Saturday, September 3, 2011

Two Seasonal Sauces

Here are a pair of sauces—cooked up Guardian Service style—that celebrate two end-of-summer flavors: peppers and figs; perfect with any grilled meal or outdoor lunch. Serve them fresh or water bath can them to savor later.
The "waterless cooking" method is especially suited to sauces like these because it intensifies and marries the flavors. These can be made ahead in any medium-sized Guardian Service unit (a "triangle"pot, fryer, dome cooker, etc). Each sauce requires adding ingredients at earlier or later stages, so that all reach the desired texture and don't over or under-cook. 

Sweet Hot Pepper Relish
Serve with hot dogs, hamburgers, sloppy joes...
Makes 3-4 cups

4 sweet peppers
2 hot peppers
2 carrots
1 medium sweet onion
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch celery seed
salt, pepper to taste

  1. Prepare hot peppers: wash, seed and remove stems from peppers (you may want to use latex gloves for this). Coat with olive oil, add to GS unit and roast on medium for 20-30 minutes, shaking unit occasionally to keep peppers from sticking. Set lid slightly ajar for last 10 minutes to allow moisture to escape. Remove peppers and allow to cool.
  2. Dice carrots into bite-size pieces and add to Guardian service unit. Begin roasting carrots over medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare sweet peppers: wash, seed and remove stems. Dice sweet and hot peppers and sweet onion together. Add to the roasting carrots, reduce heat and allow all vegetables to cook together for 10-15 minutes, just long enough for the carrots, onions and sweet peppers to retain a slight crunch.
  4. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients and stir until well-coated; allow to cool. Chill and serve.

Fig and Lavender Chutney
A simple but elegant chutney to serve with pork, chicken, salmon or mahi-mahi, polenta...
Makes 3-4 cups

7-8 large, ripe sweet figs (Turkey, Violette de Bordeaux, Black Mission)
1 medium sweet onion
1 Tbsp butter or oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp agave nectar and/or honey
4 lavender flowers
1 jigger bourbon
pinch fresh ground clove
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Chop onion and sauté in butter (or oil) in Guardian Service unit until translucent.
  2. Add balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, agave and/or honey and continue to cook.
  3. Chop figs and lavender flowers and add to onion. 
  4. Add remaining seasoning (clove, salt, pepper and bourbon) and cook for twenty minutes or until the figs cook down into a sauce.
  5. Serve warm or cold.

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