Thursday, July 30, 2015

Garlic & Basil White Sauce

This is a versatile sauce that can be adapted for many different uses. It's fairly quick and easy to make, and easy to make, and it freezes and refrigerates well. This recipe can multiplied, I usually make this double.

1-batch measurements:

1 8oz pkg. Cream Cheese (softened is best)
1/2 of a full cube (i.e. 4 Tablespoons) of REAL butter, margarine doesn't work well...
2 rounded Tablespoons (more or less) of minced garlic (jar is fine, powder, not so much)
2 flat-measured Tablespoons of dry Basil (aka "sweet" basil, not Thai or anything...)
1 teaspoon of Liquid Spoke (Hickory or Mesquite, apple-wood and so on doesn't work well in this)
1/2 grated Parmesan (shredded also works very well)
1/2 to 1 cup of grated Smoked Gouda, INCLUDE the skin, even if you think it's not going to melt - it will
Approximately (give or take) 2 cups of whole or 2% milk. (Do not use Soy or Almond, for some reason it doesn't set up right. Same with 1% or low fat. I haven't tried Goat or other dairy milks.)

Melt the butter on Medium heat, no NOT let it start to caramelize or burn. Add the garlic and basil, and saute them a bit to release the aroma and flavors. Don't let them "crisp" as that is too hot, turn it down. Seriously. Drop in the cream cheese by spoonfuls, stirring with a wooden spoon, coated-wire whisk or other strong, preferably non-metallic utensil. The butter mix and cream cheese *should* mix fairly well, if it's too oily, not too bad but you probably used too much butter. Dry Parmesan versus the shredded Parmesan will usually fix this, but it's pretty forgiving. Add the liquid smoke, stir the Parmesan and Gouda in by small handfuls, but DO NOT OVER STIR, just kind-of coat the cheeses by tossing with the hotter mixture - they'll melt, but you don't want this to turn grainy. When all of your cheeses seem fairly well mixed and melted, add in and stir well the milk. This is gonna get much thinner than you THINK it ought, but have faith, it thickens when it cools, and you want it a sauce, not a paste on your noodles or whatever. bring it back to a bubbly temperature and turn off, it's done. If putting over noodles, make sure your noodles are not drippy wet, or it will thin out.
Let cool before putting in a container for freezing or refrigerating. It lasts about a month to six weeks in the fridge, I'd use it within 6 months in the freezer. If it lasts that long.

Good on:
Noodles
Vegetables (both cooked or raw as an appetizer)
Homemade Pizza
Chicken bakes
Polenta
Eggs
Rice
Tortilla Wraps
Use your imagination :)

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