Displaying items by tag: condiments and sauces



 It happens once a year in the dead of January (and if you miss it, you’ll be kicking yourself until next year): Seville oranges, the bitter citrus fruit from Spain and California, have their short but delicious season. For those of us who love marmalade, it is our one chance to make it.

Although reasonable marmalade can be bought at the supermarket, it usually contains pectin, which gives it a firm, almost rubbery texture. Homemade is softer, less sweet and much more spreadable. I love the deeply satisfying feeling of making it from scratch—for my own use or to give away. Put up a batch on blustery day and feel how your heart warms.

Marmalade comes in many styles and varies in colour from dark orange to light; it can contain chunky peel or thin translucent slivers, and almost endless variations can be made from bitter and sweet oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes and grapefruit.



 Slow cooking helps to extract the pectin from the pith and seeds. To see whether the oranges are soft enough,squeeze a piece of peel between your fingers and thumb. It should be squishy. Once the sugar has been added, the peel will not tenderize any further.   


Fast boiling is the secret to a quick set. If the marmalade sets quickly, it will retain its bright colour and fresh flavour.


Have several saucers sitting in the refrigerator. Take the pot off the heat and place a spoonful of marmalade on a cold saucer for a few minutes. Push it with your finger—the side should crinkle. A candy thermometer will help to confirm the setting point (it should read 220°F).



This is my favourite marmalade, and it is a sad day when we run out. Marmalade is easier to make than other jams because it always sets. Seville oranges are full of pectin, a natural substance found in the pith, skin and seeds of many fruits. When pectin meets sugar and an acid, it naturally forms a jelly.


3 lb (1.5 kg) Seville oranges, rinsed

10 cups water

Juice of 2 lemons (about ½ cup)

4 to 5 lb (2 to 2.25 kg) granulated sugar


Place oranges in a large pot and cover with the water. Bring to a boil. Cover tightly and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until oranges are very soft. Turn oranges occasionally for even cooking.

Remove oranges from pot with a slotted spoon. Cool slightly, and then cut in half. Using a teaspoon, scrape seeds and flesh into a cheesecloth bag. Place bag in the orange liquid and simmer for 10 minutes to extract any additional pectin. Remove the bag and squeeze any extra juice back into the pot. Reserve liquid.

Cut halved oranges in half again. Use a teaspoon to scrape peel clean of bitter, squishy pith. Slice the scraped peel into thick or thin slices or dice.

Add sliced orange peel, lemon juice and sugar to pot and stir. (I like my marmalade tart, but if you like yours on the sweet side, add up to ½ cup extra sugar.) Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil briskly for 20 minutes, or until foam has subsided somewhat and bubbles look slightly viscous. Test every 5 minutes until the set is correct. Skim off any froth.

Remove pot from heat and let sit for 20 minutes before pouring into sterilized jars. 


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Our version of the condiment uses cranberries as the base. It's not too sweet and is fantastic with tourtière or any bird, pork or savoury pie. Serve the leftovers with your Christmas bird. If you like sweeter condiments add an extra ¼ cup sugar to the recipe. The recipe doubles beautifully if you need a little jar of something for a hostess gift.

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Ready In: 1 hour, 30 minutes


¾ cup onion, chopped

2 cups water

½ mandarin orange, diced (about ½ cup)

½ lime, diced (about ⅓ cup)

2 thin slices peeled ginger

1 package (350 grams) fresh cranberries

½ cup cider vinegar

¾ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon mustard powder


Combine onion, water, mandarin, lime and ginger in a pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in cranberries and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until cranberries pop.

Cool slightly then puree mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Return to pot and add vinegar, sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and mustard powder. Bring to boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer 30 to 45 minutes or until flavours are amalgamated and ketchup has thickened. Test for thickness by smearing a little on a cold saucer, the mixture should be slightly set. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing against top to avoid a skin from forming.

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Hotel Gelato's Chef Dan Hoffman makes spicy sandwiches have layers of flavour and are also good cold.




