Sauces / Gravies

May 26, 2013

Memorial Day Whiskey Glaze


This glaze works great with beef and turkey, or any meat really, and will compliment any Memorial Day BBQ spread.



  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 large vidalia onion, minced
  • 1.5 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced 
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2.5 Valencia oranges
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Jameson Irish Whiskey (or any whiskey of your choosing)
  • Caster sugar (Optional)
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier (Optional)



  1. Place minced shallots, onions and garlic in 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup water on a skillet, and cook on high heat heat until the vegetables are brown and well caramelized, about 25 minutes.  Stir frequently.
  2. Add brown sugar to the onion mixture.
    1. When the sugar melts, mix into the onions. 
    2. Taste, and add more brown sugar if a sweetness isn't detected
  3. Remove mixture from heat and allow to cool.
    1. Add the juice from 2 1/2 oranges
    2. Place in blender, and puree until there are no chunks.
  4. Add whiskey and Grand Marnier.
    1. Taste to ensure that the whiskey flavor is present.  If not to your liking, add more.
    2. Add a tablespoon of caster sugar if mixture doesn't have enough sweetness, and repeat.  Caster sugar is another name for super fine sugar, and will dissolve more quickly than regular granulated sugar.
  5. Enjoy warm or cold.  The glaze will last for 3 -4 days in the fridge.

December 30, 2011

Sun-dried tomato pesto


  1. 1 cup smoked sun-dried tomatoes
  2. 1/2 large onion
  3. 15 garlic petals
  4. 1/2 large bunch italian parsley
  5. 1/3 of a fresh herb box of Oregano
  6. 4 -5 large basil leaves
  7. 1/3 cup parmigiano reggiano
  8. 1/4 cup pine nuts
  9. 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  10. 1/4 tsp salt
  11. 1/4 tsp pepper
  12. Olive Oil


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September 22, 2011

Better than Roxy's Grilled Pizza

The inspiration for this recipe came from a grilled cheese sandwich made by Roxy's Gourmet Grilled Cheese truck on a recent episode of the Great Food Truck Race.  The original sandwich contained caramelized onions and shallots, walnuts, granny smith apples and cheddar.  People were lining up in droves and raving about the sandwich.  "Clearly this combination of ingredients would work on a pizza", I thought.

The next step is transposing a grilled cheese sandwich into a pizza.  The cheese and toppings are no brainers, however using regular pizza sauce would detract from the overall concept.  Instead, I came up with a caramelized shallot roasted onion sauce.  The recipe is simple, but takes time.  The sauce turned out so zesty and delicious, that it could pair with poultry and fish or serve as a dipping sauce.

The final steps to pizza deliciousness are the dough and grill.  Both white and wheat crusts were used to determine which flour is best.  Ultimately, the whole wheat's hearty grain complimented the hearty ingredients perfectly, and is pictured below.  (Note: There is an awesome pizza dough recipe on this blog, too!)  The grill's smokey, outdoor flavor adds a nice kick to this classic New England mix of ingredients. 


Caramelized Shallots and Roasted Onion Sauce Ingredients

 Yields1 1/2 cups of sauce and makes four 10 inch pies

  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • About 10 - 14 petals of garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves broken from sprig
  • 1/2 sprig of rosemary, leaves broken from sprig
  • Pepper

Pizza Ingredients

Note: The ingredient measurements are per 10 inch pie.

  • Dough
    • Pre-made: Purchase frozen from whole foods, able to split white into two 10 inch crusts, wheat creates one 14 inch
    • Homemade pizza dough recipe
  • Cheddar cheese, grated, 4 - 6 oz per 10 inch pie
  • 1/3 granny smith apple, cut into thin small chunks, per 10 inch pie
  • 1/3 medium red pepper, cut into small segments, per 10 inch pie
  • 1/2 grilled chicken breast, pulled from the bone or cut in small chunks, per 10 inch pie 



  1. Create the sauce
    1. Heat oven to 300 degrees
    2. Place onions and garlic on separate foil squares
      1. Cover onion and garlic with olive oil
      2. Loosely wrap foil around vegetables and place onto a metal pan
    3. Place pan into the oven
      1. Cook garlic for about 10 - 15 minutes.  The petals will be soft to the touch.
      2. Cook onion for 45-60 minutes, or until well cooked, translucent brown and caramelized on the bottom
    4. Let vegetables cool, remove skin and place in blender, along with a 1/4 cup of water.  Puree and set aside.
    5. Spray a large skillet with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.
      1. Place the shallots, a pinch of salt, 1 - 4 tbsp olive oil and 1/3 cup water in skillet on medium high heat.
      2. When water evaporates, reduce heat to medium, and cook shallot mixture until deep brown, translucent and well caramelized. 
        1. If the shallots start to burn, reduce heat slightly and add a few drops of water.
      3. Reduce heat to medium-low.  Add onion garlic puree, pepper, thyme and rosemary to the shallot mixture.
      4. Cook the mixture for 15-20, or until most of the water is cooked out.  The mixture's thickness should be similar to red pizza sauce.  Not soupy or watery, but also not dense. 
  2. Assemble the pizza
    1. Spray olive oil or non-stick cooking oil onto foil and place the pizza dough on foil.
    2. Add the sauce, apples, red peppers, chicken and cheese to the dough
  3. Grill for 20-30 minutes on low to medium heat, until cheese slightly browns and crust is cooked.



October 29, 2008

Tomato Sauce Recipe


My father called it Gravy.

I've always called it tomato sauce, and have fond memories of it simmering away every Sunday afternoon. The tomato sauce from my youth was always made with meat. Not that it was a "meat sauce," per se, but meat was first browned in the pot and then left to finish cooking in the pot. I like to use meatballs and sweet Italian sausage, but my mom will also throw in short ribs (beef or pork) and braciole on occasion. 

And so as the weather cools here in the northeast and my grill gets less and less use, you'll often find a pot of sauce bubbling on my stove on a sunday early evening. Feel free to call it Gravy if you like.

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October 08, 2008

Tomato Sauce - Vegetarian


4 cans crushed tomatoes (plain crushed tomatoes)

2 small cans tomato paste

Handful each of fresh basil, oregano, parsley (optional) – CHOPPED FINE.

Few shakes of Hot Red Pepper

2 tsp salt, to taste

8 cloves of garlic – ½ chopped thinly, ½ pressed

1 Cup Red Wine

1/2 Cup Grated Romano Cheese (or a nice whole chunk of Parma Cheese to float in sauce while it is cooking)

2 Cups Water (less if you like sauce thicker)

1 Onion

Heat olive oil (approx 4 tbsp) in large stock pot over medium heat.   Chop onion fine, add to pot and cook until it starts to lightly brown.  Add garlic, and simmer 3 minutes longer.   Add all remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil.   Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer...anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on how much time you have.    Stir sauce every 15 to 20 minutes and scrape bottom of pan.  Enjoy!


Serve with fresh Romano grated cheese over pasta, chicken cutlets, etc.  Also great on homemade pizza and polenta.  Freeze any remaining sauce.

June 18, 2008

Barbecue Sauce Recipe

There are some quality prepared barbecue sauce products on the market these days (Stubbs is a brand I recommend) but, nonetheless, I prefer to make my own. This recipe was modified from the Kansas City Ribs recipe in Weber's Big Book of Grilling. I cut back on the ketchup and added some roasted peppers and a bit more onion.

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