Sunshine Sauce!

There was no sunshine in Southern Illinois today. It has rained for hours! I had lots of work to do on this Saturday at home, but I knew I'd want a nice Saturday night dinner, so I put the ingredients for one of my favorite sauces in the crock pot.

Because I had a 24 ounce package of small heirloom tomatoes, I used them. I always have a few naval oranges in the winter, so I used one of them. I have a nice variety of frozen herbs because my little herb garden was super productive last summer, so I froze a lot.

This sauce is so simple. Pierce the skins of each tomato, and put the whole thing in. Cut the orange in pieces, squeeze some juice over the tomatoes and throw peel and all in the crock pot. Add a cup of water and 2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh/frozen basil.  Cook on high for 4 hours. Add a clove of garlic minced and a small can of tomato paste.  Cook another hour on high and the sauce will have thickened.

The sauce can be used for a variety of things.  It is great over sauteed shrimp with pasta. It is great over pasta with no meat or seafood!  If you like to layer cooked chicken or cooked seafood in lasagna, this is the perfect sauce for that. Just include a couple layers of cheese.

 I used it to top chicken. I dipped thin boneless skinless chicken breast in egg wash and then in Italian bread crumbs. I gently fried the chicken in olive oil. When the chicken was done, I removed it from the stove and placed a thin slice of provolone cheese on each piece.

 I topped the breaded chicken with Sunshine Sauce and served it with creamy pesto sauced gnocchi.

I always freeze the extra sauce. This is great to make in the summertime, when you have an abundance of fresh tomatoes!

Beef Sandwich Spread and Arugula

Seems like I've always made sandwich spread with left over roast beef, but the other night I had a nice size of meat left from a grilled New York Strip! I'm not sure what possessed me to buy that size, but I'm glad I did because I stumbled on to a good recipe.

I have lots of herbs in the freezer. Last summer's herb harvest was really good, so I froze lots of it in butter, olive oil and plain water. I made a savory butter compound with a combination of rosemary and thyme from the freezer and some fresh chopped Italian parsley.

I rubbed the steak with some of the herbs, then served it with the butter. I ended up making my sandwich spread, using the left over couple Tablespoons of butter, a little mayonnaise, minced onion and minced celery. I just threw it all in the food processor together! The butter and herbs made it especially delicious!

I started the sandwich stack with a slice of Muenster cheese, topped the meat with sliced cucumbers and sweet peppers and served the sandwiches with a handful of arugula!

Pretty tasty brown bag lunch!

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