When it comes to condiments, there’s a lot to be said for convenience. You’ll find Heinz, Best Foods, Grey Poupon, Farman’s, Stubb’s and many more familiar labels in my fridge. But if you’ve ever made mayonnaise from scratch, you know it tastes nothing like what’s in the jar. And if you are gluten-sensitive, there is even more reason to consider homemade over store-bought.
That was the impetus behind The Kitchen Pantry Cookbook, a new book from Seattle chef Erin Coopey, who struggled with digestive issues as a teen but was in her thirties before she discovered gluten was the culprit. When she started looking into what products contained gluten she was astonished to find it was in practically everything.
The book goes well beyond mayo, mustard and ketchup. It includes recipes for barbecue sauces, salad dressings, dips, spreads, pickles and stocks. “They are geared to the person who doesn’t have too much time,” says Coopey. “Many require very few ingredients.”
“What you find when you start making your own condiments, dressings and stocks is that what you get tastes so much richer,” she says. “When you try to go back to commercial products what you taste is synthetic, sugary and salty.”
Meet Coopey, get a signed copy of the book and taste some of her recipes at PCC Natural Market in West Seattle on Friday, August 30, from 5 to 7 p.m. You’ll also find her signing books at Capers in West Seattle on Sunday, September 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
And just in time to perk up the hot dogs, hamburgers or sandwiches at your Labor Day picnic, Coopey shares this recipe for Chow-Chow:
from The Kitchen Pantry Cookbook by Erin Coopey
Living in the Pacific Northwest, we usually have a few tomatoes left unripened at the end of the summer. Making chow-chow is a great way to use them up.
Yield: Makes one 1-pint (475 ml) jar
1/2 cup (80g) finely chopped onion
1/2 cup (45 g) finely chopped green cabbage
1/2 cup (90 g) finely chopped green tomatoes
1/4 cup (38 g) finely chopped green bell peppers
1/4 cup (38 g) finely chopped red bell peppers
1 tablespoon (15 g) kosher salt
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
3/4 teaspoon whole yellow mustard seed
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cup (120 ml) distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
Note: This is a relish that you can use a food processor to make. The texture is pretty fine.
Combine all the vegetables in a large ceramic or glass mixing bowl. Sprinkle with salt and toss to coat. Cover and let stand overnight.
Transfer the vegetables to a large colander and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Drain thoroughly.
Mix the sugar, mustard, celery seed, turmeric, vinegar, and water in medium-size saucepan. Add the drained vegetables and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Spoon into a clean, sterilized pint (475 ml) jar (see below). Let cool to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate until fully chilled, about 2 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
To sterilize jars: Fill each jar with hot water and place it in a deep pot. Fill the pot with water enough to cover the jars by at least one inch. Bring the pot to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the liquid using tongs or a jar lifter. Pour out the hot water and then either immediately fill the jar or allow to air dry.