Turn out sauces like a chef with this little secret weapon …

Turn out sauces like a chef with this little secret weapon …

I LOVE a good sauce … for me a meal is not a meal without sauce !  My food to sauce ratio is usually half and half (*blush*).  This could be why I am constantly fighting the bulge … but its worth the fight because food without sauce would be like a mojito without the mint – a total let down!

In a commercial kitchen, the chef responsible for making all sauces is known as the “Saucier”.  The Saucier is often the highest respected Chef in the kitchen, reporting directly to the Head or Sous Chef.  Creating delicious sauces with depth of flavour is no easy task and one I am still aspiring towards myself.  I do have my moments in the kitchen, where I make a sauce so delicious that I literally break out into dance and skip to Andrew, spoon in hand and make him taste it, heck, I’d make Mango & Oliver taste it too, if I could catch them.  Andrew struggles to understand my excitement and has even gone so far as to say “It’s just a sauce!”… Stopping me in my tracks, mid Pirouette …”Just a sauce????” :-O 

So imagine my delight when visiting the Mothership months ago (yes, I wasn’t going to share this secret weapon originally, but ’tis the season’ & all that, so think of this as my Christmas present to you) and I spotted this little beauty on the shelf.

For the foodies out there, you’ll know that a Demi-Glace sauce is a thick, rich brown sauce that can be used on its own or as a delicious base for other sauces.  Making your own Demi-Glace could take days on the stove top.  This is in my opinion, liquid gold!

You can add it to your gravies, other sauces, stews and soups to enrich the flavour and take it to restaurant quality.    I’ve followed the suggestions on the box for a mushroom sauce … OMW, best mushroom sauce ever!!! 

Inside the box is 8 little sachets of liquid gold- which is perfect, because you only need a little dash at a time.  I always ensure that my pantry is stocked with at least 3 boxes … just incase. 

So there you go, now you have a secret weapon for your Christmas Gravy this year.

Your’e Welcome 🙂

 

Curry in a hurry …

Curry in a hurry …

This recipe is a quick fix for a Butter Chicken Curry craving because it can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes, thanks to the store bought curry paste mix … *blush* why mess with a tried and tested formula? Especially if it means less dishes after a long day in the office!

Throw in some homemade or store bought Rotis and you have the perfect week night dinner for a cold winter evening just like tonight!

Butter Chicken Curry 

Yield: 2 big portions with leftovers for 1 lucky lunchbox

Ingredients:

50grms Butter Chicken Curry Paste (I buy the Woolworths aka the Mother Ship’s paste & follow the recipe on the packet)

Oil for frying

410grms chopped canned tomatoes

125ml cream

400 grms chicken breasts

50grms butter

Fresh Coriander and Cashew nuts for garnishing

Method: 

Gently fry the butter chicken curry paste in a little oil for 2 – 3 minutes until it becomes fragrant. Add the chopped tomatoes, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Dice the chicken breasts and add to the tomatoes with cream. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for further 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the heat and stir through the butter and half the chopped cashew nuts. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with the remaining chopped cashew nuts and fresh coriander and serve with Basmati Rice and / or Rotis.

Roti 

I am far from perfecting the art of making crispy and delicious, melt in your mouth rotis but will keep trying … practise makes perfect after all. You may opt to buy your rotis, a safer and far faster option. If you want to be a bit adventurous and give it a whirl … follow my recipe below which has been adapted based on recommendations received from 2 Roti experts … 1 a pastry chef and the other a hot kitchen chef whose Mother has been rolling out Rotis for longer than I have been alive!

Roti Recipe

Yield: 4 Minimum

Ingredients:

500ml flour

250ml water (more or less depending on how your dough forms)

80 – 100ml soft butter (estimate only – do not be afraid to use more, instead be afraid of the bathroom scale)

Oil for frying

Pinch of salt

Method:

Sift flour and salt in a bowl

Add butter and rub into the flour mixture to form a crumb like consistency

Add the water and knead until an even textured firm dough forms

Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes

Divide into 4 or more even sized portions and roll out on lightly floured board

Dot / grate with more or less 20mls of soft butter on each portion, fold over so that the butter is on the inside and roll into a sausage shape. Repeat with the other portions

Roll both ends of the sausage shape in towards each other until they meet (the one clockwise and the other anti clockwise)

Cover and rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes

Roll out into a circular shape

Heat a pan with some oil

Place the dough into the hot pan, poke at it with your fingers, coat the top side with a little oil or butter before flipping over and browning on the other side too

Once both sides show brown ‘freckles’ it’s ready to eat and enjoy!

Note: Roti’s freeze well – Once cooked and cooled, wrap in Cling film and freeze, take out a few hours before required and simply warm up in a pan. (I’ve forgotten to take mine out a few hours in advance before and found that even frying from frozen worked well as they are not very thick!