Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bring on the Barbeque

How can you start summer without a Memorial Day barbecue? Mine always includes baked beans and meat from the grill with barbecue sauce.

The secret ingredient in my baked bean recipe—as of now, no longer a secret, since the entire recipe is below—is baking soda. To be honest, the baking soda doesn’t affect the flavor but definitely is connected to good taste: it very effectively counter effects the beans’ effect on your GI system! (We used to say, “It removes the gas and the unwanted guest.”)

I have no barbecue sauce recipe to share because, why bother? There are so many great bottled sauces, often concocted according to regional differences. From Maine to North Carolina, the sauces are usually vinegar-based; going west, they usually incorporate tomatoes. They add mustard in central South Carolina and northern Georgia, and the people in Texas and Tennessee add sweeteners like molasses or brown sugar. My favorites are Speedy Pig, and Texas Best.

And I do have a tip regarding barbecue sauce—actually two of them. Don’t put the sauce on the meat until after you’ve cooked it. And stock up on the napkins.

David Monn’s Awesome Baked Bean Recipe

1 large can B&M Baked Beans
1 cup Heinz ketchup
½ cup Grey Poupon mustard
2 large Spanish onions, chopped
1 lb. Boars Head bacon
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Combine ingredients, bake in 350° oven for 30 minutes.