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When it comes to cooking from scratch, sauces are definitely one area that could use some help. Mine are weak. By that don’t mean that their taste isn’t strong enough, I mean that my skills for making sauces and gravies from scratch are weak. Always happy to get some help in this area, I was very happy to receive an offer to try new Progresso Recipe Starters.
ABOUT PROGRESSO RECIPE STARTERS
The concept of recipe starters – sometimes referred to as “mother sauces” – is nothing new. In fact, they were outlined more than a century ago in Le Guide Culinaire, a French cookbook intended for all classically trained chefs that is still used today.
But what is new is having these sauces ready to go right off the pantry shelf for the home chef.
“Mother sauces are fundamental to classical cooking, they form the foundation of modern cuisine and are part of the backbone of a restaurant kitchen line,” says Heidi Teoh, a principal scientist for General Mills who helped develop the sauces and whose husband is a professional chef.
“From these five basic sauces, an endless variety of sauces and dishes can be made.”
The five Progresso cooking sauces are:
- Creamy Roasted Garlic with Chicken Stock – Caramelized, roasted chicken broth, garlic and a touch of cream. Possible dishes include Creamy Lemon Chicken, Chicken Pot Pie and Chicken Enchiladas.
- Fire Roasted Tomato – Medium-thick tomato sauce, accompanied by flavors of roasted, caramelized tomatoes, oregano and bell peppers. Possible dishes include Pulled Chicken Sandwiches, Easy Weeknight Chicken Parmesan, Cheese-stuffed Mini Meat Loaves and Mole Tacos.
- Creamy Parmesan Basil – Creamy, full-bodied and indulgent sauce that was inspired by alfredo and creamy pesto sauces. Possible dishes include Crispy Garlic-Parmesan Chicken, Creamy Chicken Alfredo, Basil Chicken Ravioli Carbonara and Basil Chicken Thai Noodle.
- Creamy Portabella Mushroom – Creamy, full-bodied and highly indulgent smooth sauce rich with butter sautéed Portabella mushrooms. Body similar to medium bechamel. Dairy/mushroom is primary flavor base with herb/white wine top notes. Possible dishes include Easy Weeknight Beef Stroganoff, Steak and Mushroom Sandwich and Tetrazzini.
- Creamy Three Cheese – Creamy, full-bodied and highly indulgent with body similar to medium cheese sauce. Rich with a blend of yellow and white cheeses, with a savory background of chicken stock, onion, garlic and cracked pepper. Possible dishes include Easy Weeknight Bacon Mac & Cheese, Twice-Baked Potato Pizza and Cheesy Egg Breakfast Tacos.
I received samples of each of the five Progresso Recipe Starters sauces. The sauces are very easy to use. There’s a recipe on each can’s label that you can follow. There is also a QR code on the label that when scanned will unlock even more recipes. Basically all you need to do is mix the sauce with other ingredients and heat. Progresso has already created more than 100 recipes using these sauces! That means you could use them every night and not eat the same thing twice for a couple of months. Not only are they easy to use, they can help you save time. No more slaving over sauces, most of the recipes take under 30 minutes to prepare from start to finish.
Recipe Starters are available in the soup aisle nationwide for a suggested retail price of $2.49 for an 18-ounce can.
I’ve enjoyed trying different dishes with these sauces. We’ve tried four of the five sauces – we don’t eat mushrooms here so we didn’t try that one, we gave that to a friend to try and she loved it. I somehow expected the flavors of these sauces to be on the weak side. They aren’t. We are very pleased with the flavor of all four, to date no favorite has emerged, probably because they’re so versatile. The recipes have proven to be easy to make and tasty, and tolerate my modifications well. I have two more dishes scheduled to try this week, a Cheesy Bacon Hash Brown Bake and Crispy Garlic Parmesan Chicken. Here is one of my favorite dishes that I’ve made so far using Progresso Recipe Starters – Chicken Broccoli Stroganoff. It was easy to make, I only made a couple of very minor changes. The meal is delicious and only takes as long to make as it takes to boil the pasta.
CHICKEN BROCCOLI STROGANOFF RECIPE
- 1 bag (12 oz) Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers Select frozen broccoli florets
- 1 can (18 oz) Progresso Recipe Starters creamy Parmesan basil cooking sauce
- 2 cups cubed deli rotisserie chicken (I used one 9 oz package of Perdue Short Cuts Chicken)
- 1 jar (4.5 oz) Green Giant sliced mushrooms, drained (I omitted)
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup sour cream (I used 8 oz of sour cream)
- 4 cups hot cooked noodles (I used one 12 oz bag of egg noodles)
- Garnish, If Desired – Chopped fresh parsley or chives (I omitted)
Cook broccoli in microwave as directed on bag. Drain; set aside.
In 2-quart saucepan, heat cooking sauce, chicken, mushrooms, onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to boiling.
Stir in broccoli.
Reduce heat to low; stir in sour cream. Heat until hot.
Serve over noodles; sprinkle with parsley.
The product(s) featured in this review was provided free of cost to me for the sole purpose of product testing and review. This post has not been monetarily compensated and is based on the views and opinions of my family and/or self. Please note that the opinions reflected in this post have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.