sauce « Tag

Posted on 24 January 2012 by

Tomato-Red Wine Steak Sauce

By David Harbilas

Homemade steak sauces are an odd thing–not many people make them, but if they knew just how easy they were to make they would stop buying the stuff out of the bottle.

The easiest way to make a “homemade” steak sauce is to take one out of the bottle and doctor it with some additional ingredients like roasted garlic, peppers, or tomatoes.

The slightly more labor intensive method might involve reading the label and trying to approximate the real thing.

Seeing that the proportions of those recipes are a guarded secret it might in fact be easier to come up with one’s own version.

That might seem even more daunting than imitating the real thing, but it’s a lot of fun to play around with and not nearly as hard as one might think. The key is to identify the major flavor components, like salty, sour, sweet, and bitter. (I refrain from mentioning umami, since it’s a relatively new and complicated notion to cooking).

Most steak sauces have a good deal of salty, sweet, and slightly sour flavors in them, and if one looks at some labels it’s obvious where that set of flavors come from. Worcestershire, vinegar, and, oddly enough, raisins are some of the major contributors, not to mention tomatoes. This version makes a little use of all those items, plus a few more.

Makes about 4 cups

Posted on 12 August 2011 by

Roasted Tomato-Chorizo Sauce

By David Harbilas

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and I think this is perhaps more true in cooking than it is in most walks of life.

Terrines and pates were created to use leftover parts of beef, veal, pork, or chicken, and many restaurants list a soup du jour as a way of utilizing leftover vegetables, proteins or cheap carbos like pasta.

Just last week I made a terrible mistake that forced me to come up with a solution.

Every Saturday and Sunday we serve brunch, and one of our featured items is a Basque omelette made with sarladaise potatoes cooked in duck fat, chorizo sausage, and parsley.

The entire thing is a snap to make, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 22 May 2011 by

Roasted Tomato-Orange-Espelette Pepper Sauce

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By David Harbilas

The more names a thing has on a menu the more intimidating it is, right?

Well, there are a few different ingredients that may sound totally out of place in this recipe, but it isn’t a hard sauce to make at all.

Espelette is a chile pepper traditionally associated with the southern Basque region of France.

Its flavor is a cross between paprika, in that it’s smoky, and red pepper flake, in that it also has a bit of spice. The orange combats or mellows the heat with the sweetness, while the roasted tomato rounds it out with a meaty quality.

The butter cuts through the heat and gives the sauce a velvety texture. It goes well with fish, chicken, pork, or veal.

Makes about 3 cups of sauce

Posted on 20 May 2011 by

Chicken Breasts with Tomato-Rosemary Pan Sauce

By David Harbilas

Simple sautés are a seemingly forgotten thing, and perhaps with good reason.

Many such dishes are often a forgettable mess of tough “cutlets”, a poorly made demi glace and canned vegetables like artichoke hearts or roasted red peppers.

When skillfully done, however, quick sautés can be very satisfying.

Here is one made with fresh tomatoes, a little chicken stock, lemon juice and rosemary. Part of the trick to doing it right is to add the ingredients in a certain order.

Serves 4

  • 4 chicken breasts, filleted
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, large diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on 18 May 2011 by

Whole Lobster in Roasted Tomato Sauce

By David Harbilas

This may sound like a fairly simple dish, and it is except that it doesn’t quite account for the effects that lobster have on a simple roasted tomato sauce.

This sauce is a combination of plum and globe tomatoes, so the result is a slightly chunky, slightly smooth sauce that lends itself well to pasta preparations.

In this case, the lobster can be shelled entirely and tossed with pasta, or it can be served as it is and napped with the sauce.

Either way, the lobster definitely adds a certain “something” to the sauce.

Serves 2

  • 1 whole lobster, about 2 pounds
  • 4 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 globe tomatoes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on 04 April 2011 by

Greek Tomato Sauce

By David Harbilas

I will admit that I am not a fan of the mace-like family of spices.

They seem more bitter than sweet, a flavor often not friendly to many people’s sense of taste, and they seem better suited to desserts than savory entrees.

Yet the Greeks have a long history of using spices like cinnamon and allspice in sparing amounts with great success.

The one preparation I am sure it would work well with is lamb, especially shoulder chops that have been braised in a sauce like this one. The sweet-gamy flavor of lamb lends itself to those slightly bitter flavors.

Makes about 8 cups of sauce


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