Easy Homemade Chipotle Mayo

Homemade Chipotle Mayo

People tend to think homemade mayonnaise is difficult to make. Well it’s not. Here’s my basic recipe for a simple chipotle mayo (just skip the chipotle to make it regular mayo…)

This mayo is great on sliders or in my Spicy Bacon Potato Salad.

Time: 10 minutes
Skill level: Easy

You’re going to need:
2 Egg yolks
1 tsp water
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup of oil (canola, rapeseed, corn oil. no extra virgin, it overpowers everything else)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp clear vinegar
Salt and pepper
Your favorite Chipotle hot sauce (I like Tabasco or Cholula brands)

How you do it:

  • Put egg yolks, mustard, 1tsp water and 1 tbsp lemon juice in blender. Mix with 4-5 pulses
  • Pour the oil in while mizing continuously in a steady, thin stream. It should take you >2-3 minutes to pour in the cup of oil
  • Once the oil is incorporated and the mayo is thick and creamy (emulsified!), whisk in as much as you like of your favorite Chipotle hot sauce. If you don’t like Chipotle (you’re in the wrong place) you can always use freshly minced garlic or some fresh herbs instead for your flavoured mayo.

Homemade burger, hot dog and slider buns

Slider buns just out of the oven

Inspired by Norwegian-American BBQ chef Craig Whitson and his book “Far
lukter svidd” (Daddy smells burnt), I started making my own hot dog, burger and slider buns many years ago. This is basically his recipe, and it’s pretty straight-forward. I also use these for any BBQ-based sandwiches (pulled pork for instance).

Be warned though – once you try homemade buns like these, you’re NEVER going back to storebought… I usually make a large batch (2-3x this recipe), put them straight in the freezer, they only need 1-2 hours to defrost and taste great. This recipe makes about 60 slider buns, 25 large hot dog buns or 19 burger buns.

Time: 2-3 hours (mostly waiting though)
Skill Level: Easy

You’re going to need:
1 kilo (2.2 pounds) wheat flour (about 1,4 liters worth if you don’t have a scale)
2 packets of dry yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2,5 dl (8,5 oz) milk
2,5 dl (8,5 oz) water
2 eggs
4 tbsp rapeseed or similar oil
1 egg white and 2 tbsp milk for brushing
Sesame seeds (or other seeds if you prefer) for sprinkling

How you do it:
Put all the dry ingredients in your mixer bowl and whisk them a little. Put milk and water in a microwaveable (!) container, and heat to about body temp (for once I avoided the temp conversion from C to F!). Whisk the two eggs and rapeseed oil thoroughly into the milk/water mixture. Pour water mixture slowly into dry stuff while mixing continuously at low speed. Once the dough starts forming, crank it up, and knead it for 5-10 minutes by machine. You’re all set, leave the dough covered to rise for about 45-60 minutes until it has doubled in size.

Now, knead the dough a little by hand to get the large air bubbles out and the small ones evenly distributed. Once that’s done, you can start making your buns. I like to use a scale, so I can get them all the same size. I use 30 grams for slider buns, 75 for large hot dog buns, and 100 grams for large burger buns.

Turn your oven to 200 degrees centigrade (390F). Roll out the buns, and then squeeze them pretty flat, about 1,5cm (half inch) thick. They rise quite a lot. Cover the trays of buns with kitchen towels, and leave to rise to double size, again about 45 minutes. Brush them with egg wash (milk+egg white), then sprinkle seeds on top. Bake them in the middle of the oven for 10-14 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack immediately to let them cool, before eating them or bagging and freezing them. Enjoy!

Spicy Fennel Ketchup aka Ketchup for grownups

Homemade spicy fennel ketchup

I like experimenting with making ketchups. The regular Heinz ketchup is of course aclassic that will live forever, but sometimes it’s good to have a ketchup with more taste to it, especially for spicy sausages and on burgers. In this one, a spicy fennel taste is what I’m going for. This recipe makes about 2 jars of delicious homemade ketchup.

