Condiments and Seasoning Recipes & Ideas
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Quick Tip: Rub The Salad Bowl with Garlic
We love garlic in our vinaigrettes, but find that the raw stuff often becomes too pungent and overpowering. A chef friend recently suggested we try rubbing the salad bowl with a clove of garlic. The result is magical: a pleasant background note of garlic infused throughout the salad. You have to try this!We think this garlic tip works in two ways.
Jan 10, 2011
Quick Tip: Add Whole Stems of Thyme to Soups
all the herbsoff the stemsThe leaves gradually loosen during cooking and come off on their own, he explained. The leaves are generally so small that it doesn’t matter that you didn’t mince them beforehand. When cooking is done, just pull out the now-stripped stems of thyme along with the bay leaf and anything else you’re not actually serving.We gave this a try in our last batch of Beef and Barley Stew and it worked like a charm.
Dec 6, 2010
The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook by Rachel Saunders Book Review 2010
I wrote aboutreally, reallyTitle & Publisher: The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, by Rachel Saunders with photographs by Sara Remington. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, 2010.First impressions: Wow. This is a BIG book, weighing in at 372 pages. It’s a hard cover, with a nice matte textured dust jacket and a sturdy sewn binding that helps the pages to stay flat when opened. The book is divided into three main sections, with bibliography, sources and an index in the end.
Nov 12, 2010
New Love: Cinnamon Toast Butter from Ronnybrook
Not to dismiss the innovation of Ronnybrook FarmsMmm. We first spotted it at Whole Foods but ended up buying it at the farmers’ market, straight from the Ronnybrook vendor. And we’ve been eating it every morning for the past week, spread on raisin bread and toasted.Here’s what happens when you run this stuff under the broiler (or the toaster oven): The butter melts, and the cinnamon and sugar that are mixed in get bubbly and slightly crispy on top. Delicious.
Oct 26, 2010
Recipe Review: Improvisational Cherry Vinegar
Most fruit-flavored vinegars that you can purchase in the grocery store are too sweet and fake tasting for me. So in the summertime, when fruit is abundant and cheap, I like to put up a bottle or two of fruit vinegar. Nothing could be easier or tastier. It’s cherry season here on the west coast, so this week it was cherry vinegar!I had a handful of leftover fresh cherries after last week’s cherry roasting experiment, so I thought I would try making some cherry vinegar.
Jun 14, 2010
5 Uses For Sour Orange Juice
Earlier this week we made Messy Moroccan Chicken Wings and one of the ingredients that makes them finger lickin’ delicious is sour orange juice. Some might call it bitter orange, bigarade, or Seville orange, but no matter which one you choose, it’s a staple in our house! Bitter orange juice comes from a specific type of orange (you can read more about it here) and it’s a smaller orange with thick skin that gets a little wrinkled with deep pores.
Jun 10, 2010
Recipe: Cara Cara Orange Curd
Soon after Elizabeth mentioned them, we spotted cara cara oranges at our local grocery. We ate a few for afternoon snacks, but then our thoughts quickly turned to dessert. Wouldn’t this sweet citrus make a great jam curd? Why, yes it would!We’d hoped the curd would end up as pink as the fruit, but alas, it seems the pink color comes from the flesh of the orange and not the juice. All the same, we love the sunny orange hue that we did get!
Jan 20, 2010
What is Ponzu?
If you like cooking Asian food at home, then you should have a bottle of ponzu in your cupboard. It is an essential condiment and marinade with a wonderful, zingy flavor that pairs well with vegetables, seafood, and meats. Sadly, it’s very little-known outside of Japan and it deserves more widespread knowledge.Ponzu is a citrus-based sauce used in Japanese cuisine as a marinade or an addition to soy sauce. It is made with rice wine, rice vinegar, bonito fish flakes, and seaweed.
Sep 24, 2009
Ingredient Spotlight: Lyle’s Golden Syrup
I first heard of Lyle’s Golden Syrup, a British pantry staple, back in the 80’s. I was reading John Thorne as well as Laurie Colwin, so I’m not sure which one introduced me but I’ve enjoyed keeping a tin on my shelf ever since. But what exactly is Lyle’s Golden Syrup and even more importantly, what’s up with the dead lion and the honey bees on the label?Lyle’s Golden Syrup was invented in 1885 by a Scottish businessman by the name of Abram Lyle.
Aug 31, 2009
Ketchup With a Kick: Add Curry Powder!
