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Archive for the ‘Sauces’ Category

Whilst in Lyon I also bought some dark mustard seeds (now I know I’m not the only one who buys food as souvenirs). Apparently the darker the seeds the hotter the mustard, I didn’t know this then, but as it turns out, dark is good because I LOVE a hot mustard. Another thing I didn’t know in making mustard is that you can tame the heat by cooking the mustard, the longer you cook it, the less hot it will be. Go figure.

I mixed in my yellow mustard seeds for good measure

I didn’t cook mine at all.

If you’re wondering, I made the label! The jar came from a trip out to Whistler, BC about 20 years ago. We ‘needed‘ Dijon mustard for a dinner in our condo and the one I bought came with this adorable little jar (you knew I was gonna buy that jar whether we needed mustard for our dinner or not!). Anyway, I loved the jar and the little wooden spoon, and it’s perfect for my home made mustard.

I remember seeing a post from my friend Lorraine at Not Quite Nigella and she made home made mustard from scratch. I know my Mom used to make it from time to time, but sadly I never got the recipe and when Lorraine made it a few months ago, I knew I had to give it a try. I won’t be buying grainy mustard again. It’s easy to make and the taste totally rocks. You have to leave it for a couple of days otherwise the seeds are quite bitter, but once it ages, it is lovely.

I made this batch to take to my brother’s cottage for Thanksgiving weekend. I served it with Turkey Sausages with the Fluffy Buttermilk Cakes of Pan breakfast JT and I made.

Grainy French Mustard

Makes about 125 mL or 1/2 cup

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons mustard seeds (I used 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds and 5 tbsps brown French mustard seeds)
  • 1/2 cup mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons honey (this simply smooths out the heat, it doesn’t actually make the mustard sweet)
  • 1/3 cup water (use cold water if you like your mustard hot and spicy or use warm or hot water if you like your mustard mild)

Directions:

  1. In your dedicated spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind about 1/3 of the total seeds. s
  2. In a small bowl, combine the ground and whole seeds, mustard powder and water; stir to combine.
  3. Rest this mixture for 15 minutes, then add salt, white wine vinegar and honey (for a milder mustard, you can gently heat this mixture in a saucepan for a few minutes).
  4. Pour this mixture into a sterilized glass jar (the longer it stands the thicker it gets) and allow to age for at least 12 hours or overnight to settle the flavour (it is very bitter to use immediately, the flavour really smooth out over time).
  5. You need not store mustard in the refrigerator, but I do.

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Mango BBQ Sauce

I wanted to come up with an alternative to adding sugar to my BBQ sauce for the pulled pork, after all, we reduced the fat by using the Tenderloin and I thought of Mango. Mango pairs really well with savoury dishes so I cam up with this recipe and tried it out tonight, slow cooking my tenderloin until it literally falls apart.

Tangy and naturally sweet, a perfect accompaniment to any meat, particularly Pork.

Mango BBQ Sauce

Makes about 250 mL

Ingredients:

  • 100 g mango (you could use more, but I didn’t want it too sweet)
  • 50 g chopped onions
  • 120 g tomatoes (I just used vine ripened because our lovely neighbours gave us some)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp Éva’s Hot Sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • water

Directions:

  1. Put everything into the container of your immersion blender and blend until smooth, adding water until you reach your desired consistency.
  2. Press through a fine sieve to get rid of the lumps, tomato seeds and such.
  3. You can can cook this down for about 30 minutes or just use it in your recipe as is (I did for my pulled pork as it cooks for several hours on the BBQ and cooks down anyway).

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Eva’s Hot Sauce

This was an unexpected surprise in the spring

It has more tomatoes than I would have thought

We’ll likely have enough for one salad

This year I was too late in getting tomato plants but nature gifted me with a sprout from last year. Now it is about 90cm (36″) tall and has a good lot of tomatoes growing on it.

But I was able to get some chili pepper plants in and now I have a lot of chili peppers, more chili peppers than JT and I would eat. So I got to thinking, what can I do with chili peppers? Hot sauce, of course.

This hot sauce turned out quite complex with a good amount of heat, but also a great flavour. It’s uncooked, so it won’t last forever in the fridge, but hot sauce rarely lasts in my house anyway.

I would totally spread this over my Heuvos Rancheros, Shakshuka or even in Pulled Pork. Or add it to a BBQ sauce for the pulled pork to make it even more awesome than you would ever imagine. The possibilities are endless.

Careful, it’s hotter than it looks!

