Category Archives: Sauce


Berbere Coconut Sauce

To prove that there are multiple uses for the Berbere Blend I wrote about in the last post, I thought it prudent to make myself a delicious dinner of grilled chicken over rice and spinach with a Berbere Coconut Sauce. I suffer so much in pursuit of a successful blog! It was fantastic, with the Berbere kick after a few seconds that I absolutely love.

Here’s a teaser for you:

The sauce is a reduction of coconut milk and chicken broth, so do take care to not season too much before it has reduced, or else the concentrated flavors may lead to it tasting way too salty. Because of this, I made sure to use low-sodium chicken broth. Sometimes I make smart decisions. Also, if you’re a wuss, use less of the Berbere Blend for a less spicy experience.

If you’re curious, I marinated the chicken in rice vinegar, oil, Berbere Blend, salt and pepper before grilling it. And yes, it was quite scrumptious.

Not too exciting to look at, but here’s the sauce! At least it’s pretty :)

If I were in class, in order to thicken the sauce I would probably grab another pan, make a roux, grab a bowl, temper the roux with the sauce, and slowly whisk it in. Well, I wasn’t at school when I made this, and I already was dreading washing dishes, so I just made a flour slurry. It’s simple, put a small amount of flour into a bowl or mug, add some of the reduction, and mix it until it’s smooth. Add more sauce if necessary, then add it back to the sauce pan. See how easy! It worked just fine for my needs.

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Garden Sauce

We are very fortunate in that our garden is producing a large amount of produce, however it has been difficult at times for us to use everything before it goes bad. For example, we have been eating cucumbers with almost every meal and we still have an extra 6 on our counter, and many more left to be picked. We have more hot peppers than I know what to do with (don’t worry, I will figure it out!), and up until today we had multiple bowls filled with tomatoes sitting around.

Plus, my herbs are going mad. Check it out:

So today my mother and I decided to make a red sauce, using our home grown tomatoes and fresh herbs. Using more than 7lbs of tomatoes, a healthy handful of basil, and a few extra ingredients we managed to make a delightful garden sauce. I mostly enjoyed how it didn’t have any of that tinny taste you can get from using canned tomatoes to make sauces, therefore giving me the freedom to relax and not worry about covering that extra, unwanted flavor.

This is just one bowl of them
We discovered that the best way to get the most juice, with the smallest amount of seeds and skins, was to first blend the tomatoes and then strain them in a mill. In case you are unaware, when I say “mill” I am referring to a strainer that has a handle for you to rotate and squish all the juice out while keeping the seed and skins inside. If you don’t have one, then just using a strainer and pressing on the pulp with a spoon will work fine.
Here is a blurry picture of ours:
We washed, cut in half, blended, milled, and sauce-ified. It was a pleasant process. And way less obnoxious than it might sound. In the end we created a very fresh tasting sauce, sort of like pasta fresca but a little more complex with the addition of wine and cheese cooked in. Of course we have many more tomatoes on the way, and I will have to find many more uses for them!
This recipe does make a lot of sauce, so feel free to cut it down or be prepared to have some leftover.

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Quick Basil Marinara


This marinara is fantastic to use in lasagna, pizza, or even just as a dip for Italian bread. It’s quick, simple, tasty, and easy to adjust to your own personal taste. You can always add some oregano for an extra pizza flavor, or add some spice, or meat. Play with it and you’ll come out with amazing variations.
The sauce can be used immediately or stored in the fridge. When I’m using it the same day, I usually keep the heat on very low after it’s done simmering, while preparing other ingredients, then store any extra sauce left behind.This recipe is inspired by, and adapted from, Giada De Laurentiis’s Quick Marinara recipe.

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