Can’t find your favourite sauce at Jenny Lou’s or April Gourmet?
Fear not friends! Here are some easy recipes to make your favourite sauces right at home:
In a large pot over medium heat, sauté 1 chopped onion and 1 chopped red bell pepper in 2 tablespoons neutral oil until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon chopped garlic and 1 tablespoon tomato paste, and stir until the paste darkens a bit, 2 or 3 minutes. Add one 28-ounce can whole tomatoes (roughly chopped, with their juice), ⅓ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup cider vinegar, ½ teaspoon ground mustard, ⅛ teaspoon each ground allspice, ground cloves, cayenne and cinnamon, a bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about an hour. Let cool for a few minutes, then purée in a blender until completely smooth. (For supersmooth ketchup, pass it through a fine-mesh strainer.) Taste, adjust the seasoning and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
In a food processor, combine 1½ cups fresh parsley leaves, ½ cup cilantro leaves, 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, 3 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon red-chile flakes, 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons neutral oil, salt and pepper. Process until combined, then stir in 3 tablespoons olive oil by hand. Taste, adjust the seasoning and use immediately.
In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups ketchup (the homemade version would be good), 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 tablespoon chili powder, ½ cup dry red wine, ¼ cup cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 chopped onion and 1 tablespoon minced garlic. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat so the mixture bubbles gently but steadily. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and the flavors meld, 10 to 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. For a smooth sauce, purée in the blender. Store in the fridge for up to a week.
In a food processor, combine ¼ pound hot red or green chiles (like Fresnos, cherry peppers, serranos or a combination), 1 roughly chopped onion and 1 garlic clove. Pulse until finely chopped. Add 1½ pounds roughly chopped bell peppers (some combination of red, orange and yellow), and pulse until chopped into roughly ⅛-inch pieces. Put ½ cup red-wine vinegar, 1 cup water, ¼ cup sugar and a big pinch of salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then add the pepper mixture and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are soft and almost all the liquid has evaporated, 20 to 25 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, cool and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Husk 2 ears of corn, and strip the kernels off the cobs. Put 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. When it’s hot, add the corn, and cook until lightly browned. Lower the heat to medium, and add 1 large chopped tomato, a pinch of red-chile flakes, salt and pepper. Cook for another 30 seconds, then turn off the heat. Store in the fridge for up to a day or two, and serve at room temperature, with some chopped fresh basil stirred in at the last minute.
Combine ½ cup soy sauce and ½ cup mirin (or ¼ cup honey mixed with ¼ cup water) in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until the mixture bubbles; turn off the heat, and stir in 1 tablespoon minced ginger, 1 teaspoon minced garlic and ¼ cup finely chopped scallions. Store in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Put 1 egg yolk and 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard in a food processor or blender, and turn the machine on. While it’s running, start adding 1 cup of neutral oil in a very slow, steady stream. Once an emulsion forms, you can start adding the oil a little faster, until it’s all incorporated. Season with salt and pepper, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice or sherry vinegar if you like. Store in the fridge for up to a week.