Sauces, Seasonings, And Accompaniments

Savory sauces make dishes sing and dance with flavor. It doesn’t matter if their rich and buttery, lively with tomato or sassy as in marinades. Sauces should always enhance other ingredients, not mask their flavor. Learn more about sauces by reading on.

THICKENING SAUCES

Different sauces are thickened using various methods. And here are the four basic methods of thickening a sauce.

1. Roux, A roux is a mixture of flour and grease or butter and it is cooked over low heat until smooth and golden brown to dark brown in color. A roux is what gives dishes like Gumbo their delightfully delicious nutty flavor. To make a basic roux you should use a cup of all purpose plain flour and a cup of margarine or butter. You put the butte in the pan first and you gradually work in the flour with a wire whisk being sure to keep the heat low and stir the roux with the wire whisk all the time your cooking the roux. Once you have all the flour worked in and its about the color of a copper penny it’s ready to use. Remove it from the heat and use it to thicken a dish like Gumbo or Shrimp Creole. mangonada

2. Cornstarch, you can use cornstarch to thicken a basic sauce but the corn starch needs to be beaten into cold water with a wire whisk. This does take some effort but it will work if you’ll use some effort. If you beat it into cold water you won’t have lumps. Cornstarch sauces will be clear and almost shiny when you make your sauce. A lot of Chinese and Asian sauces are made with cornstarch. Sweet and Sour sauce is an example.

3. Egg Yolks, this is an emulsion sauce that must be cooked for it to turn out right. It must also be cooked over low heat so it won’t curdle. You must cook any egg yolk based sauce thoroughly to kill any bacteria that might be in the eggs. One of the most popular sauces made with egg yolks is Hollandaise Sauce.

4. Reduction, with a reduction based sauce you start out with a sauce made from what ever and you cook the sauce down until it is thick as you want it. Sauces made this way are a little harder to make but are usually packed with flavor. A lot of meat based sauces are made this way.

Sauce Making Tips

You can make a smooth delicious sauce by following these tips.

You should always use a wire whisk to make sure you don’t have any lumps in your sauce.

Always mix cornstarch or flour in cold water before you add it to any sauce to thicken it. Be sure that your mixture is smooth with no lumps at all before you use it to thicken a sauce.

You almost can’t reheat a egg yolk sauce because it will almost always break on you. So make any egg yolk based sauce fresh and only make what you need.

My Basil Pesto Sauce

Here is a basic sauce that anyone should be able to make and it’s delicious and packed with flavor. Pesto especially basil pesto adds a powerhouse of flavor to any dish. I like to keep some on hand to toss with pasta or to add to a grilled chicken sandwich.

1. Two Cups Firmly Packed Fresh Pasta Leaves.

2. Three Fourths Of A Cup Of Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese.

3. One Fourth Of A Cup Of Pine Nuts.

4. One Half Cup Of Olive Oil.

5. One Tablespoon Fresh Minced Garlic.

I make this sauce in a blender and I puree the sauce until it is very smooth. I turn the blender off a couple of times while I’m pureeing the sauce and I use a small rubber spatula to push the sauce contents off the sides and back down into the sauce. I do it a couple of times to make sure I end up with a smooth sauce. I almost always use my homegrown heirloom purple basil to make my basil pesto sauce with.

 

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