Dressing and Sauces

All posts in the Dressing and Sauces category

Goddess Salad Dressing

Published November 23, 2012 by jenmatteson

Thanksgiving has come and gone and now we are all feeling a little bloated and guilty.  But, there’s great news!  We can move on from here.  Maybe you had an extra helping of stuffing, or mashed potatoes, or pie (or of all of them), but we can’t turn back time.  What we can do is look to the future and make better choices.  If you’re like me, you might be in the mood for a salad after all that heavy (delicious) food.  I have a great homemade dressing for you!

I recently found out that a friend of mine from one of my networking groups, Ashley, is a food blogger as well.  Not only is she a food blogger, but she’s a food and fitness blogger.  Two of my favorite things!

I was checking out all the cool stuff she has on her site, and came across an interesting post about what to do with tahini.  As most of us know, a great way to use it is by making hummus.  I make it all the time, so I almost always have it in my fridge (except for the last time when I was out, but didn’t know it, and poor Nate had to run to the store – he had no idea what he was even looking for.  What a sweetheart!).  Anyway, one of the recipes really caught my eye and I made up a batch right away.  Goddess dressing, because there is a goddess in all of us, right?

The only adjustment I made was using cilantro instead of parsley.  I almost never have parsley and always have cilantro.  The dressing was fabulous!  I served it over a salad of hearts of romaine, white beans, onions, yellow bell peppers and avocado (wonderful lunch salad).  For you cheese eaters, I’m thinking feta would be a great addition.  The vinegar balances out the heaviness of the tahini, but it still retains its nutty flavor.  Can’t wait to try more of these tahini recipes!

Goddess Dressing

Source: Adapted from Sore Legs and Scrambled Eggs
Servings: Makes about 1 1/2 cup dressing

Ingredients:

1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cilantro
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:

1. In a food processor, add all ingredients except for olive oil.  Puree until smooth.  While processing, stream in olive oil until mixture reaches desired consistency.

Mango-Habanero Hot Sauce

Published October 25, 2012 by jenmatteson

I’m generally leery of hot sauces that are also sweet, as I think they are generally overly sweet, and not spicy enough.  I decided to make a mango-habanero sauce, something pretty outside of my box.  I figured the habanero peppers were quite spicy, and of course the mango would cool it down a bit.

This hot sauce is not for the anyone remotely sensitive to heat.  Habanero peppers are 50x+ more hot than jalapeno peppers.  I opted to buy fresh peppers this time (opposed to dried as I used for my garlic hot sauce and red-hot chipotle sauce).  I used 8 habanero peppers, one mango, and one yellow onion.  My mango was a little under-ripe, so I was wishing I had one more, but it turned out just fine in the end.

The hot sauce turned out great!  It was a little thicker than my two previous hot sauces, but the flavor was fantastic.  Probably a little to spicy for most people, I think it was just on the brink for Nate, but I thought it was perfect.  Of course, you can always tone down the heat by using less habaneros and/or another mango.  I made mango-habanero chicken sandwiches, which were awesome, and also used it in Hawaiian chicken sandwiches.  I absolutely love this hot sauce!

Mango-Habanero Hot Sauce

Source: Pigzilla Original
Servings: Makes 3 cups

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 mango, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
6-8 habanero peppers, stems removed, seeded, and chopped
1 cup distilled vinegar
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

1. In a large sauce pan, heat olive and sesame oil over medium heat.  Add mango, onion and peppers.  Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Transfer to food processor and puree.  Add vinegar and salt and pulse to combine.

2. Return puree to sauce pan, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  **Meanwhile, sanitize everything that will come in contact with the hot sauce after boiling (funnel, jar/bottle, tops, spatula, etc.)**  Allow sauce to cool slightly.

3. Transfer sauce to jar or bottle.  Refrigerate and let sauce age for at least one week before using.

Enchilada Sauce

Published September 10, 2012 by jenmatteson

I never thought this would be something I’d be making from scratch, but I had some beef I wanted to use up in the freezer, as well as a bunch of tortillas, so I thought enchiladas would be a great.  I used Nicole, from Prevention RD’s, recipe, and before I knew it, I was actually making an enchilada sauce from scratch (I have trouble reading entire recipes through before starting – don’t do this!).  Pretty neat.  Not only that, but I made the tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes.  The enchilada sauce is a little time-consuming (partially because I had to first make the tomato sauce), but totally worth it!  I like things hot, so I used 4 jalapenos.  Adjust to your own taste.

Enchilada Sauce

Source: Adapted from Prevention RD
Servings: Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

olive oil
1 medium onion
3-4 jalapenos, seeded and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
3 tsp sugar
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat.  Saute onions and peppers until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar.  Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in tomato sauce, water and chopped tomato.  Simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.*  Cover and continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

2.  Strain the sauce through a mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible.  Transfer vegetables to a medium bowl and set aside or discard.**  Salt and pepper enchilada sauce to taste.  Use immediately, store in an airtight container for up to one week or freeze for up to 6 months.

