The 5 Slept-On Sauces Your Summer Cookout Is Missing
Cooking Channel host Roger Mooking has tips on how to spice up your summer
Alongside paper plates, mosquito repellent and a Bluetooth speaker blasting “Old Town Road,” the majority of the checkered-topped cookout tables you’ll see this summer will have bottles of ketchup, mustard and BBQ sauce sitting on top of ’em.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Those condiments, whether you believe they belong on hot dogs or not, are classics for a reason and should be a staple at any summer cookout worth is Kosher salt. But variety is the spice of life, and perhaps there are some additional sauces you should be considering to spice up yours.
To find out what those sauces might be, we consulted with celebrity chef, cookbook author and sauce savant Roger Mooking. Currently the host of grilling and barbecue show Man Fire Food, which airs Wednesday nights on the Cooking Channel, Mooking gave us five sauces to add some variety, and spice, to your summer.
“One of my favorite sauces is Chinese black bean sauce with fermented black beans. Man, that stuff is amazing. It’s big and bold, full of savoriness and huge flavor. It’s not shy. So if you’re not afraid of bold flavors, that’s a great one for sure. It goes great with any kind of protein and with vegetables of all kinds: broccoli, spinach, cauliflower. It goes with fish, chicken, beef, anything pretty much. It’s really, really good.”
“Alabama white sauce is basically like a white barbecue sauce. It’s got mayo and vinegar and lemon and lots of pepper and it’s like this white dunking sauce. You smoke chicken and stuff and you dunk it in there. I learned about from Big Bob Gibson. It’s a room temperature sauce. You cook the stuff, you dunk it, have a little bit on the side. You see it more prevalent in some parts of the country than others.”
Chipotle Sour Cream
“You take some chipotle peppers, some sour cream and add a little bit of chicken stock and then you let that absorb some. Then, you just warm that through so it comes together, and then you can chill that in the fridge. Let it sit and then pull it out. That’ll be delicious, super flavorful, cool, creamy, smooth and have a good pop of smokiness from the chipotle. That goes great with tacos or serve it on the side with some roasted chicken. It’ll be delicious.”
Charred Vegetable Salsa
“What I like to do with salsas is to char all the vegetables. So on really high heat on the grill or barbecue, or if you have like a wood-fire setup, take some onions, char them up really good, cut them in half and then char them up until they’re blackened. You can take some jalapenos, do the same thing. Take some limes, do the same thing. Take some tomatoes, do the same thing. Take some garlic, do the same thing. Then grind those all up together and squeeze limes into them to kind of sweeten it up. Add that into your base, and you’ll finish it with a little bit of olive oil to bind that all together and season it. It takes a very simple salsa and adds kind of a new layer to it.”
“They use that a lot in the South. It goes on biscuits and can be added to sauces and stuff like that. It has kind of a thin molasses or honey-like type of consistency. You can also try sugar cane nectar. They take sugarcane syrup basically, so it’s like the thickness of maple syrup, but made with just reduced sugarcane. That also is really good.”
Below, you’ll find a recipe for Wok Tossed Hot Wings that Mooking suggests trying if you want an alternative to eating wings topped with standard Buffalo or BBQ sauce. (Recipe by Roger Mooking courtesy of SUNSET®)
2 lbs chicken wings
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp whole dried Pequin peppers
2 Tbsp shallots, chopped
2 C SUNSET® Angel Sweet tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp honey
Reserved drippings from cooking chicken wings
¼ C cilantro, chopped
½ tbsp lime zest
Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Break down each wing into 2 pieces by splitting at the joint using a chef’s knife. Remove and discard wing tips. In a medium bowl, toss wings in olive oil, salt and pepper, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until wings are fully cooked and browned, flipping once halfway through. Set aside.
- In a hot dry wok over medium heat, toss pequin peppers carefully – ensure the whole dried chili stays intact; this step creates the essence of the chili and adds a smokiness to the wok. Add shallots and cook for 1 minute, then add tomatoes and toss until heated through. Toss in wings, then add honey and chicken juices, tossing even more to evenly coat. Add cilantro and lime zest, then season with salt pepper to taste. Toss and serve on a platter with fresh lime wedges to garnish.