Éva’s Hot Sauce

Makes enough to fill a 250 mL bottle

Ingredients:

  • 20 g fresh red chilis
  • 20 g smoked Morita Chilis (I got these when we were down in Wisconsin visiting our friends Paul and T)
  • 20 g garlic, minced finely
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 pink pepper corns
  • 1/8 tsp fennels seeds
  • 1/4 cup puréed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup puréed sweet red peppers
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tahini paste

Directions:

  1. Rehydrate the Morita Chilis in about 250 mL water, remove seeds and reserve hydrating liquid.
  2. Clean and remove seeds from the fresh red chilis.
  3. Put everything into the jar of an immersion blender and blend until you achieve a smooth paste, adding a little of the reserved hydrating liquid to achieve your desired consistency. You’ll want to taste for seasonings, but remember, it won’t really come alive until at least 24 hours in the fridge.
  4. Press through a fine sieve and pour into a clean container. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Taste again and adjust salt and vinegar to taste.
  5. Enjoy with hamburgers, hot dogs, steak or use as a flavouring in other sauces or stews.

A little dab will do you

Notes:

  • The Morita Chilis lend a smoky flavour to the sauce.
  • Rick Bayless uses sesame and pumpkin seeds puréed to cut some of the heat in a couple of his hot sauce recipes, so I thought, why not tahini paste? It does make the sauce more caloric and thick, but it also smooths out the heat.
  • I added the spices that I thought would work in the hot sauce, you can adjust to your taste or even choose entirely different combos!

;

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We are trying to eat more fish these days and I’m constantly cruising the web trying to find delicious and unique ways to present said fish. The internet has been busy with peaches recently as they are in season so I created this recipe to include them. Last week we had a grill Tilapia with quinoa tabouleh (or this one) and I wanted a little something to spice it up, so I came up with a Peach Salsa that was quite tasty so I thought I’d share it with you. I’ll leave the ingredients quantities to your own taste, after all, these recipes are meant to inspire.

The small dice allows it to be used as a garnish, plus I love the way it looks

Peach Salsa

Serves 4-6,

Ingredients:

  • Peaches, finely diced 0.5cm or 1/4″ cubes (I left the skin on for texture, plus I always have a really hard time getting the skin off, no matter what technique I use).
  • Jicama, finely diced 0.5cm or 1/4″ cubes
  • Green chili peppers (seeded), finely diced 0.5cm or 1/4″ cubes
  • Sweet red pepper, finely diced 0.5cm or 1/4″ cubes
  • Garlic, finely minced
  • Green onions, finely minced
  • Thai basil, finely chopped
  • Mint, finely chopped
  • Cilantro, finely chopped
  • Rosa’s Lime Cordial, just to wet and mix everything together
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine everything in a glass bowl and refrigerate, this is much better if it can sit for an hour or so.
  2. Garnish with parsley, mint or Thai basil and serve on top of grilled white fish.

Tasty on crackers too

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I was over at Sissi’s blog last week and was intrigued by her Korean Pancake with Shrimp and Scallop. It really wasn’t the recipe that intrigued me, but her description of this unusual dish: “I was literally spellbound by this extraordinary snack” and as many of you commented I was curious to see why such a simple dish could possibly spellbind a sophisticated cook, like Sissi. So I had to make it.

When I mentioned to JT that we were having this pancake for dinner, he was skeptical, but he is open minded and will try anything once. After he finished 2/3’s of the dish, he turns to me and says “I would like you to make this again”. Now THAT is success in my books.

My first attempt was Sissi’s recipe verbatim (with the exception of the sauce, to which I added a bit of fresh ginger), but sadly the pancake broke in half and was an unco-operative subject for a photo, so of course, I had to make it again, with a twist! The texture of this pancake is really nothing like a North American pancake at all, so if you are expecting light and fluffy batter, you will be disappointed. It is dense (as if you overworked a North American pancake and the gluten’s were invigorated!), slightly chewy with a nice firm texture. There is a touch of sweetness from the corn flour. The sauce is really incredible and I would recommend it for anything, not just this dish (such as scallops on a bed of greens!).

Gluten Free South Western Korean-inspired Pancake

I didn’t notice any taste difference using the chick pea flour. Even the texture was relatively similar.

Recipe adapted from Sissi’s blog With a Glass (click here for original recipe)

Serves 2

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 stalk of green onion finely cut
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. It’s best to make the sauce first so it has a little time to blend and allow the flavours to meld together. You can even do it a day ahead, adding the green onions and sesame seeds just when you are ready to serve so they remain crisp.
  2. Combine all ingredients and set aside.

