My Italian grandfather made the best spaghetti sauce. And if you asked him what he put in it, he'd say, "Tomatoes... from the garden." But the taste, it was knock you over, rich with flavor that exploded in your mouth. So. I'd watch. Yes, tomatoes, a bit of garlic, pork, meatballs, chopped onion... and I'd make it at home; no go. Grandpa had the sauce market cornered. At his house we had glory, at mine Prego. That is until yesterday.
Yesterday I made Italian chicken from my new Hawaiian cookbook. The sauce was Grandpa's; one bite and I knew. The recipe was indeed based in tomatoes, one 28 ounce can of crush tomatoes. The meat was browned chicken breast; not flavorful pork or meatballs. Added to it was garlic, the liquid from two jars of marinated artichokes, some onion, and Italian seasoning. The secret ingredient was V.O. whiskey. The recipe called for a cup of sherry, which I didn't have so I grabbed the whiskey and gave the pan a good dose, but not nearly a cup.
And after one taste I remembered Grandpa cooking by the stove and close by, the cabinet that held the liquor; his whiskey.
No more Prego or Hunts for this house. I got it, Grandpa! Move the whiskey closer to the stove, no worries.