Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce

One of my favorite quick and easy meals to make is my friend Kim's Sweet and Tangy Meatballs, found on
my blog from last year.  The ingredients for that recipes are ones that I cannot get here in Swaziland, sadly.  But the other day, I was thinking to myself - how hard could it be to make barbecue sauce, anyway?  I bet I could do it.  And without a recipe, I started yanking ketchup, sugar, and spices from my cabinets and started up the burners on my stove.  Ten minutes later, I had a deliciously tangy sauce simmering in front of me, and the only thing missing from the original sauce recipe was the cranberry chutney from Trader Joe's I used to use.  No problem - I pulled out a jar of cranberry blueberry jam I found at the supermarket recently and added a big dollop of that to the mix.  The sauce was not exactly the same, but was pretty darn close.  I used it to coat a few sausage links that I fried up and served it with rice.  The sauce will thicken if you bake it in the oven for about fifteen or twenty minutes, and so I poured it over the fried sausage and stuck it in the oven while the rice softened on the stove.  You could use this sauce to coat chicken, meatballs, or anything else!  Serve the sausages with toothpicks for a fun party snack, and leave the rice for a full meal.

Simple Barbecue Sauce

1/2 cup ketchup
3 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tsp. balsamic vinegar
½ - 1 tsp. lemon juice
½ - 1 tsp. chili powder (to taste)
Dash of salt
3 - 5 tbsp. cranberry (or any dark berry) jam

Place the ketchup in a pan and add the brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, chili powder, and salt.  Bring to a simmer and continue to cook as it thickens and the sugar caramelizes a bit.  Adjust the seasonings depending on your own taste, and then add the 5 tbsp. (or more!) of your favorite dark berry jam.  Cranberry is especially recommended for this recipe, but any will work fine.

Pour over chicken breasts, sausage links, hot dogs, hamburgers, or meatballs.  Enjoy!

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