Sunshine Superman Saucier - Last Update 6/28

Hey y'all - I love me a good sauce (who don't?), and like Chef said going up the Mekong, "I was born to be a saucier". Well maybe I t'were and maybe I t'weren't, but as sure as shit on Sunday I like to make me a sauce. So every now and again I'll post one here. Lemme know if there are any you wanna know how to make. Seriously, make your own damn Hollandaise once in your life. XOXO, THB

28 June 2007 - Simple Pan Sauce

Howdy y'all - are you someone who bemoans the scraping of the sticky gunk off of the cooking pans after the dinner is served and dishes are being done? If so, blame yourself for you have committed two sins: 1. Denial of the creation of sauce, and 2. Creation of extra dish-scrubbin' labor by lack of sauce-creation. Everyone, and I mean everyone, who stands next to a stove at any time should know how to make a pan sauce. Simply put, a pan sauce is any sauce made in the selfsame pan used for previous cooking of an item (usually protein) which then imparts a bit of itself unto the sauce. This is the proper technique for biscuits with sausage gravy or probably any awesome gravy your granny ever made. There are 4 basic steps to the making of a pan sauce:

1. Establishment of "Fond" - fond is the brown crispy bits that stick in the pan after the cooking is done. Fond is often a product of sauteeing a floured protein. Even without the flour, oftentimes fond exists.
2. Deglazing - use of a tasty liquid to loosen the fond and get it working in the sauce (i.e. stock, wine, booze, beer, lemon juice, milk, etc. You can use water, but Jesus, live a little...)
3. Concentration - evaporation of the deglazing liquid to a more condensed volume for flavor enhancement
4. Enrichment - addition of butter, cream, demi glace or the like for luxurious final product - some people will consider this step optional. Feel free to guess where I stand.

So for example, let's make, I dunno, Pork Chops with Calvados Pan Sauce

2 Pork Chops - your choice of cut and size
Flour for dusting
Olive oil for Sauteeing
1 small shallot, finely minced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup Calvados or other apple brandy
1-2 Tbs **cold** butter (If you happen to have demi-glace around, that's good too)
Salt / pepper to taste

1. For later, heat oven to 200 F to keep chops warm
2. Heat oil in sautee pan large enough to hold chops
3. Lightly flour chops, knocking off excess flour
4. Cook chops to brownness on both sides, hoping for a medium-rare to medium chop (**rough** rule of thumb - 4-5 minutes per side per inch thickness, i.e. 4-5 minutes on each side for a 1" chop. Buy a thermometer already...)
5. Remove chops from pan to another plate and keep in the oven
6. Reduce heat to medium and add shallot - sautee a few minutes
7. Increase heat to high and immediately add chicken stock and Calvados
8. Scrape fond off bottom of pan. You will notice how amazingly easy it comes up.
9. Reduce liquid to about 4-5 Tbs
10. ***Off heat***, add cold butter and whisk until incorporated
11. Adjust seasoning with salt / pepper and pour the luxuriant nectar over the chops and serve (Some folks in the fancy joints will strain the sauce through a fine sieve before pouring over the chops, but that ain't me. Suit yourself, candy pants)


1. Never let the fond in any step of cooking get much past a light mahogany brown. Doing otherwise creates a nasty, bitter sauce.
2. It is sometimes necessary to pump up the thickenin' power of the fond. This is easily done by the addition of about a teaspoon of extra flour after the chops are removed from the pan. Cook the flour with the fond and cooking oil into a light roux over medium heat for a minute or so, stirring constantly. Then add tasty liquid and proceed.
3. Another nice touch is to add some aromatic herbs (e.g. thyme, rosemary or the like) along with the shallot around step 6. No need to chop it all up, add the stems and all, then simply remove from sauce before serving, or don't. Herb twigs don't bother me none.

Deglazed and amazed, THB

18 June 2007

Simple Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:

I started making this sauce about 8 years ago when I used to do a lot of lonely man home-cooking and eating in MPLS. Turns out, the Megsta' liked it a lot too. It's super-easy and versatile as all-git-out.

