Category Archives: Books

This Week’s Spontaneous Sauce – Spicy Peanut Slaw Dressing

By | Books, Entertaining, Ingredients, Obsessions, People, Sauces, Seasonal | No Comments

The Seahawks ended their season on Sunday so our game day gatherings have come to an end. It was a fine finale. In addition to being an intense playoff match, it was Jeff’s birthday celebration. Of course, I obsessed about the food for far too long. I even asked for suggestions on Facebook. I wanted a special menu that catered to Jeff’s tastes, but was still suitable for eating in front of the big screen. Jeff’s birthday menus are always challenging. By mid-January we are sated with formal feasting and special event fare.  Now that we are doing the football thing, many of our favorite comfort foods have come and gone. It’s not quite time to usher in our Heart-Healthier February tradition. The trouble is that Jeff is a really nice guy who is perfectly happy with almost everything. My suggestions tend to be met with “Sure, that sounds good”. Ugh. “Perfectly happy” isn’t good…

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This Week’s Spontaneous Sauce – Cilantro Curry Dressing

By | Books, Ingredients, Local, Obsessions, Sauces, Seasonal | No Comments

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…

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This Week’s Spontaneous Sauce – Quick Tomato Chile Jam

By | Books, Ingredients, Obsessions, Sauces, Seasonal | No Comments

I’m usually a big fan of frozen fish, but I recently found myself with a bunch of mediocre wild salmon fillets. They didn’t thaw well and had little salmon flavor. In Mastering Sauces, I write about how you need to think creatively and come up with ways to make your food better, rather than settle for something unsatisfying. I decided to follow my own advice and Change the Ratio of Flavorful and Flavorless Components. (Maximize Flavor -Page 38) I spelunked in the fridge for inspiration and decided to make salmon burgers and a good sauce. I chopped the fish and mixed it with a duxelle of sauteed of shallots, garlic, and portabella mushrooms. Then I stirred in lots of freshly blanched, chopped spinach, and some cooked quinoa. I added a couple of eggs to hold it together and seasoned the mix with lots of black pepper and my secret seasoning…

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