Monday, June 16, 2014

The roller coaster of World Cup emotions and barbecue sauce

My brother and I were texting on my birthday about Chinese food and other things when he asked if I wanted barbecue sauce for my birthday. Weird? Yes, but we've never been normal. He works at a hotel, and the makers of this gourmet sauce were staying in his hotel. I am no lover of barbecue sauce, but I do love gourmet foods. And that is the story of how a jar of TATS Snakebite Barbecue Sauce ended up in my fridge waiting for the perfect moment.

The bottle even looks rad. You can tell it's going to be a good eating experience.

That day came on Father's Day -- not because my dad particularly loved barbecue sauce, but because, well, it was there and I wanted something new and different, so I formulated a menu based on the Taste of Home cooking school I went to last month, bacon and barbecue sauce. 

It's really fun to be head in my sometimes. You get lost a lot, but the scenery keeps changing, so you always have something to do.

So, for the first time in my life I bought mushrooms, and then Sunday in between World Cup games I made barbecue meatball sandwiches.

(Y'all! It's World Cup season! You know how I get during these four weeks. Today at work people jumped when I yelled when the U.S. scored the game-winning goal with 10 minutes to go.)

But back to the meatballs. Or you can do as I did and enjoy both balls simultaneously.

These are a mixture of sauteed mushroom bits, ground turkey and bacon. They were very good. With snakebite barbecue sauce, they were absolutely delicious. When you finish you have this heat from the sauce and a hint of bacon and it's just kind of awesome.

So here we go.

8 ounces of mushrooms
Half an onion
Several cloves of garlic (we'e discussed how I feel about garlic. If you feel differently, use less.)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound of ground turkey (or beef or bison or pork or virtually any ground meat)
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 sliced of uncooked bacon, chopped into small pieces.

1. Slice mushrooms, garlic and onion; put through the food processor into tiny bits. This is a perfect way to eat mushrooms and onions because you get all the health benefits without really knowing you're eating any mushrooms and onions.
2. Heat the oil in a pan; saute for 5-7 minutes. Add some kosher salt.
3. Put the ground turkey, bacon, egg, bread crumbs, salt and pepper into a bowl; mix. (Your hand really is the best tool. Just suck it up and get icky, cupcake.)
4. When the sauteed vegetables are done, add to the ground meat mixture. Be careful sticking your hand into this mixture until it's cooled down.
5. Make the meatballs about 1.5 inches in diameter; put on a cookie sheet that has either been greased or is lined with parchment paper or foil. The actual size of the meatball doesn't matter, but they should all be the same size. Make all the meatballs, then put them in the fridge for 30 minutes.
6. In an oven preheated to 350 degrees, cook the meatballs for 20 minutes (less if they're smaller than 1.5 inches, more if they're bigger).
7. Take them out of the oven. Cut one open to see if it's cooked all the way through. Eat it. Enjoy it. Maybe eat another one.
8. Slice a roll in half, put a few meatballs on it, slather it with barbecue sauce. May I recommend TATS? You will not regret it (unless you're a wimp and you put a lot on and your mouth is sort of on fire, but it's a good kind of fire).
9. Eat your sandwich. If you don't have sauce all over your fingers when you're done, you've done it wrong. Start over. Add more barbecue sauce.

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