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bobalina77
02-25-2010, 04:23 AM
Does anyone have a good recipe for red pasta sauce - marinara or whatever you call it? I've got just about every type of canned tomato (pureed, crushed, diced, sauce and paste) and I'd like to make a homemade spaghetti sauce for dinner tomorrow.

What's the secret, y'all? I also have fresh garlic and a pretty good spice cabinet.

The secret is to put a little bit of brown sugar in the sauce. It takes away some of the acidity in the tomatoes. I have an awesome recipe somewhere that I make in my slow cooker. As soon as I unpack my recipe books I'll post it :)

Jenny I think that's an awesome idea.. good luck!

skaternum
02-25-2010, 01:41 PM
Are you kidding? I think it's a wonderful idea to try to recreate this meal. Please let us know how you get along.

Me too. I'd love to try to recreate such a special menu.

Jenny
02-25-2010, 02:20 PM
Whee thanks for the support! The bride was my mother's favourite grandmother, so I'm starting to imagine something in May for Mother's Day and several family birthdays. Great grandmother lived to 93, so I actually knew her well growing up and have many happy memories of her.

Further research on the menu: Rehrücken is indeed a German cake (sort of like a pound cake with chocolate glaze, shaped like a venison saddle and thus the direct translation "deer back"). However, in looking through my cookbooks, I found a recipe of the same name that actually is venison, which now makes far more sense as a second course served with vegetables!

While we're thinking about this - does anyone else have access to old menus, perhaps their parents wedding or a family restaurant? Or old recipes that have been passed down for decades?

bobalina77
02-25-2010, 05:53 PM
My cousin put together a book of my grandma's recipes for us for Christmas one year after she died. It has the recipe for the fruit cake that she always made for my uncles every Christmas. I think I'm gonna try to make one for my dad this Christmas now that I have the necessary tools. Yeah I know.. fruit cake.. yuck. I agree, but he loved it :lol:

Ajax
02-25-2010, 06:16 PM
Turtle soup, a German pound cake called Rehrücken (which is an odd course at this point in the meal, and it said it was with vegetables, so need to do further research!), salmon with Bearnaise sauce, goose liver pate, lobster with butter and mayonnaise, duck compote, wedding cake, cheese pastry, and finally, fruit.


Whoa, how did they have the energy to get up and dance after all that rich food?

Jenny I think it's an awesome idea to recreate that menu. If you don't have a liver pate recipe I always use this one: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Duck-Liver-Pate-105586. You can substitute goose liver for the duck liver in there. It's easy and always gets raves.

For the poster who was asking about tomato sauce, I always start with 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed. Put them in a cold pan with 2-3 tbsp olive oil, then put the pan on medium heat and heat until the garlic starts to give off its smell. Then add in a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, a pinch of sugar, 2-3 minced anchovies and a couple of sprigs of fresh oregano or fresh basil. Let simmer on medium low heat for at least 30 min - the longer you cook it the better it will taste. Once the sauce has thickened enough to your satisfaction, remove the herbs and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

ETA: If you don't have fresh herbs you can put in 1/2 tsp each of dried oregano or dried basil.

Jenny
02-25-2010, 06:52 PM
I've never tried this, but I saw one of the celeb chefs put the tomato stems in his sauce to simmer. His logic was that all the fragrance of fresh tomatoes is actually the stem, not the fruit, so it imparts a special essence to a dish. I'm going to try it in summer when I have garden tomatoes to work with.

Lizziebeth
02-25-2010, 09:02 PM
Whee thanks for the support! The bride was my mother's favourite grandmother, so I'm starting to imagine something in May for Mother's Day and several family birthdays. Great grandmother lived to 93, so I actually knew her well growing up and have many happy memories of her.

Further research on the menu: Rehrücken is indeed a German cake (sort of like a pound cake with chocolate glaze, shaped like a venison saddle and thus the direct translation "deer back"). However, in looking through my cookbooks, I found a recipe of the same name that actually is venison, which now makes far more sense as a second course served with vegetables!

While we're thinking about this - does anyone else have access to old menus, perhaps their parents wedding or a family restaurant? Or old recipes that have been passed down for decades?

Well in 2011 it will be 100 years! You could throw a big party.

I don't get to many weddings, but it is interesting that the wedding menu survived all these years. Do people still have wedding menus, or is that custom long gone?

I have a few recipe books from the 30's that I inherited. I actually use the books - it is interesting since most of the recipes have a list of ingredients with measurements that are not very exact, and virtually no directions on the method!

Lizziebeth
02-25-2010, 09:03 PM
I've never tried this, but I saw one of the celeb chefs put the tomato stems in his sauce to simmer. His logic was that all the fragrance of fresh tomatoes is actually the stem, not the fruit, so it imparts a special essence to a dish. I'm going to try it in summer when I have garden tomatoes to work with.

