Category Archives: SAUCES, DIPS AND PRESERVES

Homemade vinegar

Homemade vinegar

Vinegar is one of the most important and underrated store-cupboard ingredients. It has the ability to totally transform your cooking, so use it with confidence and authority. That contrast of rich and fatty flavours with vinegar and pickles is amazing. That’s why having pickles in a kebab, and vinegary mint sauce with lamb, is so good. Vinegar is also a wonderful stomach settler, and helps you digest rich foods. Give it a go. Make your own vinegar. There are two main, easy ways you can have a go at making your own vinegar. To start off with, you need a bacteria called a vinegar ‘mother’ to essentially spoil wine and turn it into acidic vinegar. These spores are floating around in the atmosphere invisibly all the time.

Cucumber pickle

Cucumber pickle

Cucumber pickle goes very well with salads. It can be served with pork pies, corned beef or just with cold meats. It is great to serve it with fish, in particular salmon. We have all heard of smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches, a classic combination. This pickle eats very well with simple poached salmon, but it goes particularly well with seared peppered salmon, too. Cucumbers are in season from May to October, but are available year-round. Look for firm, vibrantly green fruit without wrinkles. Smaller ridged cucumbers differ little in taste to the more common smooth variety. Store fresh cucumbers in the fridge for up to one week. Small examples, or sliced cucumbers can be pickled very successfully: pickled cucumbers are also known as gherkins or cornichons.

Bread sauce

Bread sauce

Bread Sauce is a stalwart of the British kitchen and a classic on the British Christmas table. A bread sauce is a warm or cold sauce thickened with bread. It is a savoury sauce served with a main meal. The sole survivor of the medieval bread-thickened sauces, the traditional British bread sauce is made with milk, butter or cream, and bread crumbs, flavoured with onion, salt, cloves, mace, pepper and bay leaf, with the fat from roasting often added too. It typically accompanies domestic fowl such as turkey or chicken. The use of slightly stale bread is optimal, making it an economical way of using up leftover bread. The sauce is easy to make and uses readily available ingredients. The basic recipe calls for milk and onion with breadcrumbs and butter added as thickeners. Turkish cuisine also features a cold sauce made from breadcrumbs mixed with pounded walnuts or hazelnuts and served with chick pea salads and, most famously, with chicken or duck as Circassian chicken.

Preserved lemons

Preserved lemons

Make preserved lemons with ripe, new-season fruit that have not been waxed. Store-bought lemons are usually coated with wax, which has to be removed by scrubbing in warm water with a soft-bristle brush; even then it is very difficult to remove. Pieces of pickled lemon may be washed before using to remove any surface salt, or blanched to remove more of the salt and bring out the natural mild sweetness. They may then be sliced, chopped, or minced as needed for the texture of the dish. The rind may be used with or without the pulp. Preserved lemon is the key ingredient in many Moroccan dishes such as tagines. In Cambodian cuisine, it is used in dishes such as Ngam nguv, a chicken soup with whole preserved lemons. They are often combined in various ways with olives, artichokes, seafood, veal, chicken, and rice. Lemon Pickle is a standard accompaniment to curd rice, which is often the last course in South Indian Cuisine.

Four basic fruit sauces and relishes

Four basic fruit sauces and relishes

Tart fruit sauces and relishes are the perfect foil to fish, poultry and pork, as they nicely offset rich flavours and oily textures. The avocado salsa, laced with the juice of a lime, works well as an accompaniment to corn snacks, but is also delicious served on the side with pork, poultry or steak. A relish is a cooked, pickled, or chopped vegetable or fruit food item typically used as a condiment in particular to enhance a staple. It originated in India and has since become popular throughout the world. Examples are jams, chutneys, and the North American “relish,” a pickled cucumber jam eaten with hot dogs or hamburgers. Here you can find recipe for quick apple sauce, cranberry sauce, gooseberry relish and avocado and cumin salsa.