My photo
, Wyoming
Thanks for visiting Sauce du Jour. Feel free to share a great recipe, leave a comment, or make me dinner. I'll bring hors d' oeuvres and the wine! To visit my website go to Thanks for visiting the Sauce ~Tammi

Feb 25, 2012

Girl In A Galley Loves Guy In The Closet

I totally ripped this idea off some guy in Canada who says he cooks in a kitchen that is the size of a closet. I just have this to say: dude you ain’t got shit on me, I cook in a galley that has less square footage than a boot box, and oh and by the way, I love you, your blog, and your recipes! Thanks for the brilliant idea. I'm calling mine: Jalapeno Cornbread with Caramelized Chipotle Onions and Smashed Black Beans.

Guy in the closet makes his own cornbread and soaks his beans overnight and he probably grew the onions. I’m sure his were way better than mine, but if mine would have been any better we couldn't have stood it. Another thing, mine came together rather quickly and I didn't even sour my own sour cream. I bought it that way!

Even The Big Guy, who looks disappointed when I put dinner on the table and there isn’t a hunk of bleeding meat on his plate, said that it was mighty fine for a vegetarian dish. It must have stuck with him because the next day I overheard him telling our first mate, Haney Buffet, yes Jimmy’s brother (who missed out) that he missed out.

Process the entire can of Chipotle peppers and they will 
store for months in an air-tight container in your refrigerator.

So if you want to make your own cornbread and soak your beans overnight go right ahead. The results will probably be wonderful. If not, follow my recipe and the results will probably be wonderful.  

You can make the bread, the beans and the onions ahead of time and then just grill your bread and put it all together when you are ready to serve. Think of it as a really cool, open-faced grilled cheese sandwich. Thanks,  guy in the closet, for the genius idea. Love you...mean it!

Go to the "Misc. Recipes" tab at the top of this page to view the reicpe.

Feb 15, 2012

The Tuber Tuesday Taste Test

The one thing the grocery stores here in the Virgin Islands are full of is strange, unidentifiable root vegetables. Most of them are hard, thick-skinned, lumpy, dirty and just plain weird looking.  
     The other day I decided to buy a few of the funny tubers so we could try them. You can only imagine The Big Guy's excitment when I said, “Guess what? Tonight's weird root vegetable night.” 
     He didn't say it, but I saw the obvious question forming in his brain, which was, “Why can’t we just have potatoes?”  Before it even left his lips I gave him my one raised eyebrow look…the one that said, “don’t make me hurt you on Tuber Tuesday.” He's such a good sport when I put it that way!

I had three to sample: cassava, edos and tania.  The cassava had a thick skin with a waxy layer, which acts as a preservative, but makes it hard to peel unless you are using a machete. It also had a little happy trail running through it that my Google research said should be cut out. Alrighty then.

The edos were the easiest to peel of the three and were thinner skinned than the tania, which was a bit thinner skinned than the cassava.  Once I cut into them they all looked the same—bright white and dense.

I then cut them all into about the same size pieces and boiled them (separately) because that seemed to be the obvious way to cook them. The tania boiled up pretty fast, the edos turned a bit slimy and took on a grey tinge and the cassava took longer to boil than the other two.
     I mashed them without adding anything to them, just to check texture and taste. The cassava was hard to mash so I got out my little hand held stick blender and promptly turned it into bubble gum. It had a slightly sweet taste, but the texture was a definate turn off. 

Tania on the top; edos on the left and the ewww, bubblegum cassava on the right

     Moving right along to the tania…it was similar to cassava in appearance but unremarkable. Bland taste maybe a little bitter or off putting. The Big Guy was still making a face at this point.
     The edos were kind of slimy when peeled but they mashed up pretty moist and fluffy, not needing much liquid, but they tunred an odd grey/purple color and were slightly sweet with a dry smooth texture. Of the three I preferred them. The Big Guy would have preferred regular old mashed potatoes.

What I know for sure: There's a reason that there are an adundance of the weird tubers here. It's because THEY SUCK and no one buys them! I decided that when it comes to spuds I'll stick to what I know.

Then today at the Harbour Market I saw this weird fruit. “Hey, want to do a Freaky Fruit Friday?” I asked Big. He said something that sounded a lot like, “don't make me hurt you.”
On their way to the oven...
I make rosemary roasted potatoes a lot, like when I don't have cassava or edos on hand. 
Here they are 2 reds roasted with fresh rosemary and sea salt, then smashed and tossed with butter and sour cream...
And on their way to the table...

OR fingerlings skewered on rosemary sprigs and roasted.  Either way, BELIEVE me when I tell you that they are better than the ones from the Tuber Tuesday Taste Test.

I found these rosemary skewers at a little gourmet shop and they were perfect for this dish!

 Go to the Soups-Salads-Sides tab at the top of this page to get the reicpe.

