Spring into summer barbecue season

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Food column by Nora Sweat

By Nora Sweat

Even though summer is not here, (yes, that’s right; despite the warm temperatures,) summer doesn’t start until June 21. Since we have had toasty warm temperatures, it makes us yearn for a good cookout. Even Mike and I have had grilled chicken.

Today I have recipes for sauces and rub for grilling. I didn’t want to wait much later as any evening is a great time to grill and eat out or in.

Before Mike grilled chicken the other night, he preheated the gas grill and the smoke bellowed out anyplace it could find an opening. It is always a good idea to clean off the grill before using it the first time and between each cooking.

Barbecue started in the south and southeast. There are many different styles of barbecue sauces; tomato based, non-tomato based, mustard based and vinegar based. Then there are rubs for those who like their ribs meaty and can chew them off the bone, while a lot of people like the ones that the meat falls off the bone. You don’t always have to make barbecue sauce; there are many fine ones in the grocery. However, my husband takes the bottled sauce and adds brown sugar and sometimes even some bourbon.

It is very important to start with some of the sauce or rub, but don’t put the brush back in it or you could put meat juices back in the sauce and then when you “slop” the sauce on at the end, you are putting those original meat juices back on the meat and it could cause salmonella.

Whatever sauce or rub you choose to use, have a great grilling summer.

East Carolina Bar-B-Q Sauce

1 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup ketchup
½ cup water
Mix all ingredients well and refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours to allow the flavors to meld.
Source: Clint Caldwell

Memphis Bar-B-Q Sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 cups ketchup
⅔ Cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup molasses
½ cup yellow mustard
½ tablespoon ground black pepper
½ tablespoon salt
Mix all ingredients together in a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium low heat for 30 minutes stirring frequently to avoid scorching. Remove from heat and place in the fridge to cool.
 Source:  Clint Cantwell

Mustard Sauce Bar-B-Q Recipe
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup onions, finely minced
3 tablespoons sweet red pepper, finely minced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground celery seed (not celery salt)
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes for mild sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon whole dried rosemary leaves crushed in a mortar and pestle
1 cup prepared Dijon-style mustard
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon powdered mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon granules or 1 cube dissolved in 1 ounce of water

About the hot pepper flakes, double the amount for medium heat, and triple it for hot.
Put the oil into a quart sauce pan, and warm it on a medium-low heat. Add the onion and sweet red peppers and sweat them until the onions are limp. Add the garlic and cook it for about a minute.
Add the dry ingredients except the sugar. Cook the sauce, stirring for about 3 minutes in order to develop and extract their flavors.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Bring to a low boil for 3 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the sugar from burning or sticking to the bottom. Simmer on low for another 15 minutes.
Source: www.amazingribs.com

Memphis Dust Recipe
¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
¾ cup white sugar
½ cup paprika
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons ground ginger powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons rosemary powder

Mix the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. If the sugar is lumpy, crumble the lumps by hand or on the side of the bowl with a fork. If you store the rub in a tight jar, you can keep it for months. If it clumps just chop it up, or if you wish, spread it on a baking sheet and put it in a 250-degree oven for 15 minutes to drive off moisture. No hotter or the sugar can burn.

If you have time, sprinkle on 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pound of meat up to 12 hours in advance. Brush a thin layer of oil just before cooking. For most meats, sprinkle just enough Memphis Dust on to color it. Not too thick, about 2 tablespoons per side of a large slab of country style ribs. For a slab of baby back ribs without a sauce, apply the rub thick enough to make a crunchy crust, about 3 tablespoons per side (remember to skin and trim the back side). To prevent contaminating your rub with uncooked meat juices, spoon out the proper amount before you start and seal the bottle for future use. Keep your powder dry.

To prevent cross-contamination, one hand sprinkles on the rub and the other hand does the rubbing. Don’t put the hand that is rubbing into the powder.

Source: www.amazingribs.com

Vinegar Pepper Sauce
1 cup vinegar
1 cup shortening or canola oil
½ stick margarine
Dash red pepper
¾ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon salt

Melt margarine and mix other ingredients, leave in saucepan. Dip chicken breasts in sauce while cooking. Stop dipping when close to chicken being done. Throw away remainder of sauce.

Nora’s Note: This is close to what many festivals in the southern part of the county use. It is excellent.

Nora Sweat, author of Mama and Me is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at norasweat@thenewsenterprise.com or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701,