A separately-prepared cooking liquid or condiment served with other food.

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48
votes
25answers
132k views

In a tomato sauce recipe, how can I cut the acidity?

It seems that every time I make a tomato sauce for pasta, the sauce is a little bit too acid for my taste. I've tried using sugar or sodium bicarbonate, but I'm not satisfied with the results.
19
votes
4answers
5k views

What are the differences between types of soy sauce?

I recently started using Tamari over whatever the standard US form of soy sauce is. The difference was something of a revelation. The depth and complexity of flavor is an order of magnitude more ...
18
votes
14answers
7k views

Can you make a sauce with beer?

Usually when there is alcohol in a recipe, it's wine. Why isn't there more beer? I've only ever seen it used in beer batters. Can beer be made into sauces or other uses? Do ales, lagers, or stouts ...
18
votes
10answers
19k views

Why add pasta water to pasta sauce?

I've noticed that many Italian chefs add to their pasta sauces some of the water they used to cook their pasta. What is the purpose of this?
17
votes
5answers
5k views

What are the fundamental sauces that every cook should know how to make?

I'd like to learn to make some sauces and I'm looking for the most common, "standard" sauces that professional cooks all learn how to make in culinary school. What sauces form the basic "building ...
17
votes
3answers
56k views

What is the difference between butterscotch, caramel, and toffee?

I've always thought they were the same. Tonight I noticed a slight taste difference as compared to caramel when I had some "butterscotch" for the first time in a while. Now my assumptions have been ...
16
votes
3answers
5k views

How can I reheat a roux-based (alfredo) sauce in the microwave without separation?

I made an alfredo sauce last night using a roux made with ghee instead of regular butter, since that's what I had on hand. The ingredients were: ghee, flour, heavy cream, garlic, pecorino romano, and ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I prevent bacon mayonnaise from splitting when above fridge temp?

I know how to fix a split mayonnaise made with olive or vegetable oil - that's not a problem. I have made Kenji Lopez-Alt's recipe for animal fat mayonnaise (bacon fat, for putting on a burger). It ...
15
votes
12answers
56k views

How long should I cook pasta sauce?

I recently made pasta sauce, and every couple of minutes decided to add something more... More tomatoes, more pepper, more garlic... After that I let it sit on a small flame for a bit more. As a ...
15
votes
9answers
37k views

Why is my cheese sauce gritty?

Sometimes when making a very simple cheese sauce (butter, flour, milk, cheese [cheddar, usually]), the final sauce has a sort of gritty or slightly pebbly texture (rather than smooth) - it seems like ...
15
votes
4answers
9k views

Keeping A Sauce From Separating

Last fall I tried my hand at making a homemade hot sauce. Essentially: roast peppers, blend with vinegar, garlic, salt and other spices, put in jar for three weeks, strain and you have hot sauce. ...
14
votes
6answers
18k views

What causes yogurt in sauces to split? How to prevent it?

A lot of my favorite curry recipes have a yogurt based sauce in them, but on a pretty regular basis when I make them, the yogurt ends up splitting into basically curds and whey. What causes that, and ...
14
votes
5answers
17k views

How to prevent overcooking of eggs in Carbonara sauce?

Carbonara can be absolutely delicicious if everthing goes perfectly; but it can also be tasteless, chewy and lumpy, if the egg is overcooked. Does anyone have what they regard as a fool proof method ...
14
votes
7answers
106k views

What is the difference between pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce?

Pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce are both tomato-based, have roughly the same seasoning (Italian) and look a like. However, I (and a friendly user here) think there is a difference between the two. So ...
14
votes
6answers
22k views

How can I fix a hollandaise sauce after it has split?

I made a hollandaise sauce on the weekend and it split so I threw it out and started again but I was wondering if there is anything you can do to save it once it splits?
14
votes
3answers
18k views

How not to mess up Béchamel sauce

When I make Béchamel sauce I keep getting different results. Sometimes the sauce ends too liquidy and never seems to firm up. Other times it might get all lumpy, despite me using a recipe that has ...
14
votes
2answers
729 views

What are the positive effects of adding celery to a sauce?

