Chef Yolanda Banks

Epicurean, Culinary Instructor & Cookbook Author

Acquire a taste for Fresh Fabulous

Bringing seasonal, healthy, global cuisine to your kitchen.

Fresh is Fabulous

I make delicious food that happens to be healthy... moderation over deprivation!

Sauces, Condiments & Spices

Cilantro Pesto  
This pesto goes great with chicken, pork, and beef.

Ingredients

2 bunches cilantro stems and leaves, rinsed and dried
1/4 cup raw almonds
1 jalepeño pepper, seeded, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon roasted garlic paste
2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 lime, juiced
2-3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

Method

1.  Pulse all ingredients in a food processor.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Classic Chicken Veloute  
Veloute is one of the five mother sauces. It is basically a light gravy. It is typically used as a foundation for other secondary sauces.

Ingredients

6 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons clarified butter
2 tablespoons flour

Method

1. Heat chicken stock in a saucepan. In another saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; add flour. Whisk flour into butter for 2 minutes, until it’s completely blended and turns light brown. This is considered a blond roux.
2. Slowly add stock to roux, whisking to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low; cook, uncovered for 30 minutes. Sauce is done when it coats the back of a spoon. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

Notes
Some of the most common secondary sauces made with a Veloute base are: Sauce Vin Blanc, Sauce Supreme, Sauce Allemande and Sauce Poulette.

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Cranberry Orange Relish  
Cranberry sauce is extremely versatile. You can add dried cherries, diced apples or pears, nuts, onions, or even diced chilies to create an extra special version. If using any add-ins, add before bringing to a boil.

Ingredients

1 12-ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed, if fresh
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
1 knob fresh ginger
1 large navel orange, zested and juiced
(null) pinch kosher salt

Method

1.  Combine all ingredients in a medium heavy-duty stainless steel saucepan; bring to a boil.
2.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 10 minutes or until cranberries pop and sauce has thickened significantly.
3.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Discard cinnamon sticks and ginger before serving. Sauce can be made up to two weeks in advance.

Notes
If you like your sauce thinner, reduce less. I like mine really thick so I can substitute it for jam on my toast.

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Cranberry Sangria  
This Sangria can be served warm for a mulled version. Just add remaining ingredients to the cranberry mixture and heat until warm.

Ingredients

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup sugar, preferably Organic cane
1 cup water
4 whole cinnamon sticks
1 whole vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
1 bottle fruity red wine, preferably Beaujolais or Pinot Noir
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup frozen cranberries
2 whole oranges, sliced
cinnamon sticks

Method

1.  Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 5 minutes or until cranberries pop. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes to steep. Pour mixture through a mesh strainer into a bowl; using the back of a spoon press juice out. Discard solids, transfer to a pitcher and cool completely.
2.  Once cooled, add wine, brandy, Grand Marnier and orange juice; mix well. Add cranberries and orange slices; chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Serve over ice, and garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick.

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Dukkah Chicken Masala  
Dukka or Duqqa is an Egyptian condiment or spice mixture consisting of herbs, nuts, and spices. It is typically used as a dip for bread or vegetables. The word is derived from the Arabic language and translates “to pound”, since it is pounded together. The combination of ingredients varies from family to family.

Ingredients

Dukkah Spice Blend
2/3 cup sliced raw almonds, optional
1/3 cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
Yields: 1 cup
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
4 split bone-in chicken breast, skin removed, cut in half
1 medium onion, sliced

Method

1. Combine almonds through peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or coffee mill; blend until it finely ground.
2. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup spice mixture, (reserve remaining for another use), parsley, yogurt; mix well. Transfer to a large Ziploc bag; add chicken and seal. Massage chicken through the bag with yogurt mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day in advance.
3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange onions in a thin layer onto baking sheet to form a bed for the chicken. Place chicken on top; discard remaining marinade. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
4. While chicken sits, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roast chicken for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and juices run clear.

Notes

Classic Masala is usually made with garam masala, which is a basic blend of spices commonly found in Indian cuisine. Usually consisting of black and white peppercorns, cloves, cumin seeds, cardamom, star anise, and coriander seeds. You can substitute 2 Tablespoons of store bought garam masala for the dukkah blend.
Servings: 8

Source
Yolanda Banks


Homemade Steak Sauce  
Don’t add salt until after sauce has simmered. The sauce should be salty enough without the addition of salt because of the ketchup and worcestershire sauce.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 cup low sodium ketchup
1/2 cup worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

1. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat; add oil, onions and garlic. Saute until translucent; about 3-5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
2. Simmer sauce for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Notes

Sauce will keep, refrigerated for up to a month.

Source
Yolanda Banks


Jerk Rub – Spice  
Chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, and salmon work really well with this rub.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl; mix well.
2. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Source
Yolanda Banks


Madeira Sauce  
Madeira is a fortified Portuguese wine made in the Madeira islands. It is noted for it’s unique winemaking process that involves heating the wine, which results in a robust wine with a long self life. Feel free to substitute any wine for the Madeira.

Ingredients

1 cup veal demi-glace
1/4 cup Madeira wine
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

1. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Reduce to desired consistency before adding salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Remove rosemary sprigs before serving.

Notes

Veal demi-glace is rich veal stock that has been reduced by half. If you can’t find veal demi-glace substitute a good quality beef demi-glace or stock.

Source
Yolanda Banks


Oven Dried Tomatoes  
When tomato season is around, I like to find ways to preserve that wonderful, fresh tomato flavor.  Drying them is a nice alternative to sauce.  Use these in everything from pasta, to salad, to meatloaf.

