Barbecue Sauce

October 23, 2008 at 9:58 am (frozen tofu, Isa C. Moskowitz, Mom’s recipes, Quick weeknight recipe, Sauce/dressing, Tofu, unrated)

Sarah Palin grew up in Alaska, which is close to Russia, and thus she claims foreign policy experience. I grew up in Texas, the great state of barbecue, so therefore I’m an expert in the art of barbecuing.  Well…, let’s just say that I know as much about barbecue as Sarah Palin knows about foreign policy.

I’ve only ever tried two barbecue sauce recipes: my mom’s, and more recently the recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance.  The recipe on the left is my mom’s recipe for barbecue sauce, and is meant to be added to frozen tofu which has been marinated in peanut butter, paprika, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil. Barbecue sauce #2 is based on the recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance (I’ve made a few changes), and is meant to be added to tofu baked with oil and soy sauce.  The second recipe calls for more esoteric and expensive ingredients: pomegranate molasses, shallots, maple syrup, liquid smoke, star anise, etc.  On the other hand, I haven’t been able to find American style tomato sauce, brown sugar, salad mustard, or blackstrap molasses here in Germany.  After making the VwV recipe, I was surprised that it tasted quite similar to my mom’s recipe.  I lined the recipes up below to compare them and there are quite a few differences. The most noticeable difference to me was the absence of any acid in the VwV recipe.  I added lemon juice both times I made it, and it helped balance the flavors.  I’m curious, however, to try a side by side taste test and see which one comes out ahead.  My taste test will have to wait until I get my hands on some yellow mustard and molasses.  Ultimately, I’d like to merge the two recipes, and create the perfect, German-shopping-friendly recipe for a vegetarian barbecue sauce.   If anyone has any suggestions for other barbecue recipes I should try in my taste comparison, please post a comment.

2 Tbs. oil 1 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped 1 cup shallots, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced 2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups tomato sauce 6 ounces of tomato paste
2 cups water 2 cups water or vegetable broth
3/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbs. blackstrap molasses 3 Tbs. pomegranate molasses
1 tsp. salt 2 Tbs. soy sauce (maybe more?)
1/4 tsp. cayenne powder 1/8 tsp. cayenne
no smoke flavor in recipe 1/8 tsp. chipotle powder or liquid smoke
1 tsp. allspice a pinch of ground cloves
2 arms of star anise
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ginger
no pepper in recipe, but added to tofu several grinds of black pepper
3 Tbs. dried parsley no herbs in recipe
1/3 cup lemon juice no acid in recipe
1/2 cup salad mustard no acid or mustard in recipe
no peanut butter in recipe, but added to tofu 2 Tbs. peanut butter

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