Creamy Jalapeno Green Sauce

This is the infamous “Green Sauce” that has spawned a legion of admirers. Beware, this recipe makes enough for one person, maybe two if they aren’t very hungry. I advice doubling or tripling the recipe if you hope to have any left to put in the fridge!

Ingredients

4 Large fleshy Jalapeno peppers
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup vegetable oil
coarse sea salt, to taste

Directions:

1. On a gas or charcoal grill, roast jalapenos until skin is thoroughly charred and blistered.
2. Place roasted peppers in a ziploc bag to steam and cool for 10-15 minutes
3. Using a kitchen knife, scrape the charring off, it should flake right off. Note – rinsing roasted jalapenos will dampen the spice, so don’t complain to me if you rinse them and then get a mild sauce.
4. Half and seed the peppers
5. In a blender, place the clove (I mince it first), peppers and about half the oil along with a little salt.
6. Add in remaining oil as you puree the peppers. You may want to scrape the sides of the glass container down a few times to make sure all the pepper is pureed.
7. Add salt to taste and blend to mix it in.

Serve with tortilla chips and something cold to drink!

Pesto Sauce

Here is a simple pesto recipe.  I’ve made this twice now, using fresh basil from the garden and it is a huge hit with the kids!  They help with the basil and then the blending!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil, separated
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 7 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor.
  2. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
  3. Slowly add the half cup of olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
  4. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended.
  5. Add a round of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  6. Add remaining olive oil and pulse.

Parmesan-Ricotta Cheese Sauce

This is a thick but creamy cheese sauce that is good over pasta and vegetables.

Parmesan Ricotta Cheese Sauce

  • A creamy cheese sauce great for pastas or vegetables.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes Serves: 8
    Cooking Time: 10 minutes Yield 20 tbs

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Salt
  • 1 tsp Chicken Bullion

Directions

  1. Melt butter on Medium High
  2. Stir in flour until thoroughly blended
  3. Gradually add milk and stir until thickened
  4. Reduce heat to low
  5. Add cheeses, salt and chicken bullion cube and stir until melted
  6. Continue stirring until fully blended

Cheesy Tomato Sauce with Beef (Beefing up Store Bought Sauces!)

There are a number of tasty store bought tomato sauces for pasta.  One of my favorites is also one of the most affordable – Classico Four Cheese Tomato Sauce.  However, just pouring it over pasta rarely satisfies the kids.  With a few minutes and a little creativity, though, you can turn a store bought sauce into a really delicious pasta sauce.  I always keep a jar of generic tomato pasta sauce in the fridge.  For this recipe I used the Classico sauce and some of the generic.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup oni,ons diced
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • italian seasonings, dried
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 jar Classico Four cheese pasta sauce
  • 1/3 jar generic pasta sauce

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in sauce pan over medium high heat
  2. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil 2-3 minutes
  3. Sprinkle Italian Seasoning to taste hile sauteeing the onions and garlic
  4. Add ground beef and cook until browned (no pink!)
  5. Do not drain!
  6. Add ricotta cheese and mix with ground beef until creamy
  7. Add in pasta sauces and stir thoroughly
  8. Cover and simmer while pasta cooks!

Alfredo Sauce

Hungry kids, frozen ground beef, not much planning ahead for dinner . . . what to do?  Decided to try a little alfredo sauce recipe and cook it up with pasta, chicken, and bacon (don’t cringe, it’s really good).  If I had thought ahead a bit, I would have added some spinach to the pasta as well.  At any rate, sauce went over big.  Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup shredded mozarella (could use romano, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesano  cheese
  • 2 tbs garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg (see tips below)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Melt butter and add flour. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly to cook (but not burn) flour.  I used medium heat.
  2. Add cream and broth all at once and blend well.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until cheese has melted and sauce is smooth. Turn heat to low as cheese melts.

Tips:

The sauce is ready very quickly; I actually had to thin it a bit while my pasta cooked, so plan accordingly.

I didn’t have any nutmeg (fresh or powdered).  I substituted a pinch of pumpkin pie spice and it worked like a charm.

Keep stirring!!!

“Fake Homemade” Spaghetti Sauce

This is a quick, cheap and delicious spaghetti sauce that I created to serve over pasta.  It will fake out most people who think you have slaved over the stove to create a homemade sauce.  It can be ready in about 20 minutes.  Usually I start it as I put my water on to boil.  By the time the water boils and the pasta cooks, the sauce can be served.  The longer it cooks the better though, so no worries if you start early.  Easy to freeze also!

Ingredients

  • 1 26 oz jar plain spaghetti sauce (I use a generic)
  • 1 1/2 cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 lb ground beef (lean)
  • 2 tbs minced garlic (more to taste!)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Dried Italian seasoning

Directions

  1. In a large pan, brown ground beef with onions and garlic, drain
  2. Return to pan and add spaghetti sauce, crushed tomatoes, salt and olive oil
  3. Sprinkle seasonings over top and stir
  4. Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer
  5. Cook for 20+ minutes
  6. Serve over pasta!

Criolla Sauce

This is a tomato based sauce used over many meats or in many Colombian dishes.  This is a really easy version, but a lot is left to the chef to find the taste he wants.  In fact, the recipe I work from, does not even list amounts for the spices.  Thankfully, my kids let me know, and usually they say heavy on the allspice and salt.  I tend to listen to them on the allspice and not quite as much on the salt.

Ingredients

  • 4 large red tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 4 scallions (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Allspice
  • 2 cubes chicken bullion
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

  1. Heat oil in large frying pan
  2. Add chopped scallions and fry for 5 minutes over medium heat
  3. I chop the tomatoes in a food processor
  4. Add tomatoes and spices to taste (don’t go easy on the allspice)
  5. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes