Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Citrus Butter Sauce

My sister Andrea made this sauce for an Irish Christmas dinner she did for a Christmas Around the World event at her church. She served it with a roasted goose, the first one she'd ever made. The photo here is of their table, with the sauce in the front in the lovely shamrock bowl. She gave me the recipe, and although it is delicious as it is, I couldn't resist tweaking it with some variations.

First, the basic sauce:
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup orange juice
Melt butter over low heat and add brown sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, until brown sugar is melted. Whisk orange juice and cornstarch together. Raise heat under butter mixture so that it is bubbling. Slowly pour in OJ mixture, stirring constantly. Let simmer, stirring constantly - don't let that sugar burn! - until thick and smooth.

As I said, Andrea served that as an accompaniment to roasted goose. When I made it, I had marinated chicken tenders in McCormick Grill Mates Baja Citrus marinade mix, a sort of southwestern citrus flavor. I browned the chicken in an oven proof skillet and let it bake for 20 minutes and then served it with this basic sauce. Amazing!

Now, some variations... because this sauce is SO good on its own, I didn't want to overwhelm it with a lot of other flavors. My advice is to try any ONE of the following, added when the orange juice first goes into the pan. Always taste before serving - you can add more herbs if you want, but you can't take them out!
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crumbled - perfect on roasted pork or simply seasoned pork or lamb chops
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill or 2 teaspoons fresh chopped dill - serve with grilled salmonor other meaty fish
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon crumbled sage - great with roasted turkey
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dry Jamaican jerk seasoning
For my Caribbean take on this sauce, replace 1/3 of the orange juice with lime juice. Add 2 smashed garlic cloves to the butter as it melts. Season with 1 teaspoon dried oregano and a little fresh ground pepper. Remove garlic before serving. This will give you a sweeter thicker take on Moko Criollo, a classic Cuban marinade. Serve for dipping grilled shrimp, add a couple of tablespoons into a lobster or chicken salad recipe or serve with just about any grilled meat.

No comments: