You know I am a fan of buying local. You know, the whole farm to table thing. It is a good idea! But what else can you do to provide fresh and delicious food to your family? Well, I suggest you make some of those things you have been buying yourself! Things like condiments and sauces can be easily made, and you just might be surprised at how quickly it can be done and how delicious they are.
Yup, like butter. Do you know how easy it is to make butter? Buy a quart of heavy cream from Country Girls Creamery at the Ocean Springs Saturday Fresh Market, add a splash of buttermilk, put it in a jar and seal it. Then, leave it on the counter top overnight (not refrigerated!). Put it in a food processor the next morning and give it a whirl. In just minutes, you will have fresh butter. It’s that simple. And the milk that is left over? Its buttermilk!
What about flavored olive oil? I know you can buy it in the grocery or one of those specialty stores, but making it is so easy. Roast a whole garlic clove in lots of olive oil in the oven until it is soft. Strain the solids out and there it is. Add rosemary if you like, its even better. The leftover garlic is great spread on toast.
I have mentioned home made chow-chow before, but it is worth going over again here. It’s a spicy tomato based condiment that is great with peas, beans and cornbread. Combine 1 large can whole tomatoes, 2/3 cup sugar, 2/3 cup vinegar, 1 chopped onion, I seeded and chopped jalapeno and 6-8 whole cloves. Simmer until thick. Thats all it takes!
Mayo is one of my favorite things to make, and I never buy it in the store anymore. You can flavor it any way you like, with tarragon vinegar, red pepper flakes, pureed shrimp, roasted red peppers, roasted garlic and just about anything else you can think of.
To use my recipe, you are going to have to have an immersion blender. Traditionally, the purists make it with a whisk, but that takes forever. It can also be made with a blender, but it isn’t fail proof. This is fail proof. Combine 1 whole egg and 1 cup oil (canola is just fine), and a few teaspoons of fresh lemon juice and a big pinch of salt. Place it in a cup just slightly larger than the head of your immersion blender, and give it a few pulses. It will be ready in seconds.
If you want to make aioli, just use a good quality oil, and finely diced or roasted, garlic. Skip the lemon juice but a little salt will do. That’s it!
Give these suggestions a try, and I think you just might change your ways!