A sauce so good I could live on it…

Roasted Pork w/ Spinach Yogurt Sauce

Roasted Pork w/ Spinach Yogurt Sauce

One of things I find funny about my life is that people assume I eat so well simply because my husband is a chef. I will admit that we both love food to a point of almost obsession, and that certainly affects my eating habits. After all, he is the one who has planned our dinners to the Herb Farm, the French Laundry, Au Pied de Cochon and (coming soon) Willows Inn. But unless I visit him in at his restaurant or guilt him about buying a new cookbook, he rarely cooks more than ramen at home.

And, since I spent many years cooking professionally, I totally understand why. Even on your days off you’re exhausted and, quite frankly, sick of looking at food unless it’s something someone else has made.

For us, this seems to work out perfectly though — I love being the one to cook. I get to play around with new recipes and slip in more fiber (and less butter!) without him there to interfere.

But every once in a while, he surprises me by cooking something epically delicious on a day off. I will come home to the the thermal circulator chugging away, the pressure cooker giving a quiet whistle or homemade raviolis being pressed together with a fresh egg yolk in the center. And it’s always so good, I get a wave of, “I can’t believe I get to eat this at home!”

For example:

Iberico solomillo (tenderloin), with sous vide egg, scallions and nasturtiums

Iberico solomillo (the tenderloin from Spanish acorn-fed hogs ), with sous vide egg, scallions and nasturtiums

The dinner he made for me a few weeks ago was one of those meals — though it was incredibly tame by his standards. Nothing was dehydrated or fried in duck fat, and yet it made a serious impression on me, mainly because of the sauce. I guess you could call it a spinach-yogurt sauce, which is totally boring, but perfectly accurate. I don’t know of what else I could name it, but I do know this stuff rocked.

The raw garlic gave it just a little kick, which was tempered by the creamy tangy coolness of the yogurt. The spinach and parsley added a grassy herbaceous quality but gave a lovely vibrancy to the finished product.

This was a sauce that could be almost anything you wanted it to be — make it a little thicker and spread it on a sandwich. Thin it out with more lemon juice and use it as a salad dressing. Drizzle it in a soup or on a plate of grilled vegetables. It was one of those creations that just seemed to taste good with anything — well anything that would taste good with garlic.

Spinach Yogurt Sauce

Spinach Yogurt Sauce

He didn’t measure anything — the curse of a chef — but the basics would be:

a clove or two of raw garlic
a hefty handful or three of raw spinach
lemon juice
a handful of parsley leaves
plain yogurt (we used Greek)
salt & pepper

Puree in a blender. If you think it needs something else (chili oil, more lemon, fresh herbs, more greens), add it! Make it yours. It’s totally adaptable.

We served this magically delicious sauce with pan-seared bone-in pork chops, oven roasted potatoes, baby squash and onions. I can’t even express how good it was, but I’ll try: It was so good I ate it for dinner three nights in a row and three times later for lunch.

Yeah, that good.

Here’s the run down…The first incarnation (the picture is terrible — sorry! I was experimenting with a new lens for my camera).

Dinner #1

Dinner #1

And I made almost the exact same dinner the next night for my friend Oliver:

Roasted veggies

Roasted veggies

Pork chop with Spinach yogurt sauce

Dinner #2 (leftovers for lunch #1)

And then I used the sauce for the rest of the week as a tasty salad dressing:

Salad with roasted pork, cherries, spinach yogurt sauce

Dinner #3 (lunches #2 and #3)

And each time it was wonderful! Clearly I really enjoyed this sauce with pork, but I seriously can’t imagine it wouldn’t be good with anything savory.

Make it, love it, feel the magic.

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21 thoughts on “A sauce so good I could live on it…

  1. Yeah, the sauce sounds good… but I KISSED the screen when I saw that Iberico. Meat Girl, do you guys carry Iberico?? And more importantly, DO YOU SHIP!???? 🙂

  2. magically delicious, yes! Love spinach and fun to see it pureed into a sauce as my rotation is mainly raw in salads, sauteed, creamed. This is like learning a new trick 🙂 I can see why you love it so.

  3. I just LOVE this!! There’s so much spinach at the moment and I’ve been running out of ideas, so it’s great that you posted this recipe. And anything with raw garlic is a winner 🙂
    And you even got your own cheffy swirl of the sauce on “dinner #1” pic – super cool 😉

    • Thank you! And yes, when he plates up our food there’s always just a little extra flair than when I do it. If you’re still rolling in spinach you should throw it in a smoothie with some fruit (and booze). Great way to get your vitamins and have a lovely cool-down drink at the same time!

      • I was chatting with my mum about smoothies today. I never make them but I really should cos they always sound so interesting! I don’t really like alcohol, but I’m intrigued about combining it with spinach – what would you suggest?

        • I am kind of boring with my smoothies — been making the same variety forever. I use a banana, 1/4 cup of yogurt, 4-5 frozen strawberries, 1/4 cup frozen mixed berries. Then a few splashes of juice (or booze) to get everything blending. I add about 2-3 big handfuls of spinach leaves once it’s pureeing and wait for it to turn green. As for booze, I love flavored spirits in these: raspberry or blueberry vodka, vanilla, coconut, or pineapple rum…lots of options, but fruity is always a perfect fix. Try it sometime! =) I don’t make mine super boozy but it’s nice when I want something cool and refreshing with a little lift.

    • Thanks! You should definitely try this one out — it was nice to have the creamy texture without all the heaviness of cream. The next time I grill or roast up a chicken, I’m totally making this to go with it.

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