Many sauces include celery. It's not a flavour I'm particularly keen on, particularly in sauces so I'm wondering why it's included. Is it included simply as a flavour or does it serve some other ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I get the best possible texture when making vegetable cream soups?

Many recipes call for straining the almost finished soup to get rid of any extra chunky bits and get the best mouthfeel. But I am really confused, because with any reasonably fine sieve I filter out ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

What do you do with left over tomato paste?

I sometimes make sauces that use tomato paste. The problem is that usually I need only one or two tablespoons and I don't know what to do with the rest of the can. The smallest can I could find is 6 ...
13
votes
1answer
472 views

What makes a pasta shape pair with a sauce?

Spaghetti goes well with tomato sauce with ground meat. Fettucini goes well with a creamy sauce. Why? What general principles about the characteristics of the pasta and the sauce make them work well ...
12
votes
2answers
8k views

What does to deglaze a pan mean?

A friend of mine described a recipe to me, and she said she deglazed the pan (I think I understood correctly). What does that mean?
12
votes
8answers
5k views

Non-cow's milk replacement for Parmesan cheese in Genovese pesto

My family loves Genovese pesto and we'd started making our own (with varied success). One of our number has been diagnosed as intolerant to cow's milk. This rules out pretty much all shop-bought ...
12
votes
4answers
8k views

Is dry rub necessary in making bbq ribs?

Normally when I make bbq ribs in the oven at home, I have to prepare the ribs approximately a day ahead. I usually cover the ribs with a dry rub mixture (made of garlic powder, paprika, sugar, salt, ...
12
votes
6answers
5k views

Perfect Hollandaise every time using a blender/food processor?

I was a cook at a cafe recently that was buying in Hollandaise. I started making the sauce from scratch following the same basic procedure each time but got varying results. sometimes the Hollandaise ...
12
votes
2answers
860 views

How can I improve my barbecue sauce recipe?

I've been trying to refine my BBQ sauce lately and I'm really curious if I can improve it, or if I'm mixing a sauce for a wrong purpose. The times I've made it, it have been used as a marinade for ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

How do Thai People Make Peanut Sauce?

I'm interested in making my own Thai Peanut sauce. However, every recipe I see online says to use peanut butter. I like Thai Peanut sauce I have in restaurants, but I HATE peanut butter. So when I ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

Rubbing eggplants in salt

I saw somewhere they rubbed sliced eggplants in salt and leaving them out up to an hour before putting them in the oven. From what I understood it had to do something with the eggplant's bitter ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

What is a “nonreactive” pan?

I just realized the recipe I use for Chardonnay Beurre Blanc requires the use of a "small nonreactive saucepan." In the past, I have used my 1.5 quart All-Clad saucepan without problems. What sort ...
10
votes
4answers
619 views

How to make a sauce based on tea

I have some pu-erh tea, and I love the smokiness of it. I was thinking about trying to incorporate it into a dish somehow. Specifically, I was thinking about using something like pacific cod. Then I ...
10
votes
6answers
38k views

What causes a tomato sauce to have a bitterness and getting rid of it?

My tomato sauce is coming out great, lots of flavor, especially after I was able to reduce it following the tips here However, it is still slightly bitter. What causes a tomato sauce to have a (in ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do sauces thicken as they cool?

Why do sauces thicken as they cool? This happens for things like puddings, white sauces, jello, and gravy. I looked around a little and maybe the reason is different for each of those different ...
10
votes
1answer
593 views

Why are many chinese sauces so dark?

I've noticed that many sauces used in chinese cooking (hoisin, oyster, bean etc.) are relatively dark, and often black in color. What's the reason these sauces are so dark? Does it have something to ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Can clarified butter be used for beurre noir?

The first recipe of "The Nero Wolfe Cook Book" by Rex Stout is for Eggs au beurre noir. For the black butter sauce he gives the following instructions: "In a skillet melt [...] four tablespoons ...
9
votes
5answers
11k views

What is “Fish Sauce” typically used for?

