Friday, October 13, 2006

Cooking Detour- Sauces

So what do I mean by a cooking detour? You know when you get tired of that same old thing for dinner, cooking using the same old techniques and ingredients, going to the store and buying the same things week after week. Now I admit, I do cook a myriad of varying foods. You don't have to look very far to see my stab at a Shabu Shabu meal or plain old fried wontons. Well I just feel something else is missing.

I looked over a number of recipes this week and discovered that there is one specific addition I rarely make to the foods I cook. Sauces. Where are the sauces? There are so many sauces out there from all over the world. Aioli, peanut, cuban garlic, Asian influenced dipping sauces, escoveitch, sesame ginger, Peruvian green sauce, lemon basil, cheese sauce, salsa, tomato sauce, etc etc etc to name a few.

G gets back from an eleven day deep fishing trip this Saturday. He'll have a heaping load of fish ready for cooking. There are so many ways to cook fish with so many sauces. How does Seared Tuna with Wasabi Butter or a Saffron Sauce or Ginger Aioli sound?

My mission is to cook each meal using a diffferent sauce each time. I'm not committing to a sauce a week or a sauce a month. No, just a different sauce whenever.

My first attempt tonight was a Cuban Garlic Sauce better known as Mojo. The official sauce of Cuba. Mojo is a citrus sauce combining oregano, cumin, garlic, sometimes onions with sour oranges if you can find them or you may substitute with lemon or lime mixed with fresh orange juice. In Los Angeles, we are fortunate to have a very good Cuban Restaurant named Versailles. Their specialty is a marinated half roasted chicken with a crispy skin served laced in this garlicky mojo sauce and covered with sliced onions. I didn't recreate it but did find a sauce remniscent of Versailles.

I had some leftover chicken in the refrigerator that I used this sauce on. Very tasty if I do say so myself. I'll have to tweak the recipe more to get closer to that Versailles flavor.

Cuban Garlic Sauce- Mojo (pronounced Moho not Mojoe)

1/2 cup olive oil
8-10 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
2/3 cups sour orange juice or substitue using 1/3 cup lime juice plus 1/3 cup fresh orange juice. (I'm going to have to play around with this ratio of lime to orange juice or maybe try using lemon juice in place of lime.)
1/3 cup water
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a sauce pan. Add the chopped garlic and onions cooking until a pale golden brown. Stir in the citrus juices and water plus the dry herbs and spices- cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil for 4-5 minutes. Add more salt or pepper to taste.

Remove from heat and let cool. The cilantro can be added at this time. Stir and enjoy. The sauce can be refrigerated and may be kept for several weeks.

Serve over fish, chicken, pork.


maltese parakeet said...

we've probably met before, as we seem to haunt all the same places...surfas, versailles, trader joes! i live less then a mile from versailles. see you there! :)

sylvie1950 said...

No doubt MP. Isn't L.A./Culver City a wonderful place for foodies. How about classes at the New School? I haven't taken one lately but I use to quite often.

Anonymous said...

I got inspired by you and just posted my recipe for the Peruvian green sauce. BTW, I just found a Peruvian Buffet called the Inca Gourmet in Lawndale. All you can eat for $5.99 at lunch. Woo-Hoo!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting...after moving from L.A. I've searched in vain for good Cuban food in the Northeast. I hope this brings back happy Versailles memories!