Cooking gluten free and, in our case, dairy free sauces can bring more flavor, interest and richness to cool, Autumn meals. Here are three sauce recipes, White Sauce, Apricot Date Chutney, and Apple Pumpkin Sauce, that are delicious, work well, and are easy to make. They add the the finishing touches to your dishes, and bring about that “comfort” feeling, kind of like putting on your favorite sweater.
Gluten Free, Dairy Free White Sauce
Prep time: less than 5 minutes
Cook time: about 15 minutes
2-3 Tablespoons margarine, I use Earth Balance Buttery Spread (gluten, dairy, soy free)
1 Tablespoon Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oat Flour
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon celery salt * (McCormick Spices are gluten free, see bottom of page)
1 − 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder *
White pepper to taste,* (black pepper tastes fine too but is more noticeable in a white sauce)
1 − 1 1/2 cups So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
In a small sauce pot, melt the margarine over very low heat not to brown. Add the flour, corn starch, celery salt, onion powder, and pepper. Blend together with a whisk until smooth and creamy, creating a roux.
Slowly pour the coconut milk into the roux, stirring with a whisk the entire time. Thoroughly blend to eliminate any lumps. Cook over low to medium heat, watching closely and stirring often, until the mixture begins to thicken. Depending on the consistency you prefer your white sauce, turn down or off heat to halt the thickening process, or add in a bit more coconut milk (small increments at a time) to thin.
At this point, you can use the white sauce alone, or add in other ingredients to pair well with your particular dish. We add in green peas, then use it over our roasted asparagus or Brussels sprouts, and it finishes off our Salmon Pie perfectly. Regular or dairy free cheese can blended in and thoroughly melted to create a nice, velvety cheese sauce for vegetables, or to make 1-2 servings of mac and cheese.
Apricot Date Chutney
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: approx. 25-30 minutes
2 cups apple juice
1 clove garlic – minced
1 medium yellow onion (as sweet as possible) – diced into 1/4” pieces
2 Tablespoons canola oil
4 fresh dates (medjools work well) – pitted and diced into 1//4” pieces
8 − 10 dried apricot halves – diced into 1/4” pieces
Pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
In a small to medium size sauce pan, combine apple juice and garlic. Heat over medium-high, bringing juice to a boil. Lower heat, continue simmering until the liquid is reduced to approximately one-half to one-third the original amount.
While the apple juice is reducing, in a small saute pan, warm oil over low heat. Add onion and saute until soft and translucent in color. Turn off heat and set aside.
Once the apple juice has reduced in volume, add in cooked onions, dates, apricots, pepper flakes, and black pepper. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring occasionally until apricots reconstitute and are plump and soft. If the sauce becomes too dry or thick, adjust by consistency by adding 1 Tablespoon of apple juice at a time, until desired thickness.
One to two minutes prior to serving, add freshly grated ginger to the sauce, and stir to incorporate thoroughly.
Served with grilled pork, the apple and apricot flavors complement the meat very well, and when served over baked chicken, you enjoy flavors that remind me it’s autumn. If you keep the chutney a bit thick, it is delicious spread on toast points. And to bring dessert to a whole new level, cool the chutney completely and serve over vanilla ice cream. (I’ve heard it said that this chutney could make a bumper hitch taste good!) Enjoy.
Apple Pumpkin Sauce
Prep time: less than 5 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
1 cup canned pure pumpkin, Libby's is gluten free
2 medium apples – peeled and finely diced (Cortland or Macintosh add good flavor)
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
1/8-1/4 teaspoon allspice*
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon*
In a medium size sauce pan, combine all ingredients. Stir well to mix, Over medium heat, bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for approximately 20 minutes, or until thickened and not liquid like. If too thick for your preference, add additional apple juice, 1 Tablespoon at a time, to your likeness. If not thick enough, simmer sauce to desired consistency, stirring occasionally.
This sauce makes a fantastic accompaniment to roasted chicken. The Apple Pumpkin Sauce, in a thick version, spreads nicely on biscuits or toast. And by adding a tablespoonful or so to your morning hot cereal, you get a slightly sweet pumpkin pie flavor, with the added boost of vitamins to start your day right.