We recently experienced our first, glorious encounter with curry ketchup. Served with fries at a restaurant, it initially seemed like a gimmick, but with each subsequent bite, we became increasingly addicted to the bittersweet sauce. By the next day, it was all we could think of and we set out to learn more about this condiment.
Jun 17, 2009
Try This: Fresh Wasabi Root
While on a trip in Japan and browsing the local markets, I came across this green, watery root many times. It’s fresh wasabi root – yes, the same nasal-clearing green paste we mix with soy sauce and dip sushi in. What exactly is this root, where can you find it, and how do you prepare it? Read on …Wasabi is a plant in the same family as mustard and horseradish. It grows naturally along stream beds in mountain rivers in Japan, but can be farmed.
Apr 16, 2009
D.I.Y. Recipe: Vegetarian Furikake Rice Seasoning
Furikake is a Japanese condiment typically sprinkled over or mixed into rice. There are dozens of varieties on the market – most contain seaweed, sesame seeds, sugar, and salt. Other ingredients may include MSG and dried fish, shrimp, roe, egg, and vegetables. Although I love looking at the rows of colorful furikake jars at the Japanese grocery store, I recently decided to conserve money and packaging by making my own.
Apr 3, 2009
How (and Why!) To Preseason Your Meat
In our house we’re not so big on marinating meat, but we love to preseason it. We realize, of course, that this lands us smack in the middle of a food controversy. There are those who would argue that salt will leach the juices out of your meat, and therefore should be left to the last minute. Time and again, however, our experience has proved otherwise. Click through for the science, and for some practical advice about how (and how much) to preseason your meat.
Mar 11, 2009
Neighborhood Market Find: Cilantro Mini-Cubes
We have a love-hate relationship with the small grocery store/bodega closest to our apartment. The produce section is bleakOk, we know these things run a very distant second to fresh cilantro, but we so rarely use an entire bunch that maybe it would be nice to have a shelf-stable version that could be used in increments?In the edge of the photo, you can see that there is an onion (cebolla) version of the same product. We didn’t buy either.
Sep 26, 2008
Cooking with Tea: Smoky Lapsang Souchong
Walking home last night, the neighborhood was thick with the smells of barbecue. Oh, how we love that smoky smell. And we love tasting it in our food even more!Barbecue wood chips, liquid smoke, bits of smoked bacon–whether we’re grilling or not, we have lots of tricks to infuse our favorite dishes with a subtle smokiness.But have you ever considered tea?Lapsang souchong is a tea from the Fukien province in China.
Jun 2, 2008
What is Kewpie Mayonnaise?
Kewpie mayonnaise was prominently mentioned in Wednesday’s Times Dining section article on MSG and its ubiquitous presence in processed foods. We only knew Kewpies as those eerily big-eyed dolls – what was this mayonnaise? According to Kewpie’s official website, mayonnaise was first introduced to Japan in 1925. Since then, Kewpie mayo has been one of the predominant household condiments there. People often use it on vegetables and as a salad dressing.
Mar 7, 2008
Bacon Salt: Vegetarian AND Vegan?
Our friend Michael of Herbivoracious (and of that splendid spicy chickpea stew) tells us, to our surprise, that bacon salt is both vegetarian and vegan! To demonstrate, he makes a vegan Farro with Collard Greens and Bacon Salt.More thoughts below…Like Michael we try to avoid artificial seasonings, but if any of you are going vegan for the New Year (permanently or temporarily) and need a way to ease off that meaty diet of the holidays, this might be helpful.
Jan 10, 2008
Recipe: D.I.Y. Sesame Salt
Flavoured salts are an easy, quick way to enhance simple dishes at the table, and some are also quite easy to make at home instead of buying in jars at specialty markets. This particular salt is also known as gomasio, a traditional Japanese condiment. Gomasio is also a staple of the macrobiotic diet, partly because of the nutritious oils in sesame seeds, and partly because the sesame oil holds and enhances the taste of the salt so that much less salt can be used.
Mar 12, 2007
Brown Bag Lunch Recipe: Better Than Hellman’s Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise is a main part of many lunches: tuna salad, salad dressings, turkey sandwiches and more. British food writer Elizabeth David called mayonnaise “the beautiful shining golden ointment.” While I’ve made mayonnaise a few times, I’ll admit that for a potato salad or a smear on a sandwich, I’ve relied on Hellmann’s mayonnaise, known as Best Foods in the West.
Nov 16, 2006