Friday, January 29, 2010

The Secret's in the Sauce

Name that movie! Jessica Landy played in it. So did Kathy Bates. It's one of my favorite movies. It's a story about friendship. Do you know it? If you haven't guessed it yet. The movie is Fried Green Tomatoes.
It's a must see. If you haven't seen it, rent it! This line is said about the bbq sauce. The bbq sauce is so good, you'll eat just about anything covered in it. lol

My secret sauce is for stir-fry. This is the basic sauce. Once you get this recipe "down" you can make adjustments to your own taste. We like our sauce a bit spicier, so we add some heat in the beginning when sauteing the onions and other vegetables, and in the sauce.  I rarely follow the recipe any more. I just get all the ingredients I'm going to use out on the counter and start pouring them in a small mixing bowl. Also, my hubby likes LOTS of sauce, so I add extra broth and corn starch (for thickener). All of these ingredients can be found at any well-stocked grocery stores in the International Foods isle.

This recipe is the basic stir-fry template - it has the familiar look and flavors of a traditional stir-fry. The method is pretty standard but has a few things to be aware of.

First, make the sauce before you prepare anything else. The sauce is key to providing the flavor character. A second point is that you can use a skillet instead of a wok. But, a skillet gets much hotter than a wok would. Add the aromatics near the end of the recipe. If added in the beginning they could burn which will cause them to be bitter. Finally, the aromatics and marinade are the same...regardless of what recipe you are using. Meats and vegetables are interchangeable. Use what you have on hand and what is available in your area or in season. I've even used a precooked roasted chicken to speed up cooking time.

After you have prepared your sauce, cut your vegetables, meat, and mince or grate the aromatics. I almost always use fresh ginger, garlic, green onions, and a sweet yellow onion or shallots.  You can also use chilies, spices, citrus peel, and curry flavorings. Start with a tablespoon or two of the fresh ginger and garlic. Add to suit your taste.

Stir-Fry Meat Marinade: Combine
1 T cornstarch
1 T dry sherry
1 egg white
1/4 t kosher salt

This marinade is more for browning than flavoring. If you have a tough, bland cut of meat, first tenderize it with a highly seasoned, acidic marinade.

Hot Hoisin Sauce:
3 T dry sherry
3 T rice wine vinegar
3 T hoisin sauce
3 T low-sodium soy sauce
4 t chili garlic sauce
1 T brown sugar
1 t cornstarch
1/4 t kosher salt

I also add a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of broth mixed with a heaping tablespoon cornstarch. This gives you plenty of thick sauce.

Prepare aromatics and marinade. Add meat to marinade and let stand at least 5 minutes. Heat peanut or canola oil in skillet over high heat until lightly smoking. Add meat. stir-fry 2 minutes or until browned but slightly pink; remove.
Add hard vegetables (broccolini, onions); stir-fry 2 minutes.
Add carronts, mushrooms, and water chestnuts; stir-fry 1 minute.
Add aromatics and reserved meat; stir-fry 1 minute to heat through.
Stir in the sauce.; cook 1 minute or unti sauce thickens.
Serve with noodles, rice, or over spinach.

Other flavorings include sesame oil, white wine vinegar, orange juice, mandarin oranges, honey, lemons, bell peppers, tomatoes, green beans, sprouts. Really, the possibilities are endless.

I must give credit to Cuisine at Home magazine. That is where the basic recipe comes from. When I need a fresh idea and want to switch things up or try something completely different, I refer to it.

So, give this delicious recipe a try today, This Day. You and your family will be glad you did.

Peace and Joy,

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV) 19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.


Joyce said...

I love Fried Green Tomatoes (because I'm older and have more insurance is my favorite line!)...your recipe sounds good. I've been trying lots of new recipes so will give this one a go. Thanks for sharing...have a nice weekend!

christy rose said...

I have seen that movie. It was so long ago. But, I remember really liking it. I think I will have to look it up again and rent it for a weekend. That's a great idea! Thanks for the inspiration! And the sauce recipe! :)

Melli said...

Ohhhh I LOVE YOU!!! Thank you! I just happen to be going to the grocery store today, and I'm going to make SURE I get the ingredients! Thank you soooooooo much!

gigi said...

Man that really looks good and I bet it smells awesome!

Deborah Ann said...

I saw Fried Green Tomatoes about 20times, it's an all-time favorite!

We had the most awesome sauce in the world at TGI Fridays. I asked for the recipe, but the waitress said it's top secret. Maybe one of these that you posted will be just as good!

Debbie said...

Susan, I haven't been over to visit your blog in awhile and decided to get caught up on some of the blogs I love to follow. I loved the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes". Nice seeing you again.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Susan for sharing this yummy sounding recipe. We've visited Juliet, GA where Fried Green Tomatoes was filmed and where at one time, the restaurant served up bbq and fried green tomatoes. It was a fun day trip. My husband and brother are going to love this recipe you have shared. Have a wonderful weekend.

Jenny said...

Fried Green Tomatoes, now I am hungry. I will have to give the sauce a try.

Lyr said...


Debbie said...

I loved the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes" too. Wow; thanks for sharing this recipe!