Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Give Me Some Sauce Tuesday (Turkish Coffee BBQ Sauce)


Turkish Coffee BBQ Sauce
Cardamom is the world's third most expensive spice, right behind saffron and vanilla. To tell the truth I've never really had cardamom, at least that I know of. Like za'atar, cardamom seems to be popping up on everyone's blogs. I've seen it in peaches and cherry ice cream. It is essential to Indian cooking and is found in Scandinavian desserts. Apparently the Vikings discovered it in Constantinople and brought it home where it has been used in Scandinavian desserts for a really long time. Chai wouldn't be chai without cardamom and many Middle Eastern coffees also blend cardamom into the blend.

It is time. I now know there is black cardamom and green cardamom. And cardamom in the pods. I don't know what I have except that it wasn't in the pod. Nor was it identified in the bulk spice section at Whole Foods, except as being cardamom. To me it smells very distinct and pungent and warm. It has citrusy overtones but  it also smelled a lot like white pepper. Being in the ginger family maybe gave it the warm scent. In any case it is very distinct and once you try it you will always recognize it. Well, I think I will!

Being sauce Tuesday I thought I would try this sauce from Jake. No, I don't know Jake either, but he is Steven Raichlen's stepson and his sauce recipe is featured in The Barbeque Bible. If you don't have this book and you grill, it is strongly suggested that you get this book. I'm not trying to be tough, but in this case I just want you to know that you are missing out on some great techniques and recipes if you don't have this book.

Jake's Turkish Coffee BBQ sauce is unique. It is different. If you want to keep everyone guessing about your secret recipe this would really keep them guessing a long time. Some folks are like that, you know. Never want to give anything away. I mean if Grandma is dead in her grave is she really going to care if you share her secret? If you are lucky, you already know. But I digress.

This sauce combines coffee and cardamom just like Middle Eastern coffee. But then it heads to Asia where it meets up with hoisin and ginger and garlic. It then traverses the Pacific Ocean to end up in the Americas where it meets cocoa. Yes, it is a worldly sauce. It is suggested to serve it with pork or lamb or grouper. I had salmon. And so it was that I grilled my salmon with a rub of spices and then topped the salmon with the sauce almost right before the salmon was done. I served the salmon on a bed of couscous with some grilled nectarines on the side. Savory and a touch sweet, the sauce worked well with the salmon.

A few notes on this sauce. When you first make it, it tastes very strong. The rabbit catcher had no clue what was in this. He described it as unique but tasty. After I let it sit a few hours it mellowed and was much better. As a sauce on salmon, it became tamer and gentle and really blended well with the fish. I can't wait to try it tomorrow on chicken. This sauce is a wonderful introduction to cardamom and I can't wait for more unique ways to use it. Head over here to see how it is used in cherry ice cream. This is one versatile spice!



Jake's Turkish Coffee BBQ Sauce (from Steven Raichlen's BBQ Bible)

2 T olive oil
1 finely chopped medium onion
1 finely chopped red bell pepper
3 minced cloves of garlic
1 T minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 c espresso (I use the instant Meglio in a jar)
1/4 c hoisin sauce
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 t unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t ground cardamom
2 T honey
1/2 t black pepper
Salt to taste

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic and ginger and saute until mixture has softened, about 5 minutes. Add coffee, hoisin, vinegar, cocoa and cardamom. Increase heat and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, uncovered, until thick and richly flavored, about 10 minutes. If the sauce gets to thick add water. You can now puree the sauce in a blender, but I didn't as I liked the texture in the sauce. Add the honey which gives it a rich sheen. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

Makes about 2 cups. Store in the refrigerator.

My Spice Rub
1/2 t cocoa
1 t cardamom
1/4 t ground coffee
1 t brown sugar
1/8 t black pepper
1/4 t salt
1/4 t ginger
1/4 t garlic powder
1/2 t honey
1 t vinegar
1 T olive oil

Mix together. I smeared this on 1 1/2 lbs salmon but didn't quite use it all. I let this sit about three hours and then grilled the salmon. Top with the above sauce when salmon is almost cooked.

Enjoy!