*If using chicken for your enchiladas, add uncooked breasts to the sauce here.  Simmer for 12-20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through, then remove from sauce and shred.  Continue to step 2.

**Add vegetables back to meat mixture before filling tortillas.

Simple Tomato Sauce

Published September 10, 2012 by jenmatteson

I love tomatoes.  I remember as a child, my mother introduced me to eating whole tomatoes with a little bit of sugar sprinkled on.  What an awesome treat, and not too unhealthy, depending on how much sugar I actually used.  I haven’t had a tomato that way in years, but recently it’s been on my mind with the bushels of tomatoes I’ve been receiving from my dad; he has two different kinds in his garden.  However, my dad doesn’t eat tomatoes, and my mom has been out-of-town for the last month.  So, in turn, Nate and I get deliveries of tomatoes every week.  More tomatoes than we could possibly eat casually.  Seriously, this is one week’s worth:

I had to take action before these beauties went to waste, so I decided to make enchiladasHow, you may ask, will this help me use up all of my tomatoes?  Well, I needed a tomato sauce to make a homemade enchilada sauce, and I’ve never made a tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes, only canned.  I figured there’s no time like the present to give it a whirl.  I didn’t follow any particular recipe, but based it off of my marinara sauce, without the canned tomatoes and wine.

It turned out great and was a perfect base for my enchilada sauce.  The tomato sauce was very simple and relatively quick.  Adjust seasonings as desired.  I’d love to try this on some pasta or spaghetti squash this fall!  It’s easily adaptable to add veggies and proteins.

Simple Tomato Sauce

Source: Pigzilla Original
Servings: Yields 2 cups

Ingredients:

6 large tomatoes
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tbsp dried rosemary
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Roughly chop tomatoes and puree in food processor.

2. In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add tomato puree, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, rosemary, sugar, and water.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for 35-34 minutes, until sauce thickens.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Use immediately, store in airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 6 months.

Red Hot Chipotle Sauce

Published August 16, 2012 by jenmatteson

I made this at the same time as making my garlic hot sauce; they were both my first attempts at crossing off another 30 Before 30 item (only a little under a year left!).  Head over to the garlic hot sauce post if you’d like to read more details about getting started with hot sauces.

The garlic hot sauce sounded amazing, but I was much more excited for the red hot chipotle sauce.  I was really hoping this one would be extremely spicy, but also have some good flavor, and I was right.  The flavor was pretty smokey, but packed a serious punch.  I’m a happy girl!  Too bad the pictures aren’t more amazing – not really sure hot to photograph a seemingly boring bottle of hot sauce.

Red Hot Chipotle Sauce

Source: Midwest Supplies
Servings: Yields about 1/2 cup

Ingredients:

3/4 cup fresh tomatoes, pureed
1/2 cup distilled vinegar
2-4 whole dried Habanero chilies
4 whole dried chipotle chillies
8 whole dried de arbol chilies
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp Xanthan Gum

Directions:

1. Put on gloves and keep them on while handling the chilies (these are especially hot and you don’t want to be touching your mouth, nose, and especially eyes – contact wearers – after handling them).  Remove the stems from chilies and place in medium-sized bowl.  Pour boiling water over chilies to rehydrate.  Press down with a spoon to be sure all chilies are submerged, and let rest for 10 minutes.

2. In a food processor, puree tomatoes and chilies with the vinegar and salt.  Transfer to a small sauce pan and simmer sauce for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add Xanthan Gum and mix in until dissolved.

* If you are taking the pH level of your sauce, now is the time to do so.  Hot sauce ingredients are high in pH levels and can spoil easily without proper acidification.  It is important to cook the sauce at a proper temperature for a sufficient time so that undesired organisms will be destroyed.  Additionally, the pH should be adjusted to below 4.6, preferably below 4.2.  Typically, vinegar-based hot sauce has a pH in the range of 3.0-4.0.  To acidify hot sauce, add more vinegar, lime juice or other low pH substances.

* After your sauce has boiled, everything that comes in contact with it from here on out must be sanitized.  One-Step or Star San sanitizers are recommended to ensure a sanitary environment without the need to rinse.  If you do not have cleaner to sanitize your bottles, place empty bottles (without cap or dripper insert) in a pot, cover and fill the bottles with water.  Boil for 10 minutes.

3. For a milder sauce, immediately strain your sauce through a fine mesh strainer.  For a hotter sauce, leave the solids in the sauce for up to two weeks, then strain.  Bottle the sauce and let it age for at least one week in the fridge.  I let this one sit for a week before straining and bottling it.

Garlic Hot Sauce

Published August 16, 2012 by jenmatteson

There is nothing I love more than spicy food, and near the top of my 30 Before 30 list is homemade hot sauce.  Midwest Supplies, where we purchase most of our beer making ingredients, also sells ingredients to make your own hot sauce.  One of the first times we were in there, we saw a hot sauce making kit.  I assumed I needed this because I had no idea where to start when making my own hot sauce (uh, hello, internet??).  We didn’t purchase it that day since we were buying so many other beer brewing items, but the next three or four times we went, they were out of kits.  I couldn’t possibly pick out my own ingredients and wing it, could I?  So finally, the last time we were there picking up more bottles, the kit was there!  Nate said I could get one as part of my birthday gift, YES!

