Some more, please: Make mine saucy

2011-08-20 21:49

It’s fitting that in the same week that I fervently agreed with a chef acquaintance of mine that gravy’s a no-no, that I should have made four different sauces for dinner.

The chef in question – Eugene Xoxo – is adamant that he is going to save South Africans, and anyone else who cares to listen, from the nutritional hell of MSG-laced flavour in a bottle or packet.

The four sauces in question were all made without any help from MSG or his evil E-number brother.

They all took about 10 minutes to make, proving my activist chef acquaintance’s point that eating better is easy and takes doesn’t take that much time either.

Three of the sauces were taken from a cookbook I have just reviewed – Roast Duck on Sunday. A creamy blue cheese and mayo delight that I smeared all over braaied hamburgers; a roast pork that you cook in wine and sauce up with grapes, cream and booze; and finally a chicken dish that called for a peanutty sauce.

After tinkering with the authors’ recipes shamelessly, I decided to go for it and completely bastardise the peanut sauce, simplify it and take all the credit.

It also dovetailed with my bi-weekly attempts to reduced the number of farting cows on the planet – we eat vegetables only.

Here is the result. I call it Spontaneous Eastern Sauce. Wiggle it for your own palate:
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 to 4 cloves garlic (I err on the side of four or more)
1 teaspoon sesame oil (leave it out if you ain’t got it, but it alters the taste a bit)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon peanut butter
Pinch of salt

Sling it all in a saucepan, heat until the peanut butter’s blended in, taste it and adjust. More sugar if it gives you a sour face, more soy if it’s cloying, and more peanut butter if it lacks that creamy feel.

Pour it over stir-fry vegetables with coconut rice to complete the Eastern flavours effect.

Coconut rice is normal rice, but you sling a generous tablespoon or two of dessicated coconut into the pot while you are boiling it.

Very yummy and non-cookers will think you are very talented!

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