Sauces & Gravies

Click on a Recipe to see it.  Chef's favorites are shown in Red.

Apple Butter

Basil Pesto

Black Bean Sauce

Blender Hollandaise

Blender Mayonnaise

Bleu Cheese Sauce for Beef

Cherry Chutney

Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce

Diana’s Cranberry Sauce

Diana’s Meat Sauce for Pasta

Gourmet Sweet and Sour Sauce


Gourmet Teriyaki Marinade and Sauce

Green Sauce

Honey Fig Topping with Vanilla and Cinnamon

Make Ahead Turkey Stock

Mushroom-Wine Sauce for Beef

Orange Sauce

Piccata Sauce

Red Pepper Relish

Santa Barbara Salsa

Spicy Red Pepper Sauce

Tartar Sauce

Yogurt with Cucumber Raita Recipe (Punjab - North India)











Tartar Sauce


1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

2 teaspoons Onion Flakes or minced onion

1 tablespoon pickle relish

juice of 1 lemon


Whisk together all ingredients. Refrigerate.



Orange Sauce


Note: Good over chicken, Cornish game hens and duck duck


1 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons julienne and blanched (10 minutes) naval orange rind

1/2 cup orange juice

¼ to 1/3 cup light rum, port or Madiera

chicken drippings

1 to 2 tablespoons orange liquor

2 tablespoons butter

lemon juice to taste

salt and pepper to taste

Optional: ½ to ¾ teaspoon hot pepper flakes


      Whisk together cornstarch and chicken broth in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously until it thickens.  Remove from heat.  In another pan cook together vinegar and sugar over medium-high heat until it turns light brown in color, stirring continuously.  Add caramel to broth over medium heat until completely dissolved.  Add orange juice and julienne orange.  Refrigerate overnight.

      When chicken is done, pour off excess fat from roasting pan.  Add rum scraping up roasting juices over medium-high heat and reduce liquid to 2 tablespoons.  Add to the orange sauce and bring to simmer.  Stir in orange liqueur by spoonfuls, tasting as you go along; don’t make it too sweet.  Add lemon juice to correct if necessary.  Just before serving, take off heat and swirl in butter.  Add salt and pepper to taste.













Gourmet Sweet and Sour Sauce


Makes 2 ½ to 3 cups

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chicken broth

¾ to 1 cup diced green pepper

1/2 cup mild vinegar

3/4 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ginger, minced 

6 slices pineapple, cubed


      Whisk together cornstarch, chicken broth and soy sauce.  Set aside.  Melt butter. Add 1/2 cup broth and green pepper.  Cover and simmer until green pepper slightly crisp, about 2 minutes.  Whisk in cornstarch mixture and remaining ingredients except pineapple cubes. Simmer, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.  Add pineapple cubes.













Blender Mayonnaise


Makes 1 ¾ cups 

1 egg

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 ¼ cup oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

Optional: dash cayenne 

      Cover and blend on high: egg, mustard, salt, (cayenne), sugar and 1/4 cup oil.  With blender still running, slowly add 1/2 cup oil; then lemon juice.  Thoroughly blend.  Add slowly 1/2 cup oil and blend until thick.  You may have pulse the blender and scrap down the sides.













Blender Hollandaise

Makes 1 Cup                                                     House & Garden, February 1962

 3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon cream
1 cup (2 sticks) melted, unsalted butter, heated until bubbling but not brown
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Place egg yolks, salt, cayenne and cream in blender, blend for a few seconds at high speed until you have a smooth frothy mixture. Still at high speed, start adding hot butter in a thin, steady stream, not too slowly. As you add butter, the sauce should thicken. When half the butter has been added, add lemon juice or vinegar. Continue blending until all butter is used. To keep warm, immerse the blender in hot water.













Green Sauce

8 servings                                                                                        Kitzen Gough

1 ½ quarts chicken stock

5 pounds fresh tomatillos, peeled and quartered

7 fresh Serrano peppers, seeds and pith removed, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 large onion, chopped

3/4 bunch cilantro, chopped

1/2 teaspoon oregano

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

pinch sugar



Combine all ingredients except butter and salt in large saucepan.  Bring to boil over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally and skimming off foam as it rises to surface.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 1 hour. 

Lightly drain and reserve liquid.  Puree tomatillos in batches, adding enough liquid to make desired consistency.  Strain in food mill to remove seeds.  (More liquid will make it easier to strain.)  Add salt to taste.  Freezes well. 

Before serving, thaw, re-heat and whisk in about 2 tablespoons softened butter per 1 cup sauce.














Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce

Serves 4 

Note: Good as a garnish for fajitas, tacos or quesadillas 

¾ cup plain yogurt

¾ cup sour cream

2 tablespoons cilantro, minced

2 teaspoon cumin

1 clove garlic, minced

½ teaspoon salt 

Whisk together all ingredients.













