Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

What you need in a good spaghetti sauce is balance between the savory and sweet elements.

Onions, garlic and olive oil add the savory portion of the sauce as well as a few choice herbs.

To supply the sweet, I like to use some grated carrot, and I use purple (red) onions which are naturally sweeter than white. I caramelize these in the oil to bring out the flavor.

The tomato has a dual role tying the savory and sweet together. If you are so lucky to have fresh tomatoes, by all means use them!! Add any garden vegetable that suits your fancy, and/or mushrooms, anything goes here.

Plus with the right amount of salt enhancing the flavor, your sauce will be magnificent!!

(Note that celtic sea salt, or similar, adds a beautiful savory flavor all its own)

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

1-2 carrots, shredded
1-2 cups garden vegetables (if using)
1/4-1/2 med. onion
2-4 cloves garlic
1 large can tomatoes, diced (or about 10 fresh)
2 or more tbsp. olive oil (be liberal)
Herbs de provence (usually basil, oregano, thyme, anise seed, a touch of sage works, have fun!!)
Salt to taste

Caramelize your vegetables in the oil over a medium heat, this includes the onion, but hold off on adding the garlic until the last minute or it will burn. Add the tomatoes and simmer until reduced into a nice thick sauce (will take longer if your using fresh). Add your herbs, taste, salt, taste, and voila!! Beautiful, delicious, homemade spaghetti sauce!! Yum, enjoy. :D

*Add a pound of ground beef if desired.

Serve over GF pasta

*As an additional note/idea I am personally sensitive to tomatoes, so I like to take about six red bell peppers, put em' under the broiler, peel and de-seed them, put em' in the blender and use them as a replacement for tomatoes. Yummy!! (Preparing them sounds gruesome doesn't it? ;p)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lard is better than Shortening

Alright guy's I can't help it...

This is the article that I have been waiting for to expound upon the benefits of using lard in your cooking over "Vegetable Shortening." The exception being a brand of shortening made by Spectrum Organics which makes it with Palm Oil. The reason that lard is superior (especially grass fed/organically raised lard) is that it not only is better for cooking with it is healthier for you!! :D

Here's the article:

Lard

After decades of trying, its moment is finally here.
By Regina Schrambling
Posted Tuesday, June 2, 2009, at 11:39 AM ET
Read more from Slate's Food issue.

Wait long enough and everything bad for you is good again. Sugar? Naturally better than high-fructose corn syrup. Chocolate? A bar a day keeps the doctor away. Caffeine? Bring it on.

Lard, however, has always been a ridiculously hard sell. Over at least the last 15 years, it's repeatedly been given a clean bill of health, and good cooks regularly point out how superior this totally natural fat is for frying and pastries. But that hasn't been enough to keep Americans from recoiling—lard's negative connotations of flowing flesh and vats of grease and epithets like larda** and tub of lard have been absurd hurdles. But no longer. I'm convinced that the redemption of lard is finally at hand because we live in a world where trendiness is next to godliness. And lard hits all the right notes, especially if you euphemize it as rendered pork fat—bacon butter.

Lard has clearly won the health debate. Shortening, the synthetic substitute foisted on this country over the last century, has proven to be a much bigger health hazard because it contains trans fats, the bugaboo du jour. Corporate food scientists figured out long ago that you can fool most of the people most of the time, and shortening (and its butter-aping cousin, margarine) had a pretty good ride after Crisco was introduced in 1911 as a substitute for the poor man's fat. But shortening really vanquished lard in the 1950s when researchers first connected animal fat in the diet to coronary heart disease. By the '90s, Americans had been indoctrinated to mainline olive oil, but shortening was still the go-to solid fat over lard or even butter in far too many cookbooks.

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