Monday, May 17, 2010

Good sauce

Do you have a sifter?  Or do you think the whole idea of the apparatus is silly?  I don't like sifters.  I think they are too bulky, and my kitchen is small.  So whenever recipes call for sifting, I scoff.  Literally.  I read it and say, "SCOFF!"  Anyway, I find most recipes can get along without it.  But sauces are apparently different.

I have always longed to be able to make good sauces, and last week I figured it out.  The thickener needs to be sifted.  However, one doesn't need a sifter to sift. What one needs is this simple and inexpensive tool:

I don't know the name for it.  Probably 'mesh strainer.'  You can find these things in dollar stores and fine cooking stores.  (I think the one I'm showing may be for tea, but these come in lots of different sizes.)  It doesn't really matter how big the thing is.

To make a sauce, start with water.  I'm not going to tell you how much, because it doesn't matter and you may want to make more or less sauce.  Also, the size of your pan or pot (We don't have many pots, so I usually use pans) may be determining how much sauce you can make.

Once you have your water, scoop some flour into the strainer and hold it over the pan.  Begin shaking it.  Stir the flour in.  It doesn't matter if you shake a lot on there or a little.  Because the strainer has made the particles smaller and separated them, it will all mix easily. 
I recommend using a whisk to mix all this up.

Be careful not to add too much flour, or else you'll end up with something more like a hot cereal.  (But maybe you want to experiment with that.  It could be tasty.)

Once you have that done, add anything you want to melt into it (Like cheese or butter.) and turn the heat on.  Also begin adding spices.  A good mix for cheese sauce is cheddar, mustard powder and salt.  A good desert sauce is sugar/sweetener, vanilla and some kind of fruit.

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