I'm putting in a local (Atlanta) plug for the cooking class at DBA Barbecue, via Living Social. And cooking classes in general, really - delectable nibbles, cocktails, AND recipes. What's not to plug?
Early in our courtship Sweetie and I took a few cooking classes together at Cook's Warehouse. Totally fun and we got to try things we never would have otherwise. Did you know that if you make fava beans, it's imperative to invite a half-dozen friends over to shell/peel the damn things before cooking? We learned that from an instructor who made sure he had half a dozen students around (paying, no less) to prep the fava beans. We also learned fancy words like "concasse." This is very different from the term "concuss", which I use a lot every day career-wise.
This being Sweetie's busy time of year - when he is a blur that streaks into the house and right back out with a freshly-charged camera battery - I went to the DBA class with a friend. We both loved the idea of BBQ sauce-making and we each raised an eyebrow at the idea of moonshine-tasting. I will say that the lemonade with blueberry moonshine was FABULOUS, but the rest of them I didn't taste. Driving and all. Low tolerance for straight liquor and all. I have my limits.
My barbecue sauce is a tangy, not-too-sweet tomato-based sauce. To the best of my recollection I used ketchup, molasses, vinegar, mustard powder, black pepper (quite a lot of it), chili powder, and Worcestershire sauce. It was formulated using the classic dump-and-taste method. I named mine "This Little Piggy." My friend, a straightforward sort, named hers "Honey Mustard."
Note: the big takeaway from class was that liquid smoke must be used VEEEERRRRYYYY sparingly. Like with an eyedropper. They didn't even put it out for fear that people might go nutty with a quarter-tablespoon.
A few weeks ago I made an astoundingly pitiful effort at making smoked pork. I announced to Sweetie this afternoon that I was trying again. He promptly "remembered" a meeting across town and left.
Well, who's sorry NOW? My smoked chicken and pork ROCKS. And he's in the RAIN on the dangerous ROADS (I'm actually pretty uncomfortable with this and contemplating calling my Mom to ask her to speak soothingly to me because I don't want to call and distract him while he's driving...). I'll post the info & pictures when I do this again and write down info and take pictures. My tangy, not-sweet sauce ROCKS. I seriously could not be happier with this deliciousness.
Happy 4th of July and God bless America!