Bourbon, maple syrup team up for killer barbecue
Simply put, bourbon belongs in barbecue sauce.
definition (at least in the U.S.), is distilled from a grain mixture
that must be at least 51 percent corn. And corn is naturally sweet. So
of course bourbon makes a wonderful base for a sweet-and-tangy barbecue
sauce. It lends deep richness and combines wonderfully with so many of
the sweet and bold flavors we associate with a great barbecue sauce.
that was my inspiration for this recipe — to create an amazing
bourbon-based barbecue sauce. But as I researched recipes, I was
disappointed to find that so few bourbon barbecue sauces play up the
bourbon. Most add just 1 / 4cup, or perhaps 1 / 2cup at most. I wanted
more bourbon flavor, so I went with 1 cup.
For sweetness, I used
equal parts maple syrup and brown sugar, both of which have the same
rich caramel notes for which bourbon is known. Add some soy sauce for
saltiness, some cider vinegar for acid and a bit of Frank’s Red Hot
sauce for bite, and we’re off to a great sauce.
This sauce would
be delicious on any grilled meat, particularly chicken or ribs. But I
decided to slather it on shrimp. The briny notes of the shrimp just
bring out the delicious sweetness of the sauce.
MAPLE-BOURBON BARBECUE GRILLED SHRIMP WITH COUSCOUS
Start to finish: 30 minutes (15 minutes active)
2 1 / 2cups water
12 ounces Israeli (large pearl) couscous
1 medium English cucumber, diced
1/2 small red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 pounds extra-jumbo raw shrimp, peeled
1/2 cup maple-bourbon barbecue sauce (see recipe below)
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
a medium saucepan over medium-high, bring the water to a boil. Add the
couscous and 1 teaspoon of salt, stir, then cover and reduce heat to
simmer. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the couscous is plumped and
tender and all of the water is absorbed. When the couscous is done,
transfer to a medium bowl. Set in the refrigerator to cool for about 15
Once the couscous has cooled, add the cucumber, onion,
garlic and cilantro. Toss well, then drizzle with the olive oil and
lemon juice. Toss, season with salt, if needed, then divide between 6
Coat the grill grates with oil or cooking spray, then heat the grill to medium-high.
the shrimp onto bamboo skewers, about 6 to 7 shrimp per skewer. Use a
pastry brush to lightly baste the shrimp with half of the barbecue
sauce. Grill the shrimp for 3 minutes per side, or until just pink and
firm. Set skewers of shrimp over each serving of couscous. Sprinkle each
serving with feta cheese.
Nutrition information per serving: 570
calories; 80 calories from fat (14 percent of total calories); 9 g fat
(3.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 245 mg cholesterol; 69 g
carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 18 g sugar; 41 g protein; 1150 mg sodium.
MAPLE-BOURBON BARBECUE SAUCE
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Makes 1 1 / 2cups
6-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup bourbon
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot sauce
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon mustard powder
a medium saucepan over medium-high, whisk together all ingredients.
Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to just maintain a gentle simmer.
Cook until thickened and reduced by about half, about 20 minutes. Cool
and refrigerate, covered, for up to 2 weeks.
per 2 tablespoons: 160 calories; 5 calories from fat (3 percent of
total calories); 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg
cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 22 g sugar; 1 g protein; 590