Category Archives: Sauces

Savory Ketchup

Well, Memorial Day is not too far away, so I’m going to start blogging about some great recipes for celebrating this holiday weekend. I am sure you have been wondering why in the world make ketchup? Well, I have some very good reasons for suggesting that you do. The first one is this ketchup is much more delicious than any store bought ketchup. The second is that it’s healthy, you can control the amount of sodium and there are no preservatives. The third reason is this is SO EASY to make. My last reason and most important reason is that it will totally impress your guests, making them feel that they are special even if are serving burgers and hot dogs. I think especially for a long holiday weekend where you might be barbecuing through out the weekend , it’s worth the extra effort to have a batch of fresh ketchup ready in the fridge. I keep the ketchup in a mason jar so that it’s easy to bring to the table so guests can spoon some of this savory ketchup on top their food. Make this Memorial Weekend a real celebration and come back for more holiday recipes.

From by the bay wishing you some happy holiday food memories!
Maryann
blog ketchup
Savory Ketchup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes, or 1/2 teaspoon fresh red chili, chopped
1 28 ounce can puree tomatoes
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
In a medium sauce pan heat olive oil, add the onion, garlic and chili and saute until soft. Add tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, bay leave and spices. Simmer uncovered 25 minutes. Add vinegar and lemon juice. If the ketchup seems very thick you can add another tablespoon or two of water. Simmer 10 more minutes. Remove bay leave. Set aside to cool. Once cool, puree in food processor , place in glass mason jar and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce

When I was a little girl, my parents would entertain on New Year’s Eve at our home. The celebration only included my parent best friends along with us kids. We would be giddy with excitement as my mother made the preparations. I remember feeling very grown up at six year old being allowed to stay up past my bedtime, although for sure it was not very late. My mom would make an assortment of appetizers and hands down my favorite was the shrimp cocktail. Now when I entertain on New Year’s Eve, I wouldn’t think of not including shrimp cocktail. Today, my mom needs to follow a low sodium and low sugar diet. After reading the ingredients on prepared cocktail sauce, I decided to create my own. My sauce uses the ingredients for a bloody mary – save the vodka, although on New Year’s Eve I have been known to include a splash of vodka in this sauce as well. It’s a perfect twist on my Bloody Mary and it’s also perfect for my mom’s dietary restrictions. We all love it! This will be the best cocktail sauce you have ever had. 

 
From by the bay wishing you a very Happy New Year and may your 2012 be filled with happy food memories!
 
Maryann
blog shrimp cocktail
Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce
 
Ingredients
3/4 cup organic low sodium ketchup
3 tablespoons grated horseradish
1/4 teaspoon tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon vodka, optional
 
Directions
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and chill until ready to use. Serve with shrimp, crab or lobster.

Very Berry Cranberry Sauce

I know that cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving staple , but I love serving it through out the holiday season. I grew up eating canned cranberry sauce. In fact my Uncle Tom, owned a canning factory in Egg Harbor, New Jersey. This was the family’s source for most of our cranberry needs. We had cases of cranberry sauce and loved it!  When my Uncle Tom decided to close his plant and move onto other ventures we were ready to buy our sauce at the supermarket, but instead my Uncle Tom brought to the house some fresh cranberries and taught me how to make my own cranberry sauce. It tasted terrific and was so easy to make!  There was no going back and I’ve been making some version of his cranberry sauce ever since! This is a favorite of mine for Christmas celebrations, I love the mix of all the berries , as well as that little kick of kirsch. The kirsch, reminds me of  Christmases when I was a little girl watching my grandfather pour a shots of this wonderful cherry smelling liquid to celebrate with his friends and family!  The sauce is the perfect compliment to all your holiday foods –  smoked ham, pork loin, turkey or even beef! You are guaranteed to create some happy food memories with this very berry sauce!

