21 February 2010

Citrus and Samurai

On my kitchen counter right now are citrus fruits: lemons, blood oranges, clementines and limes. Beside them is a jar of Samurai sauce (or Samourai sauce, if you’re Dutch). This is a bad omen in my house.

When I start to get sick, often the first sign is that I start to crave sour things. And hot spicy things. Sour I understand--it’s the Vitamin C. Ok, but spicy? Beats me, but it’s an infallible sign when combined with sour.

So here we are, with the dreaded hot and sour combo. And sure enough, I have a bug. A cold. It’s settled in my throat and I sound like a frog. Ew. Not a good thing when you’re glib for a living.

I can hear you, you know. I can hear you asking yourself (and me too): What’s that Samurai sauce? I’ve never seen it before! I’m so sorry. You’ve really missed something special.

You may know that Belgians love their fries. Fries here are served with a variety of sauces, with ketchup being only one of many choices. (I can see that we’ll have to take a side trip to a friterie soon. Sometime when I don’t sound so much like Kermit.) The classic, of course, is mayo. But there are lots of others: Bearnaise, Tartare, Andalouse, Curry. Given my innate bias towards spicy foods, my favorite is Samurai. Especially when I’m sick. Or sounding froggy.

Samurai sauce is like mayonnaise but with a real kick. It’s mayo grown up. It has hot chili peppers in it. It has its own facebook page. By now you’re probably saying, “How could I have missed this?” Me too. When I first tasted it, I wondered how I could have lived without it for so long. I think it’s because it’s pretty much only sold in Belgium and maybe the Netherlands.

Samurai sauce is great on fries, of course. But it's also good on chips--potato or corn. Or on breadsticks. Or on sandwiches in place of mayo.

I’ve never tried to make Samurai sauce. When I look at the ingredients, I think I know how I’d approach it, though. It has vegetable oil, egg yolk, vinegar, red pepper, mustard, water, sugar, chili, salt. sounds like mayo with chili and red pepper in it. I’d probably begin by roasting a red pepper and pureeing it, then making (or buying) mayo and adding the pureed pepper and some pureed chili.

I googled Samurai sauce, and found only one recipe for it here in Dutch or here in English. This just says to mix mayo and pureed chili peppers. I tried it, and that’s close, but not exactly the thing. I think it’s missing the roasted red peppers. The color is paler and the taste is not quite the same. My pureed chili peppers are preserved in vinegar, which gives this too much of a vinegar bite. It needs that little bit of the pepper’s mellow sweetness to balance the mayo and the chilis. IMHO.

So I’m sitting here drinking tea made from ginger (hot) and lemon (sour) and a little honey. For lunch I’ve made some chicken soup with rice. With it think I’ll have some rye crackers with Samurai sauce. It's my favorite remedy. A few days of this and I should feel better...

Citrus and Samurai--good for what ails you. What's your favorite cold remedy?

P.S. Have you seen Jamie Oliver’s TED talk? If not, go here. It takes 22 minutes, and it's very important. Especially if you have children.


Pam said...

Feel better soon! I'm going to keep my eyes open for that sauce, because it sounds like something we would love here!

Kathy said...

Samourai Sauce...Now you've got me salivating Kate.
Spicy I do love...Wonder if I could spot this in one of our import stores?
Worth a try I would think!
So sorry your not feeling up to par...citrus, spicy, your a hoot.
I say "Whatever works for you"!
Okay ...while I've got your attention...Have you ever used Champaigne vinegar? or heard of it?
I could swear I heard Ina Garten say she used it for numerous dishes...People look at me crossed eyed when I ask if they carry it.
Maybe I just misunderstood, certainly wouldn't be the first time.
Well, get back to your normal soon,
xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings....

Bob said...

Hope you feel better soon! That sauce sounds awesome, you've totally made me want to try it.

Kim said...

I adore Jamie Oliver! He is such a doll. Thanks for point out the youtube video.
Hope you are feeling better soon. That sauce sounds delicious.
I crave hot tea with honey when I'm under the weather, but I've also been known to indulge on popsicles when sick.

zurin said...

I hope ur throat feels better soon Kate...

samurai sauce sounds very very interesting and i can imagine how fantastic it would be with fries!! MMMmm ur description has me craving for it now...honestly ...and the picture is not helping curb it either...oh wow ....mmmmmmmm

grace said...

oh kermie. :)
i know it's trite, but i really crave brothy soups when i have a cold. that warm, rich liquid absolutely perks me up. your get-well cure sounds interesting, the sauce in particular.
now, feel better immediately!

Maggie B said...