Gourmet Teriyaki Marinade and Sauce


2 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons lemon juice

½ cup soy sauce

4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

2 teaspoons minced garlic

¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

¼ cup honey

1 ½ teaspoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon sake or dry sherry

2 tablespoons brown sugar 

      Marinade: Combine all ingredients except cornstarch in saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat stirring continuously. Cool. Combine with fish and marinate 1 hour. Combine with chicken and marinate 2 to 4 hours.

      Sauce: reheat the marinade in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the liquid to a thick glaze. Lightly brush over fish or chicken.













Basil Pesto

                                                                                                         Caprial Pence

 4 cups basil leaves, coarsely chopped

8 cloves garlic

1 cup pine nuts

1 ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil 

      Process all ingredients except olive oil.  Scrape bowl.  With machine running, gradually add olive oil.  Scrape bowl.  Puree until smooth. 

      Lightly grease 8x8-inch pan lined with lightly greased wax paper.  Pour in pesto and spread evenly throughout pan.  Freeze overnight.  Remove pesto from wax paper and cut into 16 squares.  Freeze squares between layers of wax paper.













Santa Barbara Salsa


chopped mango

chopped peaches





tomato puree




lemon juice














Diana’s Cranberry Sauce

 1 bag fresh cranberries (1 pound)

½ cup water

1 ½ cups sweet orange marmalade, (one 18 ounce jar)

1 pinch salt

1 spring thyme 

To food processor bowl add all but 1 cup berries and water.  Pulse to chop coarsely.  Transfer crushed and whole berries to a medium sauce pan with remaining ingredients.  Simmer uncovered 10 minutes.  Remove thyme stem. If desired, add additional salt or sugar.  If too sweet add drops of balsamic vinegar.













Black Bean Sauce

Makes about 1 ¼ cup                                                                                            


1 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 ½ tablespoons peanut oil

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled, sliced and mashed

2 to 3 medium cloves garlic, mashed

1 ½ tablespoons fermented black beans, soaked for 10 minutes, rinsed and mashed with a fork

1 ½ tablespoon onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 to 2 tablespoons honey, to taste

Garnish: green onion, finely chopped 

      Whisk together chicken broth and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring continuously.  Set aside.

      Heat oil in small saucepan. Sauté garlic and ginger for 1 minute. Add black beans and stir for 30 seconds. Add onions and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Add soy sauce, honey and thickened chicken stock.  Bring to a boil.

      Garnish dish with green onion. 


      Good with asparagus cut on diagonal, par boiled and sautéed. 

      To sauce add ½ pound firm tofu cut into large cubes.  Simmer 2 to 3 minutes.  Serve on rice with blanched Chinese peas.













Make Ahead Turkey Stock

See Diana’s Thanksgiving Stock & Dressing Recipe in the Starch section


















Cherry Chutney

Makes 1 cup                                                                    Bon Appetit, June, 2005


zest of 1 small naval orange

¾ cup cherry preserves

1 sprig thyme or rosemary

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon cardamom

2 teaspoons minced gingerroot

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2/3 cup chopped onion

2 cups frozen, pitted cherries, coarsely chopped in food processor

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

      Add all ingredients to small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and simmer until thick, stirring often.  Remove thyme or rosemary stem. Add salt, pepper and cayenne to taste














Honey Fig Topping with Vanilla and Cinnamon

                                                                                 Cook’s Illustrated (Adapted)

5 ounces dried figs, stemmed and quartered

¼ cup honey

¼ cup water

½ teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 

Bring figs, honey, water, vanilla and cinnamon to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until the liquid reduces, about 4 minutes. Puree in the food processor for a preserve-like consistency. 

Serving Suggestions: Serve over oatmeal, yogurt or ice cream.  Use as a garnish for a blue cheese-green onion quesadilla.













Red Pepper Relish

To serve 8                                                                   By Gail from Whole Foods


8 red peppers

olive oil

2 pinches sugar

salt and pepper

1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste

Optional (choose one): ¼ to 1/3 cup caramelized sweet onion, chopped or ¼ to 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots. 

Char peppers over an open gas flame or in the broiler. Remove skin by hand. (Don’t rinse with water.) Cut into 1-inch pieces. In sauté pan add peppers, olive oil, (one of the optional additions), sugar, salt and pepper. Sauté until very soft. Add balsamic vinegar and adjust seasonings. 

Serving Suggestions: Serve over pasta or alongside beef as a condiment.













