I assume our love affair with garlic sauce (like garlic aioli) is influenced by the food immigrants from the Middle East brought with them to our shores many moons ago. Did you know…
“The last group of immigrants to venture to colonial Trinidad originated in the region previously known as Greater Syria, which comprises of present day Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Lebanon. Many of the Lebanese hailed from the villages of Buhandoun and Amyoun while the Syrians came from villages in the ‘Valley of the Christians.’ These Arabs emigrated to the Caribbean from as early as 1904 in an attempt to escape religious persecution and economic hardship in their native countries.”
Over the years it’s evolved into a true Caribbean style sauce, with the addition of Shado Beni (aka culantro) and at times a little scotch bonnet (not today though). As a topping for grilled meats, fresh cut fries and a touch on your hamburger and you’ll be blown away at the delightful difference it makes. This garlic sauce its quickly making it’s way into the culinary framework throughout the Caribbean and versions can be found on just about every island.
10 cloves garlic
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
3 1/2 teaspoons sugar (white granulated)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chadon beni (aka shado beni , culantro)
* Taste for salt and add more sugar if necessary (you’re looking for a creamy garlic finish with a sort of sweet undertone).
Place the garlic, vinegar, sugar, honey and salt into a blender or food processor and puree on high for a minute. Then with the blender on, drizzle in the olive oil so it starts going creamy and start taking on the basic consistency of a runny mayo.
Then give the shado beni a rough chop and add to the blender. Give it a few pulses as you want to be able to see tiny specks of the shado beni and not have it fully pureed.
Place in a sealed container and store in the fridge. Be sure to give it a good shake before serving and if you want a little kick, don’t hesitate in add a bit of chopped scotch bonnet to the blender as well.
This Chadon Beni (Shado Beni) garlic sauce is excellent drizzled onto fresh cut fries, as well as grilled meats and the general idea is to use it as you would used mayonnaise (sandwiches and wraps).