4 Sauces To Add To Your Cooking Repertoire

Sauces To Add To Your Cooking Repertoire
Photo by Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

Sauces are a vital component of being able to cook just about anything. There are very few meals that are not likely to be improved with the addition of a good sauce. And being able to make your own homemade version of these types of sauces is a fantastic skill to have as well especially when you find out how easy some sauces are to make. The secret to a good number is that they are generally actually quite straightforward in their preparation even if they might take some time to master. These are some common sauces that should consider adding to your repertoire. You can get store bought versions of these but once you make your own, you will understand why homemade is better.

So many of us love mayonnaise, and it is a condiment that you are often going to be pairing with many foods and dishes. But if you have never made your own mayo at home, you might be surprised to learn what goes into it and just how simple it is too. Not only that, it is also incredibly delicious compared to most branded versions you are able to buy.

To make mayonnaise, place two egg yolks in a glass or stainless steel bowl and whisk them in an up and down motion until they become smooth and creamy. Add a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice. Gradually add in oil - any vegetable oil will do, so feel free to experiment. Keep going until you reach your desired consistency. Once the mixture is creamy and fully mixed, season it if you like. And voila you have delicious homemade mayonnaise.

Aioli is very similar to mayo, and once you can make one you can pretty much make the other. The only difference is that aioli contains garlic and extra virgin olive oil. The word ‘aioli’ means garlic oil in Spanish.To begin making aioli, you do exactly the same as above, as if you are making mayonnaise. However, once the consistency starts to get where you want it, you need to add in mashed cloves of garlic and lemon juice. Then it’s just a case of mixing until you get it smooth and creamy seasoning it as needed.

You can play around and try making any of the alternatives to traditional aioli like chipotle aioli, truffle oil aioli or mustard aioli depending on what you're using it for. A particularly popular choice is sriracha aioli, where you use sriracha instead of garlic. That is a tasty and versatile sauce that you will be glad to have in the house.

If you've never made fresh pesto before, you really are missing out, as this is one of the simplest sauces to create and one of the most delicious. You can use pesto in so many ways. It can be enjoyed as a pasta sauce, incorporated into sauces, dips and dressings, as a sandwich spread or as an alternative pizza base to red sauce. It has so much versatility that it is well worth having a crack at making yourself.

The word "pesto" actually refers to the way in which the sauce is prepared. The most common pesto is basil pesto, but that’s only one kind. You can also use any other leafy vegetable if your prefer. Spinach and kale are quite popular.  Whatever you choose, the process is simple. Just put your leaves into a blender, add some chopped garlic cloves, olive oil, salt and pepper, and blend. If you prefer to do it the old school way, you can do it by hand in a pestle and mortar. Then you add parmesan, crushed up pine nuts and anything else you think might work well. It's up to you to customize it as you wish.

Tomato Sauce
Tomato sauce is beneficial for your health and it is also a marvelous ingredient to always have on hand because of it's versatility. You can make a huge pot of it, and freeze it for later use in pretty much any Italian dish including  but not limited to pizza, pasta, eggplant parmesan, etc..Good tomato sauces are unseasoned, as they act as a base for whatever dish they go into. 

To make a basic tomato sauce, you'll need 5 to 6 pounds of tomatoes for every quart of sauce that you want to make. Blanche the tomatoes, cool and drain and remove the skins, stems and seed. Add about a 1/4 cup of olive oil to a large pot. Sauté chopped onions (1 onion per quart) and minced garlic (1 to 1 1/2 cloves per quart) until they're soft Add tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt and pepper and cook for an hour to two depending on how thick you want your sauce. You can make the process a little easier by using canned crushed tomatoes.

This is a contributed post.


Pablo Parra (Fungi) said...

Hey Rowena,

I have tried all of these sauces and they are the perfect thing that all food needs right?! I love pesto, but also mayonnaisse (which is Spanish too)!

Aioli is very popular here, specially in the mediterranean zone where I live :) We also tend to eat it with bread and tomato.... perfect and healthy!


Jackie Harrison said...

I love making all types of pesto great post.

R's Rue said...

I love aioli and pesto.

Ivana Split said...

Tomato sauce is one of my favourite sauces!