My grandma
Apparently, my grandma loves barbecue sauce. I just learned this. So, did my dad, actually. He’s the one who told me. She puts it on everything, he said. Don’t get me wrong though, my grandma doesn’t eat much. She’s petite as can be and turns out, she likes barbecue sauce. It was her birthday this week, so when I found out she was going to be in town and would be able to come over for dinner, I knew exactly what to do.
If you’ve ever made barbecue sauce before you know it consists primarily of ketchup. So the morning began with my ketchup project. I freaking love homemade ketchup. Granted, I’m not a huge fan of the artificially smooth and processed ketchup that everybody’s used to so eating homemade ketchup works for me. It’s not for everyone, but I love it. I find it flavorful and bright tasting. Have I mentioned how much I love the cookbook that provides me with all my DIY recipes like ketchup, Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it?Â I do. I love that book.
For a vegetable, I harvested another head of savoy cabbage and cut it into slivers. I cut up some radishes that I harvested too into super thin slices. I tossed the cabbage and radishes in some of that creamy cilantro dressing and left it on the counter for a half hour or so. I tossed it again before I served it and it was amazing! Best “coleslaw” I’ve had in a long time! The brightness of the cilantro dressing was a great contrast with the strong flavor of cabbage.
One thing led to another and before I knew it, I was looking up recipes for baked beans. I was really surprised at how difficult it was to find a recipe for baked beans from scratch that didn’t include throwing in a couple cans of Pork and Beans. That was not the kind of make-it-from-scratch I was looking for.Â So, finally, with a little help from a recipe I found at Food.com, I made my own baked beans. They were a huge hit and went really well with my homemade barbecue sauce. And my grandma approved, which is all that really matters anyway.
Adapted from food.com
2 cups dried pinto beans
1 large yellow onion, diced
about 8 slices of thick-cut peppered bacon
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 Tablespoon ketchup or tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 freshly ground pepper
Soak the beans overnight in salt water. The next day, cook the beans until tender.
Cook the bacon, then pat dry and cut into small pieces. Set aside. Saute the onion in the pans (I had to use two skillets to cook all the bacon) with the bacon grease until it just begins to soften, about 5 minutes or so.
In a crock pot, put the beans, onion, the remaining ingredients, and 1 cup of hot water and mix well. The original recipe says to cook on the low setting for 10 to 12 hours, but I didn’t have that long. So, I cooked it on high for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally, and then set it on low to keep warm about an hour or so before we were going to eat. Super delicious and so worth it! Enjoy!