Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Barbecue Macaroni Salad

Another friend of mine had a baby recently, and I took them dinner Monday night. I wanted something easy because we were supposed to have our Bible Study group here at 6:30. I had bought a pork loin roast last week and hadn't run it through my Food Saver yet, so I figured I'd throw that in the crockpot for pulled pork sandwiches and kill two birds with one stone. Actually more than two birds since 1) I didn't have to Food Saver the pork, 2) it gave me dinner for my friend, and 3) it gave us a dinner that would be finished on time. I wanted something easy to go with it that I could make ahead of time and would make enough for us and to take to my friend. This macaroni salad recipe was in the Cook's Illustrated I bought on Saturday, and it sounded interesting and worth trying.

BBQ Macaroni Salad
From Cook's Illustrated Summer Grilling

1 lb elbow macaroni
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1 celery rib, chopped fine
4 scallions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
salt & fresh ground pepper

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.).


I was a bit apprehensive about how this would turn out, but it was pretty tasty. I realized when posting this that I used a tablespoon of chili powder instead of a teaspoon, so mine had a bit more kick to it than it normally would have. I kind of liked it that way, though. I'd maybe cut back on it a little if I was taking it somewhere, but I think just a teaspoon might not be quite enough. I used organic whole wheat macaroni for the pasta and a yellow pepper instead of red. I would definitely make this again. It came together really fast and the taste was unique for a macaroni salad.

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