Roasted Red Pepper and Maple Barbecue Sauce

Roasted red peppers and maple syrup combine in a sweet and spicy sauce with a hint of smoke that complements shrimp, chicken and pork. It’s a great party dip, with just the right amount clinging to each morsel. And since you can make it in less than 15 minutes, it’s also an easy way to add lots of flavor to a week night meal like poached chicken or pork chops.

The original recipe called for chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, but since that’s full of ingredients that aren’t on the approved list for fructose malabsorbers, I substituted smoked paprika and crushed red pepper flakes. The new version tastes almost identical to the older one.

In case any of you are wondering why I haven’t posted in over a week, I’m switching to a new schedule because I live in Alaska and we’re heading into the dark part of the year. When I started this blog last spring, there was lots of light to take photos no matter what time I got home from work, but with shorter days and daylight savings time coming to an end tonight, it’s getting harder. We got a snowfall that stuck this week, so winter is here at last and there won’t be enough light left for photos by the time I finish cooking dinner on weeknights. That means I’ll be taking pictures of my weekend lunches for the next couple of months and mostly likely only posting once a week.

Roasted Red Pepper and Maple Barbecue Sauce

Makes 3/4 cup (180 ml), adapted from Gourmet Magazine

3/4 cup (180 ml) or 6 ounces (168 grams), roasted red peppers, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup (80 ml) real maple syrup
1 tablespoon (5 ml) rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt
1/8 teaspoon (.6 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour contents into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the sauce is reduced to 3/4 cup (180 ml), about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature and serve with shrimp, chicken or pork.

17 thoughts on “Roasted Red Pepper and Maple Barbecue Sauce

      • Me too! So many dinner plans have changed at the last minute because I was flipping through a food magazine and fell in love with a photo.

      • I do weekly menus and keep the notebooks with comments about each dish, so I can tell you exactly what we had for dinner almost every night for the last 15 years. But I also think spontaneity has a place, especially on the weekends when I have lots more time to be creative and play in the kitchen.

      • My God, you’re some chef you – even the comments – amazing – I have only myself to cook for most days. Of course is there a place for spontaneity in a kitchen. Been a chef for over 35 years

      • I never thought about chefs keeping notes- it’s just something I started after I took chemistry and realized the value of a lab notebook. Plus, after I had kids, it helped to keep track of who liked what, and it made it easier to recreate things.

  1. That looks sooo much better than the bottled cocktail sauce I serve with shrimp cocktails! May I ask, do you buy your paprika smoked or smoke it yourself? I’ve never seen smoked paprika in our local markets (I live in Alabama). Thanks for the recipe!

    • I’ve seen it at the local market, but I buy it at Costco because it’s a lot cheaper. I love Costco- they seem to know just what I want to buy.

  2. And I was complaining ’cause we just switched to the “DayLight Savings Time – Fall Back” nonsense and it is now dark at 5:00PM….I can’t imagine it being so dark all the time!!

    • It is such nonsense, especially in a place like Alaska! The state actually falls into 4 time zones, but the whole state, except for a small part of the Aleutian Islands, uses one time zone. They say it’s so that the business community can coordinate with the east coast banks. So add that to Daylight Savings time and no matter the time of the year, the position of the sun has almost nothing to do with the time of day.

  3. Not sure if you realised, but maple syrup is 60% fructose (more than regular sugar, which is 50%)!

    • Hi Maryanne,
      I’m sorry it took me so long to get back to you- I didn’t get home until after 10:30 p.m. last night and I had to finish a project today before I could blog. Anyway, according to the USDA, 100 grams of maple syrup contains 59.1 grams of sucrose (equaling 29.55 grams of fructose and 29.55 grams of glucose), 2.3 grams of glucose, and .9 grams of fructose. That means there is a total of 30.45 grams of fructose and 31.85 grams of glucose in 100 grams of syrup. Therefore, there is more glucose than fructose in maple syrup, making it acceptable for the Low FODMAP diet.

      Researchers from the University of Vermont profiled the different grades of maple syrup and discovered that the higher the grade of syrup, the greater the amount of glucose. See: “SUGAR PROFILES OF MAPLE SYRUP GRADES”, by Abby van den Berg, Timothy Perkins and Mark Isselhardt,Proctor Maple Research Center, The University of Vermont, Underhill Ctr., VT 05490

      In addition, two of the researchers who developed the diet, Dr.s Sue Shepherd and Peter Gibson, state that maple syrup is allowed on the Low FODMAP diet. See page 32 of their book, “Food Intolerance Management Plan”.

      I know there’s a lot of misinformation on the internet, so it’s hard to keep some of this straight. Another point to consider is that fructose malabsorbers have to keep track of the total amount of problem sugars ingested in a given day, as this is a load dependent condition. As Patsy Catsos, a dietician who specializes in IBS and fructose malabsorption, points out in her book, “IBS-Free at Last! Second Edition. Change Your Carbs, Change Your Life with the FODMAP Elimination Diet”, your tolerance for problem sugars is like a bucket. Once your bucket is full for the day, you’re going to have problems, and anything can push you over the limit. So it’s a good idea to limit problem sugars. However, maple syrup isn’t one of them.

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