From By the Bay wishing you the berriest food memories!
Maryann

blog cranberry xmas

Very Berry Cranberry Sauce
Serves Six

 

½ cup cranberry juice cocktail

1 cup fine sugar

1 12oz, package whole fresh cranberries

½ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup dried cherries

¼ cup cherry brandy (Kirsch)

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

 

Directions

Combine cranberry juice, brandy and sugar in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries, dried cranberries, dried cherries and allspice. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer approximately 10 minutes until the cranberries start to burst. Remove from heat. Cool completely and then chill in refrigerator. Cranberry sauce will thicken. Serve chilled.

blog berry cran sauce

Chardonnay Herb Gravy

blog gravy

 

When I first started making Thanksgiving for my family – one of my biggest challenges was getting that gravy perfect! My early apartments in Queens and Manhattan were all small. I struggled cooking in my typical long narrow galley kitchen. Anything I could prepare in advance helped. Over the years , as I continued to experiment with my gravy recipe, I came up with this foolproof recipe. It can be made in advance , which is always my goal so that I can enjoy the holiday along with my guests. This gravy is the perfect compliment to my Roasted Honey Herb Turkey. 

 

From by the bay, wishing you the happiest Thanksgiving and fond food memories!

Maryann Check in for more Thanksgiving blogs on side dishes, desserts and leftovers!  Chardonnay Herb Gravy

Gravy Base

6 cups chicken stock

Giblets and neck from turkey

1 bouquet garni

1 onion, peeled and quartered

1 celery stick, chopped

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Gravy

1 1/3 cup chardonnay

6 tablespoons flour

6 cups gravy base

4 tablespoons butter

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoons fine grey sea salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

½ cup chop parsley

Directions for gravy base

Combine into a soup pot chicken stock, bouquet garni, onion, celery, peppercorns, giblets and neck from turkey. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 1 hour. Cool and strain broth and keep refrigerated until ready to make gravy. This can be done one day in advance.

Directions for gravy

Place seasoned broth into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Melt butter in a bowl and then add flour , whisk until it is a smooth paste. Take one cup of hot broth and whisk into flour mixture until smooth. Pour this back into the broth and whisk to blend. Add bay leaves, honey, salt and pepper and whisk again. You can have this prepared as the turkey is roasting. Once the turkey is done and removed from the roasting pan pour pan juices into a measuring cup. Spoon off fat and discard. Add remaining juices into broth in the saucepan. Place roasting pan back on heat and deglaze with the chardonnay. Scrap pan to get all brown bits, let reduce to half , about 2 minutes. Add to the gravy. Whisk together and let simmer until reduced to a sauce consistency. Remove bay leaves, mix in parsley adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve with turkey. 

 

 

Blueberry Merlot Sauce with Vanilla Gelato

blog merlot blueberry sauce

Blueberry Merlot Sauce with Vanilla Gelato


2 cups fresh blueberries

1 cup Merlot 

½ cup light brown sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

½ teaspoon vanilla


Directions


Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Cool and place in a container. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use. 

Serve as a topping to vanilla  gelato. 

Great Balls of Fire- Memphis Style Dry-Rub and Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Besides loving to cook , I’m a big fan of rock and roll. One day while strolling the bargain aisle of Barnes and Noble, I found the perfect book ” Are You Hungry Tonight? Elvis’ Favorite Recipes” complied by Brenda Arlene Butler. I couldn’t believe my luck finding a cook book that combines two passions of mine. This book sits proudly in my cookbook library. The book is filled with southern home cooking recipes, including barbecue. Memphis ,the home of rockabilly, is also the home of great barbecue. Memphis style barbecue uses combinations of both dry rubs and sauces. I’ve worked on creating one of each. During the summer, there are lots of occasions for grilling. I  like to keep some dry rub prepared and stored in a jar ready to use at a moment’s notice. If it’s a big holiday weekend, I just make some of the barbecue sauce and keep it in a jar in the fridge ready to season meats or use a a base to make baked beans with a kick or  as sauce to make a pizza. Both are really simple to make and worth the extra effort for some really great barbecue.  Try these recipes and then kick back, with music recorded at Sun Studio with a rib and napkin in hand!

