Have you ever made soup, risotto or another recipe that resulted in an awkward amount of leftover broth? Keep these sauce recipes in your arsenal for the occasion, and use that cup of broth to enhance your next meal.
What often separates even the simplest dish from others is the sauce. In fact, I find it much easier to prepare delicious meals throughout the week if I make exciting sauces ahead of time to coat over basic vegetable, protein and starch preparations. Homemade sauces are also a convenient means of using up random leftovers in the fridge — half a bunch of herbs, one quarter cup of cream or, often, chicken broth.
Using broth as a base for a sauce recipe adds a richness when it replaces water or a lightness when it replaces a fattier liquid like coconut milk or cream. Once you start incorporating leftover stock or broth using the three recipes below, you'll be surprised how easy it is to include them in other recipes. Never again will that cup of leftover liquid be forgotten in the fridge.
Homemade barbecue sauce
Using broth where you might typically use water keeps the flavors undiluted and results in a shorter cook time.
Makes about 2 cups, or enough to generously coat 10 chicken wings
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (we used Pacific Foods)
- 1 cup ketchup
- 3 chipotles in adobo, plus enough adobo sauce to equal 1/4 cup
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend or process until smooth.
- Pour the sauce into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering, stirring often, until the sugar has melted and the sauce has reduced a bit — 5-10 minutes, depending on desired thickness.
Coconut curry sauce
Makes about 1 quart, or enough to generously coat 10 ounces of stir-fry rice noodles
- 1/4 cup red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon palm sugar (or cane sugar)
- 2 cups chicken broth (we used Pacific Foods)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
- Lime wedges and fresh cilantro, for serving
- Place the curry paste and sugar in a small or medium bowl. Add the broth to a large saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Slowly stir 1/4 cup boiling broth into the curry paste until smooth, then whisk the loosened paste into the saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the coconut milk.
- In a small bowl, stir together the arrowroot powder and 1 tablespoon cold water. Whisk the arrowroot mixture into the saucepan and cook another five minutes to thicken and combine the flavors. Serve with vegetable, noodles and/or rice with limes and cilantro.
Low(er) fat Alfredo sauce
While this recipe may not strictly qualify as "low fat," it is certainly lighter than the traditional Alfredo sauce consisting of a hefty amount of butter, heavy cream and cheese. This variation instead uses equal parts broth and milk, with a butter-and-flour roux as a thickener. It's lower in fat, but still creamy and full of flavor. Because the ingredients here are subtle and few, the quality of broth is particularly important, as it will be partnering with the other flavors.
Makes about 2 cups or enough to coat 1/2 pound of fettucini
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken broth (we used Pacific Foods)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley, for serving
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir in the flour and cook 2 minutes, then slowly whisk in the broth and milk.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon — about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the cheese and season to taste with black pepper. Serve immediately over pasta and/or cooked vegetables with fresh parsley.
This post was brought to you by Pacific Foods. Try their organic Free Range Chicken Broth to give a rich, homemade flavor to your next soup.
More awesome sauce recipes
Spaghetti with lemony garlic brown butter sauce
Crispy pork belly with with miso-sesame sauce
Tonight's dinner: Chicken tortellini with feta cream sauce