Guest Speaker: 3 Sauces to Kick Up Everyday Dinners

Audrey McGinnis with Every Girl Gourmet

You may have already heard of our March speaker or you may have seen her on TV! Plano native Audrey McGinnis has appeared on on Food Network’s Cake Wars and Spring Baking Championship. She was also a contestant on FOX’s MasterChef Season 3 and can be seen as a regular food contributor on local morning shows including Good Day FOX 4, WFAA’s Good Morning Texas & Mid-day and CW’s EyeOpener. Now the mom of four has her own home-based catering and custom cake business called Every Girl Gourmet. She gives us tips and tricks for the kitchen and meal planning ideas for our busy families!

Below are three easy sauce recipes to help kick up everyday dinners.

Spinach Walnut Pesto

3 cups, packed, fresh spinach leaves
3 large garlic cloves
1/3 cup lightly toasted walnuts
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Additional olive oil for storage

Place the spinach leaves and garlic in a food processor or blender, and mix well.

Add the walnuts, and continue to blend until the walnuts are finely ground.

Keep the machine running as you drizzle in the olive oil. When you have a smooth paste, transfer to a bowl, and stir in the Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If you are not going to use the pesto right away, place in a container that has a tight-fitting lid. Smooth out the top surface of the pesto, and pour on enough olive oil to cover it completely. This creates an air-proof seal that helps preserve it well. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator.

Can also be stored in freezer for 2-3 months. Makes approx. 1 ½ cups.

Chimichurri Sauce

1/2 roasted Poblano pepper, seeded
1/2 roasted Serrano pepper, seeded
1 cup parsley (flat leaf/Italian)
5 garlic heads
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. fresh oregano (or 1 Tbs. dried)
1/4 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
3 Tbs. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Roast peppers in 500* oven or over gas flame till fully blistered.  Wrap tightly in foil till cooled.  If you want to remove skin, gently rub with a paper towel.  Leaving the chard skin on will add more smoky flavor.

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  Makes 1 ½ cups.

Green Goddess Sauce

3 anchovy filets
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbs. thinly sliced green onions
2 Tbs. minced flat leaf parsley (Italian)
1 1/2 tsp. tarragon
3/4 tsp. finely chopped basil
1 Tbs. minced shallots
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste

Rinse anchovies in water for 5 minutes, dry and coarsely chop.  Place anchovies and remaining ingredients into a food processor and pulse till smooth.  Refrigerate till chilled then serve with raw vegetables or over salad.  Makes approx. 1 1/2 cups.

Bonus: Garlic Basil Butter

2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup basil
1 Tbs. chopped garlic
1/3 cup graded Parmesan cheese
Pinch of salt
Pepper to taste
Olive oil

Put everything but the olive oil in a food processor. Drizzle in olive oil until blended.

Can be formed into a log or frozen in 8 oz. containers.

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