Posts Tagged ‘sauce’

I certainly don’t claim to be the worlds biggest fan of tomato ketchup, but I live with people who do like it – and I admit that it has its uses.  One small bottle usually lasts quite a long time at the back of our fridge.  However I like a challenge so when I came across a recipe for home made Tomato Ketchup I thought I had better give it a try, particularly as I could see exactly what the ingredients were.  The finished result was a bit of a revelation.  If you are going to keep ketchup in the fridge then this is definitely the type to have.  Not that I will be splurging it over all my food from now on, but I will sometimes be using it in cooking (a lovely pork marinade recipe will follow soon) – and it has made my family very happy!

Celia at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial first brought this tomato ketchup recipe to my attention.  It comes from Pam Corbin who often features in the Channel 4 River Cottage television series and her book Preserves: River Cottage Handbook No 2.  Celia has two versions of Roasted Tomato Ketchup on her site.  In the first one you pre-roast and sieve the tomatoes with other ingredients to make home made passata which is then made into ketchup.  This is the quick version, which uses shop bought passata.  Using commercial passata has its disadvantages as you miss out on the flavours of the onion and garlic which are roasted with the tomatoes, however these can be added if you wish.  (Chop and fry a small chopped onion with a crushed clove of garlic in a little olive oil, without browning, before simmering with the passata and mixing with the remaining ingredients.  The pieces of of onion and garlic need to be strained from the ketchup before bottling: for a more pronounced flavour liquidise the onion and garlic into the passata before straining.)  In its form without the added onion and garlic this is a fairly speedy recipe, taking just 45 minutes from start of cooking to filled bottles.  The yield was two 300ml bottles with a little over.  The only disadvantage is that the shelf life is fairly short.  The finished ketchup must be kept in fridge and used within 4 months.  I have discovered that the remainder of a bottle close to its use by date freezes well for later use in marinade type recipes.

(This needs a better photograph – something to rectify when I make my next batch of ketchup.)

‘Meanderings through my Cookbook’ http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Speedy Tomato Ketchup

1ltr passata (or home made roasted tomato passata)
100ml white wine vinegar
50ml lemon juice (about one lemon)
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 heaped teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground ginger
a few grinds of black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
100g brown sugar

1.  Put all the ingredients, apart from the sugar, in a heavy based pot.  Bring to a gentle simmer.

2.  Add the sugar and stir well until dissolved.

3.  Continue simmering for 20-30 minutes.  If the sauce is removed from the heat too early it can be rather thin so it needs to reduce until it has the usual familiar thick ketchup consistency.  It will continue to thicken a little as it cools as well.

4.  Wash the bottles well and sterilise.  I usually do this by filling the with boiling water and also putting the lids in a bowl of boiling water.  I pour away the water just before filling each bottle and immediately take the lid from the bowl and screw it on to seal.

5.  Taste the ketchup and adjust the seasoning if needed.

6.  Using a sterilised funnel, pour the ketchup into the prepared bottle, screw on the tops.  Allow to cool and label.

7.  The ketchup must be stored in the fridge.  The original recipe states that it will keep for up to four months.  Any ketchup close to its use by date can be frozen.


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I don’t know what your favourite Chinese dish is, but anything containing duck seems to rate very highly in our house.  Duck with pancakes is regularly ordered when we visit a Chinese restaurant but I don’t think I would attempt the crispy duck or the special pancakes. Duck with Plum Sauce is just as popular whilst being much less complicated and when I came across this simple recipe I knew it would be well received.  The aromatic spiced sharp sweetness of the plum sauce is a perfect contrast for the rich flavour of the simply pan fried and beautifully crispy duck.  I first made it last November for my husband’s birthday supper using duck legs and then once again in this March as part of the Chinese banquet I served for mum’s birthday, instead using duck breasts.  I know I will be making it again.