I think tomato stems are kinda stinky! I'll be curious if it tastes good.

Just the taste of fresh garden tomatoes alone would greatly improve any sauce.

Habs
02-25-2010, 09:12 PM
While we're thinking about this - does anyone else have access to old menus, perhaps their parents wedding or a family restaurant? Or old recipes that have been passed down for decades?

My mom has a book of typed recipes that belonged to her favourite aunt. While they're wonderful and nostalgic, they also give us a good laugh with vague instructions like: "keep adding flour until it feels right," and "bake until it looks done."

Recently I was cleaning out some boxes in our storage room and came across some things that were my grandmother's (she died six years ago). In that pile was a spiral notebook, filled with handwritten recipes that were her favourites. It is an absolute treasure. I've been going through it and making some things. Most of it is cookie and cake recipes - grandma had a real sweet tooth and was a heck of a baker!

Jenny
02-25-2010, 09:15 PM
Well in 2011 it will be 100 years! You could throw a big party.

I have a few recipe books from the 30's that I inherited. I actually use the books - it is interesting since most of the recipes have a list of ingredients with measurements that are not very exact, and virtually no directions on the method!

Hadn't even noticed the date! Next year is a good thought, but can I wait that long? :lol:

I have tons of vintage cookbooks - even while attending Cdns I found a used bookstore in London and managed to pick up few goodies. :) I love what cookbooks tell us about how people lived and entertained and took care of their families. I love it when they have menus and planning tips, and even better if previous owners have made their own notes.


I think tomato stems are kinda stinky! I'll be curious if it tastes good.

Just the taste of fresh garden tomatoes alone would greatly improve any sauce.

I know I thought it sounded odd, and that's why I haven't done it yet. It was from Blumenthal, who's famous as a molecular chef and has a very highly rated restaurant near London.

On a related note, my bizarre little cat chews tomato stems when I leave them on the kitchen counter. Sneaks up at night and chews them off, but leaves all other plants alone. Everywhere I've read says the smell of the stems is designed to keep animals away from the plants, and in my garden at least, it seems to work! Of course that's just the tip of the iceberg - my cat is weird.

Jenny
02-25-2010, 09:19 PM
Recently I was cleaning out some boxes in our storage room and came across some things that were my grandmother's (she died six years ago). In that pile was a spiral notebook, filled with handwritten recipes that were her favourites. It is an absolute treasure. I've been going through it and making some things. Most of it is cookie and cake recipes - grandma had a real sweet tooth and was a heck of a baker!

That is so great - what wonderful goodies to serve your family at holidays!

In my family, there was only one really good cook, and that was my Russian grandmother (homemade perogies, anyone?). She has passed away, but my sister and I continue to make her recipes, and have at least a few of them on the table at every holiday meal we host. We all miss her a lot, and it's a great way to keep her memory with us. Plus it's all so gooood!

Christina
02-26-2010, 12:58 AM
I made my spaghetti sauce today. Used a can of pureed tomatoes with basil, can of crushed tomatoes, 4 or 5 cloves of garlic ( I really like garlic), about 1/4 cup of diced onion, some dry basil, salt and sugar (thanks bob!) for the pretty heavy acidity. I let it simmer for about 3 hours and added 1 pound of ground beef after about an hour. Along with homemade bread (http://www.joythebaker.com/blog/2010/02/bread-and-butter/#more-2268) it was yummy!

Thanks for all the help, y'all!

Cupid
02-26-2010, 01:52 PM
Does anyone throw in a pinch or two of baking soda to their sauce to make it less acidic? I wonder if that's necessary if you add sugar. I hear brown sugar is even better than the white when added to the sauce.

bobalina77
02-26-2010, 04:31 PM
I made my spaghetti sauce today. Used a can of pureed tomatoes with basil, can of crushed tomatoes, 4 or 5 cloves of garlic ( I really like garlic), about 1/4 cup of diced onion, some dry basil, salt and sugar (thanks bob!) for the pretty heavy acidity. I let it simmer for about 3 hours and added 1 pound of ground beef after about an hour. Along with homemade bread (http://www.joythebaker.com/blog/2010/02/bread-and-butter/#more-2268) it was yummy!

Thanks for all the help, y'all!

You're welcome! The thing I like about adding the sugar is that it makes it a bit sweeter. I'm a fan of sweet things for dinner. I've also made a Roast Pork with apples and maple syrup in my slow cooker that is to die for.. so tasty!

sk8pics
02-26-2010, 10:04 PM
Does anyone throw in a pinch or two of baking soda to their sauce to make it less acidic? I wonder if that's necessary if you add sugar. I hear brown sugar is even better than the white when added to the sauce.

No, I've never done that. If I make my own sauce, I generally use some brown sugar.