Category Archives: SAUCES, DIPS AND PRESERVES

English pickled onions

English pickled onions

These powerful pickled onions are traditionally served with plate of cold meats and bread and cheese. They should be made with malt vinegar and stored for at least 6 weeks before eating.

Pickled onions are a popular pickled food consisting of small onions pickled in a solution of vinegar and salt, often with other preservatives and flavourings. In the United Kingdom they are often eaten alongside fish and chips or as part of a ploughman’s lunch. There is a variety of small white pickled onions known as ‘silverskin’ onions, most frequently used as an essential component of the Martini cocktail variant known as a Gibson.

Pickled onions are pickled in malt vinegar and the onions are about an inch in diameter. Silverskin onions are pickled in white vinegar, and are much smaller.

Baba ganoush with flatbread

Baba ganoush with flatbread

Baba ganoush is a delectable aubergine dip from the Middle East. It makes a very good appetizer served with raw vegetable crudités or bread for party, or serve it at a barbecue as a side dish. In Lebanon, baba ghanoush is a starter or appetizer; in Egypt it is mostly served as a side dish or salad. It is eaten in Turkey, where a similar meze is called patlıcan salatası (meaning “eggplant salad”). In Turkey, patlıcan salatası is made with mashed eggplants while baba ghanoush is cut not mashed. The baba ghanoush can be found (with cut eggplants) in southern Turkey, especially in Antalya. In Palestinian homes, it is made with “wild” eggplants known as “baladi” (from Arabic ‘of the earth, indigenous’). It is made with tahini, olive oil, lemon and parsley. In Punjab province of Pakistan and West India, tomatoes and chopped onion are added to roasted eggplant along with various seasonings.

Lemon curd

Lemon curd

This classic tangy, creamy lemon curd is still one of the most popular of all curds. It is delicious spread thickly over bread and also makes a wonderfully rich, zesty sauce spooned over fresh fruit tarts. In this recipe, lemon curd is made on steam, if you are really impatient you can cook the curd in a heavy pan directly over a low heat. However, you really need to watch it like a hawk to avoid the mixture curdling. If the curd looks as though it’s beginning to curdle, plunge the base of the pan in cold water and beat vigorously.

In addition to being absolutely delicious, homemade lemon curd seems incredible because people assume it’s difficult or complicated to make. Nothing can be further from the truth. Lemon curd (also called lemon cheese in the South) uses a handful of simple ingredients, and can be made in less than a half an hour.

Blackcurrant and ginger chutney

Blackcurrant and ginger chutney

Great alongside meats (ham, game or venison) or with cheese, this unusual chutney recipe combines the sweetness of blackcurrants with the warm zing of ginger. If you are not a fan of ginger, why not replace some or all of the stem ginger with chopped prunes or apricots for a mellower chutney.

The taste of blackcurrants is very sweet and sharp, and they’re used to make blackcurrant jellies, jams, added to desserts or as a part of sauces and dippings. Blackcurrants are also added to beer (Guinness), and some beer lovers think it actually makes the taste more enjoyable.

Béarnaise sauce

Béarnaise sauce

This bérnaise sauce recipe features lots of clarified butter, egg yolks, a little tangy vinegar, and the slightly grassy flavor of tarragon. It is served hot, most often as an accompaniment to grilled steaks, and should be made just before serving.

Hot emulsion sauces have a reputation for being difficult to make, but that adds to their mystique. The key to success is to carefully follow each of the steps. Most importantly:

– Slowly melt and completely clarify the butter. That just means you need to skim off the solid proteins that are floating on top of the melted butter.

– Use a double boiler to gently cook the egg yolk mixture. If you cook them too quickly or add too much heat, they will curdle.

– Add the liquid butter slowly to the egg yolk mixture and don’t stop whisking. It’s the same principle as for making mayonnaise.