Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Powerhouse Condiments!

We are always inclined to use the same old stand by condiments!  Travel the world of food and quickly you find many condiments, freshly made that pack a punch of flavour without all the added sugar, salt and corn syrup of North Americas favourite.  Condiments are made to add another dimension of flavour that ultimately enhances the overall dish.  Most have the added benefit of providing nutritional powerhouses such as anti-oxidant and immune building properties.

South African Sambal
1/2 white onion, diced
2 Roma Tomatoes, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

  • Soak onion in cold water for about 10 minutes, drain.
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  • Place a spoonful over rich curry dishes

Italian Gremolata
Zest of 1 lemon (use a microplane for best results or finely grate)
1/4 cup  parsley minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of salt

Orange Rosemary Gremolata
Zest of half an orange
2-3 sprigs Rosemary, finely chop the leaves
2 cloves garlic
pinch of salt
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  • Sprinkle over braised, grilled meats (osso buco, striploin, roast beef, lamb)

Argentinian Chimichurri
2 cup parsley
2 cup cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp oregano
2 tsp red chili flakes
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
  • Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until well blended. Store in an air tight container.
  • This will last for at least 1 month in the refrigerator.
  • Serve with grilled meats, stir into pasta or potato salads, use as a sandwich spread
Korean Kimchi or German Sauerkraut
Traditional preparations not the factory manufactured variety.  Although the latter may add a sour briney quality to your meal, it will not have the added nutritional benefits of the former.  It is possible to purchase traditionally prepared in some health food stores.  What you need to look for is a product that is not pasteurized and doesn't contain vinegar.    See the link for more information on  Basic Sauerkraut recipe

Traditional Kimchi 
1 large Napa cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 Daikon Radish, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and grated
Combine 4 cups of water with 4 Tbsp sea salt, stir to dissolve.
In a large bowl place cabbage, radish and carrots.  Pour Brine over vegetable and place a plate on top to keep submerged. Place in fridge for 3 hours or overnight.

4-6 green onions
4 cloves garlic
3-4 hot chilies
3 Tbsp ginger
Place onions, garlic, chilies and ginger in a food processor and puree into a paste.

  1. Drain vegetables, reserving liquid.  Taste vegetable for saltiness, it should be pleasantly salty.  If too salty rinse; if not salt add a sprinkle of salt.
  2. Mix vegetables with onion/garlic/chili/ginger paste.
  3. Pack into sterilized 1000ml glass jars
  4. Press down so vegetables are compact and brine rises above top of vegetables.  If necessary add reserved brine to cover vegetables.
  5. Cover kimchee loosely, not so its air tight, but to keep the dust out
  6. Check every day to make certain vegetables are still submerged, and taste of course.
  7. After it tastes *sufficiently ripe (4-7 days) seal and place in fridge.
*The first time you make it, consider putting some in the fridge at 3 days and some at 6 days to taste the difference

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