Lagniappe: Blueberry x 2
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you will know that LAGNIAPPE means “a little something extra”. On July 11th, I reposted one of my first blogs about blueberries and my Uncle Bill who was a blueberry farmer in Maine. I brought my Dad’s recipe for blueberry muffins to www.12radio.com when I joined my good friend, Kai Greenway, on her show “The Long Road”. In that hour of internet radio, I also shared two other recipes featuring blueberries that were a little less familiar to the listeners than blueberry muffins. The first was a SWEDISH BLUEBERRY SOUP, something that I had first come across about 40 years ago. Basically, it consists of fresh blueberries and the warm spice of cinnamon and cardamom, cooked down and sweetened with maple syrup. It can be served warm, but in the summertime, it is best when chilled and topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkling of your favorite granola. For extra flavor and fruitiness, add some chopped fresh peaches or nectarines. Delicious AND beautiful!
The second recipe we talked about is one that I learned from watching a show on the Food Network called “The Kitchen”. One of the show hosts, Sunny Anderson, prepared SUNNY’S BLUEBERRY BBQ SAUCE. It piqued my curiosity and I just had to try it. I am so glad that I did! This sauce brings all of my favorite tastes to the table—sweet, tangy and spicy! It is great on grilled chicken (especially wings!) and makes for some extra special pork spare ribs as well! Make sure you don’t sauce your meats until the end of cooking time, as the sugar in this BBQ sauce can flare up and burn on the grill. That is something to remember with any BBQ sauce containing sugar. Save a little of the sauce before you start basting so you’ll have some for dipping. It also makes a great hostess gift if you’ve been invited to a backyard barbecue. Keep it in the fridge and it will be good for a couple of weeks. I have to share one fact about this sauce. The original recipe called for 3 Tablespoons of apple cider. I completely misread that as apple cider vinegar. You can use apple cider if you want to prepare the sauce the way Sunny Anderson makes it, but I think the apple cider brings the tang and makes it even better!
There’s your “little something extra”. Enjoy!
SWEDISH BLUEBERRY SOUP
Makes about 4 cups
3 cups fresh (or frozen and thawed) blueberries
3-4 Tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups water
Optional: 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 Tablespoon cold water to thicken
Optional garnishes: Greek yogurt, granola
In a large, non-reactive saucepan, bring the blueberries (rinsed well if fresh), maple syrup, cardamom, cinnamon, lemon juice and water to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat slightly to cook the mixture at a strong simmer. Cook for 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat.
If a smoother consistency is desired, now would be the time to use an immersion blender or a regular blender.
If a thicker soup is desired, stir the optional cornstarch and water slurry into the soup, return the soup to the heat and bring back to a strong simmer, stirring until thickened. Remove from heat.
To serve warm, allow the soup to cool at least 15 minutes. May also be served at room temperature or served chilled.
Garnish with a dollop of Greek yogurt to swirl in and/or a sprinkling of your favorite granola for crunch.
SUNNY’S BLUEBERRY BBQ SAUCE
Makes 2 cups
2 cups (1 pint) fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
3 Tablespoons sambal chili paste
3 Tablespoons ketchup
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped
Kosher salt, to taste if needed
In a saucepot on medium heat, add the blueberries, sambal, ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and tomato. Cook, while mashing berries and tomato with a potato masher or back of a wooden spoon, until everything is broken down and the liquid begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Simmer on low to further reduce if desired. Taste and add salt only if you feel it is needed.
For a smoother texture, puree the sauce with an immersion blender or, once cooled, in a regular blender or food processor. Store in the refrigerator.