Thursday, May 1, 2014

Voodoo in the Air and Peruvian Green Sauce

The last week has been a blur. Or should I say, the last week and a half? It took awhile to get things back to "normal" after coming home to paint dust and splatter. I cleaned each and every cabinet out and was happy with my work. Yes, I still have the refrigerator to do but cabinets that haven't been cleaned inside, in probably years, are finally clean again. There is a certain sense of accomplishment in that.

No sooner had I finished, than Manservant came up the steps, saying that Alex was coming home tomorrow. Which meant cleaning the rest of the house... Not that Alex would care, but I just felt the need to get it done. It was nice to have a visit with him and actually not have a ton of things to do. And I was glad I cleaned. 

Alex has a way of making each room know he is home. The laundry room held his clothes. The kitchen held his jacket and his computer. Then the den held his computer. Then his room held his computer and his shorts. Then Zoe's room held him. He is still mattress-less in his room, because that is with him in Vail, until he brings it back. And the bathroom held his clothes, clean and dirty. Of course, the driveway held his car. Things sure have a way of filling up when he is around.

And now he finally has a date that for heading to China. All I can say is "Get ready China, because here he comes!" July 8th will find me shedding tears. So, after hopefully taking the beginnings of a sommelier course in May (which he is wait listed for), he will finally be taking his show on the road. Whatever that show may be. He plans to study more and then hopefully find some type of work in the wine business in Shanghai. I know he'll be working hard to get ready to go, after spending time in Moab, and a week of rafting and skiing. Right, honey?

So with Alex around we had an exciting Friday night. We started at The Source  -a somewhat new happening spot in Denver. We went early, which was a good thing, and managed to partake of the weekly drink at The Proper Pour - a perfectly curated boutique wine/liquor shop that is there. They were mixing Negronis, and not having had one before, I didn't want to miss out. Manservant had a Negroni made with tequila and it was quite drinkable, I must say. (Manservant loved their tequila selection.) I had the classic and enjoyed that, too. If you are in Denver, it is a great store. We bought some tequila and  all the makings for our own Negronis, plus we bought some orgeat syrup. OH man! You will see more on this soon, because it is killer. These folks really know their stuff and I can't wait to spend another happy hour there again. (No pun, intended!)

From there we walked next door to the Belgian brewery that specialized in sour beers. I thought Alex might lose it when I asked why they were called sour beers. Well, I just wanted the scoop. And no, they weren't all that sour. So it wasn't a dumb question, and someone once told me there are no dumb questions. We had a good sampling and then it was over to La Comida for tacos and Margaritas. Yes'm, they are good. And they also have gorditas and quesadillas. And brunch... but we didn't stay THAT long.

It is kind of embarrassing to say, but we still needed dessert. Voodoo doughnuts came here from Portland awhile ago, and I have always wanted to see what the fuss was about. So after circling like hawks to find a parking spot, because they have no parking, Manservant dropped us off. It was only about 7:30 and there was already a line. I gave strict instructions to Manservant to find a legal parking spot because on this part of Colfax, the tow trucks are like vultures. Welcome to Denver. Yes it is kind of sickening and over the top, but they prey on cars and you. Well, there was definitely voodoo in the air because as Manservant was leading us back to the car, he spots a tow truck. And yes, the tow truck was towing the truck that was hiding our car. Two girls were crying and helpless, but that didn't stop the vultures from preying. I felt Manservant's heart skip a beat as he got into the car and drove us away. OK, he says there weren't any signs at that exact space. Ah, but there were "no parking signs" in the lot, I said. I always knew he didn't listen well. I was told to drop it, but the next time I am driving!

The doughnuts? Yes, they are divine. And the good news is that there are plenty of flavors to try, the next time we go back! The guy at the checkout counter explained all the varieties to us and then he tells us about the Arnold Palmer. Some kind of lemon and tea thing. Sure enough, that is what Manservant wants and then he tells us that is what all the dads order. He threw in an extra mango filled doughnut that was great, but I preferred the cruller with chocolate and peanut butter and bananas. But the the maple and bacon was pretty good,too! Next time, we'll go more chocolate!

After that expedition we ate pretty healthy! I decided to make Peruvian chicken because I love their great green sauce. This sauce would make anything taste good. Alex used all of it in the time he was here, because he drizzled it on everything. It is great stuff and would be perfect on fish or eggs or even grilled meat, or as a dip, or just to eat with a spoon. It is perfect over tacos or quesadillas, but maybe not over doughnuts! And the chicken? Well, it was delectable. I rubbed it with a great spice mixture and then slow cooked it on the grill with a touch of smoke. That will come, next post. In the meantime, let's get to the sauce. It contains a lot less verbage than this post!

Peruvian Green Sauce
Taken from: Serious Eats (If Serious Eats was a restaurant I'd be there all the time!)
Yield: About 1 cup

3 whole jalapeƱo chiles, (If you want a spicier sauce leave the seeds in!)
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 medium cloves garlic
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh juice from 1 lime
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, except for the olive oil. Blend, while pulsing and scraping down sides of bowl, until fully processed. With machine going, drizzle in olive oil to form an emulsion, similar to mayonnaise. This will thicken upon being refrigerated, but is still not as thick as mayonnaise.  

