The Literate Chef

Archive for the ‘Sauces’ Category

Port Wine Reduction Sauce

In Recipes, Sauces on December 28, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Fonseca-Ruby-Port

Fonseca-Ruby-Port

 

(makes enough sauce for a 3 – 4 lb. Tenderloin Roast)

Ingredients:

3 tbsps. unsalted butter
2 tbsps. chopped shallots
Several springs of fresh thyme
1 whole bay leaf
1 750 ml. bottle of Ruby Port
3 tbsp. Veal Demi-Glace
Ground black pepper to taste

Preparation:

1. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 1 quart pot, on medium-low heat.
2. Add the shallots and slowly cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the thyme and bay leaf, stir well.
4. Add the port, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until reduced by ½.
5. With a fine sieve, strain out all of the solids, wash the pot and return the strained Port to the pot (there should be about 12 or 13 oz.) and re-heat on low.
6. Add the Demi-Glace and whisk until well blended.
7. Add the pepper and set aside until ready to serve. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon; if not, mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of cold water until in turns into a paste. Slowly whisk paste to the hot sauce until it is thickened to your satisfaction.
8. Just before serving, re-heat the sauce and add the remaining tablespoon of butter, stir well to finish the sauce.

NOTE: Sauce can be made several days in advance (steps 1-7) and refrigerated. Heat well before serving and finish with step 8.

See: Roast Tenderloin of Beef (Filet Mignon) with Port Wine Reduction Sauce

Linguine with White Clam Sauce (Linguine con Vongole)

In Clams, Pasta, Recipes, Sauces, Seafood on June 16, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Linguine with White Clam Sauce (Linguine con Vongole)

(Serves four)

4 doz. medium-sized Cherrystone or Littleneck clams, about 5 lbs.
4 tbsp. of finely chopped garlic, about 12 cloves
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat (Italian) parsley
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
½ cup of dry white wine
2 8 oz. bottles of Clam Juice
1 & ½ lbs. dried Linguine (Barilla, DeCecco or other premium brand)

These steps can be performed in advance of serving the meal

1.    Set a large pot (6-8 quarts) of water on the stove, cover it and bring to a boil. When it begins to boil, reduce heat, keep covered and hot.
2.    Clean and shuck the clams, reserving the juices, you should have about 3 cups. Set aside 12 clams unopened – 3 for each pasta serving.
3.    Chop the garlic.
4.    Wash and dry the parsley, but do not chop it until just before adding to the sauce, that retains its color.
5.    Heat the olive oil on medium in a large sauté pan, and add the butter.
6.    When the butter is melted, foamy and bubbling, reduce heat to medium, add the garlic and cook it stirring continuously for about 1 minute.
7.    Add the wine and return heat to high, bring to a boil, continue to boil for 3 minutes, stirring continuously
8.    Add clam juice and reserved clam liquid. We prefer our clam sauce with a lot of liquid, if you prefer it on the dry side, than add only 1 bottle or none.
9.    Bring to a boil for 3 minutes.

About 15 or 20 minutes before you are ready to serve the Linguine

1.    Bring the pasta water and clam sauce to a full boil. Add the 12 reserved unopened clams to the sauce and cover.
2.    Add kosher salt to the water and add the linguine. Cook the linguine until not quite al dente, about 7 minutes.
3.    After the pasta has been cooking for about 3 minutes, remove the cover from the sauce, add the parsley and shucked, stir well, and continue cooking uncovered.

White Clam Sauce, ready for the pasta

4.    Drain the pasta, add it to the sauce in the pan, and mix it well with tongs until al dente.
5.    Remove to a large bowl and serve, garnishing each dish with 3 clams that are still in their shells.

Hot crusty Italian Bread makes a great accompaniment, as does a good dry white wine such as Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc.

Please see Clam Shucking for the secret on opening clams.

Dorothea’s Homemade Italian Sauce

In Beef, Meat, Pork, Recipes, Sauces on March 10, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Dorothea’s Homemade Italian Sauce served Over Penne

By Grammy Betty

Ingredients:

3 35 oz. cans of San Marzano Tomatoes, mashed
3 small cans (8 oz.), of Del Monte Tomato Sauce
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 ½ tsp. sugar
1 lb. hot Italian sausage
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1 small onion, chopped
16 Grammy’s Meatballs – 2 lbs. prime (90% lean beef) chopped meat, 1 ½ lbs. used for Grammy’s Meatballs and the remainder reserved for adding to the sauce.)
2 small cans (6 oz.) of Contadina Tomato Paste

Preparation:

1.    Add the mashed tomatoes and their juice to a large (8 qt.) pot.
2.    Add the garlic, sugar and Del Monte tomato sauce.
3.    Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer.
4.    In the meantime, add the sausage to a skillet, pierce them with a fork, and cook over medium heat until done.
5.    Remove cooked sausage and add to the sauce, and remove all but 2 tbsps. of rendered fat and add to sauce.
6.    Add chopped onion to the scrapings and remaining fat  from the sausage, brown and deglaze the pan, add to the sauce.
7.    Make the 16 meatballs (see Grammy’s Meatballs for recipe) and add to the sauce.
8.    Brown the remaining ½ lb. of chopped meat, add in the tomato paste, stir and cook for 5 minutes or so, over medium heat, remove and add to the sauce.
9.    Simmer sauce uncovered, on a low flame, for approximately 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally.

