Southern BBQ is great year round, but for some reason I eat it mainly in the warmer months. I can not speak to the recipe for the BBQ sauce or the pork butt, as it is a big secret, but I can say it's a weekend type of dinner to prepare. The side dishes are always my favorite part of these meals. This time I made cucumber salad, baked beans and thankfully found enough ingredients in the kitchen for a mac n cheese.
CUCUMBER SALAD (best made a day ahead)
2 large cucumber, sliced thin
1/4 sweet white onion, sliced thin
equal amounts (1/4 cup):
*optional: a dash of sesame oil
MAC N CHEESE
1 pound elbows or fusili pasta
2 cups shredded cheeses, its best mixed with 2 - 3 kinds (cheddar, gruyere, asiago, gouda, havarti, monteray jack)
1 cup fat-free milk
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
fresh cracked pepper
Preheat oven to 350º
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
In a medium pot or saucepan melt the butter on a low to medium heat.
Add the flour stirring constantly until the flour has formed a thicker consistency and slightly darker in color.
Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly. Continue to mix until the mixture is smooth.
Remove from the heat and add the cheese. Keep stirring until most of the cheese is melted.
Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and toss to combine.
Pour the pasta/cheese mixture into an 8 x 8 casserole dish and bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is slightly browned/crisp and the cheese is bubbling on the edges.
*optional: can top with panko and/or paprika before putting in the oven
1 22 oz can of your favorite baked beans
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp spicy brown mustard
2 tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup
4 slices of un-cooked bacon
Preheat the oven to 350º
Mix beans, ketchup, mustard and brown sugar (or maple syrup) in a medium sized casserole dish. Lay 4 strips of bacon on top (not overlapping each other). Cook until the baked is cooked through, about 25-30minutes.