Secret Sauce: The Flavor of Success

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Ground spices like chili powder, on the other hand, may burn more quickly and should be heated with oil or " bloomed " to maximize their flavor.

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Mix your spices with a liquid like water, wine, or vinegar to form a paste, then cook the paste in hot oil until the liquid sizzles off, leaving only the oil. In culinary terms, an emulsion is a uniform mixture of two liquids that usually don't mix — such as oil and vinegar. To form an emulsion, you agitate the mixture by blending or whisking it. In some emulsions, an " emulsifier " may be added to prevent separation.

Emulsifiers are substances that encourage two liquids that do not normally mix well to stay together.

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Examples include egg yolk, milk fat, honey, and mustard. As a sauce maker, you'll need to harness the science of emulsions prevent certain sauces from separating, including:. Flavor-packed and versatile, stock can be used as the platform for a variety of sauces. When a sauce recipe calls for water, stock can be used instead to add flavor. When a recipe calls for milk or cream, you can try swapping it with stock to make a lighter sauce. For recipes that call for a deglazing agent, you may be able to give the sauce body by replacing the deglazing agent with stock.

For example, try replacing water with beef broth to bring out the flavors in a barbecue sauce recipe. Or, replace the heavy cream in white sauce with a cup of chicken broth and milk for a lighter, flavorful substitute. When working with any stock-based sauce, skip the store-bought boxes and cans and make your own. Homemade stocks come with a variety of benefits , including the ability to pack in flavor, freshness, and nutrients. Although "sourness" is one of the five primary tastes , acidity often gets overlooked in cooking.

In culinary terms, "acid" refers to ingredients that taste sour , such as vinegar and citrus. If you've ever made a sauce that tastes flat, acidity may be just what you need to brighten and add depth to the flavor. Acid awakens the palate by inducing the production of saliva and helps balance sweetness or saltiness. For overly heavy sauces, acidity can help cut through the creaminess. Try adding a touch of vinegar to focus the flavors of your sauce.


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As a modern chef, you have a huge variety of vinegars at your disposal, including fruity apple cider vinegar, smooth sherry, and bold wine. Other forms of acidic ingredients include citrus like lemons, limes, and oranges. Amplify vinaigrette and mayonnaise with a squeeze of lime or add a squirt of lemon to bring out tart notes in a sweet ketchup. Other acidic ingredients you can use to enliven your sauces include hot sauce, pickles, sour cream, or yogurt.

Sauce too thin?

There are many different techniques that can add viscosity, texture, and heartiness to your sauce. We've outlined a handful of the best ways to thicken a sauce below. Roux can be made with butter, oil, bacon lard, or grease and poured directly in to thicken sauces. Mix arrowroot into cold water and whisk into a smooth slurry before adding it to your sauce.

Try boiling carrots, beets, or parsnips and blending them in a food processor before stirring them into your sauce. Here's another deceptively simple technique with a fancy French name: monter au beurre. The term, famously referenced in Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential , addresses the practice of whisking cold butter into a sauce for gloss and richness. By whisking a pat or two of cold, unsalted butter into a warm sauce at the very end of the cooking process, you finish it off with shine, texture, and improved mouth feel.

Traditionally when you melt butter, it separates the butter fat, milk solids, and water.

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But when you use the monter au beurre method, you allow the butter to soften while maintaining emulsification remember that word? What I find happens is that talking about risk actually minimizes the fear factor. Talk about it, say it out loud, give it a name. Reward Behavior: If you want your team to be innovative, reward the behaviors that get you there.

All too often we wait until the outcomes to reward our teams. Ray Dalio used to hire people because they would debate with him. To him, debate led to the success of Blackwater. Other clients of LaunchStreet reward giving feedback. Not if they took action on it, but when they initially gave the feedback.

If you want to encourage innovation, reward behaviors. Test to Discover: Nothing satisfies the creative spirit like bringing your ideas to life. All too often innovation gets shut down by the all-or-none mentality. The impact of this approach shuts down innovation in two ways. That feels overwhelming. Second, making a full decision about an idea before testing it means giving the green light on a less than optimized idea.

To encourage innovation with your team, give them the room to test out their ideas in small ways. Build a prototype, test with one client, talk to one customer. Testing fosters optimized ideas and more investment in innovation overall. Emulsifiers are substances that encourage two liquids that do not normally mix well to stay together.

Read PDF Secret Sauce: The Flavor of Success

Examples include egg yolk, milk fat, honey, and mustard. As a sauce maker, you'll need to harness the science of emulsions prevent certain sauces from separating, including:. Flavor-packed and versatile, stock can be used as the platform for a variety of sauces.

When a sauce recipe calls for water, stock can be used instead to add flavor. When a recipe calls for milk or cream, you can try swapping it with stock to make a lighter sauce. For recipes that call for a deglazing agent, you may be able to give the sauce body by replacing the deglazing agent with stock. For example, try replacing water with beef broth to bring out the flavors in a barbecue sauce recipe. Or, replace the heavy cream in white sauce with a cup of chicken broth and milk for a lighter, flavorful substitute. When working with any stock-based sauce, skip the store-bought boxes and cans and make your own.

Homemade stocks come with a variety of benefits , including the ability to pack in flavor, freshness, and nutrients. Although "sourness" is one of the five primary tastes , acidity often gets overlooked in cooking. In culinary terms, "acid" refers to ingredients that taste sour , such as vinegar and citrus. If you've ever made a sauce that tastes flat, acidity may be just what you need to brighten and add depth to the flavor. Acid awakens the palate by inducing the production of saliva and helps balance sweetness or saltiness.

For overly heavy sauces, acidity can help cut through the creaminess. Try adding a touch of vinegar to focus the flavors of your sauce. As a modern chef, you have a huge variety of vinegars at your disposal, including fruity apple cider vinegar, smooth sherry, and bold wine. Other forms of acidic ingredients include citrus like lemons, limes, and oranges. Amplify vinaigrette and mayonnaise with a squeeze of lime or add a squirt of lemon to bring out tart notes in a sweet ketchup.

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Other acidic ingredients you can use to enliven your sauces include hot sauce, pickles, sour cream, or yogurt. Sauce too thin? There are many different techniques that can add viscosity, texture, and heartiness to your sauce. We've outlined a handful of the best ways to thicken a sauce below. Roux can be made with butter, oil, bacon lard, or grease and poured directly in to thicken sauces.

Mix arrowroot into cold water and whisk into a smooth slurry before adding it to your sauce. Try boiling carrots, beets, or parsnips and blending them in a food processor before stirring them into your sauce. Here's another deceptively simple technique with a fancy French name: monter au beurre. The term, famously referenced in Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential , addresses the practice of whisking cold butter into a sauce for gloss and richness.

By whisking a pat or two of cold, unsalted butter into a warm sauce at the very end of the cooking process, you finish it off with shine, texture, and improved mouth feel. Traditionally when you melt butter, it separates the butter fat, milk solids, and water.

But when you use the monter au beurre method, you allow the butter to soften while maintaining emulsification remember that word? The fat droplets of the butter should bind with the sauce's liquid to become thicker and richer. To try this handy technique, swirl a couple of small pieces of cold butter into warm sauce over a low heat until it is incorporated.

The butter should melt so it looks creamy — if the butter separates or appears oily, it's gotten too hot. Seasoned chefs know the importance of tasting food throughout the cooking process. The same technique applies to sauce making.

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