Showing posts with label sauce. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sauce. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fresh Orange Cranberry Sauce

Fresh cranberry sauce with a kick of citrus. This is no-cook sauce is easy to make and pairs well with your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey dinner.

I must confess that in our family, we are fans of the jellied cranberry sauce and take a certain amount of pride in sliding it straight out of the can whole and slicing it up to serve just as is. None of this mashing it around to pretend it’s homemade in any way, shape or form. It’s completely different from this fresh orange cranberry sauce so I think there is a place for both in my life. Neither requires any cooking. Both are ready at a moment’s notice. I’m not going to pick a favorite but if you turn your nose up at the jellied stuff, give this a try.

I could have sworn I watched Paul Hollywood make his version of this on a Great British Bake Off Christmas master class but I’ll be danged it I can find it online to give you the link. If anyone out there has it, I'd be happy to hear from you.

UPDATE: I am much obliged to my friend, Nicky, with whom I watched that episode. She has just informed me that it was Mary Berry who made the fresh cranberry sauce, not Paul. Turns out it wasn't from the GBBO master class at all but Mary Berry's Absolute Favorite Christmas Favorites, which we watched that same day. Mystery solved!

For those who celebrate, may you enjoy a happy Thanksgiving tomorrow full of good food, family and bountiful blessings!

1 1/2 cups or 170g fresh clean cranberries
1/4 cup or 60ml vanilla wine syrup or rich (double sugar) simple syrup with a small splash each of sherry and vanilla
Pinch fine sea salt
1 orange

Peel and seed your orange, making sure you remove all the pith and the hard bits in the middle with a sharp knife.

Put everything in a food processor and chop till finely ground.


Need a little inspiration for the Thanksgiving feast still? Here are some of our Cajun family favorites.

Nanny's pecan pie

My grandmother's maque choux or spicy Cajun corn

My grandmother's green beans and new potatoes

Extra rich creamed potatoes

And for Friday when you have leftover turkey and gravy? Make my easy turkey potpie with store-bought puff pastry.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Duxelles #FoodieExtravaganza

The earthy flavor of mushrooms is concentrated by cooking them down in a mixture of butter and shallots, then white wine and finally cream is added, creating a thick, rich sauce that is an essential component of classic dishes like Beef Wellington. Or you can just eat it with a spoon.

Here’s the thing about mushrooms for me. Fresh and clean, they have a soft yet almost a snappy texture to them, perfect for slicing into salads. Slightly cooked, they get all wet and even kind of slimy. So, I’m either going to eat them raw or I’m going to cook them down till all of their own water has evaporated, like in mushroom gravy or duxelles.

I made this batch of duxelles a while back because I need it as a component for another recipe that I never quite got around to posting. It had been hanging out in my To Be Shared folder for quite some time when Wendy, this month’s host for Foodie Extravaganza, announced that our ingredient for September would be mushrooms. Apparently September is National Mushroom Month in the US. Who knew? I love it when I am prepared for a group post completely by accident.

If you’ve never had duxelles, let me encourage you to try it. It makes a great thick sauce over rice or pasta. Spread it on crusty bread for snacks or toasted rounds of baguette for appetizers. You can fold it in omelets, roll it in crepes, stuff it in ravioli or stir it through the pan juices of a roast to make the perfect mushroom gravy. Just to mention a few ideas I love. Or, as previously mentioned, you can just eat it with a spoon.

Ingredients – for about 1 1/2 cups or 375g duxelles
3 oz or 85g shallots
1/3 cup or 75g butter
12 oz or 340g mushrooms
1 cup or 240ml dry white wine
1 cup or 240ml whipping cream
Sea salt
Black pepper

Peel and finely chop the shallots. Trim the hard stem ends off and finely chop the mushrooms as well.

Sauté the shallots gently with the butter until they are soft and translucent.

Add in the mushrooms and simmer until they are cooked down and release their liquid.

Keep simmering, uncovered, until liquid is almost all gone. Add the white wine and simmer again until almost dry.

Add the cream, a sprinkle of sea salt and a few good grinds of fresh black pepper.

Stir and then simmer a little while longer. It's going to start thickening up as the moisture evaporates. Try not to eat it all with a spoon at this point, but it's sooooo good.

