Let's Get Saucy!

Nothing brings together a meal like a great sauce. I'll spare you all the details and say short of putting it on your shoe and enjoying, you've got to try these sauces. Let's get into it!

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Leaving out sun-dried tomatoes leaves you with a delicious pesto, which isn't so bad. But adding the sun-dried tomatoes gives the pesto a rustic taste that livens up any pasta, sandwich, salad, veggies or meat. Let's talk sun-dried tomatoes real quick. They come packed with oil or just in a package dried out. I prefer the ones packed in oil. I think they tend to have a deeper flavor, and the oil is nice to use in cooking. They also have more moisture which I think makes them easier to use. The ones without oil are fine and can be used in this recipe. This is just a matter of preference

8 sun-dried tomatoes

20 basil leaves

2 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup of pine nuts, roasted

1/4 cup parmesan (finely grated)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup of cream (optional for richness)

In a food processor add sun-dried tomatoes, basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and parmesan. Mix together and slowly add in oil olive (and cream) until it becomes a thin paste. Use on pasta or as a spread for sandwiches. When using on pasta, make sure pasta is hot, and cook pasta and sauce for about 3 mins on stove. Pesto can be refrigerated for about a week.

Cauliflower cream sauce 

16 ounces cauliflower

1/2 cup of cream (or soymilk) 

2 tablespoons butter  

Salt and Pepper to taste

Place cauliflower roughly chopped in food processor or blender to get small crumbles. Place crumbles in the microwave for 4 minutes. Allow to cool for 2 minutes place in blender along with cream and butter. Blend until smooth. Pour sauce into a pan and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy on your favorite pasta with little guilt!

Thai Peanut Sauce

1 can coconut milk

2 tablespoons red curry paste (adjust for personal spice level)

1 cup of natural peanut butter, unsweetened 

1/2 cup of sugar

2 tablespoons vinegar (apple cider, rice, or white)

1/2 cup of water

1/2 tablespoon sesame oil

Mix all the ingredients in a pan over low heat for about 5 minutes until peanut butter is melted. Make sure peanut butter is complete melted. Transfer to airtight container for storage and use on EVERYTHING! This makes quite bit of dressing, it can last a month or so in the refrigerator. Also heating deepens flavor, but it is not necessary if you are short on time.

Taramind Cashew Sauce

1/4 cup cashews

2/3 fresh cilantro

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon fresh ginger 

2 green onions

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

4 teaspoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon tamarind pulp

1/2 cup honey

Pinch of saffron, optional

1/2 cup of olive oil

In a food processor or blender, mix everything together. Place in airtight container. Sauce can last about a month in the refrigerator.

Sweet Chili Sauce

3 cloves garlic, minced or grated

1 cup of honey

1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes (adjust for spice preference)

1/4 cup of rice (wine) vinegar

3/4 cup of water

2 tablespoons cornstarch + 1/4 cup of water

In a small pot over low heat add garlic, honey, vinegar and water. Start with 1/2 tablespoon of red pepper flakes and gradually increase for desired spice level, up to 1 tablespoon. Heat should be subtle, if you add too much spice, adjust using vinegar (one tablespoon at a time). Increase heat to medium and bring ingredients to a gentle boil. Mix water and cornstarch and add to boiling mixture. Lower heat and stir continuously as mixture thickens. Remove from heat, allow to cool. Place in airtight container for future use or enjoy immediately. Sauce should last about 2 months in airtight container.

Tomatillo Salsa

4 tomatillos, peeled

1/2 onion

3 cloves of garlic

1 jalapeno

1/4 cup cilantro

1/2 tablespoon oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 lime, juiced (1 tablespoon)

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Salt to taste

Peel and rinse tomatillos. On a baking sheet place tomatillos, onion, garlic, and jalapeño oiled (1/2 tablespoon) and salted (1/4 teaspoon salt). Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Allow ingredients to cool before handling. In a food processor or blender add roasted ingredients, cilantro, lime juice and pepper. Blend or pulse until your get desired consistency. If you prefer some texture, blend less, pulse more. Taste before seasoning any further. Ingredients can also be dry roasted in a pan on top of stove over low heat for 20 to 30 mins. This works best with a cast iron skillet. Skins should get charred, but not burnt. Use on meats, rice, salads and chips, of course.

 

All of these sauces can be adapted to fit your taste buds. So go crazy!