Suzi's Blog

Sauce Gribiche

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One central reason for the beloved quality of French food is the sauces: the range of flavor and intensities is a treasure trove for us. There is, sadly, a little reluctance to go treasure hunting. Truth is, we are all too often in a fast food mood. We are having salmon tonight? Oh, let’s open the jar of tartar sauce. The one that has been sitting there for six months.

This classic French sauce is a far better alternative to that dusty jar. It’s a staple in France, typically made with oil, but here the suggested base is a little mayonnaise. This sauce is in fact described, in Wikipedia, as a mayonnaise-style cold egg sauce. Hard-boiled eggs are divided: yolks and whites. The whites are merely chopped finely. The yolks are literally mashed with mustard and vinegar. Add the mayo and seasonings. Then come the additions which classically include pickled cucumbers, capers, parsley, chervil and tarragon.

You are free to mix and match these additions, for example here using cornichons in place of the cucumbers. And you should taste test along the way. Adjusting the vinegar can give you a range of “bite” here. Too much of a bite? Add a little sour cream, which gives the sauce an interesting body as well.

Well chilled, this sauce has a spritely flavor that contrasts and complements salmon. Baked or broiled, with a caramelizing crust, salmon begs for a powerful partner. This sauce is supreme in this role.

Other uses? Any fish of course, but trout will be wonderful. This sauce, as an extended mayonnaise, will transform a sandwich into a fully-fledged memorable treat. Think of toasted French bread with thin slices of roast beef all slathered with this bright sauce.

Put that jar down. Hard boil some eggs. And have some inventive fun.


Sauce Gribiche

Yield: ⅔ cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large hard-boiled egg
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cornichons or sour pickle
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon capers, drain and chopped

Preparation:

Remove the white from the hard-boiled egg and finely chop. In small bowl, mash the yolk, mustard, and vinegar to a paste. Stir in the mayonnaise, salt, and pepper until well combined. Stir in cornichons, parsley, tarragon, capers, and chopped egg white until well blended.

Source: The All New Good Housekeeping Cook Book edited by Susan Westmoreland

Photo Information: Canon T2i, 18-55mm Macro Lens, f/2.8, 1/100 second, ISO-1000

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Suzen’s Triple Meat Meatloaf


“Curly Parsley? What the hell did you buy curly? I only eat flat leaf!”

I was in the other room but her voice can carry. I looked down at the shopping list. It said “parsley [flat] and celery.”

I went into the kitchen to face the music. She was standing there, parsley in one hand and the celery — which I had bought — in the other. She was waving them like mismatched green pompoms.

“I can explain,” I began.

“Really? You know I hate curly parsley.” She was beyond angry.

“I did not take the shopping list. I knew we needed parsley. I just got confused.”

“What about the shopping list?”

“I didn’t take it.”

“Why didn’t you call?”

“Didn’t take my phone. Can I help make this?”

“Yes. Leave the kitchen.”

Okay, maybe I should have taken the list. I just had an almost-senior moment in the store when I got there. All the way over, I had had the mantra “flat not curly” but when I got to the produce section all I could remember was “maybe flat, maybe curly.” It happens.

As for the phone. Well, don’t you sometimes just want to go out? With no agenda set in stone. With no electronic leash tying you back to everyone and everything. To just go out, and be free of contacts, contracts, and all that rigidity?

Is it possible to have two middle aged crises in your life?

We had bought this pack of ground meat with beef, pork and veal. It’s the perfect arrangement for a great meat loaf. Not too beefy. Not too rich. Difference with a style. Before I had left for the market, I had tried to find a recipe in one of our meat books. Suzen had sent me off to the store with an “I’ll take care of it” statement. Say, maybe that is what fried my brain?

After our parsley and phone discussion, I left her alone.

“I need you,” she finally said. The ingredients had been mixed together, put in a BIG metal casserole pan, and she needed ketchup poured on top.

Instantly I saw green. Lots of green chopped up but I could tell: she had really used that curly parsley. There were lovely green spirals in the meat mix. Should I say something? Thank her? Hell, chide her?

She was wearing rubber gloves. She would leave no fingerprints if she took some “executive action.” I decided to reduce my personal risk. I shut up and poured the ketchup.

This meatloaf isn’t just good. It’s great, truly great with a lovely smooth flavor. Tinted, of course, by the tones of the parsley, but I’m not going to mention that again.

Preparation is easy. Put everything in a bowl, and mix with your hands. It’s messy, which is why she was wearing those rubber gloves.

The next day? Toasted challah, some ketchup, a sliced onion, and you can have a remarkable meatloaf sandwich.

Suzen’s Triple Meat Meatloaf

Yield: about 2 pounds

Ingredients:

  • One package of three ground meats, beef, pork and veal (about .5 pounds each), total 1.5 pounds
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 celery rib, minced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • ½ cup Italian parsley minced
  • ½ cup catsup or to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • Worchester sauce
  • Tabasco Sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350⁰F.

Mix together by hand all the ingredients in a bowl. Transfer to a large enough metal baking container. Top with more catsup and bake for 90 minutes.

Source: Suzen O’Rourke