Due to the thickness of the sauce, it is best served over a pasta shape that will trap and hold the sauce, such as Penne, Ziti, Rigatoni or Shells (conchiglie). Add some chopped fresh basil to each bowl, and serve with grated imported Italian Cheese, and Dorothea’s Homemade Hot Pepper Sauce, on the side.

A good bottle of Italian red wine, such as a Rosso di Montalcino, the less expensive cousin of Brunello, makes this pasta dish just perfect!

Please see: The Secret’s Out!

Note: The unused sauce can be frozen in meal sized batches. Often it thickens after taken from the freezer. When this happens, simply add some water to thin the sauce to your liking.

Grammy’s Meatballs

In Beef, For Moms on the Go, Meat, Pasta, Recipes, Sauces on March 10, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Grammy’s Meatballs

By Grammy Betty

Our granddaughter, May, defines the term fussy eater. So imagine how thrilled The Literate Chef and I were when she devoured my meatballs during a recent visit. With the love of our granddaughter in mind, I share my recipe for Grammy’s Meatballs.

Ingredients:

1 ½  lbs. prime (90% lean beef) chopped meat
2 eggs
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Locatelli-Romano
½ cup whole milk
½ cup Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsps. Extra Virgin Olive Oil for browning the meatballs

Preparation:

1.    Place all of the above ingredients, except the olive oil, in a large bowl, and kneed them together until well mixed and spongy.
2.    Form into 16 medium size (about 2 inches in diameter) meatballs.
3.    Heat the olive oil in a skillet over a medium-high flame.

Browning the Meatballs

4.    Add the meatballs and brown on all sides for approximately 5 minutes.
5.    Reduce flame to medium and continue cooking, turning frequently, for an additional 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

(Note: If adding the meatballs to Dorothea’s Homemade Italian Sauce, skip the last step and add the browned meatballs directly to the sauce, where they will continue to cook.)

Please see: The Secret’s Out!

Uncle Fred’s Homemade Pesto Sauce

In Pasta, Recipes, Sauces on October 23, 2011 at 6:06 PM

(Makes about 2 cups of sauce)

Ingredients:

4 cups of basil leaves (stems discarded) packed tightly
5 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely, about 1/3 cup
1 cup pignoli nuts
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for preserving
¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preparation:

1.    Place chopped garlic and pine nuts in a food processor.
2.    Add the basil leaves and pulse-chop the ingredients, pausing after 10 pulses or so to push down the basil leaves with a spatula. Continue pulsing until all of the basil is chopped.
3.    Slowly add the olive oil while running the food processor.
4.    Scrape all of the ingredients from the sides with a spatula.
5.    Slowly add the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and give it one or two quick pulses.
6.    Transfer the pesto sauce to a clean, pint-sized jar. When the pesto settles, slowly top it off with about ¼ inch of olive oil, which acts as a preservative air barrier and prevents the pesto from being exposed to air, turning brown and going bad. In this state it can be refrigerated for several weeks.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:

Angel Hair Pasta (Capellini) with Pesto Sauce

Capellini (Angel Hair Pasta)
•    1 cup of pesto sauce
•    1 lb. of Capellini
•    Cook pasta according to directions.
•    When pasta is cooked and before draining, remove 1 cup of pasta water, add it to a large bowl, drain and add pasta to the bowl and toss, add pesto sauce and mix well.
•    Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano – Reggiano.

Insalata de Ceci

Pollo con Pesto

Roasted Halibut with Tomato and Pesto

Minted Yogurt-Cucumber Sauce

In Recipes, Sauces on August 16, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups of low-fat 2% Greek yogurt (Chobani brand 16 oz. container – the green one)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Kirby (pickling) cucumbers, peeled and shredded into large shreds
3 tbsps. chopped fresh mint leaves

Preparation:

1.    Add the yogurt to a small mixing bowl.
2.    Stir in the olive oil and blend by hand, then the lemon juice, cucumber and mint, blend well by hand.
3.    Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to be served

Please see: A Nutritionally Balanced and Delicious Mediterranean Meal

Dorothea’s Homemade Hot Pepper Sauce

In Recipes, Sauces on April 9, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Dorothea 1943

(Warning: Be sure to turn on the exhaust fan or open the window when preparing this sauce)

Ingredients:

1 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup of Crushed Red (Chili) Pepper

Steps:

1.    In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil on high heat.
2.    When it is shimmering, add the garlic, stirring constantly until it turns a medium almond color.
3.    Quickly add the Crushed Red Pepper, remove the pan from the heat and keep stirring as the pepper continues to brown.
4.    Before it begins blacken and burn, pour the sauce into a container to let cool. When fully cooled transfer it to a small jar.
5.    Top off the jar with olive oil so that there is at least a quarter of an inch of liquid on top.
6.    Refrigerate the sauce. Before using in the future, bring it to room temperature and stir it well.
7.    Use sparingly on your pasta dishes, whenever extra spiciness is desired.

See Pasta Memories

Dorothea's Hot Pepper Sauce

Dorothea’s Hot Pepper Sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

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