It’s snowed here in Virginia on the first day of Spring and I’m not having it. I’m going to my happy place, imagining temperatures north of 70 degrees, sun dresses, and “we’re having salad because it’s too pretty outside to spend time cooking” weather. It’s so dreary I had to pick up some pretty yellow tulips and pull out some spring decor to make inside our home as cheery as it should be outside today. But we will not focus on the negative, because we are in a happy place right now, and I brought salad for us to share.
Archive of ‘Sauces and Condiments’ category
We had a Secret Santa gift exchange with my family this year. We now have 8 adults in the family and one infant. So instead of just buying whatever for each person or couple, we decided to try something more personal. I had gift ideas in mind for just about every possible person EXCEPT the person I drew. Go figure. I know he’s a professional football fan, both my brother-in-laws are, but I did the football thing last year and wanted to be a little more creative. The problem is, if he wants something, he usually just buys it, and I wanted to think of something unique and creative but still practical because I believe in practical gifts. Inspiration finally struck when I was preparing ghee for my upcoming Whole 30 using my crock pot. If things like infused olive oils make a great gift, why shouldn’t infused grass-fed ghee? We also gifted him a pound of coffee from our current favorite local coffee roaster/shop Caffe Amouri… shop local!
I made classic, because everyone needs an all-purpose option, garlic because I love garlic, and hot chili for something different. The whole process took about a total of 20 minutes of active work over two days and I ended up with three lovely ghee options. I’m really looking forward to experimenting with the flavored ghee. The garlic ghee made my house smell like fresh-baked garlic bread and the chili ghee only had a mild kick, perfect for a tex-mex inspired recipe. This morning we made our eggs with garlic ghee and it added a really nice depth. There wasn’t enough for a strong garlic flavor, but there was a “something” that rounded out the flavor of the eggs and made them taste amazing.
The nice thing about ghee is that it doesn’t require refrigeration, making it a great gift if you need to ship or would like to store it in a cool, dark, place for some time. I couldn’t find a website providing an accurate usage timeline, but I usually begin using my ghee immediately anyway and use within a few weeks. I did research the infused ghee safety, and while I didn’t find anything saying it required refrigeration for storage, I will probably use them sooner rather than later. I tried shipping all three and two of the three made it… the third will be shipped when I make the next batch in a few weeks.
You may use your favorite brand of butter, to keep it paleo or clean be sure it’s grass-fed. I always use my small slow cooker to make my ghee so the butter doesn’t get too hot too quickly and I don’t have to worry about making more than a pound at a time since I don’t cook for a lot of people and we have zero storage space in our postage-stamp kitchen designed for people who don’t cook but want a pretty kitchen. Apparently this is a trend in Northern Virginia. This adorable little green crock pot is what I use and I cannot tell you how valuable I have found it to have a small and large slow cooker. I thought I was being silly buying a second, but it’s been one of the most worthwhile kitchen investments I’ve made. I’m sure it would work in my larger slow cooker, but I would probably make 2 pounds at a time instead, not because ghee burns at that low temperature (because it doesn’t), but just because I have a thing about making bigger recipes in the bigger crock pot.
Slow Cooker Ghee
With minimal preparation time and easily available ingredients, making your own grass-fed ghee is a great way to save money while eating healthy.
Author: Goodie Godmother
- 1 lb grass-fed butter
Optional to Make Infused Ghee
- 8 peeled and smashed cloves of garlic
- 6 dried hot chili peppers (I used arbol)
- 2 6" sprigs of fresh rosemary, washed and dried
- Place your butter in your slow cooker
- If making flavor-infused ghee, add your ingredient of choice
- Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 8 hours
- Line a kitchen sieve with a double layer of muslin or a layer of cheesecloth and strain out the clumps in the ghee.
- Pour the ghee into sterile jars, cover, and allow to set. Store in a cool dark place up to 6 months.
Condiments and I have a bit of a complex relationship. For the most part, I’m afraid that they are present mainly to cover sub-standard quality food in casual dining restaurants. Steak sauce has no place on a quality, well-made steak, so if it’s offered, you don’t have a good steak. If your vegetables have to be doused in “cheese sauce” or a stick of butter to be palatable, they were never good to begin with. The point is, I think condiments are developing a bad rep because mass-producers of “food” (especially in casual chain dining establishments don’t get me started…) use them to hide a dish’s flavor.
And now even condiments themselves are becoming scary. Have you read the labels in the grocery store aisle? I swear I develop a twitch every time we pass the “maple syrup” section in the store. First of all, it’s not the “maple syrup section” because at least 80% of what’s there is not maple syrup but scary flavored corn syrup this-stuff-will-kill-you in a bottle. If your “syrup” has more than 1 ingredient “maple syrup”, then it’s not maple syrup no matter what the marketers tell you and it is not food. Then go look at the ingredients of Miracle Whip. Scarier than a haunted house, believe you me.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! Good quality condiments were designed to compliment, enhance, be used in just enough quantities to make a dish really POP. They’re like the glaze on a doughnut. The cake part has to be great on its own, but that little bit of glaze just makes the doughnut experience complete for most of us. If you’re a plain cake doughnut person, it’s okay, we understand.
I still buy most of our condiments, after reading labels of course, but there’s nothing quite as delicious as a homemade aioli. The Spaniards (or the French depending on where you’d like to give credit) are on to something with this. Aioli is a compliment to many tapas, spread on sandwiches, and used to finish a variety of other dishes. It’s also easy to make at home in under 5 minutes from ingredients you likely have on hand right now. Score one for the condiments.
