When I was a kid, my mother made almost everything from scratch, including barbecue sauce. I grew up eating this barbecue sauce, and to my taste buds, no other sauce is as good as this recipe. The recipe came from my Aunt Marlyn, and it's a combination of sweet, savory, and tangy all at once. And yes, in my family, we call it Psycho Sauce. I just made a mess of pork ribs the other night with this, and it was heaven. This sauce is really easy to make!
Last weekend when I was home-bound in the epic rainstorm, watching the leak in our ceiling grow, it seemed only right to pop out to the butcher, buy a whole oxtail, and cook it into slow submission.
Oxtail (which is actually just the tail of either gender of cattle) is an ideal meat for braising: its flavor emerges triumphantly with a long, slow cook, with each piece's hunk of marrow only helping things along. It used to be dirt cheap, and now it's just kind of cheap, but it is still a great choices for a meaty sauce when you're in the mood to try something different.
Top Chef Stephanie Izard is a little obsessed with goat. Perhaps it's because her last name is a type of Pyrenees mountain goat in French. Or maybe she just finds it delicious. Stephanie stopped by the new Kenmore Studio in Chicago last night to make a batch of Salted Goat Caramel – a sweet/savory sauce that could be served with a variety of dishes. We've got the recipe below.
We have to be very careful not to have leftovers whenever we make a batch of crème anglaise, otherwise we find ourselves sneaking spoonfuls whenever we pass the fridge. Also called English or stirred custard, this is a rich sweet sauce perfect for drizzling over fruit, a slice of warm cake, or heck, even pancakes!
Seafood stock is one of those things I just can't deal with in a can; fresh is so far superior. If you happen to have some shrimp, crab or lobster shells, the process is actually pretty easy. A fish stock using whole fish heads can be a bit messier, so I'm going to recommend you go the shellfish route. This stock is a great base for soups and stews and for cooking risotto. Cook it down as a base for pasta sauces and sauces to top other seafood dishes.
One of our favorite tricks for extending sauces to feed a few more people is a simple bag of carrots. Even though we're usually prepared for most meals we make, there are always times when we need to stretch a dish. This is an easy trick that yields extra tasty results!
Pizza is on weekly rotation at our house, and you can bet we've tried a lot of different takes on the tomato sauce base over the years! Last week we tried a new sauce from Lucini, which promised a "rich and tangy" pizza sauce made from 100% natural ingredients. We'll be the judge of that!
One of my favorite parts about the holiday season is making homemade gifts for friends. Ninth grade marked the beginning of this tradition, when I handed out clear bags of my simple chocolate-covered toffee to classmates. Doing this made me realize that giving handcrafted gifts with a personal touch felt more unique and heartfelt than anything I could buy at the store. I know my friends agreed. I received requests for that toffee every Christmas until graduation, and we all remain close to this day.
Last minute check: Do you know how to make gravy? Some people swear that gravy is the most essential part of Thanksgiving dinner, touching everything on your plate with its savory essence of turkey. No pressure, right? Here are a few tips and links for making your own gravy — it's really not that hard.