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Recipes for a saucy summer
Issue 64: 6 sauces, dips, and drizzles for all your summertime grilling needs.
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In my mind, summertime means an abundance of seasonable produce and grilling as much as I can. And If you’re like me, you lean more towards going to the market without a plan and making dinner decisions on the fly. To all the impromptu dinner chefs looking for easy ways to liven up an otherwise simple spread of grilled things — this short collection of sauces, dips, and drizzles is for you.
Nuoc Cham Drizzle Sauce
This is adapted from Andrea Nguyen’s Vietnamese Food any day. I have made this a number of times and this version is slightly less sweet and a tad more pungent that the original.
1-2 tablespoons sugar
3-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup warm water, as needed
2 tsp unseasoned Japanese rice vinegar
3-4 tablespoons fish sauce
1 large garlic clove, minced
To make: In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon sugar, 3 tablespoons lime juice, and the water. Taste the mix and add more sugar or lime juice to your taste. Add the vinegar and 3 tablespoons of the fish sauce. Taste the mixture again and add more fish sauce if you want to go a little more punchy. I usually add about 3 overflowing tablespoons. Mix in the garlic.
To use: Toss with a simple salad to serve next to grilled pork chops and rice. As a marinade. A drizzle over grilled veg.
Terry’s House Dressing
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 heaping teaspoons dried Italian herbs
1 bay leaf
Healthy pinch of salt, pepper to taste
To make: Whisk together. You can use right away but I’d strongly recommend waiting a day or so to use it. Store in an air-tight bottle.
To use: As a marinade. With a salad. Drizzle over everything.
Super Herby Ranch
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup + 2 tablespoons mayo
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 large bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 large bunch chives, finely chopped
1 medium handful of any other herb that you fancy (basil, cilantro, dill), finely chopped
About 2 teaspoons garlic powder (If this feels like too much garlic, feel free to omit. Or add a little more if you’re really wild.)
A lot of fresh pepper
Salt, to taste (I gave it a heavy pinch)
To make: Whisk everything together. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.
To use: With salad. A dunk for veg.
Adapted from Bon Appétit.
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 small chile (Fresno or jalapeño)
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano
3/4 cup olive oil
kosher salt, to taste (about a teaspoon)
To make: Combine shallot, chile, garlic, vinegar, and 1 tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Let sit 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro, parsley, and oregano. Whisk in oil. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
To use: As a marinade. As a drizzle. On a sandwich.
5 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
4 T pine nuts
4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
To make: Finely chop the pine nuts and garlic in a large blender. Add the oil and the basil. Blend thoroughly until the leaves have been pureed, but do not emulsify. Pour sauce into a small bowl and add the cheese and butter.
To use: Toss with pasta. Basted on cooked chicken or vegetables. On a sandwich.
A late entry! As I was getting ready to publish, I went to a bbq that featured this highly-addictive spicy ranch. This is Jenn’s “my best approximation” recipe, so you might have to tweak to your liking.
2 jalapeños, roasted until tender and slightly browned (seeds removed from 1)
3/4 c sour cream
1/3 c mayo
Big handful of cilantro leaves & stems, roughly chopped
1 1oz packet hidden valley ranch seasoning
Splash green salsa
Juice 1/2 lime
To make: Toss in blender and blend till smooth.
To use: As a dip. On a fried chicken sandwich.