Pat’s Pantry by Pat Mills: Dressings and sauces

Let’s throw all those store-bought dressings and sauces away and make fresh-from-the-kitchen ones. Fresh dressings can be served over salad greens and condiments to go on fish, meat, pasta and vegetables. – Pat

Fresh Italian dressing

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced onion
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

Combine all ingredients in a jar. Cover tightly, and shake vigorously, chill at least 8 hours. Shake well just before serving. Serve dressing over salad greens. Yield: 1 cup.

Parmesan cheese dressing

2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, beating with a wire whisk until blended. Cover and chill thoroughly. Serve over salad greens. Yield: 1 cup.

Creamy horseradish sauce

1 (8 oz) carton sour cream
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon celery seed
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, stir well. Cover and chill thoroughly. Serve over hot cooked vegetables, roast beef, or pork. Yield: 1 cup.

Roasted red pepper sauce

3 large sweet red peppers
2 cloves garlic
1 ½ tablespoons brandy
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine

Cut peppers in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds and membranes. Place peppers, skin side up, on an ungreased baking sheet; flatten peppers with the palm of hand. Broil 5 ½ in. from heat (with electric oven door partially opened) 15-20 minutes or until skins of peppers are charred. Place peppers in a heavy-duty, zip-locked plastic bag, and let stand 10 minutes. Peel and discard skins. Combine peppers, garlic, and next 4 ingredients in container of an electric blender or food processor; cover and process until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides. Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a small saucepan, discarding pulp. Add butter; cook over low heat until butter melts, stirring often. Serve over grilled fish or toss with pasta. Yield: 1 cup.

Sun-dried tomato cream sauce

1 (7 oz) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, undrained
½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½ cups half-and-half
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

Drain tomatoes, reserving 1 tablespoon oil. Cut tomatoes into very thin strips; set aside. Cook mushrooms in 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until tender. Stir in reserved 1 tablespoon oil and tomato strips. Add half-and-half and basil; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly, or until slightly thickened. Serve over pasta. Yield: 2 cups.


• Bring foods to a cool room temperature before placing on the grill. Cold foods may burn on the outside before the interior is cooked.
• Always dress salad greens just before serving so they won’t become soggy.

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