I’m a sauce-aholic to the core. There is something sensual about licking sticky stuff off your fingers and from the corners of your mouth while eating. Over the years, I’ve concocted my own renditions of many classic glazes, dips and marinades. Sauce basically accessories a dish, kind of like how nice shoes and jewelry enhance a dull outfit. With the right one, you can turn a simple meal into something spectacular…. *Cues in the guest of the hour*
Bare crispy chicken wings are a good time. But coating them in a honey-garlic glaze? The transformation is epic. In a showdown with Red Hot buffalo, Wet Lemon Pepper, and Hickory BBQ, I’d bet money that Honey Garlic comes out victorious with the popular vote. This is one of those sauces that compliments just about every cut of the chicken (not just wings) both fried or baked. With chicken, I usually add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the recipe for a little spicy punch.
But wait, there’s more…..
Honey-Garlic sauce on fish is just out of control. I absolutely love it on baked salmon and halibut. Lightly season the fish with salt, pepper and sprinkle a little fresh chopped dill (optional) over it before tossing it in the oven. When the fish is about half way done, take it out and pour half of the sauce over each slab, then return it to the oven. After it’s done cooking, drizzle a little more of the sauce over the top again before serving. If you’re pan searing the fish on the stove instead of baking it, just season and sautée it in a couple tablespoons of olive oil first. When it’s just about done, turn the heat down to low pour the glaze over the top. With fish, sometimes I like to add two tablespoons of a peach, orange or pineapple marmalade (or preserve) to the sauce and let it simmer until it slightly dissolves. It gives the sauce a little flare of tangy fruit, adds more texture, and works sort of like a binder/adhesive so that the coating really sticks to the fish. You don’t have to add the marmalade; the regular honey-garlic glaze works just wonderfully. But if it were up to me, it’s going in.(pictured: glazed halibut with spaghetti squash and sauteed bok choy)
As much as I want to just sit here salivating as I tell you a story about the times I tossed fried and sauteed shrimp in a bowl of this sweet goodness, I’m sure you get the point by now. But I can’t leave without mentioning one last thing: Honey-garlic roasted carrots. Jesus. Take. The. Wheel.
Carrots roasted by themselves are pretty much lifeless. But with a kiss of honey-garlic? Instant veggie revival. The recipe, however, is a tad different. Leave out the soy sauce and ginger. Just mix the honey, chopped garlic, and 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter in a bowl. Skin the carrots and trim off their tops, then arrange them in on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or foil) and pour the sauce evenly over the veggies. Sprinkle two tablespoons of finely chopped parsley and salt/pepper (to taste) over the carrots. Bake at 400º F for 25 minutes or until fork-tender and lightly browned. Pictured below, you’ll find them alongside a juicy leg of lamb steak and pea purée. At times like this, profanity is forgivable because I must let you know that these little babies are f*cking delicious.