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Aji Sauce

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Kellery
To: phaedrus
Sent: Saturday, June 12, 2004 6:20 PM
Subject: aji sauce

> I am trying to locate a recipe for the aji sauce that is served in the
> Burger King and McDonalds restaurants in Lima, Peru. The only recipes I
> can find are for a mild bland version that doesn't even come close.
>  Thank you,
>  Kelley

Hello Kelley,

Well, I can't find anything about the aji sauce that's served at McDonald's or Burger King in Lima, but the below Peruvian aji sauce recipe doesn't look like it would be mild and bland....


Miguel's Peruvian Aji Sauce
Yield: 1 Cup


    1/2 c  olive oil
      4    or more fresh aji chiles; -seeds and stems removed,
      2 cl garlic; minced
    1/4 ts salt
    1/4 ts freshly ground black pepper
      1 tb fresh lime juice


: Heat the oil in a small skillet, and when it's hot, add the
chiles and the garlic, lower the heat, and stir constantly to avoid
burning the garlic. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Simmer
for ten minutes and then serve over rice or pasta.

_Hot & Spicy Latin Dishes_ from Chile Pepper Magazine


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Sunday, June 13, 2004 8:26 AM
Subject: help

My name is Michael 
I wanted to try a rack of lamb recipe that calls for a "Rosemary infused
demi glaze". Is this something that I have to prepare separate, or just a
glaze that's store bought that I can't seem to find?  Thank You

Hello Michael,

"Demi-glace" or "demi glaze" is a classic sauce made by combining "brown sauce" and "espagnole sauce" and then reducing them to make a highly concentrated, meaty sauce. "Espagnole sauce" is itself made from "brown sauce". "Brown sauce" is made by roasting beef, veal, or lamb bones for hours and then simmering them for hours to make a rich broth. The first recipe below is for a classic "demi-glace."

There are short-cut recipes, if you can call them that. See the second two recipes below.

The easiest way is to buy a pre-made demi-glace product such as "Demi-Glace Gold". You can buy this in gourmet shops or online. See:

Gateway Gourmet


See here for rosemary demi-glace sauces: Food Network and here: Sparkpeople


1 gallon Espagnole sauce, hot
1 gallon brown stock, hot
1 bouquet garni

In a stock pot, combine the Espagnole sauce, brown stock and bouquet garni,
together, over medium-high heat. Bring up to a boil, reduce the heat to
medium and a simmer until the liquid reduces by half, about 1 1/2 hours.
Skim the liquid occasionally, for impurities. Season with salt and pepper.
Strain through a China Cap.

Espagnole Sauce
1 gallon brown stock, hot
1 1/2 cups brown roux
1/4 cup bacon fat
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 bouquet garni

In a stock pot, whisk the hot stock into the roux. In a large saute pan,
heat the bacon fat. Add the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Saute
until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir the tomato puree into the vegetables and
cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato/vegetable mixture to the stock/roux
mixture. Add the bouquet garni and continue to simmer, skimming as needed.
Season with salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce for about 45 minutes. Strain
the sauce through a China cap. Yield: 1 gallon

Basic Brown Stock
7 pounds beef marrow bones sawed into 2-inch pieces
8 ounces tomato paste
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups dry red wine
1 bouquet garni
Salt and pepper
8 quarts of water

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the bones in a roasting pan and
roast for 1 hour. Remove the bones from the oven and brush with the tomato
paste. In a mixing bowl, combine the onions, carrots, and celery together.
Lay the vegetables over the bones and return to the oven. Roast for 30
minutes. Remove from the oven and drain off any fat. Place the roasting pan
over the stove and deglaze the pan with the red wine, using a wooden spoon,
scraping the bottom of the pan for browned particles. Put everything into a
large stockpot. Add the bouquet garni and season with salt. Add the water.
Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the stock for 4
hours, skimming regularly. Remove from the heat and strain through a China
cap. Yield: about 1 gallon

 Recipe By     :
 Serving Size  : 2    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Basics                           Masterchefs
                 Norleans                         Pal

   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    5       lb           Bones, beef
    5       lb           Bones, chicken
      1/2   bn           Celery
    1       lg           Carrot
    2       md           Onions
    1       lg           Bay leaf
    4       ea           Garlic cloves
    1       pn           Thyme
    1       c            Puree, tomato

   Brown the beef bones in a large roasting pan in
   the oven at 375 F until the bones are browned

   Cover with water and bring the mixture to a boil.
   Keep covered with water for 8 to 10 hours, simmering
   over medium to low heat.

   Strain, reserving liquid.

   Put beef bones in a pot with the chicken bones,
   vegetables and seasonings.  Cover with water and cook
   4 to 5 hours.  Skim off any fat during the simmering.
   Strain.  Reserve liquid.

   Combine the second liquid with the first.  Add
   tomato puree. Strain.  Reduce, simmering, until liquid
   will coat a spoon.  Skim throughout the reduction.

   Note: Reduction works best in a tall pot on low heat.

   Refrigerate between steps to bring fat to the top and strain.

