Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ginger Cilantro Sauce

Merry December!  Can you believe it's almost the end of 2014?  This year has been quite a ride, and  I've already started looking back and processing.  I'm looking forward to next year, too, setting goals and contemplating where I want to go.

What I'm most excited about right now is Before Baby.  I know, I know, it's late!  It's a constant source of frustration, but it is going to be out for sale next week (before Christmas!) and I guarantee it will have been worth the wait.  As with any creative endeavor, aspects of it took longer than expected and I wanted it to be done right.  There were a couple of photos I wanted to reshoot and some formatting challenges to work through.  Has anyone out there ever self-published a book?  There was definitely a steep learning curve, but all this knowledge will come in handy when we publish the next one!

November was a blur.  Seriously.  My family was visiting from Michigan for three weeks, which was absolutely amazing, but I was also working a contract for 2/3 of that time.  I worked in the morning while Grandma took care of Teo, and then we went gallivanting off on amazing Seattle adventures.  Has anyone gotten the City Pass before?  It allows you access to several Seattle tourist attractions, many of which I've never been to.  Like the Space Needle.  I've lived in Seattle since 1998 and I'd never been up the Space Needle.

Now our house is empty again and the holidays are nearly upon us.  With all the crazy I haven't been inspired to cook in the least.  I mean, I've been cooking, but it's been basic foods, foods I know by heart and can throw together in a jiff or toss in the crockpot to stew all day.  We'd been making do with these staple foods, but something changed.  I started craving this cilantro ginger sauce that my mother-in-law makes.  It's so simple--cilantro, ginger, rice vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, safflower oil--but the tangy, ginger goodness is so addictive I've renamed it "crack sauce."  After I make it, I sweep my finger along the inside of the Cuisinart trying to get every last drop.

I served this ginger cilantro sauce on chicken breast that I filleted, pounded and seared with just a little salt.  Cooking around here has gotten a bit plainer and more compartmentalized because Teo is eating everything in sight but doesn't care for spice.  So I served him the chicken, cut up, with just a dab of sauce while I drenched my plate in it.  On the side was roasted butternut squash, and cabbage and apple salad from the December 2014 issue of Bon Appetit.

Now that I've whetted my palate I hope I can sustain my enthusiasm for cooking again.  Tonight I'm cooking from Jerusalem, and I know it will be delicious.

 Ginger Cilantro Sauce

1 bunch cilantro, washed, with woody stems removed
1 thumb-size piece of ginger, skin removed and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup safflower or other neutral oil

Combine the cilantro, ginger, tamari, seasoned rice vinegar, and sesame oil and pulse until chopped.  With the food processor running, drizzle in the oil until all the ingredients are minced and fully combined.  Eat over meat, tofu or vegetables.