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homemade grainy mustard

easy to make grainy mustardThere’s an immense satisfaction when something homemade turns out well and puts a smile on your face.  It gives that boost in confidence and lets you know you can tackle the next project on a high note.  We love grainy mustard almost as much as we do Dijon.  In the past 20 years, I have made a conscience effort to read food labels, understand what’s inside, and make an informed decision as a result.  So when I got it into my head to make my own mustard, I was surprised to see additives such as fruit pectin, citric acid, tartaric acid in Dijon mustard and lactic acid and flavour (no mention of what the flavour is) in grainy mustard.  Oops!  Did I forget to read the labels on these mustards?  Or did I think the additive list wasn’t too long?  It’s not as if we consume mustard on a daily basis.  Moral of the story; read the blinkin’ label! Continue Reading →

mustard pickles

mustard picklesIt’s canning season (the process of  preserving cooked food by sealing in jars or cans).  I come from a lineage of women who made their own preserves, jams, and jellies.  It was the best way to enjoy the summertime produce over winter.  Although in today’s world it might sound laborious and unnecessary with canned or frozen foods readily available, for me it’s a tribute to the women in my life who preserved food because it was a necessity.  Continue Reading →

Easy-To-Make Corn Relish

corn relishInspiration for this post comes from eating at The Canteen yesterday.  Mr. S. and I stopped by TIBS for a coffee and I spotted Canteen’s fried green tomato sandwich (blue cheese, corn relish and jalapeño jelly).   It was scrumptious to say the least.  Continue Reading →

Green Tomato Relish

Green Tomato RelishHello September!  The hint of Fall is in the air and I love it!  As I was out this morning foraging for this photo, I was taken back by the beauty of the flowers and shrubs still making the field look pretty.  It’s hard to miss the goldenrod with its gorgeous bright, yellow spikes; the white tops of Queen Anne’s Lace; crimson lightly dot the landscape with wild thistles; red clover blossoms of light to dark pink, wild asters with shades of blue; and dainty white daisies.  Doesn’t this paint a pretty picture?  It did for me as I was thinking of how I would photograph my green tomato relish.  It’s not the sort of food that can be ‘dressed up’ to look appealing or at least not in my opinion, it’s a relish after all.  And, most have probably not even heard of green tomato relish…say what? Continue Reading →

Bread and Butter Pickles

bread & butter pickles by The Culinary ChaseIf you were to come to my home with a hostess gift of homemade pickles in tow, I’d be the happiest chick in town! I used to make my own but our family size has shrunk (empty nesters) and I really don’t want to have to store jars and jars of preserves and condiments. This recipe for bread and butter pickles needs no special canning tools or ingredients. And, the quantity is just the right size for us!  I’ve always wondered where did the term bread and butter pickles come from?  After surfing the internet, two plausible answers emerge.  One, it seems, originated during the Depression years when there was little in the cupboard (they were used as a filling for a sandwich) and another came from a man who sold pickles at a roadside stand and the income produced from the sales was his bread and butter (apocryphal).  Even if none of these explanations are true, one thing that is true is that these pickles are super easy to make and taste delicious!

Makes 4 cups
adapted from Recipe Girl

1 lb. little cucumbers, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

mini cucumbers by The Culinary ChaseCombine cucumber slices and salt in a bowl; cover and chill 1 1/2 hours.  Toss cucumbers into a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Drain well, and return cucumbers to a bowl.

Add sugar and remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour hot vinegar mixture over cucumbers and let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate 24 hours before consuming (if you can wait that long!).

The Culinary Chase’s Note: These were just what I needed and I didn’t need to wait until Fall to make them.  Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.  Enjoy!

Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri Sauce by The Culinary ChaseWhat an amazing and versatile condiment! Chimichurri sauce hails from Argentina – a country on our travel wish list of must places to visit. Use the sauce as a marinade for beef, chicken, fish, seafood, or perfect drizzled on vegetables.  If you have time, leave the sauce overnight at room temperature as this will intensify the flavors.  This is Argentina’s national barbecue sauce where its prime use is to serve it with grilled beef.  Argentinians love their beef – about 63.5kg (140 lbs.) a year per person!  Their beef is some of the best in the world  and with 50 million cows around there are more cows than people.

handful of fresh parsley, stems removed
handful of fresh cilantro (coriander), stems removed
1 to 2 cloves of garlic
olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice (can also use red wine vinegar)
pinch red pepper flakes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Blitz the parsley, cilantro, garlic, and chilli flakes in a food processor or chop finely by hand. Initially add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and pulse to combine everything to a saucy consistency. Adjust ingredients according to taste.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  An easy sauce to make that packs a flavorful punch and enhances the natural flavors of the food it’s served on.  Enjoy!