From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I was asked to make some old-fashioned salads for a party this weekend. The request made me smile. Years ago, potluck suppers and luncheons were more common than they are today. Most women were still at home and operating their households on budgets that would make lesser women weep. That greatly affected the type of food they could bring to these affairs. Salads, particularly macaroni and the ubiquitous three bean, were odds on favorites and you could count on at least several people bringing them to any function you attended. Now, I have nothing against these salads, save for the fact I ate a lot of them as a child and young woman. Having tired of them myself, I assumed the immediate world shared my fatigue and would prefer other salad offerings. The world and I are apparently not in sync with each other. This weekend's request is proof positive that we grow too soon old and too late smart, or at least I have grow too soon old and too late smart. So, macaroni salad it is. I decided to make a version popularized by Cook's Country magazine several years ago. The dressing in this version contains some heat and barbecue sauce has been added to the mayonnaise that binds the salad ingredients together. It is quite nice and the salad works well with hamburgers and plain grilled meats and poultry. It is easy and inexpensive to make and I thought those of you not suffering from macaroni fatigue might like to give it a try. Here's the recipe.
Barbecued Macaroni Salad...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Cook's Country
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1 rib celery, chopped fine
4 scallions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch cayenne pepper
2/3 to 1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
Ground black pepper
1) 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.
2) 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.) Yield: 8 to 10 servings.
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