Gluten-free barbecue usually means low-carb barbecue. But those favorite sides and sauces don’t have to be banished from a gluten-free table. Here are three recipes to enjoy for the Memorial Day barbecue table.
Corn bread is the item I missed the most when I first went gluten-free. Even though the name says “corn,” white flour is usually an essential ingredient. Just leaving it out, or substituting more corn flour disappoints on texture and flavor. With experimentation, I discovered my own flour blend: half sorghum flour and half rice flour for a one-to-one replacement of my grandfather’s white flour version. I melt three tablespoons butter in a cast iron skillet, while preheating the oven (just like Papa did.) Then, I mix 2/3 cup cornmeal with 1/3 gluten-free rice/sorghum flour with a tablespoon of sugar, a pinch of salt, and a tablespoon of baking powder. I blend a cup of milk with one egg, and add that to the dry mix. I pour melted butter into the batter, and then pour the batter back into the skillet. Then, I bake for about 20 minutes in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven.
Did you know most barbecue sauces have flour as a thickener? I have found only two fabulous, high-end commercial sauces that are gluten-free. But, for Memorial Day, I’ll make my own from scratch. I simmer tomato sauce with molasses, dried mustard, chili powder, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. My secret ingredient? Mace. While it’s fallen out of fashion in the last few years in name, it certainly wins in flavor. I put all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer slowly over low heat for several hours. I taste over and over again until I get it just right; I don’t measure precisely. It’s not much of a recipe, but it is so very satisfying to experiment each time.
I don’t keep ice cream in the house year round. Memorial Day begins our family tradition for having ice cream for dessert every night during the summer. I used to lament giving up ice cream sandwiches and other treats. However, I discovered something so simple and easy; it’s another hardly-a-recipe dish on my menu. Even though fresh berries are just coming into season, I serve frozen blueberries over ice cream. The texture is nothing like blueberry flavored ice cream. I don’t know what the magic is about it, other than how my kids’ faces light up. Top with slivered almonds, fresh strawberries, and gluten-free Graham cracker crumbs for an extra-special holiday treat.
Gluten-free Memorial Day doesn’t have to mean dry meat with a salad – or skipping dessert. With these simple recipes, you can enjoy all those special touches that make it a holiday meal. May we never forget why it’s worth making it special.