When I moved to South Carolina, I was surprised to discover that the barbecue there was yellow instead of red. Tangy and sweet, mustard-based barbecue sauce was very popular, but I never sampled the barbecued pork that the natives raved about because I became vegetarian shortly after moving there. Fortunately, the bottled sauce was available in stores, and once I tried it, I developed an instant love for it.
When we moved to Mississippi six years ago, my husband and I thought far enough ahead to bring several bottles of barbecue sauce with us. After all, we’d been importing Louisiana ingredients into South Carolina for years, and we were now prepared to drag South Carolina staples to Mississippi. Unfortunately, our stockpile of mustard sauce eventually ran out and a decent substitute was not to be found anywhere in Mississippi. What to do? It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out that I should just make my own.
So here’s the recipe for the sauce. Be careful as you cook it not to lean over the pot or else you’ll get a snootful of vinegar fumes!
South Carolina Golden Mustard Barbecue Sauce
1/2 cup prepared mustard (I use spicy brown mustard)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp molasses
1-2 tsp turmeric (makes it yellower)
3 tbsp agave nectar or other sweetener
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp celery salt (optional)
1/4 tsp rubbed thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Makes about 1 cup (enough for the tofu recipe below).
Preparation time: 10 minute(s) | Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
Nutrition (per 1/4 cup): 94 calories, 11 calories from fat, 1.4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 624mg sodium, 159.9mg potassium, 19.5g carbohydrates, 1.8g fiber, 14.3g sugar, 1.6g protein, 2.7 points.
To make the Barbecued Tofu and Vegetables pictured above, I combined the sauce with 1 pound of cubed extra-firm tofu, 2 medium zucchini (cubed), 1 medium red onion (cut into wedges), and 1 red bell pepper (cubed). I poured it into a 8 X 11-inch non-metal baking dish (sprayed with non-stick spray) and baked it at 400 F for about 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.
Tofu benefits from a longer cooking time than the vegetables, so another option is to mix half of the sauce with the tofu and bake it alone for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through; then add the vegetables and remaining sauce and cook for 15-20 more minutes. The vegetables will be tender-crisp while the tofu will firm up and absorb more of the sauce.
This family favorite meal is certified as kid-friendly: even the spice-intolerant E. loves this one!
Did you know that mustard and turmeric are good for you? Mustard seeds contain phytonutrients that have been studied for their anti-cancer effects, and turmeric contains a powerful antioxidant that is believed to help people with arthritis, protect against breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer, and do a whole lot more.