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Posts Tagged ‘Sauce’

A Bit of a Different Sweet & Sour Sauce

September 24, 2009 1 comment

Sweet & Sour Sauce 2

Continuing with the sweet & sour mini-series I seem to have going today, this is the first of two sweet and sour sauces. This is the one from Chinese Food Made Easy that goes with the original Sweet & Sour Pork recipe. It’s different from the traditional, but really light and refreshing, and goes very well with the slightly spicy crunchy coated pork. Do try this, but if you prefer the usual, orange coloured, tangy, sugary style sauce, then try this too.

I used to find it difficult to find Shaoxing rice wine, not having a good chinese supermarket nearby, but have discovered Waitrose sell one as part of their ‘Cook’s Ingredients’ range, but dry pale sherry is a perfectly fine substitute.

Recipe from Ching-He Huang’s Chinese Food Made Easy

A Bit of a Different Sweet & Sour Sauce (serves 2)

  • 125g tinned pineapple (in natural juice, not syrup)
  • 125ml pineapple juice (from the tin is fine!)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (freshly squeezed is best, but I have used the bottled stuff)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • a pinch of ground white pepper

Put the pineapple, pineapple juice and lime juice into a blender, a blitz, but not too much, until you have a smooth-ish sauce – I like mine a little ‘pulpy’.

Transfer to a saucepan, bring to the boil and then simmer for 2 minutes or so, until the sauce reduces and thickens a little. Season to taste with the soy sauce, rice wine and pepper. Simmer for a further minute and then serve with crunchy coated pork, chicken or turkey, over egg fried rice.

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Chinese Takeaway Style Sweet & Sour Sauce

September 24, 2009 Leave a comment

There are lots of different recipes for sweet & sour sauce, and I’ve tried lots of variations in a, possibly a little sad, mini-quest for perfection, by which I suppose I mean one that best approximates my favourite takeaway’s sauce that I can easily make at home. While I’m certainly not saying this is the definitive sweet & sour sauce, I think it’s pretty good. Drawing inspiration from all over, not least this recipe, this is quite a good approximation of the thick, sticky orange sauce we all know and love.

Ok, the list of ingredients is quite long, but stick with it, it’s worth it, and you may have most of the storecupboard stuff in anyway if you cook Chinese food a lot, or will end up amassing it if you plan to. I’ve suggested pineapple, red peppers and water chestnuts to make a chunky sauce, but play around as you wish. Tinned pineapple is fine, and water chestnuts you can buy either tinned or vacuum packed. In both cases, I’ve successfully frozen the leftover contents of the packages for use another time.

Chinese Takeaway Style Sweet & Sour Sauce (serves 2)

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 x 2cm piece root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon soft, light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons clear honey
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
  • pinch of salt and ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour, stirred well into 4 tablespoons water
  • 50g pineapple chunks
  • 50g water chestnuts, sliced
  • 1 small red pepper, cut into chunks

Heat the toasted sesame oil in a small saucepan, and then add the garlic and ginger. Stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add the soy sauce, vinegars, ketchup, pineapple juice, sugar, honey and sweet chilli sauce. Stir everything together well.

Season with a pinch of salt and ground white pepper, and then simmer for a minute or so. Stir in the cornflour mixture, and stir, over the heat, until the sauce begins to thicken a little.

Add the pineapple, red pepper and water chestnuts, and cook for 1 – 2 minutes, until everything is heated through. Serve with crunchy coated pork, chicken or turkey, over egg fried rice.

Categories: Recipe, Sides Tags: , , ,

Nigella’s Hot Chocolate Sauce

September 18, 2009 1 comment

Having a quick and easy chocolate sauce in your repertoire is really useful for all manner of things. Hot fudge sundaes, of course, tarting up shop bought ice cream, a fabulous dip for fresh fruit, or for pouring over a hot chocolate pudding, in place of, or better still in addition to, ice cream or cream. And, of course, for this.

This is my standby chocolate sauce of choice, from Nigella Express. Firstly, don’t be alarmed by the addition of Camp coffee (a thick syrup of coffee, sugar and chicory used to make a no-doubt vile instant coffee drink, but extremely useful in cooking) or strong espresso, this doesn’t make it a coffee-chocolate sauce, but adds a real depth of flavour and richness to the sauce. The golden syrup, meanwhile, makes everything glossy and shiny, and who could argue with that?

Nigella’s Hot Chocolate Sauce (likely enough to generously pour over 4 puddings, at least)

  • 75g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 125ml double cream
  • 2 tablespoons Camp coffee, or 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup

Break up the chocolate into a heavy based saucepan, and add the cream, coffee and syrup. Melt slowly over a low heat, stirring, until everything is melted and combined. Pour into a jug or other suitable vessel from which to pour over your pudding.

Categories: Pudding, Recipe Tags: , ,

Tomato and Mascarpone Sauce

August 21, 2009 Leave a comment

This sauce is amazing! Quick, easy and at the same time rich and indulgent. Based on a recipe in May’s BBC Good Food Magazine, with a few minor tweaks. Their suggestion is to have this with gnocchi and spinach, although it would be equally great with pasta. This is also a good standby supper, as you’ll likely have most of what’s needed in the house, or at least I do, perhaps having to pick up a tub of mascarpone on my way home.

Tomato and Mascarpone Sauce (serves 2)

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 x 400g tin good quality chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 250g tub mascarpone (i.e. 125g, but by eye rather than by weighing)
  • Fresh basil and freshly shaved or grated Parmesan to serve

Finely chop the garlic. Heat the oil in a large-ish frying pan and fry the garlic for a minute or two until beginning to colour. Tip the tomatoes into the pan, and simmer for 5-10 minutes until reduced a little.

Stir in the mascarpone, and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes until all incorporated. Stir into 400g cooked, drained pasta, or a 500g pack gnocchi, cooked as per packet instructions, perhaps with a 200g bag of baby spinach leaves tipped into the boiling water for the last minute of cooking, and drained well. Scatter over freshly torn basil leaves and freshly shaved or grated Parmesan, and eat immediately!