Rich, slightly smoky, tangy barbecue sauce. Great on beans, too!

The other night I really wanted some barbecue ribs. Back home, my Uncle Paul would make these huge, Flintstone-style ribs on the grill with a few simple seasonings and it always came out perfect. It was tasty stuff and, as a kid, gnawing on those huge bones was a lot of fun!

Since there was no chance I would be eating any of my uncle’s barbecue ribs anytime soon, I still had a craving, and more specifically, for that one thing he rarely put on his own ribs: barbecue sauce! I tried a recipe for “St. Louis Style Barbecue Sauce,” but it was way too sweet for my taste and was missing that umami flavor. So I improvised and made up my own recipe (below.)

While the sauce was simmering,  I made a quick batch of wheat-free corn bread muffins (Blood Type Diet A recipe from Cook Right 4 Your Type.) The scant 1/4 cup of buckwheat flour make it taste less like a traditional corn muffin so next time no buckwheat. Two chicken breasts were cut in half lengthwise, seasoned with a bit of salt and red pepper flakes, then pan-fried in unsalted butter. I still had some cooked beans from when I made turkey bean burgers the other night so served that on the side topped with barbecue sauce. Everything tasted much better than I thought, and I was surprised at how fast I ate everything on my plate! Maybe I was craving ribs, but the chicken and barbecue sauce were more than satisfying for tonight’s dinner.

And who knows, maybe my uncle might like it. :)

 

Jenny’s Tangy Barbecue Sauce
makes about 1 1/2 cups 

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup red wine (I just used a table wine, but something dry would be good)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons tamari
1/2 onion, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried onion)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried garlic)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Put everything in a pot, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, simmer on low for 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent burning. Turn off heat and taste. If too sweet, stir in 1 tablespoon mustard. If too vinegary, add 1 teaspoon more sugar. Use as a baste or topping.

Do not adjust your screen, these patties are really purple!

Burgers in any flavor, shape or size is a laid-back kind of food that is as versatile as can be. Some revel in piling their patties high with veggies, bacon, cheeses, pickles and chili, others prefer a modest meal of a savory patty sandwiched between a soft split bun with lettuce and tomato. Any way you make it, burgers are always there to please.

My favorite burger to make involves an Asian sauce called nampla, also known as patis, or fish sauce. It is an incredibly strong fish-smelling sauce that should NOT be used on its own but together with lemon or lime and ginger to brighten up the heavy saltiness. I started making veggie burgers the other night (which actually turned into turkey bean burgers,) and wanted to have that same flavor as my Asian Style Burgers. I thought adding carrots would have have been too sweet, not what I wanted to balance the fish sauce. Since my other burger recipe  was originally accompanied with a cole slaw, I decided to use that chunk of cabbage that was sitting in the fridge for the last ten days. And what made it more fun was that it was purple!

After mixing all the ingredients together I came out with a beautiful purple-colored patty (reminded me of Spongebob’s ‘pretty patties’…kelp fries, anyone?) I fried it up, served it on a salad and this turkey bean burger was just as yummy as the other version, just more fun to look at. In this recipe, feel free to omit the turkey to make it more of a veggie burger, the flavors will still be delicious!

Purple Turkey Bean Burgers
Spice it up with 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes or 1 finely chopped serrano chile. 

1 1/2 cups cooked beans (black, pinto, black-eyed beans)
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 slice sprouted wheat bread or any kind of bread, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass (white parts only, discard tough green parts)
1 3-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon fish sauce (unsure option: use 2 teaspoons first then test-fry a patty. Add more if not enough flavor.)
1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 – 2/3 cup raw ground turkey
1/3 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice

In a large bowl, mash beans with a potato masher until few whole pieces remain. Add celery, bread, lemongrass, ginger, nampla and purple cabbage, stirring well to combine. Set aside.

In a large frying pan heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, sautee 1 minute. Add garlic and sautee 1 minute more or until fragrant. Remove from heat, stir in quinoa or brown rice. Add everything to bean mixture, along with raw ground turkey and mix well.

In the same frying pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat. Form mixture into patties and add to hot pan. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes on each side. Serve on a mixed green salad with tomato and avocado.

Purple patties?? What’ll they think of next, green eggs and ham?!

This recipe has been submitted to Fantastic Frugal Fridayso come on over and check out the other great eats!