Sauce Recipes

View All | View Summaries
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.


Full Recipe...
Peanut Butter Caramel Dip with Sliced Apples Recipe

Yesterday, I packed some grapes for the girls when packing their school lunches. I thought I would make something different today. I had a little leftover caramel au beurre salé from the weekend. It's a sweet caramel  sauce with salted butter. We drizzle it over ice cream. I decided to mix a little creamy peanut butter into the caramel, along with some raw honey that I just discovered at the local market.

Peanut butter caramel is a great dip with any fruit, drizzled over ice cream or even on celery. Enjoy!


Full Recipe...
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!


Full Recipe...
Fusion Raita (Indian Yogurt Sauce) Recipe

Raita (click on the link for the traditional version) is an Indian condiment made with yogurt. It is paired with a lot of spicy dishes like biryani, tandoori chicken or vegetarian cutlets because dairy products have a cooling effect when food is extremely spicy. If you follow Ted Allen's show, Food Detectives, you've probably seen the premier episode which asks "What is the best way to cool your mouth after eating spicy food?" After some experimentation it was clear that dairy was the most effective.

This particular recipe is my take on traditional raita. Similar to the Greek sauce called tzatziki, I add dill, lemon, and olive oil. Being French, I also add some Dijon mustard to add some more complexity to the flavor. 

I know, some people are going to balk at my additions, but I think that sauces are the highlight of a meal, so why not enhance them with a lot of flavor? Sometimes I also add cilantro or dill, depending on what's available in my garden. I'll try to post the traditional recipe soon so that you can make your own variations to your taste.


Full Recipe...
Vegetarian Quinoa and Eggplant Caviar Recipe

"Chose promise, chose due!" This is a French expression that translates as promises are made to be kept.

As promised, this is the recipe of the vegetarian equivalent of fish caviar that I served my "vegetarian" dinner guests last night. I paired it with mini-crumpets and a little dollop of crème fraîche in between.

This recipe was inspired by the Tassajara Cookbook by Karla Oliveira, which is an excellent resource for vegetarian party food recipes. The quinoa grains and eggplant seeds resemble the original fish eggs. It is basically eggplant caviar, very similar to baba ganoush, mixed with cooked quinoa.

For more flavor, I topped it with an Asian-style mint and cilantro sauce that added a beautiful, bright green color.


Full Recipe...