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Crudités with Garlic and Anchovy Dressing


“This punchy anchovy-based dressing — similar to the Italian classic bagna cauda — is a year-round favorite of mine and easy to whip up from the sort of ingredients you’re likely to have in your pantry and fridge,” writes Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in “River Cottage Every Day” (Ten Speed Press, $32.50), a cookbook devoted to eating good food prepared from fresh, seasonal ingredients.

“It’s a superb accompaniment to all kinds of vegetables — raw or cooked,” he says. “I love it as a dip for crummy summer crudités, but I also serve it as a dressing for steamed broccoli, cauliflower and kale. it will keep happily in a jar in the fridge for at least a couple of weeks. It will probably separate, but can be re-emulsified by shaking or whisking.”

It would never last in my refrigerator long enough to separate.

Crudités with Garlic and Anchovy Dressing

Dressing:
2 anchovy fillets, drained
2/3 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
Leaves from a sprig of thyme
A few fresh basil leaves (optional)
1/2 small red chile or a pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Dijon or English mustard
2 teaspoons cider vinegar or wine vinegar
A few grindings of black pepper

Crudités:
A selection of raw baby vegetables, such as carrots, zucchini, beets, lettuce hearts, radishes, fresh young peas in pods and tender celery hearts

For the dressing: simply blend anchovies, oil, garlic, thyme, basil, if using, red pepper, mustard, vinegar and black pepper together in a blender until completely smooth. or, if you are using fresh chile, you might prefer to chip it finely by hand, then stir it into the blended dressing to give it a little texture.

Let the dressing stand for half an hour or so to allow the flavors to mingle and develop, then transfer to a bowl.

Prepare the crudités: Halve or quarter lengthwise the lettuce hearts and larger baby vegetables, such as zucchini and carrots. Leave the smaller ones, such as pea pods and radishes, whole.Arrage them on a platter and serve with the dressing.

Makes 4 servings.

 

 

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Chefs’ Corner: Chama Gaucha Has a Tangy, Unique Chimichurri Sauce


Grilled salmon topped with Chama Gaucha's Chimichurri Sauce.

Q. Could you possibly get me the recipe for the chimichurri sauce at Chama Gaucha?

— Cindy

A. Long Phu, the general manager at Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse, 18318 Sonterra Place, was happy to share the basic recipe for this chunky sauce, which he was quick to point out is not like the traditional chimichurri sauce from Argentina.

The Argentine version is made with fresh parsley, garlic and olive oil, while Chama Gaucha’s is made with sautéed bell peppers and onions with a touch of dried herbs while getting a lively kick from vinegar and tomato sauce.

The difference took a few friends by surprise, but most warmed to its tangy charms.

Beef at Chama Gaucha topped with its chimichurri sauce.

Phu didn’t offer any proportions of the ingredients, because part of the fun is playing with it until you get the flavors adjusted to a level that’s right for you. We offer a version to get you started.

This version is great with steaks, such as the many skewered versions that are served at Chama Gaucha, a Brazilian steakhouse. You could also use it with chicken, firm seafood or even grilled portobello mushrooms.

By the way, Chama Gaucha is quietly becoming a chain. The first is the Sonterra Place location, while a second opened in Chicago in 2008. A third opens in Houston on Aug. 24, Phu says.

To reach the restaurant, call (210) 564-9400 or click here for more information.

And if you have a recipe you’d like, email Bonnie Walker or John Griffin.

Chama Gaucha Chimichurri Sauce

Chama Gaucha’s Chimichurri Sauce

1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped, to taste
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more to taste, divided use
1/2 cup white wine vinegar, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried basil, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried mint, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley, or to taste
4 ounces tomato sauce, or to taste

Lightly sauté the peppers, onion and garlic in 1/4 cup olive oil. You want the vegetables crisp, so don’t overcook them. Remove from heat and add vinegar and more olive oil, to taste. The amount of each is to taste, but it also stems from with how much sauce you want around the vegetables. “It’s almost like a vinaigrette the way it’s prepared,” Phu says, adding that the ratio of oil and vinegar is close to even.

Stir in basil, mint, cilantro, oregano and parsley, and adding more of each to taste. Stir in tomato paste. Adjust seasonings to taste.

The end result should be chunky. It should also be very thick. “This is not a light sauce,” he says.

For those who want it spicier, think of adding jalapeño or spicy paprika to the mix, Phu says.

Adapted from Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse

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Carne en Salsa de Licores (Pork in Fruit Liqueur Sauce)


Use fresh ham, not cured or smoked, in this recipe.

