Archive for the 'Condiments, Dressings & Sauces' Category

05
Apr
10

Cocktail Sauce

  This cocktail sauce is highlighted by the addition of fresh horseradish and is a natural companion to seafood.  Especially good on shrimp, oysters or even hushpuppies, this sauce should contain enough heat to satisfy even the toughest of palates.

Horseradish is one of the five bitter herbs of the Jewish Passover.

 Thoroughly mix together in a small bowl:

● ½ cup ketchup

● ½ cup chili sauce

● ¼ cup finely grated fresh horseradish (or 4 tbsp. prepared horseradish)

● ½ teaspoon hot sauce

● ¼ Old Bay seasoning

● ¼ freshly ground black pepper

● Juice from 1 lemon, freshly squeezed

Serve at room temperature.

Makes around 1 cup.

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14
Mar
10

Crème Fraîche

  Crème fraîche (pronounced krem fresh) is a thickened cream that is used in many traditional French dishes.  It has a tangy and nutty flavor that is similar to sour cream.  The main advantage of using crème fraîche is that, unlike sour cream, it does not separate or curdle when heated.  This makes it perfect for using as a thickener in soups or sauces.  It is also delicious on eggs, fruit and can serve as a substitute for sour cream in most recipes.  Still hard to find in many areas, a convincing facsimile can be made in your very own kitchen. 

The winner of the 1985 Belmont Stakes was a gelding named Creme Fraiche.

 

● 1 cup heavy cream, warmed to 100° F (avoid ultra pasteurized) 

● 1 tbsp. sour cream or cultured buttermilk (I have had the most success with sour cream.  Again, avoid ultra pasteurized.) 

Combine ingredients in a jar and allow to sit, loosely covered, at room temperature for 12-24 hours before refrigerating. 

Crème fraîche will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.

16
Jan
10

Honey-Mustard Dressing

  Honey-Mustard dressing is a healthier and delicious alternative to dressings made with mayonnaise.  The sweet/hot/sour combination really compliments each ingredient to the fullest.  Not only is this dressing good on, for instance, a spinach and bacon salad, it also makes a fantastic dip or sauce for fish, chicken and pork.  This basic recipe is only a starting point.  You can easily customize the flavors here by adding your own dried herbs and spices to suit your tastes.

Honey-mustard also makes a tasty sandwich spread.

Whisk together thoroughly in a bowl:

• ¾ cup good quality honey (the darker, the better)

• ½ cup Dijon mustard

• 4 tbsp. white wine vinegar

• Ground red pepper to taste

Makes around 1½ cups

For a thinner dressing, whisk in extra-virgin olive oil until you reach the desired consistency.

01
Jan
10

Caesar Salad

  Though it is disputed, the Caesar salad was invented by Caesar Cardini at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico around 1924.  According to legend, Cardini was short on supplies so he quickly concocted a salad that could be prepared tableside with what he had on hand.  His original recipe used whole romaine leaves and was intended to be eaten with the fingers.  Soon the salad became the most requested item on the menu.  Anchovies are considered optional, but something is really missing from the final flavor when they are left out.

Topping the Caesar with grilled chicken or shrimp transforms it from a side salad into a main course.

Boil gently (coddle) for 1-2 minutes:

2 large eggs

Add coddled eggs to an ice water bath to halt cooking

Make a paste from smashing and finely chopping together:

4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry

Whisk in:

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed

2 large coddled eggs

Stream in, while whisking

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a salad bowl, toss the dressing with:

2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped

2 or more cups homemade croutons

Top salad with:

½ cup quality Parmesan cheese, shredded or shaved

Serve immediately on chilled plates

 

08
Dec
09

Ranch Dressing

  Ranch dressing was made popular by the Hidden Valley dude ranch in Santa Barbara sometime in the 1950s.  Long before the Clorox company bought the formula and revised it several times to make it more shelf-stable, this dressing capitalized on fresh ingredients and the tang of buttermilk.  This recipe is adapted from the original formula that made ranch one of the most popular salad dressings today.  Though maybe not the flavor most are accustomed to pouring from a plastic bottle or mixing from a paper packet, the fresh and vibrant taste of this dressing is a perfect accompaniment to veggies and meats alike.

Clorox purchased the Hidden Valley Ranch brand in 1972 for $8 million.

Make a paste from smashing and finely chopping together:

• 1 garlic clove

• 2 pinches of kosher salt

Whisk paste together with:

• ½ cup buttermilk

• 1 tbsp. fresh parsley leaves, minced

• 1 tbsp. fresh dill, finely chopped

• 1 tbsp. fresh chives, snipped

• 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

• 1 scallion, trimmed and finely sliced

• ½ cup mayonnaise (add 1 tsp. of white wine vinegar if using store-bought mayo.)

• ½ cup sour cream

• Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For a thicker dressing, add mayo or sour cream.

For a thinner dressing, add buttermilk

Use before the expiration dates of the buttermilk and sour cream.

28
Oct
09

Mayonnaise

  Originally a French sauce, mayonnaise has been adopted as the preeminent sandwich spread.  Sadly, due to fear of raw eggs and the convenience of bottled options, homemade mayo is becoming a thing of the past.  Not only is this mayonnaise light and vibrant, it lifts any recipe that calls for it to a new level.

Mayonnaise

Mayo mixed with capers, chopped gherkins and fresh dill makes tartar sauce.

  Though the recipe is modified, I found that Alton Brown’s method was the easiest way to get a good emulsion going.  If there are any concerns about using raw eggs, pasteurized eggs can be substituted.  All ingredients should be at room temperature.

•  ½ tsp. white pepper

•  ½ tsp. salt (not Kosher)

•  2 pinches sugar

•  ½ tsp. dry mustard

•  1 tsp. English or Dijon mustard

•  2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

•  1 tbsp. white wine vinegar

•  1 cup corn oil

•  1 egg yolk

In a glass bowl, whisk together the yolk and the dry ingredients.

Combine lemon juice, vinegar and English mustard in a separate bowl then thoroughly whisk half into the yolk mixture.

Whisking quickly, slowly add oil until the liquid thickens and lightens.

Stream oil in until half is left, then add the rest of the lemon juice mixture.

Whisk in the rest of the oil.

Refrigerate for up to one week.

  If the mayonnaise separates, place a fresh egg yolk in a bowl and slowly whisk in the broken mixture.

06
Oct
09

Basic Vinaigrette

  This recipe is very versatile and helpful to have.  Not just limited to salads, this vinaigrette is great on grilled chicken or fish (especially if using the lemon juice) and also makes  a delicious dip for crusty breads.  Tossing some steamed vegetables with it like green beans or broccoli creates a delicious side.  Besides being an excellent standalone dressing, it is also the base for many vinaigrette variations.  Any of your favorite dried herbs or even a tablespoon of drained horseradish can be added to this recipe for an extra kick.  Since this vinaigrette is made with olive oil, it might solidify in the refrigerator.  If this happens, all you have to do is let the bottle sit in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes and shake well.

Vinaigrette should always be mixed or shaken immediately before use.

Vinaigrette should always be mixed or shaken immediately before use.

2 oz. red wine vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

¼ tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

 

• Whisk red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper together in a bowl.

• Whisk briskly and stream in the olive oil until thoroughly combined.

• Let the dressing sit at room temperature for an hour before removing the garlic and serving.




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