Cooking With Tasty Sauces

Jean-Georges Vongerichten, chef at Restaurant Lafayette in New York, offers a menu with a special section devoted to dishes intensified with these flavorful oils and perfumed broths. His new book, Simple Cuisine (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1990), details these techniques. “All of the recipes can be completed in half an hour,” says Vongerichten. “They don’t require that you spend 20 hours making a veal stock.”

Still, many contemporary chefs take a hard line on stocks. “There are some things you can’t take shortcuts on,” says Emeril Lagasse of Emeril’s in New Orleans. “We respect the stockpot. Good stocks are the basis for good sauce..”

Lagasse’s new restaurant uses 50-60 gallons of stock a day. Chicken, fish, wild mushroom and asparagus are among the varieties. His stocks find their way into vinaigrettes and are blended into roasted-vegetable sauces.

Another cooked chunky sauce, chutney, is a favorite with Lagasse. “Chutneys have a very Southern feel to them – very powerful in flavor. I like to pair chutneys with lamb, pork and stronger-flavored fish like pompano.” Examples include a fig chutney that Lagasse pairs with rabbit and roasted vegetables, and the persimmon chutney he combines with stuffed pork chops.

In Boston, Chef Todd English of Olives restaurant says he likes to emulsify olive oil into pureed eggplant flavored with garlic, basil, rosemary and lemon juice to make a sauce for vinaigrette-splashed grilled fish.

Similarly, he blends potatoes with olive oil, cumin, cilantro and turmeric to accompany lamb. “We’ve generally gotten away from butter sauces in favor of vinaigrettes, vegetable purees and chunky, savory relishes,” says English. An example is the green-olive relish he pairs with roast duck.

ALMOND PESTO

Yield: 4 cups

Basil leaves             11 cups

Olive oil              1 1/4 cups

White wine vinegar        1 cup

Salt, pepper             to taste

Method: Combine all ingredients in food processor. Process until smooth. Serve with pasta or grilled meats.

SOUTH AMERICAN CHEESE SAUCE

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Olive oil                           1/4 cup

Large onion, pared, chopped              1

Jalapeno pepper, seeded, minced 1

Large tomatoes, cored, seeded,

chopped                                  2

Cilantro, chopped                   1/4 cup

Dry white wine                      1/3 cup

Heavy cream                         2/3 cup

Monterey Jack cheese,

shredded                            1 cup

Salt, pepper                        to taste

Method: Heat oil in large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and pepper; saute until limp, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes; simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Stir in cilantro and wine. Cook until thickened slightly, at least 10 minutes. Add cream and cheese; simmer until melted, smooth and very hot. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with baked potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and omelets.

FIG CHUTNEY

(Chef Emeril Lagasse,

Emeril’s, New Orleans)

Yield: 1 1/2 qt.

Orange juice                 3/4 cup

Orange zest                  1/2 Tbsp.

White vinegar                1/2 cup

Apple juice                  3/4 cup

Water                        1/2 cup

Ginger, pared, grated        1 1/2 cup

Red onion, pared, julienne   1

Garlic, pared, minced        1/4 cup

Small cayenne pepper,

  minced                     1

Ground cinnamon              1 1/2 Tbsp.

Ground nutmeg                1 Tbsp.

Mint bunch, chopped          1

Figs, quartered              2 1/2 lb.

Cane syrup                   1/2 cup

Roasted pecans               1 cup

Method: Combine all but figs, syrup and pecans. Heat to boiling. Reduce to simmer. Simmer 10 minutes. Add figs and syrup. Simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat; fold in pecans. Cool; refrigerate in jar for 1 week prior to use. Will hold refrigerated for 3-4 weeks. For nonrefrigerated storage, use proper canning procedures.

OLIVE SALSA

(The Complete Book of Sauces,

Sallie Y. Williams)

Yield: 1 cup Olive oil Scallion bunch, white and light

green parts only, sliced 1

Oil-cured olives, pitted,

chopped 1

Jalapeno pepper, seeded,

  chopped                         1

Cilantro, chopped                 1 Tbsp.

Method: Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Refrigerate overnight, covered. Return to room temperature before serving. Serve with grilled seafood and pork.

GINGER-ORANGE BARBECUED

BEEF BACK RIBS

Yield: 24 servings (2 ribs each)

Beef back ribs            18 lb.

Orange juice              2 1/4 cups

Lemon juice               1 cup

Hoisin sauce              1 cup

Honey                     3/4 cup

Dark soy sauce            6 Tbsp.

Ginger, pared, grated     3 Tbsp.

Garlic, pared, minced     3 Tbsp.

Lemon zest, grated        2 Tbsp.

Salt                      1 Tbsp.

