Sauces and condiments lists can be intimidating with all the fancy titles, but if you adhere to a few simple rules, virtually any recipe can be a success. The rule of thumb for thickeners is simple. If it’s dark, use flour. If it’s light, use starch. Of course, there are exceptions. Imagine the texture of good country gravy. Such textures are brought on by flour. Now imagine a teriyaki sauce. This texture is brought on by the use of corn or rice starch.
When using flour, the flour and butter must first be combined. In a separate pan, stir the two together on low heat on the stove top. The end result should be crumbly dough like consistency. This mixture is called rue. Now, at any point in the sauce making process, you can add small pieces of rue into the mixture and the butter and flour will dissolve without clumping. The rue can also be seasoned for a particular outcome.
Corn or rice starch, on the other hand, should be dissolved in cold liquid in a separate container from the sauce. Once all the ingredients of the sauce have been added, add the cold dissolved starch to the hot mixture and stir to the boiling point. Sauce will begin to thicken. Turn off heat, as it will continue to thicken as the starch expands.
Try these methods on some of your favorite sauces and judge your results.
Sauces and condiments lists should include party dips. Roasted garlic is a fast, easy and tasty addition to party dips. Simply take a whole bulb of garlic and place it on foil. Add olive oil to the garlic and seal the foil. Put the bulb in a preheated 400 degree oven and cook until the smell of garlic fills the air. The garlic squirts out of its cloves neatly into any mixture. For some healthy dip alternatives, experiment with different bean pastes, garlic and herbs. A little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar keeps the dip moist.