Black Pepper Honey

I wasn’t sure how I was going to word this post. I mean, yeah, it’s just honey, salt and pepper. But boy, was it ever good on a few toasted English muffins. I never thought about just how much salt and pepper really could make honey even better than it already is. It’s just that easy. Great anywhere you use “regular” honey.

My great uncle kept bees for a while when I was younger. I was (and still am) fascinated by them. It’s amazing how much different fresh honey tastes than the mass-produced honey you find in the grocery store. It’s like night and day.

5 from 1 reviews
Black Pepper Honey
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups quality honey
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • A pinch of Kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Pour honey into a medium saucepan over medium heat until you notice bubbles starting to appear along the edges of the pan.
  2. Add the pepper and salt and stir.
  3. Bring to a simmer then remove from the heat and let cool completely.
  4. Store in an air-tight container.
  5. Note: The honey does not require refrigeration, but you should use it up within a few weeks.

Smoked Turkey Broth

This is my year-after-year go-to technique for making turkey broth. Smoked turkey wings make an absolutely delightful turkey broth that, with just a few more ingredients added, makes a gravy that is perfect for Thanksgiving turkey. It is also a great substitute for chicken broth in soups. It adds the perfect lightly-smoky flavor, all in a very rich broth. You could just eat it out of a bowl by itself.
You’ll get about 8 cups of smoked turkey broth when you are done. You can find turkey wings that already smoked in some grocery stores. You can use them instead of smoking your own, but you may want to get more than 4 of them. They tend to be smaller. As you can tell from the picture above I grabbed the largest fresh turkey wings I could find. Smoking them at home is so easy and well, cool looking, that I rarely buy the ones that are already smoked.

If you prefer to roast your turkey wings instead and use them to make a broth, check out my holiday make-ahead gravy recipe.

5 from 1 reviews
Smoked Turkey Broth
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 4 quarts
 
You'll end up with much more broth than is required to make 3 cups of gravy. Freeze the leftover broth or double or triple the gravy recipe if you desire.
Ingredients
For the smoked turkey wings
  • 4 large fresh turkey wings
For the stock
  • 8 ribs of celery
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, cloves removed but not peeled
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 quarts of water (more or less)
Instructions
For the smoked turkey wings
  1. Fire up your smoker for cooking at 250 F. Use a wood such as hickory. You'll want plenty of smoke.
  2. Place the wings onto the smoker. No need to season them.
  3. Smoke for approximately 2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F.
  4. Remove from the smoker and make the stock.
For the broth
  1. Place all of the ingredients along with the wings into a large stock pot.
  2. Add enough water to just cover everything.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for at least an hour, up to 4 hours, until the turkey meat is falling off the bone. Add more water if needed.
  4. Let cool completely then filter the broth through a sieve.
  5. You can use the broth immediately but I prefer to refrigerate it overnight first. This lets all of the fat coagulate on top, making it easy to remove before using the broth.

Basic BBQ Sauce

I have a bit of an addiction to buying pre-made BBQ sauces. Mostly the obscure ones that you can’t get in stores. The ones you have to order directly from the BBQ joint that makes them. Well, that’s not the cheapest hobby in the world, so I set out to make my own basic BBQ sauce (based on one from Myron Mixon) and I’m very happy with the results. It’s not a complicated or fancy sauce, but it has the perfect consistency and taste. I can add more hot sauce for a spicy version, or I can add more liquid smoke for a more hickory-flavored sauce.
I’m going to call this sauce ‘done’. It’s my go-to basic sauce for everything from pulled pork to ribs to brisket to chicken or my favorite, rib tips. I have also been known to slather it on my grilled hot dogs and hamburgers.

5 from 1 reviews
Basic BBQ Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons (more or less, to taste) hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (more or less, to taste) liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a sauce pan over medium heat.
  3. Heat thoroughly. Serve or use warm.

Chipotles in Adobo

I go thru a lot of chipotles in adobo sauce. I have an entire section of one of my pantry shelves devoted to cans of them. So it occurred to me that I should try my hand at making them at home. These chiptoles in adobo came out fantastically. Great smoky flavor and a bit of heat. They do take a bit of time to prepare, but they are oh so worth the trouble.
I dried my smoked jalapenos in my Nesco Snackmaster Pro dehydrator. If you don’t have a dehydrator you can place the jalapenos on a baking sheet and place in the oven at the lowest temperature setting. Rotate the jalapenos every few hours until dried.

You can also skip the smoking and drying of the jalapenos and buy dried chipotles at your marketplace. In our grocery store the dried peppers can be found by the produce section.