Use fresh ham, not cured or smoked, in this recipe.

This party dish comes from Zarela Martinez’s wonderful “Zarela’s Veracruz,” which is still available in hardcover and paperback from Amazon.com.   You must have fresh ham, not smoked or brine-cured. You can substitute pork loin for the ham, but it could come out dry, so make sure it is well basted.

Carne en Salsa de Licores (Pork in Fruit Liqueur Sauce)

9 garlic cloves, 5 coarsely chopped, 4 left whole
6 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only, or 2 teaspoons crumbled dried thyme
6 fresh oregano sprigs, leaves only, or 2 teaspoons crumbled dried oregano
10 Italian parsley sprigs
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste, divided use
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 fresh ham, preferably butt half (bone in); about 6 pounds
2-3 tablespoons lard, preferably freshly rendered
1 large white onion, sliced into thin half-moons
6 scallions, green tops only, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups orange liqueur, preferably a low-alcohol brand
1 cup blackberry liqueur, preferably a low-alcohol brand
1 cup cider vinegar

Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, grind the chopped garlic to a paste with the herbs, 1 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. With the top of a sharp knife, pierce shallow incisions all over the ham, and push a little of the paste into each. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Rub a light film of lard all over the meat and season with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Scatter the onion, scallions and whole garlic cloves over the bottom of a large deep baking pan. Place the ham on this bed of aromatics. Combine the liqueurs and vinegar in a medium bowl and pour over the meat. Cover the pan tightly (wrap snugly in several layers of aluminum foil if it has no lid) and bake for 3 hours, turning twice, until tender. Uncover the ham to a platter and let sit for a few minutes before carving.

Meanwhile,, set a medium mesh sieve over a bowl and pour the contents of the roasting pan into it. use a wooden spoon or pusher to force through as much as possible of the flavorful solids.

Carve the ham and pass the pan sauce in a gravy boat.

Makes 8-10 servings.

From “Zarela’s Veracruz” by Zarela Martinez

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Guavas Are in Season. So What Do You Do With Them?


Guavas

The large display of guavas in the supermarket had a heady aroma that filled the entire area. It was sweet and fruity, but there was also a floral note that was entrancing. I just started to grab the first ones I saw. But what was I going to do with them?

I have worked with guava paste in the past, in empanadas among other dishes. But I’ve never used the fresh fruit. So a little research was in order.

“There are a number of guavas in the world, but the common guava — the one most available here — resembles a pale smooth-skinned lemon,” says “Joy of Cooking.” That was the variety in the market, not the green ones with a pink interior that are commonly depicted. “Choose blemish-free fruits, as yellow and soft as you can find, and ripen them at room temperature, out of the sun, or in a closed paper bag. … Ripening time is unpredictable, so check daily and turn the fruits often. When they are ripe, refrigerate in a perforated plastic bag.”

From that point, things get both easier and more complex.”Guavas are simple to serve. Just trim off the blossom end, slice in half either way and eat with a spoon — the seeds of most guavas are edible. For fruit cups and salads, peel with a vegetable peeler and cut in slices,” according to “Joy,” which is largely indispensable in such matters.

Trouble is, the cookbook offered no recipes for guavas.

I did find three simple recipes in my favorite go-to guide for all things fruit, “A Passion for Fruit” by Lorenza De’Medici. They ran a gamut of styles, and I made all three in the course of the evening, just to get that aroma into the kitchen.

Guava Sautéed with Chives was a sweet-savory side dish. Guava Sauce with a lively hit of chili powder went perfectly with a pork chop for dinner. And dessert was a decadent Guava Ice Cream made with heavy cream.

All of the recipes talked about seeding the guava before using, and one website mentioned that there were often anywhere from 112 to 535 per fruit, but no one really said how to do it. I tried picking at a few with a knife tip, but that seemed to take away too much flesh with it. Juicing the fruit would probably work, but the recipes I had didn’t want juice. So, I simply left the seeds in. I do that with raspberries and blackberries. I don’t mind those seeds. I will say that the guava seeds are a little larger and slightly harder, so that really could be a problem for some.

The next day I went back for more. Now that I’ve started,  I can see more ways of using guavas, from salads to tarts. Or, as a friend suggested, you could swirl guava purée into an icy glass of horchata. How do you like to use them?

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Guava Sauce Adds a Sweet-Hot Touch to Pork, Fish


Pork chop with Guava Sauce

This versatile sauce can be used on different kinds of meat or fish that like a touch of sweetness, such as pork loin.

