Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Finally Back Online and Cherry-Habanero Sauce

I thought I would end my 4+ week hiatus with a post about the food I brought back from my trip to the U.S. and share a fun condiment recipe courtesy of my stepdad.

Here's the deal: ever since my residency in Denmark began, I started keeping a mental--and eventually, paper--list of food items not accessible in my little corner of the world. Of course, some of these items might be found in Copenhagen or even Denmark's second largest city, Aarhus, which is nearer to where I live, but let's get real. It's simply not practical to grocery shop two hours away--unless you live in Alaska or Siberia and you have no other choice.

Among the items pictured, I also returned home with a box of currants, two boxes of matzo ball mix, various spices and extracts and some glacé cherries and candied orange peel for a special Christmas cake I'm planning to make. I thought for sure that customs would pull me aside and ask if the contents of the bags of whole wheat pastry flour were some sort of toasted cocaine, but thankfully I made it through with no questions asked. While I was dying to bring back a bunch of cans of black beans, I opted for dried instead and used my can allotment for poppy seed filling and sweetened condensed milk.

I also picked up some bulk steel-cut oats and quinoa. If you cant tell from my photo, there is also a bag of almonds. Strange you might say, are there not almonds in Denmark? Of course, but I am crazy about the dry roasted variety, and I've yet to find any in my vicinity. There are also some ziploc baggies with the unboxed contents of Annie's Organic Macaroni and Cheese. We can't even find Kraft in our town, let alone Annie's! Only when you are really serious about cooking do you go to this much trouble during a vacation. Finally, the candy represents various interests: the dum dums are for my son, the kisses were bought because I really cherish memories of eating kisses out of a candy dish at Christmas time, the caramels because one day I was daydreaming about caramel apples. And the chocolate chips because if you haven't heard me say if before, it is impossible to find NORMAL chocolate chips here! But I'm not bitter or anything.

On to today's recipe. Through a friend of a friend, my stepdad got his hands on an amazing recipe for Cherry-Habanero Sauce. I'm a wimp when it comes to spicy foods and sauces, but this sauce makes the most delicious condiment for eggs, meats, and roasted or steamed vegetables. I tried a little on steamed broccoli and it really brought out the life in the tree tops and woody stems. But a little is all you need...unless of course you want a burning mouth or happen to enjoy that particular sensation.

Canned in cute little jars, this condiment makes the perfect holiday gift for your favorite food lovers. Thanks, Len, for opening up my world by introducing me to this wonderful sauce.

Cherry-Habanero Sauce

2c Ketchup
2/3c Vinegar
1/2c Onion (finely chopped)
1c Cherry preserves
1/4c Yoshida's
1/4c Water
2 Habanero peppers (chopped)
2 Bay Leaves
1 Clove Garlic (finely chopped)

Mix all ingredients together in a sauce pan and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Pulverize mix in a food processor or blender until well blended. Strain for an even smoother finish.

Add and incorporate:

1/2t Salt
2/3c Brown Sugar
1T Liquid Smoke

Makes 3 cups.


  1. it's really difficult to find chocolate chips here in Denmark.I'va only found some from "Odense marcipan" called Grand cru. Fortunately it's really easy to find condensed milk :)

  2. Thanks so much, dear Danish reader. I will see if I can find the c.c. you mentioned, but I have a feeling I've already tried them. If they're the ones I'm thinking of, they're good, but not quite the same as I'm used to. So, I'm intrigued by what you said regarding the milk. I've seen regular condensed milk but not the sweetened variety. Where do I need to look?

  3. I LOVE the ziplocks of Annie's. That's got to fall into some "you know you're the mom of a preschooler when..." list. To have NO box mac n cheese option should be against the law. I'm bitter for you. =) So glad you got home safe and (hopefully) not too worse for wear. Back to our electronic friendship. sigh...

  4. You are so right, Alissa, it should totally be illegal not to have boxed mac and cheese anywhere on the planet. Yes, back to emails, blog comments, etc. but so glad there is SOME way to keep in touch.