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Cheese Sauce

Ají Amarillo Sauce

This spicy, versatile, yellow sauce goes beautifully with fries, roast chicken or vegetables. The main ingredient is the ají Amarillo chili, which is a staple in Peruvian cookery. You can get ají Amarillo paste in a jar in Latin food markets, or you could use fresh or frozen ones instead. Ají comes in red, green, orange, or yellow, depending on the other ingredients used, and tomatoes, cilantro, onions and, of course the ají pepper, are all common ingredients.

Food is traditionally mild in Central and South American countries like Ecuador and Colombia, so ají can be added to nearly anything you want to spice up, and it goes especially well with empanadas. Chile has ají chileno which is a local version of this sauce made with lemon juice. The preparation of ají sauce differs dramatically from place to place depending on what is locally available as well as the chef’s own palate and preferences. Ají has been around since the Incas, and they knew it as ‘uchu’.

Making this sauce is very simple and requires you to sauté the vegetables and then add them to the blender with the remaining ingredients. The sauce should then be pureed until it is creamy, then you can serve it at once, or keep it in the refrigerator. It seems to taste better after 24 hours in the refrigerator, and will keep in there for up to a week. If you cannot get queso fresco, feel free to substitute farmer’s cheese or feta, for a similar flavor. Huacatay is a Peruvian herb with a bold, aromatic flavor. It is also known as Peruvian black mint. The aroma is somewhere between basil, cilantro and mint. If you cannot get it, either omit it or use a couple small sprigs each of mint and cilantro instead. Continue reading

Rich and Creamy Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo sauce is rich, creamy and delicious, and pairs so well with pasta. This is one of the oldest, easiest ways to prepare pasta, stirring butter and parmesan cheese through it, and this sauce is found in Italy as well as in Italian restaurants all over the globe. Most modern recipes also include cream, and some might feature fresh parsley, since the flavor of that really adds to the dish.

Fettuccini is often the pasta of choice tossed with this sauce, although it might interest you to know ‘fettuccine alfredo’ is not what the Italians would call the dish. The Americanized version has cream while the original Italian version (which dates back to the 1400s) is simply butter with parmesan. The original name of it in Italy was ‘maccheroni romaneschi’ which translates to mean ‘macaroni the Roman way’. Found in Italian restaurants all over the United States, fettuccine Alfredo is also very easy to make yourself, especially if you familiarize yourself with the Alfredo sauce recipe.

We use butter, cream, garlic, and parmesan cheese to make it, as well as some fresh chopped parsley sometimes. There are plenty of variations on the classic recipe, such as mixing the cheese with flour as a thickener, swapping the parmesan for romano or asiago, or using another kind of pasta instead of fettuccine. Some people like to add shrimp or chicken to the dish, along with vegetables, to make it more colorful and filling. You can buy jars of readymade Alfredo sauce but of course these are nowhere near as good as the fresh, homemade version. All you need to make this Italian sauce are butter, cream, garlic, and parmesan, so why not make it for dinner tonight? Continue reading

Indulgent Gorgonzola Parmesan Sauce

This delicious sauce is perfect served over hot pasta. It takes a while to make, far longer than many of our other cheese sauce recipes, the reason being the main ingredient here is heavy cream, and you are going to be boiling it to thicken it up and concentrate the flavor. Allow an hour for making this sauce, since about 45 minutes will be spent boiling the cream before adding any of the other ingredients.

Gorgonzola cheese is a special ingredient. Even if you are not a fan of blue cheese, you might like the mild, creamy flavor of this one. There are 2 kinds of gorgonzola so make sure you have the right kind. It can be soft and buttery, labeled ‘dolce’, but that is the wrong one to use in this recipe. Instead you will need to firm, crumbly kind. This cheese has been produced in Milan, Italy, for hundreds of years. Metal rods are inserted and removed into the cheese while it is aging, and that is what causes the blue veins. It has been made this way since the eleventh century.

As well as the gorgonzola the recipe uses parmesan, just for another accent in the flavor. Parmesan is another Italian cheese, as you know, but one offering a very different flavor from the gorgonzola. It works well in this cheese sauce, offering a nice contrast in the flavor. Spinach is a good addition to the sauce, although it is optional, so if you do not want to use it you do not have to. Fresh or frozen spinach can be used, but if you are using the frozen kind, thaw it well and the squeeze it dry in a clean towel to get all the water out. It can be surprising how much water frozen spinach can cling on to. Continue reading

Lazy Weekend Cheese Dipping Sauce

What kind of snack do you fancy when it is the weekend, you are chilling at home and perhaps you have your favorite movie playing, or your favorite music? If the answer is comfort food, you are not alone, because that really does complete the scene! The next time you are relaxing at the weekend and you want to enjoy something homemade but keep things easy, the answer is to make this warm cheese dipping sauce. You probably have all the ingredients necessary because they are kitchen staples.

