Condiment Recipes

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Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce with Kumquat and Jalapeno Recipe

We make cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving every year, and every year at the end of the meal there's a bowl full of cranberry sauce left-over. It's not that we don't like cranberries; they have a great flavor that I make user of in stuffing, cakes and drinks. Cranberry sauce, though, is a bit one-dimensional, so I've been on a quest to come up with a version that is more food than Thanksgiving table ornament.

After several trials, I think I've come up with some small additions to a traditional cranberry sauce recipe that really give it new life. I added roasted and chopped jalapeños for a little heat, kumquat zest for a touch of citrus, and brown sugar to mellow out the sweetness with hints of caramel. I knew I was on to something because Lulu was eating it all by itself!

If you're like me and the idea of cranberry sauce has been more appealing than the reality, I can tell you that with a few simple modifications you may actually come to enjoy some cranberry sauce with your turkey.


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Vegetarian Gravy for Thanksgiving Recipe

I personally love homemade turkey gravy with all the caramelized bits and drippings of the roasted turkey, so I was a bit skeptical when Lulu asked me to try his vegetarian miso gravy recipe. I couldn't believe that it would have the complexity of flavors that are present in traditional giblet gravy, but to my surprise, it was absolutely delicious. 

Miso is fermented soy bean paste, and it imparts a strong, earthy flavor to the gravy. For additional flavor I added fried onions and chili flakes. Butter and a touch of heavy cream created a rich texture.

Even if you don't have a gaggle of vegetarians in your house as I do, it's worth trying out this recipe.

Gravy for Vegetarian Thanksgiving


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Cucumber Dill Salad with Tzatziki Dressing Recipe

I wanted to prepare a simple salad for dinner this evening, so I made a cucumber salad with a really easy to make tzatziki dressing.

Prepping the cucumber takes only a few steps. I wash, chop, salt and pat dry the cucumber slices and they're good to go. The tzatziki sauce is made of dried mint, dill and yogurt and is seasoned with salt and pepper. If you want to make it extra rich, you can add some sour cream or crème fraîche. Mix them together and you're ready to serve. That's it. Easy never tasted so good.


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How to Make Harissa Recipe

How to Make Harissa

10.17.09 by Jackie

Harissa is a spicy paste that is used as a condiment in Northern African cuisine. I was first introduced to harissa when I was in elementary school.

I had a friend named Inès, who was of Tunisian decent. I went over to her house one day and I remember we strolled into the kitchen and she pulled out a jar filled with a dark red paste. She dared me to spread some on a piece of baguette and have a taste.

Of course, I accepted the challenge, and oh boy was it spicy! I don't really eat hot chiles, and I could barely handle it. The harissa did have an amazing flavor though, and after a tall glass of milk to soothe my taste buds, I went back for more.

When it came to eating harissa, I was definitely a lightweight compared to Inès and her family. I could barely handle a few bites, but they ate it the way Italians consume balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.  Harissa was eaten with bread as a starter, and mixed with meat and vegetables for main course.

Harissa is not only versatile, but also very easy to make. The main ingredients are garlic, and of course, dried red chiles. The final ingredient is time. Like cheese, the longer you wait, the stronger the flavors get and the yummier it is. So prepare a jar this weekend, and you'll be well on your way to making amazing North African dishes.


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Indian Cherry Chutney Recipe Recipe

Indian Cherry Chutney Recipe

08.14.09 by Jackie

Chutney is an Indian condiment that's used to add more flavor to main courses. Chutneys can be sweet, savory, sour or spicy and are often a combination of the four.

The kids went cherry-picking recently. After "pigging out" on their haul, all that was left was about a quart of fairly unattractive cherries. They were too smushed for a pie or a tart, but I was determined not to waste them. It occurred to me that a chutney might be an excellent use for them. Cherries have a sweet and sour flavor that matches perfectly with the spices commonly found in chutneys. In fact, one of my father-in-law's favorite chutneys is made from raw mangoes. Unlike the chutney that's made from ripe mangoes which is very sweet, the raw mango chutney is more tart, while still maintaining some fruitiness.

This chutney would be the perfect accompaniment to lamb, goat or poultry but since there are so many vegetarians in my house, I decided to serve it with some fried tofu. They don't even know what they're missing!


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