After the first week at the new office was over (much quicker than I expected if truth must be told, despite the long hours) I dove head first into the week end with lots of cooking and entertaining for friends and family. It felt great to have meals to plan and things bubbling on the stove. I am always so worried about summer and the long days of light ending, that I tend to forget how much I love the fall and all it has to offer. There is something great about the air turning crisper, the leaves changing color and falling and the feeling you get when you walk into a house and get enveloped in the warmth of a kitchen that smells of cinnamon and simmering stocks.
I have pulled out my appropriately autumn-colored crock pot more than once in the past weeks and cooked up comforting meals. The last one I prepared required barbecue sauce, which I did not have in the house and couldn't find at our two neighborhood supermarkets. Let us not forget I live in Italy.
After making my own ketchup, I really had no excuse not make BBQ sauce so I turned to the same source, my faithful copy of Joy of Cooking and was thrilled to find out I had each and every listed ingredient in my kitchen. That is not something that happens all too often and fills me with great satisfaction. The list may seem daunting but I can assure you you will have most of them on hand and it takes just 5 minutes of simmering to get delicious results.
In case you are curious, I will be back very soon with the recipe I used it for. In the meantime, here is the secret to making your very own finger licking BBQ sauce. I wish you all a good beginning of the week.
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar (next time I am using less, it was a little too sweet for me)1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worchesteshire sauce
1/4 cup, or to taste, Pimenton de la Vera (the recipe actually calls for ground Cayenne pepper but I was out of it and liked the idea of the smokiness P de la V would add)
2 tbsp dry mustard
1 tbsp grated, peeled fresh ginger or 1 tsp ground ginger (I had both but used the latter out of laziness)
2 garlic cloves minced (I used 1 tsp garlic powder for the same reason as above)
2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
3 slices lemon (I omitted)
Mix all the ingredients above into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. You can store the sauce for up to two weeks in the fridge in an airtight container.