by Marnie Record, workforce specialist, Value Added Local Foods Program
Surprise your friends and family with a gift you made especially for them. Whether you are shopping for the friend that has it all, are trying to stay on a budget, or want to give a gift from the heart, nothing beats a present prepared from scratch. With a preserved food, your gift will keep on giving long after the last piece of tinsel is swept up. Try some barbeque sauce for your favorite grill master, the salted chocolate sauce for the baker on your list, or gourmet mustard for all the foodies in your life.
Following are LLCC culinary program-tested recipes without the chemical flavorings and high fructose corn syrup found in many typical grocery store condiments. Let the holiday gift-making commence.
16 ounces tomato puree
8 ounces water
1 ½ ounces Worcestershire sauce
1 ounces cider vinegar
1 ounces vegetable oil
4 ounces onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, creamed
1/2 ounce sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Salt/pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and simmer ½ hour; be careful that it does not scorch.
If too thick add a little water.
Salted Chocolate Sauce
Makes 2 cups
If you can’t get salted butter, most salted butter has about ¼ teaspoon of salt per 4 ounces (115g), so you can use that as your guide.
1 cup (250ml) whole milk or half-and-half
6 tablespoons (3 ounces, 85g) salted butter, cubed
1/4 cup (45g) packed light brown sugar
8 ounces (230g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Scant 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Heat the milk, butter and brown sugar in a saucepan until it begins to steam.
Remove from heat and add the chocolate, vanilla and salt, stirring gently until the chocolate is melted and the sauce is smooth.
Serve the sauce warm with ice cream, or cool it to room temperature and store it in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. Rewarm the sauce by putting the jar in a pan of very hot water.
3 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
2 1/2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds
1/3 cup drinking-quality white wine
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
Pinch ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
In a non-reactive bowl, combine all ingredients and refrigerate overnight, covered.
Transfer the mustard mixture to a blender and process until mustard has obtained the desired texture and thickness; it is equally delicious whether you leave it chunky or smooth. Store in an airtight, non-reactive container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
1 tablespoon salad oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 small onion, died
1/2 cup carrot, diced
1 cup water
3-5 hot chiles, such as habanero or scotch bonnet, stems and seeds removed, chopped
2-4 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
Heat oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and let cook about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add onions and carrot. Let cook about 4-5 minutes. Don’t brown the vegetables. Add water and cook until water is almost all cooked away – you want carrots to be pretty soft.
Remove from heat and add to food processor or blender and let cool about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and blend until totally smooth. Taste for seasoning – more salt or vinegar? Will keep in fridge for 1 month.
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
3/4 cup canola oil, divided
Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Whisk until blended and bright yellow, about 30 seconds.
Using 1/4 teaspoon measure and whisking constantly, add 1/4 cup oil to yolk mixture, a few drops at a time, about 4 minutes. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup oil in very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until mayonnaise is thick, about 8 minutes (mayonnaise will be lighter in color). Cover and chill. Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.