Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

This would seem to be Saveur magazine's not-so-thinly veiled attitude towards fiscal 2009. The February issue presents recipes to make your own deli-style mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Louisiana-style hot sauce and ketchup!

These are not things to make that would have occurred to me. There's a bottle of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce in the hall closet; none in the refrigerator - I find it too salty to use. I'm hooked on Maille Dijon mustard; no need to make something different. I collect hot sauces, why would I want to make my own? We never use ketchup.

You, however, may be of a different mind, so have at it! Bragging rights are all yours.

WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE (This has a ton of ingredients. My advice? Buy some!)
2 cups distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup tamarind concentrate
3 T yellow mustard seeds
3 T kosher salt (OMIT)
1 teas. whole black peppercorns
1 teas. whole cloves
1/2 teas. curry powder
5 cardamom pods, smashed
4 chiles de arbol, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 one in. stick of cinnamon
1 anchovy, chopped (optional and no, I wouldn't use this)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 in. piece of ginger, peeled and crushed
1/2 cup sugar

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan -- except the sugar -- and boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Cook the sugar in a separate skillet until it becomes dark amber and syrupy - about 5 minutes. Add the sugar to the vinegar mixture and whisk; cook the sauce for 5 minutes and put it in a glass jar with a tight lid. Refrigerate for three weeks; strain to remove the solids and put it back in the jar. It'll last in the refrigerator for up to eight (8) months.

Make a spice bag (cheesecloth tied with string) of:
4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1 stick cinnamon
1/4 teas. celery seeds
1/4 teas. chile flakes
1/4 teas. allspice

2 lbs. tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 cup white vinegar
5 T brown sugar
1 onion, chopped
1 Anaheim chile, chopped
1 clove garlic, smashed

Put the spice bag in with the other ingredients and cook until the onion is soft, about 40 minutes. Take it off the fire, take out the spice bag and discard; let it cool a bit and puree it. Strain the puree and cook the rest for another 30 minutes. Let cool and put it in a bottle.

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