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Cooks Corner

By By Lisa Tindell
Alfredo (my favorite), marinara, hollandaise, barbecue, horseradish, tomato, Mornay, Orange, Pesto, Remoulade, Sabayon, rum or whiskey sauce.. and the list goes on.
I have found, after many years, that sometimes adding a new ingredient to an old favorite sauce recipe can really perk things up and make your taste buds take notice.
Recently, a friend of mine explained to me that she added a little rich grape wine to her spaghetti sauce recipe. She explained that it gave the same old sauce a new appeal by adding another layer of flavor – sweet and tart at the same time.
I know that when I was younger, my mother would sometimes add a little wine to her marinara sauce when making lasagna. It was GOOD! I haven't thought of that in years – until my friend reminded me. So adding wine to a red sauce is nothing new – it's just something we have forgotten to do since most of our sauces come from jars on the shelf at the supermarket.
I have found that some sauces sound very decadent but in reality are quite easy to prepare. Some, like sabayon, sound like they would take a little more time than my family is willing to wait. I know it's hard for Southern lips to say the names of some of those sauces (pronounced sah-bah-yawn), but they are worth the trouble. Daddy always said, "if you can't say it right, for sure you bess not eat it." Sometimes I agree. If that's the case in your family, just call it "cream sauce." That usually works out fine.
At any rate, you'll find a few ideas for some sort-of-easy sauce ideas here. I hope you'll find one that tickles your taste buds.
This first sauce is some time referred to as the first mayonnaise. It is popular in Spain and France and has become popular in some up-scale restaurants in the South as well. I've had this one on a blackened burger as well as a grilled chicken sandwich, both of which were excellent. If you like garlic and mayonnaise, you'll love this one.
Aioli Sauce
4 or 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 cup olive oil
1 egg
1 tbs. lemon juice
one half tsp. salt (or to taste)
In a blender, beat garlic with (one-fourth) cup oil until smooth. Add egg and beat until thoroughly blended with oil. Add remaining oil in a thin stream through top opening of blender until well blended.
If you want to spruce up a plain sandwich try a few of these tricks.
To commercial (store-bought) mayonnaise, try adding these ingredients:
(All quantities are for one cup of mayonnaise)
Chutney mayo – 2 tablespoons, finely chopped (great with fruit)
Russian Dressing – one-fourth cup chili sauce or catsup. A little grated onion and few dashes of Worcestershire sauce make it even better.
Dill Mayo – add 2 tablespoons dry dill
Green Mayo – 6-8 fresh spinach leaves, 1/3 cup chopped parsley, 2 tbs. fresh dill chopped and one-fourth tsp. dried tarragon. Beat in a blender until evenly green. Great as a dip for shrimp or topping for sliced tomatoes.
OK, here's one of those sauces that sound fancy, but aren't as difficult to make as you might think. I know, it's hard to believe that a woman who rants about cornbread would even know what this kind of sauce is – but I do.
Sabayon Sauce
4 egg yolks
one half cup confectioners sugar
one-fourth cup wine (any flavor)
Combine egg yolks, sugar and wine in the top of a double boiler over hot, not boiling, water. Beat constantly with whisk until it doubles in volume and begins to thicken.
To make fluffier servings, beat the unused egg whites until stiff and fold into the cooled mixture.
This sauce is great over just about any type of dessert – fresh fruit, pound cake and so much more. I'm not sure how changing the wine to a flavored syrup would work, but I feel that with so few ingredients involved in this recipe it may be worth a try. You can find flavored syrups in the coffee section of some area grocery stores or at your favorite coffee shops. You can find hazelnut, Irish Creme, vanilla, butterscotch and others. If you try changing the wine to another ingredient, I'd appreciate your letting me know how successful you were.
Check in here next week as I explore some recipes fit for a football frenzy. With the Super bowl coming up, there's sure to be some hungry party animals around that need feeding.
Until then, here's hoping that your sauces don't curdle and happy eating!