That BBQ Sauce is a little fruity…..

On my ever evolving quest to diversify my condiment shelf in the fridge, I started doing fruit based barbecue sauces a little while ago. It varies as the seasons advance: cherries, blueberries, peaches, plums, they and more all have a place in a fairly consistent formula to bring it together. This is the recipe for Peach Barbecue Sauce…..with occasional substitution options throughout.

Peach Barbecue Sauce

1 tsp Mighty Trio Organics canola oil

1 tsp salt

2 medium onions, peeled and coursely chopped

4 cups pitted and chopped peaches (can use cherries, berries or a mix of fruit)

1 small can tomato paste

1/4 cup pure maple syrup (the darker the better; or use honey, sugar or blackstrap molasses)

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves *

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

*Note the fresh thyme can be substituted with fresh cilantro or if you are using another fruit besides peach, my favourite combinations with fruit are cherry-fennel seed, blueberry with nutmeg and fresh chilli, plum with ground coriander or as it gets into fall, using pumpkin and sage).

Place the peaches in a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, saute the onions and salt in oil over medium high heat for 3 or 4 minutes, until starting to soften. Reduce heat to medium and saute for a further 3 or 4 minutes until just starting to brown lightly. Add the peach puree and simmer for 1-2 minutes to draw out the peaches natural sugars. Add the tomato paste, maple syrup, vinegar and fresh thyme. Reduce heat to medium low, simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Puree to a smooth consistency. (A hand blender in this situation works great). Finish with black pepper and stir it in after it’s off the heat. Makes about 4 cups. Use on grilled chicken, fish, eggplant or any summer squash.

Family Mushrooms

One of the last recipes my dad taught me before he died almost 15 years ago was a recipe for Paprika Mushrooms. I was feeling particularly nostalgic today and this recipe came to mind. Like many Hungarian recipes, there’s no such thing as too much paprika. It is a wonderfully savoury side dish, a great accompaniment to meat, or as a base for pizza in place of tomato sauce.

Paprika Mushrooms

1-2 Tbsp canola oil
3 cups sliced white button mushrooms
1/4 cup sweet Hungarian paprika
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 cup water

In a medium saucepan, brown the mushrooms in oil until golden uniformly. Sprinkle over the paprika and salt and stir to coat completely. Add 1/3 cup of water and stir until a somewhat thick gravy texture is achieved. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally. As the liquid dries, add more water and the minced garlic. Stir until the mushrooms are well softened and have an almost melted texture. This usually takes about 30-40 minutes. The final liquid component should be like a slightly dry gravy. If it’s too wet, reduce the liquid to thicken more. Makes about 1-1/4 cups.

Poutine

My mum lives in Hull, so I’ve had my fair share of traditional Quebecois poutine. The squiggy curds, the hand cut and double fried frites, the thick chicken gravy makes for a quality example of Canadian comfort food. I often make my own at home, but don’t always want to go through the laborious process of double frying my frites (ie. blanch cut fries in lower temperature-160C- oil, cooling, then frying again in higher temperature-180C-oil). I like doing an oven-roasted potato wedge in lieu of the traditional french frite. I augment the experience with a bacon-garlic gravy(using rabbit stock for a slightly meatier flavour than chicken stock) and 6 year old cheddar.

Poutine with Bacon-Garlic Gravy

Oven-Roasted Potato Wedges:

6-8 medium Russet potatoes, cut into wedges (about 1cm wide at one edge).

5-6 Tbsp Mighty Trio Organics canola oil

1 Tbsp salt

Preheat 2 large baking sheets in a 220C/450F oven. Toss the cut potato wedges in 1 Tbsp oil in a large bowl. Drizzle 2 Tbsp oil on each of the preheated baking sheets and immediately spread out the potato wedges in a single layer on both baking sheets. Bake for 20-23 minutes, turning the potato wedges after about 13-15 minutes. They should be a deep, golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

Bacon-Garlic Gravy:

3 slices Sunshine Organic Berkshire pork side bacon, cut into 1/2cm pieces.

1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic

3-4 Tbsp flour

2 cups rabbit stock (or chicken stock).

In a medium saucepan, brown the bacon until golden. Add the minced garlic and saute until aromatized and lightly browned. Whisk in the flour and cook for another minute. Whisk in the rabbit stock, 1/2 cup at a time until it is homogeneously incorporated.

To serve:

Prepared Oven-Roasted Potato Wedges

Prepared Bacon-Garlic Gravy

100g/4oz Sylvan Star 6 year old cheddar

Layer the prepared Oven-Roasted Potato Wedges with crumbled 6 year old cheddar and the prepared Bacon-Garlic Gravy. Place under a broiler for 60-90 seconds to melt the cheese.  Serves 3-4.