A while ago I bought "Fish Sauce" for a recipe (that I've long forgotten) and ended up not using it. Now we don't know what to use it for because none of the Asian cuisine recipes we come across seems ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Non-alcoholic substitution for dry white wine in bolognese sauce and other tomato sauces?

What is the purpose of dry white wine in a recipe like bolognese sauce? I need to substitute something non-alcoholic for the wine and while I've found many great lists of possible substitutions, the ...
8
votes
9answers
4k views

How can I make my turkey gravy look darker and richer?

When I make gravy to go with roast chicken and turkey, it is flavourful but always looks a little pale. Could you suggest a way to make it look darker without adding gravy browning?
8
votes
6answers
10k views

How can I make cheap, smooth homemade Alfredo sauce?

I've tried making Alfredo sauce several times based on a few online recipes. It generally comes out pretty tasty, but also with one flaw: the sauce is grainy or gritty because the grated Parmesan ...
8
votes
5answers
10k views

Why is there a watery run-off after cooking my bolognese?

It's a fairly standard recipe with passata and wine, simmering on a low heat for a couple of hours. After stirring and putting the bolognese onto the pasta, after a couple of minutes the sauce ...
8
votes
3answers
16k views

Papadum sauces - making my own

In Indian restaurants you get usually Papadum as appetizer. It is often served with 3 sauces, one green sauce with a light peppermint taste, one red a bit sweet sauce and one very hot sauce. These ...
8
votes
4answers
611 views

What Side Dish Sauces Should Be Promoted To Their Own Sauce?

We all know about the typical main dish sauces: gravies, cream sauces, marinara, vinaigrettes, bbq sauces, etc... However, I find that many side dishes have their own great sauces that you don't ...
8
votes
3answers
31k views

How do you reduce a cream sauce?

My wife made a cream based sauce last night and the recipe said to "reduce" it. The cream sauce was comprised of some white wine, couple cups of heavy cream and chicken broth (my wife substituted ...
8
votes
3answers
305 views

Fresh tomatoes for home-made pizzas, is it worth it?

I figured fresh tomatoes would be the best choice for making a tasty pizza sauce, so I bought like 8 kg of fresh Roma tomatoes as I found a good price opportunity, to make jars. I already made a try ...
8
votes
5answers
8k views

What is pizza sauce?

I am making a dip that requires 'pizza sauce'. The store doesn't sell anything called 'pizza sauce' that I could find. Instead, I got plain tomato sauce. What do I need to add to it to make it 'pizza ...
8
votes
2answers
22k views

What is the difference between tomato puree, paste and sauce?

I was looking for a recipe for an Italian tomato sauce when I came across an old cookbook from an American Creole Chef I like, but I'm really confused about the terminology he uses for some of the ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does sauce go watery after freezing?

If I freeze a sauce, particularly something with mince in it, when defrosted it produces excess water. The sauce before frozen is nicely thickened. I think it might be because the proteins in the ...
8
votes
1answer
7k views

Trick to getting a sauce to stick to chicken?

One of the recipes I often make has a sauce that is a combination of salt, sugar, and a thick red sauce. After about 10 1-2 inch chicken pieces have been cooked the last step calls for mixing the ...
8
votes
2answers
864 views

When to refrigerate bottled sauces?

When the bottle doesn't say, how does one know when to refrigerate sauces? For example: soy sauce, fish sauce, etc.
8
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I fix a mole sauce with excessive cinnamon?

I made an Oaxacan-style mole and went too heavy with the cinnamon stick. That flavor is now too prevalent. How can I fix this? I was thinking about adding some chicken stock and tomato sauce. Your ...
7
votes
12answers
43k views

Making Tomato Sauce from Tomato Paste

I've been trying, on-and-off when I have time, to make tomato sauce from a 5 1/2 oz can of tomato paste, but haven't figured out the right proportions of ingredients. I've been combining a can of ...
7
votes
3answers
414 views

What is the advantage of a roux over a raw flour slurry, in sauce?

My standard Bechamel sauce recipe used to be: Stir together flour and oil into a paste Fry for a short while Add a small amount of milk Heat and stir until incorporated Repeat steps 3-4 with ...