Category Archives: sauce

Bolognese Sauce

IMG_4181

Some dishes are simply classics. They are the go-to recipes that you return to over and over again. In my family bolognese sauce is one of those recipes. Rarely does a week go by without our eating a steaming plate of pasta topped with rich bolognese sauce for dinner. Its comforting, satisfying and when I make a pot of the sauce over the weekend, becomes the perfect fast weeknight dinner.

I’ve adapted this recipe from Williams Sonoma’s Essentials of ItalianIts taken me years to find my right balance of meat, vegetables and sauce but I think I’ve finally found my magic combination. The key to a good sauce is long and slow cooking. The process just can’t be rushed if you want to achieve the perfect balance of flavor and texture. I’m also a fan of including a piece of parmesan rind in my sauce. Most people discard this hard remnant of cheese but I stash my leftovers in the freezer then pop one into my sauce while it simmers. It adds a richness and complexity that you just can’t find any other way. If you don’t have a parmesan rind on hand that’s ok to. Skip it for now but save it the next time you use up your hard parmesan cheese. Try it once and you too will be a convert.

BOLOGNESE SAUCE

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 ounces pancetta, chopped

1 large carrot, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 leek, quartered and thinly sliced

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup dry red wine

1 cup drained and chopped plum tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 beef bouillon cubes

1 cup water

1 cup milk

1 parmesan rind

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • Melt the butter in a large heavy pot set over medium-low heat.
  • When the butter has melted add the pancetta, carrot, celery and leek. Stirring occasionally, cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the ingredients are golden brown and tender.
  • Add the ground pork and ground beef to the pot and stir well.
  • Raise the heat to medium and stirring often in order to break up the meat, cook until the meats are lightly browned and crumbled with most of the juices having evaporated. This should take about 20 minutes.
  • Add the wine to the pot and scrape up any browned bits that are stuck on the bottom of the pot.
  • Add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, bouillon cubes, water, milk, parmesan rind, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir well.
  • Allow the mixture to just begin to simmer then reduce the heat to very low and continue to cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally for about 1 hour. If the mixture becomes too thick you can add in a bit more water.
  • Partially cover the pot and continue cooking until the sauce is thick and dark brown, an additional 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Skim off any fat that floats to the surface of the sauce and serve over hot pasta. Alternatively, let cool, cover and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat over low heat, additionally additional water or wine as necessary to get the right texture.

Yields 4 cups

Advertisements

Cranberry Orange Relish

 

photo 1-74

 

Here’s an oldie but goodie that never fails to earn rave reviews on Thanksgiving.

Who wants that cranberry jelly from a tin can when you can make a fresh and flavorful cranberry relish in a matter of minutes.  This dish always brings me back to my childhood and to this day I can’t eat turkey without thinking of and longing for this side dish.  Try it, you’ll love it.

CRANBERRY ORANGE RELISH

1 pound fresh cranberries, washed and picked over

1 whole organic orange, scrubbed

1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

  • Working in batches, pulse the cranberries until coarse in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Place the chopped cranberries in a large bowl.
  • Cut the orange into eight pieces, leaving the peel on but removing any seeds.  Place the orange pieces in the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.  Add to the cranberries.
  • Add the salt and 1/2 cup of the sugar to the cranberries; stir to combine.  Cover and allow to sit for several hours or preferably overnight.
  • Stir the relish and add more sugar if needed.

Yields 3 cups

 

Apple Butter

photo 3-252

I love fruit butters. They are naturally sweet and are the perfect topping to smear onto toast, muffins or even sandwiches. They are also an ideal way to use up less than perfect fruit. You can make large batches and can them or you can make them in smaller quantities and use or gift them right away. (This is ideal for me since with frequent moves I am hesitant to can large quantities of anything lest I have to move them or even worse, leave them behind).

Last winter I was gifted with two cookbooks, Put ’em Up and the companion Put ’em Up! Fruit by Sherri Brooks Vinton. Skimming through the pages I dreamed of making the variety of preserved vegetables and fruits that filled the pages. But alas, with yet another move on the horizon I didn’t want to start canning. Fast forward several months with the move completed, being settled into our new house and with seasonal fruits ripe for the picking (and canning), and I was ready to dig back into the books and actually make them. And my first recipe? Apple butter of course.