After reading through the ingredients and instructions, I realized I really didn’t need a “hot sauce making kit”.  Here is a list of what came in my kit:

  • 3 Hot Sauce Bottles
  • 3 Pair Black Nitrate Gloves
  • 1 oz whole dried Habanero chili peppers
  • 1 oz whole dried Morita chipotle chili peppers
  • 1 oz whole dried arbol chili peppers
  • 1 oz cayenne powder
  • 1 oz jalapeno powder
  • 1 oz aji amarillo powder
  • pH paper 2.8-4.4
Now I know for next time.  The only additional items I needed to get started was fresh tomatoes and Xanthan Gum.  I’ve never heard of Xanthan Gum previously, so I did a little research and learned that it’s generally used in gluten-free baking and sold at specialty grocery or health food stores.  This meant I couldn’t just pop over to Cub or Rainbow, I had to make a Whole Foods trip.  Boy, do I love Whole Foods!  Unfortunately, I can’t really justify doing all my shopping there; it’s not quite in the budget.  Plus, the closest one to me is about 25 minutes away.

The next day I was looking forward to making hot sauce after work all day long.  Nate would be at class, so I’d have the kitchen to myself, not that I don’t normally, but I just really like to cook in an empty house.  I got the Xanthan Gum and my fresh Bushel Boy tomatoes and I was ready to start making some hot sauce.  Nate and I both like heat, but I’m quite a bit more tolerable to it than he is.  I thought this was the perfect excuse to make two kinds of hot sauce.  One with lots and lots of heat, and another with a healthy combination of fire and flavor.  The first one I made was the later of the two, which was a Garlic Hot Sauce.  The recipe is from Midwest Supplies and came in the kit.  I think I’ll start with a few of these before I venture down the experimental hot sauce path.  I can’t wait for that!!  I also made a Red Hot Chipotle Sauce, but left that to sit with its solids in the fridge for a week before I strain it.  Then it’ll be nice and spicy!

Garlic Hot Sauce

Source: Midwest Supplies
Servings: Yields about 1/2 cup

Ingredients:

3/4 cup fresh tomatoes, pureed
1/2 cup distilled vinegar
4-6 fresh cloves of garlic
2-4 whole dried Habanero chilies
10 whole dried de arbol chilies
1/2 tsp Aji Amarillo powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp Xanthan Gum

Directions:

1. Put on gloves and keep them on while handling the chilies (these are especially hot and you don’t want to be touching your mouth, nose, and especially eyes – contact wearers – after handling them).  Remove the stems from chilies and place in medium-sized bowl.  Pour boiling water over chilies to rehydrate.  Press down with a spoon to be sure all chilies are submerged, and let rest for 10 minutes.

2. In a food processor, puree tomatoes and chilies with the vinegar, aji amarillo powder and garlic salt.  Transfer to a small sauce pan and simmer sauce for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add Xanthan Gum and mix in until dissolved.

* If you are taking the pH level of your sauce, now is the time to do so.  Hot sauce ingredients are high in pH levels and can spoil easily without proper acidification.  It is important to cook the sauce at a proper temperature for a sufficient time so that undesired organisms will be destroyed.  Additionally, the pH should be adjusted to below 4.6, preferably below 4.2.  Typically, vinegar-based hot sauce has a pH in the range of 3.0-4.0.  To acidify hot sauce, add more vinegar, lime juice or other low pH substances.

* After your sauce has boiled, everything that comes in contact with it from here on out must be sanitized.  One-Step or Star San sanitizers are recommended to ensure a sanitary environment without the need to rinse.  If you do not have cleaner to sanitize your bottles, place empty bottles (without cap or dripper insert) in a pot, cover and fill the bottles with water.  Boil for 10 minutes.

3. For a milder sauce, immediately strain your sauce through a fine mesh strainer.  For a hotter sauce, leave the solids in the sauce for up to two weeks, then strain.  Bottle the sauce and let it age for at least one week in the fridge.  I strained this one right away and bottled it.

Garlic Cream Sauce

Published June 28, 2012 by jenmatteson

This is a pretty basic sauce that I made for my buffalo chicken pizza, but you could certainly use it as sauce for pasta, fish, or chicken.  Let your imagination run wild!  I’ll get a picture the next time I make it.

Garlic Cream Sauce

Source: Pigzilla Original
Servings: Makes 1/2 cup

Ingredients:

4-6 cloves garlic (depending on how garlic-y you want it)
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp flour
1 cup milk, room temperature
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. In a small saucepan, melt butter and saute garlic over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Whisk in flour until a thick paste begins to form.  Slowly add milk, continuously whisking.  Increase heat to medium-high until milk begins to boil.  Reduce heat to simmer, whisking constantly, until sauce reaches desired thickness.  Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.

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