Time: 60 minutes
Skill Level: Easy

You’re going to need:
8 smoked, roasted chillies
2 cans of chopped tomatoes (If you live in a part of the world with GREAT tomatoes, you can use fresh ones instead. Lucky you!)
0,5 cup tomato paste
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
6 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup of brown sugar (I use the sticky kind)
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp freshly ground fennel seed
1 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp ground pepper
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp maldon salt
2 tbsp ground chili flakes

Fennel seeds

Put your smoked and roasted chillies with rapeseed oil in a blender, and blend to a fine paste. Combine with everything else in a saucepan, and bring slowly to a boil. Let it simmer for 45 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. Blend in batches until desired smoothness is achieved. Let it cool to room temperature before putting in containers and storing in the fridge. Sterilize your equipment and jars, seal them properly, and this kind of sauce will stay good for many months in your fridge.

Quick tip: String’em up!

Here’s a great tip for smoking or roasting small pieces of vegetables or any other small things. Get some steel string from your local hardware store, and just string them up, like so. This worked great when smoking a bunch of chillies for my homemade ketchup.

Chillies stringed up on steel string

Rocket Fuelled Bull BBQ Sauce

I make my own BBQ sauces. It’s fun, it’s a lot cheaper than buying them (at least here in Norway), and it means you can tailor the sauce to your particular tastes. I think it’s good to make as much as possible of my food from the ground up, because then I know what’s in it. Call me paranoid, but I don’t always trust the food industry to make the healthiest choices on my behalf… Also, it’s not a very difficult thing to cook. This is a sweet, tangy sauce with quite the kick to it. Which is just what I like for any BBQ beef dish.

Chillies stringed up on steel string and smoking on the BBQ

Time: 60 minutes
Skill Level: Easy

You’re going to need:
1/2 yellow onion
8 whole fresh chillies (I use some medium to mild ones)
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
0,5 cups of good bourbon
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp paprika powder (preferably the Spanish, spicy variety)
2 tbsp freshly ground pepper
1,5 cups of brown sugar
2 tbsp of liquid smoke (not necessary if you smoke the onion and chillies)

Ideally, I like to smoke and roast the chillies and onion on the grill beforehand, I normally do this while BBQing something else. If you don’t have time for that, just deseed chillies, chop onion, saute in the rapeseed oil, and then put in a blender to make a smooth paste. Combine the paste and the rest of all the ingredients in a saucepan. Whisk once in a while and let it simmer for 30-45 minutes until desired consistency is achieved. Let it cool to room temperature before putting in containers and storing in the fridge. Sterilize your equipment and jars, seal them properly, and this kind of sauce will stay good for many months in your fridge.

The finished sauce. I still draw at a kindergarten level, I know. Thanks.

BBQ Gallery – I

Just some pictures from today’s BBQ-related cooking here at BBQviking’s house…

Whole, smokegrilled trout

There’s nothing that spells summer to me like grilling a whole salmon or trout. Grilling it whole also makes it juicier and more forgiving in terms of temperature. One small note on this, I see a lot of people “grilling” whole fish completely wrapped in aluminium foil. Now I don’t mean to be a BBQ snob, but I am, so here goes. When you do that, you’re basically steaming the fish, not grilling it. There’s also no way for smoke and other flavours of the grill to get into the fish. So, you might as well go inside and steam it in your kitchen, much easier. There.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s look at a good way of getting that delicious smokegrilled flavour on a big piece of whole fish. Trout or salmon can be used here, that’s up to you.

Total time: 2-3 hours
Skill level: Easy/intermediate
Grilling method: Indirect, two-zoned (some coals on each side, none in the middle)
Grill temperature: About 175 degrees centigrade (350F)

You’re going to need:
A medium-large whole trout (or salmon)
2 lemons
Some butter
Fresh dill
A clove of garlic
Salt and pepper
Oak wood chips (alternatively alder or fruit wood)
(Optional) A long fish basket for large fish
If no fish basket, some cardboard and heavy-duty aluminium foil

Serving suggestions:
Mustard-dill sauce
New potatoes (boiled or baked on the grill)
Butter-steamed spring cabbage
Grilled spring onions

How you do it:

