Condiments

Homemade Ketchup

July 31, 2011

Homemade Ketchup

Asian and Indonesian cultures invented what we know today as ketchup. Dating back thousands of years, ke-tsiap or kecap, was popular in the 17th century China. Ketchup started as a spicy, pickled fish sauce made of anchovies, walnuts, mushrooms and kidney beans.  British seamen brought ke-tsiap home with them where the name was changed to catchup and then finally ketchup.  It wasn’t until the late 1700s that New Englanders added tomatoes to the blend.  Homemade tomato ketchup has a fresher, more robust flavor than commercial ketchup when using fresh organic tomatoes and spices. 

 INGREDIENTS

3 Pounds Cored & Quartered Ripe Tomatoes

½ Cup Cider OR Malt Vinegar

¼ Cup Sugar

½ Teaspoon Ground Ginger

½ Teaspoon Salt

2 Garlic Cloves

1 Small Onion

1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

½ Teaspoon White Pepper

Cut the tomatoes in quarters and puree them in a food processor.  Strain the puree through a coarse sieve to remove the skins and seeds.  Next, puree the onion and garlic cloves.  Combine with the tomato puree and pour into a large cooking pot.  Cook and stir occasionally over a low heat until it is reduced by about a third and is considerably thicker.  While the ketchup is cooking stir in the vinegar, sugar, ground ginger, salt, ground cloves and white pepper.  Continue cooking, uncovered and stirring, for 30 minutes until thick.  You can adjust any of these ingredients to suit you.  You can add more or less sugar if you like.  Let your tongue be the guide.  If you want to can the ketchup just pour into sterile canning jars leaving 1/8 inch of head space and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  Makes 2 cups of ketchup

Summer Melon Salsa

July 25, 2011

Summer Melon Salsa

This salsa recipe is refreshing and light.  Serve it with tortilla chips, over grilled chicken or fish or just serve it as a fresh fruit salad.

INGREDIENTS

2 Cups Cubed Seedless Cantaloupe, Watermelon and/or Honeydew

1 Cup Chopped Seedless Cucumber

½ Cup Chopped Orange Bell Pepper

½ Cup Chopped Green Bell Pepper

½ Cup Fresh Corn Cut From The Cob

4 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Cilantro

1 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Red Onion

3 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice

1 Tablespoon Honey

In a medium bowl combine the melon, cucumber, peppers, corn, cilantro and onion.  In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice and honey and toss with the melon mixture.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.  Serves 4

Homemade Habanero Hot Sauce

July 23, 2011

Homemade Habanero Hot Sauce

This sauce is HOT, HOT, HOT!!!!!  Get yourself a doctor’s note and proceed with caution!

INGREDIENTS

20 Fresh Habaneros

5 Garlic Cloves

½ Cup Champagne Vinegar

½ Cup Water

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika

½ Teaspoon Chili Powder

1 Teaspoon Raw Sugar

Slice and remove the insides of the habaneros.  If you want hotter sauce you can use the insides in the sauce as the seed are the hottest part of the habanero.  Peel the garlic and cut into quarters.  Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Oil a pan and roast the habaneros and garlic for 20 minutes until golden brown on top.  Make sure that you keep an eye on them as you don’t want them to burn.  Roasting the habaneros and the garlic really adds to the flavor. 

After removing the habaneros and garlic from the oven, put them into a food processor and add the champagne vinegar, water, sea salt, smoked paprika, chili powder, raw sugar and puree.  If you find that the sauce is too thick then add more vinegar and water in equal parts.  Pour into a storage container or bottle and refrigerate.  This sauce should keep for quite awhile.  Use it on eggs, sandwiches, tacos, burgers, pasta, rice dishes or anything that you want to add a kick to.  Makes 1 ½ to 2 cups

Cherry Jam

June 27, 2011

Cherry Jam

Who can resist homemade cherry jam? 

INGREDIENTS

5 Half Pint Canning Jars & Lids

2 Pounds Dark Sweet Cherries

5 Cups Sugar

¼ Cup Fresh Lemon Juice

3 Ounces Liquid Fruit Pectin

Prepare the jars and lids by washing in hot soapy water.  The jars must be heated before canning to prevent breakages.  Submerge them in enough cool water to cover.  Heat to boiling.  Remove the pot from the heat and cover it.  Leave the jars in the hot water for at least 10 minutes.  Place the lids and bands in a saucepan with enough water to cover.  Bring to a simmer.  Remove the pan from the heat, cover it and keep hot until ready to use.  Remove the jars and lids one at a time as needed.

