Saturday, April 7, 2012

Shiny Sauce

I'm not a fancy cook. I am more "bistro" than "haute cuisine." But every now and then it's fun to jazz things up a bit with a new herb, a different technique, or a novel sauce.

For me to be tempted to make it, it has to be easy and quick. That's why you won't find me carefully constructing a delicate Béarnaise sauce, whisking madly while keeping the egg yolks from scrambling. My favorite Béarnaise sauce comes out of a blender.

But, check out this dark sauce for lamb - very tasty and so shiny that it actually reflected the lights over my dining table. It added a little drama to my otherwise fine-but-a-little-boring plate of fresh asparagus and egg noodles with grated Parmesan.

After browning the salted and peppered lamb chops in a combo of butter and canola oil, just a tad of each, you set them to rest in a warm oven (lamb fat congeals fast - if you don't do that, it will already look unappetizing by the time the sauce is made) while you quickly make the sauce. It's a good idea to have the chopping done and the ingredients ready before you begin - that's how fast this sauce comes together.

In the browning pan, throw in a clove or two of minced garlic, and cook very briefly, perhaps 10 seconds, before adding a generous splash of balsamic vinegar and cooking for about a minute, until most of the vinegar has evaporated. Add about 1/4 cup of water, a tablespoon of catsup, a splash of soy sauce and, if you like it, stirring in a few drops of sriracha to spice things up a little. Bring out your lamb chops and drain any accumulated juices into the sauce, stirring it all together before pouring it over the chops.

It is a bit like teriyaki, only a little richer in taste and smoother in consistency - like teriyaki's suave older brother. My Beloved approved with his mouth full and I loved it, too. I will make this one again and bless the book from which it came.

Jacques, again. Bien sûr.


Blogger Greg said...

I read that Jacques is going to be in Marin to promote his new book.

Saturday, April 07, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, I went looking but it is a sold-out event at the Left Bank in Larkspur. You could put yourself on a waiting list in case someone cancels...

Saturday, April 07, 2012  
Blogger Greg said...

I looked too. He seems to sell out each time even at $195 a head. I met him when I worked at hotel fancy. He is an old school gentleman.

Saturday, April 07, 2012  
Blogger Hungry Dog said...

I love Jacques. Simple, reliable, delicious. This looks like a good addition to my (limited) sauce repertoire...

Saturday, April 07, 2012  
Blogger Chilebrown said...

Zoomie your sauce looks delightful.

Greg, I am a little shock and awed about the 195 dollars a head for Jacques. Guy Fieri had a cooking concert in San Jose were tickets could reach 300 dollars. Anthony Bourdain signings are a bill. Lydia is a releative deal for 85 dollars but you get lunch. I will make you lunch and sign any book that you want for 20 dollars/ gratuity not included.

Saturday, April 07, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, he is, indeed, an old school gentleman, but $195 is too steep for my budget.

Hungry Dog, me, too - love that unfussy way he has of making things nonetheless special.

Chilebrown, you should charge more. You're famous.

Saturday, April 07, 2012  

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