Friday, 16 August 2013

Quick and Easy Condiments

This Friday blog post will, hopefully, impart some quick and easy condiment ideas to you, which may well come in handy over the weekend, to add that little extra “Je ne sais quoi!” to your cooking and mealtimes!
Firstly, I LOVE steak dinner! Mmm-mmm-mmmmm! In the recent years, my husband and I (that is to say my husband) have discovered how to cook steaks just to our liking. What a revelation! When it comes to a sauce, sometimes laziness sets in and I just use a pre-made  sauce, often adding in some sautéed onions, mushrooms and garlic. So a little while back I decided to make my own herb and garlic butter to top the steak. It is so simple and so tasty!

Herb and Garlic Butter
How to:
  • Allow salted butter to come to room temperature, just use as much as you feel necessary for the amount of people who will be eating.
  • Mince or finely chop a large garlic clove.
  • Tear up some basil leaves into small pieces – you could use flat-leaf parsley or snipped chives either.
  • Mash all the above together with a fork.
  • Take a good piece of cling film, place the butter mixture on top and roll it into a sausage type shape.
  • Roll it up in the cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until needed.

  • You could also flavour the butter with room-temperature blue cheese, such as Cashel Blue. A little sweet chilli sauce through this mixture is also delicious.
  • This kind of butter also works a treat with baked or hasselback potatoes.
  • Melted over some linguine, taglietelle or penne pasta, it makes  a very quick and tasty tea or lunch.

My next condiment tip is my never fail balsamic vinaigrette. I use this to dress almost all salads I prepare.

Balsamic Vinaigrette - perfect with so many salads!
How to:
  • Get a cleaned out jar with a well-fitting lid.
  • Pour in 4 tbsp. best quality extra virgin olive oil and 2 tbsp. high quality Balsamic vinegar from Modena.
  • Add ½ to 1 tsp. of Dijon or wholegrain mustard and a ½ to 1 tsp. of honey – this part you should gauge from your own taste.
  • Take 1 garlic clove, bash it to remove the skin with the back of a large knife and pop it into the jar.
  • Add one good sprig of rosemary into the jar.
  • Shakey-shakey, and hey presto – a yummy salad dressing!

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