I don’t know about you guys but this Memorial Day weekend is driving me crazy. I’ve got chairs to rent, dips to make and I’m trying to come up with a new potato salad recipe using instant potato flakes and powdered water. Phew! Will this week ever end?
The guest list for my holiday BBQ on the patio is equally daunting. I’ve invited the Kardashians over along with rapper/movie star Snoop Dog and my neighbors Marv and Juanita from across the street. I’m still waiting to hear back from Newt Gingrich and Danica Patrick to see if they can make it. They both may have some kind of NASCAR plans. Stupid NASCAR.
Anyway, if you’re in a tizzy this week preparing for the first cook-out of the year, here are a few tips to jump-start the festivities.
The star of the show is of course BBQ, specifically ribs, pork butt and/or chicken.
Once you have prepped the meat, most grill jockeys are going to season them with a dry rub and let it sit overnight in the fridge. But there is a whole bunch of rubs out there and let’s face it, if you don’t live in the Southeast, you won’t find my favorite, Bad Byron’s Butt Rub. So what do you do?
You can make your own and it’s everybody as good if not better than store bought crap. And you can jazz your homemade butt rub with unique flavors. Try the basic rub first.
Homemade Butt Rub
4 Tbs. Smoked Paprika
2 Bay Leaves
2 Tbs. Celery Salt
2 Tbs. Garlic Powder
1 Tbs. Cumin
1 Tbs. Cayenne
2 Tbs. Brown Sugar
2 Tbs. Dried Oregano
1 Tsp. Allspice
Throw everything in a spice grinder and pulse in to a powder. Store in airtight jars.
You want a little Tex-Mex in your Butt Rub? Add a few teaspoons of chili powder. Caribbean influence. Toss in some jerk seasoning. How about an Asian spice? Add some Chinese Five Spice and a dried Thai Pepper. The possibilities are endless and you can rub this stuff on fish, steaks or anything else you can dream up.
Next the BBQ sauce.
When I smoke ribs, chicken or a butt I usually serve them naked with sauce on the side. That doesn’t mean I’m nude when I serve them, it means I serve them with sauce on the side.
There are a gazillion BBQ sauces out there, so when you are pressed for time, make your own in a jiffy.
What I do is buy a generic bottle of BBQ sauce and rumba my own touches right in to the sauce. Start by pouring it in a sauce pan and bring it to a simmer. At this point, I like to add a couple of dried guajillo peppers, a few bay leaves, a dash of allspice and maybe a quarter cup of dark rum. If it’s too hot, toss in a tablespoon of brown sugar. But you can do a lot with basic sauce. Add a few tablespoons of margarita mix and tequila. Add some peach schnapps. How about some Coke or Dr. Pepper? Apricot or cherry preserves are possibilities as well as balsamic vinegar and/or yellow mustard.
You can go wild and make yourself crazy coming up with ideas for a jammin’ BBQ sauce.
Just hope that the Kardashians aren’t too picky about what they eat and always know that Snoop Dog brings an appetite, he eats anything. I just hope Newt and Danica can make it over. And don't forget to check out the slideshow for some more great tips.
Happy Memorial Weekend everybody and see you on the patio.