The Secret to Dressing Up Easy Weeknight Meals
Sauces give identity to a dish.
Without sauce, sautéed chicken is just chicken—add a sauce and it becomes a tantalizing entrée. And on frosty winter days, nothing is better than a comforting sauce made with generous amounts of fresh, heavy cream. I remember my grandmother frying chicken in a huge cast iron skillet, then adding pints of heavy cream to the drippings to make gravy. It tasted heavenly. But these days, I can’t afford to eat those saturated fats and calories. Instead, I indulge my desire for rich creamy sauces with lighter versions.
A long-time favorite of mine, Pork Medallions with Apple-Yogurt Sauce, is reminiscent of German-style pork cutlets and noodles topped with a heavy cream sauce. Greek yogurt lightens the sauce in this version. Fresh apple slices and apple juice contrast with the tang of the yogurt, while onion and sage add complexity.
Layers of flavor make Chicken with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce a new favorite recipe at my house. Chicken breast cutlets (chicken breasts horizontally cut into halves) sauté in oil from the sun-dried tomatoes for the first jolt of piquancy. Then flavor-concentrated, sun-dried tomatoes cook along with chopped onion in the drippings. A little broth deglazes the pan, making sure every bit of taste is utilized when you add the half-and-half. The final tablespoon of Parmesan cheese finishes off the sauce with an essence of deliciousness.
Pork Chops in Creamy Mustard-Peppercorn Sauce gets its inspiration from Steak au Poivre. In our quick weeknight version, evaporated 2% milk provides the creaminess instead of heavy cream. The addition of abundant mustard and cracked black peppercorns bolster the taste. If you like, add cooked noodles for a heartier entrée. But don’t stop with just pork, this recipe also has variations to use the same sauce with beef or chicken.