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June 2000 Issue
Sauces for the Future
by Ronda L. Halpin
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Simple White Sauce

This easy white sauce can become the base of so many favorites. Add some freshly grated parmesan cheese and you'll get a simple alfredo sauce. Toss with fresh veggies and pasta and ... presto! You've got primavera!
  • 4 T. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 4 c. skim milk
  • 4 T. butter or margarine
In a medium saucepan, combine the cornstarch, salt and pepper; using a wire whisk, stir in the milk until smooth. Add the butter or margarine. Stirring constantly with rubber spatula, bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and boil 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
  • Yields: about 4 cups sauce
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes


Mushroom Sauce

A mix of rich mushroom extract and sweet maple syrup makes for a wonderful mushroom sauce that's great with steak or even on burgers.
  • 1/2 c. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 1/2 c. water
  • 1/3 c. minced onions
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 tsp. parsley
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 2 T. water
Place the mushrooms in 2 1/2 cups water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and rinse. Chop them finely and reserve them for the sauce. Strain the mushroom extract.

Combine the onions, 1/2 cup water, salt, syrup, pepper and parsley in a saucepan. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the mushroom extract and chopped mushrooms and bring to a boil. Mix the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water. Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan and cook and stir until thickened. Taste for seasoning.

  • Yields: 3 cups sauce
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes


Olive and Mushroom Tomato Sauce

There's nothing quite like a fresh tomato sauce. What makes this one special is the addition of plump portabella mushrooms and ripe black olives.
  • 6 lb. ripe, sweet tomatoes
  • 3 T. virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion; thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb. chopped portabella mushrooms
  • 1 c. sliced black olives
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped basil leaves
Wash the tomatoes well; then cut them into sixths or, if they are large, into eighths. Warm the olive oil in a large, flat stainless-steel or non-stick pan; add the tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, olives, salt to taste and basil. Cook over gentle heat until the skins are wrinkled and have cooked away from the flesh, about 30 minutes. Pass them through a food mill. Check the consistency; if you wish a thicker sauce, return it to the pan and cook over medium-low heat until it is the thickness you prefer. Add salt to taste and freeze.
  • Yields: 1 quart sauce
  • Preparation Time: 45-60 minutes

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