Smokin’ Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Here in the lovely province of Ontario Canada, folks are getting ready to celebrate the unofficial kick off to summer. The Monday preceding the 25th of May is the day we celebrate the birthday of Queen Victoria Day also known as the May Long Weekend and the May 24.

As with any other holiday, you would expect the stores to be a little busier as people plan to host BBQ’s and entertain friends and family. You’ll find folks stocking up on extra groceries, charcoal for the ‘que, and of course, wine and spirits, in anticipation of stores being closed for the holiday.

Here in “Ontari-ari-ario”, we’re hitting the booze a little harder than usual though. You see, the main place for us to purchase alcohol is through the government owned and operated Liquor Control Board of Ontario (L.C.B.O). Yes, you read that correctly. I said “government owned and operated”. That means that the wonderful ladies and gentlemen who stock the shelves and total our purchases are government employees. They are also part of a union which is on the verge of going on strike as of midnight tonight. We also have a Beer Store that just sells, you guessed it, beer, but those folks aren’t currently in a position to strike. So, like many Ontarians, I popped into my local L.C.B.O. store to grab a few things, just in case.

Funny though, I don’t think of myself as much of a drinker. Make no mistake although I wouldn’t call it a cabinet, my liquor cupboard is never empty. I’ve been known to make a pretty good Daiquiri, Margarita and even the classic Bloody Caesar. What I found interesting was that as I was walked though the isles, I realized that if the L.C.B.O. workers do strike, it wouldn’t be too big a deal to me.

I mean, I gave up beer when I went gluten free (even though I am aware of some good gluten free brews, I’ve just lost interest) but I will happily have a glass of wine with dinner. I tend not to though, as most days when my sinuses are on the fritz, I can’t enjoy the flavour anyway. However, I do try to keep a couple bottles of wine on hand. I tend to cook with my booze more often than drink it. You know, white wine for risotto, red for tomato sauce and deglazing the pan after sautéing a steak. There was one thing I couldn’t leave the store without. I had to get a bottle of bourbon. Because this is the kickoff of summer and bbq season and that means bbq sauce. I know I’m gonna want to make a batch of my favourite Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce. I use this on anything and everything. From burgers to ribs to chicken to cobs of corn and even peaches (yes, peaches!), it’s sweet, spicy, smoky, yumminess is unbelievable. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Smokin’ Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup bourbon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons mild (light) molasses
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons strong black coffee
1 tablespoon tamari sauce
1 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 clove garlic, minced
1 chipotle pepper, in adobo sauce, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring all ingredients to boil in saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer until sauce is reduced to 2 cups, stirring often, about 10 minutes. This can be made 2 weeks ahead. Cover; chill. Use at room temperature.


Smokin' Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Smokin’ Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce


It’s been one of those crazy weeks!

The other day I was browsing through WordPress Daily Post to get some inspiration and writing tips. After reading some of the suggested blogs (and finding some very interesting bloggers!), I signed up to get the Daily Prompt. Today’s prompt is “Mad Libs”, which is kinda cool because I’ve been working on this post and wasn’t sure which direction I should take it. Thanks for the Inspiration!

It’s really been one of those weeks.

My alarm clock didn’t go off on time Monday morning but I pulled it together to get to work just in time. My Tuesday’s “to do list” got rearranged to suit someone else’s (more important) agenda, leaving me with an even bigger list.  By Wednesday I was so stressed out I almost forget an important appointment. To top it off, today there was this massive shut down on the 401 highway westbound into Toronto that clogged up even the side streets. I’m sure all the commuters within a 60Km radius of the C.N.Tower were just desperately trying to find an alternate route to work, however, that turned my measly 8 minute trip into almost an hour. Who can plan for that?

I feel like I’ve been playing catch up since the week started and it’s finally got me grumpy. In fact I have to say, I’ve got quite the “grrrr” on right now.

I’ve always been a little envious of those people who can let things slide. Me? I have a temper. Yep, I admit it. It’s nasty, evil, fast, white hot and shows no mercy. Most days I keep it locked up in a box with a heavy rock on top, but I know it’s there, all shadowy and patient, waiting for that one thing that will make this, usually nice gal, crack.

Once that happens (like now!) it’s best to batten down the hatches and hit the deck! (At least until I can put it back in its box!) It’s a good thing I’m the only one home.

