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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

Nov 25, 2013

Fish Heads, Asian Farts and Pad Thai

I recently went to an Asian market in Denver (Little Saigon) and stepping through the door was like stepping into another country ~ a dirty Asian country, complete with flies and food that I couldn't identify. The place smelled like ass. (Did everyone in here just simultaneously fart? I wondered.
     And there were fish heads. Yes...a big bucket of fish heads and people were buying them. Why? I have no idea. I'm sure there are recipes out there but not one that I am willing to make. Pass the sushi please, but no fish heads. Ewwwww!

Near the fish heads was the meat counter and all it took was one glance and a whiff to get me to do an about face.  I couldn't even look at what was hanging there. I was afraid I'd be grossed out and never eat dog again. Just kidding!!! You know I love dogs. They taste like chicken. I'M KIDDING!!!  I love my dogs more than I even like most people and I'm saving a kidney for Elvis, just in case. Honestly I would chew my own arm off before I'd eat a dog. I'll just shut up now..........

Side note:  I should mention that I was in the store because I was on a quail egg mission. I needed them for my next cooking class, in which bacon is the feature ingredient. (Bacon. Bacon and eggs, bacon and quail eggs!) As we speak I have about eighty, yes 8-0 (crazy I know!) of them in my refrigerator. More about that later, but I will tell you that I have been loving up on quail eggs lately. 

But this is about Pad while The Big Guy and I were browsing the aisles and aisles of food that we couldn't identity, I said something like, hey I should make Pad Thai.
     The Big Guy is a Pad Thai connoisseur and confession to make: I had never made it for him. I once sent him and Mikey on a Pad Thai grocery shopping mission here in Hickville, but since they couldn't even score the rice noodles let alone the tamarind paste or bean sprouts, my Pad Thai ambitions died a quick death.Think fish heads.

But here I was in Asian heaven, which by the way smells like hell, and I got the ingredients I needed plus a bottle of Pad Thai sauce just in case I screwed it up while trying to make a homemade version.
     Funny thing; I picked up a bottle of what I thought may be Pad Thai sauce but I couldn't read the label because it was written in Pad...or Thai...or something...but not English.  I asked the mean looking checker if the bottle in my hand was Pad Thai sauce. She spoke about enough English to tell ME to read the label.  Huh? We stood there, having a stare-down contest. A Mexican standoff with an Asian. Can that happen? Ruuuuuude!

Back in the kitchen at the Know-It-All's house I prepared to make this dish. I know that Pad Thai is typically garnished with chopped peanuts and most recipes don't call for peanut butter in the sauce but The Know-It-All and I made the executive decision to add peanut butter to our sauce, mostly because she adds PB to about everything.  It was a good call. 
     Don't worry if the peanut butter doesn't incorporate very well when you whisk it in because once it's heated up it will all come together.

The first night my sauce was a little too thick and didn't have quite enough bite. Probably because at the last minute I wimped out and added some of the store bought stuff to my concoction. 

A quitter I am not. The next night I tackled it again, this time adding some garlic chile sauce (sambal oelek for heat and flavor) and after some tweaking I think I came up with a pretty good version. My official taste-testers (Mike, Karen, and Big) were transported right to Thailand, minus the flies, fish heads and pigs blood.

I'm a sucker for the produce section so I also picked up some funky Thai and Japanese eggplant and some baby bok choy. I roasted it and served it on the side.

Don't be put off by the slightly long list of ingredients in this recipe....most are staples and it comes together rather quickly. I knocked this dish out after driving 400 miles, unloading a car full of groceries (and shoes), thawing out chicken and shrimp, and we ate dinner by 8:00 PM.  What did you just call me? Superwoman?  Into the microphone please!  

Ultimate Pad Thai (a combo of beef, pork chicken and shrimp) from Rhumb Lines, our favorite St. John restaurant is Big's most loved Pad Thai and it is the bar by which all Pad Thai that we eat, is measured. Here is a shot of their dish. Whatcha think?  Mine's prettier is what I think. Just sayin'.

