The Weekend Series: recreate your favourites with these DIY food projects
Sure, you can whip up a mean spaghetti bolognaise and don’t burn down the house when cooking Sunday roast. In the words of Her Royal Highness Shania Twain, ‘that don’t impress me much’. We love getting DIY in the kitchen, getting outside our comfort zone and making popular substances from scratch. Ever tried your hand at making jam? What about cheese? Don’t panic – making these items is not outside your skillset, all you need is a good recipe. We’ve found five that will give you enough guidance to take your cooking game up a notch.
For the uninitiated, labneh is a soft, spreadable cheese that traces its origins back to Middle Eastern cuisine. These days, labneh is a key element for a lot of mezze spreads as a dip, sitting side by side with hummus as it is slathered over pita or vegetables. Making labneh at home isn’t an arduous process – you just need to be patient. All you need is some cheesecloth, yoghurt, salt and a bit of time on your hands. Simply wrap the salted yoghurt up into a bundle with the cloth, suspend over a bowl to collect drips, then refrigerate. After 12 hours pass, squeeze out the excess liquid and bam – you should have some silky labneh to spread on toast, add to a platter or devour with a spoon. There’s no judgement here!
Image: Highgate Hill Kitchen
Fans of Korean cuisine will be well acquainted with kimchi – the aromatic, spicy fermented vegetable is a staple of many Korean meals. While you can obtain large tubs of kimchi from Asian grocers, making it at home is a cinch and the process isn’t limited to stinky cabbage. Any vegetable can be turned into kimchi, simply ferment, pickle and dry and you’ve got the process down pat. This recipe for Sichuan pepper cabbage kimchi and sweet miso pumpkin kimchi requires a fermentation kit, which has everything you need to get started. Once complete, you’ll be on your way to becoming a pickling pro.
Image: Kellies Food To Glow
If you’ve ever found yourself staring at the bottom of an empty Nutella jar, wracked with guilt over having eaten the entirety in record time, this recipe is for you. Learning how to make homemade Nutella will not only allow you to avoid having to show your face in the spreads aisle for the fourth time in a week, but will let you summon the sweet substance at a whim. This recipe adds a bit of protein to the mixture, but the peeps at Foodie Fiasco also have a protein-free version that’s closer to the original. If you ask us, we love the thicker style of this recipe – it might help us with our portion control. (Who are we kidding?)
Image: Foodie Fiasco
Forgive us for leading with the Americanised name for tomato sauce, but we didn’t want to get this entry mixed up with your traditional tomato-based pasta sauce. Ketchup is the preeminent condiment – one so vehemently beloved that most people would say that there’s no rhyme or reason behind ditching the Heinz. If you ask us, there’s nothing wrong with making your own sauces, and there are few recipes that cant be elevated. The Vegan Corner has a dynamo recipe for homemade ketchup made from quality ingredients. Ditch the preservatives and dip your chips in something more natural.
Image: The Vegan Corner
We didn’t quite get the big deal when the school fete arrived and mum made it her mission to visit the jam stall, but now we’re older and wiser we see the appeal. Homemade jams are the bomb, and they’re simple to make. Bon Appétit has a handy guide on how to make jam at home, and they’ve also been kind enough to provide a few recipes to begin with. What do you think of raspberry-rose jam? If it’s not your thing, you can try for some apricot-Riesling jam instead.
Image: Bon Appétit
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