This should become a staple in your kitchen. It is THAT good!
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Great Foods for May:
Peruvian Chicken with Green Sauce


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  1. My daughter leaves tomorrow for Vegas; I say we need to make a trip to Voodoo when your son leaves and either cry us a river or at the very least have a half dozen donuts. You in?

    I have some Orgeat syrup; now trying to remember what I used it for; maybe your discovery will remind me?

    Clean house feels good huh? Can't wait to see what you end up doing with all this energy!

    1. We have to wait that long? Orgeat syrup is often used in Mai Tai's. This syrup is handmade and I could just drink it out of the bottle! But i don't plan on using it in a MaiTai! Energy for this weekend goes to yardwork. Zoe will be home for a few days in three weeks!

  2. Love cilantro! The sauce sounds and looks great, Abbe. I would love a bite of those awesome donuts too. They look too good!
    Have fun in China, Alex.

    1. Thanks, Angie. I must say that this sauce will become a regular in my kitchen. The perfect cilantro/spicy touch. Not too heavy and just the right amount of something extra AND it is way better than ketchup!

  3. Glad you had a nice visit with Alex! Sounds like a terrific time. Voodoo sounds like a great place. And that green sauce sounds simply wonderful. Good dish, fun post -- thanks.

    1. Voodoo is an entity unto itself. Quite a unique place in a very interesting area. Perfect for people watching! Thanks, John!

  4. We have been spring cleaning non-stop around here in preparation for putting the house on the market. I can only say I wish we would have cleaned and cleared so well much earlier so we could have enjoyed it much longer. What a nice night with your guys! Sounds perfect to me. I haven't been to Voodoo Donuts either but now you have me curious. I will however love to make this sauce very soon.

    1. I don't deal well with clutter and stuff. My brain goes crazy if the house seems overwhelming. Weird, I know! Let me know if you find something close to here. Our neighbors house just went up for sale. I love exploring and finding new places, Karen!

  5. I've been wanting to go The Source, just haven't made it there yet. As for Voodoo, I didn't like them. Just seems like donuts with a bunch of cereal on tops even the kids weren't thrilled by them and we ended up pitching some of them. So yeah, I won't be waiting in line for any.
    Well, after Alex leaves you are more than welcome to chill with me and take your mind off things :)
    This Peruvian sauce looks marvellous. We have something similar in Indian cooking but we don't use mayo or sour cream, just some yoghurt. It is divine :)

  6. I'm sure your son will have a wonderful time in China. I have always wanted to try Voodoo doughnuts. Will you send me some please :D

  7. Voodoo doughnuts? That's such an interesting name! What a way to go "green", Abbe! Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. Ooo....the green sauce looks really good. The doughnuts look equally amazing. I've never seen such good-looking doughnuts. Not where I live!

    I'm looking forward to reading your next post, on the chicken. It sounds really yummy!

  9. I've seen Vodoo Doughnuts on TV before and have been intrigued by all their interesting flavors and combinations. Your sauce looks delicious - so vibrant and green!

  10. I feel the same way when Nick returns to trip over, double the laundry!
    Your Peruvian green sauce sounds amazing...I'm going to wait on your next post then give it a try.

  11. That's quite the Denver outing. Lots of places I'd love to go. Where are you taking the Sommelier class? The Peruvian sauce sounds fabulous ... what do you do with it?

  12. When you spoke about Alex, I thought that If I were to write about my daughter it would be the same. She also has a way of letting the whole house know that she is back. Every inch of space knows her by the belongings she leaves behind.
    But then I also know that I will miss it when she leaves home.

    We have something similar to this peruvian sauce in Indian cuisine. This looks rich and creamy. I would use it on everything too.

  13. First off, I had Voodoo doughnuts when I was in Portland in November. They are awesome. I had no idea they had franchized. As the French say, it's all in the sauce. So having one more original sauce in your back pocket---well actually that would be pretty messy----I can't help it, I am actually chuckling at that---is a plus. I can't get over the color. Gorgeous.

  14. I am drooling over those doughnuts!!

  15. Voodoo donuts is one place I hope doesn't cross the Mississippi. They sound all too good and I don't need to become a regular at a donut shop. Nice that you all spent such a great evening together and I hope Alex can join you for the class. This green sauce does sound good, Abbe, even if I have to ditch the cilantro. ;)

  16. I've had such a lovely time this morning, catching up on your blog - and I stumbled across this gem, along with so many of your newer recipes. Oh, Abbe - yum! I went to Peru about 15 years ago, before the twins were born, as part of a faculty trip for the private school I worked for at that time. The food (which now is starting to be a bit of an international culinary superstar) is truly interesting and so delicious! This take on green sauce is such a great one to try - super easy, and full of great flavors! Thanks for sharing this! :D ~Shelley