Speaking of Food – Sauces

Haven’t done a food post for a while so with the holidays in a few months are some sauces you can use to brush up your meals so to speak. The sauce is a lot like the wing man in a fully composed meal. It should not compete with the other elements of the dish, but work with them to bring out their very best. So here are some sauces defined.

Pomodoro – One can look at this is as the basic tomato sauce. Fresh picked tomatoes with very little extra seasoning cooked down to a sauce consistency. Tomato puree can add thickening power if you find through the simmering process that it just is not the texture you wish.

Marinara – Usually seasoned with onion as well as more herbs and garlic then a pomodoro sauce would be.  Due to the additions of other flavors stirring to keep  any possible items  from sticking to the bottom of the pot  may be critical. Finding a a good bodied red wine can add a flavor boost near the end of the simmering process.

Arrabiata – This is known as the angry sauce due to the amount of chili pepper in it. It is made from a tomato base like the marinara and the spice should be calculated carefully as I have found acidic elements – such as the tomatoes in the base make the heat of the peppers a little more pronounced. When simmering try to keep the heat on the pot on the lower side of simmer (medium low on most stoves) Simmering sauces to high after the inclusion of spices may add unwanted bitterness or a metallic flavor to your sauce

Gastrique – A sauce comprised of vinegar, sugar and seasonings under low heat. With the holidays coming up a cranberry gastrique is often a nice way to bring a fresher cranberry sauce to the table. The biggest thing to be careful of is let everything come together slowly as if you leave it for a moment on high heat after it has just absorbed all the sugar then you could burn it.

Compound butter – A forgotten sauce for some reason it can be made and frozen and holds very well in the freezer. It really is butter plus (x). You can mix some apple sauce and honey in it and do a sweeter one. Mix herbs and lemon and use that for grilling or roasting. It is so easy to make you just take what you want to mix  add it to cold butter and let it warm to room temp before mixing it thoroughly.

Stock is also something that yo ushould make and usually is good with whatever is left over from a roast. It is in a lot of different sauces and can add body to just about everything that has to be simmered.


Chicken a la kiev

Chicken a la kiev is a dish I found a recipe to in the old cookbook. We will do some slight changes here is what you will need.
Chicken breasts (skinless and boneless)
Egg for breading
Breadcrumbs for breading
Seasoning for the breadcrumbs
I use a combination of parmesan cheese and old bay to season my breading

Compound butter –
A compound butter is a butter mixed with other things to add more flavor and has been used in kitchens as a form of sauce. In this recipe my compound butter was made with an addition of crushed garlic, green onion, and honey mustard with a splash of lemon juice.

After mixing it all together you want to put your butter in the freezer. If you like everything a certain shape you can fill up an ice tray half full so you get little squares of butter already setting up.

Butterfly your chicken and after the butter has frozen stuff in the middle of the chicken before breading it up and dumping it in a frypot already heated up. Let it cool and dress as you see fit. If you do not feel comfortable putting frozen butter in raw chicken then you can put the butter on top before plating. The butter will melt to form a sauce to match the chicken.

After plating garnish with what you want. I use a small little piece of muenster cheese to work with the small amount of butter.