It’s a brand new year. Like most people, I’m starting 2016 with the whispered mantra “I can do better”. I didn’t write much this month. I rationalized my procrastination by calling it a seasonal hiatus, but in truth I just didn’t think my holiday dishes were cutting edge or artful enough to make public. Instead of polishing up recipes for elegant gingerbread demi glace or cranberry quince relish, I made merry with friends and family, ate too many cookies, whipped up easy mid-week meals, and felt slightly ashamed that my concoctions would never be considered those of a “Sauce Master”. (That title change will forever get under my skin.) In 2016 I can do better, and the place to start is by crawling out of the food blogger’s pit of despair and stop confusing “better” with “more complicated”.
I wrote my book to teach home cooks that the “right” way to make a sauce is your way. Lately my way has been classic, quick, and easy. I didn’t do much elegant cooking for Christmas but I used fresh ingredients, good techniques, and I served dishes with lots of flavor. Why should I ever feel ashamed of that? I made really good 3-minute salad dressings and stir fry sauces. I whipped up a lot of dips and spreads. In 2016 I will try harder to celebrate these simple sauces. While they may not be dazzlers, they are made at home, they make vegetables and healthy foods more inviting, and they don’t come with preservatives or hefty price tags.
Please join me in taking pride in what you make, even the little things, and post your favorite simple concoction in the comments section below.
Cilantro Curry Dressing
I tossed this dressing with roasted cauliflower florets and served it at room temp as part of our Seahawks game day snack table. It would also be great as a chicken salad dressing or on white fish or salmon fillets.
Yield: about ¾ cup
2 tablespoons good curry powder, preferably homemade
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice or unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup avocado oil or light olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 scallions, thinly sliced, use both white and green parts
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne, chile flakes, or a few dashes of Tabasco to taste
Stir together the curry powder, lime juice or vinegar, garlic, ginger, lime zest, and salt. Whisk in the oil. Stir in the cilantro and scallions. Taste and season with additional salt, curry powder, lime juice, or chiles to better match the ingredients you are dressing.
NOTE: Unlike the recipes published in Mastering Sauces, My Spontaneous Sauce Recipes are quickly jotted down and not meticulously tested. Please make adjustments as you see fit.