Sauces and Sambals

Cranberry sauce

I bought two packets of fresh cranberries from Cold Storage intending to make cranberry sauce to go with the turkey I had ordered for lunch. I read a few recipes and decided on my own simple version:

1. 2 bags of fresh cranberries
2. 2 cinnamon sticks
3. One vanilla pod
4. 1/4 cup muscovado sugar
5. 3/4 cup caster sugar
6. Zest of one orange peel and its juice
7. Water to cover half the saucepan

The result was a lovely bright red sauce but it was still tangy. Too tangy or my liking but from the many sites I read, apparently cranberry sauce is meant to the sweet and tart. So I guess it’s perfect. The Helper tried and she said it was not too tart. Then again, I never could stand sour. If you are like me, you’d like to add another 1/4 of sugar.

20131221-102659.jpg

20131221-102709.jpg

20131221-102721.jpg

20131221-102728.jpg

Sauces and Sambals

Hollandaise sauce

This is delicious yet soooo fattening. I can feel all the weight I’ve lost piled on instantly.

It’s easy to make. I followed a recipe from the Internet but it turned out fabulous.

In a metal bowl, whisk 4 egg yolks with 1 tbsp lemon juice. And then place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and slowly add in half a stick of melted butter in a slow stream. Remember to continue whisking. When the sauce has reached the right consistency, take it off the heat and then whisk in salt and cayenne. ( I used smoked paprika).

I love it. I will next try to make my own mayo.

20131124-120607.jpg

20131124-120620.jpg

Sauces and Sambals, Sides

Easy Guacamole

Avocados were on sale a few weeks ago and so I decided to buy some and make guacamole to serve with chicken.

This has got to be the easiest guacamole recipe ever. In a bowl, I mashed one ripe guacamole, one tomato, lime juice, salt and then top it all up with Greek yogurt. I feel that the yogurt is the key as it binds everything together. If not, guacamole on its own is pretty bland – too creamy. It tasted really really good with my roasted chicken thighs. Traditionally, sour cream is used but its much easier to get Greek yogurt here.

Don't mash it up too fine. I like the ingredients coarser, more like a relish than a sauce. You can add onions too,
Salads and Vegetables, Sauces and Sambals

Italian Tomato Sauce

On the last week of term, some chef came to the school to conduct a cooking workshop for teachers and their children. It sounded interesting so I signed up for the course even though it would end at half past eight. The menu for the day was …

The other was chicken piccata which I’ll post. What interested me most was the tomato sauce. It really was delicious. The spaghetti dish itself was so-so. He used Italian canned tomatoes, olive oil, very finely chopped carrots, onions, cabbage I think? And loads and loads of garlic. The result was really good and he said we could use this to serve with breaded calamaris. Mmmmm..that got me even excited. Such a simple recipe yet I was too lazy to make my own tomato sauce, preferring to buy bottled or ready canned ones instead. 

Sausages (it was supposed to be turkey breast. hmph), zuchinni, chicken thigh
Pour two cans of Italian peeled tomatoes and mash with a fork till, well, mashed.
In a rather large saucepan, add in a lot of olive oil. Add finely minced garlic and fry till golden brown. Add in very finely chopped vegetables and fry till fragrant. Pour in the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper. At this stage, you can season with any Italian herbs you want or throw in a bay leaf etc.

The sauce was the bomb. Then, we had to cook that spaghetti dish. Simply boil spaghetti, add them into the fried sausages and zucchini and then pour about half of the tomato sauce in. I didn’t like the dish. It tasted insipid. Bleah. But the rest of the teachers were so famished (it was half past eight before we could eat our dinner!) that I didn’t get a chance to ask what they thought of the dish. However, you’ve got to try the sauce. And serve it with fried calamari or mushrooms! Yums!

Sauces and Sambals

Pesto Sauce

I have no idea how a real honest to goodness pesto sauce should taste like. I know how it’s made. I’ve tasted the one in the jar before. But still, I’ve no idea what a good pesto sauce should taste like. I read Jamie Oliver’s recipe for pesto sauce. And several other websites and books and the ingredients are all the same. This is how I made pesto sauce today. It tasted good but I’m still unsure if it’s the right thing. Anyway, the family loved it. I like it too but I’ll continue experimenting and trying out pesto recipes till I figure out what’s a perfect pesto.

In a blender, blend a handful of Italian basil leaves. Toasted pine nuts. Salt. Olive oil. Parmesan Cheese. Adjust to taste by adding more oil or more cheese or salt till it's perfect.
Spoon sauce over meat of choice. Here, over baked salmon. Yummmmy...

I think if it’s meant to be mixed with pasta, my pesto sauce may be a bit too ‘basil-ly’. I don’t know. But over salmon, it was divine. Try some pesto today. 😀