If you’ve been reading our menu posts for the last two weeks or so, you know that we’ve been working hard to empty out our freezer. We’ve used up fish, veggies, meat, and even bread, but found that we still had a few freezer bags (five to be exact) of various sauces to deal with.
Inspiration struck last week in the form of an article in the New York Times food section titled “Five Sauces for the Modern Cook“. The theme of the article is that tastes have changed and evolved in such a way that we need to update the “five mother sauces” of classic French cooking. While we recognized three of the five – béchamel and hollandaise plus tomat – we had never heard of the remaining two (espagnole and velouté) and were only vaguely aware of the concept of the mother sauces. The five new sauces are very different from the classics. They are yogurt sauce, pepper sauce, herb sauce, tahini sauce, and pesto. When we read the last sauce, we remembered that it was one of the five (coincidentally enough) sauces we had in the fridge. And that’s when the idea came to us: we would make very simple dishes that allowed us to use up all our sauces: pesto, ginger-soy, green goddess, barbecue sauce, and romesco.
We started out with pesto sauce on Sunday, which we served over gemelli pasta that we had in the cupboard. We paired this up with Italian Kale Caesar Salad, which also let us use up the Caesar dressing we made when we had that same salad last week. The pesto had maybe picked up a little bit bitterness after having been frozen, but was pretty much as good as when we first made it.
We each had a night when we were solo for dinner (Kim on Monday and Tony on Tuesday), so we ate the last of the pasta, meatballs, and sauce that Tony made last week. On Wednesday, we used up the ginger-soy glaze, which we used on some salmon. We paired the salmon with some sautéed baby bok choy and as luck would have it, the ginger-soy sauce tasted great on that as well.
We didn’t make the The Kitchn’s Corn, Tomato, and Black Bean Tostadas with Creamy Cilantro Dressing last week like planned. We planned to make this on Thursday night, but Tony learned his brother was free and they decided to meet up for beers. So, we plan to repurpose the recipe and try it with the left over green goddess dressing. We’ll make this recipe Sunday morning to have it on hand as dinners or lunches for next week, which promises to be busy for both of us.
We made barbecued chicken Friday night using sauce that we originally made to use with pulled pork; the sauce worked just as well on chicken. We had a side of spinach sautéed with garlic, along with some store-bought cornbread. We paired this meal with a few River Horse IPAs for a fun Friday night dinner.
The last sauce we planned to use up was romesco, which we thought we would have with some swordfish and a side of sautéed broccoli and mushrooms. We planned this for Saturday but made a last-minute change. We read about an exhibit of the works of Alma Thomas at The Studio Museum in Harlem and decided to go and to have dinner at Red Rooster, a very popular Harlem restaurant that is only a block away from the museum. We’ll make the swordfish on Tuesday of next week instead. The mushrooms and broccolini have found their way into a spectacular, 12-egg fritatta courtesy of Kim. (Two at the Table hates to waste food just as much as we love to cook and it eat!). And to have around for the week, Kim will also make a Tomato and Squash Gratin using a recipe from the Kitchn.
And that is how we managed to make five sauces pulled from the far corners of our freezer into the basis for a whole week’s worth of dinners!