Gifts for the cook: a carton of sauces … barbecue, stir-fry, your favorites Essay

Gifts for the cook: a carton of sauces . . . barbecue, stir-fry,
your favorites



As a shortcut to a quick entree, premixed seasoning sauces are a
gift any busy cook will appreciate.



If your chef enjoys grilling meat, a selection of marinades might
be perfect. For the Chinese connoisseur, offer stir-fry sauces to
season favorite combinations.



The sauces are quick and easy to make in quantity. Each recipe
yields about 1 quart; you can pack the sauce in 1- or 2-cup portions and
package several kinds together to give different friends. With each
sauce, include simple directions and perhaps a copy of the recipe in
case they want to make a refill.



For maximum freshness and flavor, assemble sauces shortly before
giving. They will all keep as long as 3 weeks when refrigerated.



Sherry Herb Marinade



Use this herb-scented marinade on chicken or fish. You’ll
need about 1 cup marinade for a cut-up 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, 1/2
cup for 1 pound of fish fillets. Chill covered, turning occasionally, 4
hours to overnight for chicken, 1 to 2 hours for fish, then grill or
broil.



2 cups dry sherry



3/4 cup salad oil



1/3 cup instant minced onion



6 tablespoons white wine vinegar


1/3 cup Dijon mustard



6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced



1 tablespoon dry thyme



1 tablespoon crushed dry rosemary



1/4 teaspoon pepper


Mix sherry, oil, onion, vinegar, mustard, garlic, thyme, rosemary,
and pepper. Shake before using. To store, cover and chill up to 3
weeks. Makes 1 quart.



Cumin-Cinnamon Marinade



This sweet-spiced wine marinade is delicious with lamb chops. Use
about 3/4 cup for 1 pound of chops; marinate 2 to 4 hours, then barbecue
or broil.



3 cups dry red wine



1 cup olive oil or salad oil



1/4 cup instant minced onion



8 cloves garlic, pressed or minced



2 teaspoons ground cinnamon



2 teaspoons cumin seed


1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin


Stir together wine, oil, onion, garlic, cinnamon, cumin seed, and
gound cumin. Shake well just before using. To store, cover and chill
up to 3 weeks. Makes about 1 quart.



Fennel-Chili Marinade



Try this marinade spiked with chili and fennel on pork chops. Use
about 1/2 cup on 1 pound of chops; marinate 4 hours to overnight, then
broil or barbecue.



3 cups dry white wine



1/2 cup olive oil or salad oil



8 cloves garlic, pressed or minced



1 1/2 tablespoons crushed fennel seed



1 1/2 tablespoons dry basil



1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons crushed dried hot red chilies



1/2 cup white wine vinegar



Stir together wine, oil, garlic, fennel, basil, chilies, and
vinegar. Shake sauce well just before using. To store, cover and chill
up to 3 weeks. Makes 1 quart.



Peking Stir-fry Sauce



Use in basic stir-fry recipe, following.



Stir together 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced; 3 tablespoons
minced fresh ginger; 2 cups water; 1 cup hoisin sauce; 1/2 cup soy
sauce; 1/4 cup wine vinegar; and 3 tablespoons sugar. Shake well just
before using. To store, cover and chill up to 3 weeks. Makes about 1
quart.



Sweet-sour Stir-fry Sauce



Use in basic stir-fry recipe, following.



8 cloves garlic, pressed or minced



1/3 cup minced fresh ginger



1 1/2 cups water



1 cup sugar



1 cup cider vinegar



1/3 cup dry sherry



1/3 cup soy sauce



1/4 cup catsup



3 tablespoons sesame oil



1/2 teaspoon crushed dried hot red chilies



Mix garlic, ginger, water, sugar, vinegar, sherry, soy, catsup,
oil, and chilies. Shake well just before using. To store, cover and
chill up to 3 weeks. Makes 1 quart.


Black Bean Stir-fry Sauce



Use in basic stir-fry recipe, following.



1/2 cup fermented Chinese black beans



Water



3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger



8 cloves garlic, pressed or minced



1/2 cup dry sherry



1/2 cup soy sauce



2 tablespoons white wine vinegar



1 teaspoon crushed dried hot red chilies



Place black beans in a strainer and rinse well with water. Drain
and finely chop. Stir together beans, ginger, garlic, sherry, soy,
vinegar, chilies, and 3 cups water. Shake just before using. To store,
cover and chill up to 3 weeks. Makes 1 quart.



Basic Stir-fry



Use the stir-fry sauces in this dish.



3 to 4 tablespoons salad oil



3/4 to 1 pound thinly sliced boneless meat or poultry, or whole
shelled and deveined shrimp



2 to 3 cups thinly sliced vegetables (use 1 to 3 kinds such as
onions, carrots, broccoli, or bell peppers)



2 to 4 tablespoons water, optional



1 tablespoon cornstarch


1 cup Peking, sweet-sour, or black bean stir-fry sauce (recipes
precede)



Place a work or 12- to 14-inch frying pan over high heat. When pan
is hot, add 2 tablespoons of the oil and meat; stir-fry until meat or
poultry is lightly browned or shrimp is opaque in thickest part (cut to
test), about 2 minutes. Remove meat from pan. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons
oil and vegetables to pan; stir-fry, adding a little water if pan is
dry, until barely tender to bite, 2 to 4 minutes. If using more than 1
kind of vegetable, cook firmest ones first, then add softer ones.



Mix cornstarch and sauce. Add to pan along with meat; stir to
boiling. Makes 3 or 1 servings.



Photo: Pack a selection of sauces and appropriate gadgets in a
basket or wrapped drink carton, then give to a favorite cook

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