- Associated Press - Thursday, September 20, 2012

A few years ago I created a recipe for a killer barbecue sauce. It was exactly the way I like it — thick, rich, a lot savory, a little sweet and bursting with cumin, smoked paprika and many other delicious seasonings.

Like most homemade barbecue sauces, it’s much better than anything you can buy. And yet I hardly ever make it.

Admittedly, it’s because I am lazy and generally short on time. So I usually just reach for a bottle of whatever brand is handy and make do with that.

Until recently, when I reached into the cabinet and discovered we were out. Worse yet, we didn’t have the ingredients to make my usual recipe.

I did, however, have a jar of Thai red curry paste, a Southeast Asian seasoning. Red curry paste is a delicious mash of red chilies, coriander roots and leaves, shrimp paste, lemon grass, garlic, shallots and galangal (a relative of ginger). It smells both tomatoey and exotically heady with spicy aromas.

That night, all I did was thin it with water until it had a barbecue sauce consistency, then I tossed chicken in it and slapped it on the grill. It was crazy good. The next night, I tried it again. But that time I doctored it a bit, bringing it just a bit closer to traditional barbecue sauce.

I mixed the curry paste with water, peanut butter and lime juice. That’s it. It was incredible, tasting equal parts spicy barbecue sauce and peanut satay. I’ve since used the same sauce on beef, chicken and turkey. It even would be good mixed into ground beef or turkey.

THAI PEANUT BARBECUE TURKEY CUTLET BURGERS

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 6

½ cup mayonnaise

1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce, to taste

Zest and juice of 1 lime

12-ounce package shredded broccoli slaw mixture

Salt and ground black pepper

2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste

1 cup smooth peanut butter

1½ pounds turkey tenderloin

6 hamburger buns or other sandwich rolls

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, hot sauce and lime zest (reserve the juice). Add the broccoli slaw and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the curry paste, peanut butter and lime juice. Mix in just enough water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve a barbecue-sauce consistency. Set aside.

Cut the turkey tenderloin crosswise to form 6 round cutlets. Add the cutlets to the curry-paste mixture, turning to coat well. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the grill to medium and then set the cutlets on the grill and cook for 6 minutes per side, or until they reach 165 degrees at the center. Place each cutlet on a bun, then top with some of the broccoli slaw.