recipes, food snaps, and travel musings

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

winging it

Pardon the pun.
But when I got home yesterday, I discovered the home-made BBQ sauce I had stashed in the back of the fridge for making grilled things and faux chicken wings had gone off.

After swearing for a while, I realized that I was faced with a simple dilemma:

1) Go out and get more sauce,
2) Get more raw ingredients to make new BBQ sauce, or
3) Make something else entirely.

I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only one drawn to the third option.

The door of my fridge is (to use some hilarious phrasology I picked up from my boss at work) a "higgildy piggildy" of multi-national spices and sauces. My options for flavour are unrestricted, though I had to be inventive in how the raw materials were assembled.

To describe the results:

"Chickehn" DrumsticksIsland Banana and Thai Peanut flavoured (recipes below)

served with

GarlicRoasted Baby Beets & Mashed Yucca

— and you can see that a big pile of steamed broccoli, as well as some julienned orange pepper accompanied the drumsticks, beets and yucca to its happy consumption.

The Sauces

These are truly exciting recipes. I recommend starting with some fake–meat (fake drumsticks, for example, or any fake chicken could easily substitute) and letting it marinade in few cups of hot broth with miso, tamari and ground pepper mixed in. This gives it a better depth of flavour. I also dissolve in one teaspoon of Vegemite in my "hot marinade," as a secret ingredient.

The sauces can be used to coat the faux–meat before it is baked (400 F for 30 minutes) or grilled (15 minutes one side, 5 minutes on the other). Basting with more sauce half-way through is recommended but not absolutely essential.

Leftover sauce is an obvious candidate for dipping, though double-dipping is not everyone's cup of tea.

Island Banana Sauce (hot)

2 Tbsp ginger syrup
1 very ripe banana
1/3 cup banana ketchup
2 Tbsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp piripiri (birdseye chili) sauce
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp crushed, dried cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground sweet chili powder
1/2 cup orange juice
3 Tbsp apple cider vineagar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp chiplotle sauce
1/4 tsp rum extract
2 Tbsp lime juice

In a small saucepan, bring all the ingredients except the last two (rum extract and lime juice) to a simmer, whisking often or stirring with a fork. Simmer, stirring often, for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in rum extract and lime juice. Use as a basting sauce or as a dipping sauce.

Spicy Peanut Sauce (medium)
4 Tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
4 Tbsp apple cider vineagar
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
2 Tbsp ginger syrup
1/2 cup barley syrup or dark molasses
2 pickled Thai bird chilis (red or green)
1/2 cup sweet Thai chili dipping sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Thai chili paste (green curry with holy basil)
1 key lime leaf
1/8 cup basil leaves
1 T coconut cream powder
2 tsp tamari or soy sauce

Bring oyster sauce, vinegar, peanut butter, ginger syrup and barley syrup to a boil in a small saucepan on medium-high heat. Add chilis, dipping sauce, garlic, chili paste, lime leaf and basil. Boil for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add coconut cream powder and tamari, and whisk or blend with a hand mixer until well combined. Use as a basting sauce or as a dip.

I have nothing to add after those crazy recipes. Good luck, and don't be threatened by naked chicken wings — just let them inspire you to try harder!


Vincent Guihan said...

I found this post to be a little .... saucy.... ;) My fridge is full of sauces, too. I'm pretty sure it's a wide-spread vegan thing, although I've known a couple of health-crazed omnis who also had mostly condiments in their fridges.

The Geographical Vegan Says... said...

it's the borderless cooking style I seem to have adopted: As a result, I probably have 7 different peruvian pepper sauces, 5 different thai curries, 3 chutneys, 2 mustards, dark and light agave nectar, half a dozen hot sauces, several sauces designed for chinese dishes, pickled bird chilis.. you get the idea. It's just a big paint palatte, really.
(the mess that is my spice-drawer-&-shelf is another issue entirely)