I love sauces.  I’ve always thought them to be easy to make and a sauce really can make the every-day into extraordinary with very little effort.

Sauces and gravies have a lot in common, but they are different.  A gravy is made with pan drippings.  A sauce is made from anything else.  Sauces range from milk-based béchamel  to emulsified  sauces like hollandaise and Béarnaise, and brown sauces, tomato sauces, or juice reductions like the spicy orange sauce I made tonight. We won’t even start with the dessert sauces…

Tonight’s sauce came about because I still had a few oranges that needed using.  I squeezed a cup and a half of juice and went to work.  This is really nothing more than boiling down liquids to concentrated their flavor and then thickening it a bit at the end.

Spicy Orange Sauce

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp sambal oelek (chili paste)
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbsp water

Combine red wine vinegar, sugar, and peppercorns in small saucepan. Boil until thick and reduced by half.

Add orange juice and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil and continue to boil and reduce by half.  Strain.

Return to clean saucepan and add sambal oelek and orange zest.  Continue to boil and reduce by about half.  Lower heat and add cornstarch to thicken to desired consistency.

The sauce could easily be made vegetarian by substituting a good vegetable broth.

I cut a small pork tenderloin into six pieces, flattened them a bit with my hand and put them into a hot skillet.  I browned one side, flipped them over, and then covered the pan and continued to cook them for about 5 minutes.  They came out perfectly cooked.

The potatoes were cut into thick rings, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with a mixture of salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and Guamanian boonie pepper.  (I’m getting low…)  I placed them on a sheet pan and baked them at 350° for about 35 minutes.

We both cleaned our plates…