When the Cupboard is Bare… 3 Essential Sauces for the Freezer

Pleasing ‘Popeye’ sauce

This takes no more than 15 minutes to throw together and has been an instant hit in our house.  It is great with pasta and gnocchi with some parmesan sprinkled on top, or some stilton for the not so little people.  Also delicious with some poached white fish.  I freeze the sauce in sensible portion sizes and then defrost when needed.  Swap in and out any green veggies as you like.

Ingredients and suggested quantities:
1 x tbsp olive oil
1 x clove of garlic, crushed
1 x leek, trimmed, cleaned and finely sliced
1 x courgette, diced
4 x asparagus spears, chopped
2 handfuls of fresh broad beans and/or peas
4 large handfuls of washed spinach
1 x tbsp chopped parsley
2 x tbsp crème fraiche
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1.  Heat olive oil in pan, add garlic and leek and sweat down for a couple of minutes on a medium heat
  2. Add courgette, asparagus and broad beans and peas and cook out for about 5 minutes
  3. The veggies should be softened but still with bite, then stir in the spinach to wilt and chopped parsley
  4. Spoon in the crème fraiche and add black pepper and lower the heat for couple of minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, allow to cool a little then blitz in processor until smooth.  I sometimes add a little slosh of cold water to loosen the mixture
  6. Portion out and pop in freezer when cold

Tomato-tastic

A rich sauce and a very simple way to include lots of unsuspecting vegetables that you might not choose to serve individually to little mouths.  Again delicious served simply with pasta, with sausages and rice or even loosened with a little stock into a soup with cheesy croutons.

Ingredients and suggested quantities:
1 x tbsp olive oil
1 x clove of garlic, crushed
1 x small red onion, finely chopped
½ fennel bulb, diced
2 x sticks of celery, washed and chopped
1 x red pepper, deseeded and sliced into thin stripes
1 x carrot, diced
½ aubergine, skinned and cubed
Pinch of oregano and thyme
1 x tin chopped tomatoes
1 x tbsp tomato puree
Splash of Worcestershire sauce

  1. In a hot pan heat oil, then add garlic, onion, fennel and celery until soft and slightly browned
  2. Add pepper, carrot, aubergine and herbs.  Allow to cook through, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking
  3. Reduce heat and add chopped tomatoes, puree, Worcestershire sauce and half a cup of water.  Stir and simmer for 5-10 minutes
  4. Remove from heat, allow to cool a bit and then blitz in processor for a rich, textured sauce
  5. Portion out and then pop in the freezer when cold

Winter-Warming White sauce

The classic white sauce was the first thing I remember making in my mother’s kitchen when I was 8 or 9 years old.  The experience didn’t involve measuring out equal quantities of butter and flour, and then delicately added warmed milk until it produced a deliciously smooth and velvety sauce.  There was a lot of trial and quite a lot of error – I am pretty sure the fam endured a few questionably lumpy white sauces with their cauliflower cheese over the years that followed.  I did get there in the end…

Regardless, it was when making this simple sauce that I learned to feel my way through cooking and to trust my instincts.  I therefore am not going to write out the recipe for such a classic, but I do think it is a great staple that brings many meals together into something delicious and will warm your cockles.

If you are cooking for one child, then it is great to have a few frozen portions of white sauce at the ready for you to heat with any odds and sods in the fridge and serve with a jacket potato or some crusty granary bread.  Yum.

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One thought on “When the Cupboard is Bare… 3 Essential Sauces for the Freezer

  1. Pingback: I Heart Homemade Pizza! « Mumma, what's for supper?

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