Sauce Thickening: Need Help

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by jumpnpoet, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. jumpnpoet

    jumpnpoet

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    I am making some lettuce wraps, trying to imitate some yummy ones I've had out lately. The filling is finely chopped chicken breast, celery, frest mint and crushed peanuts. The sauce I tried out is garlic seasoned vinegar, a dash of olive oil, brown sugar, crushed cumin seeds and salt and pepper. The flavor of the sauce is quite good, but my question is how to make the sauce thicker. I'm not a big cook whatsoever, so I'm not exactly sure what to do. Do I simmer for a while? add something? Any suggestions? Thanks!
     
  2. ma facon

    ma facon

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    You can take some of the garlic vinegar and mix it with arrowroot powder and heat it slowly until it thickens and bacomes clear and immediatly chill in a bowl of ice [ as to not loose any more of the cold vinegar properties ] then use this base in the recipe. Just an thought !!! :chef:
     
  3. keeperofthegood

    keeperofthegood

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    Hey oh


    Well, to build on this style of sauce that Ma Facon has suggested, it is in fact stunningly easy to learn and play with. The main powder starches that are used are Corn Starch. Not always the nicest to use, but it is a general purpose work horse. I use tapioca starch myself because I find it does not change the colour of my sauce and it takes cooking forever. I've not used arrowroot, but it will work as well. (If anyone can elabourate on how arrowroot works I'd appreciate it as well)

    The easyest way to start is with some water. Start with a cup, whisk in a teaspoon, heat on stove top and see how thinck a sauce you get. Ditch that and repeat with two teaspoons, etc. That is of course the hands on smart way to learn to use starch as a thickener, rather than the way I did; on the fly and sometimes really messing it up.

    From the basic water/starch it is then easy to expand into other sauses. Use plum juice and a few diced fresh plums and there you go a simple plum sauce. Realy, once you begine looking at it, the sky is the limit.

    The other direction to go with the sauce that you specifically mentioned, is to use a lot more than a pinch of oil. Oil and Vinagar is a sauce all its own, but it only works in the correct proportions.

    2 tbsp garlic seasoned vinegar
    3 tbsp of olive oil and 3 tbsp cannola oil (pure olive oil can go bitter when roughly handeled)
    1 tsp brown sugar,
    1 tsp crushed cumin seeds
    salt and pepper. to taste
    Place in decanter with stopper, and with stopper on shake vigorusly to emulsify

    That would be what I would do, working with your listed ingredients. (if I got those proprtions wrong PM me and I will correct it with an edit thnx)


    On a final note, there is a way of doing dressings that are virtually oil free, to completely oil free. I've not ever done so. If anyone has an idea there......
     
  4. jumpnpoet

    jumpnpoet

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    Thanks for the tips!
     
  5. ma facon

    ma facon

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    General Description
    Arrowroot is a white powder extracted from the root of a West Indian plant, Marantha arundinacea. It looks and feels like cornstarch.
    Geographical Sources
    Arrowroot is grown in Brazil and Thailand
    Traditional Ethnic Uses
    Arrowroot is used as a thickening agent for sauces, fruit pie fillings and glazes, and puddings.
    Taste and Aroma
    Arrowroot has no flavor.
    History/Region of Origin
    Arrowroot is indigenous to the West Indies, where native people, the Arawaks, used the powder. The Arawaks used the substance to draw out toxins from people wounded by poison arrows. Its name is thought to be derived from that practice.
    A Few Ideas to Get You Started
    Arrowroot mixtures thicken at a lower temperature than mixtures made with flour or cornstarch. Mix Arrowroot with cool liquids before adding hot liquids, then cook until mixture thickens. Remove immediately to prevent mixture from thinning. Two teaspoons of Arrowroot can be substituted for 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. One teaspoon of Arrowroot can be substituted for 1 tablespoon of flour. Arrowroot makes clear, shimmering fruit gels and prevents ice crystals from forming in homemade ice cream.
    :chef: