What is a sandwich without a nice spread to give it flavour? What about a chip with nothing to dip into? Tired of plain old chicken? Why not try a tasty rub to enhance it and add a bit of variety to life? Having a nice steak? Give it a sauce! While this section is not absolutely necessary to the culinary world, it is vital the enjoyment of it.
I dedicate this page to sauces, dips, spreads and rubs and all those who love it...and even those who don't. These are just a small handful of my favourites, with many more to come. Just click on the photo for the recipes!
HOMEMADE CHINESE FIVE SPICE
Chinese Five Spice is an aromatic spice mixture. The smell of it cooking along with onions, garlic, ginger and soy sauce will drive the whole house wild! I would suggest investing in a spice grinder or a cheap coffee grinder, but you could go old school and bash them in a pestle and mortar. Why go shop bought when you can make your own!
ROASTED GARLIC & CHEDDAR DRESSING
This dressing is AMAZING! I recently started dabbling in a Ketogenic diet and was inspired to make this great high fat dressing. You can use it to dress salads, dip chicken wings in it or raw veggies! Don't be squeemish about the anchovies, they make this dressing and don't taste fishy at all, they just add a nice saltiness that everyone will love.
When the summer slowly comes to an end and the weather starts to cool and the days get shorter, it's time to serve up comforting, warm food and this is a perfect accompaniment for all those dishes. This pesto is earthy, a bit sweet and slightly tangy. Serve it up with duck, red or game meat, dollop on creamy pasta or smear onto thick slices of toasted garlic toast!
As a lover of cheese, I absolutely love this dip! Smooth, creamy with a salty and briny, tangy hit of feta is a perfect marriage of flavour. Serve it up with wings and you've got a hit!
RED CABBAGE SAUERKRAUT
Sauerkraut is something that you either love or hate, and we love it! It is super easy to make and satisfying to know that you acutally fermented something and it turned out pretty tasty. I made this with red cabbage for a couple of reasons. #1 You rarely see it and I wanted to make something unique #2 Lovely striking, bold colour. Use white or red, or both! A recommended bit of kit: a mandolin.
Ever had to throw out not-so-fresh herbs? You buy a huge bunch of rosemary and don't eat rosemary all week? These butters are a perfect solution! Chop up any herbs, mix with butter and use it as you would the herbs themselves, but butter is a bonus! You don't have to limit yourself, use spices, garlic, ginger or even cheeses! No limit! Just roll up, toss into the freezer and it'll keep for months, just slice off what you need.
What can be said of bacon jam? It is just amazing! Spicy, sweet, salty, smoky...it ticks all the boxes. You can use it wherever you would use bacon, jam or both. In grilled cheese, on a burger, smeared onto a cracker with a bit of fruit compote, you could even use it in your favourite cream cheese icing recipe...the possibilities are endless.
SPICY RED PEPPER JELLY
Unlike other red pepper jelly recipes doesn't use pectin or gelatin, making it simple and easy to prepare. It goes really well with cheese and crackers, and I once used it to glaze some chicken wings which worked really great (recipe to come). Sweet, spicy and sticky...perfect combination. Make a batch and it'll keep a month or so in the fridge...but it won't last that long!
HOMEMADE GARLIC BUTTER
Making your own garlic bread is one of the easiest things in the world and you'll stop using the shop bought stuff. Make a big batch, roll it up and pop it in the freezer and you have garlic butter whenever you need it...just slice and put back into the freezer for the next time.
I'm not sure if basil is a girl thing, but I love it!! Pesto is one of those things that is an absolutely amazing concoction, perfectly balanced, completley addictive, bright and tasty too! You can use it as a sauce, dip, dressing, seasoning, spread or anywhere you use things like butter. Just amazing!!
BLUE CHEESE GUACAMOLE
Guacamole is as simple as it gets. Creamy and spicy with the nice sharpness of red onions. For this version, I tossed in some blue cheese and it works so well. Guacamole loves crunch, so be sure to serve it up with chips, or toasted bread...or even veggies!
BLUE CHEESE DIP
I would never dream of having spicy buffalo wings without this dip and it is insanely easy to make. Blue cheese and hot sauce are just the best combination in the world...throw in some ice cold lager and you've got a party! You can also dip some veggies or bread if you want.
ASAL WA TAHINI (HONEY & TAHINI)
Working in a call centre, and never sitting next to same person day in and day out means that you get to meet and talk to so many new people. One weekend, I found myself next to this really friendly young guy from Palestine and we quickly got to chatting between calls. The conversation eventually turned to food (as it usually does with me) and we were soon comparing foods from our home countries...read more -->
Hummus is one of those things that is so simple to make and absolutely delicious! Originally a Middle Eastern dip, but is now well known almost anywhere. Grill up some flat bread and you are all set. I add lots of garlic and lemon juice to mine to give an extra kick, so be ready. This time I topped it with a lovely sausage and pepper mixture to give it an extra layer of yummy!
I must say that I have been curious about this for years and was never able to find back at home in Canada and especially here, my new home in Scotland. I decided that I would just have to make my own! It's really easy and amazingly tasty, especially on a burger. I'm looking forward to making different variations with different cheeses, herbs and pickled vegetables. Stay tuned for more!
Curry is a comfort food for me and one of the most fragrant and satisfying meals you can make. This is just a basic curry spice recipe which will give you a good jumping off point. You can feel free to adjust, add or substitute anything you like. Add heat, sweet or whatever else you can think of.
Hummus is one of those things that is so simple to make and absolutely delicious! Originally a Middle Eastern dip, but is now well known almost anywhere. Grill up some flat bread and you are all set. I add lots of garlic and lemon juice to mine to give an extra kick, so be ready.
HARISSA TOMATO SAUCE
Harissa is a North African condiment that is full of flavour, yet simple and easy to make. Incorporate it into tomato soup with grilled cheeses, grill up some pitas to dip or make this the next time you whip up some cheese sitcks. You can make as spicy as you like or keep mild...either way, you will love it!
You can buy this ready made anywhere, but making it yourself is really easy. I like to simply grill some naan bread and dip it in, but you can use it on sandwiches, garnish spicy curries or goulashes. Some would say that sour cream has no business in this dip, but I would disagree. I just love the smoothness it gives. Enjoy!
Who doesn't love tapenade? It is the perfect blends of brine and herbacious freshness. Some may feel squeamish with anchovies, but it isn't fishy at all! Anchovies add a saltiness and a natural umami that is perfect and no one will be able to tell what it is...trust me!
ANCHOVY GARLIC "BUTTER"
This is a really tasty idea to give your garlic bread a new kick and no one will know what you've done! The anchovy will disappear into the olive oil and give it a really nice, briny flavour that gives it that umami we all crave. I find that olive oil works better than butter in this case, so it's healthier too?
Who doesn't love a great jerk sauce? A bit spicy, a bit sweet and a bit exotic...perfect! You can use this to add a flavourful kick to anything from fish, chicken, beef or even lamb. While you can buy this sauce in just about any grocery store, why not make it yourself and get all the credit? This recipe will give you the ratios, cut you can make as much or as little as you need.
This may be the best steak condiment you will ever have. I just love it (and so does everyone else). Perfect with grilled meats of any kind, eaten outside on a warm summer evening with a few beers, simple grilled potatoes and vegetables...ugh, it's barely April and I'm already daydreaming about summer. Oh well, it will be hear soon, right? Sometimes I make steak just to have chimichiri!