I’m basically a make-it-from-scratch cook. But there are a few store-bought, packaged products I couldn’t do without: canned stock, pizza dough and Gold’s Duck Sauce. Two kinds of Gold’s Duck Sauce actually, Sweet & Sour and Hot & Spicy.
Gold’s Duck Sauce is an old friend. My mother always had a jar of it in the fridge when I was growing up. She bought it for the same reasons I do: because this stuff is so reliable and useful you can’t not keep some on standby.
Naturally, like nearly everyone else I know, we eat Duck Sauce with Chinese food. But I also serve it with all-American chicken nuggets because it provides a soft, sweet, piquant balance to the rich, crunchy crusted meat. And I slather it on top of turkey burgers to vie with the smoky grill flavors.
Duck Sauce makes it easy to get a quick dinner on the table. I pour some over chicken parts, shove the pan into the oven and in about a half hour the meal is done. The sauce keeps the meat moist and gives the surface a sweet, satisfyingly crispy edge. I’ve used the same “recipe” for veal roast and duck legs (but usually add a sprig or two of rosemary to the pan).
If I’m feeling slightly more ambitious I mix Dijon mustard into the Duck Sauce. Or a few chopped scallions, fresh ginger and chopped fresh chili peppers. Honestly, Duck Sauce is so versatile you can blend it with all sorts of different ingredients.
This versatility is what makes Gold’s Duck Sauce especially noteworthy during the summer, when my family tends to appreciate all things “grilled.” I combine Duck Sauce with ingredients such as V-8 juice, soy sauce, brandy and so on to use as a marinade for meat, fish and poultry. Sometimes I blend it with other condiments, sweeteners and seasonings (like ketchup, mustard, harissa and molasses) to make barbecue sauce for hearty cuts of beef and lamb.
Lamb Kebabs are a summertime favorite for us. I marinate them before grilling; my recipe is forgiving and easy to prepare. Add a salad and some corn on the cob and there’s dinner.
One of my family’s favorites is Barbecued Brisket with Duck-Mango-Barbecue-Sauce. I slow-cook the meat in the oven two days before, remove any fat and save the pan juices for other recipes. Then all I have to do is heat the brisket on the grill and keep slathering on sauce on until the meat is hot, glazed and crispy. It tastes terrific from the oven too (425 degrees) as I found out recently on a rainy Sunday.
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