Caroline Dafgard Widnersson is based in Sweden and is a freelance chef and food stylist for a variety of food production companies and magazines. Her recipe book “Condiments” lets people make their favourite condiments from preservative-free hot sauce, ketchup, mayo, salsa, mustards, harissa, ferments, pickles and preserves right from scratch in the comfort of your own home. Here are four that we’ve picked out for you.
Makes 400 ml (14 fl oz)
- 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) tinned whole tomatoes
- 150 ml (5 fl oz) white vinegar
- 150 g (5 ½ oz) white sugar
- ½ teaspoon mustard powder
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- 3 cloves
- 5 allspice berries
- 10 black peppercorns
- ½ brown onion
- Blend all ingredients, except onions, with 150 ml (5 fl oz) water in a food processor until almost smooth (the sauce doesn’t need to be completely smooth).
- Combine onion and tomato sauce in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, then continuously towards the end of cooking. Remove from heat once the consistency is slightly looser than regular ketchup; it will thicken as it cools. Add salt to taste.
- Strain through a wide-mesh sieve or metal colander to remove onion and any larger pieces of spices.
- Pour into a sterilised bottle with a tight-fitting lid and store in the fridge. Keeps for about a month.
American Hot Sauce
Makes 600ml (21 fl oz)
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) long red chillies, split and coarsely chopped
- 10 g (1/4 oz) bird’s-eye chillies
- 500 ml (2 cups) apple cider vinegar
- Blend chilli and vinegar until coarsely chopped and combined. Pour into a sterilised jar and cover with muslin (cheesecloth).
- Leave at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for 6 weeks to ferment, removing any mould that forms.
- After 6 weeks, transfer to a saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon salt, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3–4 minutes.
- Cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and blend until as smooth as possible. Pass through a muslin (cheesecloth) or fine sieve.
- Pour into sterilised bottle. If possible, let hot sauce sit for 1-2 weeks before serving. Hot sauce will keep, for at least 1 year. It’s best kept in the fridge. Try it with oysters.
The advantage of making your own hot sauce is that you can decide the heat and flavour profile. For an even hotter sauce, swap some of the red chilli for a stronger chilli variety, such as bird’s eye or habanero. To get as close to the American original as possible, try growing your own Tabasco peppers from seed. You can buy them in well-stocked nurseries or online.
You’ll need a 500 ml (17 fl oz) jar
200 g jalapeños, quartered
2 ½ tablespoons white sugar
2 ½ tablespoons white vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- For pickling liquid, combine all ingredients with 150 ml (5 fl oz) water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
- Place quartered jalapeño in a sterilised glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- Fill with the cold pickling liquid and let sit for a few hours before serving.
- Keeps refrigerated for 2–3 weeks.
You’ll need a 1 litre (35 fl oz) jar
- 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) organic lemons
- 50 g (1 ¾ oz) sea salt flakes
1. Thoroughly wash and scrub lemons.
2. Cut lemons in half. Juice 4–5 of the lemons to get about 100 ml (3 ½ fl oz) juice. Transfer juice to a bowl along with the remaining lemon halves. Add salt and toss to coat.
3. Stuff lemon halves and salt into a sterilised glass jar with a tight-fitting lid until the jar is completely full. Add juice, followed by enough water to cover lemons.
4. Leave in a cool, dark place for 4 weeks.
5. Lemons will keep for 6 months and should be kept in the fridge once the jar has been opened.
You can buy “Condiments” here for AUD $24.99.