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Spicy Chutney Barbecue Sauce

Spicy Chutney Barbecue Sauce

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Makes about 2 3/4 cups Servings


  • 2 tablespoons (1/4) stick butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 12-ounce bottle chili sauce
  • 1 9- to 10-ounce jar mango chutney
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (preferably habañero pepper)

Recipe Preparation

  • Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Stir in chili sauce, chutney, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until mixture is reduced to 2 3/4 cups, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Stir in hot pepper sauce. Transfer sauce to bowl; cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Reviews Section

Apricot-Habanero Barbecue Sauce

Many of the best barbecue sauces work on a combination of sweet and heat. This great sauce puts apricots up against habanero chilies to accomplish this. It sounds simple, but this barbecue sauce is actually layered in flavors that make it rich and fantastic.

The method

The list of ingredients may not be the shortest, but instructions don&rsquot get easier than this!

Combine all of the ingredients then mix it together! This can be done in a traditional standing blender or with an immersion blender. It can even be done with a bowl and whisk.

And that&rsquos it! You have a delicious and thick barbecue sauce in next to no time!

Of course if you want to cook it for a few minutes (which could be useful if you used a solid sugar like brown sugar, coconut sugar, or raw sugar) you can heat it for 5-10 minutes on the stove. If you use fresh garlic cloves, I recommend cooking it for a few minutes to take the edge off.

The barbecue sauces that won our hearts

If I learned anything from the inaugural Smoke Signals Barbecue Sauce Recipe Contest — other than that one should never wear a light-colored shirt during testing — it was that barbecue sauce is the new apple pie.

Just scanning the ingredients of the 68 entries, with their tamarind concentrates and mango chutneys and ground espresso beans, led me to paraphrase a famous realization: Toto, we’re not in Kansas City anymore.

As barbecue has increasingly become a national phenomenon, barbecue sauce has changed. The condiment still generally conforms to our basic regional notions: Kansas City tomato-based, South Carolina mustard-based, North Carolina vinegar- and-pepper-based. But its flavors have expanded to reflect modern food trends in high-end, healthful and ethnic eating.

Barbecue sauce manufacturers boast that their products are gluten-free and contain honey instead of high-fructose corn syrup. They produce boutique batches. They select from a global pantry.

About one-quarter of our contest entries made the first cut. We tested those, and our panel of 11 tasters sampled them on their own and with toast. Afterward, I tried the top-five-ranked sauces on smoked ribs and pulled pork.

First place: Spicy S.C. Mustard Sauce by Zora Margolis. (Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post)

Ingredients were limited to 10 per recipe, yet they covered the gamut: grape jelly, bourbon, caraway seeds, sauerkraut, smoked beer, mango chutney, Liquid Smoke, tarragon vinegar, fresh oregano, guava paste, curry powder and rhubarb, among many others. Some contestants were particular about their tablespoons of hot sauce: “Louisiana-style, but not Tabasco.”

Some sauces were old family recipes, others developed through careful trial over time. What particularly appealed to me was their handcrafted nature. Choosing the top three was a fun challenge.

I loved the complexity of District native Christopher Gresham’s very thick sauce, which placed third. He smokes tomatoes and green bell peppers, roasts garlic, then purees those with other ingredients and cooks them for an hour. I particularly admired the fastidiousness of his adding rendered bacon fat a quarter-teaspoon at a time.

“I wanted to make everything from scratch,” says Gresham, who, single at 24, has either boundless patience or a lot of time on his hands. He learned to grill from his father, who even smokes the dressing for his Thanksgiving turkey.

Second place went to Keith Williams, 54, of Hollywood, Md., whose beautifully balanced version of a standard ketchup-based sauce is zippy with cayenne while sweet — but not cloying — with brown sugar. The kicker is the lemon zest, which adds a refreshing twist. Every time I thought I was finished “testing,” I pulled another piece of rib or shoulder and slid it through the bowl of sauce.

Married and a father of six, Williams grills and smokes on a Weber (“charcoal, no gas, with wood chips”) that his kids gave him for his birthday 10 years ago.

“I just mess around in the kitchen,” he says. “When I get aggravated, I like to get into the kitchen and mess around. It relaxes me.”

And the winner is: Zora Margolis of the District, with her version of a mustard-based sauce jazzed up with ancho chili powder and lime. (Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post)

District resident Zora Margolis, 63, took first place with her simple but ever-so-marvelously tweaked version of a mustard-based sauce. Maybe it was the ancho chili powder or the fresh lime juice or the “few squirts” of Sriracha, but what she calls her Spicy S.C. Mustard Sauce yields just the right combination of savory purr and tangy attitude.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Margolis started cooking when she left home at 18 to become an actor. In the 1970s, she worked briefly in restaurants, then moved back to Los Angeles to continue her pursuit of acting. She took a cooking class from a little-known chef named Wolfgang Puck and a Beverly Hills pastry-shop owner named Michel Richard. “I still have the recipes from that class,” she says.

Margolis is married to bird artist Jonathan Adlerfer, who works at the National Geographic Society as an author and editor of bird books. The couple, who will celebrate their 40th anniversary next month, have a daughter who attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Margolis is a self-taught grill master. “I graduated not long ago,” she says, “from a series of Weber kettles to a Hasty-Bake.” She appreciates the versatility of the high-end smoking/grilling rig, revealing a depth of knowledge about brining, seasoning and cooking chicken, pork shoulder and ribs.

“I barbecue year-round,” says Margolis. “I do slow-smoking and hot grilling.”

