Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ginger/Nut Sauce for Asparagus

I don’t know why I’m keeping the original recipe (below). I usually just edit and move on, but this time I feel compelled to retain the history. Perhaps I’ll discuss this with a therapist some day, but that would mean starting therapy, and heaven knows that’s a road with no end. So here’s the latest incarnation, which seems to be enough for ~10 servings or so.

Put into a blending cup:
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped roughly
  • ¼ tsp (heaping) red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium bulb of ginger root (~1 ½" diameter, looks like 2 Tbsp or so), roughly chopped
Blend until completely smooth. Add:
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 Tbsp chunky peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp (heaping) dry roasted peanuts
Blend until completely smooth again.

Toast 1 Tbsp sesame seeds (~3:40 did the trick for me) and put into the juice of ½ a lemon. Whisk into the mixture above.

Enjoy! (and consider adding more red pepper)

Some time back, when we were expecting a small crowd here at the House of Chez Casa, SWMBO opened a cookbook and found a sauce she wanted me to try for some asparagus. We didn’t have all the ingredients, and I was cooking about a dozen different things that day, so I adapted a bit for what we had around the old homestead. It was a hit, and now that I’ve been asked to replicate it for Thanksgiving, I figured I should try to remember what I did.

Toss all of these things together and puree them.
  • ¼ c. tahini
  • ¼ c. chunky peanut butter
  • ¼ c. crushed peanuts
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • ¼ c. rice vinegar
  • ¼ c. water
  • ¼ c. soy sauce
  • ¼ c. sugar (I use the unbleached stuff; I might try honey next time)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped ginger root
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. crushed garlic
  • ¼ tsp.crushed red pepper flakes
Taste the stuff & adjust flavors and consistency by tossing in extra little bits of the ingredients.


Our friend BoomBoom Cannon keeps an old mustard bottle on hand for drizzling pretty lines of sauces like this over the food. I’m lowbrow enough to just ladle it on with a spoon.

Edit, post-Thanksgiving notes:

On amount:
We had five bundles of asparagus to steam, and had nearly half the sauce and a quarter of the asparagus left over. Make less sauce.

On flavor:
I should have at least doubled the red pepper (proportionally). Even Gary, who admits to being afraid of Thai-level spice, thought it could have done with more pepper.

Mark brought broccoli steamed & tossed with lemon (juice & zest) and garlic — just the way Vincent taught us. The very sharp garlic there blended with the ginger/peanut sauce in a great way. Think about adding more garlic and substituting lemon for some of the vinegar.

Before he stumbled onto the combination of sauces, Gary suggested boosting the sesame flavor with some toasted sesame oil. I had considered adding some sesame seeds to the finished product to some texture interest. Perhaps some toasted sesame seed added at the end would do the trick.

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