4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


2 ripe avocados

2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped

½ cup plum tomato, finely chopped

2 tablespoons lime juice

Chili-Cilantro mMayonnaise:

1 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons chili flakes

½ teaspoon paprika

½ cup mayonnaise

4 Ciabatta, demi-baguette or buns


Preheat barbecue to high.

Toss chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes a side or until chicken is cooked through. Set aside.

Mash avocado in a bowl. Then add onion, tomato and lime juice and stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve.

Combine cilantro, olive oil, chili flakes and paprika in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add mayonnaise and process until cilantro is finely chopped. Season with salt to taste.

To assemble: slice ciabatta open and generously spread one cut side with cilantro mayonnaise and the other with guacamole. Slice chicken and pile into the middle of the sandwich. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Heat a panini or grill pan and grill sandwiches for 5 minutes or until warmed through. Servings: 4 sandwiches

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Greek-style yogurt gives this sauce a lovely flavour and texture. If you can't find it, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to the sauce just before serving.



Servings: 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 0 minutes

Ready In: 10 minutes


½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup Greek-style yogurt

2 cups packed baby spinach

1/3 cup green onions, chopped

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons hot water (optional)

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, spinach and green onions in a food processor and pulse until just combined. Add olive oil in a slow steady stream until fully incorporated. Add hot water to loosen if necessary and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Rack of lamb can be prepared ahead of time until just before baking. If you do not have a skillet big enough for the racks then use a roasting pan.



4 anchovy fillets, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

½ cup chopped almonds

½ cup mint leaves

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon grainy mustard

3 8-chop lamb racks


½ cup red wine

1 cup stock

1 tablespoon tomato paste

½ teaspoon honey


Combine anchovy fillets, garlic, almonds, mint leaves and oil in a food processor or mini chop and process until slightly chunky.

Heat skillet over high heat and add lamb racks fat side down. Brown them on each side 2 minutes. Brush mustard mixture over fat side of lamb. Reserve skillet for baking lamb. Marinate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place skillet in oven fat side up and bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until juices are just pink. Let rest for 10 minutes while making sauce.

Add red wine to roasting pan and deglaze pan, scraping up any little bits. Reduce wine until 1 tablespoon remains. Add stock, tomato paste and honey and continue to boil until stock reduces by half, about 6 minutes.

Slice lamb into chops and serve with sauce. If any topping crumbles off the lamb, add to sauce. Serves 6

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Basic BBQ Rub

One of my tricks is to use smoked Spanish paprika in a rub or marinade, which impart a smokiness.



Servings: Makes about 1 cup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ready In: 10 minutes


3 tablespoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)

1 tablespoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon dry mustard powder

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon hot smoked paprika

2 tablespoons coarsely ground pepper


Combine the ingredients in a bowl.



Some like it hot, some sweet, some vinegary. The southern United States uses a vinegar-based sauce, Kansas City the more traditional red sauce. In general, a lighter one is best for chicken and a heavier sauce compliments the meaty flavour of ribs. After much experimentation, I've come up with one that gives you the best of both worlds: It has lots of flavour but isn't overly sweet. If you can find a chili powder called Mexican, use it – it's a little bit spicier than the usual. Brush on 10 minutes before you're finished the end of cooking, as the sugar will cause it to burn. Keeps refrigerated for one month.


Servings: Makes about 2 cups

Prep Time: 10

Cooking Time: 25

Ready In: 35


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 cups fresh or canned tomatoes, puréed

1/4 cup rice vinegar

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup apple juice

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

1 to 2 teaspoons sambal oelek or to taste

Salt to taste


Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and chili powder and sauté for 1 minute longer. Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until thickened. Season with salt to taste. Use an immersion blender or food processor to process until sauce is smooth. Makes about 2 cups.