1 red pepper, whole
Oil for sauteeeing
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup white wine
Juice 1/2 lemon
1-2 Tbs cold butter to finish (Optional, but not really)
Salt / pepper to taste

Char red pepper over open flame of gas range or under broiler in oven, rotating often until all skin is black and blistered. Toss in a bowl and cover with Saran or toss in a Ziploc for 10-20 minutes.

In the meantime, heat a saucepan, add oil and sautee shallot on med-low heat 5-10 minutes until translucent. Increase heat to med-high, add wine and reduce to about 1 Tbs of liquid. Remove from heat.

Back to the pepper - peel off all the black part best you can. I say don't run it under water - opinions vary. Slice out the stem and remove any of the white inner ribs and seeds. Blend pepper in blender or food processor.

Bring shallot/wine back to heat, add pepper puree and lemon juice. When just heated, add cold butter, stirring constantly until incorporated. Adjust seasoning with salt / pepper...and, done!

I mostly use this with seafood, but it's mighty fine with chicken or pork as well.

Cheers to ya', Jeremy THB

I Been Drinkin' - Last Update 6/28

28 June 2007 - Summer Beers Make Me Feel Fine...

Hey all - this treat is no stranger to the PacNW crew, but if the Summer Brew is new to you, rejoice in your new-found glory. As with so much boozy miscellany, I was introduced to Summer Beer a few summers ago by good pals AJ and Nat. We have enjoyed many since then; I encourage y'all to play catch-up.

Summer Beer:

1-2 oz vodka
7-8oz light-ish lager/pilsener-ish beer ( I like Pacifico for this application, but whatever you like is just fine)
3 oz lemonade
Lemon slice to garnish
Ice - optional

1. To Pilsener glass add vodka, then beer, then lemonade
2. Add ice, if using, and garnish
3. Drink
4. Repeat

Good summer fun, especially if you're playing hooky from work, when all drinks taste at least 15% better...

Prost, THB

15 June 2007 - Limoncello / Rhubarbaro

Howdy fine folks! Today let's talk about homemade booze. Sadly, I'm not talking about moonshining (although if you are doing some home-distilling WHICH IS HIGHLY ILLEGAL, send me a story under an untraceable alias to but rather the infusion of pure grain spirits with some form of aromatic botanical to then be diluted to a more drinkable 80 or 90 proof. Editor AJ and myself have been doing a fair bit of this of recent with good results. In fact AJ will have a book out in the next while with quite a few classic and original liqueur recipes. (More on AJ and Publishing-empire Rathbun soon to come.)

Making the homemade booze is relatively easy, especially if you are going for only a single flavor profile in the booze. All one really needs is a ready supply of Everclear (190 proof neutral grain spirit), a supply of your desired botanical, e.g. lemon zest, a clean bottle, and a final diluent to bring down the proof, i.e water or simple syrup.

Limoncello is by far one of the best, most popular, and most commercially available of all Italian liqueurs, and with good reason. Throw it in the freezer and dole out the shots. Who doesn't like lemon anyhoo? Here's a nice little history on the story of limoncello:

You will perhaps notice that they soak the zest for 3 months. I'm far too impatient for that, so I (and AJ) usually get the production over with in 4 weeks.

For Limoncello (750ml):

Zest of 5-6 large lemons - avoid white pith at all costs
Juice of 1-2 lemons
375ml Everclear
375ml Simple Syrup (water / sugar in a 1:1 ratio)
Cheesecloth for straining

1. Put zests and Everclear in clean glass bottle. Store in a cool, dark space for 2 weeks.
2. Juice zested lemons and retain juice by freezing in ice cube trays. A standard freezer tray ice cube is probably about 1 lemon's worth of juice.
3. After 2 weeks, add simple syrup and lemon juice. Let sit another 2 weeks.
4. Strain to your personal level of anal retention. A nice clear, sediment-free liqueur is a thing of beauty, though.
5. Freeze and enjoy.

Beware! This is still highly intoxicating booze, God bless it so. All you have done is taken something that a car could run on and diluted it down to scotch-proof - so when was the last time you were belting down scotch like so many little shots of lemony goodness? (I said you, not me...) There, you've been warned.

