My Favourite Condiments

food photographer sydney & melbourne

Photography by Sydney food photographer Omid

Recipe and styling by Sydney Food stylist Jane Collins 

Growing up in  our household we had  plain dinners and I always wondered where the sauces whereon my dinner plate ?  We had simple meals and I often missed the deliciousness of mopping up a sauce at the end of a meal with a thick sliced of crusty bread. As I developed a love of cooking and eventually moved into training as a chef , I found that the sauces were the most important part of the meal for me. I was once told by my head chef that the Protein  was just the carrier for the sauce. I loved that and I still believe that to this day. Even something as simple as having mayonnaise on a sandwich with a hint of chilli jam will do the trick.  Here are a few that have stuck with me both for flavour and ease of cooking.

These are my three go to condiments, they go with almost everything and anything.

Tomato concasse ( front right )

1 kg  tomatoes (really ripe ones in season are the best for this sauce)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 sprigs thyme

1 Heat a small saucepan to medium high heat and add  1 tablespoon of the olive oil, cook onions for 2 minutes, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, red wine vinegar and remaining olive oil and thyme leaves. Simmer on low heat for 10-12 minutes till reduced. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Chilli jam ( back left and right )

Makes approx – 1 litre
Prep time – 10 minutes
cooking time – 1 hour 20 minutes

4 large red capsicums, seeds and membrane removed
1 brown onion, roughly chopped
2 small red chillies
½ cup white vinegar
¼ cup malt vinegar
1 ¾ cups white sugar
2 tsp sea salt

1 Place red capsicums, onion and chillies in the bowl of a food processor, process in short bursts till smooth.
2 Place into a medium saucepan over medium high heat with 1 cup water, and both vinegars.
3 Cook for 15-20 minutes, add sugar, sea salt and reduce heat and simmer for an hour, till sauce is thick and syrupy.

 sizzle tip– great on chicken , fish and even on a ham sandwich

Peach apple and maple chutney  ( front left )

Prep time 15 minutes
Cooking time – 25 minutes
Makes about 2 cups

400g red apples approx 2, chopped
1/4cup low gi cane sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1star anise
1 stick rosemary
500g fresh peaches, chopped
1 lime, juiced

1 Place apples, sugar, maple, star anise and rosemary with  1/4 cup water  into a medium saucepan over medium heat simmer for 10-15 minutes till soft .
2 Add peaches reduce heat to low and simmer for another 10 minutes. Cool completely, add lime juice. Cool completely before spooning into sterilised jars.

 sizzle tip-  serve with roast pork, or chicken.