Keep simmering until the mixture is looking almost dry once more. Taste for salt and pepper and add more to your taste, if necessary.

This can be refrigerated for a few days in a tightly covered container. It’s not beautiful but it sure is tasty. If you are using it in a beef Wellington, I highly recommend chilling it first.


Many thanks to Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm for hosting Foodie Extravaganza this month and for giving me the push I needed to share one of my favorite recipes.

Have a look at all the other great mushroom recipes we have for you this month:

Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

White Bolognese Sauce

Sausage and ground beef, dried mushrooms and Portabellas, white wine, onion and carrots and fennel, with a hint of spice from some chili flakes, and finally, cream. None of these ingredients are remarkable but together as "white Bolognese sauce", and I’m not kidding, they are magic. Stand guard over the pot or it will be gone before dinner is served, one “just tasting” spoonful at a time.

I love Tamar Adler’s wonderful book, An Everlasting Meal, Cooking with Economy and Grace, as much for the conversational, evocative writing as for the delicious recipes. Tamar (Dare I call her Tamar? I feel like we are such old friends after spending so much time together.) weaves stories and musings about ingredients and cooking and love and family into a narrative you can get lost in, bookmarking pages of methods to try, and recipes, until when you finally reach the end, you want to start back at the beginning and read the whole thing again, so rich is the prose.

I’d say An Everlasting Meal it is a way of life, not just a recipe book, if I didn’t think that would scare some of you off. But I will say this, it is a writer’s cookbook. And, from me, there is no higher praise.

No-Tomato Bolognese?
I wish this dish had a better name because White Bolognese doesn’t even begin to describe the rich, hearty, mushroomy, succulent deliciousness that is this meaty sauce. I had already packed up some leftover cottage pie for my husband’s lunch the day after I served this. Cottage pie is one of his favorite things so I had saved it for him especially. He said he’d rather take this!

Adapted from An Everlasting Meal, Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler

1 medium onion
1 medium carrot
1 stalk celery
Olive oil
1 lb 5 oz or 600g pork sausage, removed from its casings
1 lb or 450g ground beef
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly broken with a mortar and pestle
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 cups or 360ml white wine
2 cups or 480ml chicken stock
3 large Portabella mushrooms
3/4 oz or 20g dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated in 2 cups or 480ml hot water
1/3 cup or 80ml heavy cream
Salt to taste

To serve:
1 lb or 450g dried pasta, cooked according to package instructions
Parmesan cheese
Few sprigs parsley

Chop your onion, carrot and celery in small dice. Cut the hard end of the stems off and chop the mushrooms roughly.

Drizzle a little olive oil in a pan that will be large enough to hold all the sausage and meat, with room to stir, and add in just the vegetables.

Sauté until they are soft and the onions are translucent.

Add in the sausage and meat, along with the fennel and crushed red chilies. Break the sausage and meat into smaller pieces and cooked until well browned.

Add the wine and simmer until the pan is almost dry.

Now add the stock and cook until the pan is almost dry again.

Add in the chopped mushrooms, stir well, and let them cook a few minutes to release their liquid.

Chop the rehydrated mushrooms into small pieces and - This step is very important! - strain the liquid through a coffee filter to remove all the dirt and impurities.

Add the rehydrated mushrooms and the filtered mushroom liquid to the pan. Those porcini mushrooms make the most divine liquid. It almost smells smoked.

Simmer until the sauce reaches your desired thickness. Taste it and add more salt, if necessary.

Add in the cream, stir well and remove the pan from the heat.

Sprinkle with parsley. 

Serve over cooked pasta of your choice and top with freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese.


Disclaimer: The book being reviewed here, An Everlasting Meal, Cooking with Economy and Grace was bought by yours truly. Links to the book are affiliate links.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Saving Summer Preview

The Sunday Supper Movement is dedicated to bringing back mealtime around the family table with great new recipes every single Sunday and quick and easy weekday suppers, Monday through Friday. This Sunday, we are celebrating the bounty of summer by sharing recipes and methods for ways to make the most of fresh seasonal vegetables and fruit and even extending their use into the next season. 

