Thursday, October 25, 2012
A well made sauce enhances the flavour of any dish which is congenial to its ingredients and is either hot or cold in a runny form, can be used in the cooking or served along! That said we talk here about a few sauces that are a must have for any stylish kitchen
Published in DNA
Before getting into a debate whether the Tomato is a fruit or vegetable, let me tell you that using fresh tomatoes always makes the best sauce. Look out for tomatoes which look fleshier (they will have less seeds), chop them finely, season with salt and freshly ground pepper or fresh green chilies and add to it the usual suspects i.e. olive oil and garlic, absolutely classic. But with a drizzle or loads of butter, it’s another thing entirely….and if you throw in some fresh basil …Voila it will enhance the flavor of the tomatoes! If you have more time on you the best is to roast tomatoes and garlic in the oven and trust me the result is incredible. Add to your pasta, dunk your bread or pour it over your head (just kidding)….Whatever seems right!!
Hang on…coulis is not just strained fruit purée with sugar; it can be made savory too with tomatoes or bell peppers. The method of mixing, sifting, straining and freezing can be applied to most fruits. Wash the chosen fruit and remove the stalks. Put the chopped fruit into a pan and add about half the amount again in sugar. Warm gently and stir constantly, trying not to break the fruit. When the sugar has dissolved into the fruit juice, take the coulis off the heat and let it cool, strain and put it into the fridge…simple isn’t it? The easiest way is to blend the fruit and icing sugar in a food processor, strain for seeds and chill. I personally like to make ice-cubes of coulis, by pouring it into moulds and leave them overnight in the freezer and next day I put the cubes in a bag, back into the freezer and use it whenever I want.
What I like about chocolate sauce is that you can add it to coffee, drizzle it on ice cream, top up pancakes, add it to smoothies, milk shakes, puddings, mix it with yogurt, with cakes etc. And to be honest it is rich and satiny, oh so chocolaty and gorgeous, and it takes less than five minutes to make. In a small pot over medium heat, stirring, bring the about 1/4th cup of milk and cream each, a tablespoon each of unsalted butter and sugar to a boil. Turn off the heat, add in approximately 3/4th cup of chocolate, leave it for a minute and whisk until smooth… serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
SOUR CREAM YOGURT
Sour cream based dips are usually quite a favorite, however owing to the calorie content, most people end up feeling guilty and No fret, don’t give up the pleasure instead whisk some lime juice with plain yogurt (which has been hung overnight). Remember to whisk it well till it reaches a sour cream consistency, add in some chopped parsley for flavour...And Hey presto you have a healthy sauce ready….serve it with some vegetable crudités, Nachos, Chips or even kebabs! I like to add in a wee bit of beetroot juice to the sauce while whisking for that delightful pink colour.
I love my cheese and eat it too; to be honest you can turn your average dish into something spectacular by adding cheese sauce on it. First make a basic white sauce by melting butter in a saucepan over low heat; stirring in flour and cooking for a minute or two, gradually stirring in milk and continue cooking over low heat, stirring constantly, until sauce begins to thicken, Finally Season with salt and pepper. This wonder sauce when added to grated cheese can be used for many recipes. The trick is to slowly add warm milk, ladle by ladle, to your Butter and flour mix to reach the correct consistency, throw in a Bay Leaf for some drama. Once the sauce is smooth, and all the milk has been stirred in, add the cheese and season with salt and freshly ground pepper as desired. And the best part is that any kind of cheese can be made into a cheese sauce…my favourite is the blue!