Kitchen Focus

I'll admit it. I'm lazy. Not lazy in a take-out kind of way; rather, in a make-it-as-simple-as-possible kind of way. So when I can put together a quick sauce by tossing some ingredients into a jar, putting on a lid and shaking it vigorously -- I'm in heaven.

I thought I might not be alone, so I decided to share some of my favorite jar sauces with you this month. No, it's not the kind you get off your grocery shelf -- these sauces take full advantage of strongly flavored ingredients and make mealtime fast and tasty. Enjoy them and feel free to share your own as well!

Asian BBQ Sauce

Don't let the long list of ingredients scare you -- this sauce is easy to make and holds up well in the refrigerator for a few months.
  • 1/4 c. ginger-garlic paste (look for in the Asian and Indian section of groceries)
  • 3/4 c. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 c. soy sauce
  • 1/2 c. chili sauce (or ketchup for a milder sauce)
  • 2 T. dried parsley
  • 1/3 c. lime juice
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. hoisin sauce (look for in the Asian section of groceries)
  • 2 T. sesame oil
  • 1 T. crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)

Combine all of the ingredients in a resealable jar. Seal with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously until the ingredients are well mixed. Store the sauce in the refrigerator for up to three months. It’s great on ribs, chops and steaks.

  • Yields: 3 cups sauce
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Instant Stir-Fry Sauce

Adding a touch of cornstarch to this sauce and incorporating it by shaking will give you a slightly thickened sauce with no lumps.
  • 1/3 c. soy sauce
  • 1/3 c. orange juice
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1 T. cornstarch

Combine all of the ingredients in a resealable jar. Seal with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously until the ingredients are well mixed and no lumps remain.

Pour the mixture into a hot wok with stir-fry veggies and any other ingredients you like. Toss to heat and coat the stir-fry and serve immediately over hot cooked rice or with noodles.

  • Yields: 1 cup sauce
  • Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Creamy Pasta Sauce

If you want to make this sauce even creamier, add some of your favorite shredded or crumbled cheese when you add it to hot cooked pasta.
  • 1 (12 oz.) can fat free evaporated milk
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 c. dried tomato bits

Combine all of the ingredients in a resealable jar. Seal with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously until the ingredients are well mixed and no lumps remain.

Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently. When the mixture bubbles and thickens, remove it from the heat and toss with one pound of your favorite hot cooked pasta and enjoy.

  • Yields: 1 1/2 cups sauce
  • Preparation Time: 5 minutes

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