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Last night I tried to make a dipping sauce for boiled artichoke for my wife and I using almond milk as a base.

  • 3/4 cups almond milk
  • garlic clove
  • the lemon juice from half a lemon
  • salt and pepper

While the concoction was downright terrible, it got me thinking two things:

1) Does anyone have a sauce recipe, to be used to dip artichoke leaves in, that utilizes almond milk as a base?

Objectives:
 > Light almond flavor
 > Mild enough in general to still taste the natural flavors of the artichoke 'meat'
   - In other words, I'm not looking for a ranch replacement here
 > More of a 'melted butter' replacement

2) Is my recipe remotely salvageable (was I close)? Based on the comments, I can see how this is pretty vague: Essentially, I'm asking if almond milk is a good start at all. What I made tasted awful, but the ingredients made sense in my head (and even more so when I subbed the almond milk out with olive oil and added some cracked pepper).

EDIT: No one actually ate the mixture, we ended up doing olive oil, salt and pepper, and garlic which turned out okay :)

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It almost looks like you wanted a Hollandaise-type sauce which is what I prefer to dip artichoke leaves into. Hollandaise is made with egg, butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper. There is no milk in the sauce so that wouldn't be good for your almond milk usage. There are many Hollandaise sauce recipes readily available on the internet. I just like eating my oatmeal or cold cereal with almond milk! :-) –  Kristina Lopez Dec 13 '12 at 18:53
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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

It's very difficult to give you any specific advice on this without really understanding what it is you're trying to achieve. To get to destination B you have to have a starting point A!

What are you trying to achieve here?

Have you said, hey I've got this bottle of Almond Milk I have to use up, perhaps I'll try and make a dipping sauce with it? That's a fun way to do things (I do it a lot) or are you saying, hey I really like the subtle flavour of Almonds, I'd really like to try and make a dipping sauce with that flavour in it?

Almond milk in itself suggests more of a coating sauce than a dipping sauce, along the lines of the foundation sauces I would perhaps experiment with starting with a roux (fat and flour) and creating a sauce with your almond milk ala Bechamel.


Now you've clarified what you're trying to achieve, I think I would definitely try the roux method first. As I said, I think there are two ways to go here, using a roux as a base and creating an almond butter.

You'll have to do a fair bit of experimentation here, but isn't that half the fun of cooking in the first place? I find that with even established printed recipes, I have to cook it a few times before I fully understand what's going on, so expect to make a few runs though tweaking ingredient amounts etc before you're fully satisfied.

Start by making a basic roux based sauce using the almond milk. The basic ratio for this is 1 cup milk to 1 tablespoon butter (or oil or even almond butter) to 1 tablespoon of flour. Again you could experiment with these ingredients - try almond butter or part almond butter with butter. Try normal flour, or part almond flour etc. You may need to tweak the quantities for your own tastes, less roux and more milk for a thinner sauce, more roux, less milk for a thicker sauce.

The beauty of this is you can tweak the ingredients to acheive the desired thickness of the sauce almost from a runny coating sauce to a thicker dipping sauce.

You could try simmering the sauce with other ingredients to tweak the colour/flavour - saffron, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, for a sweeter sauce or peppercorns, bay leaf, pinch of salt and white pepper for a more savoury one.

Don't be afraid to experiment and try out different things till you achieve your objective, cooking is meant to be fun!

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I can see how the question could be interpreted as vague. I have edited accordingly. Thanks for the post! –  sacredfaith Dec 13 '12 at 16:07
    
I still don't feel you've made yourself clear. It seems to me you're determined to use Almond Milk and simply want someone to give you a recipe. I don't think that's what this site is for. –  spiceyokooko Dec 13 '12 at 18:07
    
Thanks so much for the feedback. This is my first post on this site, and I didn't realize the "what I'm going for" factor is so important. Edited again. –  sacredfaith Dec 13 '12 at 18:21
    
You're quite welcome. It can take a little while to get the hang of this place I admit. Your re-edit has made things clearer as to what you're trying to achieve. –  spiceyokooko Dec 13 '12 at 18:28
    
Awesome. Thanks again! –  sacredfaith Dec 13 '12 at 18:30
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It is a little difficult to answer your question about whether or not almond milk can be used as a dipping sauce base. Sure, it could be used as a base. But what were you looking to make?

If you are looking to make something like a creamy sauce with a non-dairy milk alternative, almond milk is a good replacement for the dairy you would use. However, if you were looking for more of a thin dipping sauce, you may want to consider something more along the lines of a vegetable or meat broth base with your seasoning.

Hope you make out alright with your next almond milk experiment!

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Thanks Charx, I added a little more direction to the question to help you guys out! Thanks for the feedback! –  sacredfaith Dec 13 '12 at 18:21
    
Great! Looks like @spiceyokooko has you covered :) –  Charx Dec 13 '12 at 20:20
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Since you desire to keep the sauce mild and keep the almond flavor you could also think about adding some sort of thickening agent such as xantham gum or guar gum. These would add to the body and mouth feel of the sauce while not adding or muting any of the flavors present in whatever recipe you use. I would start with as little as 0.1% by weight of the xanthan and go up from there to get your desired mouth feel and if you choose guar gum you would likely have to double the concentration as it has different thickening strength.

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