June 20, 2009

BBQ Macaroni Salad

On a recent trip to Sprout's, Claire and I found the Summer grilling issue of Cook's Illustrated magazine. The places where I usually shop don't carry this publication, so I was tickled pink to find it. Subscription prices are pretty reasonable, so I think I may just start getting it in the mail. I have been dying to try some of the recipes from this current issue; since I am all about grilling lately. This featured side dish sounded very intriguing to me. Not the normal, boring, traditional, macaroni salad that is for sure. Claire recently posted this dish on her blog as well, and they really like this salad's unusual flavor. I hope it goes well with the chicken I have slotted for tonight's dinner. Ahhhh...I love summertime foods!!!

BBQ Macaroni Salad
Adapted from: Cook's Illustrated, Summer Grilling Issue 2009

1/2 lb elbow macaroni (8 oz.)
1/2 of a red bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1/2 celery rib, chopped fine
1/4 of a red onion, diced finely
1 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (I used Frank's)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup your favorite barbecue sauce
salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste

Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and macaroni and cook until nearly tender, about 5 minutes. Drain in colander and rinse with cold water until cool, then drain once more, briefly, so that pasta is still moist; transfer to large bowl. Stir in bell pepper, celery, scallions, vinegar, hot sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper, and let sit until flavors are absorbed, about 2 minutes. Stir in mayonnaise and barbecue sauce and let sit until salad is no longer watery, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

(The salad can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Check seasonings before serving.)

Jen's Notes:
I halved the recipe from the original quantities published. The above ingredients list reflects my changes.

The Result:
I just finished making a batch of this up to go with our dinner tonight, and I snuck a taste or two. It did not disappoint! It's tangy, with just the right amount of BBQ flavor. Overall, this is a great recipe and one that I will make again. (I think I will just post a photo of our whole dinner later tonight.)

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