While rooting around in the freezer, if you find a hunk of “mystery meat” that’s been in there long enough to qualify for a PFD check, here’s a sauce recipe that will turn it into something good to eat.
I found this recipe about a year ago in a book on Mexican cooking, “Simple Food, Big Flavors,” by restaurant owner and Food Network star Aaron Sanchez. The sauce is so simple to make, and it tastes so good, you’ll wish you knew about it years ago. I’ve tried it on caribou, moose, beef, pork and chicken, and it beats anything I’ve ever tried. It would make plywood taste good. Chef Aaron says it’s so good, he’d swim in it, if he could. He calls it “Garlic-Chipotle Love.”
By the way, if you like Mexican food, you’d like his book. I’ve made several of the sauces and dishes in it and tried them on family and friends. The dishes have been good enough that I find myself making them again and again. Here’s the recipe for Garlic-Chipotle Love:
• 1 cup canola oil
• 12 garlic cloves, peeled
• 3 tablespoons canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
• ¼ cup fresh cilantro
• Grated zest of 1 lime
• 1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Pour oil into heavy, oven-proof, medium saucepan and add garlic. Cover pan with foil, and roast until garlic turns soft and light-brown, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let garlic and oil cool to room temperature. Put garlic and oil in a blender or food processor. Add chipotles and adobo sauce, cilantro, lime zest, and salt. Puree mixture until very smooth. Store in a tightly closed container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in freezer for up to one month.
There was a time when cans of chipotles in adobo sauce were scarce on the Kenai Peninsula, but they’re fairly common now. I make one batch of this sauce at a time, and store the remaining chipotles in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.
After the sauce has “rested” for a while, the garlic-infused oil rises to the top. When you use it, be sure to dig down and scoop up the good stuff from the bottom. I like to finish grilling meat, and then, just before serving it, brush both sides with a little “love.”
As with anything that’s this good, there’s such as thing as too much of it. A teaspoon of canola oil contains about 40 calories. If that means doing a little more of something that day to work those off, I think you’ll find that it’s worth whatever it takes.
Garlic-Chipotle Love always tastes good, but it’s best when the flavors of the cilantro and lime zest are fresh. Its salty, spicy, garlicky tang will perk up most any dish, including dips and spreads.
Just thinking about it has me drooling on the keyboard.
Les Palmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.