Monday, July 2, 2012

Barbecue Pasta Salad


A few weeks ago, we spent a week on St. George Island, Florida with Joey's parents.  We had a wonderful vacation - plenty of time for playing in the waves, reading outside on the porch, walks on the beach, and of course plenty of ice cream was consumed nightly. :)


Whenever we go on vacation with Joey's family, I get to be in charge of the food, and I had a great time planning the week's meals.  This year I only cooked 3 nights, and the other nights we either went out or ate leftovers.  It was a good balance for us - I didn't end up in the kitchen for hours every evening, and we were still able to enjoy some local cuisine, but we still enjoyed home-cooked leisurely meals in our beach house.  What I cooked this year:

Spicy Grilled Shrimp Po' Boys, Cajun-Grilled Corn on the Cob, Watermelon Slices
Pimento Cheeseburgers, BBQ Pasta Salad, Watermelon, Toasted Okra
Grilled Chicken Fajitas, Beans and Rice, Chips, Salsa, and Guacamole
also on the menu but we didn't get around to it - Grouper with Garlic-Shrimp Sauce, Mashed Potatoes, Sautéed Zucchini



The BBQ pasta salad was one of my favorite dishes, and what's even better - I was able to eat the leftovers for lunch throughout the week.  It's a step up from your basic creamy pasta salad.  Barbecue sauce is added, as are some fun spices and flavors - cider vinegar, chili powder, garlic, hot sauce, scallions, and a little honey.  And since I like a lot of "stuff" in my pasta salad, I added chopped onion, fresh corn, grape tomatoes, and shredded cheddar cheese.  If you really want to get crazy you could sprinkle it with crumbled bacon before serving.  It's a fun twist on the traditional, and often boring, pasta salad.  And one that would definitely be well-received at a cookout this week!

BBQ Pasta Salad
adapted from Cook's Illustrated, Summer Grilling 2009
serves 8 to 10

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni, or other pasta shape
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin
  • 2 Tbs cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp hot sauce, plus more for serving
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (light is fine), or any combination of mayo and Greek yogurt to make 1 cup
  • 2/3 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 3 ears of corn, cooked as desired (roasting or grilling is my method of choice), kernels cut off
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups quartered grape tomatoes
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta and cook until almost tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water until cool, then drain briefly, so that the pasta is still moist.  Transfer to a large bowl.

Stir in the onion, scallions, vinegar, hot sauce, chili powder, garlic powered, cayenne, and honey.  Let sit until the flavors are absorbed, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the mayonnaise and barbecue sauce, and sit unitl the salad is no longer watery, about 5 minutes.  Gently stir in the corn, cheese, and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper as needed, and serve.  

Salad can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.  If the salad becomes dry from sitting, stir in a few tablespoons of water or barbecue sauce just before serving.


9 comments:

atthepatisserie said...

What a lovely vacation!! I'd love to go there one day too, and eat this pasta salad while I'm at it! MMMMmmm!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

What a unique salad! This sounds awesome!

Kelsey said...

This sounds really wonderful, Josie! I'm so glad you all got to enjoy a nice vacation. As usual, the kiddos are adorable :-)

Amanda R said...

Our family has a home in SGI - it's one of my favorite places on earth! I am going to make this pasta salad for a cookout tomorrow. I already have most of the ingredients! One question - how do I roast the corn? On the cob or kernels cut off? I have never roasted corn before. Thanks!

Amanda R said...

Our family has a home in SGI - it's one of my favorite places on earth! I am going to make this pasta salad for a cookout tomorrow. I already have most of the ingredients! One question - how do I roast the corn? On the cob or kernels cut off? I have never roasted corn before. Thanks!

Joanne said...

This is such a fun twist on pasta salad! It really gets in the summer spirit.

lhk said...

Beautiful pics of your kids and the beach! I'm in Apalachicola/SGI right now :) We have been catching lots of grouper and snapper - i wish you were here to show me some creative ways to cook it! This pasta salad looks like it'd be great with grilled fish. Perfect for summertime-thanks for sharing!

ADELA RAY said...

The beach side and pasta and the Ice cream display through which we cant stop our kids to eat ice cream.
Your baby is so cute
Enjoy your holidays...

Kelllie said...

I just made this pasta salad tonight. I halved it because it's just me and my husband, but it is SO GOOD!! Thanks for the recipe.

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