Browsing Tag:

sauce

Cooking

Jamie Oliver-inspired Chimichurri Sauce

chimichurri sauce

If you’re unsure what to serve up for Father’s Day this year, try making a batch of Chimichurri Sauce. You won’t regret it! Chimichurri is an uncooked Argentinian Sauce that is made from parsley, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and spices. It has an incredible vibrant fresh flavour.

The first time I made chimichurri was about 9 years ago when my husband’s niece and partner came to visit from Vancouver. I bought some really nice strip loin steaks and Luke grilled them on the BBQ. None of us had ever heard of chimichurri sauce before. But since then, it’s the only thing we serve with BBQ steak or chicken. But, it’s also fantastic on a pasta salad.

Nothing is better at our house, on Father’s Day, than some grilled steaks with a fresh batch of this Jamie Oliver-Inspired Chimichurri Sauce. Father’s Day dinners are always fun: with Luke barbecuing in the backyard while I’m bustling about in the kitchen making chimichurri, a special salad and a tasty dessert.

fresh vegetables and spices

I usually use roma tomatoes, as they are more dense. And I scrape out all the seeds. You don’t want the chimichurri sauce to be too watery from the pulp of the tomato. And make sure you use flat parsley. It has much more flavour than curly parsley. And feel free to adjust the seasoning to your lik8n*. If you want more garlic, some heat or more onion – go for it.

As for spices, try to use the best spices you can find as this dish will taste loads better. I have been ordering spices from The Spice Trader in Toronto, recently. Their spices are really good (this is not a sponsored post), so fresh and full of flavour and they come in lovely little tins. My husband and I love their spices.

In the past, I have always chopped all the ingredients by hand, but if you have a food processor, you can use that. If chopping by hand, try to chop everything as much as you can, so the tomato, parsley, garlic and onion get chopped very small.

This chimichurri tastes best if you make it about 1-2 hours before serving it. Keep it in the fridge to let all the flavours mingle and get to know each other.

chimichurri sauce

Enjoy!

Chimichurri Sauce

Print Recipe
Serves: 8 Cooking Time: no cooking

Ingredients

  • 2 tomatoes (scrape the seeds out, and chop fine)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 red onion (chopped fine)
  • 3-5 garlic cloves (chopped fine)
  • one large handful of flat parsley (chopped fine)
  • 1/2 cup oliver oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano

Instructions

1

Chop, chop, chop all of the herbs and vegetables until very fine, especially the parsley.

2

Add the olive oil, vinegar and spices.

3

Stir.

4

Let the marinade sit in the fridge for at least one hour.

5

This marinade is super delicious served over barbecued steak. It is also tasty with chicken.

6

Refrigerate after dinner.

7

It will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

Cooking

Quick and Easy Mumbo Sauce

mumbo sauce on a spoon

What is Mumbo Sauce?

Mumbo Sauce is a fantastic condiment to have on hand for the summer BBQ season. And with the Victoria Day weekend coming up, this is the time to have lots of special condiments on hand.

Mumbo Sauce is made from white vinegar, sugar, pineapple juice, tomato paste, spices and soy sauce. It is one of the most flavourful BBQ sauces I’ve ever had: not too sweet and with a tiny hit of spice from the hot sauce and powdered ginger. You can adjust the hotness to your liking.

ingredients to make mumbo sauce

Where does this sauce originate?

Mumbo Sauce originated at Argia B’s Bar-B-Q in 1957 in Chicago. It eventually found it’s way to Washington, D.C. where it has become the No. 1 condiment of that city. No one is really sure how it got to Washington, DC. But that’s where it is a real treat. Many people who live in and around Washington or have visited the area love this sauce.

What do I serve it with?

If you ask someone in Washington what to eat with Mumbo Sauce – they will say, “everything”. I’m not actually a big BBQ Sauce fan, but I love this sauce. The pineapple and ginger flavours really shine in this sauce. It tastes fantastic on BBQ chicken, pork chop or pork roast, as well as hamburgers. And would be equally delicious on tofu or veggie burgers too. You could even use it in a stir-fry. We made a batch recently and used it as a dipping sauce with roast pork. It was so good.

Of course, the best thing about this sauce is that it you can make a jar of it in about 30 minutes. The ingredients are mostly pantry ingredients, except pineapple juice. But that’s not hard to find.

a jar of mumbo sauce

I really hope you are able to make a batch of this for this summer. I know you’re going to love it.

Enjoy!

Quick and Easy Mumbo Sauce

Print Recipe
Serves: 2 cups Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp hot sauce

Instructions

1

Place all ingredients in a medium size pot.

2

Bring to a boil.

3

Turn down heat and let it gently simmer for about 10 minutes.

4

You can cook it longer if you prefer a thicker denser sauce.

5

Let it cool in the pot for about 20 minutes.

6

Pour into a clean preserving jar or any glass container you have on hand. I always warm the jar with hot water first, so the glass won’t crack.

7

Place it on the counter until it is room temperature.

8

Store in the refrigerator.

9

This will keep for about 2 weeks. If it lasts that long.

Cooking/ Preserves

Robust Red Tomato Sauce

pitcher of tomato sauce and tomatoes

Tomato Sauce is one of the simplest pantry items anyone can make. It also freezes beautifully. It’s so handy to have a few tubs in the freezer so whenever I have time to make some sauce, I make double or triple the amount and freeze it for a quick dinner.