The original recipe for Duck Breasts with Plum Sauce came from the November 2010 issue of the ASDA Free instore magazine.  It is a useful dish as the sauce can be made in advance and the duck cooked fairly quickly just before it is needed, initially on the hob before being finished in the oven. The amount of sauce is very generous and is enough for at least 8 people, if not more (though 6-8 if you like a large serving).  On both occasions I ended up freezing half of the sauce for later use.  I need to remember to halve it on another occasion but meantime I have sauce to use up!  The sauce would also be delicious with pork, whether a roast joint, chops or belly strips and also with chicken.  It could also be used as a pork marinade in a similar way to that used in the recipe for Aromatic Finger Lickin’ Pork.  As one of several dishes, I served this on a bed of shredded lettuce, cucumber sticks and tomato wedges.  As a single main dish I would serve it with plain or egg fried rice and a dish of stir fried vegetables.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Duck with Chinese Style Plum Sauce
(Serves 4)
4 small Duck Breasts (as a main course – one or two breasts if serving several dishes)
1tbsp sunflower oil
1 garlic clove, choppedcrushed
1cm/½inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled & grated
350g/12ozs plums, halved & stoned
2tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp white sugar
1tsp Chinese five-spice powder
2tbsp Soy Sauce
1tbsp sweet chilli sauce

1.  Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas 6.

2.  Remove the duck from the fridge and pat the skin with kitchen paper to remove any moisture before leaving it at room temperature, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

3.  Make shallow, parallel cuts in the duck breast skin, being careful not to slice right through the skin to the meat.

4.  Heat the oil in a pan and gently cook the garlic and ginger on a low heat for 1 minute.

5.  Add the plums, vinegar, sugar, five-spice, soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce.  Cover the pan and gently simmer the sauce for 5 minutes.  Remove the lid and simmer the sauce for a further 5-10 minutes to reduce.

6.  Liquidise to make a thick smooth sauce and return to the pan to keep warm.

7.  Meanwhile, gently heat a large frying pan and cook the duck, skin-side down, on a medium heat, for 5 minutes.  Thee skin should become golden brown and start to crisp.

8.  Drain off the fat and reserve – it is delicious for roasting potatoes. Turn over the duck and cook on the other side for 1 minute more.

9.  Transfer the duck into a roasting tin and place in the pre-heated oven, skin-side up, for 9-15 minutes, depending on how pink you like your duck meat.

10.  When cooked, leave the meat to rest for 10 minutes. Then slice and place on a serving dish on a bed of lettuce, cucumber and tomato.  Alternatively place unsliced onto a plate and serve with Chinese style rice and stir fried vegetables.

11.  The sauce should be reheated to serve with the duck, either poured over or alongside in a small serving jug .

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Tomato sauce is simple and versatile: delicious as a base for a  pasta sauce or served alongside sausages or chops. This recipe will serve 3-4 people as a sauce or can be used as a topping for three pizzas. It can be frozen in pizza size topping portions for later use.  You can add a chilli with the onion for a more spicy flavour. 

The recipe comes (slightly adapted) from my favourite pizza book: Step-by-step Pizzas by Wendy Lee.

100_3525 Pizza tomato sauce

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Tomato Sauce
(Serves 3-4 or enough for three pizzas serving 2-4 people each)

1 large onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1tbsp olive oil
400g tin of plum tomatoes
4tbsp tomato purée
½tsp sugar
1tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper

1. Fry the onion and garlic gently in the oil for 5 minutes until softened but not browned. (If you would like a spicy sauce add a finely chopped deseeded chilli or chilli powder to taste. Spices such as cumin or coriander could also be used.)

2. Chop the tomatoes and add them to the pan with the tomato purée, sugar, oregano, bay leaf and seasoning. Stir well.

3. Bring to the boil and cover.
For Sauce to accompany Pasta or Meat: simmer gently for 5-10minutes until desired thickness (pouring or spooning) adding a little water if necessary.
For Pizza topping: simmer gently for 20minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce is fairly thick.

4. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste. Leave to cool completely before using. If you are making just one pizza the remaining two portions will keep in the fridge for up to a week but should be date labelled and frozen if you wish to keep them longer.

Find a pizza base recipe
Find a pizza topping recipe

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