If you doubt the merits of a stand-alone recipe for a sauce, consider this: In classical kitchens, the job of one guy is whipping up killer sauces. That's it. Sauce. One part of a complete dish.
And next time you're at the supermarket or one of those high-end gourmet shops, wander down the condiment (aka sauce) aisle for a reminder of the importance our palates place on the stuff we slather on top, underneath, or on the side of what we eat.
This is serious business.
This particular sauce is made for serious summer food cooked over open fires. It's sweet and smoky and a natural fit for grilled meats or in place of ketchup on your burgers and dogs. But the sauce is especially perfect for nonmeat ingredients on a meat lite grilling or barbecue menu. Roll your vegetable and tofu skewers in it before they hit the hot grates. Brush giant portobellos with plenty of it for meaty mushrooms with a hint of bacony flavor. Marinate thick slabs of summer squash in it for deep, rich dimension you thought you could only get from a ribeye.
There will be nary a zucchini left for bread baking if there's a grill and slather sauce in sight.
Try your hand at making your own barbecue sauce, like this one, and you'll fancy yourself a saucier fast, abandoning the bottled stuff forever.
Bacon Chipotle Slather Sauce
About the author: Tara Mataraza Desmond writes about, cooks, and eats food for a living. She blogs about food and life through words and pictures at Crumbs on My Keyboard.
- Yield:about 4 cups
- 2 pieces thick-cut bacon, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 large shallots, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup malt vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 can (28-ounce) crushed tomatoes
- 1 rehydrated, dried chipotle or chipotle en adobo sauce, seeded (leave the seeds in if you want to add serious heat to the sauce)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Add the brown sugar and tomato paste, stirring until both melt into the ingredients. Add the vinegar, water, molasses, mustard, Worcestershire, tomatoes and chipotle and stir to combine.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Let cool slightly and then transfer to a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.