It’s Sunday, cloudy with soft and erratic rain showers as if Mama Nature hasn’t quite decided if today will be soggy or not. I find days like today the perfect time to put together a cooking project which produces immediate results, looks good, doesn’t break the bank and does not eat up an entire afternoon. This recipe for Worcestershire sauce fits the bill. Two added bonuses are the recipe yields plenty for your future use and makes a fabulous gift for a fortunate friend. By the way, the sauce is a super hostess present or Christmas gift when presented in a fetching bottle with a pretty bow or tag. It will leave you sitting pretty and pleased as punch. This recipe really ought to age at least a month before using as the flavor ripens…almost blooms, becoming fuller and round. Obviously there is a good amount of both vinegar and fresh horseradish but allowed to mature, this sauce is a wonderful surprise when the undertones of cloves and molasses are tasted behind the mustard and anchovies. As good as store-bought is, it cannot compare to handmade. I marinate steaks in a mixture of Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce before tossing them on the grill. What a difference this sauce makes! And just imagine how glorious a spicy batch of Bloody Marys would taste. Cheers!
You may not have noticed, but most grocery stores carry fresh horseradish in the produce department. I typically find it hiding behind the turnips and rutabagas so make certain to ask if you can’t find it. I store my Worcestershire sauce in pint and half-pint canning jars. And, yes, the sauce needs to be refrigerated.
Handmade Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups fresh horseradish, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup minced garlic
- 1/4 cup minced jarred jalapeno peppers
- 1 2-ounce tin of flat anchovies in oil, drained well and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons dry mustard
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 1/2 heaping teaspoons whole cloves
- 4 cups distilled white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups dark corn syrup
- 1 1/2 cups molasses
- cheesecloth to strain the sauce
- In a heavy-bottomed pot, warm oil over medium heat.
- Into the hot oil add the horseradish, onion, garlic and jalapeno pepper. Stir well and cook until the onion becomes clear.
- Add remaining ingredients, stir well and bring to a boil.
- Drop the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours.
- Allow to cool before handling hot sauce.
- Line the sieve with 4-6 layers of cheesecloth and place sieve over a pitcher or receptacle which holds at least 7 or 8 liquid cups.
- Working in batches, ladle mixture into lined sieve and press down on solids to get all the flavors. I gather the ends of the cheesecloth together in a bundle and squeeze the solids by hand.
- When the cheesecloth is full, discard solids and strain a new batch until all the sauce has been strained.
- Transfer to clean jars and cool.
- Cover with lids and refrigerate. The sauce is best after 30 days.
Sometimes a girl just has to have a big, steaming bowl of lovely Asian-style deliciousness for dinner. How many times have we made our way home at day’s end after spending 10 hours working… working hard. To add to our woes often a last-minute run to the grocery store is required if we expect to have dinner. All of the ingredients for this dish are available at your grocery store and, get this, if you’re so beat you’re willing to take the easy way out, most of the makings called for are already cleaned, prepared and/or cut up. Yay for grocery store food prep! I don’t know about you but I’m slow as molasses in the kitchen and that’s on a good day. So if I can get a little help to speed things up I’ll take it. The recipe can easily be halved but I like to have leftovers for lunches the following day so take that into consideration.
This dish can be served over noodles, (rice, udon or cellophane are all fine), or it may be served over rice, (white, brown, jasmine or basmati), it all works. If you’re staying away from carbs altogether add more broth and the dish becomes more soup-like. Nice, huh? Most of the vegetables can be found already chopped in the produce section of your grocery store, the shrimp has been cooked and is in the seafood department and the sweet potato can be thrown in the microwave to “bake”. The sweet potato is SO good paired with the savory lemongrass! The spinach is tossed into the pan straight from the bag and the basil leaves are torn from the stalk and added without having to cut. Also, in the produce section, you’ll find tubes of fresh lemongrass, grated ginger paste and minced garlic in the jar. Oh, the glory of it all! Wait, wait! I almost forgot to mention that in the “international” section of the store are already prepared udon noodles in cryovac and, if you prefer glass noodles, just know they don’t have to be cooked. They soak in hot water for 15-20 minutes so they’re ready when you’ve finished the shrimp part of the recipe. Can you believe it? Again, if you’re trying to watch your weight, using “lite” coconut milk is perfectly fine. I try to have boxed chicken broth always on hand and it’s perfect with the shrimp but feel free to use what you have in the pantry. Speaking of pantry, the jarred herbs and all-ready-prepared noodles are great staples to stock up on as are a few bags of cleaned shrimp in the freezer, perfect for last-minute soups, salads and stirfrys. I know this recipe calls for a lengthy list of ingredients but please keep in mind, this is pretty much a “dump and stir” meal. I’m thrilled with the ease of it and I know you will be, too. Enjoy!
Shrimp in a Spicy Coconut Sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup lemongrass paste
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons ginger paste
- 2 red peppers, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds zucchini, sliced
- 1 6-ounce bag fresh baby spinach
- 1 handful fresh basil leaves, 1 small box or bunch
- 2 pounds cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined and shells off
- 2 13.5-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk, lite is okay
- 2 cups seafood, vegetable or chicken broth, boxed is fine
- 1 medium to large sweet potato, roasted, peeled, cut into 1/4″ cubes
- juice of 1 lime
- 1-2 red chiles or jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped. I use 2 as we like heat and spice but feel free to use just one for less spice. But do use at least one or it won’t be spicy, now will it?
- salt to taste
- rice or noodles for serving
- hot chili garlic sauce, optional, for serving
- Over medium-high heat add olive oil to a large, high sided pan.
- Add onions and stir until coated with oil and starting to release its perfume.
- Add lemongrass, garlic and ginger and thoroughly stir into onions.
- Add peppers and zucchini and continue stirring for 2 minutes.
- Add spinach and basil and stir until almost completely wilted.
- Add shrimp and toss until coated with the pan flavors.
- Pour in coconut milk and broth, mix well and raise heat bring to a boil.
- Add sweet potato, lime juice and chiles. Stir.
- Taste and add salt if needed.
- Serve in large bowls over cooked rice or noodles.