Time for a self imposed intervention…wait, is that even possible? Well you know what I mean. It’s time to break out the big guns to cure this cranky gal of “The Nasties”, before the family gets home.

For me there are only two things that work. Exercise and cooking. Since I’ve already done my workout for today (and my legs are screaming at me from the 160 squats I did), it looks like I’ll be cooking.

There is something I find therapeutic about preparing a meal.

I think I’ll start off whacking a big bud of garlic (to make it easier to peel, of course). Then there’s the part where I get to chop it, or even better, smoosh it with my mortar and pestle. Then, I’ll add a little pinch of course salt and grind it in until the juices release. Then, because I’m all fired up, I add something to help clear my head…like some extra hot horseradish. Today I’m having a “good” sinus day, so I’m gonna stick my nose close to the jar and inhale. That should help. Hmmm. Mustard? Something to “kick it up a notch”? This makes me think of a marinade I make for beef, Grilled Devilled Beef to be exact.

This will chase away my foul mood. Time to marinade some steaks and fire up the grill!

Grilled Devilled Beef

1 large clove of garlic
1 T extra hot horseradish (I used Kozlick’s X Extra Hot)
1 T strong flavoured mustard (I used Kozlick’s “Market Mustard”)
1 T balsamic vinegar
pinch of kosher salt
3 T Tamari sauce
3 T olive oil
1 ½ -3 ½ lbs steak

Place the garlic clove flat side down on your work surface. Lay the flat side of your favourite knife on the garlic; keeping the knife steady, use the heel of your free hand to whack the flat of the knife. Proceed to peel garlic and chop finely, or add to mortar and bang and smoosh it a bit. Sprinkle with salt and continue to pound with pestle, or use the flat side of your knife to smear the salt into the garlic. Add the remaining ingredients, except the steak, together in the mortar or in a small bowl, mix well. Pour over steak, making sure it has been completely coated. Let marinate for minimum 30 minutes. Grill steaks to desired doneness. Let steaks rest for at least as long as you grilled them.

Add some baked sweet potato fries with some chipotle mayo and a mixed green salad for a simple supper.

Hmm….I think I just smiled : )

Grilled Devilled Steak II

Pssst… I think Spring is here.

I started out trying to write this post in my favourite spot. At my dining room table with my back to the window as the afternoon sun poured in, warm on my back.  I was feeling too fidgety to write. Well maybe not to write but certainly too fidgety to sit there. We’re finally having some warm weather here in The GTA and I thought I’d take advantage of it before the predicted thunderstorms roll in. I decided to go outside.

I think it’s pretty amazing that a week ago, I posted a piece about Mother Nature’s mood swings and now, here I am, sitting on the back deck and there are so many birds chirping it’s noisy! Thanks to the songbird clock I used to keep in my kitchen when my boys were little, I know that the cacophony I’m listening to includes Robins, Cardinals, Canada Geese , at least one woodpecker and, I’m pretty sure a Blue Jay or two. In fact, there’s a rather brave Robin eyeballing me as I sit here typing. I think I must be too close to a particularly wormy patch of garden.


The sun is warm on my face. There is a gentle breeze at my back and I’m getting the first real good look at my backyard since moving here in December 2012.  There are lots of big old trees. Lots of dog walkers. I like this old neighborhood.  It’s pretty and makes me think of planting basil, and tomatoes and marigolds, firing up the barbeque and enjoy a glass of wine while cooking up something yummy.

Whatever I cook, you can be sure there’s some kind of sauce to go with it.

Gluten free Barbeque sauces can be hard to find as so many sauces rely on malt vinegar. Here’s one of my favourite barbeque sauce recipes. It’s a little sweet, a little tangy, a bit smokey, with a wee kick to it. During barbeque season, this sauce never lasts longer than a week in my fridge.  Don’t worry about serving it to the kiddies, the alcohol gets cooked out.  I’ve used it on chicken, beef, pork…veggies, even fruit. It makes an awesome “Hobo Pack”, mixed with potatoes, veggies meat patties (and peaches when they come into season). Feel free to play with the chipotles to suit your tastes.

Dee’s Bourbon BBQ Sauce

1 large onion, finely chopped (2 cups)
4 garlic cloves, minced (2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups ketchup (12 oz)
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
½ cup bourbon whiskey
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon dry mustard
2-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
Salt & pepper

Cook onion  in oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until  tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30-40 minutes.

Makes about 5 cups.