Sauce Week Recap

Well hey there: did you have a good Sauce Week? I’d say it was a big success but then again maybe I’m biased. Here’s a recap of all the posts that made up our week:

Rib-Eye Steak with Sauce Béarnaise
Espagnole Sauce: My Culinary Everest by Diana Fithian
Lemon-Caper Beurre Blanc Sauce (Or: Don’t Tell Your Doctor) by Steve Johnson
Gina DePalma’s Fonduta by Gina DePalma
What’s Your Favorite Sauce Recipe?
Pesto Trapanese by Dara Bratt
Pesto By Hand by Alex Dickson
Scallops and Cauliflower with Caper-Raisin Sauce
Trinidad Harvest Hot Sauce by Tim Artz
Making Your Own Hot Sauce Will Change Your Life by Matt Morris
Amanda Cohen’s Grapefruit Beurre Blanc by Amanda Cohen
Peter Dale’s Pecan Muhummara by Peter Dale

That’s all folks! Thanks to everyone who participated and for making this week so very saucy.

Peter Dale’s Pecan Muhummara

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[Our final Sauce Week post comes to us from Chef Peter Dale, of The National in Athens, Georgia. Take it away, Peter!]

I first had this dish in Jordan several years ago, and it was served as a dip with hummus. You can certainly do that, but I like using it as a sauce. It works particularly well with lamb, but would also be great with chicken and a meaty fish like swordfish.

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Amanda Cohen’s Grapefruit Beurre Blanc

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[Dirt Candy’s Amanda Cohen isn’t just one of the best chefs going today, she’s also a fantastic writer. Here’s her take on a sauce you met earlier this week, only with her unique twist. Take it away, Amanda!]

It’s not one of French cuisine’s mother sauces, nor is it a “daughter” sauce, but it is my favorite sauce and it was actually invented by a woman (Clémence Lefeuvre) so that already puts it one up on fussy old Escoffier. It’s beurre blanc (white butter) sauce and it will rock your world.

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Making Your Own Hot Sauce Will Change Your Life

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[My friend, filmmaker Matt Morris, offers up his own take on hot sauce, “an easier one” he points out after reading the post below this. Take it away, Matt!]

I recently moved to the Napa Valley, a land of such abundance that it’s almost impossible to visit a friend without leaving with large sacks of produce, dozens of backyard eggs, and cases of wine in tow.

In order to keep this food from going to waste, you must find ways to preserve, pickle, and can. Most people who regularly cook never think to make their own condiments, which isn’t that difficult and always significantly tastier than store bought. But which condiment stands above them all?

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Trinidad Harvest Hot Sauce

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[When I wrote my cookbook, I had the pleasure of meeting and cooking with Tim Artz, the self-described “Sultan of Scratch” who grows and cooks almost everything that he eats. One of his signature specialties is hot sauce; and here, in this post, he describes his love for the stuff and offers up an original recipe. Take it away, Tim!]

I love hot and spicy foods. I crave bold and lively flavors. Not to say that I don’t care for mild, savory and nuanced flavor, but given a choice, I would opt for hot.

I never experienced any hot foods as a kid growing up. Maybe the hottest thing I ever had was some red pepper flakes sprinkled on a slice of pizza or some cherry peppers on a hoagie. I remember all of my first truly zesty bites: hot mustard on an egg roll in a Chinese restaurant, Indian curry when the first Indian restaurant opened in my home town in Pennsylvania, and the cayenne peppers my dad decided to start growing in his garden while I was a university student.

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Scallops and Cauliflower with Caper-Raisin Sauce

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Not to pat myself on the back too eagerly, but it takes a certain talent to adapt a fancy restaurant dish into something that you’d really want to eat at home. Years ago, when I was lucky enough to eat at Jean-Georges, I ate one of his more famous dishes: a thin sliver of cauliflower balanced on a perfectly seared scallop sitting in a pool of a delightfully exotic caper raisin sauce. That sauce was unforgettable: both sweet and briny and endlessly fascinating. I knew I had to make it for Sauce Week, but I didn’t want to do anything overly fussy with the cauliflower and scallops. What I ended up making is maybe one of the best weeknight dinners I’ve ever made, and the sauce is so easy, you won’t believe your eyes.

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Pesto By Hand

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[One of my oldest friends, Alex Dickson, bravely agreed to tackle one of the hardest Sauce Week challenges: pesto by hand. By hand! Here’s her account of how it all went down. Take it away, Alex!]

The ingredients for a basil pesto sauce are simple but Adam challenged me to do this pesto old school Italian style, so the process was what made me nervous.

Nervous about making pesto? Wow, Alex, that sounds like something that’s really worth getting anxious about. Your life must be challenging. Stop judging me, Reader! I wanted this pesto to be good because I was making it for my parents, and cooking something for my father that he really likes is one of my favorite things.

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Pesto Trapanese

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[My friend Dara Bratt–an award-winning filmmaker and unabashed bon vivant–positively pounced when I mentioned “Sauce Week” and here’s her delightful contribution. Take it away, Dara!]

Recently, I had a girls’ night at a fairly new restaurant in Brooklyn called “Rucola”. The conversation was great, and the food equally impressive, the standout dish being the pasta, which my friend ordered; “Garganelli – Tomatoes – almond pesto, cherry tomatoes, zucchini.”

It was so light that the impact of flavor was shockingly impressive. A pesto with almonds at the core instead of pine nuts?! Cheaper? Healthier? Sold!

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