The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.


on June 24, 2012


            My intention was to devote one week of blogs to recipes but I let my mind wander out of the kitchen. Now I’m back on track. I’ve told you I like to do themed diners and the next one will be “Sauces and Dips.”  I wouldn’t dream of dipping a French fry in catsup but good sauces are an entirely different matter. They are the essence of gourmet cooking and once you get the hang of cooking sauces, there’s no limit to the possibilities. They are perfect for experimentation and the exercise of kitchen creativity.

Here is the menu and the sauces I will serve at my ‘saucy’ dinner provided I can find enough bowls and a fresh lime leaf. . Most of these can be refrigerated for several days or frozen and are handy to have available for spontaneous entertaining or snacking.


SWEET & SOUR SAUCE– with egg rolls

¼ C vinegar      ½ C pineapple juice

1/3 C brown sugar        1 t. salt

1 T cornstarch mixed with 1 T water

Combine all ingredients & bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Let stand about 5 minutes.


THAI DIPPING SAUCE – with egg rolls

Combine and bring to a boil

1 C sugar         ½ C each white vinegar & water

2 T minced garlic

1 T each salt, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce/paste

Reduce heat and add ½ of a lime leaf.  Simmer about 15 minutes & remove from heat

Add the other half of the lime leaf and 1 T sesame oil


GREEN HERB DIPPING SAUCE – with cut up vegetables

In food processor place ½ bunch Italian parsley, ½ bunch dill, ½ bunch watercress. Chop fine & transfer to bowl.

Process 1/2 C fresh spinach the same way & add to bowl

Combine herbs with 2 green onions, 2 C mayo and 1 C sour cream. Fold all together & add salt and pepper to taste


TZATZIKI – GREEK YOGURT & CUCUMBER SAUCE –   with cut up vegetables

Drain 3 C Greek yogurt

Dice 2 Cucumbers, seed , salt and let stand 30 minutes.

In food processor blend: cukes, juice of 1 lemon, garlic,

1 T chopped dill, pepper.  Fold into yogurt


TOMATO HORSERADISH SAUCE AND KEY LIME SALSA  – purchased from a gourmet food shop – with chips, Doritos, etc.



ASIAN VINAIGRETTE – with tossed salad of greens, toasted almonds, mandarin oranges, rice noodles

Combine: ¼ C soy sauce , 1/4 C lime juice

¼  t  . lime zest    1 T grated ginger

1 clove minced garlic

¼ C salad oil    ½ t. sugar         salt  & pepper to  taste



SAUCE LOUISIANA – with whole salmon  poached in dry white wine and lemon juice

Combine 1/3 C catsup, 1/2 C chili sauce, ½ t. Tabasco sauce or 1/8 t. cayenne pepper,

½ t. salt, 1 minced garlic clove,

2 T minced green pepper, ¼ C green onions & tops,

2 T.  horseradish

Dissolve 1 t. plain gelatin in 1 T cold water & let stand until thick, then dissolve over simmering water.

Pour melted gelatin into sauce, stir well and quickly. Refrigerate for about half an hour, stirring several times

Can make ahead & store, covered. Let stand at room temperature about 2 hours before serving.


ROASTED TOMATO SAUCE – with rigatoni pasta 

In 2 9×13” pans place 20 Roma tomatoes halves, cut side up. Sprinkle with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), salt and pepper, 1 C diced onion, 2 t. minced garlic, 1 T each chopped oregano & thyme leaves.  Bake for 2 hours.  Check after 1 hour and turn down heat if they seem to be cooking too quickly.  Increase temp to 400 & bake another 30 minutes.  Remove & process through a blender, discard skins.  Add 1 C white wine, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Makes 4 cups.


SPICY MINT SAUCE – with vermicelli pasta

1 ¼ C chopped fresh mint         ½ C grated pecorino cheese

½  C EVOO    1 lg. sereno chili, seeded, coarsely chopped

1 smashed clove garlic

Combine all in food processor until smooth



CHOCOLATE FUDGE SAUCE – with ice cream and strawberries

Melt 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate and 2 T butter very slowly.  Heat 2/3 C water to boiling.  When chocolate has melted, add water & stir well.

Add 1 ½ C sugar & 6 T corn syrup & mix until smooth. Turn heat up and stir mixture until it starts to boil.  Lower heat.  Allow to boil, without stirring for 9 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes.  Stir in 1 T rum.  Makes 2 ½ C.


CARAMEL SAUCE – with Bourbon Pound Cake – a family favorite

Mix 1 ½ C sugar and 1/3 C water in a heavy bottomed pan. Cover and heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase  heat and boil until sugar browns ( 5-7 minutes). Watch carefully as it will burn quickly.  Step back to avoid spattering and gradually add  1¼ to  1½ C heavy cream and ½ t. vanilla extract.  Simmer until smooth and thick  – about 2 minutes.  Makes 1 ¾ C.

Yes – send me the recipe for Bourbon Pound Cake.

My e-mail address follows and yours is:




Julie Rose


2 responses to “SAUCY

  1. sybaritica says:

    I like that sauce Louisiana!

  2. janet says:

    All these sauces sound great, Julie. What is the original temp for the roasted tomato sauce, which cooks for 2 hours?

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