Tag Archives: Sauces

Glazed smoked chicken wings (or legs)

If you’ve read some of my other posts, you may notice that some of my rubs and sauces are easily adapted and morphed into delicious variations. So this recipe is simple, but only if you already have some of the other ingredients already prepped and on hand. This works equally well for wings and legs.

You will need:

  • chicken wings. Lots of them. Or drumsticks.
  • ~1/2 cup Even Steven rub
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • zest of one lemon (~ 1 tbsp)
  • Spicy ketchup (or equivalent, see below*)
  • your favourite BBQ sauce
  • guava jelly (apple jelly will do)

Prepare you smoker to cook indirectly at 250F, using a fruit wood smoke such as apple or cherry (or a little of both).

Combine the rub with the brown sugar and lemon zest, and coat the wings (or drumsticks). I find the easiest way is to the them all out on a cooking tray (the kind with low sides), sprinkle half the rub liberally, cover with another similar sized pan and flip the whole thing, then apply the other half of the rub to the other side (sure beats trying to flip 3 dozen wings!).

Smoke for 2 hours at 250, which gives you plenty of time to prepare the glaze, which is simply 2 parts spicy ketchup, 1 part BBQ sauce, and 1 part guava jelly. Warm it in a sauce pan so the jelly melts evenly in the glaze. When the 2 hours are up, brush on the glaze, flip the chicken, glaze the other side, and close up to cook another 45 minutes or so.

That’s it. Nice and simple.

*If you haven’t made any spicy home-made ketchup, try the following: Mix ~ 3/4 cup store-bought ketchup with 1 tbsp cider or white balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp brown sugar, dash of Worcestershire sauce, dash of ginger, dash of chipotle power, dash of creole seasoning. That should get you reasonably close.

Glazed wings, along with some bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers, AKA “Atomic Buffalo Turds”.


DIY Ketchup

Ah, ketchup.  That simple, and yet oh so necessary condiment. Not only is it great on burgers and fries, it is also often used as a base for other sauces. So I decided I wanted to make my own. And you know what? There are about a gajillion recipes for ketchup, all of them different, and all of them sound fantastic. So being indecisive, I decided to pull bits from half a dozen or so different recipes, and this is what I came up with:

Ed’s Everything but the Kitchen Sink Spicy Ketchup:

  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 5 oz can tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp creole seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper (or steak spice).
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder

Combine all ingredients but the vinegar in a saucepan, bring to a simmer and stir well. It will splatter, so be careful. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the vinegar and stir thoroughly, simmer for another 10 minutes or so partly covered (to allow some evaporation, but prevent spattering).  It should thinken up slightly, but it will thinken up more as it cools. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then transfer to a container and refrigerate.

This recipe is a little less sweet than commercial ketchups, and has just a little simmer of heat. With my first batch I added the vinegar at the start, and lost some of the tartness, which is why I recommend adding it later. Of course, one could always just ad a little more.

This recipe has a lot in it. Like most of my recipes, there are no hard and fast rules – feel free to adjust, add, or eliminate as you like, based on your own tastes. Enjoy!


Here in North America, we tend to think of steak as a thing by itself. Sure, we have the occasional steak sandwich, or maybe even a little steak sliced on a nice salad – but that’s not, you know, Steak. But elsewhere in the world a good steak is often fancied up by making it into a dish (such as Florentine tagliata), or by the addition of sauces or condiments.

Chimichurri is a sort of Argentine pesto used as a sauce on grilled meats. It seems a little weird to us northerners to put a green sauce on a steak, but trust me, it’s fabulous, and I’m really surprised it hasn’t caught on more. Here’s my recipe:

  • 3/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper.

Toss all ingredients in a food processor and blend it into a paste, let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so for the flavours to meld. It will keep for a couple days in the fridge.

Of course, feel free to play with the recipe – I certainly did. Some people hate coriander – fine, use all parsley. Or toss in a little basil or oregano. Traditionally it is made with wine vinegar, but I like to use cider vinegar – again, experiment with what you’ve got and what you like. A little squeeze of lime might be good too, or a dollop of chipotle paste to give it some kick.

