Saturday, June 16, 2012

It's All About The Sauce

Waiting is the hardest part.  I really thought I had a job in the bag last week, but then they turned around and said they had to talk to other candidates.  I had two good leads and one flopped (so it seems) and now if the other flops, I'll be floundering around wondering where to look next.  Very scary.

I'm still cooking though.  This week it's about sauce.  It's about basic foods with some new sauces put on top of them.  It's easy stuff.  No recipe require.

I had a pile of garlic scapes from the farmer's market.  What is it about garlic scapes that foodies need to have them?  There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of things to do with them.  The common one is pesto.  That's almost too common, right?

Well, last week I saw Peter had made a garlic scape pesto that looked totally unlike any other I had seen.  There was sorrel, celery leaves, and fennel fronds.  I had some celery stashed away for stock-making this week, so I considered making a similar pesto sauce.  I had no sorrel and I wasn't about to buy a fennel bulb just for the fronds.  I pureed my garlic scapes (and I had a bunch) with the celery leaves, parsley, and a little salt with lots of olive oil.

This wasn't bad, but it was way too strong.  I had to temper it by cooking with it.  I couldn't eat it raw without worries of constant dragon-breath.

I stuffed it under the skin of a roast chicken and also rubbed some melted butter and more pesto over the outside.

I mixed it into scrambled eggs.

Turkey burgers anyone?  I used my fire-roasted tomato ketchup on top for contrast.

I also made another sauce for a plain pork chop.  I had some peaches that were not terribly ripe and probably not likely to be ripe.  It's not peach season yet and the past two peach seasons have produced some pretty cruddy local peaches anyway.  I needed to incorporate my peaches.

This sauce just has just 5 ingredients.  It's not too sweet.  I could have sweetened it up to make up for the lack of sweetness in the peaches, but decided to leave it a bit savory.

I started by caramelizing one onion.

I added a chunk of butter and 4 sliced peaches to the pan along with the juice and zest of an orange and cooked them until they were softening.

Then I added a generous splash of bourbon and simmered that till everything was mushy, reduced, and sauce like.

 Do I use caramelized onions in my sauces a bit too often?  Yes.  I do.

More interesting sauces are in store for the weekend.  Stay tuned.


Joanne said...

I'm sorry about the job letdown but hopefully there are good things to come! I love garlic scapes but you're right...they are STRONG. You did delicious things with them!

bellini said...

Looks like it has been an exciting week in the kitchen

Sue said...

I want that chicken. And I'm glad when I read this, I already knew the end of the story about the job...That's awesome.