Monday, June 21, 2010

How to Properly Thicken a Sauce

Thin sauces don't stick to food, have a poor mouth-feel, and are honestly just wimpy. Adding flour or cornstarch directly to sauces, as you may have experienced when making your thanksgiving gravy, inevitably creates stubborn lumps that are difficult to dissolve. Instead, avoid the lumpiness and thicken sauces with the following process:

1. Put some flour or cornstarch in a small jar (a clean, empty spice container is ideal).
2. Add water until flour is saturated

A general mixing rule in cooking is to always add wet to dry, so do not reverse steps one and two.

3. Shake vigorously
4. Heat sauce on med/low heat in a small pot or pan.
5. While stirring constantly, pour the mixture into the sauce incrementally
6. Stop adding mixture when sauce is desired consistency. It may happen suddenly.

If you accidentally over-thicken, add a little water directly to the sauce to thin back out again.

Many marinades can be made into hearty sauces using this method. This method can also be used to thicken gravies and stews.

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