It takes 10 minutes to make and is much nicer than any kind of dipping sauce you would get in a jar or bottle. This one is worth bookmarking because you will want to make it again and again. Serve this with fries, chips, pretzels, baguette slices, raw vegetable crudités (if you are feeling healthy) or even over a baked potato. This warm dipping sauce is good with pretty much anything. The mustard offers added appeal, but may be omitted if you prefer. You can use nonfat, low fat or whole milk.

You can even swap some of the cheddar for another kind of cheese. Anything that melts will work. There is something special about the taste of cheddar that works particularly well in sauces though so you might wish to stay with that. This sauce is made in one pan – just a small saucepan is fine. You need to melt your butter then add the flour. These are the first 2 steps in many cheese sauce recipes actually. Add milk, cheese and a touch of mustard, then keep stirring and heating, and your reward will be a thick, rich cheese sauce which tastes gorgeous and makes the most wonderful dip for a lazy weekend day. Continue reading

Multipurpose Cheese Sauce

This is a very easy cheese sauce recipe and one worth knowing because it is so versatile. You only need 4 ingredients to make it – milk, flour, butter, and the cheese itself. Cheddar works nicely here but feel free to use whichever kind of cheese you want, depending on the dish you are using the sauce in. For example, half mozzarella and half cheddar would be nice for an Italian dish, or try a spicy Mexican blend if you are making Tex-Mex. The choice is yours of course.

One great way to serve this sauce is to ladle it over cooked salmon filets in their baking dish, then simply broil for 8 minutes or until the cheese sauce has begun to set and crisp up around the edges. That makes a fantastic dinner served with mashed potatoes and broccoli. If you prefer, serve the cheese sauce over cauliflower, to make cauliflower cheese, or have it with another type of vegetable. You can also toss it with cooked pasta or have it as a hot dip for crusty baguette slices.

Making this sauce is so simple. Grate your cheese unless it is pre-grated, then melt your butter in a skillet. The heat is best kept low since you do not need a lot of heat to melt butter or cook the sauce. Once the butter is liquid you can whisk in the flour, and you will be making a type of ‘roux’ here which simply means a butter and flour mixture. Pour the milk in slowly, whisking all the time, then add your cheese, and continue cooking the sauce over a low-medium heat. A very light simmer is fine but you do not even need to let it get that hot. As long as the cheese melts into the sauce, and you have a smooth result, your sauce should be great. Continue reading

Spanish Cabrales Sauce

This unusual and delicious sauce is made with Cabrales, a famous blue cheese which comes from the Asturias mountains. If your local store does not sell it, you can either order it online or use another blue cheese like gorgonzola or stilton. This sauce is rich and creamy, and the slightly salty flavor of the cheese contrasts with the smooth cream, tasty white wine, piquant shallots, and rich demi-glace, to make the most wonderful sauce.

Cabrales is made by rural dairy farmers in the north region of Spain in the artisan tradition. Although it can be made from unpasteurized cow’s milk, it is sometimes made with blended sheep’s and goat’s milk, perhaps along with some cow’s milk too. Adding either sheep’s milk or goat’s milk, or both, results in a spicier, richer taste in the finished cheese. Whichever milk is used to make the cheese, it has to come from herds raised in the Picos de Europa mountains for the finished cheese to be authentic Cabrales.

The strong, sometimes slightly acidic flavor of Cabrales used to be sold wrapped in sycamore maple leaves by modern regulations require it to be wrapped in aluminum foil instead. You can still get it in the maple leaf wrapping if you buy it locally. This lovely cheese is combined with cream, demi-glace, white wine, and shallots to make this wonderful sauce. Try it served over meat such as chicken, pork or rabbit, or over hot, salty roasted potatoes. You will find it very simple to prepare. The ingredients are cooked in a pan, the shallots first, then the cheese goes in near the end. Finally the sauce is pureed and sieved, and the it is ready to serve. If it is ready before the meat or potatoes, or whatever you are serving it with, just keep it warm in a covered pan. Continue reading

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Christine Szalay-Kudra


Hello, I'm Christine. Thanks for dropping by and welcome to Amazing Sauces. Food is a very important part of our family's lives, and I find a homemade sauce often finishes a dish perfectly. Whether you are making something with chicken, beef, pork, vegetables, an appetizer, or even a dessert recipe, a sauce is often the ideal finishing touch.


You will find many sauce recipes here, all conveniently in one place, from the classics like tomato sauce, béchamel sauce and cheese sauce, to gravies, marinades, and unusual ideas for sauces too like ginger-plum sauce or gorgonzola sauce.


Some sauces can be drizzled over the meal, while others are best served on the side. Some will work as a dip or sauce, while others are great for basting, marinating or adding a splash of color to a recipe. Try our creamy gravies with your breakfast, one of our international steak marinades for a sophisticated spin on dinner, or learn how to make a classic béarnaise or rich red wine sauce to complement your dish.


Thanks for visiting,


Christine

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