Pancake Ingredients:

  • 3 spring onion stalks, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 medium hot green chili, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium hot red chili, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • 50 g chorizo sausage, finely chopped
  • 30 g fresh or frozen corn
  • 40 g red pepper (capiscum)
  • 40 g crimini mushrooms

Batter Ingredients:

  • 56 g chickpea flour
  • 20 g corn flour (take fine cornmeal and run it through a food processor until it resembles the texture of regular flour)
  • 200 mL ice cold water
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 egg whites, beaten

A very tasty lunch, indeed

 

Directions:

  1. Combine all the batter ingredients and mix well with a whisk.
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium and lightly spray with non-stick spray or olive oil.
  3. Pour about 1/3 of the pancake batter onto the pan, allowing it to fill the entire diametre of the pan.
  4. Add the pancake ingredients, distributing everything evenly so you can get a small taste of everything in every bite.
  5. Pour the remainder of the batter over the the pancake and allow it to cook through. You will see the batter become quite a bit denser looking as it cooks. Carefully flip the pancake so that both sides are golden.
  6. Serve with the previously prepared dipping sauce.

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We’re having Walnut, Porcini and Morel Crusted Tilapia later this week and I needed a dressing to help jazz up the greens. There is nothing like a good warm dressing over greens, it just wilts the greens ever so slightly making it a delicious meal. The miso paste goes very well with mushroom, emulating the creaminess that some butter would bring to it (I was trying to keep it healthier). I hope you enjoy this Kitcheninspirations original dressing.

Lemon Thyme goes so well with Mushrooms. The sprigs are from the garden.

Warm White Balsamic and Mushroom Dressing

a Kitcheninspirations original recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 75 g sweet onions finely sliced
  • 100 g crimini mushrooms finely sliced
  • 15 g light miso dissolved in 120 mL water
  • 50 mL white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1 tsp canola oil

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a small pan, cook the onions until translucent. You may need to add a little bit of the miso liquid. Add mushrooms and cook down so they are quite wilted, add garlic and cook just until you can smell it. Add remaining liquid and white balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
  2. Serve hot over greens or Walnut, Porcini and Morel Crusted Tilapia.

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Ann at Cooking Healthy for Me and Kelly at Inspired Edibles have proven time and time again, that you need not suffer eating healthy, just a few smart choices in the kitchen will take your recipe from high in fat, to low in fat and full of flavour. Today’s recipe chooses a pork loin over pork chops because the loin is far less fatty and the fat that it does have can be easily removed before cooking. It can also be easily measured for portion control (we are using 100g (3 ounces) for a portion size). Today we are using the vegetables as thickeners so that we need not add a roux, or cream or butter saving you oodles of fat intensive calories (you should actually try writing down everything you put in your mouth over one day, and you would be surprised! and then you’ll thank me for this recipe).

That's not butter chicken, it's Pork Medallions in a Sweet Red Pepper and Caramelized Onion Coulis

Pork Medallions in a Sweet Red Pepper and Caramalized Onion Coulis

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 400g loin of Pork, all fat removed, cut into medallions about 25g each
  • 1 yellow pepper, roasted, skin removed (see notes and tips)
  • 1 red pepper, roasted, skin removed (see notes and tips)
  • 4 shallots, finely sliced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable stock (I like to use Pacific)
  • around 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard (or slightly more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 green onion and jalopeño pepper finely diced as garnish.

Directions:

  1. Lightly spray a medium sauce pan (large enough for the onions to be about 3 cm thick on the bottom). Add the onions and shallots and cook over medium heat until they are golden, add the white vinegar to deglaze the pan. Add the vegetable stock as required so that the onions and shallots don’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.
  2. When the onions and shallots are caramelized, add the roasted peppers and heat through.
  3. With an immersion blender, blend very well until silky smooth. Add the Dijon, salt and blend. If the consistency is too thick, add water until you have your desired consistency (should be the thickness of butter chicken sauce).
  4. Pre heat the oven to 350°F.
  5. In another pan lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, sear the pork until you get a nice caramelization on the crust. Once done, add to the sauce and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the desired done-ness of the pork (in Canada you can have pink pork as they have bread the salmonella out of it).
  6. Serve over greens or rice or use a flat bread to scoop it up. We’re keeping this on the healthy side, so we’ve put it on greens.

Notes and Tips:

  • If you were not able to peel your peppers, push the finished coulis through a fine sieve to remove the tough skin bits of the peppers.
  • By adding a bit more stock or water, this would make a lovely soup, perhaps with a dollop of fat free Greek Yogurt.
  • We roasted our peppers on the BBQ for a nice smokey flavour.
  • I added smoked paprika to the sauce for my lunch the next day…YUM!
  • As an alternative flavour, I think one tbsp of garam masala and one tsp of meat masala would be fantastic in this sauce.
  • If you’re down right convinced this is not a good sauce, then add a 1/2 cup of cream or a 1/4 cup of butter and be done with it.

