BBQ Comfort Foods to Enjoy Under Quarantine
It’s April 2020 and let’s face it: we’re all in the same boat. We’ve spent the better part of a month in isolation, with many of us finding time heavy on our hands.
It’s likely that you’ve spent at least some of this time dreaming about your favourite comfort food from your go-to restaurant. However, rather than simply imagining these dishes, you could use some of your new-found time to learn how to make your favourite dishes from the comfort of your home.
In troubling times, it’s important to pursue hobbies that bring you happiness, and we hope these recipes will offer you an extra slice of comfort.
Mac and Cheese BBQ Fatty
Photo and recipe courtesy of Head Country
If you can’t decide whether bacon or macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food, this recipe prevents you from having to choose. By combining sausage, bacon, and macaroni in a woven log format, this dish looks as good as it tastes.
To start, assemble bacon strips into a square, and fold back every other strip of bacon. Create a second square on top that is perpendicular to the bacon strips below. Fold up the strips you already turned up, and fold down the untouched strips. Now you can start creating the weave by setting down a bacon strip across the square and folding the turned down strips. Repeat until you run out of bacon. (Yes, we know this sounds tricky – but trust us, the end product will be well worth it.)
Now it’s time to prepare the filling – but first, preheat your smoker to 225F. Press ground sausage on top of the woven bacon blanket, and add a cup of mac’n’cheese on top, making sure to leave an inch uncovered on the top and bottom. Then roll up the blanket like you would if you were making pigs in a blanket and pinch together the edges along the crease and at both ends to secure the deal.
Set your prepared BBQ fatty on the cooler side of your smoker and cook until the bacon is crispy and the centre of the dish reaches 165F. When your comfort food is complete, let it cool for five minutes before serving.
Chicken Wings with Molasses Barbecue Sauce
Photo and recipe courtesy of delish
What could be better than chicken wings with barbecue sauce? Chicken wings with molasses barbecue sauce. This sweet and savory recipe starts with a marinade of orange and lime juice, sugar, soy sauce, smashed garlic, oregano, peppercorns, cumin, and salt. Combine ingredients in a large saucepan with one quart of water over the stove and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is sufficiently combined, let it cool, transfer it to a bowl, and add the chicken wings. Coat to combine and refrigerate overnight.
When you’re ready to enjoy some comfort food, preheat your BBQ to medium high and remove the chicken wings from the fridge. Pat them dry with paper towels and sprinkle garlic salt, black pepper, and cayenne on top. Set the prepared wings on the grill and cook for around 30 minutes, turning frequently.
While your wings are grilling, you can prepare the molasses sauce by combining ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, apricot preserves, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, garlic hot sauce, and half a cup of water in a saucepan, along with the following spices: chili powder, black pepper, cloves, allspice, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring well. Let cool and serve with your wings.
Sweet Ginger Ribs
Photo and Recipe Courtesy of Taste of Home
If you’re looking for comfort food that will feed the whole family, there’s no better dish to make than a perfectly grilled rack of ribs. (If it’s just you under quarantine, you can still enjoy this rib recipe – it just means that you’ll have more to eat the next day.)
The secret to the delectable ginger ribs pictured above is a sweet and sour marinade. Mix together soy sauce, red wine vinegar, ketchup, peach preserves, ginger, mustard brown sugar, garlic, red pepper flakes, and ground pepper to make it. Then take two large resealable bags and divide ribs and marinade into each of them, making sure to reserve one cup of marinade for basting.
Prepare your grill for indirect medium heat. Remove ribs from marinade and grill for one and a half to two hours until tender. Baste with marinade during the last half hour. Voila!
Pulled Pork Barbecue Sandwich
Photo and recipe courtesy of epicurious
Although we aren’t as able to enjoy the relatively warmer temperatures in Canada, we can add some warmth to our lives with this summer BBQ staple. Just enjoy the sweet taste of tender pork, close your eyes, and imagine you’re enjoying a picnic with your friends and family. Close enough, right?
In a small saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Let cool, and in the meantime, use a sharp knife to score the skin of a pork shoulder roast in a crosshatch pattern. Pat meat dry and rub with your favourite spices. Let the meat set at room temperature for one hour.
Next, prepare your BBQ for indirect grilling over low heat. When the coals have reached 300F, set a disposable roasting tray on the bottom rack of the BBQ and fill it halfway with water. Oil the BBQ rack above the roasting pan and set down the pork on top of it. With the lid ajar, grill the pork for between seven to eight hours, basting and turning the meat every half hour. When the meat is fork-tender and reaches 190F, remove it from the grill and bring it into your kitchen.
Preheat your oven to 350F. Set the pork on a cookie sheet and bake it in your oven until crisp, about fifteen to twenty minutes. To finish, shred the pork with two forks, and serve atop hamburger buns with coleslaw and whatever toppings you please.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Simply Recipes
Pizza is the go-to comfort food for many, but it’s not a dish that many people know how to make themselves. But with extra time on your hands, why not change that? Imagine surprising your friends with a homemade BBQ pizza after this period of self-isolation is over – what could be a better way to celebrate the end of a quarantine?
The other benefit of grilled pizza is that it’s not as difficult as it may seem to make. You can use prepared pizza dough and still reap the homemade smoky taste that will come from your BBQ, which more closely mimics a wood fire oven than a conventional gas stove.
Simply roll out the dough on a floured surface into a circular shape and let it sit for five minutes. In the meantime, prepare your toppings. Common ingredients include tomato sauce, herbs, and cheese (mozzarella is your best bet) but since it’s comfort food time, you may want to add some extra savory ingredients like pepperoni, sausage, or even bacon. At this stage in the process, you’ll also want to prepare your grill for high direct heat.
After five minutes have elapsed, oil the grill grates with olive oil and place the dough on the grill. Close the lid and let the dough cook for 2 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the bottom has turned brown and the top has developed air bubbles.
Remove the dough from your BBQ and place it onto a cookie sheet, grilled side up. Brush the dough with olive oil and add your toppings. Next, place the prepared pizza back onto the grill. Close the lid, reduce the heat, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes – or until the cheese begins to bubble. Remove it from the grill and let it cool before serving. Bon appetit!
- Taylor Mitchell