More Cheap Sauces

Time for the second installment of yummy sauces you can make for a fraction of the cost at the grocery or specialty deli shop. With ingredients already in your kitchen, or ones you should buy to make three or four different sauces, you can put the squeeze on the condiments without squeezing your wallet dry.

Roasted Chicken Sauce

Roasting chicken is an inexpensive meal which can taste like an inexpensive (cardboard) meal. If it is dry, it is worse than just flavorless. This sauce is a ten minute fix which will dress up any squab.

1/2 C apple cider
1/2 C chicken broth
1/4 C thinly sliced scallions/green onions/shallots
2 tsp butter (salted or unsalted)
2 thinly sliced apples (your choice)

Tastes like cardboard...

Sauté apples in butter over medium high heat until soft, about three minutes. Add apple cider and chicken broth. Cook until slightly reduced, about three minutes. Stir in scallions, and cook for one more minute. Ladle over chicken pieces or slices.

Shallots have a pungent flavor and are best paired with a sweet apple, like a Washington or red delicious. Green onions are sweeter and can be paired with tarter apples, like Granny Smith or Fuji. This sauce is a great solution for the leftover turkey blues.


Salmon Sauce

Salmon Steak

This sauce is reminiscent of the meatball sauce served at every holiday party, but with a different twist. Mix one part blueberry or raspberry jam to two parts sweet barbecue sauce. Spoon the sauce liberally over salmon steaks and broil. Chill sauce during cooking. Add more sauce when serving.

If salmon is not your favorite, try this sauce on other steak fish like marlin, tuna, shark or mahi mahi. This doubles as a good sauce for roasted or baked chicken or pork. Choose a sweeter barbecue sauce than you would for red meats. Try flavors like honey, molasses or classic, but stay away from hickory smoke or pepper sauce. To serve four salmon steaks, use 1/2 cup jam to one cup barbecue sauce.


Coconut Curry Sauce

Coconut curry is a great sauce for sautéed pork or chicken and is a surprisingly wonderful sauce for shrimp.

1/2 C chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
2 TBS curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 C coconut milk
1 1/2 TBS tomato paste

Sauté meat in a skillet on stove top and remove to a plate. Add onions, garlic and ginger to the drippings in the pan. Sauté until onions are tender, stirring occasionally to prevent browning. Stir in curry powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook for another minute. Stir in coconut milk and tomato paste. Continue stirring until the tomato paste is well combined with all other ingredients. Return meat to pan and simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

This sauce makes a good substitute of other curries more traditionally served on vegetables.


Ultra Quick Strawberry Sauce

Melt two tablespoons of strawberry preserves in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of brandy, cognac or vodka, a pinch of salt (a little less than 1/8 teaspoon) and one pint of strawberries. Cook until berries fall apart, stirring often to prevent sticking.

Serve warm over angel food cake, crépes, pancakes or waffles. Chill and serve over ice cream or sorbet. Excellent on sherbet.


Southwest Anything Sauce

This two-ingredient sauce is a powerhouse on beef, chicken, pork, fish, tofu, shrimp, even vegetables. Got five minutes? Change dinner.

1 3/4 C jarred salsa or picante sauce
1/3 C unsalted butter, cut into pats

Salsa from the jar...

Bring the salsa to a boil in a small sauce pan, over medium high heat. Boil until most of liquid is gone, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and browning of vegetables, about five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in pats of butter. Continue stirring until butter is melted, and sauce is smooth. Serve immediately.

This recipe easily doubles. Remove one half to a jar (The salsa jar is perfect.), refrigerate and reheat before serving. This sauce can top more complex foods, like burritos and tortilla casserole. Step nachos up a notch with this sauce. Spoon onto refried beans. Use as an appetizer with fresh tortilla chips.


If you missed the original installment, check out the post You can be saucy…for cheap.

Bon Appetit!

Thank you for reading M3’s 300th post!

(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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