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Francisco Alejandri, who runs Agave y Aguacate, a tiny but zesty takeout stand in Kensington Market, trained at the Stratford Chef School. He incorporates this training with his passion for authentic Mexican food. His perfectionism, making everything from scratch, is what makes this dish delicious. To make the tostados you need to make both guacamole and guajillo salsa – both easy recipes. Mr. Alejandri makes the guacamole fresh for each order. Guajillo peppers are dried peppers that make a salsa with lots of flavour but won't leave your mouth burning. The peppers need to be seared for a few seconds to release their taste. This salsa is also nice with eggs, cheese and fish.


Servings: 4

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cooking Time: 0 minutes

Ready In: 45 minutes


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 corn tortillas

1 cup guacamole recipe (follows)

1 plum tomato, thinly sliced

1 cup crumbled queso fresco or other feta-like cheese

1 recipe guajillo salsa recipe (follows)

4 sprigs coriander


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add tortillas and fry for about 2 minutes a side or until slightly puffed and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Set aside. (Or buy ready-fried tostada shells at the supermarket.)

Divide tortillas among serving plates. Top with guacamole, tomato and cheese, then streak the guajillo salsa over. Garnish with coriander sprigs.



1 tablespoon coarsely chopped serrano or jalapeno peppers

1 teaspoon grated garlic

6 stalks coriander with stems and leaves

1 ripe avocado

Salt to taste

1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice (or to taste)


Grind peppers, garlic and coriander together in a mini-chop or mortar and pestle, adding a little lime juice if necessary.

Mash avocado to a rough paste. Add chili mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt and lime juice to taste.



8 guajillo dried chilies

1 pound plum tomatoes, sliced ½-inch thick

¼ cup chopped onion

1½ teaspoons chopped garlic

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Heat a non-stick skillet over high heat. Add chilies and, using a spatula to press down on them, heat for about 10 seconds a side or until warmed and softened. Remove from pan and coarsely chop, removing stem end. Shake out the seeds and use only the skins. Set aside.

Add tomatoes to pan in a single layer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, turning once or until slightly charred. Scrape tomatoes into a food processor along with the chilies, onion and garlic and process until slightly chunky. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 1½ cups

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The subtle taste of the anchovies gives the lamb an elusive but not salty flavour. Serve with flat pasta squares or orzo tossed in butter.

Servings: 6

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 65 to 85 minutes


6 anchovy fillets, drained

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

3/4 cup chopped mint

¼ cup olive oil

3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons grainy mustard

4 8-chop lamb racks, about 1 pound (500 grams) each


Combine anchovy fillets, garlic, mint leaves and olive oil in a food processor or mini-chopper and process until slightly chunky. Stir in breadcrumbs.

Brush grainy mustard over lamb. Spread half of anchovy mixture over lamb racks and let marinate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Season racks with salt and pepper, place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Scatter the remaining pesto over and bake 10 to 20 minutes more or until juices are just pink. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Slice lamb chops apart and serve sprinkled with the topping that crumbles off the lamb.

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Victorians served applesauce with goose or turkey. The combination of the two varieties gives the sauce texture.


2 pounds (1 kilogram) tart cooking apples

1 pound (500 grams) Macintosh apples

½ cup apple cider

¼ cup brown sugar

1 3-inch cinnamon stick

2 tablespoons lemon juice


Peel and core apples and cut into 1-inch chunks. Place apples in a heavy-bottomed saucepan along with cider, brown sugar, cinnamon stick and lemon juice and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Remove lid and cook another 20 minutes or until apple pieces are translucent and falling apart. If sauce is too liquid because apples are juicy, cook another 10 minutes.

Remove cinnamon stick. Mash apple chunks with a potato masher until desired consistency has been reached. Cool. Yields about 3½ cups applesauce.  

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I like to give the chutney a whirl with a hand blender after cooking as I prefer a slightly smoother texture, but it's not necessary.

4 cups peeled mango, diced

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Bring to boil and cook, uncovered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, or until thick. If chutney thickens but the mango is still firm, add an extra 1/2 cup water and cook further. Makes about 1 1/2 cups sauce.  

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