Monday, January 15, 2024

Spicy Saucy Goodness

I put this on everything. You should too. It's based on a recipe from Chef Annmarie Langton, formerly of The Queen Truckstaurant. She used her version on her crab cake tacos, so it was made it in a larger quantity than one might need at home. I fiddled around with the recipe and came up with one I can make in varying amounts with ingredients in my pantry, and I make it to taste according to what I plan to serve it with. 

Spicy Saucy Goodness
Perhaps you find recipes without exact amounts annoying, but that's mostly how I cook. Sorry (not sorry).

A few tablespoons of your favorite mayonnaise (I like Duke's), sour cream, Greek yogurt, or a combination of all of them
Smoked paprika
Chipotle chile powder
Garlic powder
Real maple syrup 
Lime juice
Kosher salt

Glop some mayo in a bowl. Let's say you use the equivalent of 1/4 cup. To that, add about 1/4 teaspoon each of the smoked pap and the chipotle powder. Stir it in well. Dip your pinky in the mix and taste. Is it smoky? is it spicy? If yes, you're good. If no, then add a bit more of each and stir again. Add a pinch of garlic powder and stir it in. Now add about 1/2 teaspoon of the maple syrup. Please don't use pancake syrup. Add a big squeeze of lime juice. Stir the sauce again and taste again. Is it sweet? is it tangy?  If yes, you're good. If no, then add a bit more of each and stir again. Yeah, you get it. You might need to add more spice or smoke once you have the acid and sweetness in there. Does the sauce taste pretty good but still seem to be missing something? Time to add a pinch of salt. Stir it in well, wait a few beats for the salt to dissolve, and taste again. Keep doing all of the above until you get a sauce that tastes good to your palate. If all the various powders are starting to make your sauce seem too thick, then add a dribble of water. If you feel like you've gone way too far with the seasonings, add a little more mayo. 

Dollop on crab cakes, tacos, crab cake tacos, burgers, roasted vegetables, etc. or use as a dip for french fries or crudités.

Wait - stop the presses! 

I was about to hit "publish" on this post, but I discovered a shortcut to spicy mayo deliciousness (as if it wasn't already easy) and wanted to share it. Around Thanksgiving time, I bought several jars of jams from Blake Hill Preserves. (Though they didn't want to send me the samples I requested during Fancy Food Show time, I'm not bitter. But I never forget.) Anyhoo, their savory jams sounded interesting and I thought they'd be a good addition to the large scale cheese board that was to be our Thanksgiving dinner. I have also found them valuable for use in recipes that need a little zhuzhing up. A few teaspoons or so add a subtle sweetness and a punch of flavor--Blake Hill Roasted Garlic Savory Jam is especially useful in this regard. 

So, back to the sauce. 

Instead of using the smoked pap, chipotle powder, garlic powder, and maple syrup, I found that using a teaspoon-ish of both the chipotle & maple and fresh tomato jams in a quarter cup of mayo/yogurt/sour cream does the trick nicely. You may still need to add a pinch of lime juice and salt. Last time I made this, to have on tacos, Mr Minx requested that we save the last tablespoon of unused sauce so he could put it on his lunch sandwiches. Yeah, it's good.

Give it a try. If you do, please let me know in a comment.

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