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Mar 20, 2005 06:54 PM

Zankou...garlic sauce [moved from L.A. board]

  • t

Love the garlic sauce and the chicken @ Zankou in Glendale. Anyone have a link where I might find a recipe or knock-off....Thanks

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  1. Zankou garlic sauce - mystery solved
    Name: Chris G.
    Posted: May 26, 2004 at 22:23:41

    Just made my first attempt at the Lebanese and Greek garlic sauce recipes I found online, and I'd be willing to bet Beck Hansen's Hyundai that I've found the recipe for Zankou's mystery garlic sauce.

    Here's what I did (I dedicate this one to Jenny and her sister, I think her name is Debra)...

    Zankou garlic sauce

    3 small russet potatoes
    1 head of garlic (12-14 cloves)
    1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice
    1/2 tbsp. salt
    1/2 cup canola oil

    1. Peel three small russet potatoes and boil in water until soft. Mash the potatoes (I used a food mill) and let cool.

    2. Crush and peel a whole head of garlic (about 12 large cloves). Cut into quarters. Place raw garlic in a heavy duty blender (I used a 390-watt Waring) with 1/2 tbsp. of salt and juice of two large lemons (about 1/3 cup). Pour 1/2 cup of oil (I used canola oil) into a measuring cup and pour a small amount of oil from cup onto garlic (just enough for a light layer). Puree the garlic, salt and lemon juice on "Hi" and begin pouring a slow, steady stream of oil through the blender's handle hole until everything has coalesced.

    3. At this point the sauce looked pretty damn good. I took a taste and it was a potent blast of pure garlic satisfaction. I would have stopped here, but I was after that elusive Zankou taste and texture, so on come the potatoes.

    4. Add the mashed potatoes, about 2-3 tablespoons at a time. Add more potato after the sauce becomes consistent, and keep adding until all is incorporated in the sauce. You might want to transfer the garlic paste to a mixer before this step and add the potatoes in the mixer as my Waring was starting to show signs of stress towards the end of this process.

    5. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool completely in the fridge. After about an hour the flavors will blend together nicely and the texture will take on that library paste consistency like Zankou's sauce. Fortunately I had smoked chicken left over from last night's barbecue, so I heated it up in the oven and used it a "delivery medium" for the garlic sauce. It was just like Zankou. I bet it will be even better tomorrow.

    6. I even gave this Sonia's frying test. The sauce held together in the frying pan, even as it started to sear and transform into some sadistic latke.

    source: los angeles chowhound, May 26, 2004

    7 Replies
    1. re: pikpikpika

      Excellenty done. It works.

      1. re: pikpikpika

        This garlic sauce is just plain old aioli (Mediterranean) and I've never heard of mashed potatoes in it before.

        1. re: phd

          Hounds have been trying to figure out the garlic sauce for quite some time, and I can tell you that it's not just aioli. Check out these threads.

          1. re: phd

            Yep, it's got potatoes in it. I took Zankou chicken, along with its usual accompaniments to a work function. I knew one of my co-workers is allergic to potatoes -- get's violently nauseated if she eats them. She had some Zankou chicken with (fortunately) a small schmear of garlic sauce. She felt somewhat unwell all afternoon.

            On the way home from work she stopped by her local mini-market which is run by an Armenian couple. When they asked how she was, she told them she was a bit uncomfortable, almost as though she'd had a spoonful of potatoes. Then she went on to say she'd had Zankou for the first time. They were sad to explain to her that there's potato in the garlic sauce -- mystery solved!

            1. re: phd

              Life is an ongoing education, for us all.

              1. re: phd

                No, not aioli. More like a Grecian SKORDALIA.

                1. re: Chitta Chef

                  You're right. It *IS* skordalia! Toss a couple of cups of mashed potatoes, a head of garlic (cloves peeled), some mayyonaise OR olive oil and vinegar, salt into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Instead of potatoes, you can also use bread that has been soaked, then squeezed almost dry. For a richer skordalia, you can add walnuts or almonds, or pine nuts, then just be sure to blend until they are pureed along with everything else. You can find a gazillion skordalia recipes on the web, some good, some (unfortunately) not so good.

            2. How unhealthy do you think the sauce is? It tastes so good, I am worried it might be so bad.

              3 Replies
              1. re: McQuaid

                This has to be better than the last recipe I tried today. I tried the simple version, which some hound here said was the real deal. Well after puree'ing it in my magic bullet the sharpness of the sauce was so strong you could feel the fumes coming out of your nose. I added more oil.. still no good. I then tried one white egg yolk and that just made it runny. I'ma have to try this recipe and see how it goes.

                1. re: McQuaid

                  afraid to say it but the sauce is as good for you as mayonnaise is good for you.

                  1. re: trolley

                    It's not as bad as mayonnaise. The recipe above is cholesterol free and would be less in fat than mayo

                2. Potato in the garlic sauce at Zancou? Wow! I never would have guessed.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: katkoupai

                    Thr traditional garlic sauce Toum is just a thick emulsion of lemon juice, olive oil and garlic, but Zankou's version definitely contains potato. I'm pretty sure it's instant mash mix too.

                    1. re: hrhboo

                      I made the version with mashed potatos (not instant) that was posted on CH, similar to Zankou's but not the same! Maybe I should buy smme instant and see if it makes a difference!

                      1. re: sel

                        I would love to proclaim that my senses are so sharp that I could detect the taste of instant mash under all that garlic, but truth be told I spotted a huge box of it in the kitchen a few years ago.

                    2. re: katkoupai

                      the recipe is similar to taramasalata and other similar mediterranean/med eastern dips. they always seem to have mashed potatoes or bread in them.

                    3. Tried the recipe and loved it. If it's not the same it's pretty close.

                      1. can you use a food processor? Also, is it certain that is is canola oil and not olive oil?