When I was growing up, one of my favorite summer foods was barbequed chicken.
I especially looked forward to the times when my mother made her homemade sauce — a sweet, tomatoey, fragrant barbeque sauce based on a recipe that she got from “a fellow-worker in the University [of Iowa] Hospitals when [she] was writing poems in the [Iowa Writers'] Workshop and moonlighting to keep body and soul together.”*
I’ve been meaning to make some of that sauce for a long time, and today, the first sunny day in what seems like months, seemed like the perfect day to try.
As with most of the things I make, I adjusted the recipe a little bit. After reviewing the original ingredients, I decided to cut the sugar in half, use sherry vinegar and extra virgin olive oil (the original recipe doesn’t specify what kind of oil or vinegar to use), add a little lime juice and Aleppo pepper and increase the amounts of garlic, pepper and salt. I hope that my mother would approve of this updated version of Blake’s no-cook barbeque sauce.
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper
¾ cup sherry vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of one fresh lime
1 can tomato sauce (I used a small box of strained Pomi tomatoes)
1 medium red onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced very finely or pushed through a garlic press
a dash of Worcestershire sauce
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Add the vinegar, olive oil and lime juice and mix well.
Add the tomato sauce, and mix well again.
Add the grated onion, minced garlic and Worcestershire sauce, and mix until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Pour into jars and refrigerate.
*quote (and original recipe) taken from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop Cookbook, edited by Connie Brothers and published in 1986.