The main thing to remember when making Pad Thai is that you want to taste sweet, spicy, salty and that order. The sweet being the sugar, the spicy comes from the chile sauce, the salty from the fish sauce and finally the sour is from the tamarind.  Adjust your measurements as needed to get to that order of  taste.

So if you live anywhere near a good or even a bad Asian market pick up some rice noodles, tamarind paste, palm sugar, then whip up some margaritas and try this dish at home. Click here, on the "Pasta" tab . It was pretty bueno! Olé!

Nov 21, 2013

Cooking 108 ~ Winter Squash

My sous chef and I tested many recipes before finally settling on the menu for the October cooking class.  

The Sous Chef...taste testing.
Here is what made the cut:

Butternut Squash Tart with Chile-Honey Drizzle

 Southwestern Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Cumin Crème

Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Acorn Squash with Sundried Tomato Polenta

Pumpkin Gnocchi Alfredo with Toasted Hazelnuts + Sage

Pumpkin Mousse with Amaretti Crunch

We started the night with a Pumpkin Patch Ale and ended it with Scott's Pumpkin Martinis, plus we ate all that food and finished up with a last minute Pumpkin Roll that I added to the menu.

Chef Scott, AKA the Gnocchi King knocked the pumpkin gnocchi out of the park. He quickly figured out the gnocchi board and he and Chef Lisa double teamed it. 

Here is a shot of the Acorn Squash with Sundried Tomato Polenta. That recipe is posted here, on the "Side Dishes" page.  Scroll down.....

Chef Vicki is prepping the Lasagne Stuffed Spaghetti Squash.  Ricotta and Italian Sausage in Marina sauce is about to go into those babies.  You can find that recipe here, under the "Pasta" tab...

Some of us working hard....  

Lisa and I had to watch these two guys like a hawk. Haney Buffet (Jimmy's brother) about screwed up the Pumpkin Alfredo sauce because Rich forgot to mention that there was cream in the recipe. Alfredo....Cream....who'd of thunk?

We had a great time and ate a lot of really good food. The Bacon class is next week. Details to follow!

The Gnocchi King

Nov 6, 2013

Cooking 107 ~ Gourmet Sandwiches

Last week we had October's SdJ Cooking Class and now I realize I never put up pictures or details of September's class....Jeez....Loser! So here it is.

Gourmet Sandwiches were the feature item for the 
September Cooking Class. 

Wait a minute....Disclosure  here:  I either have the shittiest camera ever OR I am the shittiest photog ever, (or both) but these pictures suck!  The food was good, ok it was pretty great and we hardly had any wine *coughbullshitcough* so I really can't understand why these pictures are so, well....shitty. 

Here was the menu:

Grilled Jalapeno Cornbread with Caramelized Chipotle Onions, Smashed Black Beans, and Cheddar 

Classic Croque Monsieur

Portobello Sandwiches with Roasted Garlic-Basil Aioli

Balsamic Roasted Cherries, Godiva Chocolate,
and Brie Grilled Cheese 

The Brie, Cherry and Chocolate Grilled Cheese. To. Die. For.

Here's Chef Vicki putting the finishing touches on the 
Jalapeno Cornbread Sandwiches.

Uh oh...we dug into the Portobello Sammie 
before someone remembered to take a picture.

That same someone forgot the take a pix of the Croque Monsieur, but it was really great. It's basically a gooey grilled ham and Gruyere cheese sandwich, topped with bechamel sauce and then popped back under the broiler until the sauce is bubbly and lightly browned. It's delish, so I'll post the recipe. You can check it out here or under the "Sandwiches" tab.
Some of the amazing chefs, taking a break after all that cooking.
Gawd they don't even look dirty and sweaty...they must not have really been in kitchen!

The Jalapeno Cornbread Sandwich with Chipotle Caramelized Onions can also be found under the "Sandwiches" tab.

Chef Lori doing her thang.