Remove the pits from the cherries and finely chop enough cherries to equal 3 cups.  In a heavy nonreactive 8 quart saucepan combine cherries, sugar and lemon juice.  Heat to boiling over a high heat.  Stir constantly.  Stir in pectin.  Cook until mixture comes to a rolling boil.  Boil 1 minute.  Remove from the heat and with a spoon skim off any foam.  Quickly ladle hot jam into hot jars to within ¼ inch of the tops.  Wipe the jar rims and thread clean.  Cover quickly with the lids and screw the bands on securely, but not too tightly.  Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Cool jars and test for airtight seal.  Makes five 8 ounce jars.

Rhubarb Jam

June 2, 2011

Rhubarb Jam

This recipe is so easy.  You will wonder why you didn’t make it before!

INGREDIENTS

4 ½ Pounds Rhubarb

Juice of 3 Lemons

3 Pounds Sugar

1 ½ Tablespoons Minced Fresh Ginger

Wipe and trim the rhubarb.  Trim the stalks, halve them lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½ inch pieces (this will end up being about 15 cups).  In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice and ginger.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  The next day, put the contents of the bowl into a cooking pot and bring to a boil. Cooking time will vary depending on how much juice the rhubarb releases.   Boil rapidly for 30 minutes.  Once the rhubarb breaks down turn the heat down to a simmer for 40 more minutes. Keep a close eye on the mixture as it simmers. Remove from the heat and skim any foam off the surface.  Cool completely and refrigerate up to 2 weeks or can the jam for longer storage. 

To can the jam:  Divide it among sterilized pint or half-pint jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace.  Wipe the rims clean and attach the lids to the jars with the screw bands, turning them fingertip-tight.  Put the jars in a large pot fitted with a rack and add enough water to cover by 2 inches.  Bring to a boil over high heat, and then boil briskly for 10 minutes.  Transfer the jars to a rack and let cool for 12 to 24 hours.  Test the seal by removing the bands and lifting the jars by their lids.  If the lid holds, the jar is sealed.  Store in a dark place for up to 1 year.  If a seal fails, refrigerate the jar and use the jam within 2 weeks.  Makes about 7 cups

Pudina Chutney

May 14, 2011

Pudina (Mint) Chutney

INGREDIENTS

1 Bunch Fresh Mint Leaves

2 Green Chilies

1 Tablespoon Tamarind Pulp

1/8 Teaspoon Salt

Splash of Water

To make tamarind pulp you will need to soak the tamarind in water and set aside for 2 hours.  Strain the mixture in a bowl with the help of a spoon.  Add a splash of water to the pulp.  You can use store bought tamarind pulp if you wish. 

Wash the mint leaves well and grind to a smooth paste with the green chilies and tamarind juice.  If the chutney is thick you may add a bit more water.

Onion Raita

May 13, 2011

Onion Raita

Raita is an Indian condiment made with yogurt and is used as a sauce or a dip.  Raita is typically served cold and may cool the palate when eating spicy dishes.  Raita is very good when eaten with kebabs.

INGREDIENTS

3 Cups Yogurt

1 Large Finely Chopped Onion

2 Finely Chopped Green Chilies

4 Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves

¼ Teaspoon Salt

Wash and dry the coriander leaves and chop into fine pieces.  Finely chop the green chilies and onion.  In a large bowl beat the yogurt and salt.  Add the onions, chilies and chopped coriander to the yogurt mixture.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and serve cold.  Serves 6

Mango Chutney

May 11, 2011

Mango Chutney

INGREDIENTS

2 Small Raw Mangos

15 Red Chilies

1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds

1 Pinch of Hing

2 Teaspoons Safflower Oil

¼ Teaspoon Salt

2 Teaspoons Cumin Seeds

1 Teaspoon Urad Dal

½ Teaspoon Jeera

A Few Red Chili Pieces & Curry Leaves

Peel and wash the mangos and cut into small pieces.  Heat a small amount of oil and fry the red chilies.  Add the jeera and remove from the fire.  Grind together the red chilies and jeera.  Next add the mango pieces and salt.  Heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds, red chilies, urad dal, jeera, hing and curry leaves.  When the mustard begins to sputter add the seasoning to the mango chutney and serve.  Serves 4

