Sauces and marinades can spice up and diversify the grilled vegetables, mushrooms, fish or meats: even if we only grill one type of food (meat for example), if we combine it with two or three types of marinade, sauce and/or salads, the result is a multi-course menu, made relatively quickly and efficiently.
If we need a quick solution for marinating, or we want to serve sauces immediately for the grilled courses, the easiest solution is to choose from ready-made marinades and sauces from the supermarket. So, if time is running out, and we can’t make time to magically conjure some handcrafted marinades and sauces, we can shop around for some.
Among the classic barbecue marinades, the increasingly popular and widely available barbecue sauce can be a winning choice, the taste of which is given by a special spicy mustard sauce and the characteristic smoky aroma. The other classic, the Worcestershire sauce is based on wine vinegar, the distinctive taste of this characteristic English marinade is enhanced by barley malt, onion, allspice, coriander, garlic. Indian tamarind marinade or sauce is a sauce with a special taste, reminding us of plum jam, garlic and spicy taste, and it can be used not only as a marinade, but as a dip alongside strongly spiced grilled meats.
The sauces available in the shops – like horseradish cream, garlic sauce, tzatziki made from Greek yogurt, garlic and cucumber, ajvar made from paprika, eggplant and garlic – can be served in small glass or porcelain dishes sprinkled with fresh green spices along the grilled vegetables, mushrooms or meat. All of these sauces can also be used for salads served as a side dish at the barbecue party, mixed with yogurt or mayonnaise, or enhanced with other ingredients.
Now, however, let’s look at a Transylvanian classic sauce that is otherwise easy to make and can be customized and varied as desired, while we have the possibility to experiment as we wish.
Yes, this is the „muzsdéj” sauce, which is loved by everyone, and for non-Transylvanians it should be explained immediately that basically it is garlic sauce. Muzsdéj sauce is made in many variations, the simplest of which is when the garlic is crushed, salted, and mixed with water, or even colored with a little red paprika powder. But there are countless versions of it, we can mix it with oil, sour cream, tomato cream, yogurt. If we want to use the „muzsdéj” as a marinade, we need to make it thinner, with more water, so we can sprinkle the dishes from time to time while grilling.
The muzsdéj fits with practically every grilled meal, and the good news is that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to spoil; if we use a lot of garlic for it, it will be spicier, if we use less garlic and prefer to mix it with more sour cream and yogurt, it will taste lighter. The muzsdéj can also be mixed with green spices, and we can even experiment with ingredients that seem surprising at first glance, such as walnuts: we crush one or two walnut kernels with the garlic, and after that we enrich it with whatever we like. The end result would taste more special like the plain garlic-based muzsdéj.
If we want more special delicacies instead of the usual muzsdéj and we are already bored with the classic sauces, here’s a good tip: we can make a variety of flavored mushroom sauces for the barbecue party.
The main ingredient is, of course, the mushroom, which is prepared by steaming it with garlic, onion, oil or fat, adding sour cream, yogurt, butter, cream or thickener, blending and flavoring as desired. We can use green spices like basil, oregano, fresh parsley, tarragon, and we can flavour it further with a little wine and mustard – the possibilities are almost endless. The mushroom base sauce flavoured differently can be served in separate bowls alongside the grilled dishes, leaving room for tasting and experimenting with the flavors.
If you need more tips on making mushroom creams, here are two recipes you can read!
We have already written about how to prepare the mushrooms correctly here.
If you would rather grill the mushrooms than use for a side dish for other grilled dishes, you can read here on what should be done in order to keep their savour and be everyone’s favourite at the table.