Friday, September 27, 2013

Blueberry-Espresso AwesomeSauce

After playing around with a recipe I found for blueberry-chipotle ketchup (on, I think) I ended up creating the following:

Blueberry-Espresso AwesomeSauce!

1 lb blueberries
3 1/2 oz espresso
8 oz dark brown sugar (Get a kitchen scale! Best $25 you'll spend!)
1/2 c cider vinegar
1/2 c lime juice
1 can of tomato paste (the small kind, I think they're 6 oz.)
1 1/2 oz fresh ginger, minced
3 finger pinch of kosher salt
1 t ground cardamom
1 1/2 t Vietnamese cinnamon
1 t baking soda (add a pinch or two more as needed. cuts down on the acidity and gives it a smoother flavor)
3/4 t allspice
1/4 t nutmeg
5 whole cloves

Pour everything into a medium sized saucepan, bring just to a boil or to a near-boil, then turn down to about medium low. Blend thoroughly with a stick blender, then simmer until your desired consistency, keeping in mind it'll thicken up some after it cools. 15-20 minutes will give you about the consistency of apple butter. Don't forget to stir it occasionally. Hit it again, harder this time, at the end with the stick blender and you shouldn't have to strain it through anything.

Some notes:

I highly recommend using actual espresso instead of extra strong coffee, even espresso roast. I tried both ways a couple times and the espresso way is definitely better. If you can't get any actual espresso, I also made it with my normal, good quality coffee and brewed it double strength. It's still good, I just think the espresso is better.

I used whole cloves because I didn't have any ground and I knew I wanted to use between 4-6, but I didn't feel like grinding them in my mortar/pestle and it wouldn't have been enough for the coffee grinder. After a good blend or two with the stick blender, especially at the end, they completely disappeared.

I really recommend using Vietnamese cinnamon instead of regular. It's a lot stronger. Spice Barn carries it for about $8/lb. As for the amount, I added 1 1/2 t, but not until it was already done cooking. If I'd added it at the beginning, probably 1 t would have been enough. If you can't get Vietnamese, I'd use probably 2 t. Either way, I'd made about 3 batches without cinnamon, and added it to the end of the 3rd batch (which was when I'd first thought of using it), and that one was definitely the best.

Goes great on toast. Goes better on toast with peanut butter. Goes even *better* on toast with goat cheese. Or try stirring it into your plain, organic, r-BGH-free, made-organnically-from-scratch-by-your-Greek-neighbor's-organic-109-yr-old-grandmother-from-her-organic-grass-fed-cows Greek yogurt.  OR just shovel it into your pie-hole with a large wooden spoon. Point is, it's GOOD. And though I haven't yet tried it out on grilled meats, it really tastes like it'd go well as a bbq sauce on chicken or pork.

 photo blueberry-espresso_zps70aa96a0.jpg
This is what REALLY EFFING GOOD looks like