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It’s a week night and even though we like to eat at 7:30-8 on weekends, it just doesn’t work for week nights when I need a couple of hours to blog, and such! I’m always looking for tasty and quick ways to serve fish and Kristy’s delightful Baked Cod Portuguese was a sure winner, but I didn’t have the fire roasted tomatoes, nor the time to make them, so I took her recipe as inspiration. This one is quite low calorie, no butter or olive oil.

Halibut with a Rustic Tomato Sauce

An incredibly filling meal

Makes 3 servings (100g each fish and 200g tomato sauce and greens)

Ingredients:

  • 300 g Halibut
  • 300 g cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 90 g vidalia onion and garlic (the ratio is entirely up to you, I had about 80g onion, 10g garlic)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt to taste
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 300 g mixed greens, including cucumber and green onions
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Distribute the tomatoes, onion and garlic on the pan evenly. Salt.
  2. Bake for about 30 minutes. Pour the contents into your immersion blender jar and blend until smooth. Add the smoked paprika and blend again. Keep the oven on.
  3. Strain through a fine sieve, discard what is left in the sieve.
  4. In a cast iron pan, sear the fish skin side on high heat for about 4 minutes. Pour the rustic tomato sauce over the hot fish and bake in the hot oven for about 15 minutes (this depends entirely how thick your fish is).
  5. Meanwhile, create a fresh green salad (about 100 g each serving) with the mixed greens (we used spinach and baby arugula), cucumber and green onion.
  6. When the fish is cooked through, remove the skin and place 100 g onto each bed of greens. Add about one third of the sauce to each plate. Garnish with parsley.

The sauce was lovely, not too acidic (I didn’t add sugar because I am no carbing for three weeks!) but you certainly can to taste. And the garlic really added a wonderful nutty flavour of a baked clove. I will definitely make this sauce again, perhaps with chicken or left over turkey, but then I would add chili pepper flakes to heat it up.

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Years ago we were watching Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello and he and a friend had a pizza cook-off. I cannot recall who won, but I do know we came away with the best Onion Confit recipe EVER. I usually make up a couple of batches and freeze; they are perfect for a pizza base, sauce base, dip base, even on a salad with crumbled blue or goats cheese. And because I freeze small quantities, they defrost quite easily. Please click here for Chef Chiarello’s original recipe.

I posted my take on the original recipe here, but I never took a photo of it. Well, you’re in luck because I made some up on the weekend and I was smart enough (wink, wink) to remember to take a gorgeous daylight filled photo of it.

Incredibly sweet and tangy, these onions make an amazing topping to pizza, salads brioche...the possibilities are endless

For additional ideas on how to use these gorgeous sweet onions, please see:

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To correct or not to correct? As I read through your lovely and flattering comments, the first thing I do is correct any typos that I notice. Is that OK? I usually ask you to correct mine, if I notice. Auto correct on my iPhone is great, but it can be a drag too, often correcting to words I do not want (it does ‘do’ for ‘so’ often, ARGH!). Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Breakfast on the weekend usually has a bit more pomp and circumstance than the weekdays, mainly because I’m not rushing to get ready for work. I was dying to try an idea I found on Dara’s Generation Y Foodie and Kelly’s Inspired Edibles blog; Dara made a pizza with a white bean paste base instead of a white béchamel that I thought was pure genius and Kelly took an old favourite of Mac and Cheese and pulled the proverbial rug right out from under it and made it healthy using chick peas instead of noodles. And it got me thinking…a bean paste as a thickener…

You will recall that we had a half a tin of chick peas left over from our Moroccan Mussel recipe the other night and the bean paste béchamel was really itching to get out of my head, so I came up with this lovely cheese sauce. You can pour it over crèpes like I did, or you can use it as a base for pizza as Dara did or better yet, pour it over cauliflower or broccoli! The possibilities are endless. Thank you Dara and Kelly for this inspiration.

Gluten Free Cheese Sauce

Serves 2-4

Cheesy Goodness poured all over that Crèpe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chick peas, drained and rinsed (you can use any canned bean for this recipe, but I would stick to the lighter ones, like navy beans, or black eyed peas or white beans)
  • 1/2-1 cup low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup finely grated flavourful cheese like Parmesan and Gruyère or sharp cheddar
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Add the chick peas to your immersion blender container (usually a tall thin cup), add 1/2 cup broth, salt and purée until smooth and about the consistency of crèpe batter adding the stock as required. Remember you will be adding cheese to this so it will thicken up.
  2. Pour contents into a sauce pan and begin heating up slowly. Add the cheese and stir until the cheese has melted. The cheese won’t stick to the beans as well as it would the béchamel, so you will likely have to emulsify again so that it’s not grainy.  Return to the heat and stir. You may need to add a bit more stock at this point, depending on how thick you would like your sauce.
  3. Serve over crèpes or what ever you wish.

 

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