Sauce Piquant

June 30, 2007

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Here’s a quick dipping sauce you can serve with anything from Crab Cakes and boiled shrimp to fried catfish and hamburgers. It’s also great with French fries and hash browns. If you like things hot, add a few drops of hot pepper sauce. Make some now, and you’ll have extra for the Fourth. SAM

PS If you use capers packed in salt, which are fabulous, rinse them thoroughly and soak them in three or four changes of water. Of course, if you love salt, rinse less and keep them salty.

1 cup tomato ketchup
Juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
2 teaspoons capers

Combine the ketchup, lemon juice, oil, horseradish, sugar, and capers, mixing thoroughly.
Makes 1 1/2 cups.


Spinach Dip

May 29, 2007

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The secret to this one is a really good pepper sauce—that and the spinach. Frozen leaf spinach is generally better quality than chopped. It doesn’t need cooking, but you have to get the moisture out. Some people use a dishtowel, but it works just as well to squeeze it by hand. If you love salt, add some. But there’s plenty of salt in the mayonnaise and Worcestershire and hot-pepper sauces. SAM

2 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen spinach, thawed and wrung dry by hand
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, quartered
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 dashes hot-pepper sauce or to taste
Sea salt to taste
1 small green onion, finely chopped

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the garlic 3 or 4 times until finely chopped. Add the spinach, cream cheese, mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, hot-pepper sauce, and salt, processing until smooth. Remove from the processor bowl and stir in the onion by hand. Cover and chill. Serve with vegetables or chips or as a sandwich spread.
Makes 2 1/2 cups.