This is how my life goes. I found this fantastic new steaksauce the calls itself "all purpose". Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce. I got very excited serving it to Gene and telling all my friends. Guess what? It's not new at all. I'd just never seen it before.
I really like this sauce. I admit I've been an A-1 fan since I was a teen but this is like a manly man version of A-1, steaksauce on steroids. I've now run through one bottle on just about every kind of meat I've grilled over the last month from chicken breasts to steak to pork ribs. I like that it's a very well balanced combination of savory smokey undertones with a sweetness that sets off the spicy kick.
The irony of my story is that most of my friends already knew about Country Bob's and a couple even showed me their bottles in their fridge. What? Son of a gun, I can never be the first for anything! But instead of whining about that, or maybe while I'm whining in my head, I'll tell you about a little experiment I performed.
Let me set the stage:
Sometimes I'm forced to entertain myself and in those times of inner inspection, I confess I don't necessarily meditate on world peace or great philosophy, rather I ask myself questions like this "What exactly does "all purpose sauce" mean and if it says that on the bottle why are only types of meat listed on which to serve it? Shouldn't there be some kind of test that officially determines and defines if a sauce is truly "all purpose"?"
Are you with me on this one?
So I thought about it, long and hard, and I says to myself "Self, what's the opposite of STEAK?" Myself answered without hesitation and yelled "Green beans! And....walnuts!" (Myself is kind of magical that way, pulling out those free associations on a dime which either proves my husband's insanity charges against me or my delusions of creativity.)
I thought about it all a little longer in the big scheme of...my life ...and this is what happened next:
I poured a few tablespoons of the sauce into the walnut container and mixed it all around. Next I sprayed the foil covered toaster oven pan with cooking spray and spread the coated walnuts out into a single layer on it. Then I popped it into the toaster oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until the sauce had mostly caramelized onto the nuts and dried. I set them aside to cool.
That night for dinner, I stir fried two big handfuls of fresh green beans in the wok with a little olive oil, just enough to tenderize the beans without ruining their color or mushing them. Salt and pepper was the only seasoning so far. Just before serving, I tossed the beans with a handful of the caramelized walnuts and another couple of teaspoons of the sauce.
I barely got this picture taken before Gene emptied the bowl:
My conclusions to this experiment are twofold:
1) Country Bob's is, in my mind, the very definition of an "all purpose sauce" and now has a permanent slot in my fridge door, and
2) If, my friends, you ever hold out on me again and not tell me about something this yummy, I'll have to hurt you. Or at least whine at you until you wish you were deaf.
By the way, if yourself also thinks like myself and you daily ponder life's big questions like "Who IS Country Bob? Is there a Country Bob? Is Country Bob just a made up name meant to conjure up good feelings from every "Bob" we know in our lives?" I have the answer to that question for you. Look no further. I've always got your back on the big questions.
Voila. THIS is Country Bob. It is his sauce, it is his recipe, and it is his company from right here in the Midwest, specifically Illinois.