Cheese Sauce for Broccoli or Cauliflower - ☺
This is a simple cheddar cheese sauce with a bit of kick due to the addition of an optional small amount of hot sauce. It is a nice addition to steamed broccoli and/or cauliflower.
I made the sauce and modified it with the addition of white wine and an extra 1/4 cup of grated cheddar cheese. The sauce is so simple to make and so easy to modify that you can use it as is or make your own changes.
2 tbsp. of butter
2 tbsp. of flour
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay wine
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 tsp. of white pepper
1/2 tsp. of Texas Pete's® Hot Sauce (optional)
1 1/4 cups of grated extra sharp white cheddar cheese
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Whisk the flour into the butter until smooth.
Pour the milk and cream into the butter mixture, plus the salt and white pepper, and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
Add the (optional) Texas Pete's® Hot Sauce.
Cook and stir until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.
Add the wine and stir until well mixed.
Add the cheddar cheese and stir until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.
Pour the sauce generously over the steamed broccoli and/or cauliflower.
Cocktail Sauce - ?
Cocktail sauce is great with fried shrimp or shrimp cocktail, as well as with other fried seafood. I provide two recipes below that are somewhat different, the first one from AllRecipes.com® and the second from Food.com®. Both will be very good.
2 tablespoons of finely grated raw horseradish
1 teaspoon of dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons of ketchup
Simply mix the ingredients in a small bowl, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until it is used.
1 cup of catsup
1 to 2 tablespoons of horseradish (to your taste)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 dash of pepper
Mix the ingredients in a small bowl, cover the mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until it is used.
Creamy French Dressing - ?
This salad dressing can be made easily with simple ingredients most of us keep around the house or in our refrigerators or cupboards. I provide two recipes, the first one from Food.com® and the second one from Tasteofhome.com®, to show the slight variation in recommended ingredients. I am sure either recipe will be very good.
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
½ cup of ketchup
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar
1 small sweet onion, cut into wedges
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1 cup of olive oil
Place the mayonnaise, ketchup, vinegar, sugar, onion, salt and pepper in a blender.
Put the lid on and process the mixture until it is smooth.
Gradually add the olive oil in a steady stream while continuing to run the blender.
Let the dressing chill in the refrigerator for about an hour before using it.
Ingredients: (makes 2 ½ cups)
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup of white vinegar
1/2 cup of sugar
1 small onion, cut into wedges
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1 cup of canola oil
Combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, vinegar, sugar, onion, salt and pepper in a blender.
Cover and process the mixture until it is smooth.
Gradually add the oil in a steady stream while continuing to process the mixture.
Dried Beef Dip - ☺
This recipe is compliments of Janet’s Aunt Phyllis. It is quite tasty served with crackers or cold vegetables.
8 oz. of Cream cheese, softened
8 oz. of Sour Cream
2½ oz. of Dried beef, chopped fine (or more depending on your preference)
2 tbsp. of Milk
2 tbsp. of Minced onion
1 tbsp. of Black pepper
2 tbsp. of Green pepper, chopped fine
½ cup of chopped almonds or peanuts
Preheat the oven to 325º F.
Put all ingredients except the nuts into a 4 quart or larger mixing bowl and blend on low and then medium speed until well blended.
Put the mixture into an ungreased pie plate. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts.
Bake for ten minutes. Remove the pie plate from the oven and let the contents cool to room temperature, then cover the dip with plastic wrap and refrigerate it.
Guacamole - ?
Guacamole is a wonderful avocado preparation for use with anything from tortilla chips to nachos to salads, etc.
I found the recipe below in an online L.A. Times® group of great Hispanic recipes and it was obvious that this "condiment" or "dip" should be included in Food Nirvana.
Marie used to make fresh Guacamole and we loved it. As I don't have her original recipe I will test the one below and report back to you.
2 heaping tablespoons of finely chopped white onion
3 serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped
4 heaping tablespoons of roughly chopped fresh cilantro plus fresh cilantro leaves with little stems for garnish
3/4 teaspoon of sea salt or to taste
3 large avocados or 4 small avocados
4 ounces of ripe tomatoes, finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lime juice
Grind together the onions, chiles, chopped cilantro and salt into a paste in a molcajete (Mexican mortar and pestle, or, use a food processor or a blender).
Cut the avocados into halves, remove the pits and spoon the flesh into the molcajete (or into the blender or food processor). Mash the avocado into the onion-chile mixture until it is a uniform texture, but not smooth (it should still have some lumps). You can achieve that effect using a food processor in pulse mode as well, but be careful with using a blender as it will tend to eliminate any lumps, even in pulse mode.
