If you’re a Trader Joe’s fanatic, it’s likely that you know all about zhoug, a spicy, herbal sauce with a cult-like following.
Pronounced “zoog,” zhoug is a Middle Eastern condiment believed to have originated in Yemen. Think of it as a pesto or a chimichurri with an additional heat factor. It’s used to drizzle over falafel, grilled meat, fish, vegetables or paired with tzatziki.
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 jalapeños, seeds and membrane removed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 cups cilantro leaves, packed
- 3/4 cup avocado oil
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Add cumin seeds and cardamom to a small skillet over medium-low heat. Toast in a dry pan, stirring frequently, until they start to smell fragrant and toasty, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to let them burn or you will have to start over.
- Transfer toasted spices to a food processor. Add garlic cloves, jalapeños, salt and cilantro. Pulse until ingredients begin to come together, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Slowly drizzle in oil and process until incorporated and smooth. Transfer to bowl and stir in red pepper flakes.
Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce – Move over boring cranberry sauce! Cranberries are so much better with blueberries and wine! Make your own sauce in 30 minutes, so EASY, and everyone LOVES it!! Your favorite red wine may be substituted in place of the cabernet. If you don’t want to use wine, you could use water, although the flavor will be completely different. The sauce has a pleasant pop of spices, but always add to taste, and if you don’t like bolder flavors, consider reducing the cinnamon and cloves.
- 1 8-ounce bag fresh cranberries
- 6 ounces frozen blueberries (about 1 1/2 cups), unthawed
- 1 cup cabernet sauvignon (or shiraz, merlot, or a favorite red wine)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves, or to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a medium to large kettle, and bring to a rolling boil, stirring intermittently. Make sure kettle has room for sauce to at least triple in volume. The juices from the berries release and as the mixture boils rapidly, it will foam and a too-small pot will easily overflow.
- Reduce heat to low and allow sauce to simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until reduced and thickened slightly, and most of the cranberries have burst. Sauce will thicken more as it cools.
- Transfer to heat-safe jars or containers with lids. Allow sauce to cool at room temperature before refrigerating. Sauce will keep airtight in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.
Cranberry fans will ask for this sauce again and again. It’s loaded with their favorite fruit—in fresh, dried and juice form. Orange and allspice make it awesome.
- 1 package (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup thawed cranberry juice concentrate
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 3 tablespoons orange marmalade
- 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, cranberry juice concentrate, dried cranberries and sugar.
- Cook over medium heat until the berries pop, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat; stir in the orange juice, marmalade, orange peel and allspice.
- Transfer to a small bowl; refrigerate until chilled.
Yield: 3 cups.
This sweet strawberry sauce, flavored with brown sugar and balsamic, is a great way to jazz up classic vanilla ice cream.
- 2 lb. strawberries
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 4 Tablespoons balsamic glaze (see Note)
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring strawberries and brown sugar to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and, using a potato masher, mash berries until broken up but still chunky.
- Let cool for 30 minutes, then stir in balsamic glaze. Serve sauce over ice cream.
Tips & Techniques
Note: Balsamic glaze is available at gourmet grocers and williams-sonoma.com, or substitute 1 cup balsamic vinegar plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, boiled and reduced by half (yields 8 tablespoons).
If you really wanted to try this hack and were missing the port—say you were in need of an impressive, very-last-minute dinner party dessert, or something else to throw on your cheese plate or to pep up your steak or soup or salad (or you know, your fancy, well-priced quarterly balsamic delivery from Food52 had run out)—you absolutely could. You could just leave the port out, or splash in a fruity red wine, or honey, or cherry juice and tweak the flavor and consistency as you like. Or you could just surrender as I did, and commit this formula to memory, knowing that it your new tool to have this elixir anytime, near instantly.
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon port
- Combine ingredients in shallow, nonreactive pan and slowly reduce over extremely low heat. Mixture should be barely simmering.
- Continue until mixture is reduced to half its original volume.
- Let cool to room temperature and use immediately.
- Serve over vanilla ice cream or panna cotta, on ripe pears or strawberries, with cheeses (especially, but not limited to, Parmesan), stirred into soups and drizzled over grilled steaks and pork chops—or anywhere else your food could use a hit of bright, sweet tang.
This delicious recipe for Shrimp Sauce Yum Yum Sauce will have you believing that you are sitting at the finest Japanese restaurant.
- 2 Cups (440g) of Mayonnaise
- 1/2 Cup (122g) Ketchup
- 3 Tablespoons (36.5g) Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 Cup of water
- 1 teaspoon Siracha or other hot sauce
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl – may add extra sugar to taste.
- Allow to sit in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving so that flavors can meld.
White Barbecue Sauce – an Alabama favorite! More of a condiment than a BBQ sauce this tangy, creamy sauce compliments both smoked & grilled chicken & pork.
- 1/2 cup plain mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon coarse black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 clove garlic, very finely minced
- A few dashes of hot sauce or sriracha sauce to taste
- Simple whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth.
- If you like the sauce a little thicker, just add another tablespoon or two of mayonnaise or thin it with a little more water if you find it’s too thick for your taste. I’ve seen it from a very watery consistency to as thick as ranch dressing.
- Let sit in the fridge for several hours or overnight to let the flavours develop.
- Best made the day before.
This does make a relatively small batch of sauce to serve about 4 people or so. Double or triple the recipe as needed if serving larger groups.