Category Archives: ketchup

Homemade BBQ Sauce 101

I have good news, my premonition was on the money and the simple act of opening the fridge unveiled a cornocopia of deliciousness! Not only were all the usual suspects there, but there were also some pieces that were going to comprise tomorrow night’s dinner, namely beef ribs. My father cooks often and one of his specialties are big beef ribs with his homemade BBQ sauce. The sauce is always a nice blend of sweet and spicy, but not the kind of hot that is uncomfortable, just enough that it’s saying hello and making sure you know it’s there.

Simply put, I used to wake up with a smile on my face with the scent of sweet onions knowing there was a serious meal being prepared for later in the day. That morning was no exception as the ribs had already been parboiled and the BBQ sauce was in the process of being reduced. I realized I had never asked about the sauce, I had just taken it for granted, so imagine my surprise when I asked for the recipe and I was told it’s whatever happens to be in the kitchen! Of course, there is a starting base to the sauce, but from there it’s all improvisation, which is really what makes it fun to cook!

Beef ribs done to perfection

Beef ribs done to perfection

It doesn’t have a name, but it does now…introducing Robert’s Whimsical and Manly BBQ Sauce

The Base

  • 1/2 of a sweet onion – finely diced
  • 4 gloves of garlic – minced

Cook down the onions and garlic, let the onions begin to caramelize, but not fully, you still want them to have a little crunch to them.

The Rest (there is no actual measurements here, this is where you play with measurements, blends, etc)

  • Ketchup (as it’s always in the fridge or at least should be)
  • Typically at least 2 types of BBQ sauce (as it’s always in the fridge or at least should be)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chinese chili sauce
  • Honey
  • Or whatever else you happen to come across

Mix them all together with the onions and garlic and let it reduce a bit on low until it seems like it has a good thick consistency. Let it chill out in the fridge to get even thicker so it can really stick to the ribs when you apply it.

Slow and low is always the mantra when doing ribs, usually around 250 degrees and they usually get coated 5-6 times with the sauce.

And for the record, they came out delicious as usual! Not only does it taste better with friends, it also definitely tastes better with family.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under BBQ Sauce, Beef Ribs, Friends, Garlic, Honey, ketchup, Sweet Onion

Ketchup colored glasses in Los Angeles

Although the majority of my restaurant reviews will be in Vancouver for the time being, I was thinking of a restaurant I checked out in L.A. last month with some friends called Ketchup. It was suggested to us by the hotel concierge and was worth the walk down Sunset Blvd.

As you walk in, you realize Ketchup is not simply the name on the menu, but rather the theme throughout. Everything is red and their calling card is a platter of 5 different types of ketchup (I can’t recall them all, but I do remember a homemade ketchup, a chipotle ketchup and a wasabi ketchup, good but not with the kick I was hoping for).

Ketchup x 5

Ketchup x 5

 So since we were 3, we ordered 3 appetizers and although the wings and Kobe sliders were good, the mini chicken tacos were by far the best and the spicy guacamole was worth licking the spoon clean!

Wings, Kobe Sliders and Mini Tacos

Wings, Kobe Sliders and Mini Tacos

For the main entree, I ordered the BBQ baby back ribs which were done just perfectly and their bbq sauce had a nice little tang to it. However, what I was really interested in was the accompanying dish which was Mac “n” Cheese with white truffle and dungeness crab and it defintely passed the test!

BBQ Baby Back Ribs with Mac "n" Cheese

BBQ Baby Back Ribs with Mac "n" Cheese

If you’re in Hollywood and looking for something fun and tasty, give Ketchup a shake!

http://www.dolcegroup.com/ketchup/

Leave a comment

Filed under BBQ Baby back ribs, Chicken wings, Friends, ketchup, Kobe Burgers, L.A., Los Angeles, Mac "n" cheese, Mini Tacos, Vancouver

Cheeseburger cupcakes – enough said!

This is what food blogging is all about, sharing among old friends and new readers (and maybe new friends) little treasures like a Cheeseburger cupcake! So credit for this goes to my friend Kate who put up a great link which can be found below. Her page has spawned cheeseburger cupcakes all over the place! Her page has a great how-to photo gallery, so I will let that be the instructional side, while I will offer a couple of suggestions and some other photos of my attempts.

I’ve now made these twice and it’s something that you will perfect as you learn what works best for you. As you can see from the pictures, the vanilla cupcake is the “bun” and the chocolate cupcake is the “patty”. What I have found is that a more realistic “patty” can be made by pouring only half the cake mix in the muffin tin (i’ll explain the use of the other half below) and then slicing off the top giving you a flat patty that sits flush on the bottom of the vanilla “bun”. However, more importantly this flat surface allows you to load up the “condiments” without them sliding off of it had you left it with a pointy cupcake top for the “patty”.

Wow, I hope that made sense!

With the extra chocolate mix, I baked it in a shallow cake tin, cut them in thin strips and froze them to serve with the burgers in an attempt to make chocolate fries! They didn’t look as realistic as I had hoped, but I was happy with the idea. Of course, since there were fries, I figured they should be accompanied with something, so I made chocolate pudding for a “gravy”. I’ve made this recipe before to huge success and I’ll post the recipe tomorrow along with a homemade whipped cream recipe that together makes an elegant yet simple dessert! https://tastesbetterwithfriends.wordpress.com/category/pudding/

Cheeseburger cupcake, chocolate fries and chocolate gravy pudding

Cheeseburger cupcake, chocolate fries and chocolate gravy pudding

Back to the cheeseburgers now, the condiments are plentiful…

  • There are a bunch of different colors of icing to simulate mustard, ketchup, mayo.
  • For the “cheese” portion, I used vanilla icing and the played around with red and yellow coloring to make orange.
  • Green coloring with shredded coconut to make relish or lettuce
  • I cut up maraschino cherries to make slices of tomatoes
  • The finishing touch are some sesame seeds on top of the bun, simply smear a bit of butter and then sprinkle so they stick.
  • For presentation purposes, it’s important to try and line the outside of the patty with icing so when the bun goes on top, you see the “ketchup, mustard, etc” oozing out like it normally would.
Cheeseburger cupcakes galore

I’ve now made them twice, once for a birthday party and the other time for a potluck dinner and they are still being talked about.  If you ever need something that will make you memorable, look to the cheeseburger cupcake!

Tastes better with friends

Tastes better with friends

http://www.flickr.com/photos/katedw/sets/72157617528706606/

2 Comments

Filed under Cheeseburger cupcakes, chocolate, Friends, Fries, Gravy, ketchup, mayo, mustard, Pudding, vanilla