That love and understanding of the smoking arts no doubt helped her develop her winning sauce. With its multicultural blend of white-bread American (prepared mustard), Southwest flavoring (ancho chili pepper) and Far East (Sriracha), it’s not your grandfather’s barbecue sauce. It is a thoroughly modern version of a classic.

All three winners will receive a collection of Pork Barrel BBQ and Rocklands Barbeque sauces, a copy of “Paul Kirk’s Championship Barbecue Sauces” and two tickets to Washington’s Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle, June 25-26. The first- and second-place winners get a behind-the-scenes tour of Rocklands, Pork Barrel and Hill Country Barbecue Market with me.

In addition to those prizes, Margolis will receive a trophy at the Safeway Barbecue Battle, where her sauce will be entered in the national competition and she will serve as an honorary judge. Come out and cheer her on.

Canning Tomatoes by the pound! Spicy BBQ sauce

Writing this post gives me a sense of satisfaction after tackling 109lbs of tomatoes and realizing how much fun I actually had doing it. I had planned on doing just two recipes Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce and Bloody Mary Mix, but the Big Ball Book and still staring at about 24 lbs of these beautiful tomatoes put me in the mood to adapt a BBQ sauce and an Italian Herbed Tomato Sauce which I will post next.

The sweet and spicy of the brown sugar and jalapenos leave a really lingering flavor with eat bite. I think it’s one of the better sauces to use for the purpose of basting. Note: the more you cook down the sauce which is true of all of these tomato base sauces the thicker they will get. Enjoy!

You will get the most flavor penetration if you marinade your chicken overnight. Be sure to keep it in the refrigerator, covered. A ziplock bag works great for this.

However, if you simply do not have the to marinate your chicken for that long, you will still get very good flavor if you marinate for only 1 hour. 30 minutes can work if you chop up the chicken into very small pieces.

Longer is better if you can afford the time. It really is an easy chicken marinade. I prefer 24 hours.

Ingredients Needed to Make Spicy Plum Chutney

  • purple plums (3 pounds)
  • Fuji apples
  • dried figs
  • minced onion
  • minced garlic
  • apple cider vinegar
  • granulated sugar
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • cardamon
  • cloves
  • red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt

Instructions for Making This Recipe

First, gather the ingredients. Then prepare them for the recipe. Cut the plums in half and remove the seeds. Core, peel, and dice the apples. Chop the figs into small pieces. Mince the onion and garlic.

In a large saucepan, combine the cider vinegar and sugars. Bring to a boil over a medium-high heat.

Add the prepared plums, apples, figs, onion, garlic, and spices. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook on a low heat for 1 1/2 &ndash 2 hours until the sauce has thickened and the fruits have broken down into the sauce. Be sure to stir this sauce frequently to prevent burning.

Remove from heat and allow to set for 10 minutes before pouring into hot sterilized jars and seal with canning lids, making sure to follow canning instructions for a water bath.

I turned the jars over and allowed them to set for 8-10 minutes before turning them upright. This type of sealing works for short term storage. If you plan to store the chutney for more than a couple months, I recommend the water bath approach.

Spicy Peach Barbecue Sauce on Freshly Preserved Ideas

Friends, it’s a bittersweet moment. It’s time to share the final recipe I made as part of my summer partnership with Ball Canning. Our goal was to spread the word about the many pleasures of home canning and I do think we managed to do it deliciously.

Today’s recipe is for Spicy Peach Barbecue Sauce and you’ll find the recipe over on Freshly Preserving Ideas, Ball Canning’s snazzy Tumblr. Now, I realize that peach season is over in many parts of the world and is rapidly hurtling to a close in other regions.

If you can still get peaches, you should make this sauce. If fresh peaches are but a memory, it will also work nicely with frozen peaches. Just make sure to start the cooking process with the frozen fruit, rather than letting them defrost first.

Disclosure: I am a paid ambassador for Ball Canning. They compensated me for the development of this recipe!

Spicy Chutney Barbecue Sauce - Recipes


  • 1 ½ cups high-quality bbq sauce
  • 2⅓ cup apple cider vinegar, divided, plus additional for marinade, to taste
  • ½ cup (lightly packed) coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and stems, plus additional, for serving
  • ¼ cup (lightly packed) coarsely chopped dill, plus additional, for serving
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 kalbi beef short ribs, 2 ½ to 3 lb.

Shishito Pepper Chutney

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 8 oz. shishito peppers, stemmed and cut crosswise into ¾-inch pieces
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and chopped
  • ½ jalapeño, pepper, thinly sliced, plus additional, finely chopped, if desired
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Vegetable oil, for oiling grill grates


In a large bowl, combine barbecue sauce, ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar, cilantro, and dill. Mix to combine, and taste. Season with red pepper flakes and more apple cider vinegar, if desired. Marinade should taste bright and spicy.

Place ribs in a large baking dish. Pour marinade on top and turn to coat all pieces. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator. Alternatively, marinate ribs in sauce in a large resealable plastic bag.

Let marinate at least 1 hour and up to 2 days in advance.

Meanwhile, make the chutney. In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm olive oil until shimmering. Add shishitos, onions, and jalapeño, season generously with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to turn golden on the edges and peppers are softened, about 8-10 minutes. Add remaining 2 cups vinegar and sugar, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to maintain a brisk simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chutney is reduced and jam-like, about 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt, and if desired, add additional minced jalapeño for more heat. Remove from heat and season to taste with additional salt. Let cool.


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