In the recipe below, I used a whole egg because most of you probably don’t have a couple egg yolks sitting around at any given time (and you shouldn’t – they don’t keep well). If you happen to be making a recipe that requires egg whites and leaves you with extra yolks, sub two egg yolks for the egg. We don’t waste food here if we can help it.
Cilantro Lime Aioli
Author: Goodie Godmother
Recipe type: Condiments
- 1 large egg or 2 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice
- ¼ c fresh cilantro
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ c olive oil
- Place the first four ingredients in your food processor and pulse 3-4 times to combine.
- Turn the food processor on (run continuously) and drizzle in the olive oil slowly. Continue to run the food processor until the oil has emulsified and your aioli has thickened.
- Store in the refrigerator up to one week. Traditionally served closer to room temperature. Makes about ¾ cup.
Necessity is the mother of all invention. Necessity in this case was born of a smell, at a wine tasting, to plan for another wine tasting, which needed pairings. Pairings that were different than before, worthy of the wine, and worthy of the Godmother’s reputation, worthy to earn their place at a bon voyage affair.
A whiff of Viogner and I smelled candied jalapeno peppers and bacon. It was spicy and sweet with a hint of salt and meat and when balanced together, I knew it would be the perfect creation. A miniature masterpiece that would forever take me back to that warehouse, filled with barrels upon barrels of wine, pleasant conversation with wonderful people, the winemaker’s daughter playing with Princess A, and the first sniff of that Viogner.
Those of you who know me well know that I have horrible eyesight. It wasn’t always this bad, in fact, I didn’t wear glasses until I was seven, but it’s never been very good. To compensate, I have a better sense of smell and so naturally, most of my recipes are created by adding a little of this and that until it “smells” right. If you ever had a chance to peek into the official Goodie Godmother Vault of Recipes, you’d see a lot of “ish” after measurements, phrases like “a bit” sprinkled about scientifically, and in some cases no measurement at all.
The candied jalapenos were somewhat like this, the candied jalapeno bacon Viogner cupcakes coming to the blog in two weeks definitely were. In fact, this will be the first time I actually measure it out. You’re welcome in advance.
I never actually intended to candy the jalapenos myself. The week after our tasting the Godfather and I were taking our little circus up to San Francisco for our wedding anniversary trip. I imagined I’d have no trouble finding candied jalapenos at some specialty food shop, San Francisco has almost everything right? Wrong. I found several varieties of pickled jalapenos, but those wouldn’t do, so to the internet I went and I learned that candied jalapenos are A Thing. It seems it’s called Texas Candy, but when I asked around none of my Texan friends had heard of it. Is this a regional Texas thing?
The closest recipe I found to what I thought I wanted was on Foodie With Family, so I started with that, blending spices in different quantities to smell before deciding what to add to the syrup, and I came up with the variation I needed to match The Smell for The Cupcake to pair with The Wine.
It was perfect! It was also much easier than I anticipated, and I found myself adding the jalapenos to all sorts of things to experiment with flavor combinations. Having tried the peppers both fresh and after a few weeks in the jar, I think they are best to cook with after they’ve had a chance to develop the flavor a little further, but the fresh ones are good too if you have extra (I always have a bit every time). I’ll be sharing the cupcake recipe as promised, but I’ll also share one or two more recipes that incorporate the jalapenos. The sweet/hot combination is the perfect way to add an unexpected twist to recipes or dress up a simple appetizer.
In the meantime, get your hands on some fresh jalapenos before they are way out of season, set aside an hour, and make yourself some candied jalapenos.
A little sweet and a LOT of HEAT! Candied jalapenos are a versatile way to dress up a variety of dishes, create quick canapes, or make a great DIY gift for those in your life that love a little spice.
Author: Goodie Godmother
Recipe type: Condiments
- 3 lbs fresh jalapeno peppers
- 1 c apple cider vinegar
- ½ c white vinegar
- ½ c Viogner wine
- 7 c granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp tumeric
- ½ tsp celery seed
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- Sanitize your canning jars. lids, bands, and tools. The recipe fills 6 half pint jars or 3 pints with a little extra.
- Wash, pat dry and slice the jalapenos. Wear food handling gloves while slicing to protect your hands.
- In a large stock pot, combine all the remaining ingredients (everything except the jalapenos) and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the jalapeno peppers to the syrup, stir to coat. Return to a simmer and simmer for 4 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the jalapeno slices and fill your canning jars within ¼" of the rim
- Bring the syrup to a hard boil for 6 minutes, then turn off the heat.
- Add the syrup to the jars within ¼" of the rim.
- If you have any extra jalapenos that you don't plan to can, place them in another container with any extra syrup and refrigerate immediately.
- Using a chopstick or other long utensil, move the jalapenos around in each jar to release any trapped air bubbles. Put lids on the jars and tighten the bands to fingertip tightness.
- Bring water to a boil in your canning pot (I use another large stock pot), making sure you have enough to cover the jars by 2".
- When the water is at a rolling boil, add the jars to the pot and process for 10 minutes if using half pint jars or 15 minutes for pint jars.
- Remove jars to a cooling rack after processing and allow to cool for 24 hours to ensure a seal has formed.
- Once the jars have rested and cooled, remove the bands to check for seal, clean the outside of the jars, label if desired, and store in a cool dark place for up to a year. Refrigerate after opening.
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