5 from 1 reviews
Chipotles in Adobo
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 54 hours
 
Ingredients
  • 12 jalapenos
  • Boiling water
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
Instructions
  1. Fire up a smoker for smoking at 250 F. Use a strong wood such as hickory.
  2. Add the jalapenos to the smoker and smoke until browned and shriveled, at least 4 hours.
  3. Remove and let cool slightly then transfer to a dehydrator and dry at 135 F for 24-48 hours or until completely dried.
  4. Remove the stems (and seeds, if desired) and transfer to a large bowl.
  5. Cover with hot water. Cover with a plate to weigh the peppers down into the water and let soak for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove 4 of the peppers and transfer to a blender.
  7. Add the tomato puree and honey and 1/2 cup of the soaking water.
  8. Blend until you have a paste.
  9. Take the remaining peppers and the soaking liquid and transfer to a pot. Add in the paste.
  10. Add the onion, garlic, vinegar, salt and peppercorns.
  11. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 1-2 hours until thick. If the sauce gets too thick add a bit of water.
  12. Store in the freezer or use within a month.


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Apricot BBQ Sauce

Oh my goodness. I wasn’t even looking for another BBQ sauce to add to my list of homemade, fantastically-good sauces. I actually made this apricot BBQ sauce only because I found a jar of apricot preserves in the back of the pantry that needed to be used up. I now take it as a sign because this is one of the top BBQ sauces I’ve ever made or tasted. The perfect combination of sweet and heat and just the right consistency to stick to a rack of St. Louis-style smoked ribs without being too gloppy or too thin.
The apricot preserves add a light fruity flavor but it’s there in the back with lots of other great flavors and isn’t so in-your-face. Now, if you want to have a more apricot-like sauce, feel free to add more. You might want to if you’re using the sauce for pork, because apricot (or peach for that matter) goes great with pork. But if you’re using this sauce on say chicken, you might want to use a little less.

5 from 1 reviews
Apricot BBQ Sauce
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 cup
 
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 cup (more or less, to taste) apricot preserves
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir and heat until the butter is melted.

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Peach BBQ Sauce Version 2.0

I do love a fresh peach BBQ sauce. Nothing screams winter is over like fresh peaches being available in our local grocery store. I’ve made a great peach BBQ sauce before, but this time I was looking for something a bit different Something with a smoky flavor and a little sweetness. My original peach BBQ sauce was more like a traditional Kansas City sauce. This one brings a little kick to any grilled meat, like the split chicken breasts I made recently on my Char-Broil Big Easy.
As with any BBQ sauce, don’t apply this peach BBQ sauce until your food is basically done grilling. Any sooner and the molasses and peach nectar may start to burn. Just put it on and let the food grill a bit longer until the sauce has set. Then enjoy! And if you prefer the flavor of apricot over peach, try out my apricot BBQ sauce.

5 from 1 reviews
Peach BBQ Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 peaches, peeled, pitted, chopped
  • 3/4 cup peach nectar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle salsa (or use 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce from canned chipotles)
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • Hot sauce, to taste (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before placing in a food processor or blender. Process until the desired smoothness is achieved.

Fire-Eater Burger Sauce

I love just putting the ‘usual’ condiments on my burgers. My favorite is mayonnaise, which is odd since I definitely did not grow up a mayo fan. Sometimes though, I need a little kick to my burger and since I absolutely love Fire-Eater seasoning, I knew it would find its way into this nice creamy, but a bit spicy, Fire-Eater burger sauce.
Fire-Eater Burger SauceIf you don’t have Sriracha on hand (???), then you can certainly substitute your favorite hot sauce, from the mild to the wild. Oh, and yes, this sauce is also fantastic on sandwiches or wraps. And now that I ponder it more, I bet it would be great on grilled chicken wings. I’m gonna try that next!

Also check out my version of Nancy’s Special Burger Sauce, copycat Smashburger Sauce, or another one of my seriously spicy favorites, 18000 Island sauce.

Fire-Eater Burger Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Burger Sauce
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste (Sambal Oelek)
  • 2 tablespoons Fire Eater seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon Sriracha
Instructions
  1. Whisk together all ingredients until smooth.

Sno-Cone Syrup

Yes, I do have a machine that shaves ice. I mean, why wouldn’t I? Everyone loves sno-cones. I used to buy big bottles of syrup at the store (due to occasional laziness) and finally asked myself how hard could it really be to make some at home? The answer? It’s not hard at all and the flavors are so much more bold. I keep a few different ones on hand in squeeze bottles, ready to make delicious sno-cones at a moment’s notice.

Here’s the ice shaver that I use. It’s small, fairly cheap, and has held up for years. Just add a few ice cubes and turn it on and it starts shooting out perfectly shaved ice in an instant.

5 from 1 reviews
Sno-Cone Syrup
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sugar (you can substitute Splenda or the equivalent)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (0.13 ounce) your favoriteKool-Aid flavor packet
Instructions
  1. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat and let boil for 1 minute, stirring.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the flavor packet.
  4. Allow to cool in the fridge for 1 hour before using.