This sauce is something of an anomaly because it does not contain lobster! It is however a Cantonese -style dish with an American twist which has been served in American-Chinese restaurants in the United States since the 1950s. There are other variations of the dish with a light, or even white, sauce, but this one is especially rich and tasty, which is why it is many people’s favorite.
The dish is based on ground pork and shrimp and the sauce features ingredients like soy sauce, sesame oil, fermented black beans, garlic, ginger and more. Most of the ingredients should be easy enough to find, but you might have to visit a specialist Asian food store for the fermented black beans. You will also need unsweetened oyster sauce for this recipe, not the cheap sugary kind you can get from any grocery store but the real Chinese kind. This sauce is rich and thick, bursting with Chinese flavors. Instead of the stock, use wonton soup powder to make a fishy stock if you want, or just your favorite type of stock.
This recipe is best served with eggs on top, and you will see beaten eggs are added on top of the finished sauce, then very hot oil goes over the top of the eggs. This is to ensure they are cooked. The eggs will still be a bit runny but that is fine. If you do not want eggs, simply leave this step out, or else serve the dish with omelet strips if you prefer your eggs more done. This recipe is great served with your choice of white rice or noodles, and either green beans or your favorite vegetables – perhaps broccoli, mushrooms, bell pepper, or a simply vegetable stir fry with bok choy and some colorful veggies in there too. There are quite a few ingredients in this sauce but get everything prepared before you start to cook, and you will find this an easy sauce to make. Continue reading
Mole sauce is hard to describe and daunting when you see how many ingredients are in a recipe, but this sauce is unlike any other sauce. Mole sauce is a classic Mexican recipe and it offers a complex and magical flavor which blends sweet with savory, aromatic with spicy, rich with simple, and the result is just incredible. Serve this over chicken or turkey, spoon it on to tacos or try it with vegetables. There are many mole sauce recipes, but this has to be one of the tastiest.
Expect an Exquisite Taste
You will need quite a few ingredients to make this, and that is typical of most mole sauce recipes. Gather them all together, perhaps after visiting your local Latin food store to stock up on the ingredients, then get ready for an incredible flavor experience. Mole sauces range from light to dark in color, and they also range from mild to spicy, but the flavor is nearly always quite complex because of all the ingredients in there, so it is a good idea to serve the sauce over something simple like a chicken breast or turkey filet.
You will need a blender or food processor to make this sauce. In the old days, everything would have been ground by hand, or at least using a mortar and pestle, but why not make use of modern appliances and get the same result? The chilies are toasted and then pureed in a blender with chicken broth, bread, and tortilla strips. Tomatoes and tomatillos go into the mix, along with aromatic ingredients such as garlic, raisins, nuts, chocolate, herbs, and spices. The result is a thick, rich, dark brown sauce, which is incredible over chicken or turkey. This recipe makes a quart, mainly because there is no point making such a labor-intensive recipe if you are only making a tiny amount, but also because it freezes well, so just make a quart and see what you end up using. The rest can simply go in the freezer until required. Continue reading
This unusual and delicious sauce is made with Cabrales, a famous blue cheese which comes from the Asturias mountains. If your local store does not sell it, you can either order it online or use another blue cheese like gorgonzola or stilton. This sauce is rich and creamy, and the slightly salty flavor of the cheese contrasts with the smooth cream, tasty white wine, piquant shallots, and rich demi-glace, to make the most wonderful sauce.
Cabrales is made by rural dairy farmers in the north region of Spain in the artisan tradition. Although it can be made from unpasteurized cow’s milk, it is sometimes made with blended sheep’s and goat’s milk, perhaps along with some cow’s milk too. Adding either sheep’s milk or goat’s milk, or both, results in a spicier, richer taste in the finished cheese. Whichever milk is used to make the cheese, it has to come from herds raised in the Picos de Europa mountains for the finished cheese to be authentic Cabrales.
The strong, sometimes slightly acidic flavor of Cabrales used to be sold wrapped in sycamore maple leaves by modern regulations require it to be wrapped in aluminum foil instead. You can still get it in the maple leaf wrapping if you buy it locally. This lovely cheese is combined with cream, demi-glace, white wine, and shallots to make this wonderful sauce. Try it served over meat such as chicken, pork or rabbit, or over hot, salty roasted potatoes. You will find it very simple to prepare. The ingredients are cooked in a pan, the shallots first, then the cheese goes in near the end. Finally the sauce is pureed and sieved, and the it is ready to serve. If it is ready before the meat or potatoes, or whatever you are serving it with, just keep it warm in a covered pan. Continue reading
A nice, smoky barbeque sauce has so many uses. You can serve it with grilled chicken, steak or pork, or use it as a glaze on ribs. It is delicious with burgers, and can also be used to baste meat on the barbeque. There are a few tweaks you can make because this is your sauce and the resulting flavor is going to depend on the ingredients you use, so perhaps you would like to swap the water for red wine to add a different flavor, or swap the smoked paprika for mild paprika. Another option is to use chili sauce instead of the ketchup, for a spicier barbeque sauce, or swap half the ketchup for chili sauce.
Make Ahead or Make Extra
This sauce can be made ahead. If you wish to do that, let it cool and then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. The recipe makes 1¼ cups of sauce so if you plan to use a lot of it, and knowing it can be stored for a couple of weeks, you might like to double or triple the recipe. Once you taste it, you will definitely want to enjoy it often with your favorite dishes.
This sauce needs to be cooked. It includes onion and garlic, which need to be sautéed until tender with some of the seasonings. The remaining ingredients then go into the mixture, and it is allowed to simmer, to coax the fullest flavors out of the ingredients and allow their flavors to combine perfectly. The finished sauce is then pureed in a blender or food processor to offer a smooth, lovely finish. The aroma and flavor of this smoky barbeque sauce make it something really special, and you will be so pleased you made it. Continue reading
Espagnole sauce is one of the 5 ‘mother sauces’ which so many other sauces are based upon. The other 4 mother sauces are béchamel, hollandaise, tomato sauce, and velouté. This one dates back to the late 1800s and it is a rich brown color. Because of the strong flavor it is not often used directly on food, but other ingredients are added to it to make other sauces like mushroom sauce, sauce Africaine, demi-glace, and charcutière sauce.
You might be wondering about the name, since ‘espagnole’ is the French word for ‘Spanish’ but this is not a Spanish sauce. Alan Davidson wrote the following in ‘The Oxford Companion to Food’: the French believe Germans tend to be blond and the Spanish tend to have dark hair. This might or might not be true but it is one explanation anyway. This sauce can be prepared a day ahead if you then let it cool down uncovered. Chill it covered overnight then use it the next day.
Making this sauce entails a fair amount of work, at least when you compare making it to tearing open a package of brown sauce, but the flavor makes it so worthwhile. The carrot, garlic, celery, and onion add the fresh flavors, while the bay leaf, tomato and peppercorns add the distinctive flavors. Beef stock, flour and butter finish it off perfectly. Once the sauce is made, you can simply strain out the solids so you end up with a delicious, rich-tasting mixture. Learning the mother sauces is so worthwhile because you can add other ingredients to the finished sauces to make all kinds of wonderful sauces to enhance so many meals. This recipe is pretty easy. Just use one pot and add the ingredients in the right order. Keep the heat low, apart from when the recipe says to bring the sauce to a boil, and treat the sauce gently, to coax all the aromatic flavors out of the ingredients. Continue reading
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