Tomato Cream Sauce, suggestions on how to make?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by rick alan, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. rick alan

    rick alan

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    We took our mother out for her 90th to a fine dining Italian joint. I had an appetizer simply described as "Grilled Stuffed Shrimp on Crostini with Special Seafood Sauce."

    The primary flavor of the sauce was obviously tomato, with great umami, but due to the lively conversation I did not concentrate adequately on the flavors. It was very thick, richness of cream, possibly some sweet red pepper puree, possibly a bit of saffron, salt. Smooth, no bits or pieces of anything.

    So how would some chefs here suggest making such a sauce? Mainly getting the thickness (rue/thickener and/or reduction?), type of cream to use and great tomato umami.
     
  2. Pat Pat

    Pat Pat

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    The basic tomato cream sauce that I've seen used in many Italian joints is simply tomato sauce + whipping cream.

    You vary the consistency with the use of roux, stock, and cream.

    Some use roux to thicken the tomato sauce then add plain whipping cream, some use thin tomato sauce with cream sauce (béchamel + whipping cream), and some use thick tomato sauce + cream sauce and thin it with some stock.

    The key to the desired flavours come from the ingredients you put into your tomato sauce.

    Try it first with canned/jarred tomato sauce + whipping cream. I find that this combination usually gives you 80% of the flavour in 20% of the time. You can adjust and refine the recipe next time if this doesn't satisfy you.
     
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  3. Iceman

    Iceman

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    OK ... Here is what I would do ...

    1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
    1 roasted sweet red pepper
    * 1/2 cup heavy cream
    3 tablespoons good shrimp sauce
    Half fistful fresh basil leaves

    All go into the food-pro and blitzed until smooth.
    Pour through fine strainer to remove any pulp. (I wouldn't do this ... but I think you should)
    Gently heat just until small bubbles appear ... stirring while heating.
    Serve.

    edit: I forgot the cream (duh)

    I'm just sayin'.




    "We work in kitchens ... It ain'te rocket surgery.".
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
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  4. rick alan

    rick alan

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    OK thanks all, you filled the blanks in. Super-heavyweight cream, no reduction there. Tomato paste, though I never use it, was what I actually would have tried here, so glad to hear thick tomato sauce is most used. Roast the red pepper, I actually didn't think of that initially. Iceman, I typically don't strain either, but I would have here.

    I actually never had a tomato cream sauce before, and I rather liked it a lot. A $15 appetizer and it was amongst the 3 most memorable meals (I made it the meal it was so satisfying) of the summer, and quite then some, along with $16 crab cakes and another Italian place, and $8.50 for a Vietnamise spicy beef noodle soup. Great cheap eats, you gotta love it.
     
  5. rick alan

    rick alan

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    OK since this has worked so well, I'd like to inquire about the lump crab cakes. Aside from the 3 excellent sauces provided (a Tai sweet chili, mustard-horseraddish, and a translucent pesto), the cakes were well crusted outside, and beautifully, elegantly fluffy and creamy inside. Additionally the strands of the lump meat where separated but not broken. How would you achieve that fluffy/creamy texture?
     
  6. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Real lump crab meat, correct proportions of crab and filler and binder, Mixing very gently, and not smashing the mixture when forming the cake.
     
  7. Pat Pat

    Pat Pat

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    If you describe the inside texture as creamy, I'd say it's either made using mashed potatoes lightened with whipped cream or made using béchamel sauce as a binder.
     
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  8. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

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    Soft rice added to the sauce and hit with an immersion blender and then strained.
     
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  9. rick alan

    rick alan

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    The binder is of course the mystery part here. I'd initially think cream and some little egg white were in there, no yellow tinge to indicate yoke, very white. I'd say the blended rice was a possibility, or bechamel, I'd guess that over the potato. There was certainly nothing in flavor or texture to hint of anything like rice or potato though, so maybe the bechamel. Yup, I'm leaning strongly toward the bechamel.

    To that I can add that given the soft consistency of the innards this was not an easy thing to fry up into perfect shaped patties. I'd say very good technique all around was employed here.

    Well OK I guess they used a ring-thingy to make the patties, hey I'm learnin. Thanks again to all, and I should say that again Pat Pat scores most the points here.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  10. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Mayonnaise
     
  11. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Nope, just about 100% sure it was the bechamel Pat Pat mentioned. Everything clicked once I thought of it for a bit.
     
  12. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I have no clue because without tasting or seeing the sauce we can only guess. I’m just here to say that creamy tomato sauce is my favorite type of sauce. I always thought I had to pick either red sauce or white sauce but no, you can combine them and it’s amazing!!
     
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  13. Iceman

    Iceman

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    You lost me with the béchamel idea. ... The thought of mayonnaise makes me wanna puke.
     
  14. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    I know how you feel about mayo, but there are a few things where nothing else is really better... and crab cakes is one of them. Other than those few things... make me wanna puke too.
     
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  15. Iceman

    Iceman

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    Nope ... mayonnaise is communist ... and it will make you sterile.
     
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  16. Pat Pat

    Pat Pat

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    Is mayonnaise really that bad? :rolleyes:

     
  17. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I could eat mayonnaise with a spoon.
     
  18. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    It’s oil and egg... separately not bad. But together... the texture is what makes me gag.

    As a complete aside... milk in tea (or coffee) makes me gag too. Maybe I just dislike the taste of the color white?
     
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  19. kronin323

    kronin323

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    If it was a battle between mayo and ketchup I'd declare mayo the winner hands down.