Mayonnaise

April 10, 2011

Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise can be made by hand with a mortar and pestle, whisk, fork or with an electric mixer or blender.  Mayonnaise is made by slowly adding oil to an egg yolk, while whisking vigorously to disperse the oil.  The oil and the water in yolks for a base of the emulsion, while the lecithin from the yolks is the emulsifier that stabilizes it.  A bit of mustard may also be added to sharpen the taste and further stabilize the emulsion as mustard contains small amounts of lecithin.  It is a process that requires watching.  If the liquid starts to separate and look like pack ice or curd, it requires starting again with an egg yolk.  Whisk it slowly and add the curd while whisking.  It will emulsify to be mayonnaise.  A classic European recipe is essentially the same as the basic one, but it tends to use olive oil with vinegar or lemon juice.  It is essential to beat the mayonnaise using a whisk while add the olive oil a little bit at a time.  Herbs and spices can be added at any stage and the vinegar may have already been infused with sprig of French tarragon or the oil may have been infused with garlic to make the variation on mayonnaise call aioli. 

INGREDIENTS

1 Egg Yolk

½ Teaspoon Salt

½ Teaspoon Dry Mustard

2 Pinches Sugar

2 Teaspoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar

1 Cup Olive oil

Using a glass bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and dry ingredients.  Combine the lemon juice and vinegar in a separate bowl and then thoroughly whisk half into the yolk mixture.  Start whisking briskly and then start adding the oil a few drops at a time until the liquid seems to thicken and lighten a bit (emulsion).  Once you reach this point you can increase the oil flow to a constant stream.  Once half of the oil has been poured in you need to add the rest of the lemon juice mixture.  Continue whisking until all of the oil is incorporated.  Leave at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.  Refrigerate for up to 1 week.  Makes 9 ounces. 

A Note About Raw Eggs:  Use only fresh eggs and properly refrigerate.  Eggs should be clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells.  Avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.  There could be a slight risk of salmonella or other food borne illnesses so it is important to handle with care. 

FLAVORED MAYONNAISE

It’s easy to transform mayonnaise into a luscious condiment. 

Horseradish Mayonnaise

½ Cup Mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon White Horseradish

1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice

Pickled Jalapeno Mayonnaise

½ Cup Mayonnaise

¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro

2 Finely Chopped Pickled Jalapenos

Pesto Mayonnaise

½ Cup Mayonnaise

4 Teaspoons Pesto

Chipotle Mayonnaise

½ Cup Mayonnaise

1 Finely Chopped Chipotle Chile in Adobo

1 Teaspoon Adobo Sauce

¼ Teaspoon Ground Cumin

Basil Mayonnaise

½ Cup Mayonnaise

¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Basil

1/8 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper

Roasted Red Pepper Mayonnaise

½ Cup Mayonnaise

¼ Cup Finely Chopped Roasted Red Pepper

1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Parsley

Chutney Mayonnaise

½ Cup Mayonnaise

¼ Cup Finely Chopped Mango Chutney

1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Cilantro

Lemon Mayonnaise

½ Cup Mayonnaise

1 ½ Teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Teaspoon Freshly Grated Lemon Peel

1/8 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper

 

Ginger Sesame Mayonnaise

½ Cup Mayonnaise

2 Small Green Onions Finely Chopped

1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Cilantro

1 Teaspoon Peeled and Minced Fresh Ginger

¼ Teaspoon Asian Sesame Oil

Homemade Hot Horseradish

December 20, 2010

Homemade Hot Horseradish

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Peeled & Cubed Horseradish Root

¾ Cup Malt Vinegar

2 Teaspoons Sugar

¼ Teaspoon Salt

½ Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until pureed.  Carefully remove the cover of the processor, keeping your face AWAY from the container.  Cover and store in the refrigerator.  Use as a condiment or in other recipes.  Makes about 1 ¼ Cups.  It will keep for about 4 to 6 weeks in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator.  As prepared horseradish ages, it darkens and loses its pungency.

*The aroma is so strong that I make this while wearing a scuba mask and snorkel.  No joke!

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