   Leftover demi-glace may be frozen in ice cube trays for future use.
Demi-Glace/Demi-Glaze Recipe

From Saveur Cooks Authentic American (Canada, UK), by the editors of Saveur


1/4 lb. finely chopped bacon
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
10 sprigs parsley
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
2-1/2 quarts (10 cups) beef stock


Render fat from bacon in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, about 15
minutes. Add onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5
minutes. Sprinkle vegetables with flour and continue cooking, stirring
occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add tomato paste, parsley, bay leaves, thyme,
and 2 quarts (8 cups) beef stock. Simmer, skimming occasionally, over medium
heat until sauce has reduced by three-quarters, about 3 hours. Strain sauce,
discard solids and return to pan. Add remaining 2 cups beef stock and simmer
over medium heat until sauce has reduced by half, about 2-1/2 hours, then
strain. (Demi-glace can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container
for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 6 months.)

Yield: Makes 2 cups

Kashk Bademjan

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "phyllis" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 11:31 PM
Subject: recipe for kashk bademjan

> hi phaedrus,
> i'm in trouble.  my dinner club, which choses a
> different country each month, has decided to do a
> persian feast.  one of the suggestions was made
> by a gentleman who is persian, for a dish called
> kashk bademjan.  i found one recipe for this
> dish, but it didn't have garlic in it, much to
> the chagrin of my friend.  he insists that it
> MUST contain this essential ingredient.  HELP.
> thanks.  phyllis

Hello Phyllis,

I only found one recipe, but it does have lots of garlic.


Kashk-E Bademjan (Eggplant With Yogurt Appetizer)
By Bandar Fine Persian Cuisine

3 medium eggplants
2 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 Tbl. dried mint flakes
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbl. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt

Cooking Instructions:
1. Peel eggplants and cut into 4-6 slices each.
2. Brown the eggplant in a non-stick pan with 1 Tbl. olive oil. Remove from pan.
3. Brown the onions and garlic in 1 Tbl. oil. Add the turmeric, mint, salt and pepper.
4. Place the sliced eggplant on plates.
5. Top with yogurt and the onion/garlic/mint mixture.

Nutrition Information per Serving:
215 calories (Good Choice)
8 grams fat (Good Choice)
1 mg. cholesterol (Excellent Choice)
340 mg. sodium (Moderate)
7 grams protein, 34 grams carbohydrate, 10 grams fiber

A or An

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "kathy"
To: phaedrus
Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 10:33 PM
Subject: a and an

Hey there Unc,

I love your website There are just all sorts of interesting tidbits. I have
a grammar question for you. I understand why we use the articles "a" and
"an". But why is it a history book, or a history class but it's an
historical day or an historical meeting? My English teacher friends think
I'm nuts for even asking.

Thanks a bunch,


ps. Are you a real person?

Hi Kathy,

Well, to set the record perfectly straight, first let's clear up a common misconception:

"An historical", while it is allowed, is not the preferred usage. Anytime a word begins with "h", and the "h" is pronounced, the "a" should be used. Merriam-Webster notwithstanding, "a historical" is preferred over "an historical". See:

"A and An before a word beginning with "h": "An historical book" is not idiomatic in American English. Before a pronounced h, the indefinite article should be a. A hotel; a historical. Therefore, precede a word beginning with a "breathy" h with an a."

Word Files
"One of the most common mistakes, both written and oral, is the use of "an" before "historical" or "historic". When the word following the article begins with a consonant sound, the article used is a; when it begins with a vowel sound, the article used is an."

As to why "an historical" and the like ever came to be used to begin with, I will defer to the British (after all, they started the language...), who say:

"A/An: the indefinite article
Which form of the indefinite article should be used before a word beginning with an 'h'? If the h is silent, of course, then an must be used: an honest man, an hour or two. (Honour and heir are other words with a silent h.) If the h is pronounced, and the first syllable is stressed, then only a is possible: a history of Wales is right, while an history of Wales is never acceptable.

The problems arise when the first syllable is unstressed: should we write a historical event or an historical event? The second derives from the days when many people pronounced these words with no h: that is, they actually said an "'istorical event", and so that is they wrote it with an "an" because that's how they said it.. (Like "'enry 'iggins")

Today though, almost everyone now pronounces an h in such words, and you are firmly advised to prefer a historical event: the other now looks strange or worse to most readers. The same goes for a hotel, which is better than an hotel.

Otherwise, the choice between a and an depends entirely on the pronunciation of the following item, not on its spelling. Write "a union", because union is pronounced with an initial consonant sound (just like a Yule log), but write "an MP", because MP is pronounced with an initial vowel sound (just like an empty box)."

Hope this helps.



Yes, I am a living, breathing human person.

Vincent Price Cookbook

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Paul" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 1:21 PM
Subject: New Orleans shrimp recipe

Dear Phaedrus,

Many years ago friends in Maine served a dinner they said came from New
Orleans. The two main things I remember were shrimp with an incredible
sauce and a dessert concoction with meringues and strawberries. They may
have found one or both in a cookbook written by Vincent Price, if that
unlikely story can be true. Thanks, Paul

Hello Paul,

Well, I can't provide those recipes for you. I didn't find them on the Internet, at least not associated with Vincent Price. New Orleans is famous for seafood, and there are dozens of recipes for shrimp with great sauces and for strawberries and meringue.

Those recipes may very well be in a cookbook by Vincent Price. He and his wife Mary were gourmet cooks and they wrote several cookbooks. The best known is probably "A Treasury of Great Recipes" by Mary and Vincent Price.


Vincent Price 1

Vincent Price 2

Vincent Price 3



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