White BBQ Sauce

Pure, saucy deliciousness
Pure, saucy deliciousness

Y’all, if there ever was a sauce that is as loved or divisive in the South- maybe as much or more than how you take your tea, which football team you cheer for, or who you invited to your last get together- it’s white BBQ sauce.

Your standard BBQ sauce is essential for any proper barbecue, of course.  Whether it’s sweet, spicy, tomato-based or laced with vinegar, frankly, that’s up to you. But white BBQ sauce? I land on it’s side. To me, that sauce is the piece de resistance, the cherry on the sundae, the touch that brings all of the smoky, juicy flavors of barbecue to their pinnacle.

And the power of a good white BBQ sauce doesn’t just end with the meats. In fact, I am such a fan of this sauce that I feel it absolutey necessary that I list my top five favorite foods to douse it with:

1. Smoked chicken (specifically from here, Oh my Lord, is it goooood!)

2. Scrambled eggs

3. White sticky rice

4. Mashed potatoes

5. Sandwiches of any type (BLT, turkey, ham, roast beef, etc.)

The possibilities are endless, and this sauce is oh-so-easy to make. Therefore, I highly recommend you spreading the white BBQ luv and making some for Labor Day weekend.

Without further waxing of the bbq poetic, I give you a slightly tweaked version of the white bbq sauce from Southern Living. For those of you who don’t know about this magazine, their look is absolutely lovely and reminds me of home. Oh, and check out The Daily South for a daily dose of all things Southern and fabulous. It’s currently a standard site in my blog feed!

I hope each of you takes time to get away, love on those around you, and eat some delicious food this weekend. Topped with white BBQ sauce, of course.

White BBQ Sauce

White BBQ Sauce (This recipe is tweaked a bit from the version here from Southern Living)

What You Need:

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise; I prefer Duke’s
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard (I used Zatarain’s)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

What You Will Do:

1. Whisk together the 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise, water, vinegar, pepper, mustard, salt, sugar, garlic, and horseradish.

2. Taste your sauce and see what you think. I like mine a bit creamier, so I whisked in about 1 1/2 tablespoons more mayonnaise.

3. Enjoy and serve alongside anything you choose! Can’t wait to hear what your fellow tasters think.

Caprese Kabobs with Balsamic BBQ Reduction

James Farmer's Caprese Kabobs-399-3

Y’all- today’s recipe is as wonderful as one, two, three.

One- stack beautiful summer grape tomatoes on a wooden skewer layered with mozzarella and fresh basil leaves.

Two- stir together balsamic vinegar with brown sugar and a few other ingredients over the stove until a glossy, thick, dipping sauce forms.

Three, pile up your skewers on a tray, pour the balsamic into a bowl and invite guests to dig (or should we say dip?) in.

And friends, there are few summer vegetables as deliciously sweet and fun to eat off of a wooden stick as a grape tomato. Don’t get me wrong- I adore frozen popsicles- but consider this our version of a veggie sweet treat.

This summer has been an exciting one. Styling projects have kept me busy, and the creative people I’ve met along the way have wowed me with their ingenuity, talent, and passion. My amazing boyfriend, friends, and family have continued to love and encourage me to push forward toward my dreams, and I am beyond grateful for their prayers, love, and presence in my life.

James Farmer's Caprese Kabobs-415-5

But as always, there is something in each of us that draws us in, pulls us back, and anchors us at our core to be who we are. For me, that is, and always will be, food. I sense the same thing in James Farmers’ cookbook A Time To Cook: Dishes from My Southern Sideboard . He is a talented landscape designer, runs his own design business and is the author of another book on the subject, but I feel the same love of food, community, and his family in his writing.  That’s why I like the book, and this recipe, so much. It invites us all to revel in the bounty of summer’s produce- but also in the bounty that is food shared with a crowd. And did I mention that football season starts in 16 days? #tailgating-recipe!

So pull out those wooden skewers, relax outside on a porch, and enjoy a kabob- or two, or three.

James Farmer's Caprese Kabobs-405-4

Caprese Kabobs with Balsamic BBQ Reduction (Recipe from James’ cookbook, A Time to Cook: Dishes from My Southern Sideboard, copyright 2013, Gibbs Smith publishing)

What You Will Need:

For the skewers:

  • 1 heaping dry pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, cubed or rolled into small balls
  • About 24 fresh basil leaves

What You Will Do:

1. On bamboo skewers, alternate a tomato, cube or ball of cheese, and basil leaf until the skewer is full.

For the balsamic reduction:

What You Will Need: 

  • 1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

What You Will Do:

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.

2. Stir occasionally, making sure the sugar doesn’t stick on the bottom of the pan, until the liquid reduces by about half. It should be thick, glossy, a good consistency for dipping (not too thin), and taste sweet. A good test for me was if it clung to and coated the back of a spoon.

3. Let the liquid cool and serve as a dipper for, or drizzle on top of, your caprese skewers.