Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Peach BBQ Sauce

Have too many peaches? Peaches that are on the too ripe side and starting to get gooshey? Never fear. Peach Barbeque Sauce is here. This is a delicious sauce and is especially good on pork. It seems to last forever in the refrigerator and freezes well.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 cups chopped peaches
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beer
  • 1 cup catsup
  • 1 cup mustard
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbs cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs worchestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the peaches, pepper, salt and garlic. Cook for a minute stirring frequently. Add the beer and the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Drink the rest of the beer while stirring as it comes to a boil....oh heck...drink another one too. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes

Cool the mixture until it is just warm. Place half of the sauce in a blender. Remove the center piece of the blender lid so the steam can get out. You don't want your sauce and blender to explode. *Puree until smooth. Repeat with the rest of the sauce. Refrigerate for up to 10 days or freeze.


*I use a hand held immersion blender , as long as it is just a single recipe. If our peach trees are especially generous, I will make a double batch for the freezer.

Leave the skin on the peaches. Don't waste your time trying to peel them. You are just going to puree them anyway.

Generally, I despise "Ball Park" type mustard and substitute Dijon whenever possible, but in this case you should use the inexpensive French's or other yellow mustard. You really want that harsher mustard flavor and will be wasting your money if you use Dijon. I haven't tried it yet, but adding whole mustard seeds to the mix or using a grainy brown mustard might be good here if a bit more expensive.

For a BBQ pork butt, roast or chops, I will marinate my meat in this sauce for a few hours before cooking. Discard the marinade and use fresh sauce for basting during the last part of the cooking process.

How to Organize a Zillion Recipies Without Going Nuts

Being an admitted Recipe Junkie and not about to reform or repent, the other option is to try to get organized.

You know what I mean.... don't you, you other Recipe Junkies. First we start out with a few cook books, some clippings and a couple of recipes that Grandma or Mom was good enough to let go of, written on 3 x 5 cards. A nice little index box with some tabs. A shelf on the book shelf or maybe even a spot in the kitchen for those few books.

Soon, we are browsing magazines for more good sounding recipes that we will certainly make in the near future. (uh huh...sure) Garage sales have lots of great old recipe books that are well used, cheap and absolutely must be saved. Goodwill, Salvation Army, Antique Stores: all treasure troves of fabulous recipes, cooking history, memorabilia and books. The really bad news is when your inner Recipe Junkie merges with your book collecting mania.

Now, instead of a few books and small recipe box, you have a whole book CASE devoted to cook books, Bon Appetite, Gourmet and a lateral file cabinet full of files containing recipes optimistically torn out of magazines.......even magazines while waiting in the doctor's office. /Embarrassed

So, smartie, how are you going to actually find a recipe that you want to try or that you really would like to make again in this clutter? You have some peaches and you remember (vaguely) that there is a recipe you read (somewhere) for a peach flavored barbeque sauce. Where IS IT and I want to find it before I am completely out of the mood and just eat the damned peaches.

Here is what I have done and I now use the world's best cook book software. Living Cook Book by Radium Technologies. If anyone else has other ideas, I'm all ears.

Clippings: I read the magazine first. Put pencil checks or dog-ear the page where the recipes sound good. THEN....put....the ....magazine.....down. Come back later read again and see if it still sounds interesting. Often a recipe that sounds good at first glance isn't so great or I realize, I already have several just like it. If I still think the recipe (or decorating or gardening idea) is interesting, tear it out of the magazine and throw the magazine away, and get rid of the clutter. Then it either goes into the files that are categorized by type or directly into my software program.

Books: First I read and browse the new or new/old cook book from cover to cover and use post its to mark the most interesting places for later data entry.

Living Cook Book is the best program that I have ever used!!! You can sort and print and more importantly FIND what you want. It can copy from the internet. So many great features. Check it out.

I have several virtual cookbooks

  • My Favorites: recipes that I have made, will make again and really like. Those are printed out on 4 x 6 cards and kept in a file or can be printed out in cookbook form and put into a binder

  • Untested #1: those that sounded good from the clippings or books and that I might want to make soon.

  • Untested #2: sound interesting, might be a bit complicated or unusual but worth consideration if I have some time to really experiment

Once I make an 'untested' it either goes into the virtual trash can or into My Favorites and printed on the card.

SO .....when I want to find my Peach BBQ Sauce recipe, I merely search for the ingredients and ta dah: PEACH BBQ SAUCE

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pasta Puttanesca

Wow. Where does the time go? I haven't posted here in months. I can make the excuse that I've been busy. Busy with non fun things like work. Preparing for an office audit that is required by the SEC once a year. Non fun things like being in the middle of a power struggle on the Water District Board of which I am a member. I won, by the way. We have a new board and fired the manager, but man was that stressful and scary. I even began packing at work and my husband acted as body guard a few times at meetings. We are still in the middle of a LOT of work reconstituting the District and trying to save it from bankruptcy.....but that is a story for my other blog.

Busy with fun things. My hubby made some wonderful raised garden beds for me out in the orchard area. Since he did such a great job, I had better grow something. Soon I will be harvesting French Shallots and Elephant Garlic. There is no point in growing things you can get in the grocery store, so I also planted Fava beans and Endame and some interesting varieties of tomatoes.

Busy entertaining/distracting myself on the Blogs arguing with the trolls on one particular blog and realizing that is a colossal waste of time. Also realizing that there are much more entertaining and friendly places to visit like Trooper York's blog. where they talk about among other things FOOD.

Trooper has requested a pasta recipe and line with my burgeoning tomato crop that I expect to have soon. Here is an easy easy, cheap, fast and fool proof pasta dish.

  • 2 or 3 large tomatoes *seeded and coarsly chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers crushed
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped calamata olives
  • 1 small tin of anchovies in oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 pound linguini
  • fresh parmesan or asiago cheese

In a medium sauce pan over low heat saute the garlic anchovies in the olive oil. Don't over cook, just smoosh the ancovies and garlic and oil around to make a paste and to release all the yummy flavors. Add the chopped tomatoes, capers, chili flakes, olives and simmer on low for about 10 to 15 minutes, stiring occaisonally.

Meanwhile. Cook the linguini to al dente in a large pan that has been salted with about 1 tbsp kosher salt.

Drain the pasta. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss in the Italian Parsley (bet you thought I forgot about it, didn't you?). Mix the linguini with the sauce and parsley.

Top each serving with a bit of shaved Parmesan or Asiago cheese.

Serve with a green salad, fruit (cantelopes are really good right now), crusty french bread .....oh and of course a good wine.

My husband hated the Kalamata Olives. He thought they were too salty with the anchovies so you might substitute milder ripe olives. For those of you who don't like hot/spicy dishes you can also lighten up on the chili flakes (weenies). I also like this sauce over Farfalle pasta. Soon, I plan to try it with a mixture of yellow and red tomatoes from my garden.

* to seed tomatoes: cut the tomato in half crossways and simply squeeze the seeds and juices into a bowl. You want as much of the juice removed from the tomatoes or else your sauce will be watery and you will have to cook it much longer which will ruin the delicate flavor of the capers.