Saturday, September 17, 2011

Magic Sauce

We all need a little magic in our lives. Despite the noblest of intentions, and the staunchest assurances to traverse only on the sunny side of the street, even the best are sometimes felled by gloomy thoughts and crummy circumstance. And although I will very soon tell you, as I often tell myself when the proverbial poop hits the fan, to focus on all the wonderful things one must be grateful for, and the beauty to be found everywhere, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the truth…

Sh*t happens. (and with that, the first time I’ve cussed on this blog…my oh my)

Truth, let’s go have some fun kicking the sh*t out of sh*t :) (second and third cuss, but who’s counting)

How? With magic. The magic of true friends. The magic of dancing as if no one were watching. The magic of butter on warm toast. The magic of a simple movie date with your best mate. The magic of giving yourself a break. The magic of a child’s laughter. Of hot showers. Of cool sheets. Of chocolate croissants. Of fantasy novels and reveling in the fact that you can still lose yourself in them even after 20-odd years. Of dreams...and the magic that makes you believe that they can indeed come true.

Yes, it’s everywhere. Some of it in plain sight. Some you’ve got to look a little harder for. And some very powerful types are hidden away in that secret cave from your childhood…you know, the same one where you left the strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff?

Oh, and there’s also this.

Magic Sauce
(adapted from Heidi’s recipe on 101 Cookbooks – I love her to bits)

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons pimenton de la vera, dulce (Spanish smoked sweet paprika)
  • 1 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste or pressed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Around 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Warm the olive oil in a pan until hot. Remove from heat and set aside.
- While the oil is heating pound the rosemary, thyme, and parsley with a mortar and pestle.
- Once the oil is off the heat for a minute or two, stir in the pimenton, garlic, bay leaf, pepper flakes, and salt.
- Add the bruised herbs and lemon to the oil and stir.
- Transfer everything to a clean jar and let cool. You can use this immediately or store in the fridge for about a week.

Heidi’s original recipe uses oregano but I didn’t have any so I substituted parsley. It also calls for a well-crumbled bay leaf but our bay leaves here are so dry that I feared even well-crumbled the bits would be too sharp and edgy, so I opted to keep it whole. This is an extremely flexible sauce and I see it working well with so many things. I have drizzled it over sautéed garlic mushrooms, sausage fried rice, mozzarellini…and even a solitary piece of bread. Next in line would be: to dress a just-off-the-fire steak, over roasted potatoes, and on a fried egg.

We all need magic…great magic and small, simple magic and complex, and yes, even the types you can whip up in five minutes and store in your fridge. Sometimes, especially those types. Don’t stop believing! :)


Nisrine said...

I've seen this sauce on Heidi's site and loved it too. I'll have to try it soon.

Ling said...

I certainly could do with some magic now, Joey - thanks for sharing :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, tasty! That sauce is wonderful.



Junglefrog said...

Yes, we definitely all need some magic in our lives! Love the look of this magic sauce.. :)

CheekyPinkTulip said...

Aw, what an inspiring post! Made all the better by a gorgeous pic of some wonderful-looking sauce. I love it all.

Maria xx

Paz said...

Yum! This looks and sounds magical, indeed. ;-)

Mieke Zamora-Mackay said...

This sauce looks divine. I can't wait to make it and store it. I'm sure it'll be fantastic drizzled over perfect soft boiled eggs.

Of course, the backstory-ish piece was lovely too.

Miri Leigh said...

This sauce looks fabulous. Thanks for sharing!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Nisrine! It's good! You should definitely try it :)

Hi Ling! I know what you mean...sending you some magical thoughts your way! :)

Hi Rosa! I love it :)

Hi Junglefrog! And it's so versatile!

Thanks Maria! :) And thanks for stopping by :)

Hi Paz! It's delicious, and so easy to make!

Hi Mieke! Soft boiled eggs! Ok...breakfast tomorrow is set :) And thanks for the nice comment :)

Thanks too Miri! :)

Midge said...

This would be fab just drizzled over plain pasta with slivers of sausage. Ah, simple bliss!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

You cussed. Oooooh, I'm tellin'. ;)

Shalum said...

The healthier "Magic"! ;)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Midge! Great idea!

Hi Susan! Ssssh! I’m such a dork ;)

Shalum! And I think I know what the “un-healthy” magic is ;)

Elizabeth of AsianinAmericamag said...

This looks like such a great base sauce for anything you want to roast! Terrific idea! Thanks for sharing. Must try this one soon. Love your post and your blog. Will be back again for more:)

Cathy Alvarez Del Rosario said...

Oh Joey your writing is beautiful. I look forward to your entries not just for the recipes but also for the wonderful use of the written word. Thanks for the inspiration!

kat said...

This post is a shining (shimmering, splendid) example of why I so love reading your blog, Joey! Your charming writing, combined with your never-say-die/never-say-diet attitude and quirky wit always make me smile. :-)

Katrina said...

Oops! The "kat" comment is mine. I clicked too soon! ;-)

Marivic said...

This sounds wonderful! Going to my "recipe queue". Thanks!

Samantha Sotto said...

That sauce sounds wonderful! And yes, we all could use some magic in our lives :)

Joy said...

Hi Joey. This is not at all related to Magic sauce but I just have to let you know that my baon for lunch today is the fishtek tagalog you shared in your column in Yummy. Thanks for the easy, healthy, and yummy recipe! :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Elizabeth! Thank you for leaving such a nice comment :) I just roasted some potatoes with it…yummy!

Hi Cathy! Thanks so much for your sweet note! It is comments from readers like you that keep me inspired :)

Hi Katrina! Thank you thank you! It never fails to thrill me when I get a comment on my writing from you…a pro! :) Never-say-die/never-say-diet…love that!! Ok, I am going to bug Nena as soon as she is back because we need together already!

Hi Marivic! Hope you like it!

Hi Samantha! We sure do…and the eyes to see it :)

Hi Joy! Thank you so much for letting me know! So happy to hear that you liked it!! It’s a regular over here :)

Kimberly said...

This looks great! I will definitely be making this and putting it on some homemade bread or roasted potatoes:)

Joe said...

Ive made this sauce and confirm it is amazing!

Dexie said...

Magical! :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Kimberly! It would be good with both...hope you like it!

Hi Joe! Glad you enjoyed it :)

Thanks Dexie :)

Pavithra said...

Loving this sauce.. looks lipsmaking.

katiez said...

I love the magic sauce.... I can always use magic in my life.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Pavithra! It is! Heidi is a genius :)

Hi Katiez! We all could!

Randie said...

That sauce does sound magical... I just found this blog today and I'm already getting lots of new ideas! Thanks. :)