Displaying items by tag: condiments and sauces


Serve with the curry and also grilled chicken or fish.

1 English cucumber, peeled

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Salt to taste

Slice cucumber into paper-thin rounds. Place in a shallow bowl and sprinkle with shallots. Set aside.

Combine sugar, water and vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat and boil for 3 minutes or until reduced by half. Pour hot liquid over cucumbers and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until cucumbers have softened. Drain watery liquid.

Mix in coriander and mint and season with salt to taste. Makes 1 1/2 cups.  

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Garam masala is a fragrant blend of spices that is layered with flavour as opposed to being just spicy. Garam translates as "hot spices." Although it raises your body temperature, the mixture is actually more aromatic than hot. It can be used like curry powder but is often added at the end of cooking to highlight flavours.

2 tablespoons cardamom seeds (removed from pods)

2 3-inch cinnamon sticks

2 teaspoons whole cloves

3 tablespoons black peppercorns

1/2 cup cumin seeds

1/2 cup coriander seeds

2 star anise

Place all spices in a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until they darken slightly and smell fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat immediately.

Place in coffee or spice grinder and grind until powdery. Cool and store in an airtight jar for up to 6 months. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.  

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A kind of a Cobb salad on bread. The green herb mayonnaise is superb on the sandwich but also as a dip or a condiment with salmon or chicken (fresh herbs are available everywhere right now).

Grilled chicken has the most flavour, but you can also use leftover or poached chicken. Chicken thighs are juicier, but breasts are fine.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 slices pancetta or bacon

Green Herb Mayonnaise:

2 tablespoons chopped basil

2 tablespoons chopped mint

2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

¼ cup chopped green onions

1 cup chopped arugula leaves

1 tablespoons lemon juice

2 avocados

½ cup mayonnaise

1 baguette or 4 rolls

2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

Preheat grill to high. Combine olive oil and mustard and rub onto chicken thighs. Season chicken with salt and pepper and grill for three to five minutes a side, or until cooked through.

Set aside to cool. Fry pancetta slices in a skillet over medium-low heat until crisp, about five minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Combine basil, mint, parsley, green onions, arugula, lemon juice, ½ an avocado and mayonnaise in a food processor. Season well with salt and pepper. To store, press plastic wrap into the surface to keep it from discolouring.

Thickly slice chicken. Peel and slice remaining avocados. Cut baguette into four lengths, and slice each section in half, lengthwise.

Toast bread if desired. Spread herb mayonnaise on both sides of each baguette. Cover bottom side with iceberg lettuce, chicken, avocado and one slice of pancetta. Press the top half down firmly on top. Serves 4.

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After tasting the chutney we decided that this recipe would replace whatever cranberry sauce we used to make. It is superb- not too sweet and just slightly spicy.

1 green apple, peeled, cored and diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (375 mL package)

Place all ingredients in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Bring to a boil, and let simmer gently for 10 to 12 minutes or until apples are soft and cranberry juices have reduced and thickened. Serves 6 to 8

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This Latin American sauce likely originated in Nicaragua, but is now served everywhere in the region.


1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 cups packed Italian parsley leaves

¼ cup red-wine vinegar

1 teaspoon chili flakes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Place garlic, parsley, red-wine vinegar, chili flakes and oregano in a food processor and process until chunky. With machine running, slowly add oil through the feeder tube until mixture has emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Perfect as a condiment for summer barbecues or an accompaniment to cheese plates. The relish keeps about 2 weeks.


1/4 cup red wine

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 2-inch cinnamon stick

1 star anise

2 cup pitted red cherries


Combine red wine, balsamic vinegar, red-wine vinegar and sugar in small saucepan over medium heat. Add cinnamon stick and star anise and bring to boil. Add cherries and simmer for 5 minutes or until cherries are soft.

Remove from heat and cool.

Place cherry mixture in a jar and let sit at room temperature overnight. Refrigerate. It will last several weeks. Makes about 2 cups.