A Few More to Try:
Red Chile and a Breakfast Sandwich
Hummus
Roasted Za'atar Chickpeas
Avocado Corn Soup
Patatas Bravas

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26 comments:

  1. Cocoa, cardamomo my..Abbe, I want to swim in that jar of sauce! The salmon looks so dang good!

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  2. What a luscious and flavorful sauce. I love Cardamom! I just love that hint of lemony and earth tone of the spice. Can't wait to try this one out.

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    1. This sauce definitely highlights the flavor of cardamom, Amy!

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  3. I really enjoy trying new barbecue sauces, Abbe, and yours here looks so thick and rich. I have used cardamom before but only a couple times and I'm certainly no expert. I am eager to use it here, though, in both your rub and sauce. Thanks for sharing a great recipe.

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    1. Cardamom turned out to be a very interesting spice. I am anxious to use it some more so I can form a true opinion on it. The backbones of this sauce though, are amazing. Thanks John.

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  4. oh my goodness what an awesome spice rub, I have been obsessed with cardamom lately, so lovely.

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    1. Maybe Natalie, it is because you just returned from Scandinavia! Thanks!

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  5. Abbe, dear!!! Please, give me some sauce and a big portion of that bbq meat too!!!!!!!! All look VERY yummy!!!

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    1. Thank you Denise!!!! I would be happy to give you some sauce!!

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  6. You probably have green cardamon (podless, of course); black cardamon isn't that common in the US. I cook a lot of Indian, so of course I have both on hand! What I don't have is that book, and I've heard good things about it - I need to get it. Anyway, on to the sauce! This look wonderful. I always use jarred expresso too in recipe like this. And your rub looks out of this world! Super stuff - thanks.

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  7. Thanks for clarifying, Mr. KR. Indian is one food I love but haven't cooked much. If I just went and got all the spices I'd give it a try but whenever I'm near an Indian grocery I never have my list! And yes, get the book. It really is a good one! And,it has drinks, too!

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  8. I cannot wait to try this - so many interesting flavors going on here!

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  9. Wow! I never thought of coffee and sauce together! This sounds fantastic!

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    1. Cathleen, the coffee works really well in this! Give it a try!

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  10. I´ve made the same bbq sauce for years, with bourbon... and I think it´s time I start diversifying a bit..jaja. I like how you describe the strong taste, and since I discovered cardamom pods last year, they went straight to one of my favorite spices ever!

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    1. Paula, if you like cradamom than you will like this sauce. It has a great range of flavors!

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  11. I have a stash of cardamom...and your BBQ sauce looks terrific. Hope you report back on the chicken :)

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    1. I'll let you know about the chicken, Liz. It is a pretty sauce, I'll give you that!

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  12. I have never used cardamom in baking or cooking, but I've always wanted to. It sounds so interesting. I had no idea it was the third most expensive spice. I use more than my fair share of vanilla, but saffron is another spice I really want to try.

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    1. Now that I've tried it in this, I'm going to try it in few other things, too. Saffron is one I wish I could use more. Love the stuff! But cardamom, if you shop at Whole Foods or Sprouts, you can buy just a bit in the bulk section which makes it reasonable. In the jar, I saw it going for about $8-9, which surprised me!

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  13. Yeah, for some reason at my grocery store (outside of Detroit), cardamom is THE most expensive spice - far more than saffron or vanilla. I needed some for Thanksgiving dinner last year, and a small container of it was $17. I was totally like "wait....what?!?!?" But you know what? I bought it anyway, and it's pretty awesome.

    I'll need to try this recipe - I already have all of the ingredients!

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  14. This sounds fantastic! I really want to try it!

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  15. Try it Lori! Better use that cardamom before it goes bad. What I saw wan't quite so much, but I was surprised, too!

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  16. i agree: cardamom does pop up on lots of blogs from time to time, and it is really quite versatile. I've seen people use it in both savory and sweet stuff, with equal success. I like it quite a bit, but i don't find myself using it often? weird, i know. :)
    this sauce looks so good! so different from a standard barbecue sauce; i'm going to have to try it this summer.

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