5 sauces that will give you a world of flavour
Sauces are a mixed bag of delights- here are five sauces that stand out from the rest as essential parts of anyone's cooking arsenal.
Did you know that there are more than 50 different types of sauces? And the variety is truly amazing — sauces made of all sorts of ingredients from around the world — an impressive array of flavors spanning from sweet to spicy, mild to hot, and from salty to acidic. With such an extensive selection, there is a sauce to complement every dish.
For centuries, sauces have played an integral role in culinary arts, serving as marinades for meats and veggies, pizza toppings, or even as straightforward as ketchup on a hamburger. Given the complexity that goes into preparing a sauce, let's explore the factors that make them unique.
A classic tomato-based Italian sauce, marinara sauce serves as an excellent entry point into cooking for those who are unsure of where to begin. It's a straightforward recipe that utilizes pantry staples and can be used in various dishes, making it highly versatile.
Whether you're serving it with linguine or spaghetti, roasted veggies, or grilled chicken or fish, marinara sauce provides a perfect flavor balance. It's also a crucial component in several Italian classics, from pasta sauces to pizza toppings.
Hollandaise sauce is a delicate and flavourful sauce made of butter, egg yolks, and lemon juice that can be served either hot or cold. It is most frequently used as a sauce for seafood and fish. It is also an ideal accompaniment to brunch dishes like Eggs Benedict or steamed vegetables such as asparagus.
The addition of lemon juice gives the sauce a bright flavour that complements the richness of the butter and eggs. The key to making hollandaise sauce is to keep the mixture warm enough to prevent it from separating, yet not so hot that it boils and becomes grainy.
Bechamel is a classic white sauce made with butter, flour, and milk that serves as a thickening agent for soups, casseroles, and sauces. Its consistency varies from smooth to very thick, and it is often used as a base for other sauces or as a covering for dishes like pasta or bread. It can also serve as an ingredient in several cooked dishes, such as soups and stews.
The butter and flour mixture in bechamel sauce creates the base for a variety of sauces, such as chicken stock, oyster sauce, and tomato sauce. While it is a versatile sauce, bechamel is commonly served with beef steaks and grilled meats.
Tartar sauce is a French mayonnaise-based sauce typically made with egg yolk and oil. It is used as a condiment for fish, especially whitefish. Recipes vary, but tartar sauce is often made by mixing mayonnaise with white wine vinegar or lemon juice. Some recipes also include Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and minced parsley or chives.
It's served with fish and chips, oysters, and is used as a dip for fried potatoes, veggies, and other foods. With a consistency resembling that of mustard, tartar sauce is usually made by combining mayonnaise with white wine, vinegar, and capers according to traditional methods.
Chimichurri sauce is a traditional Argentinian sauce that pairs perfectly with grilled meats, such as chicken and steak. This thick and flavorful mixture typically contains parsley, oregano, and garlic, with the option to include vinegar for added tang.
It is versatile and can be used as a marinade for meats before grilling or as a condiment for seafood like shrimp or scallops. Additionally, it is a popular ingredient in salads and other sauces. While parsley is the primary ingredient, there are several variations of chimichurri to explore.
Do you know of any other exciting sauces? Let us know in the comments below.