Thursday, August 15, 2013

steamed bok choy with orange gastrique and peanuts

I have had my mind set on making a gastrique for some time now, having never made one before. It's a sweet and sour sauce that can be used on its own or added to other sauces. I'm not sure why I chose bok chow as the vegetable to pair it with, but it turned out to be a good match - bok choy being so mild and the gastrique, having so much flavor.
The first time I made this it never got thick enough. I think it's because I added the vinegar before the sugar was completely melted and cooked to a golden color. I've never seen a gastrique that called for onion or turmeric, but I figured it would only add flavor, and I think it did. Plus, turmeric has some great health benefits and adds a beautiful color. Turmeric does tend to stain things, including fingers; you can always substitute ginger if you don't want to deal with that.

3 TB sugar
3 TB sherry vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup of vegetable broth or not-chicken broth
2 tsp minced turmeric (if using ginger, use a bit less)
2 TB red onion, minced
white pepper

1 small head of bok choy, cleaned and chopped

about 2 TB chopped salted peanuts

Stir the sugar over medium low heat until it melts, for about three minutes. Let it cook, untouched for a couple of minutes until it turns golden and then add the vinegar (slowly, it will spatter). The sugar will seize up but stir until it melts. I felt it would never incorporate, but it did. Then add the orange juice and bring to a boil. Cook until it begins to thicken, 5-7 minutes. Then add the broth and boil for about 15 minutes, until the sauce is once again thickened, and reduced to about half a cup. You can stir in salt and pepper if you like. I felt it wasn't needed.
Steam the bok choy, plate, and drizzle the sauce over and around. Sprinkle with the peanuts. I would recommend serving with jasmine rice and baked tofu.

looks like the sauce split, but actually I just didn't drain the bok choy enough and some water got mixed in, no worries

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