About Mastering and Enjoying Home Cooking. Drink, Cook, and Live Well!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Steve’s Fabulous Steak Sauce

Not A1 but better!

The color of this sauce is a dark chocolate brown and the flavor not only outstanding on meat but promotes the meat’s flavor marriage to big red wines.  I use an immersion blender to process the sauce until very fine. If the destination includes small-necked bottles, you may want to consider a course strainer to remove any large bits, which may impede the pour ability. I think the exercise of making a sauce like this is a good one for any chef who may need more faith in their abilities. Achieving this sauce may seem almost magical. Originally, I was intending to mimic A1 Sauce, which is very good. Now, I much prefer this one as it spicier.

If making a hot and mild version, consider doubling the recipe and split the sauce before adding all of the hot pepper. The sauce is so good that it goes quickly so consider doubling the recipe.

1 Chopped onion
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 Small can tomato paste
Start with 1 cup of water (add more and sauce cooks and to adjust thickness)
2/3 Cup orange juice
1 Teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet browning sauce
1/8 Cup red wine vinegar
½ Cup brown sugar
1/3 Cup sugar or enough to correct the sweetness
½ Teaspoon of ground ginger to start (adjust to taste)
1/8 Cup lime juice (juice from two limes)
1/8 Teaspoon of ground cloves
1/8 Teaspoon of ground coriander seeds
½ Teaspoon of ground mustard
1½ Cup raisins
½ Cup orange honey
2 Cloves crushed chopped garlic
6-7 Tablespoons of tamarind paste1
1 Tablespoon ground orange rind
White pepper, black and red pepper to taste
Pinch of thyme
Salt to taste

Sauté 1 chopped onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook until onion is translucent. Add ginger and garlic. Cook 1 minute then combine tomato paste, raisins, tamarind paste, lime juice, vinegar, honey and water. Cook down, adding water as necessary, until well blended, about a half an hour. Using a hand-held post blender, blend all the ingredients finely.  Add water as necessary to thin the sauce as it thickens at this stage. Add all other ingredients and cook another 10-15 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt, sugar, vinegar levels as necessary. When cool, pour the sauce into canning jars, tightly fit the lids, and sterilize the sealed jars in boiling water for an hour.  The sauce is now ready for long-term storage.  The flavor will deepen and further develop with age.


1.        The paste of the tamarind in 1 pound blocks can be found in Asian markets offering Thai ingredients. Alternatively, use fresh tamarind pods, discard the outer pods, filaments, and seed pods. Softening these by boiling them in a bit of hot water which makes the paste easier to work with.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Hadaegh Ardeshir Persian Shiraz Salad

Many of the Persian dishes Hadaegh Ardeshir taught me are both simple and delightful. Shiraz, Iran is one of the most celebrated cities in the world of Islam. Shiraz City booms with sophistication and has been known as the heartland of Persian culture for over 2000 years. Located in the southeast of Iran, Shiraz city is the capital of Fars Province and has an estimated population of 1,500,000.
Shiraz considered to be the city of gardens, due to the
many gardens and fruit trees in the city.

Chopped cucumbers, tomatoes and red onions dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. Sometime herbs such as Persian mint are added. This is easy, refreshing, and goes well with practically anything.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Vin205 Chevre with Orange Honey served with Purple Sweet Potato Chips

Whip the goat cheese with a scant bit of whole cream until creamy. Mix in finely diced bits of chives. Pipe cheese onto a plate dotted with fried purple sweet-potato chips. (Purple sweet potatoes will maintain their coloring, and the flesh of Stokes Purple sweet potatoes will actually brighten!)

A Yelp review  in Greensboro, nc stated:  “The second tapas plate was a savory goat cheese with honey served with delightfully thin crisps of Purple Sweet Potato. These were both so good it was hard to say which was better. This tapas was served with Prestige 2016 rose wine rather low in alcohol content and thin on flavor but had a nice nose but its color was somewhat anemic. The dish itself would upstage most roses I know of. I was thinking to myself, perhaps, a Viognier.”

Monday, April 3, 2017

Steve's Best Ever Lemon Meringue Pie

Meringue bakes 20 minutes at 325 F.

If this pie was any better than it is I would have to kill myself. You have to pay attention making this pie. Take the phone off the hook.

The key to a heaped meringue with a vaulted dome is that the filling be hot right out of the oven when the Meringue top is assembled. The meringue then cooks from the top oven heat, and from the bottom, from the heat of the filling. I start the filling 10 -15 minutes before the crust shell is due from the oven. When the filling is in preparation, all the ingredients for the meringue need be pre-measured; the cornstarch for stabilization of the meringue is also already prepared. You will need a small pastry brush to anchor the meringue to the crust.

Prepare and measure out ingredients for meringue topping. Separate eggs and allow them to come to room temperature. Prepare and pre-bake a bottom piecrust first. Prepare stabilization mixture (see meringue below.) 15-20 Minutes into the baking of the crust, start the filling.

Prepare and pre-bake a 9 inch bottom piecrust, in a 325 F oven. Prick the crust with a fork all over. Cover the crust with tin foil, shinny side down. Fill pie with uncooked dry beans, rice or pie weights, especially the sides. Bake 20 minutes, carefully remove weights and foil, bake 5-10 minutes more until golden brown.

Whisk thoroughly in a medium saucepan
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter below)

Whisk and blend with:
1 1/2 cups water
Start with 1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
4 teaspoons of finely chopped or grated lemon zest
Taste and add additional lemon until just quite tart.

Whisk in the yolks of 5 eggs until creamy. ((Keep the egg whites for the Meringue))  Add room temperature sweet butter (1/2 stick); cut up in small bits to aid blending.

Whisk continuously over medium heat to a simmer then cook 1 additional minute until the filling is thick. Pour the filling into the hot shell. If the meringue is not immediately available, cover with plastic wrap to prevent a crust layer from forming. The plastic wrap may later be removed when ready for meringue topping.

Starch Stabilized Meringue

Cornstarch mixture
Prepare this first, allowing ample time for this to cool.
In a small saucepan, mix one tablespoon each of cornstarch and sugar. Stir in 1/3 cup of water. Heat on medium, stirring continuously; allow thickening into a clear paste by allowing it to boil 15 seconds. Cover, cool, and set aside.

Combine 5 egg white, 1-teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon of Cream of tartar
Beat until soft peaks. Gradually add 1/2 cup of super fine sugar. Beat until stiff peaks but not until dry. Reduce speed to slow, adding a tablespoon at a time of Cornstarch mixture until all incorporated.  Beat on high for ten seconds. With a brush, brush some meringue all around edge of hot pie crust. Use a spatula; wipe some meringue all around edge of hot pie, the heap on balance of meringue, spoon with a large cake knife to a dome. Center in middle of oven. Bake 20 minutes at 325 or until golden peaks are done.


  1. This pie can me made as a Key lime pie using Key Lime juice. The Key lime is an Asian citrus species generally smaller in diameter and has more seeds than the common lime. The Key lime is yellow when ripe but usually available green commercially. It is more tart and and has a slightly bitter flavor. A true adult plant can be successfully propagated from wet seeds taken from its fruit.
  2. Meyer lemons are sweeter and much less acidic tasting than regular lemons.