Soup and Sauce Magic

@ Sandy Bosch store, October 19, 2011, Rhonda Hair Page numbers are from Chameleon Cooking: Cooking Well With What You Have

Quick Gravy (Thin White Sauce)- pg. 35
1 cup milk, water, or broth 1 Tbsp. cornstarch OR 2 Tbsp. flour Combine the two in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake like mad to mix them smoothly. Heat to boiling, either in a saucepan or in the microwave. Add salt and pepper to taste, along with any herb, spice or chicken/beef bouillon if you want. For a good meaty flavor, cook this in a pan with „fond‟ stuck in it.

Cheese Sauce

Stir in ½ cup shredded cheese until smooth. Also good with a little mustard or hot sauce. If it‟s too thick, stir in a little more milk. Serve over broccoli, baked potatoes, or chips for nachos; with olives, chilies, chicken, and a little oregano or chili powder if you want. Pour over sliced potatoes with a little sliced/chopped onion, and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees to make scalloped potatoes. Ham or bacon is good in that, too.

Cream of Chicken Soup -Substitute for a can of condensed soup. Double the amount of
flour or cornstarch in the recipe above, add 1 chicken bouillon cube or 1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules, and ¼ tsp. sage or poultry seasoning. Stir in ¼ c. chopped chicken if you have it.

Cream of Mushroom Soup -one can‟s worth
Use the liquid from a can of mushrooms for part of the water. Double the amount of flour above, use 1 beef bouillon cube or 1 tsp. beef bouillon granules, add a pinch of thyme and garlic powder. Stir in the mushrooms, chopped. Fresh mushrooms are good, if you have them.

Sausage Gravy: Cook 1 small patty (about 2 oz.) sausage in a small skillet. When browned,
crumble it, then mix in the ingredients for Quick Gravy. Bring to a boil, to thicken it. Serve over biscuits, rice, toast, or mashed or baked potatoes. For a different flavor, substitute a can (or ½ cup) cooked chicken, or tuna, beef, or thinly sliced deli meat.

Thin For scalloped potatoes, as a base for cream soups, sauce, cheese sauce, syrup or glazes if sweetened 1 T. fat 1 T. flour ¼ t. salt 1 cup milk Medium For creamed vegetables, thicker gravy; pudding or fruit sauce- add 2-4 T. sugar 2-3 T. fat 2-3 T. flour ¼ t. salt 1 cup milk Thick Thicker versions of anything- “cream of__” condensed soup, base for soufflé; cream pies or fruit sauce if sweetened 3-4 T. fat 4 T. flour 1/4 t. salt 1 cup milk

Other liquids can be used in place of milk; water, fruit juice, or broth work the same. Examples of fats include butter, margarine, oil, bacon drippings. Melt fat in a saucepan, or in a pan you just cooked meat, to get the yummy brown bits (called “fond”) for flavor and color. Stir in flour and salt. Add milk and whisk together. Heat over medium until thick and bubbly. For another cooking method, see “Quick Gravy”, pg. 35. With “white sauce”, the concept is that flour or cornstarch will thicken things. The thicker you want it, the more you use. The only tricks are in knowing which amount of thickener to use and knowing how to avoid lumps (stir thickener with an equal amount of water to make a smooth paste or cook with fat, above- if it ends up lumpy, blenders and fine-mesh sieves are your friends!). 2 Tbsp. flour per cup of liquid gives a good medium sauce consistency, so go down or up from that depending on what you want. Serve over meat, rice or other grains, pasta, spaghetti, potatoes, or toast. -Add any herbs or spices that sound good (use The Sniff Test!- pg.10) -Add in ¼c.-½c. sliced/chopped/crumbled meat (tuna, chicken, beef, sausage, etc.) or hardboiled eggs (good on toast for breakfast). -Mix in a skillet with fond to make gravy. -Add any chopped veggies you want (olives, mushrooms, celery, broccoli, spinach, artichokes, tomatoes, capers). -For Sweet and Sour Sauce, skip the fat, use ratios from Thin White Sauce. Saute one sliced onion, then top with the juice from a can of pineapple (or orange juice) for part of the liquid, an equal amount of vinegar and sugar (i.e. ½ c. juice, ½ c. vinegar, ½ c. sugar), the flour or cornstarch, ½ tsp. garlic powder, 1 T. fresh grated ginger (1 tsp. if dried). ¼ c. ketchup is good in this. Serve with the canned pineapple chunks over rice and chicken or other meat. Make Lemon or Orange Chicken by using orange or lemon juice, and increasing it to ¾ cup, reducing vinegar to ¼ c. Add ¼ c. toasted sesame seeds (opt.) -Make Teriyaki Sauce adding Asian flavors to a sweet thin white sauce: 1 Tbsp. flour, ½ c. soy sauce, ½ c. sugar, 2 Tbsp. vinegar, 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger (3/4 tsp. dried), 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (opt.) -Use cornstarch instead of flour; you only need half as much (1T. cornstarch= 2T. flour) Arrowroot, potato starch, or other flours will also work. Arrowroot, tapioca, and Ultra Gel will not break down with freezing and thawing (good for make-ahead freezer meals); cornstarch and flour will.

Apple Cider Syrup (Lower Sugar) - pg. 109
1/2 c. sugar 1 c. apple cider or apple juice 1 Tbsp. cornstarch 1 Tbsp. lemon juice 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 2 Tbsp. butter Mix together the sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Stir in apple and lemon juices. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, then cook 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted. Makes about 1 1/3 cups. Notice this is a variation of Thin White Sauce. If it gets too thick, stir in a little more juice. If you want it thinner next time, reduce cornstarch to 2 tsp. Try other flavors of juice & spices; you can omit butter and lemon juice. It‟s also good using water, brown sugar, and maple flavor.