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Make ahead marinades and sauces

Simple make ahead salsa makes weeknight cooking quicker and easier.
Simple make ahead salsa makes weeknight cooking quicker and easier.
Denise M Montville

Making a few sauces and marinades to have on hand will make your weeknight meal preparation that much quicker and easier. A versatile sauce to make for a variety of meals is a simple Salsa Verde that can then be used as a dip for tortilla chips, tossed with pasta, or to make this easy Salsa Chicken dish.

Salsa Verde

  • 6 canned tomatillos, sliced (reserve 1-2 TBS juice)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 TBS chopped jalapenos
  • 3 TBS cilantro, chopped
  • 1 TBS lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste

Quickly process the tomatillos, chopped jalapenos, onions, and cilantro in a food processor. Add the reserved tomatillo juice, lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Mix in processor until the salsa has a chunky consistency. The salsa can then be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Alfredo Sauce

  • 4 TBS butter
  • 3TBS flour
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour, stirring constantly until it thickens; about 3-5 minutes. Increase heat to medium and slowly add the heavy cream stirring with a whisk until the mixture has thickened. Add Parmesan cheese and continue stirring until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in nutmeg, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Keep warm until ready to serve, or refrigerate for later use.

This Alfredo sauce is excellent with pasta, chicken, and broccoli.

Stir-Fry Sauce

  • 1 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 TBS red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBS brown sugar
  • 2 TBS hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp Asian sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup of water

Mix all ingredients together in a medium size bowl. Use immediately in your favorite meat and vegetable stir-fry or refrigerate in a sealed container.

Each of these recipes should be used within 4 days. By having them prepared ahead of time you will be able to have your weeknight cooking times cut down significantly and you will be eating home cooked meals instead of grabbing take-out.

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