I think everyone needs a few good multi-dimensional sauces recipes in their repertoire. Sauces that are easy to whip up but have a pretty big wow factor. With that in mind, I’ve decided to do a mini-series of sauce and dip recipes that can compliment several types of dishes. I already have a few recipes waiting in the wings, but I’m also going to challenge myself to try some new sauces. If we are lucky I’ll even make a real Hollandaise sauce. I won’t lie, that one intimidates me the most…
Also, I should apologize for the horrible pun that is our series title, but I’m a huge dork so hopefully you will humor me.
I want to start this series with a standard sauce of mine, inspired by a Trader Joe’s frozen meal. I started eating the Gorgonzola and gnocchi in grad school as a quick meal on the nights I was teaching when there wasn’t time between classes and office hours to think about food. I thought the ratio of sauce to gnocchi, even with the addition of veggies, was too high, so I would take out about a third of the chips and re-freeze them. With a little more Gorgonzola, the sauce was perfect on asparagus, a juicy medium-rare fillet mignon, and pasta with sautéed mushrooms. Still, I was doing quite a bit to doctor the sauce and bring it up to my standards – more pepper, a little garlic, more Gorgonzola – with all that work, it became clear making it myself was my best option.
Once I mastered the sauce, I started freezing it, just like I did the store bought stuff, so that it was ready for a quick week night meal or a surprise dinner guest I wanted to impress a little. I like using these silicone IKEA ice cube trays. Not only are they smaller than many trays I have seen, but the silicone makes removing the sauce once frozen easier. Once they have frozen solid, I remove them from the tray and place them in a labeled Ziploc baggie (by-the-way, I use this method for tons of things, including a white garlic pizza sauce I plan on sharing.)
Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 large garlic cloves, finely diced
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon flour
1.5 – 2 cups heavy cream (or milk)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
8 -16 ounces Gorgonzola
1) Melt butter in a small sauce pot over low heat (in fact I use low heat and hold the sauce pot about an inch above the flames, to prevent any burning). Once it has all melted, increase flame to medium-low and heat for 20 seconds before adding garlic.
2) Cook garlic in butter for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add pepper.
3) Add flour and mix well with butter. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to keep it from browning.
4) Using a whisk add heavy cream. Start with 1/4 cup and whisk vigorously to avoid clumps. Add at least 1.5 cups total, and whisk frequently. Continue cooking for about 5-8 minutes. As the sauce begins to thicken you may decide you want a thinner sauce. If so add more cream a quarter cup at a time, waiting 2 minutes between additions (I have never used more than 2 cups of milk, but I like thick sauce).
5) Once you’ve reached your desired thickness, add Parmesan and stir until fully melted into sauce.
6) Remove from heat and add at least 8 ounces of Gorgonzola stirring until melted. Taste, if you want add more cheese. I like very strong flavor so I usually add about 12-16 ounces.