Diana’s Meat Sauce for Pasta

Serves 8


1 pound stew meat

olive oil

1 can beef broth

seasonings: carrot, onion, parsley, celery 


2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 28-ounce can S&W Ready-Cut tomatoes

1 tablespoon oregano

½ teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cayenne 

3 cups tomato sauce

1 ½ tablespoons sherry vinegar

salt and pepper

1 pound rigatoni

1 tablespoon butter

garnish: minced parsley

      Meat: Dry off the meat with paper towels; lightly season with salt and pepper. Brown meat in olive oil. Add beef broth and seasonings.  Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours or until very tender. Drain saving the liquid. Let the meat cool somewhat; chop the vegetables and shred the meat with your hands.  Set aside.

Sauce: Sauté garlic in olive oil. Add tomatoes, oregano, sugar, cinnamon, cayenne. Reduce until the tomatoes are the consistency of tomato paste; stirring occasionally. Transfer the sauce to a large heavy saucepan. Add the meat-vegetables mixture and tomato sauce. If too thick, add some of the reserved cooking liquid. Simmer covered 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in sherry vinegar.  Season to taste.

Meanwhile, Bring a gallon of salted to water to boil. Add rigatoni and simmer until still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to the pot tossing with the butter.

      Serve sauce on top of rigatoni garnished with parsley.













Yogurt with Cucumber Raita Recipe (Punjab - North India)

 2 cucumbers
salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped mild onion
2 cups yogurt

1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon cumin
Garnish: 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or mint 

Peel the cucumbers, halve them lengthways and remove the seeds. Cut the cucumbers into small dice, sprinkle with salt and leave for 15 minutes, then drain away liquid and rinse the cucumbers in cold water. Drain well. Combine with onion, yogurt, lemon juice and cumin. Taste to see if more salt is required. Serve chilled, garnished with mint or cilantro.












Piccata Sauce

Makes about ¾ cup 

Note: Add to chicken or veal cutlets.


1 ¼ cups low-sodium chicken stock

1/3 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon flour

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons capers with some juice 

Boil stock and wine until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Whisk together flour and water in a cup, then whisk into stock. Boil, stirring 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Keep sauce warm.













Mushroom-Wine Sauce for Beef

Makes about 1 cup; serves 4

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

6 ounces assorted mushrooms or crimin , trimmed and sliced thin (about 3 cups)

½ ounce dried porcini, soaked in ½ cup warm beef broth for 15 minutes

1 small shallot , minced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)

1 cup dry red wine or Madeira (somewhat sweet)

1/2 cup mushroom soaking liquid

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 ½ ounce Demi-Glace Gold (Whole Foods)

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves

Optional: 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces or ¼ cup cream 

Gently squeeze liquid from soaking porcini. Reserve and strain liquid and chop porcini. Sauté mushrooms and porcini in olive oil, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown and liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Increase heat to high; add red wine and broth, scraping bottom of skillet with wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Simmer rapidly until liquid and mushrooms are reduced to 1 cup, about 6 minutes. Strain; set aside mushrooms and reserve liquid. Whisk in vinegar, mustard, and demi-glace into the reserved liquid; cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Off heat, whisk in butter or cream and thyme; season with salt and pepper to taste.













Bleu Cheese Sauce for Beef

Serves 4


1/4 pound roquefort or other strong bleu at room temperature

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon dry white wine
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 crushed garlic clove
dash paprika
dash pepper
Optional: 2 tablespoons deglazed pan juices


Mix the cheese, wine, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, paprika and pepper together in a saucepan. Keep the heat low or use a double boiler, stirring until it's smooth.













Apple Butter

Stamford Museum and Nature Center

Note: Only make this recipe with a gas stove or Crockpot, not electric stove. 

1 bag new apples, about 5 to 6 pounds

1 gallon apple cider





zest of 1 lemon 

       Core and slice apples.  In a very large (lobster-size) pot, add apples and cider. (The apples and cider should only fill the pot half-way.) Boil and bring to a simmer, cooking until the apples are soft, about 15to 20 minutes. Drain and puree in food processor.  Press through sieve or food mill to remove skins, seeds, etc.  Measure sieved fruit.  For each 1 cup of fruit mix in 1/2 cup sugar, few grains salt, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. 

       Add apple puree, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and lemon zest to a very large, heavy-bottomed pot. (The mixture should only fill the pot half-way.) Bring the mixture to a boil stirring continuously.  Simmer, partially covered, stirring frequently. The apple butter is done when poured from a large spoon it flows in a continuous sheet instead of drops.  Spoon into jar, cover and refrigerate.


Spicy Red Pepper Sauce

Makes about ½ cup


Puree all the following in a mini food processor:

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

½ cup chopped, char roasted red bell pepper

1 ½ teaspoon Tabasco

1 ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon olive oil


Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.