Hot chili oil             to taste

Method: Trim excess fat from ribs. Cut between bones, separating rib sections into individual ribs. Combine all remaining ingredients, mixing well; pour over ribs. Marinate overnight, refrigerated, covered, but no longer than 24 hours. Preheat oven to 425F. Remove ribs; reserve marinade in saucepan. Place ribs on rack over pan of hot water in oven. Roast 30 minutes, turning once halfway through the cooking, until browned and crisp. Reduce marinade to glaze-like consistency. Reduce heat to 375F. Brush ribs with glaze; roast 10 minutes. Turn ribs. Brush with glaze; roast 10 minutes more. Garnish with orange and lemon zest.

WILD MUSHROOM STOCK

(Chef Emeril Lagasse,

Emeril’s, New Orleans)

Yield: 1 1/2 gal.

Cold water 2 gal.

Mushroom stems or pieces

  (shiitake, oyster, chanterelle)      5 lb.

Onions, pared, roughly chopped         2

Carrots, pared, roughly chopped        2

Celery stalks, pared, chopped          4

Whole garlic head

  split in half                        1

Black peppercorns                      1 Tbsp.

Thyme bunch                            1

Whole cloves                           1 tsp.

Parsley bunch, stems only              1

Salt                                   1 tsp.

Method: Put water and mushroom pieces in stockpot. Heat to boiling. Roast onion, carrots, celery and garlic in oven. Add to water when browned slightly; reduce to simmering. Add remaining ingredients; simmer 1 to 2 hours. Strain well.

GINGER LIME MAYONNAISE

(The Complete Book of Sauces,

Sallie Y. Williams)

Yield: 1 cup

Mayonnaise            1/2 cup

Plain yogurt          1/2 cup

Lime zest, grated     1 Tbsp.

Lime juice            3 Tbsp.

Ginger, grated        1 Tbsp.

Honey                 2 Tbsp.

Method: Beat together all ingredients in small bowl. Chill several hours before

Yield: 1 1/2 gal.

Cold water 2 gal.

Mushroom stems or pieces

  (shiitake, oyster, chanterelle)      5 lb.

Onions, pared, roughly chopped         2

Carrots, pared, roughly chopped        2

Celery stalks, pared, chopped          4

Whole garlic head

  split in half                        1

Black peppercorns                      1 Tbsp.

Thyme bunch                            1

Whole cloves                           1 tsp.

Parsley bunch, stems only              1

Salt                                   1 tsp.

Method: Put water and mushroom pieces in stockpot. Heat to boiling. Roast onion, carrots, celery and garlic in oven. Add to water when browned slightly; reduce to simmering. Add remaining ingredients; simmer 1 to 2 hours. Strain well.

GINGER LIME MAYONNAISE

(The Complete Book of Sauces,

Sallie Y. Williams)

Yield: 1 cup

Mayonnaise 1/2 cup

Plain yogurt spinach; cook 1 minute longer. Drain; shock greens in ice water. Drain; chop coarsely. Puree in food processor until smooth. Boil carrot and squash tournes in salted water until tender. Drain; reserve. Drain endive; fan on plate. Saute salmon in butter as needed over high heat very quickly. Lay salmon on top of endive. Arrange vegetables around. Combine chicken stock and the remaining 3 Tbsp. butter in sauce pan; place over medium heat. When chicken stock is foamy, add watercress-spinach puree, salt and pepper. Sauce salmon with chicken stock-watercress broth.

ESCALOPE OF SALMON

WITH CAPERS AND CUMIN

(Chef Jimmy Schmidt,

Tres Vite, Detroit)

Yield: 4 servings

Chili powder                      1 Tbsp.

Ground cumin                      1 Tbsp.

Cold water                        1/4 cup

Safflower or corn oil             1 cup

Extra-strong mustard              1 Tbsp.

Lemon juice                       1/4 cup

Salt                              to taste

Freshly ground black pepper       to taste

Dry white wine                    1/2 cup

Escalopes of salmon,

  3 oz. each                      8

Virgin olive oil                  1 Tbsp.

Nonpareil capers, drained         1/4 cup

Toasted mustard seed              1 Tbsp.

Fresh cilantro                    4 sprigs

Method: In small saucepan, combine chili powder and cumin. Moisten with cold water. Add safflower oil. Over medium heat, warm oil and spices to 160F. Remove from fire; pour into tempered-glass container. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, carefully pour oil out of jar into glass measuring cup, making sure that spices remain in jar. In blender, combine mustard and lemon juice. Slowly add seasoned oil by tablespoons until smooth and creamy. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add white wine to thin to sauce consistency. Reserve. Preheat grill or broiler. Place salmon on grill; brush with olive oil. Cook until well-seared, about 2 minutes. Turn over; cook to medium-rare, about 4 minutes, or to desired temperature. Position escalopes of salmon on serving plates. Spoon cumin sauce in band over salmon. Sprinkle capers and mustard seed over sauce. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.

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