Sherri’s recipe called for using a combination of apples and pears but having just returned from apple picking I used only apples. For interest I did use a combination of both sweeter and more tart varieties and added additional cinnamon for flavor. The apple butter cooked up sweet and rich and I find myself slathering it on everything from the banana muffins pictured above to fresh baguettes covered in tangy goat cheese. And there wasn’t any need to worry about having to preserve any; it has already disappeared so it is time to make some more. (Or try one of the other fabulous recipe ideas in the book).

Apple Butter

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

4 pounds apples (use a single kind or a variety)

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • Pour the water and the lemon juice in a large nonreactive stockpot.
  • Peel, core and chop the apples and drop them into the water to prevent browning.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat and simmer, covered until the fruit is tender, approximately 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and pass the entire mixture through a food mill.
  • Return the apples to the pot, add the sugar, cinnamon and cloves and stir well.
  • Continue to simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally until has cooked down and is thick and rich, approximately 40-50 minutes. Take care that the mixture does not burn and reduce the heat if necessary.
  • Transfer the apple butter to glass jar, cool and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Yields 4 cups

Blueberry-Rhubarb Chutney

photo 1-239

Chutney is one of my favorite condiments. Chutneys are simple sauces that combine sweet with savory, a place where a healthy dose of spices combines with fruits and vegetables to create a flavorful sauce that is the perfect accompaniment to just about any meat or poultry. This chutney was inspired by one I found on the Epicurious website. At first glance the combination of ingredients may seem a bit strange. Blueberries and rhubarb are a sweet and sour pairing that makes sense but onion, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger? Absolutely. It is this curious combination of spices and flavors that makes chutney so wonderful. And chutney is so forgiving; you can add or substitute spices as inspiration hits. If your taste buds crave it there isn’t a wrong combination. Because it taste best served at room temperature it travels well and can sit on a dinner or buffet table for hours.

I served this chutney at room temperature alongside grilled ribeye steaks but it would be just as good with grilled chicken.

BLUEBERRY-RHUBARB CHUTNEY

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

2 cinnamon sticks

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger

2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

1 cardamom pod

4 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped

3/4 cup dried blueberries

3 green onions, chopped

  • Combine the sugar, red wine vinegar, cinnamon sticks, ginger, orange peel and cardamom pod in a large sauce pan set over medium heat.
  • Cook until the sugar dissolves and just begins to boil.
  • Add the rhubarb, dried blueberries, and green onions and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the temperature and continue to cook until the rhubarb is tender but not falling apart, about 4 minutes.
  • Discard the cinnamon sticks and cardamom pod.
  • Cover and refrigerate until the chutney is cold, at least 1 hour.
  • Return to room temperature before serving.

Yields: 2 cups

Bolognese Sauce

IMG_4181

Some dishes are simply classics. They are the go-to recipes that you return to over and over again. In my family bolognese sauce is one of those recipes. Rarely does a week go by without our eating a steaming plate of pasta topped with rich bolognese sauce for dinner. Its comforting, satisfying and when I make a pot of the sauce over the weekend, becomes the perfect fast weeknight dinner.

I’ve adapted this recipe from Williams Sonoma’s Essentials of ItalianIts taken me years to find my right balance of meat, vegetables and sauce but I think I’ve finally found my magic combination. The key to a good sauce is long and slow cooking. The process just can’t be rushed if you want to achieve the perfect balance of flavor and texture. I’m also a fan of including a piece of parmesan rind in my sauce. Most people discard this hard remnant of cheese but I stash my leftovers in the freezer then pop one into my sauce while it simmers. It adds a richness and complexity that you just can’t find any other way. If you don’t have a parmesan rind on hand that’s ok to. Skip it for now but save it the next time you use up your hard parmesan cheese. Try it once and you too will be a convert.