Feb 8, 2012

The Bon Appetit Throwdown: Round 2

Baked, broiled or fried...admit it, we all look better with a tan.

I’m pathetic, I know this…I sometimes like to call myself a chef and then I get all queasy over a chicken. The truth is raw chicken has a YUCK factor that triggers my gag reflex and I’d rather chew tinfoil than handle that pimply-looking bird. 

But hey, it’s only chicken and Bon Appetit is calling so I’m all in. June, my CA cousin offered up some chicken cuttin' advice so I was feeling pretty confident going into this.  
     The Big Guy sharpened my knife and I thought I did a pretty good job of cutting that first leg off, especailly since I had my eyes closed.  He thought otherwise because he said a bunch of stuff that sounded like, "cheesean’rice you can’t cut a chicken leg like that; look how big it is; does that look like a chicken leg to you?" 
Mine is the big leg. Looks pretty good, huh?

So when he reached for the knife I gladly forked it over. He went to work on it like his old grandma had taken over his body. I was impressed. He’s obviously been keeping this talent from me.
     When he had it in about 10 pieces I took over to clean the gross stuff off it. That didn’t work out for me. I then spent the next several minutes dry heaving into the garbage, so Big stepped in and handled that part for me too.  I did put it in a bowl and rub it down with the seasonings and then I put it to bed in the refrigerator, so it’s not like I was completely worthless. Jeez.

I bought a cast iron skillet on St. Croix and had $21 worth of peanut oil so the next evening we were ready to put the old bird in the hot tub.
     I followed the recipe exactly as written and found that I only used about half of the flour and buttermilk mixtures, which gave it a nice even tan.

My BEAUTIFULLY bronzed leg

The Lowdown on the Throwdown: 

It WAS damn good chicken! The goodness was in the crust, which was perfectly crispy and was just the right proportion of crust to meat.
     I think the overnight seasoning of it really helped to keep it moist because it was just as juicy as if I had brined it.  There was no mistaking the cayenne pepper, which personally was a bit too spicy for me, ( I'm a wimp, I admit) but The Big Guy liked the boldness of it. 
    The Best Fried Chicken EVER as Bon Appetit claims? "Almost as good as my grandma's," says Big, and he knows his chicken.

Will I make it again? I won't ever attempt to cut up a whole bird unless there is a new car or something of equal value dangled in front of me, but I will fry up some chicken again using the buttermilk/flour combo of this recipe. 
                              ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~        

My friend Karen, who is a great cook made this recipe too. Hers looks pretty perfect and she said her taste testers loved it. I asked her if it was better than that of the Parkman Bar, who makes dang good fried chicken, so say the chicken eaters and she said: I doubled the seasoning, especially the cayenne pepper so I thought the flavor was great, had a little bite and very juicy. So Bon Appetit wins!

There you have it. Bring on Round 3 BA!

Feb 5, 2012

The Gentile Chicken

There are some things in life that I take for granted. Peanut oil happens to be one of them.  But man, not anymore.  Uh,uh,uh…
     This week I’ve been working up the courage to cut up a chicken. I’m not practically fond of chicken, it tends to gross me out and I usually only eat chicken that I have cooked because I know all those nasty veins have been removed and the icky yellow chicken fat has been trimmed and the slimy film has been washed off.
     Buuuutt….I’m doing this Bon Appetit throwdown thing and this months cover recipe calls for, and I quote, a chicken (not kosher), cut into 10 pieces, backbone and wing tips removed, so I’m going to buck up and stick a knife in one.  Can anybody explain to me why I can’t use a “kosher” chicken? I mean, I didn’t even know there was such a thing and I had no idea  that chickens follow different religious practices, but now I want to know why you’re only supposed to fry the Gentile and not the Jewish ones.  
     And I’m supposed to remove their wing tips? Huh? I didn’t even know they wore them. 
     I can see this is going to be a lot harder than I thought. Where's that fussy dessert when I need it?

Does "All Natural" mean "Not Kosher" in chicken talk?

I made out my grocery list…two islands and six grocery stores later I have managed to round up the ten ingredients, the last one being peanut oil, which I swear on a stack of Bibles that I will never take for granted again.  At home I buy peanut oil by the gallon, like five gallons at a time around Thanksgiving. But these are the islands mon and instant gratification can not be found at the marina market.  When I did get it ran down at store #6, the bottles were little and they were expensive. I bought three of them at $6.99 a pop and am hoping that it will be enough to fry my bird, which by the way cost less than one bottle of oil. 

12 measly ounces in that bottle

The Big Guy mentioned that when he was a kid he used to see his grandma cut up a chicken every Sunday so I told him that that more than qualified him to be the chicken cutter-upper in this family. He’s trying to get out it. Says it wouldn’t be kosher if I didn’t cut up my own chicken. Humpf, we'll see.

The Gentile chicken that's about to land in the peanut pool.