You can make SO many quick dinners when there is a ready made tub of tomato sauce in your freezer: pasta + sauce + parmesan cheese; pasta + sauce + sausage; pasta + sauce + any green vegetable from the crisper drawer such as spinach, zucchini, or even just onion or garlic; or tortellini + sauce + parmesan. Homemade sauce is so simple, and so much tastier than store bought that I try not to purchase bottled sauce too often. It is also more economical and healthier as there is much less salt.

This Robust Red Tomato Sauce is my go-to sauce for all pasta or pizza dishes. I love it because it has a very deep rich tomato flavour. I know other people like to add onions, garlic and sometimes carrots for sweetness, but I like the rich tomato flavour scented with only bay leaves.

pitcher of tomato sauce and tomatoes

If you are lucky enough to have a vegetable patch in your yard, or perhaps you rent an allotment garden, you could try growing your own tomatoes. Tomatoes used to make sauce are a different variety than eating tomatoes. You’ll want to look for paste tomatoes. Paste tomatoes have fewer seeds and have a firmer texture. They also all ripen at the same time, so processing the tomatoes into sauce is easy. Paste tomatoes may seem a bit bland when eaten raw, but when cooked down, they turn into a delicious sauce. Some varieties to look for are: San Marzano, Amish or Roma.

Personally, I buy whatever tins of tomatoes are on sale at the local grocery store. I also tend to buy tins with No Salt Added. However, if I am making a special pasta dish for guests or perhaps taking a lasagna to someone’s house, I would search out a more expensive brand such as Muir Glen, Eden Organic or San Marzano tinned tomatoes. These tomatoes do tend to have a richer and pastier texture. And the taste is divine.

Winter is the perfect time for making tomato sauce and all the accompanying pasta dishes. So, next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up a few tins of tomato sauce and simmer them on the stove while you browse through your favorite italian cookbook and bookmark a few italian dishes to make with your gorgeous homemade tomato sauce.

pitcher of tomato sauce and tomatoes

Robust Red Tomato Sauce

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-6 Cooking Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 can (796 ml) whole tomatoes (I use no salt added, but you can use either)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small can tomato paste

Instructions

1

Empty the can of tomatoes into a large pot. Squish all the tomatoes with your hands until well broken up.

2

Add two bay leaves.

3

Simmer on low for about 30 - 40 minutes, until reduced by about 1/3, with the lid half covering the pot.

4

Add tomato paste to taste. I usually add about 2-3 tablespoons.

5

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

This recipe multiplies well. Increase the cooking time to about an hour for large batches. It should reduce by about 1/3.

Preserves

Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Recipe

roasted red pepper pesto in a bowl

January is a great month to make changes to your daily life. Maybe you want to hit the gym more often, go to the theatre or read more books. This year, I’m going to be cooking a lot more vegetarian and vegan recipes. I’ve been experimenting lately with some different dinner ideas and they have all gone down a treat. This vegan roasted red pepper pesto caught everyone offguard with it’s smoky flavour and heat from the chipotle.

Eating less meat and more vegetables is a much healthier and more economical way of dining. I found this recipe recently in Meatless: More than 200 of the Very Best Vegetarian Recipes and everyone in the family loved it.

I was a vegetarian for a few years when I was a teenager. Eliminating meat from my diet was easy, but back then, there were not many resources to inspire me to make interesting meatless meals. To make sure that I got enough protein in my diet, I ate a lot of eggs and cheese, and salty sunflower seeds.

Nowadays, there are SO many amazing vegetarian ideas. I love Buddha bowls, vegetarian curries as well as all the wild variations on pesto.  I love the influence that international cuisines bring to vegan and vegetarian dishes. Spices and techniques from Thailand, Vietnam, India or South America really liven up our local veggies. We’re so lucky that international restaurants, recipes and ingredients have become more prevalent.

While I am familiar with vegetarian diets, the vegan diet is new to me, and perhaps to other people as well.

This vegan roasted red pepper pesto is amazing with it’s smoky hot chipotle peppers and nutty almonds. It does have quite a kick to it from the chipotle pepper. If you are serving this to anyone who does not like spicy food,  decrease the chipotle pepper to 1/4 or 1/2 and add an extra half roasted red pepper. It is delicious on pasta, but you could also spread it on crackers, or a bagel or have as a dip with veggies.

roasted red pepper pesto with ingredients on a cutting board

Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 large roasted red peppers
  • 1 chopped jarred chipotle chile in adobe
  • 1 chopped small garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons toasted almonds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

1

Place all the ingredients in the food processor, EXCEPT the olive oil. Pulse a few times until roughly chopped.

2

Add the olive oil and blend until everything is mixed together.

3

Season with salt and pepper.

4

Boil up 450 grams of spaghetti. Follow package instructions for timing.

5

Toss the spaghetti with the pesto.

Notes

To toast the almonds, spread them on a parchment lined baking tray and pop them into a preheated 350 degree C oven. It takes about ten minutes for them to toast.

If  you are interested in further reading on vegan diets, here is some additional reading. Enjoy!

The Vegan Society

History of Veganism