AJ's been doing a ton of experimenting for the book, which has inspired me to do a bit of my own. The best one I've come up with by far is a rhubarb liqueur. With the addition of lemon juice and simple syrup, it is a tart hooch treat, not to mention it is a gorgeous pink color. Hurry up and make some before the rhubarb is all gone for the year. Frozen rhubarb may be an option, but I'll probably not give it a whirl until this winter when my current supply is gone and the jones sets in.

Rhubarbaro (750ml):

5-6 large stalks of thoroughly cleaned and trimmed rhubarb
375ml Everclear
Juice of 1-2 lemons
375ml Simple Syrup
Cheesecloth for straining

1. Slice or chop rhubarb into pieces that will fit in to (and subsequently out of) your bottle. The larger the pieces, the less surface area there is for flavor extraction, but the use of larger pieces generally leads to a clearer product. Do whutcha like...
2. Add Everclear and steep for 2 weeks.
3. Add lemon juice and simple syrup. Sit on it for another 2 weeks.
4. Strain, chill and enjoy!

Cheers, Jeremy, The HuskyBoy

Eat This! - Last Update 6/16

16 June 2007 - Easy KC-style BBQ Sauce

Hey all - no need to buy bbq sauce when it's easily made at home. For me, bbq's more about the meat anyhoo, but the following is a pretty good example of a decent KC-style bbq sauce (Closer to Gates' the Bryant's, miles away from crappy KC Craptsterpiece)

1 Large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 head garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp Paprika
3 Tbsp Chili powder of your choice
1 Tbsp Ginger powder
2 tsp Celery seed
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 28oz can tomatoes (whole, stewed, diced, whatever)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste
Oil for cooking

1. Sautee onions and garlic over low-medium heat, about 10 minutes
2. Reduce heat to low and add all powdered spices. Sweat spices, stirring often, another 10 minutes
3. Add tomatoes and unstick any spice goo from the bottom of the pan
4. Blend with hand blender until smooth
5. Add honey, molasses and vinegar - stir
6. Cook on low-med heat 2-3 hours.
7. Add salt if desired / necessary
8. Strain if desired / necessary

Happy 'cue-ing! Off to a pork party at Ame and Ron's........!!!!!!!!!!!!

15 June 2007 - "Elotes" aka Mexican Mayo Corn

Hey all - Summer is just about here, and I assume most folks I know have already busted out the BBQ. We at THB West Coast HQ certainly have, and one of my favorite sides is corn-on-the-cob that has been parboiled, dressed with a spicy mayo and grilled to deliciousness. I first heard of the idea from editor and pal AJ who recounts the wondrous post-closing time strolls to the "eloteros" of Chicago for a little nibble of the niblets. The classic elote would involve first grilling the corn to doneness, then a slathering of the mayo, followed by a sprinke of cotija cheese, a squeeze of lime and perhaps a sprinke of chili. If you are a huge fan of the mayo, this would be your preferred preparation. For me, not so much. I like to make a spicy chili mayo and apply to the corn before it goes on the grill. This way most of the fat from the mayo goes away, leaving behind a nice sheen of tasty chili goodness. Besides, not all of the fat goes away anyhoo. So here's my recipe for THB elotes:

6 ears corn, still in the husk
2-3 oz mayo
1 Tbsp med-hot chili powder - (Meg and I received some great chili powder from friends and Albuquerque denizens Rich and Jill for our wedding. Both the medium and the hot we received are awesome. The source is The Fruit Basket Market, and as I understand it, they'd be happy to do some mail orders for y'all. (505) 345-3942 or 898-7367 or 344-0885)
1 Tbsp paprika (for extra color)
Cotija or Parmesan cheese to sprinkle (optional)
Lime wedges for squeezing
Salt to taste

1. Get grill rockin'
2. Prepare corn by shucking and parboiling in salted water for 8-10 minutes.
3. Mix together mayo, chili and paprika. You may want to add a little salt in here too, but it is probably unnecessary.
4. When corn is done parboiling, let cool 5 minutes
5. Slather corn with spicy chili mayo
6. Grill corn on all sides until nicely browned, if not even a bit charred in places
7. At this point you could re-slather with a bit of the mayo, sprinkle with cheese and squeeze limes over the ears - or any combo thereof.

Hope your summer is as corny as Kansas in August!

Cheers! Jeremy, The HuskyBoy