BOLOGNESE SAUCE

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 ounces pancetta, chopped

1 large carrot, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 leek, quartered and thinly sliced

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup dry red wine

1 cup drained and chopped plum tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 beef bouillon cubes

1 cup water

1 cup milk

1 parmesan rind

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • Melt the butter in a large heavy pot set over medium-low heat.
  • When the butter has melted add the pancetta, carrot, celery and leek. Stirring occasionally, cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the ingredients are golden brown and tender.
  • Add the ground pork and ground beef to the pot and stir well.
  • Raise the heat to medium and stirring often in order to break up the meat, cook until the meats are lightly browned and crumbled with most of the juices having evaporated. This should take about 20 minutes.
  • Add the wine to the pot and scrape up any browned bits that are stuck on the bottom of the pot.
  • Add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, bouillon cubes, water, milk, parmesan rind, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir well.
  • Allow the mixture to just begin to simmer then reduce the heat to very low and continue to cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally for about 1 hour. If the mixture becomes too thick you can add in a bit more water.
  • Partially cover the pot and continue cooking until the sauce is thick and dark brown, an additional 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Skim off any fat that floats to the surface of the sauce and serve over hot pasta. Alternatively, let cool, cover and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat over low heat, additionally additional water or wine as necessary to get the right texture.

Yields 4 cups

Hollandaise Sauce

IMG_3734

Its totally decadent but oh so good. It tastes so good yet isn’t so good for you so eating it is reserved for special occasions. With three ingredients it is simple to make. And whether you pour it over steamed vegetables or a poached egg it turns the dish from basic to fancy. What it is you ask? Why it is hollandaise sauce.

A good hollandaise sauce is so rich and velvety that a little goes a long way. And with three ingredients–egg yokes, lemon juice and a whole lot of butter—it is simultaneously simple yet fancy. The key to a good sauce is low heat, a lot of whipping and even more patience. But stick with it and you will be rewarded. So go ahead and make it for a special occasion or an ordinary meal that you want to make special.

HOLLANDAISE SAUCE

4 egg yolks

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon water

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cold butter

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

  • Using a whisk, beat the egg yolks in a small saucepan for one minute.
  • Add in the lemon juice, water and salt and continue beating for an additional minutes.
  • Drop in the one tablespoon of cold butter and place the pan over low heat. Beat the egg yolks continually  a moderate speed until a creamy layer forms over your whisk. Remove the pan from the heat as needed in order to prevent the eggs from cooking too quickly.
  • Once the yolks are creamy, remove the pan from the heat.
  • Continue beating and add the butter to the yolks by half teaspoon then teaspoon full, beating well until eat addition is absorbed.
  • When the sauce has the thickness of a heavy cream begin adding the butter but the tablespoon full.
  • Correct the seasonings if needed and serve immediately.

Yields: 1 cup

Cranberry Orange Relish

photo 1-74

Who wants that cranberry jelly from a tin can when you can make a fresh and flavorful cranberry relish in a matter of minutes.  This dish always brings me back to my childhood and to this day I can’t eat turkey without thinking of and longing for this side dish.  Try it, you’ll love it.

CRANBERRY ORANGE RELISH

1 pound fresh cranberries, washed and picked over

1 whole organic orange, scrubbed

1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

  • Working in batches, pulse the cranberries until coarse in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Place the chopped cranberries in a large bowl.
  • Cut the orange into eight pieces, leaving the peel on but removing any seeds.  Place the orange pieces in the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.  Add to the cranberries.
  • Add the salt and 1/2 cup of the sugar to the cranberries; stir to combine.  Cover and allow to sit for several hours or preferably overnight.
  • Stir the relish and add more sugar if needed.

Yields 3 cups

Making Here Home

Expat life, travel...and books

One Real Peach.

reflections on the heartbreak and hilarity of mothering, writing, and living authentically

Wine and Cheese (Doodles)

Salty observations about life, love, and living abroad

Sprouted Kitchen

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Not Without Salt

Delicious Recipes and Food Photography by Ashley Rodriguez.

101 Cookbooks

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Local Milk Blog

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Spoon & Shutter

In and out of the kitchen with Susan and Ted Axelrod

Plating Up

The food that accompanies my adventures!

A Life of Spice

Food, Culture and Lifestyle with Monica Bhide

The Blueberry Files

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Zosia Cooks

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Yummy Supper

The food that accompanies my adventures!

What Julie Ate

It's a delicious life, but somebody has to live it.

United Noshes

The food that accompanies my adventures!

The Bitten Word

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Savory Simple

Be Fearless in the Kitchen!

Hip Foodie Mom

The food that accompanies my adventures!

From Away

Cooking and Eating in Maine

Always Order Dessert

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Yankee Kitchen Ninja

The food that accompanies my adventures!

%d bloggers like this: