I do not know why March was chosen as National Sauce Month; however, after reading the definition of the word “saucy,” I have an idea. According to www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary, “saucy” means:
1. served with or having the consistency of sauce
2 a: impertinently bold and impudent
b: amusingly forward and flippant: irrepressible
Going with the second definition, March this year has definitely been saucy. The weather has been on a roller coaster ride; warm one day and freezing the next. When I drove to church this past Sunday, snow was swirling around my minivan, and then it wasn’t. This pattern repeated itself all the way to my destination – snow, then no snow. I attend the early service and then go to a Sunday School class. I noticed that in between the two, snow was coming down rapidly. By the time I was ready to leave, the sun was shining, the temperature was climbing quickly, and the snow was all melted. Those of us who are more than ready for spring would undoubtedly request a lot less sauce!
Somehow, I think the first definition of saucy fits March’s designation as National Sauce Month in a more fitting manner. A good sauce can transform a bland dish into something tasty. It can turn a food that is already delicious into one that is superb. Sauces can also disguise those “oops!” moments that seem to happen in the kitchen. Another purpose for them is to encourage children, and even adults, to try foods they wouldn’t otherwise put in their mouths. My husband never would eat broccoli until he tried it with cheese sauce.
For this week’s recipes, I looked up some sauce recipes I used several years ago. Pimiento Cheese Sauce is recommended for vegetables or open-faced sandwiches. It is terrific served over broccoli (but it wasn’t the one that enticed Bob, as I found it long afterward).
Honey Lemon Mustard Sauce makes an excellent accompaniment for chicken tenders, even though the recipe says to use it with vegetables. It would also do well as a basting sauce when grilling chicken.
Using Creole Sauce over pasta yields a dish that is well worth the effort it takes to make it. For those who don’t care for spicy hot food, the amount of hot sauce needs to be reduced, or even eliminated.
A go-to recipe if you are making fruit salad: Fruit Salad Sauce. It is excellent over a large variety of fruits that are either fresh or canned and may also be served over either pound or angel food cakes.
Zesty Lemon Sauce contains only four ingredients; however, it is scrumptious. We used it as a dip for gingersnap cookies instead of serving it over gingerbread as the recipe suggests.
Pimiento Cheese Sauce
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp (or medium) Cheddar cheese
1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained
1/2 teaspoon onion powder, optional
Melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
Add milk gradually, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in salt and remaining ingredients.
Honey-Lemon Mustard Sauce
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until thoroughly heated. Serve with vegetables. (May also use for other things!)
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 celery ribs, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning Blend (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups vegetable juice
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold water
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onion, bell pepper, and celery, and sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in minced garlic and next 3 ingredients, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and next 3 ingredients; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
Combine cornstarch and 3 tablespoons cold water, stirring until smooth. Stir into tomato mixture in skillet, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Pasta With Creole Sauce: Cook 1 (16-ounce) package linguine in a Dutch oven according to package directions; drain. Return to Dutch oven. Stir in 3 cups Creole Sauce, and cook 2 minutes over medium heat or until thoroughly heated.
Creole Seasoning Blend
1/2 cup seasoned salt
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon white pepper
1 tablespoon ground red pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients. Store seasoning mixture in an airtight container for up to 6 months. May be used as a rub for meat.
Fruit Salad Sauce
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
Beat pineapple juice, orange juice, and egg together well. Add flour, vinegar and sugar and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Cool before pouring over fruit (fresh or drained canned fruit).
Zesty Lemon Sauce
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (may use low-fat)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir in lemon rind and cook 2 minutes.
Whisk in condensed milk until smooth. Gradually add lemon juice, whisking constantly.
Remove from heat; serve over warm gingerbread. Store in refrigerator. Yield: about 1-3/4 cups.