Archive for the ‘Condiment’ Category

Plum Ketchup

October 14th, 2014 1 Comment
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  (A visit to the Niagara Escarpment, more photos below…)     Close your eyes and open your mind to let ketchup become more than you think it is.   That red puree we think we know so well has origins in China (doesn’t nearly everything?!?) as a fish-sauce condiment called kê-chiap or ke-tchup (From slate.com “the syllable tchup—pronounced zhi in Mandarin—still means “sauce” in many Chinese dialects”) made from fermented fish and spices.  During centuries of its evolution the base ingredient of ketchup has shifted to salted anchovies, then soybeans were used in certain regions,

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Tarragon Sugar and a Faroe Islands dinner

September 23rd, 2014 8 Comments
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… Fresh tarragon with sugar was not my original idea, but reading it in a menu convinced me this was the meal I wanted to attempt to recreate for a Scandinavian dinner for my friend Dennis, the generous Dane who loves to host elaborate festivities. The Faroe Islands were the geographical highlight of this year’s feast, small bits in the North Atlantic between Norway, Scotland and Iceland, an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark.  Puffin, seal and whale blubber are common foods eaten there…but we

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Revisiting Roasted Tofu with Spicy Peanut Sauce

May 22nd, 2014 No Comments
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    Skewered roasted tofu with a peanut sauce is one of my all time favorites for catering, and it’s pretty awesome for eating at home too. When I began this site I wanted to start with some of my crowd-pleaser recipes, dishes that I knew and loved so you could get a feel for my style of cooking.  Two and a half years later seems like a good time to dig up and recirculate a few, just for fun.  This was

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Horseradish Dill Sauce

May 15th, 2014 2 Comments
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  Sour cream–it’s the perfect dip starter: a bit tart, a bit creamy, and it ‘plays well with others‘, merging and melding with most herbs or flavors.  Lightly fermented dairy similar to crème fraîche but is more tangy and often made with less fat…I say yes.  If you’re feeling the need for more scrumptious fats in your cream, try this little method of a non-cultured sour cream:   Quick Sour Cream:  pour 1 cup heavy whipping cream into a bowl and add 1 teaspoon (or a little

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Spinach Artichoke Pesto

April 23rd, 2014 1 Comment
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  While we were in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in February we ate lunch at a little place called Steep Creek Cafe (and White Cap Kayak Trips) in the Ironwood and I seem to recall we licked out the bowl that this dip was served in.  Having only the three ingredients listed in the title to go on, I came home and ran with it making a slightly different rendition that is very green and not half bad. Is it hummus?  Is it pesto?  Is

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Holiday Chutney

November 5th, 2013 No Comments
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      This should probably be labeled “Tart Super-Fruit Chutney” or “Antioxidant Chutney“.  Some of these tart fruits are not available right now unless you happen to have frozen them or dried them, but this gets our juices flowing for ways to use this northerly bounty next year.   Cranberries The cheeriest looking staple to your holiday table.  They are used also medicinally to treat UTI’s—their proanthocyanidin prevents the bacteria from latching to the urinary tract, and studies show

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Basil Salt

October 16th, 2013 No Comments
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  It’s a drizzly overcast day with a chilly night coming on, and time for all of the basil to be dug out of the garden and processed.  I’ll be up to my elbows in pesto of course, but I’ve been wanting to try herb salts all summer so this will be the day.     I was amazed at how green it is even after drying in the oven.  That color will be especially appreciated in the winter days

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Parsley Shallot Butter

October 2nd, 2013 3 Comments
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  I was searching at the Farmers Market for shallots and unable to find any so I finally asked one of my favorite vendors.  He pointed to containers on the table filled with what appeared to be red onions. Shallots!  Shallots the size of baseballs!  It’s a cook’s dream…I only have to peel three shallots instead of thirty.  Either Gilligan’s Island radioactive vegetable seeds have been distributed, or they’re the result of using the incredible Cowsmo manure fertilizer from Wisconsin.

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Green Coriander Seed Paste

August 13th, 2013 No Comments
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  If you’re growing cilantro in your garden it probably looks like this right now: a mass of beautiful little flowers and bulbous green seeds.  Usually I don’t have time to deal with them and just wait until they dry in the garden then harvest the coriander seeds for use in the winter, but sometimes I catch them at this perfect stage when they have flavors of both fresh cilantro AND coriander seed. I know that there is an ant-cilantro

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Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

August 6th, 2013 1 Comment
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  Figs and Balsamic Vinegar…a match made in heaven! Rich, Deep Flavors with Sweet and Tangy, together they tango.   Balsamic Vinegar Balsamic originates from the word ‘balm’ and years ago this rich caramel liquid was used for medicinal purposes such as curing colds and aiding heart conditions, not for cooking as we use it today.   Traditionally it was aged for decades, sometimes up to 100 years, in a series of wooden barrels (mulberry, ash, cherry, chestnut, and oak)

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