Next time you’re grilling up some nice beef, give it a try, and let me know how you liked it.

Pulled Pork Tacos

Who doesn’t love pulled pork (or, as it’s called in the land of my birth, barbecue)? It is tasty, inexpensive, and you get a lot all at once, especially if you get a whole (“New York”) shoulder. I like to smoke a pile and freeze it in small packages that can be used for lunches and quick meals. But sometimes I don’t feel like just making a standard pulled pork sandwich, and want something a little different. One thing I like to do, particularly in the summer, is make soft tacos with the pork on small corn tortillas, and top with pico de gallo and mango slaw. These are very tasty and refreshing, and without dousing them with cheese or sour cream they don’t give you that “I ate way too much” feeling.

I won’t give a recipe for pulled pork here – I’ll assume you have some on hand. If not, why not? There’s all sorts of recipes out there, get going!

Pico de Gallo (Salsa Fresca)

  • 2 medium to large tomatoes, diced and drained.
  • chopped onion – about 1/2 cup. You can use green onions, or red onions for a bit more kick, or vidalias for a bit more sweetness.
  • chopped cilantro – about 1/3 cup, more if you are a fan, less if not so much
  • 1 finely chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper seeded and chopped (can be omitted if you or your guests don’t like the heat)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • juice of one lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • drizzle of olive oil (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. If you let it sit in the fridge for an hour or more the flavours blend nicely.

Mango Slaw

  • 1 lb package shredded cabbage for slaw, or finely shred 1 lb of cabbage
  • 1 green, unripe mango, sliced into strips. If you don’t have a mandolin, you can use a peeler to peel fat strips of mango and cut these into thin strips with a knife.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper, 1/4 tsp each or to taste.

Combine all ingredients and toss well. This is a very lightly dressed coleslaw, and not sweet. Be sure to use unripe mango for a nice refreshing tang and a bit of crunch. Ripe mango is too soft and sweet.

And that’s pretty much it! Grab a corn tortilla, a dollop of pork, pico do gallo and top with the slaw. If you like more of a kick, hit it with your favourite hot sauce, and enjoy on a summer evening with a refreshing beer. I find it goes great with hefeweizen, but your tastes may differ from mine.

Both the slaw and the pico de gallo will keep for at least a day in the fridge, so by all means leave enough for leftovers!

Danger Sauce

Why do I call this Danger Sauce? Well, because I can. Try it, and tell me if you don’t think it’s dangerous!


  • 1 1/2 cups Orange Juice
  • 1 cup tamoato sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups beer (I Barking Squirrel, a malty lager)
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp cider vinnegar
  • 3 tbps guava paste, or 1/3 cup guava jam
  • 1 tbsp raw (turbinado) sugar
  • 1 tsp salt – I like non-iodized sea salt or pink salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp roasted cumin
  • 1 tsp grainy mustard

Measure out the OJ, beer, and tomato sauce into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, get the dry ingredients ready. Chop the chipotle with it’s sauce. I have a hand-blender, so I add a touch of orange juice to the chipotle and whirr it up, making a nice paste I can add a bit at a time.

Once the liquids have reduced by about 1/4, add the dry spices, vinegar, guava sugar and mustard. Stir thoroughly, particularly if using guava paste – you want it to dissolve fully.

Let it simmer (stirring occasionally) for another 5-10 minutes, then taste to see if more orange or guava is needed, or more salt or pepper, then add about half of the ground chipotle. Stir, and after 5 min taste again. The hotness is up to you, add the rest of the chipotle if you like a kick to it, leave it out if you like a slow simmer from your chipotles. Or add more if you are a real hot pepper lover.

Simmer for 10 minutes more, then cool, and store in the fridge. Keeps for several weeks.

This sauce is great for glazing as well as a little dipping on the side. Goes great with poultry, but also darn tasty with pork. I would love to know what you think, so if you decide to make this sauce, leave a comment below. Enjoy!