Sauces can make - or break - a meal

features@beaufortgazette.comOctober 26, 2011 

  • Hot Mustard Sauce

    Makes: 2 1/4 cups

    1 cup dry mustard

    1 cup tarragon vinegar

    3 eggs, beaten

    1 cup sugar

    Combine mustard and vinegar; mix well, and let stand overnight. Combine mustard mixture, eggs and sugar in top of a double boiler. Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Chill (mixture thickens when chilled.)

    Serve as a sauce for cocktail sausages or ham chunks.

    Celery and Olive Sauce

    1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

    1/4 cup chopped celery

    3 tablespoons chopped onion

    1 tablespoon chopped olives

    3 tablespoons chopped pimiento

    1 tablespoon prepared mustard

    1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

    Salt, pepper

    2 tablespoons butter or margarine

    2 tablespoons flour

    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    To the stock add the celery, onion, olives, pimiento and seasonings, using salt and pepper to taste. Cook 10 minutes, then thicken with the butter and flour mixed together and add the lemon juice.

    This is especially good for croquettes.

    Tartar Sauce

    1/2 cup mayonnaise

    1/2 tablespoon capers

    1/2 tablespoon chopped pickle

    1/2 tablespoon chopped olives

    1/2 cup chopped parsley

    Mix all ingredients together. This is usually served with fish.

    Raisin Sauce

    3/4 cup raisins

    1 cup water

    4 or 5 cloves

    3/4 cup sugar

    1 teaspoon cornstarch

    Dash of pepper

    1 tablespoon butter or margarine

    1 tablespoon vinegar

    1 teaspoon lemon juice

    Few drops Worcestershire sauce

    Cover the raisins with water; add the cloves and allow to simmer unti the raisins are tender. Combine the dry ingredients, add to the mixture and stir until thickened slightly. Add the butter and remaining ingredients, stirring until blended. Serve hot with ham.

Sauces can bring out the flavor of foods or add flavor when there's little already there. They also make dry dishes more palatable by adding moisture.

Good foods can be ruined by poor sauces. But a good sauce will add distinction and make the dish one you want to serve again and again. The right sauce helps something that was just a common dish stand out.

A sauce should not be hurried. It must be blended so it is smooth and free of lumps. It must be neither thick and pasty nor thin and watery. Sound judgment should be used in adding seasonings. Long, slow cooking gives the mellowness of flavor that is desired.

As the holidays approach, master the art of sauces. These recipes will add a special flavor to common foods.

Port Royal resident Ervena Faulkner is a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition. Email her at features@beaufortgazette.com.

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