From by the bay wishing you Rockin food memories!
Maryann
blog memphis ribs

Great Balls of Fire- Memphis Style  Dry-Rub

2 tablespoons smoky paprika

1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 ½  teaspoons fine sea salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

( at the time of use 1 tablespoon white vinegar)

 

To make the rub combine all dry ingredients well and store in a covered jar. When ready to use add a little white vinegar, if using all the rub add 1 tablespoon of vinegar.

To make ribs: 

Use 4 pounds of slab baby back ribs. To prepare the ribs, remove the thin papery skin from the back of each rack of ribs. Wash and pat dry. In a bowl mix all the rub ingredients together .  Rub ½ of the mixture all over the ribs on both sides and place in a shallow roasting pan. Keep the remaining rub for later. 

Place ribs in a 450 oven for 30 minutes. Continue baking in a 350 oven for about 2 more hours. Half way through take the drippings and mix with remaining rub and baste the ribs with the mixture.  When done transfer the ribs to a cutting board and cut into pieces. Serve with your favorite  barbecue sauce. 

 
Rockin Blue Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
Makes 2 cups
 

1 1/2 cups Jack Daniel’s Black Label or Bourbon

1 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons dark molasses

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce


 Pour 1 cup of whiskey into a saucepan. Bring the saucepan to a boil and reduce the liquid to about 2 tablespoons. Don’t let the alcohol flame. 

 Add 1/2 cup of the whiskey and the other ingredients. Simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes and reduce it by about 1/3. Use it immediately or bottle it and keep it in the refrigerator for a month or more.

Mom’s Red Clam Sauce


My sister Nancy decided this was the weekend for elective surgery on her elbow. I had some time off and could help take care of her. My mom also offered to take care of her little girl. The surgery went well and the recovery was moving along. I thought I would make the most of a weekend shut in by taking the opportunity to cook with Mom one of our favorite comfort food sauces – red clam sauce. This was a sauce which both my mom and grandmother would cook for the family. My mom’s parents were both from Greece. They loved cooking seafood. When they settled in the United States it was in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn so that they could be close to the water. My grandfather was a sailor in his youth, he traveled often to the ports of both Italy and Greece and this is where he learnt to cook. This recipe is from the days of his youth on a carrier ship. Once my grandfather settled with his family in Brooklyn he would go down to the docks for clams and bring them home to be prepared. My grandmother would put up a big pot of this red clam sauce for their large family and their frequent visitors. By the time my mom was making the sauce, she opted for going to the fishmonger to buy shucked clams. Thankfully, this is how I’m preparing the sauce this weekend. Mom and I enjoyed out time discussing the recipe and making it. Perhaps even more important was how wonderful it was to be flooded with happy and loving memories that just tasting this sauce brought back to all three of us!

 
From by the bay, wishing you the happiest of food memories!
Maryann
 
blog clam sauce
 
Red Clam Sauce
Serves 6
 
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 bottle clam juice
2 cups water
3 springs fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 pound shucked and chopped clams
1 dozen littleneck clams, cleaned
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
 
In a large pot heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and saute the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. To the onion add tomato paste and mix well. Add the tomatoes, water, clam juice, fresh thyme , dried thyme, oregano and pepper. Bring to a boil , reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes partially covered. Stir the sauce occasionally as it simmers. After the 30 minutes add the cleaned littleneck clams to the sauce and cook until opened. In the meantime, in a skillet heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the chopped clams cooking a few minutes. Add the cooked clams and juices into the sauce. Simmer a few more minutes , taste and if needed add the sea salt and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Serve with cooked linguine, spaghetti or bucatini immediately. 
 
Enjoy!
 
