Quick and Easy Barbecue Sauce

Last weekend I made oven-roasted pork spareribs and, since I time to kill during the 4 1/2 hours that the ribs were cooking, I also made a batch of homemade barbecue sauce.  This sauce is “quick and easy” because it uses ketchup as the tomato base rather than whole canned tomatoes which would take hours to break down into sauce.

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Quick and Easy Barbecue Sauce (from The New Best Recipe)
Makes about 2 cups of delicious, tangy sauce!

You will need…
1 Yellow Onion, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup Water
1 cup Ketchup
2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
5 tablespoons Molasses
1 teaspoon Hot Pepper Sauce (I used Cholula)
1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1-2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Place the onion and water in a food processor and blend for about 30 seconds until the mixture looks like a slushy.  Use a mesh strainer to strain the mixture into a bowl or measuring cup until you have 1/2 cup of onion juice.  Discard the solids.

Mix the onion juice and the next 8 ingredients (vinegar thru liquid smoke) together in a bowl.  Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat until it is shimmering, then add in the garlic, chili powder and cayenne pepper.  Allow to cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the ketchup mixture.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer the sauce for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature before using.

Pork Spare Ribs with Homemade BBQ Sauce

Basil Pesto

Last summer Matt and I grew basil in our vegetable garden.  We had six plants that completely took over the whole front of the garden and blocked the sunlight to the rest of the garden — this summer the basil will be going in the back!  I’m looking forward to planting basil again so that we can make homemade pesto whenever we want.  Here’s the recipe that we use (from Matt’s Mom’s recipe box).

Basil Pesto

You will need…
2 1/2 cups Fresh Basil Leaves
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan (or Parmesan/Romano) Cheese
3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves of Garlic
1/2 cup Roasted Pine Nuts
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend!  Add more olive oil if the Pesto is too thick.

What can you do with Pesto?

  • Put Pesto on a Burger with some Mozzarella and a Slice of Tomato
  • Use Pesto instead of Tomato Sauce as your base for a Little Pizza
  • Make Pesto Pasta.  Yum!
  • Spread it on Rustic Italian Bread (as a snack or part of a sandwich)
  • Spoon it into an Ice Cube Tray and Freeze It to Use Later!  (you can bag the pesto cubes once they have frozen solid)