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I'm no master dumpling maker so my secret to serving dim sum at home is to buy them frozen and make my own dipping sauces and fresh condiments. Excellent frozen dim sum is available at Asian markets such as T&T and, increasingly, at mainstream markets as well.


Shrimp Dumplings 

Shrimp dumplings (a.k.a. har gow) are one of the most popular dim sum dumplings. Available frozen, they are best steamed from the frozen state but can also be microwaved. If you don't have a bamboo steamer basket, steam them on an oiled plate.

Place one or two cabbage leaves in a steamer basket set in a wok. Add water to wok for steaming. Place dumplings in basket and cover and steam for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve in the basket.



Frozen pork dumplings are available in most supermarkets. This cooking method makes a pretty presentation. Serve them with the outstanding dipping sauce below.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small non-stick skillet. Arrange dumplings in a circular pattern like spokes on a wheel. Place on medium heat and fry for 2 minutes or until the bottoms of the dumplings are browned. Add 1 cup water mixed with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and a pinch of salt to reach half way up the sides of the dumplings.

Cover and cook 7 minutes. Remove cover and cook until all liquid has disappeared. Loosen edges with a rubber spatula and turn on to a serving dish and serve with Ginger Vinegar Dipping Sauce.


Ginger Vinegar Dipping Sauce

2 tablespoons shredded ginger root

1/3 cup red-wine vinegar

¼ cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon chili sauce (optional)


Combine all ingredients and stir together.

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If you live near a Chinatown, barbecue pork is a great buy for an easy Chinese meal. Just slice it thinly and serve or use it in stir fries.

Barbecue Pork

Slice 1 pound pork thinly and garnish with slivered green onions. Serve with duck pancakes, steamed buns (both available frozen) or quartered tortillas. The butcher will slice it for you if you ask.


Sesame-Hoisin Sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

½ cup hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon grated ginger

Combine ingredients and serve with barbecue pork.

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This superb sauce is rich and fragrant, full of chilies, nuts, seeds and chocolate. Dried chilies vary in hotness, but ancho chilies have the most chocolaty overtones. If ancho chili powder is not available, substitute regular chili powder but only use 2 tablespoons.

This recipe makes twice as much mole sauce as you will need, but you can freeze it for later use. Serve with greens and rice or polenta.


Mole Sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup sliced onion

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 tablespoons hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

2 tablespoons ground almonds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

3 tablespoons ancho chili powder, or 3 dried ancho chilies, soaked and chopped

1 large tomato, quartered and seeded

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup raisins

1 tablespoon grated unsweetened chocolate

1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

2 cups chicken stock


2 boneless chicken breasts, skin on

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons chopped coriander


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over high heat. Add onions and fry about 3 minutes or until slightly browned. Add garlic, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cumin and ancho chili powder and cook 1 minute longer. Push everything to the side of the pan, add tomatoes and cook, stirring, until slightly browned at edges, about 3 minutes. Scrape into a blender along with oregano, cinnamon, raisins, chocolate, vinegar, 1 cup stock and process until smooth.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet over medium-high heat. Place contents of blender in skillet, bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes or until thick and tasty. Add remaining 1 cup stock and simmer for 20 minutes longer or until flavourful and reduced to sauce consistency. Season with salt to taste and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat butter and oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts, skin side down, and cook about 3 minutes per side or until golden. Place in a baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until juices are clear.

Place chicken on a serving dish and coat with sauce. Garnish with coriander. Serves 2.

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This unusual guacamole, chunky instead of smooth, looks as good as it tastes. Serve with tortilla chips.


1 large avocado, halved and peeled

¼ cup chopped red onion

1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno pepper

½ teaspoon chopped garlic

2 tablespoons chopped coriander

2 tablespoons lime juice

Salt to taste

¼ cup pomegranate seeds


Coarsely chop avocado and combine with red onion, jalapeno, garlic, coriander and lime juice.

Season with salt to taste. Fold in pomegranate seeds. Place a bed of Boston lettuce on a plate. Spoon in guacamole. Serves 2

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