It has been my privilege to be a part of the Sunday Supper Movement for more than a year and a half. In fact, this week is my 50th post with the group! I am delighted to be co-hosting for the very first time with my friend, Tara, from Noshing with the Nolands.

Enjoying the bounty of each growing season used to be a given before the days of refrigerated trucks and airfreight. My grandfather grew many of the vegetables his family ate while my grandmother preserved what she could by blanching and canning or pickling the harvest shortly after each crop was picked. This was a way of life for them, despite owning and running their own full time business. It’s just what you did back then to feed your family as economically and as healthfully as you could.

Now we have many options for saving summer produce, including our handy home freezers and Sunday Supper is making the most of them all this week! I would be most appreciative if you would stop by again on Sunday to see all the wonderful recipes and instructions we’ll have for you.

But, meanwhile, here’s a sneak peak at the Sunday Supper Saving Summer link list:

Learn how to …

Sip sunny cocktails and smoothies

Scoop up special salsas and sauces

Jump into jellies, jams and preserves

Pucker up for pickles

Slurp and spoon soup and a side dish

Dive into divine desserts

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rump Steak with Wine-Balsamic Coffee Glaze

Tender rump steak cooked to pink perfection and served with a delicious savory sauce with coffee, red wine, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, so good you will have to stop yourself from eating the sauce with a spoon.

Coffee adds a wonderful smoky note to any marinade or sauce. Never mind just using it in sweet concoctions. Try it in something savory!
If you’ve been reading along here for a while, you know that I am a lover of coffee.  In fact, coffee has been known to bring out the poet in me, as evidenced by this post back in August of 2012, when I shared the following haiku.

Precious elixir
My good reason for rising
Coffee, always.  Yes!

I love to use it in muffins, like this one, and this one, and this one. Sometimes I just make actual coffee, like this post on how to make your own coffee syrup for the perfect iced latte anytime.

Ah, yes, my love of coffee is well documented. I offer as exhibit F, this birthday greeting, written in coffee beans by my elder daughter who was entrusted with my blog password when she created my lovely header and logo.

The point of this preamble is that you won’t be surprised to learn that my hand shot up when my friend, Jenni Field, of Pastry Chef Online, said that the publisher of a book with coffee recipes was looking for bloggers to review the book and try out the recipes. “Me, me, pick me!” I said, with gaiety and wild abandon, virtually speaking. Happy dance was actual. Because: Coffee!

There was a mix up and the hard copy of my book went missing – cue much sadness and despondency – but then, they sent me a pdf of the book and my world was suddenly better again. Because: Coffee!

While I didn’t get to hold the book in my hands, I did manage to make notes and “bookmark” several recipes I wanted to try. Patricia McCausland-Gallo is the author of Passion for Coffee (<affiliate link) and that passion shines through on each and every page. She tells the story of coffee like a romantic fairytale that came true for the world, starting with the discovery of the effects of eating raw coffee beans on animals, which made the humans take notice, to the roasting and enlarging on their essence through modern times.

The creative recipes use coffee in many imaginative ways, sweet, savory and in between, adding depth and richness, sometimes with just a hint of coffee and other times with a walloping bang that you don’t want to miss.

I can tell you that the coffee ice cream is fabulous and one day I’ll share that recipe as well, but for the book review and introduction of the giveaway, I wanted to jump outside the usual sweet comfort zone and try coffee in a savory dish. It was, in a word, exceptional. The defining factor for me, and one that is often discussed at length at the dining table when I try a new recipe is “Should I make it again?” The answer was a big Yes.

Rump Steak with Wine-Balsamic Coffee Glaze

The original recipe called for flank steak, which I couldn’t locate here so I substituted a similar cut, which worked beautifully. I also used espresso powder in place of the granulated coffee since that’s all the instant coffee I keep in the house.

For the steak:
2 lbs or 930g rump steak
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon freeze-dried or granulated instant coffee (or espresso powder)
1 tablespoon olive oil (I didn’t measure, just drizzled some in.)
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the sauce:
2 teaspoons freeze-dried or granulated instant coffee (or espresso powder)
3/4 cup or 180ml beef stock or broth
1/4 cup or 60ml red wine
1/4 cup or 60ml balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup or about 65g dark brown sugar
Beurre manié

For the beurre manié – to thicken the sauce – instructions here
2 1/2 teaspoons flour
2 1/2 teaspoons butter, softened

Sprinkle the steak with thyme, black pepper and coffee and pop it in a Ziploc bag. Drizzle in the olive oil and give the whole thing a good massage from the outside.

