By Pamela Redwine
Members of the 4-H clubs have several upcoming events. Please call the Extension Office at 675-2730 to let us know if your child will be attending. We will not be able to participate in some events, such as the parades, if we don’t have enough youth and parents signed up.
The events include:
• Saturday, December 7, 1 p.m. – Water Valley Christ-mas parade (walking unit )
• Saturday, December 14, 2 p.m. – Coffeeville Christ-mas Parade (walking unit)
• Thursday, December 12, 4 p.m. – Christmas nursing home visit (Christmas carols and hand out sun catchers). This will be in place of our December meeting.
The Food for Families Food Drive is coming to a close. Thank you to everyone who has given.
On December 10, the MHV United Y.C. Club will meet at the Extension Office at 10 a.m. to take books to the Bryant Head Start center. They will then meet at B&B Barbecue at 11 a. m. for their Christmas Lunch. All members are encouraged to attend.
The Healthy You Exercise class meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m.
Finding a Healthier Version for Traditional Sauces
Have you ever watched a cooking show where the person is given a mystery ingredient and they have to come up with what to make using no recipe resources and have only an hour or two to prepare the dish? Well one way they complete this task is by using one of the “Mother Sauces.” Have you ever heard of the mother sauces? Today I’m going to walk you through the basics — just in time for your holiday party!
Chef Escoffier was the founder of classic French cuisine. One of his principles in sauce making is that there are five mother sauces, from which all other sauces are made. They are…
1. Brown sauce (made from roasted bones and roux)
2. Velouté (a chicken or fish broth thickened with corn starch)
3. Béchamel (a heavy cream sauce made with milk and roux)
4. Tomato Sauce (tomato paste is roasted with bones and it is thickened with roux)
5. Hollandaise Sauce (an emulsion made with egg yolks and clarified butter)
The theory behind the mother sauces is that you don’t need to follow an endless number of recipes to make all the sauces you need. Instead, you can learn these five and then create variations accordingly.
Sauce Perigoux is a brown sauce with truffles while Sauce Chasseur is a hunter’s sauce made from tomato sauce and mushrooms. Sauce Bearnaise is a Hollandaise with the addition of a tarragon reduction.
The mother sauces are taught in many high-end culinary schools. The knowledge of these sauces is necessary for any aspiring culinarian, however, some health conscious chefs no longer think that these five sauces are the basis of home cooking.
According to Commun-icating Food for Health there are seven essential healthful sauces that are easy to prepare, low in fat, and very delicious. They are…
1. Salsa or pico de gallo
2. Chutney or any baked/poached/grilled fruit
3. Roasted marinara sauce or roasted vegetable puree
5. Pan sauce (made in a pan, can also include gravy)
6. Cream sauce
7. Pesto or herb rubs
These are critical if you want to create healthful meals that taste great. They’re a fun way to maximize flavor for many different dishes. Below are recipes for three of my favorites.
• 4 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
• 4 tablespoons white vinegar
• 2 tablespoons apple juice concentrate
•1/2 cup water • 1 tablespoon raisins
• Pinch ground ginger
Directions: Combine ingredients in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Keep covered; stir occasionally. Add more water if necessary. Once apples get soft enough to mash with a fork, mash them thoroughly and then serve warm.
Pico De Gallo
• 4 ripe tomatoes, cored, halved, seeds removed, and diced
• 1 jalapeno or poblano pepper, seeded and minced
• 1/2 cup green onion, sliced thin
• Juice from 1/2 lime • 1 tsp chopped cilantro
• Fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice, to taste
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, adding lemon or lime juice to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Fresh Roasted Marinara Sauce
4 large, ripe tomatoes, cored, halved, and seeded
1/2 onion, peeled and quartered
1 clove garlic, halved
1/2 red or green bell pepper, cored
1/4 cup fresh basil
Directions: Preheat your oven broiler. Place tomatoes, onion, garlic, and bell pepper skin side up on a flat cookie tray. Roast under the broiler until skins turn very brown and blister – about 10 minutes. Place all vegetables into your food processor or blender. Add fresh basil and puree until smooth.