There are lots of different possible sauces for BBQ – including of course no sauce at all. The popular food and cooking website Serious Eats has a whole section dedicated to educating us about the regional differences in BBQ.
The South Carolina Style sauce I’m using is a traditional mustard-vinegar sauce. The New England Style sauce. . . was named New England Style by me because we don’t have one. I’m declaring it traditional. It’s a sweeter, thicker tomato-based BBQ sauce, most closely related to commercial varieties like Bull’s Eye or Sweet Baby Ray’s. The particular recipe I use is from Judith Jones, found in the L.L. Bean New England Cookbook
Reheating Notes: I’ve kept the BBQ sauce and the chicken separate because you’re best off reheating the chicken in either an oven or a skillet – a microwave will turn the skin texture against you. So, reheat the chicken, then add the BBQ sauce.
Additional Notes: None of these sauces are particularly spicy; hot sauce may be indicated.
The baseball plates are, of course, the Red Sox and the Yankees.
Alert Red Sox fans will see that the sausage here is not in a hot dog roll but rather cooked up sliced, with the peppers and onions. A hot dog roll plus a soft pretzel roll seemed like an imprudent volume of bread. The Dr. Pepper hot sauce is used at the Sausage Connection stand on Yawkey Way. While searching for their hot sauce recipe (I ended up inventing one) I came across this inspiring article from Better Homes and Gardens: 15 Fantastic Works of Hot Dog Perfection. It includes Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce and it will make you crave a hot dog. None of the Fantastic Works, however, are served at Fenway.
Manhattan Clam Chowder is one of many dishes to which New York City lays claim. The list of NYC-claimed dishes is a long one. Just look at the list Wikipedia came up with. The chowder seemed to be the one that paired best with a soft pretzel.
Reheating Notes: The clam chowder only lasts a day or two at peak flavor, so best not to hold onto any for your Friday lunch. The soft pretzel would be delicious warm, but don’t put it in the microwave or it will lose its texture – go for the oven / toaster oven if heating it.
Sides & Desserts:
The vegetarian slow cooked beans are cooked in a vegetable stock that includes cilantro – it’s not the dominant flavor but if you’re someone who truly hates cilantro, keep that in mind.
Note that the homemade Cracker Jack tastes delicious and I’m sharing the recipe here since it seems wrong not to. I’m linking the recipe as posted in the Orangette blog – you have to scroll down to get to the recipe, but the original author receives credit (unlike in other places where I’ve seen this reproduced): “Forever and ever (caramel popcorn)”
New addition: homemade spritzers. The way this work is that you get a 2 oz cup of homemade soda syrup (lemon-rosemary in this case) and a seltzer. . . and then you blend them. The ratio of a full cup to a full can works well; if you like your spritzers more on the seltzer side you can adjust accordingly.