madison-press.com

Mom scores a three-pointer with dipping sauces

By Linda Conway Eriksson Contributing Columnist

March 29, 2014

What is it about “March Madness” that turns lukewarm followers of college basketball into rabid fans of one team or another? There’s definitely something in the air in March.


Everybody who follows college basketball closely thinks he has a lock on who will win the championship. Let’s face facts most of us are doomed to disappointment. Just enough wild card teams pop up out of the weeds every year to crush most of our expectations. Would you expect Mercer College to beat mighty Duke University? Most years, who would bet on Dayton to beat OSU? I guess somebody should have this year.


It’s so hard to place every team right and correctly guess all the brackets that wealthy Warren Buffet, one of the shrewdest minds on Wall Street, has offered to pay anyone who can name the winner of every bracket throughout the NCAA tournament a cool $1 billion. It’s true go online and look up www.winbuffetsbillion. Of course, it’s a little late to get in on the action now.


All that basketball puts a whole lot of us in front of our televisions at game times. If we’re not careful a significant number of meals turn into giant snack-a-thons — just think of all the empty calories.


Instead of mountains of chips and oceans of dip, why not grill or steam some vegetables, like broccoli, rounds of squash and snow peas; have some raw, like medium-size mushrooms and tender whole green beans; and add bite-size hunks of grilled lean meat? Chicken is always good, it’s good for you and it holds up well.


If you set out meat and veggies buffet-style with these sauces and some little dishes, such as custard cups, to put them in, people can serve their plates with quality food and snack on something really healthy while they try to “win Buffet’s billion.” These recipes, divided into quarters and shared so everyone has two kinds, should feed four. The sauces cook quickly in the microwave.


ORANGE

SESAME SAUCE

1/2 cup orange juice


1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth


1/4 cup soy sauce


2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil


2 teaspoons cornstarch


Combine ingredients in a glass bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave 30 more seconds. Stir again.


Keep cooking at 30 second intervals until sauce thickens and is translucent.


Makes about 1 and 1/8 cups.


TERIYAKI

DIPPING SAUCE

1/2 cup soy sauce


1/2 cup sugar


2 tablespoons dry sherry wine


2 teaspoons cornstarch


2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (or powdered to taste)


1 garlic clove, minced


1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Combine ingredients in a glass bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave 30 more seconds. Stir again.


Keep cooking at 30 second intervals until sauce thickens and is translucent.


Makes about 1 and 1/8 cups.


Don’t forget to use one of your favorite commercial sauces (barbecue, teriyaki, sweet and sour). Mix up the choices.


Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached by e-mail at ieatatmoms@gmail.com.