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I’m going to be posting two separate articles, today, which may strike you all as strange; and more so because you’ll probably think they could have been written as one… BUT, there is method in my madness!
This is the start of a series, designed to make your cooking life that little bit easier, without compromising too much on the quality of the finished article. Now, before I go any further, I’m not suggesting the meals I’ll present are going to be every bit as good as ones slaved over for hours, creating reductions and de-glazing pans to extract every once of flavour. They will not make redundant those meticulously followed recipes, from Michelin-starred chefs, lovingly crafted.
However, these are for those who don’t have the time, or inclination, to construct those minor miracles, every day of the week. They’re for those who need to get out something resembling a classic dish, without actually having to hone the details of it. Let, “That’s close enough”, be our mantra, for the purposes of these mid-week treats.
Of course, another point to this series is that we can produce food in which we control the ingredients. Some might argue that buying some ‘cook-in-sauce’ or getting a takeaway, might be even more convenient. If that’s acceptable, then maybe these are not for you; though I can knock up an Indian-style chicken curry, as quick as you’ll get one delivered. These are for people who not only want great taste, but also want to know what they’re eating - how much sugar, how much salt, how many preservatives. There will be compromises, but at least you’ll know what they are.
All that said, we don’t want the guests (or family) to be aware of our cheating ways, as that will entirely miss the point. They must be left with visions of dedicated kitchen slaving, or this exercise is futile!
For today, I’ll post my ‘Universal Tomato Sauce’. As I said, this could easily be written as one post; but, since it’ll be used for numerous dishes, I wanted to have it separate so I can link back, as required. In that way, future recipes will not become confusing, with superfluous repetition, if one of them includes an instruction to, “add ‘Universal Tomato Sauce’ now”, with a link back to the recipe.
Hope that’s clear… and intriguing? Also, you’ll notice the names of these dishes are only roughly like the intended classics. That’s because the dishes are, too! Just bear in mind, these ‘recipes’ are certainly not cast in stone. They’ll work, but each person should tinker, to suit their own tastes; they simply give a decent framework. I’m sure you’ll get the idea!