  • Get the grill started as instructed above
  • Clean the fish if it hasn’t been done for you. Remove the head, tail, use kitchen shears to cut off any fins. Rinse it off in ice-cold water and dry with paper towels
  • Cut some diagonal slashes on both side of the fish, quite deep. We do this to allow the smoke and flavours to penetrate the meat properly when grilling.
  • Put thinly sliced lemon and some dill sprigs in each slash
  • Season the inside of the fish with salt and pepper, put some more lemon slices and dill sprigs in there too
  • Make a herb butter by melting a cup of butter, then chucking in a minced garlic clove and a handful or two of chopped dill. I also put some pepper in there, but that’s optional
  • If you  have a fish basket, good. If not,cut out two pieces of cardboard slightly larger than your fish. Wrap them in two layers of heavy-duty aluminium foil
  • Brush one of your new cardboard “planks” with butter
  • Brush the fish on both sides with herb butter and put it in your fish basket or on your cardboard plank
  • Put some water-soaked smoke wood chips on the coals. I like to get a good smoke level started before I put on meat or fish, because raw meat seems to take up smoke flavour more readily. This goes for all meats. Always get the smoke going good first, then put the food in.
  • Once the smoke gets going, put the fish in the middle of the grill, on its plank/basket
  • Baste the fish with herb butter every ten minutes
  • When the fish has been on the grill for 30-40 minutes, depending on size and temperature, it’s time to flip it. If you have a fish basket, that’s easy. If you have cardboard planks, butter up the second plank, and use your grilling gloves to flip the fish over on plank #2. It can be a bit tricky, so be careful
  • Grill the fish another 30-40 minutes until ready. If you have a Thermapen or other instant-read thermometer, look for the fish to be 55 degrees centigrade (about 130F). If you don’t have an instant read thermometer, make a small incision on the widest section of the fish near the backbone. The meat should be pale pink and opaque, not translucent and pink/orange.
  • Serve!

Simple mustard-dill sauce

Here in Scandinavia, trout and salmon is very often served with dill and mustard. So why not make a sauce of it? This goes well with any salmon or trout dish.

Time: 10 minutes
Skill level: Easy

You’re going to need:
1.5 cups of mayo (homemade is best of course!)
0.75 cup sour cream
0.5 cup of dijon mustard, honey mustard or sweet Swedish mustard, depending on what your preference is
Handful of chopped fresh dill
Some lemon juice
Salt and pepper

How you do it:

  • Put everything except lemon juice and salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk it all together
  • Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper
  • Serve!

Did I mention this sauce goes well with for instance smokegrilled trout

Butter-steamed spring cabbage

Spring cabbage is one of the tastiest vegetables out there. It goes well with grilled fish, especially salmon or trout. In Norway we call it summer cabbage, because that’s when you can get it here. This is the easiest and best way to prepare it if you ask me, and it’s super fast.

Time: 10 minutes
Skill level: Easy
Grilling method: Steaming over direct heat
Grill temperature: Doesn’t really matter

You’re going to need:
A head of spring cabbage
4 tablespoons of butter
Salt and pepper
Aluminium foil

How you do it:

  • Slice the cabbage in longish strips about a half-inch wide
  • Make a big sheet of aluminium foil, put 4 tablespoons of butter on it
  • Put the cabbage on top of the butter
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Make it into a bowl shape, that you half close on top
  • Put it over direct heat on the grill, and let the butter steam the cabbage for about 5-10 minutes depending on heat level
  • Serve!

This goes well with for instance a whole grilled trout or smokegrilled mackerel

Which smoke wood to use when?

I get a lot of questions on which smoke wood to use for which foods. Here are some suggestions. Like anything else to do with BBQ, this is no exact science. And remember, what kind of rub or sauce you use and the spice level should also be part of the consideration.

Pork – Pork works well with lots of different smoke woods. I like to use almost anything for pork. I use mesquite a lot for pork, and I use apple (real good for ribs), cherry and pecan wood. Sometimes when I really want smoke taste on pork butts, I use hickory as well. Want something light? Try Alder.

Beef – Beef=hickory in my mind. Sometimes I’ll mix 50/50 hickory and mesquite. Oak is also good, the Jack Daniel’s oak wood chips are great for steaks for instance.

Poultry – For poultry I would normally pick something lighter, like cherry or apple. Sometimes I use mesquite, it can be real tasty with duck, which has a stronger, more gamey taste than chickens

Fish – Oak or alder is very popular for smoking fish. Here in Norway the juniper bush is sometimes used, but I find the taste too owerpowering.

Vegetables – Since they’re not the stars of the show, my vegetables usually get smoked with whatever I’m using for the meat. Hickory and mesquite is great for baked potatoes and ears of corn (prick the potatoes with a fork first).

Lastly, experiment. A lot. It’s the only way to learn what’s best for your tastes. There’s also other ways to make smoke, rosemary smoke from fresh rosemary for lamb for instance. Vines of various kinds can also be used. But don’t use fresh wood, it needs to be dried. Nothing green should go on the grill as smoke wood.