Progresso Recipe Starters Set the Stage for Home Cooked Meals

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Preparing home-cooked meals for busy families should be a lot easier with the introduction with Progresso Recipe Starters, a line of five upscale cooking sauces that can be used as the foundation for hundreds of recipes from Progresso, a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based General Mills.

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."

Varieties include: Creamy Roasted Garlic with Chicken Stock, featuring caramelized, roasted chicken broth with garlic and a touch of cream (it can be used to create family favorites like Chicken Pot Pie and Chicken Enchiladas); Creamy Parmesan Basil, made with Parmesan cheese, cream and basil (anything from traditional classics like Creamy Chicken Alfredo to ethnic specialties like Basil Chicken Thai Noodle); Fire Roasted Tomato; Creamy Portabella Mushroom; and Creamy Three Cheese.

Each can be used as a starter to create numerous versions of delicious home-cooked meals. To support the product launch, Progresso created 80 recipes using the new line.

Progresso Recipe Starters can be traced back to the five "mother" sauces listed in Le Guide Culinaire in 1903. The include: Béchamel (smooth, white, creamy and made from milk thickened with roux); Velouté (mild, velvety smooth and made from stock thickened with roux); Tomato (red and smooth with no thickening beyond tomato solids); Espagnole (dark and rich, meat stock-based), and Hollandaise (egg yolk- and butter-based, lifted with fresh lemon juice).

"Sauces are the foundation for delicious meals, but families do not always have the time to create these sauces from scratch," says Progresso New Products Marketing Manager Allen Gerten. "To help families overcome this hurdle, we created Progresso Recipe Starters in our kitchens, so they can save time in theirs."

Suggested retail price for an 18-oz. can is $2.49.

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