Guava Sauce

2 guavas, peeled, seeded and diced
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon chili powder

Purée the guavas in a blender. Melt the butter and stir it into the guava pulp with the chili powder. Pour the sauce into a bowl and serve it with ham, pork chops or whitefish.

Makes about 1 cup sauce.

From “A Passion for Fruit” by Lorenza De’Medici

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Jerk Chicken a Jamaican Favorite


This jerk sauce can be used on a variety of meats.

Jerk chicken is one of the dishes you’ll find at this year’s Texas Folklife Festival, which runs Friday-Sunday at the Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Durango Blvd. The recipe for this spicy Jamaican dish varies from kitchen to kitchen. Here’s a version from Allen Vernon, known in New York as “the King of Jerk.” The sauce can be used to marinate a variety of meats from pork to red snapper. “You can even use my sauce like ketchup,” Vernon says in “New York Cookbook” by Mollie O’Neill. “One guy pours it on his scrambled eggs.”

Vernon’s Jerk-style Jamaican Chicken

Sauce:
1 1/4 pounds large white onions, quartered
1/2 pound fresh habanero chiles (also called Jamaican chiles or Scotch bonnets), cored and quartered (see note)
4 ounces fresh ginger, peeled
1/4 cup ground allspice
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup dark soy sauce

1 (4- to 6-pound) chicken, well rinsed, patted dry and cut into 6 pieces

Note: Be sure to wear rubber gloves when handling these very hot peppers. If you don’t, you could irritate and burn your skin.

Pulverize the onions, chiles and ginger in a blender or food processor. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the allspice, thyme, black pepper, vinegar and soy sauce.

Coat the chicken with the sauce. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours, turning once.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a shallow pan of boiling water on the oven floor. Put the chicken on a rack and place in a roasting pan. Roast, basting frequently with the sauce, until three-quarters cooked (120 degrees on a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh), 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven.

Preheat a broiler or grill.

Baste the chicken with more jerk sauce. Sear the chicken for 5 minutes under a preheated broiler over a very hot charcoal fire. Remove from the heat and let sit for 15 minutes before eating.

The sauce will keep well in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container.

Makes 6 servings.

From “New York Cookbook” by Molly O’Neill

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Holiday Cran-Raspberry Sauce


CranHomemade cranberry sauce has it all over cranberry sauce from a can.  SavorSA likes to think our Cran-Raspberry Sauce is better still. The two-berry sauce is bright and lively with holiday flavors such as orange, cinnamon, fresh ginger and even a dose of rum.  Expect requests for seconds, and maybe thirds.

Holiday Cran-Raspberry Sauce

1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
3/4-1 cup sugar, or more to taste
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Juice and zest from 1 large orange
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 knob fresh ginger, about an inch long, peeled and cut into 4 slices
1 (10-12-ounce) bag frozen raspberries
1 ounce rum or 1/2 teaspoon rum flavoring

In a medium-large saucepan, put cranberries, sugar, water, cinnamon, juice and zest from orange, lemon juice and ginger slices. Bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the raspberries (they can be thawed or frozen) and the rum or rum flavoring. Simmer until the cranberries have popped, the raspberries have turned very soft and the sauce has thickened a little. (Don’t worry if the raspberries fall apart, they’ll still add great flavor.) Taste to see if you want more sugar. Take off stove to cool. Take out the ginger slices with a spoon. (If you like a stronger flavor of fresh ginger, you can also mince the knob of ginger after it is peeled. Add to the sauce and leave it in.)

Serve warm or at room temperature.  If preparing ahead, refrigerate sauce until serving time.

Makes 3-4 cups sauce.

From Bonnie Walker and John Griffin at SavorSA

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Hazelnuts, Garlic Combine to Make a Great Meat Sauce


hazelnutSpicy Garlic-Hazelnut Sauce

Need an easy sauce recipe that goes with grilled meats, sausages, roasted chicken and fish? Try this versatile version of the Spanish picada. It goes together in minutes and will make nut lovers really happy.

1/2 cup pure olive oil, divided use
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1 slice firm white sandwich bread, torn
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt, to taste

[amazon-product]155832237X[/amazon-product]In a small skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the hazelnuts and cook, stirring, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the nuts to a plate to cool. Add the bread to the skillet and cook, stirring, until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Transfer the nuts and bread to a food processor, add the garlic, mint and red pepper and pulse until finely chopped. Add the vinegar and pulse to a coarse, thick paste. While the machine is running, gradually add the remaining oil in a thin stream through the feed tube and process until smooth. Season with salt. This is best used right away, but will keep in the refrigerator for 2 days.

Makes about 1 cup.

From “Get Saucy” by Grace Parisi

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