Sorry to hear that you're poorly, this cold remedy sounds like it might do the trick though.
When I get the chills and feel a bad cold coming on DH pours me a small glass of Scotch, adds a slug of Stone's Ginger Wine and packs me off to bed with a hot water bottle. Works for me.
Get well soon.

Silke said...

I hope you feel better soon kate!
I just made my hubby who feels bad to a good old fashioned chicken soup with big pieces of chicken and I always serve a grog when we get sick.

thanks for visiting my blog btw! I have been following yours for a while now and I just love it.
I have been blogging for a while in dutch, but as you can see I am giving english a chance now to!

Hungry Dog said...

I'm sorry you're sick! Hope you recover rapidly. Ugh, I hate having colds.

My go-to remedy foods are steamed chicken (chinese style) served with scallions, ginger, and salt; or ramen or udon soup.

lostpastremembered said...

I have never heard of this sauce but have often made sauces that asked for from scratch mayo and added things... they are never quite as good... but sometimes that is all you can do! Such a funny name... I wonder where it comes from?

Junglefrog said...

I hope you feel better soon Kate! it's that dreaded time of year when everyone seem to get the cold sooner or later... I have never actually heard of Samurai sauce, but it sounds rather good though... :)

nightowlchef said...

Ugh, I hope you kick that cold away soon! Either the ginger or the spicy samouri sauce should do the trick.... That ginger tea is a classic helper, but I'm with Maggie on the shot of alcohol. Didn't the Germans develop Jagermeister as a medicine originally? I think that's all it's good for, personally - chasing away a sore throat before it develops into a full-blown painful sore throat!

Take it easy!! :)

Barbara said...

Oh Kate! I'm so sorry you are feeling bad. I depend pretty much on Zicam and vitamins when I get a cold.
A while back The Kitchen Witch came up with a cold remedy. I saved it:
The Thoddy
(serves one sad-sack husband)

1 packet Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough Theraflu (Honey Lemon, Chamomile and White Tea flavor)
1 jigger spiced rum, such as Captain Morgan's
1 jigger pineapple orange juice
6 oz. water

Combine the water and pineapple juice in a microwaveable mug. Zap 1 minute or until hot. Stir in rum and Theraflu packet. Pour down gullet. Bliss Out.

And I don't think she was kidding, either.
I've never heard of Samourai but it sounds like something I'd really like!

The Gypsy Chef said...

Kate, sorry your feeling so sick. It takes all the fun out of living. If you can't breathe through your nose it's hard to enjoy eating, drinking and sleeping. Hmmm what do I do about a cold? I have two people sick in my house right now. I've given them ginger, lemon and honey tea, homemade chicken soup, and NyQuil. The Nyquil is probably the equivalent of having a shot of liquor, but it also un-stuffs the nose.
Samurai Sauce sounds like a perfect dip for fries! I believe my son will love it. I will have to stock up on i in April!
Feel better Dearie!

Juliana said...

Kate, I hope you feel better soon...there are many people that I know that are sick...
Samorai sauce sure looks yummie, mayo, spices...I'd love to dip my fries in it :-)

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Oh man, how could I have missed this?! Mayo grown up sounds real good to me. Oh Kate, I hope you get well soon. Feel better already!


The Domestic Adventurer said...

I hope you're feeling better today. The sauce sounds interesting!

Kathy said... is Tuesday...and I'm hoping your feeling better by now.
Just thinking of well my friend,
xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

Deeba PAB said...

Never heard of something as intriguing as this... it sounds finger licking good!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I had never heard of Samurai sauce either! I'm certainly going to look for it, soon :) What a beautiful bowl of citrus!

I hope you're feeling better, Kate. I had a bad, bad cold in January and ended up having to go to the doctor because of an infection in my ear. Homemade chicken soup is my favorite remedy.

I'm so happy that Jamie Oliver has become a spokesperson for childhood obesity!

Stella said...

That's a home remedy if I've ever seen one!

tasteofbeirut said...

I had the best time in Bruxelles one year and thought the Belgians are better than the French. (Ouch! What a statement, I am gonna get lynched!)
That Samourai sauce sounds right up my alley!

2 Stews said...

I understand the hot craving when you're sick...I do the same thing. I think it clears the sinuses. I am going to look for this in Paris. I think a little chili pepper is good in just about everything. Making it sounds interesting, too.

I'm hoping by now you are feeling it spring yet??


Dorice Watercolours said...

Hi Kate,
Hope you're on the mend real soon. Sounds like you will be with all that healing food. The citrus is the vitamin C, the hot spices probably is chock-ful of antioxidants to push the process along! Samurai sauce ... never heard but sounds like a "must seek or do"!

Anonymous said...

samurai sauce rules! i have it with alost every frie i eat! it's also a killer for kebab, especially together with garlic sauce. ;)