Hot answers tagged

44

My secret weapon is onion. Caramelize the onions first. This creates a natural sweetness. Always use ripe tomatoes; if you cannot then use canned. The canned are made from ripe tomatoes and tend to be a very good substitute. Also, the celery and carrot suggestions are very much a good addition - you are making a classic tomato sauce when you include the ...


32

Just add half a teaspoon (or even less) of white sugar. Typical Italian tomato-sauce always requires a bit of sugar (and not just to cut acidity).


32

For me it isn't fried rice without toasted sesame oil, and the fried rice I have had in restaurants always tastes to me as if it contains toasted sesame oil. Peas are pretty required too. BTW, La Choy is synthetic soy sauce, it was at the very bottom of the America's Test Kitchen taste testing of soy sauce (sorry, paywalled), the only soy sauce to get a "not ...


27

What we perceive as "flavor" often comes from a lot of aromatic and volatile components that we smell. We smell them because they are volatile, which means that they tend to evaporate off food (if they are small molecules) or tend to be carried off of food (for larger molecules). Aside from the basic sweet, sour, bitter, salt, and umami notes, the rest of ...


24

How about using orange zest instead of the juice? That way you'll get a lot of the aroma and flavor we think of as "orange" without really changing the sweetness or acidity.


23

Yes, with any kind of 'stewing' sauce, the flavour improves the longer you cook it (provided it's a slow, gentle process). The longer you leave it, the more chance the flavours have to 'marry'. I have a recipe for a pasta sauce that calls for 6 hours of slow simmering! You may also have noticed in the past that left over pasta sauce that you eat the next ...


23

Red pizza sauce is often (but not always) two things: Thicker. Thinner sauce will tend to run in the oven and also steam the pizza crust as it cooks - if loaded with toppings, otherwise thin is fine. Depending on the crust, the heat of the oven, the toppings above sauce, and how watery it is, this may not be needed. If you've just got some crushed ...


21

Could be an unfinished roux (the butter, flour mixture). But most likely it's because the cheese was heated too quickly or too much, causing the protein to clump up. Suggestions: Melt with less heat Use a double boiler (to reduce hot spots within the pan) Toss the shredded cheddar with cornstarch first (starch helps reduce clumping) Add cheese in smaller ...


20

Butterscotch and caramel are very different things. The taste difference between the two is far from 'slight' in my opinion. Caramel is typically made with granulated sugar, milk and/or cream, butter, and sometimes vanilla. The primary flavors of caramel are the sugar and milk/cream. Butterscotch on the other hand is made with brown sugar. It's primary ...


19

Yogurt is a mesh of denatured milk protein that traps the whey. When yogurt is over-heated those proteins tighten and squeeze out the extra whey. When the protein matrix is cut it will also leak whey. To combat this add a little starch. A little cornstarch mixed into the yogurt will prevent the yogurt proteins from over-coagulating. All heated yogurt ...


19

The whole thing should've been done with the lid off. Any time you're reducing a sauce, you want the steam (moisture) to escape. As for 'how thick', the standard test is 'coats the back of a spoon'. If you stir with a spoon, you should be able to lift the spoon out vertically, and the sauce doesn't immediately drip off of it. This test also lets you ...


19

There's a great deal of variation in the quality of the pre-made stocks you get from different sources, so there's no clear-cut answer. Here's the types you might find: Stock cubes: these are dehydrated stock, or sometimes just chemicals meant to taste like it. It's the lowest quality option. There's a lot of variation here, I've found some brands (knorr ...


18

The simple answer is: You reduce a cream sauce the same way you reduce any other sauce, by simmering it until a certain amount of liquid is gone, just like the instructions said. You have to be careful about temperature though, because milk (or cream) can burn at high temperatures, and then your sauce is ruined. You should keep it to a low or at most ...


18

A few things can cause tomato sauces to become bitter: Overcooked spices. Both basil and oregano can become bitter with long simmers. Add them near the end of the process. Under-ripe tomatos. Store bought tomatoes are often picked green and ripened in the store. These tomatoes make less sweet sauces (which may be contributing). Cooking in an aluminium ...


17

Cook the pancetta on a large pan, so that it fries in its own fat. It must turn red, but don't cook it too much as you are going to cook it a bit more later on. Open two eggs. If you like the color of the carbonara intense, throw one white away, and keep one white and two yolks. Put them in a bowl, then add grated parmigiano and mix with a fork. The amount ...