Manually stir in the tomatoes and the lime juice, taste the guacamole and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Put the guacamole into a serving bowl and top it with the fresh cilantro leaves.
Habanero Hot Sauce - ☺
It has been about five years since I last made habanero hot sauce, and I had to check out various Internet recipes to develop the one I show below. I made it yesterday and it sure is a "kick ass" hot sauce! What a nice way to use my habanero pepper crop.
A few cautions are in order. Working with habanero peppers carries some risk, both in getting the capsicum from the peppers onto and then into your skin or your eyes or other sensitive places. Wear latex or nitrile gloves when working with habanero peppers and discard the gloves if you have to use the bathroom. Then put on a new pair. When you cook habanero peppers be sure to keep the room well ventilated or your breathing will become most difficult.
Alas! My heat freak friends declared the sauce to be too hot. Well, okay, I didn't have filler product like ground carrots in the batch I just made, so it is primarily habanero peppers. I am making a few additions/changes to the recipe right now, and they are reflected below in capital letters.
30 fresh habanero peppers
5 hot costeno chili peppers, dried (or other variety of dried hot peppers)
10 dried habanero peppers
one small onion, diced
2 teaspoons of minced fresh garlic
6 large carrots finely shredded using a food processor (THE NEW INGREDIENT)
1/4 tsp. each of salt, black pepper, dried oregano and dried thyme
2 cups of water - TWICE THE WATER OF THE ORIGINAL RECIPE TO ACCOMMODATE THE CARROTS DURING SIMMERING
1 cup of apple cider
1 Tablespoon of white distilled vinegar
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 tsp. each of cayenne pepper, curry powder and hot chili powder
Juice from one lime, reserved until the sauce is blended
1/2 teaspoon of Koldkiss® sodium benzoate solution, reserved until the sauce is blended
1 Tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, reserved until the sauce is blended
Wash and dry the fresh habanero peppers and cut the tops off. Discard the tops.
Cut any stems off the dried costeno peppers, discard the stems, and put the peppers into a plastic Ziploc® freezer bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Do the same for the dried habanero peppers.
Dice the onion and the garlic.
Sauté the onion in the olive oil on low to medium heat until translucent in a two or three quart stainless steel saucepan. Then add the garlic and sauté for one additional minute.
Add the (TWO) cups of water, the cup of apple cider and all the other (YES, INCLUDING THE SHREDDED CARROTS) ingredients except the reserved ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil on high heat.
Turn the heat down to very low and simmer the mixture to soften the ingredients. This takes about 2-3 hours.
Stir occasionally and add water if needed during cooking, keeping the liquid level high enough to barely cover the ingredients.
Cool the mixture to room temperature, covered with a lid.
Add the reserved lime juice, sodium benzoate solution and vinegar and stir until everything is well mixed.
Blend the mixture in a blender, in batches if necessary, until the sauce is the consistency you prefer. Less blending results in a more chunky sauce, while extended blending time pureés the mixture.
Bottle the sauce in 4 ounce or 8 ounce canning jars, then vacuum seal the canning jars and keep them refrigerated. Alternatively, you may can the sauce in the sealed jars for ten minutes in boiling water, let them cool and seal, and store them in your pantry.
The sauce will remain fresh for up to a year. You likely will want to give some away as gifts to family and friends.
Horseradish Cream Sauce - ☺♥
This sauce is perfect for use with corned beef or roast beef. I like to serve it with the traditional corned beef and cabbage meal as it really sets off the flavor of the corned beef in an otherwise bland meal. For roast beef virtually any form goes well with this sauce … from medium rare steamship round of beef to cold roast beef sandwiches or hot French dip beef sandwiches. I would not, however, use it on a good grilled steak. Yes, this recipe is mine, but the original came from Marie, so she gets the credit, for she served it to me on hot corned beef when we were in CA in the late 1990’s. It was so good I ate like a pig.
Ingredients: (makes about two cups)
½ cup of mayonnaise
½ cup of heavy cream
4 oz. of hot creamed or ground horseradish, drained (do not use the liquid)
4 oz. of cream cheese
½ tsp. of salt
The sauce can also be modified from the ingredients shown above to create a wonderful bacon horseradish dip for potato chips, etc. Simply use one cup of sour cream instead of regular heavy cream, skip the mayonnaise and add ½ cup of small pieces of freshly fried bacon or bacon bits made of real bacon, and skip the salt. You can vary the amount of cream cheese to get the thickness you want, so start with only 2 oz. of cream cheese.
Simply put all the ingredients into a blender and blend on low speed until smooth. Pour the contents into a one pint container. Cover it and refrigerate it until used.
You can vary the amounts of each ingredient above to suit yourself to achieve both the consistency and flavor you want. You might also want to add ½ tsp. of white pepper.