Sauces -- the Secret!

Many say the "secret is in the sauce," and over the years I've accumulate several standbys. Having learned to cook before stores carried them ready made, I do occasionally buy them, but more often make them on-the-fly at home.  More sauces will be added in the future, but to start these are my tried and true basics.


All Purpose Barbecue Sauce
 1/4 cup butter
2 small onions, chopped
1/2 cup vinegar
1 cup ketchup
1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Tab. prepared mustard
1 tsp. chili powder
Fry onions in butter until until golden.  Add remaining ingredients, stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Use to baste meat, add ground beef, or leftover beef, chicken or pork for BBQ sandwiches. Recipe can be doubled depending on how much meat you are using and sauces freezes well.

Mock Hollandaise Sauce
Make 1 cup of medium white sauce with 2 tablespoons of flour, 2 tablespoons of butter stirring to blend to cook flour, then add 1/2 cup or more of milk and stir until thickened.  Cool slightly and mix in 2 eggs yolks and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Good on cooked vegetables such as asparagus, or peas; also good on fish.

Quick Tartar Sauce
Mix mayonnaise with mustard of choice, then add pickle juice.  Adding finely diced chopped onions and pickle relish makes it even better.  Use as a dip or on seafood.

Hot Mustard Sauce
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup dry mustard
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup pickle juice, depending on desired thickness
 Stir and blend all ingredients.  Store in refrigerator.  This is good on sandwiches and excellent as dip for friend shrimp.

Bordelaise Sauce for Red Meat
1/2 cup red wine
1 small bay leaf
1 Tab. chopped shallots or onions
1/2 tsp. dry thyme or tarragon, crushed
1 1/4 cup canned beef broth
2 Tabs. cornstarch
1 Tab. buter
1 Tab. lemon juice
1 tsp. parsley
1/8 tsp. pepper.
Combine wine, spices, shallots and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil in saucepan then reduce and simmer until mixture is reduced in half.  Mix broth and cornstarch and add to mixture and stir until thick.  Add butter, lemon juice, parsley and pepper.  Stir and simmer a few more minutes.  Serve with beef portions, such a fillets, prime rib or roasts.  Makes about 2 cups.

Seafood Cocktail Sauce
Blend ketchup with horseradish, raw or creamed to desired taste.  Good for oysters and shrimp.

Mustard Sauce
4 Tabs. dry mustard
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cream
2 beaten eggs
1 Tab. butter
1/2 cup vinegar
Mix mustard, sugar, salt, eggs and cream.  Cook in double boiler.  When it begins to thicken, add vinegar and butter.  Stir and continue cooking until thick.  This is excellent with baked ham or on sandwiches.

Sunshine Sauce
2 Tabs. butter
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. corn starch
1/2 Tab. parsley flakes
In a sauce pan, melt butter, add sugar and cornstarch and remaining ingredients.  Cook, stirring to blend and slightly thickened.  Goes well mixed in with cooked sliced carrots, or other vegetable of choice, or over cooked chicken.

Creamed Horseradish Sauce
Mix sour cream with raw horseradish to taste.  Some prefer a milder taste. Goes well with beef or fried oysters.

Alfredo Sauce
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 Tabs. flour
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces half-and-half cream or milk
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder or minced garlic
black pepper (to taste)
Italian spice blend or Italian seasoning of choice

Melt butter in sauce pan, on medium heat and whisk in flour until blended, cooking 1 minute until thickened. Add cream cheese and whisk until smooth, as you add half-and-half (or milk). Whisk in cheese, garlic powder and pepper. Simmer until heated through, creamy and thickened. Stir in a couple of teaspoons of Italian spice blend.

Pour over and mix with any pasta you choose, or use for homemade pizza white sauce.

Add cooked: shrimp, chicken or meatballs and serve tossed with pasta.