Ingredients

4 cups whole cherry tomatoes, rinsed and dried
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method

1.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
2.  Place a sheet of parchment or foil over a large sheet pan.  Toss tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper.
3.  Cook tomatoes for about 2 hours or nearly all of the juice has been extracted.
4.  Let cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.  You can cover them with olive oil or leave them as is.  Dried-tomatoes will keep in the pantry for up to 3 months.  (They may lose their bright color.).

Source
Yolanda Banks


Parsley Pesto  
This is a delicious condiment to use as a spread or topping for meaty white fish, chicken or pork. You can use any kind of olive, or nut you’d like.

Ingredients

3 bunches flat-leaf parsley, rinsed and dried
1 serrano chile, seeded, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup pistachios
(null) kosher salt, to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Method

1.  Place parsley, serrano, garlic, pistachios, and salt in a blender or food processor; blend.  Add olive oil and blend until well combined.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.Source: Yolanda Banks

Source
Yolanda Banks


Picholine Tapenade – Condiments  
This is a delicious condiment to use as a spread or topping for meaty white fish, chicken or pork. You can use any kind of olive, or nut you’d like.

Ingredients

2 cups Picholine olives, pitted
4 cloves garlic
2 whole anchovies
1/2 tablespoon capers, rinsed and dried
2 tablespoons unsalted pistachios, shelled
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
2. Pulse until tapanade becomes a paste.
3. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
(Make sure to taste before adding salt, as it may be unnecessary.)

Source
Yolanda Banks


Raita  
Raita is a Pakistani and Indian yogurt condiment used to cut the heat of spicy foods.

Ingredients

2 cups Greek yogurt, preferably Fage
2 large English cucumbers, seeds removed and diced
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method

1.  Combine all ingredients in a small bowl; mix well to combine.  Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  Can be made 1 day ahead.  Keep refrigerated until ready to use.  Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Notes

I love Greek yogurt because it’s already strained so it’s very thick.  If you must use regular yogurt be sure to strain it overnight in a strainer lined with cheesecloth.  Do not use nonfat yogurt, it is way too watery for this dish.


Source

Yolanda Banks

Romesco Sauce  
Romesco is a sauce originating in Catalonia, Spain. It’s typically made with almonds, pine nuts, and/or hazelnuts, roasted garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, and nyora peppers (a smaller, sweeter variety of red bell pepper.)

Ingredients

2 medium red bell peppers
2 medium plum tomatoes
1/2 cup Marcona almonds, unsalted
2 ancho chiles, soaked in boiling water until soft,
1 tablespoon roasted garlic paste
1 slice whole wheat bread
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Method

1. Place tomatoes, and peppers onto a small baking sheet; place under the broiler and broil turning until tomatoes and peppers are charred. Remove from the oven; let cool. Once cooled, peel the skin from the peppers; remove stem and seeds.
2. Place almonds into food processor; blend until smooth. (This is nut butter.) Add all remaining ingredients, pulsing to reach desired consistency. If you want a smoother sauce, puree until smooth. Sauce is delicious both chunky and smooth. If sauce is too thick, thin it out with a little water.
3. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. The Romesco can be made up to 5 days in advance. Store, covered in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Notes

It is usually served with seafood, but it’s great with poultry, vegetables, and eggs.


Source

Yolanda Banks

 


Salsa Mexicana  
If you’d like a roasted salsa, roast the whole tomatoes, chiles, onion, and garlic in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes or until charred. Transfer roasted vegetables and remaining ingredients into a blender, pulse into a chunky salsa.

Ingredients

5 medium plum tomatoes, seeded, diced
2 serrano chiles, minced
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped, rinsed with cold water
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste

Method

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl; mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Salsa can be made up to 2 hours in advance; refrigerate until ready to use. Source: Yolanda Banks

Source
Yolanda Banks


Spiced Apple Butter  
Ingredients

12 cups apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups apple cider
2 sticks cinnamon
3 whole star anise
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method

1. Put all ingredients except vanilla in a large crock pot. Cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours or overnight. Uncover and cook until thick and most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally.
2. When the apple butter is done, turn off the crock pot and add the vanilla. While the butter cools slightly, place jars and lids in the dishwasher on rinse cycle to sterilize. Let dry completely in the dishwasher.
3. Fill warm jars with warm apple butter. Keeps for up to 6 months in the pantry, 1 year in the freezer.


Source

Yolanda Banks

Sun-dried Tomato Tapenade – Condiments  
Ingredients

1 tablespoon roasted garlic paste
1/4 cup capers, rinsed and dried
2 whole anchovies
1 cup sundried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained
1 cup Spanish olives, pitted
2 tablespoons olive oil, from sundried tomatoes
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

1. Place all ingredients into a food processor.
2. Pulse into a chunky paste.
3. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
(Make sure to taste before adding salt, as it may be unnecessary.).

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Tzatziki  
If you’d like a roasted salsa, roast the whole tomatoes, chiles, onion, and garlic in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes or until charred. Transfer roasted vegetables and remaining ingredients into a blender, pulse into a chunky salsa.

Ingredients

1 pint Greek yogurt, preferably Fage, not fat-free
1/2 cup English cucumber, diced, seeds removed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl; mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Allow sauce to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving to let the flavors meld.
2. Serve as a dip with vegetables or with lamb or any other protein you choose.
3. Tzatziki can be made up to 1 day in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Source
Yolanda Banks

Peach Tart Tatin
Salmon-Nicoise
Fig & Goat Cheese Crostini
Fish-Tacos

Chef Yolanda's Latest Creations

 

 
 
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