Place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight to marinate.

About 15-20 minutes before you are ready to cook, remove the steak from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.

Meanwhile, measure the ingredients for your sauce into a large measuring cup and stir well to combine and to dissolve the brown sugar.

Make your beurre manié. (Check out the link in the ingredients list. It's really easy.) Set both aside.

Heat a heavy sauté pan over medium heat. (I used high heat because that’s how my stove works best for searing.) Season the steak with salt and sear for three to four minutes on each side.

Side one.

Side two.
Cover and cook for five more minutes. (I cut this back to two minutes because we like our steak very pink!) Remove from the pan and cover. Rest for 10 minutes before carving.

The microwave cover is very effective for this stage.

While the steak is resting, we can make the sauce. Add the sauce ingredients to the pan and scrape all the lovely browned bits left behind from the steak as you bring the liquid to the boil.

Now add your beurre manié a little at a time, whisking all the while, until it has all been added. Continue to cook the sauce until it thickens.

Add in the juices from the steak plate and whisk again. Try to stop drinking this sauce with a spoon. It’s futile, by the way.

Now slice the steak into thin strips, against the grain of the meat.

Serve with the warm sauce.


Just to give you a taste of other recipes in this wonderful book, here’s a list of some of my favorite Passion for Coffee book tour posts so far:

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to the book, Passion for Coffee. If you buy after clicking on my link, I make some small change from the sale and you are still charged the normal price. Win-win! I received a soft copy of this book for review purposes, with no other personal compensation. All opinions are entirely my own.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Spicy Pepperoni and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Pepperoni blended with sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, garlic and arugula makes the perfect spicy pesto to serve over pasta or to spread on crusty bread as an appetizer. Or you can use it as pizza sauce. 

It’s funny how something catches my eye. It could be a sign on the highway or a colorful label on a grocery store shelf or a photo on Pinterest that somehow jumps out as I scroll by, but I am always on the lookout for the unusual and the humorous. My Facebook friends and followers on Instagram know what I’m talking about.

Bowels for your salad?

Dirt is good? Thanks for that, OMO. I no longer need detergent.

Is that meant to be a cantaloupe “bunny” amongst the carrots?
I'm being "ware" but what on earth is a road surprise?

The most ENORMOUS leeks

And my most recent find:

Canned humans? 

One thing I didn’t take a photo of because the container was nondescript, with just a store bar code, was some pepperoni pesto made in-house at Whole Foods. The label caught my eye about the same time as the giant leeks in that same store in Providence, Rhode Island.  So no photo, but I did a make a mental note because pepperoni pesto is genius! I have no idea what was in the plastic vessel at Whole Foods but I made my own, using the tomatoes I sun-dried personally last summer. It is divine. And you need some. Just, please, don’t serve it in a salad bowel.

Ingredients (Makes about 1 3/4 cups or 415ml of pesto)
1/2 cup or 30g sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup or 45g pine nuts
2 large cloves garlic (about 10g)
3 1/2 oz or 100g spicy pepperoni
1/2 cup or 120ml olive oil, divided
Couple of good handfuls or 50g arugula or rocket
Sea salt to taste
1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Cover the sun-dried tomatoes with almost boiling water and leave to soften until cool. Drain the water from your tomatoes.

Aren't they a gorgeous color? I sun-dried them myself last summer.

Toast your pine nuts in a small skillet until they are lightly golden.

Blend the softened tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, garlic, pepperoni and a 1/4 cup or 60ml of olive oil in a food processor until you have a smooth paste.

Add in the arugula or rocket and the second 1/4 cup or 60ml olive oil and process again until you have a smooth paste.

Taste the pesto and add salt and lemon juice as needed.  I put about 1/4 teaspoon flakey sea salt and two teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Whir one last time to combine.

This makes a fabulous pasta sauce, pizza sauce or serve with crusty bread to dip.


What’s the funniest/strangest thing you have seen out in public? Leave me a photo in the comments! Let's keep it clean, people!