17

Consistent results stem from consistent actions. Bechamel is one of the most basic sauces, so you should take the time to master it. The general proportions for this sauce are: 1 Tbsp butter (clarified optional) 1 Tbsp flour 1 cup milk 1/2 tsp salt 1/8 tsp nutmeg The things to make sure you do right: Cook the roux - It should be a nice golden hue (not ...


17

I grew up with a Vietnamese mother that used to put fish sauce in nearly everything. While I can't exactly recommend all of her uses (she once used it in a texas beef chili -- was not good), there are a few techniques that are good to know. A common method to create a savory sauce is to use fish sauce with sugar at a 2:1 ratio. For example, you can make Dau ...


16

The names are used for different stages of caramelization of white or brown sugar: Butterscotch = caramelized brown sugar 239°F-257°F (115°C - 125°C) Toffee = brown sugar caramelized to hard crack stage 302°F-320°F (150°C - 160°C) Caramel = white sugar heated to the point it browns, which starts at 338°F (170°C) The ...


16

What you are looking for is pretty common and can be bought in most markets in the kitchen section. Or ordered online by search "olive oil bottles". They look like this:


14

You can rescue it by starting the process again, with an egg yolk in a bowl over a bain-marie which you whisk until it starts to thicken a little. then incorporate a little warm melted butter into the egg yolk. Once this is incorporated you can slowly start to add the split hollandaise and this should then incorporate into the new base, unsplit. There is ...


14

Yes. Keep in mind though, that strong / bitter flavors may become unbearably strong / bitter in a reduction. That said, I use beer in sauces, marinades, as a braising liquid, mixed with broth in risotto, and as lubrication for the cook. I have a fridge full of steak and Sam Adams. Can I turn this into something amazing? Marinate the steaks in beer for ...


14

Deglazing removes caramelized bits (the "browned" bits) from the bottom of your pan or skillet after cooking meats or vegetables. It is usually accomplished by putting stock, sauce, wine, or even water (or really any liquid) in the pan over heat after the pan has been emptied of whatever was cooked into it and any rendered fat and scraping the browned bits ...


14

Celery is an aromatic, and 1/3 of a mirepoix. It's used for the base flavor of a lot of French and Cajun/Creole cuisine. It doesn't serve any important chemical role that I'm aware of, so you can omit or substitute it if you really don't like the flavor.


14

You're close. In actual fact, however, most of the commercial soy sauces and other Chinese sauces you buy are not fermented at all; they're acid-hydrolyzed. Fermented soy sauce (or other soy-based sauces) are actually translucent and fairly light in colour. But fermentation takes months, so manufacturers hydrolyze instead. The process is completely ...


14

The sauces are called chutney (plural chutneys). The green one, called hari chutney in Hindi, is generally made with a mixture of coriander (cilantro) leaves and mint leaves. Hari means green in Hindi. The leaves (I have used them in a 3:1::coriander:mint ratio) are ground to a fine paste along with a tbsp of sugar, a pinch of salt, and about 2 tbsp of lime ...


14

Eggplants differ in bitterness. You can cook some of them and never notice a problem. But other exemplars are quite bitter, and can overwhelm a dish. That's why it is a good idea to preemptively do something to remove their bitterness. I have read dozens of suggestions how to do it. Some are OK, others are downright terrible. Have you tried soaking ...


14

I believe the primary reason is that the pasta water is already hot. When you need to thin your sauce on short notice, you add hot pasta water and it will not cool down your sauce. Secondary benefits are: The pasta water has nice salinity, so you're not diluting the salinity level of the sauce. This assumes you salted your pasta water. You did, right? ...


14

Fats adhere to broad or flat areas nicely (fettucini, linguine) and press the creamier sauces against more tongue surface to enhance/emphasize their smoothness Pooling sauces needs nested, medium pasta (round or flat) that help to punctuate the sharper and more diverse flavors of a smooth, acidic by alternating between pasta and sauce Angel hair and other ...


14

I might suggest that one thing that most home cooks are missing in comparison to a restaurant is heat. You aren't going to get the same results as a restaurant without the blazing wok that a restaurant uses. You can get closer by letting your wok get blazing hot before adding oil and quickly cooking small quantities of food at a time. Alternatively, if you ...


14

I did a cheap kitchen hack by reusing an empty Sriracha bottle after cleaning and drying it up for my oil drops. Here is how the bottle looks: And it is perfect for dropping oil. The nozzle also lets me increase or decrease the diameter of the oil drop. If you don't happen to like this sauce, try it with some Asian food. You'll love it mostly!!!



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