Friday, May 11, 2012

Zankou's Garlic Sauce Clone

Grilled Game Hen w/Garlic Sauce

I had come across a news story about an Armenian-Lebanese restaurant called Zankou Chicken. This Armenian-Lebanese rotisserie chicken restaurant with a store in Anaheim, California (home of Disneyland) Little Arabia, is widely known for its white garlic sauce.  
At first I was thinking "how good could this possibly be"? After a little more reading I figured that a tiny shop that nets over $1 million annually must be doing something right. As good as the chicken is supposed to be, this sauce defines what they do.
Last night I did a simple grilled game hen that I cooked with just salt, pepper over hardwood charcoal that I added a couple of sticks of applewood to. This chicken was moist and juicy and the Zankou Garlic sauced absolutely killed.
Before you break this out for a special date please keep in mind that this recipe calls for an entire head of raw garlic.

Zankou Garlic Sauce Clone
1 large, peeled russet potatoes
1 whole head of garlic, peeled
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, reserve half
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil

Zankou Garlic Sauce 

  • Make sure the potatoes are completely peeled, with any green or brown discoloration is removed.
  • Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft, then mash to a smooth consistency. Allow to cool.
  • Pour the oil into a measuring cup with a spout to allow for easy administering.
  • Place the peeled garlic cloves, salt and half of the lemon juice in a blender. Be sure to secure the lid.
  • Turn the blender on high, and slowly stream the oil through the hole in the lid until the mixture combines into a smooth consistency.
  • Pour out the garlic "mayo" into a bowl
  • Add the mashed potatoes to the mixture 2 tablespoons at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until it's the consistency of loose, mashed potatoes. 
  • Add the remaining lemon juice a little at a time until the tartness tastes balanced to you.
  • Cover the bowl, and chill the sauce completely.
  • Temperature will affect how salty foods taste. Adjust the salt after the sauce has cooled.
This sauce had the consistency of frosting. The starch from the potato when pureed gets a pasty texture and next time I might not use a ricer to mash the potato. The sauce keeps its texture when cooled and the flavor is out of this world. This could easily become a "go to" for sandwiches or just about any other protein dish you want to give a garlic kick to.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Whole Bowl

The Whole Bowl

There is a small restaurant (that started as a food cart) here in Portland called: "Whole Bowl".
The ingredients are basically a burrito, but without the tortilla wrap.
Brown rice, red and black beans, cheddar cheese, avocado, onion, cilantro, salsa, sour cream and and addictive mustard yellow sauce they call: Tali Sauce. Locals also call this sauce "Crack" sauce as it is something you just want to keep eating.
I did some digging around on the interwebs and came up with a recipe that is close to the original. If you are going to the trouble to put this sauce together go ahead and scale it up.....this stuff seems to disappear way too fast.

(Almost) Tali Sauce
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo beans
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup large flake nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 TBS whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor and then add 1 tsp each of:
  • curry powder
  • onion powder
  • turmeric
  • chili powder
  • cayenne
Blend again until combined and serve with your bowl ingredients.