Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Sauces of Summer

This was my article that ran in the Dominion Post two weeks ago. 

Summer weather is finally here and no doubt a plethora of produce will follow. My mouth is watering in anticipation of having the homegrown (and/or farmer’s market procured) ingredients for my favorite condiments—a quick salsa, a creamy tzatiki and Udi’s Bliss.

The salsa recipe I’m offering is from Martha Stewart. It’s the only salsa I make. It’s that good. Try it with Tres Rios chips from the Mountain People’s Market.

Tzatiki is a creamy cucumber sauce you may have had on gyros up at Ali Baba’s. I first fell in love with tzatiki in Greece in the 80’s. I’ve combined various elements of Martha Stewart’s and Food Network Kitchen’s recipes to come up with my own version below. It’s awesome on warm pita wedges.

Udi’s Bliss will allow you to enjoy the hot peppers that will soon be coming on. This recipe is named for Udi, a woman from Thailand I met fourteen years ago in Delaware. I was pregnant with our middle child and I ate an entire loaf of homemade bread sliced and slathered with butter and Udi’s sauce. This probably explains the temperament of our middle child.

Udi dictated the recipe while I took notes. In closing she said, “Cook for hour.” I misunderstood and cooked my first batch for four hours. It was thick and viscous and so concentrated you could only tolerate a dab at a time. When I have scads of hot peppers I make multiple batches of Udi’s Bliss and freeze them in small glass jars so we can enjoy it in the winter. It’s great on bread and butter or on cheese and crackers.

Quick Tomato Salsa
(Martha Stewart Living)

1 lb. tomatoes, cut into ¼” dice
½ c. finely diced red onion
1/3 c. finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 t. minced garlic
1 ½ t. minced jalapeno pepper
1 T. olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper

-Combine all ingredients; let sit 30 minutes before serving.

(Martha Stewart Living + Food Network Kitchen)

2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2” chunks (or grated)
2 t. salt
2 c. lowfat Stonyfield yogurt (drained overnight through a coffee filter or clean cloth)
2 t. minced garlic
2 T. minced fresh dill
1 T. minced fresh mint
1 T. olive oil
1 T. fresh lemon juice

-In a colander, toss cucumbers with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Place colander in sink and let drain at least 20-30 minutes.
-Press cucumbers to release additional juices. Transfer to a bowl. Mix in remaining ingredients, adding the salt ¼ t. at a time, to taste.
-Refrigerate at least one hour so flavors blend. Serve at room temperature with pita bread wedges.

Udi’s Bliss

15 assorted hot peppers, washed, seeded and roughly chopped
1 small-medium onion, quartered
1 garlic clove
1 t. salt
2 T. soy sauce (1 of the tablespoons can be fish sauce if you like)
2 T. sugar
1 T. honey

-Puree all ingredients in a food processor.
-Transfer to a heavy medium skillet and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.


Rachel said...

I looove tzatziki. I'll have to try your recipe!

wvdiane said...

Rachel: You can use a Greek yogurt (oikos or fage) and skip the draining step:)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...