A couple of weeks ago, my husband told me he had met a woman who was making and selling gourmet barbeque sauce. I was like “Cool. This relates to me how?” “I am going to introduce you! She would like you to use her sauce!” he said. My husband, being a recruiter, spends a lot of his time talking to people with all sorts of varied backgrounds. In the past, he has also introduced me to pastry chefs, restaurateurs, farmers, etc. He is a dream that way. He is always looking to help connect me to like minded and like spirited people in which to help me grow my own mind and spirit.
In this instance, Dawnn of Kolander Grubbs offered to send me a couple of bottles of sauce to try. How exciting is that!? I decided that this would be my “black-box challenge” – what would I do with BBQ sauce that wasn’t already being done? That was a good question. When you tell me about a habanero sauce, my first thoughts run to pulled-pork sandwiches. I mean, who doesn’t love a spicy pork sandwich? But anybody could make a sandwich. I had to make something that wasn’t obvious. I wanted to see if I could put the sauce, and myself, to the test.
Over the course of the past couple weeks, I have made everything from appetizers to dessert, all using BBQ sauce. Kolander’s sent me 3 bottles; Sweet Orange-Mango, Habanero, and The Ghost. When the box arrived, my kids were shouting “GHOST! We can’t eat that! Do you even know about Ghost Chilies?!” Then they ran to grab their copy of The Battle of Red Hot Pepper Weenies and read to me excerpts from the text, in which the antagonists get their come-uppance by eating the Ghost chili and then having to run for the bathroom. Needless to say, the kids were not really embracing the sauce idea – LOL!
But after a little playing around, I came up with this recipe for a fantastic Kung Pao Shrimp with Spicy Slaw, both using The Ghost BBQ sauce, that won them over.
Kung Pao Shrimp with Ghost Chile BBQ Sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup The Ghost BBQ sauce
4 T. cooking wine (I used sherry)
4 T. toasted sesame oil
4 T. water
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
3-4 T. corn starch
2-3 T. peanut oil
1 clove garlic, grated or finely minced
2 T. diced fresh chive
2 large scallions, thinly sliced
2 dried Szechuan chilies, stemmed and chopped
2 pounds of medium prawns, cleaned, peeled and rinsed
1 bunch asparagus, tough part removed and cut into 1″ pieces
1 large red bell pepper
1/2 cup shelled, roasted peanuts
Combine the first 7 ingredients in a saucepan and heat to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until it is slightly reduced. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Whisk in corn starch until it forms a thin paste. Heat the peanut oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the garlic, chives, scallions and chilies and cook for 1-2 minutes until just barely starting to brown. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked through, stirring frequently. Add the sauce and toss to coat. Cook for another 1-2 minutes to allow the sauce to set up. Serve immediately over rice.
Spicy Asian Slaw
1/4 head red cabbage, cored and thinly chopped
3 carrots, peeled and grated
4 T. rice wine vinegar
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. sesame oil
1 T. The Ghost BBQ sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine cabbage and carrots. In a measuring cup, add the remaining ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and toss to completely coat. Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least an hour. The longer the better the flavors.
Over the next week or so, I will post the rest of the recipes that I used. I hope that you will be as amazed as my family was by how delicious and versatile the BBQ sauces turned out to be. I am also going to include a bit from my interview with Dawnn Kolander as well.