Vanessa’s SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE
Sadly the only sweet and sour I have really experienced is the Chinese takeaway variety, you know the one, the bright orange one served with spring rolls and deep fried fish or chicken. The times I have made it myself I have used sweet chilli sauce, pineapple juice and soy sauce. I have never used cornflour to thicken, preferring to reduce it to get the right consistency. I just add a bit of this, taste and add a bit of that and have been pretty happy with the results. The great thing about this recipe though is you will have everything in your cupboards already – there are no exotic or even Asian ingredients in it! My son loves dumplings. I always have the frozen ones on hand. I try to cook them in the pan to get the crispy bottoms (pot stickers) but they always stick too much and fall apart. I think the problem is not having a non-stick pan – well that’s what I am telling myself anyway! I either boil/steam them or oven bake them – both work, boiling and steaming gives a soft wet dumpling whilst the oven gives a crispy one. One day, when I have heaps of time, I will try making my own – it will probably be when the kids leave home!!!
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 clove grushed garlic
- ¼ cup tomato sauce
- 1½ tablespoons cornflour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¾ cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- salt and pepper
- Heat oil in the saucepan.
- Add garlic and onion.
- Cook until onion is clear.
- Combine the tomato sauce with the cornflour.
- Stir into the onion mixture.
- Add sugar and gradually stir int he stock.
- Bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat.
- Add vinegar.
- Season with salt and pepper.
Notes + adaptations
Taste, taste, taste – I thought it needed more vinegar to get the sour taste so I doubled the amount AND added a squeeze of lime juice. I also added fish sauce rather than salt firstly because I love the depth and taste of the stuff and secondly I wanted it to taste more authentic. I used brown sugar, red onions and cider vinegar because thats what I had at home! Kids can be fussy with the bits in sauces like onions. You could always strain the sauce for fussy munchkins or husbands!
Ingrid’s TANGY MUSTARD SAUCE ON STEAK SARNIES
I love reading through my Edmonds cookbook each week and trying to come up with a modern take on the recipes. This week it’s sauces, and again, like a lot of week’s, Vanessa and I chose the same sauce. Strange that we both chose sweet and sour – probably more to do with wanting to try something different than anything else. A flip of a coin gave it it her and so I settled on Mustard sauce to go with my Steak sarnies with caramelised onions. I may have to blow my own trumpet a bit here, but the friends I had over who ate these with big ole buffalo fries, had great things to say about them. They were satisfying, and had a big mish mash of flavours that all worked in harmony together. You can make the caramelised onions ahead of time, as well as the mustard sauce. You can season the steak ready to go – have a bowl of rocket there waiting in the wings, then throw it all together in a few minutes and enjoy the rewards. The mustard sauce + rocket and onions would also work well in a chicken sarnie/ burger.
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- 2 teaspoons of dry mustard powder
- 1 cup of water or liquid corned beef cooked in
- ¼ cup vinegar
- salt/ pepper to taste
- Beat egg and sugar together. Put into a sauepan. Add flour and mustard. Stir in water and vinegar gradually. Cook over a low heat until the mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper, adding more sugar if necessary. Makes 11/2 cups.
Notes + adaptions
I wanted my sauce to be thick, so I added an extra tablespoon of flour (2Tbs) and I added less liquid. I added 1/2 cup of water and 1/8 cup of vinegar (2tablespoons). I also added a tablespoon of wholegrain mustard and a scattering of chopped chives, right at the end. And as the recipe states, add more sugar if the vinegar is overpowering.
For the Steak
I used scotch fillet. I pounded them with a meat tenderizer (mallet) so the thickness was approx 5mm thickness. I seasoned with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. In a hot smoking pan/ or bbq hot plate. I cooked them 1-2 minutes each side. Let steak sit for a few minutes before serving.
Caramelised red onions (Recipe from The Engine Room Cookbook)
Makes 3/4 cup
500g red onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
65ml red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
Few sprigs of thyme
Preheat the oven to 160C. Combine all the ingredients in a roasting tray. Cover tightly with tinfoil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions have caramelised. Cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use (up to 2 weeks).
Sour dough bread
I toasted sourdough bread in the oven for a few minutes.
Cut your sourdough bread into 2, and cut lengthways. Stuff with rocket. Lay steak on top, add caramelised red onions, and mustard sauce.
The mustard sauce also tastes great with thick cut and baked chips.