 
 

Barbecue Chicken Breasts with Fresh Peach and Jalapeno Sauce

blog jalapeno peach bbq
Barbecue Chicken Breasts with Fresh Peach and Jalapeno Sauce
Serves 6
6 Chicken Breasts, bone in and skin
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 2 limes
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
 1 recipe of Fresh Peach and Jalapeno Barbecue Sauce
Directions
Place all ingredients except barbecue sauce into a resealable plastic bag and marinate the chicken for several hours  before cooking. Preheat oven to 325F and empty contents of plastic bag into baking dish with chicken breast skin side up. Bake for 1 hour. Heat grill and using approximately 3/4 of the barbecue sauce brush generously the skin side of the breasts and place skin side down onto the grill. Brush the back of the breasts, now with sauce. Cook until skin begins to char on each side. Remove and serve warm with remaining barbecue sauce on the side, reheated and warm.
blog peach chick
Fresh Peach and Jalapeno Barbecue Sauce
2 1/2 cups fresh peaches, stoned and chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup peach preserves
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon jalapeno chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Directions
Place on ingredients into a medium sauce pan and place onto a medium heat. Stir ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool and blend in a food processor. Place in a jar until ready to use . Barbecue sauce will last 3 days

Fresh Peach and Jalapeno Barbecue Sauce

Who doesn’t love a good peach? The summer peach season always seems too short. Right now is when you can find wonderful ripe peaches. Have you ever gone produce shopping and found yourself just carried away with the look and scent of some fruits and vegetables? This happened to me last week, when I was shopping and returned home with a few pounds of peaches. There I was in the kitchen wondering to myself what to do with my purchase. The answer was to create a peach themed meal. I started with a fresh peach and jalapeno barbecue sauce that I used with chicken. The barbecue sauce has a lovely clean taste with just a hint of sweetness with a slight bit of  heat from the jalapeno. The sauce was perfect in combination with chicken on the grill. I proceeded to end the meal with a beautiful peach almond crostata. The crostata uses almond flour which really compliments the sweetness of the peaches and makes for a lighter and slightly softer crust. Both recipes are fresh, sweet and delicious. I suggest buying some peaches this weekend and giving these recipes a try, I’m sure you’ll enjoy them as much as I did.

From by the bay wishing you the peachiest food memories!
Maryann

PS Remember to subscribe to my weekly blog, so you don’t miss out on my new recipes.

blog jalapeno peach bbq

Fresh Peach and Jalapeno Barbecue Sauce
2 1/2 cups fresh peaches, stoned and chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup peach preserves
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon jalapeno chopped 
1 tablespoon lime juice 
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Directions
Place on ingredients into a medium sauce pan and place onto a medium heat. Stir ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool and blend in a food processor. Place in a jar until ready to use . Barbecue sauce will last 3 days

Marinated Pork Chops with Fresh Plum Sauce

On my grandparents farm on Long Island, they had a full orchard of fruits trees. I would help my grandfather with tending the orchard from pruning to netting the trees to hanging little wooden snakes to scare off the birds. One of our favorite crops were the italian plums. We would gather the plums and my grandmother would made her close friend Mitzi’s plum cake. This recipe is a wonderful yellow cake that envelopes the plums. It’s easy to make and delicious to eat. We would just feast on those tiny jewel like fruit! I’m also including one of my favorite barbecued pork chops recipes served with a wonderful plum sauce. Hope you enjoy this food as much as we all do here by the bay!
From by the bay wishing you the plummiest of food memories!
Maryann

PS Remember to subscribe to my weekly blog, so you don’t miss out on my new recipes.

blog plum pork

Marinated Pork Chops with Fresh Plum Sauce

Serves 4

4 boneless ¾ inch think center cut pork chops

Marinade

¼ cup honey

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Directions

Place pork chops and all marinade ingredients into a sealed plastic bag and mix well. Place in refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours up to overnight. Remove from marinade and grill pork chops on a hot grill for approximately 8 minutes per side to be well done.

Fresh Plum and Merlot Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons shallots, chopped

6 Italian plums, stoned and chopped

2 tablespoons honey

½ cup merlot wine

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon ground ginger

Directions

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil and add shallots, sauté for 2 minutes until soft. Add the plums and simmer for 15 minutes, add honey, wine,  balsamic vinegar and ground ginger and continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced in ½ and thickened. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Serve warm fresh plum sauce on top of the grilled pork chops.