If you want to take your everyday meat and vegetable dishes to the next level, then The Art Of The Perfect Sauce – 75 Recipes To Take Your Dishes From Ordinary To Extraordinary by Lorilynn Bauer and Ramin Ganeshram is your go-to guide for just that.
The Contents page of the book lists the chapters and also the name of each recipe in the chapter. After a brief introduction, the chapters of the book include:
- Mastering Sauces: A Technique Primer
- Sauces For Poultry
- Sauces For Fish
- Sauces For Meat
- Sauces For Vegetables And Pasta
- Sauces For Dessert
- Dipping Sauces
The first step of Mastering Sauces is how to make a good stock. Many of the sauce recipes will use one of these stocks. Simple Vegetable, Chicken, and Meat Stock recipes are included.
After your Basic Stock recipes comes a Sauce Primer. Starting with the techniques it discusses various ways of preparing sauces, which thickeners you can use, and includes a Sauce Table. The Sauce Table is a handy chart of the recipes in the book showing what meat or vegetables the sauce would work best with, and which are best for dessert or dipping.
All of the recipes in the book include a brief introduction, quantities, prep time, and cooking time. The times may vary slightly based on your skill level and available kitchen equipment. You should use visual and doneness cues to judge when the sauce is ready.
Except for the stock recipes, each of the recipes in the book contains a full-color, full-page picture of the finished product. They all include very clear step-by-step instructions, and many of the ingredients seem to be easily sourced.
At the end of the book, comes a Buying Guide, a Glossary of terms. There is also an excellent index which allows you to search by the main ingredient.
This is one of my favorite kinds of cookbooks. The first thing you notice when you open the book is that it has a sewn-in binding which allows the pages to lay flat. This is extremely helpful when you’re trying to follow a recipe while cooking.
Attention To Detail Makes An Excellent Reference Guide
The attention to detail is excellent. The information at the beginning, about how to make sauces and the various techniques involved, is very helpful, especially to those of us who up until now may have been using canned soups as sauces (The Horror!).
My only disappointment in this book was that the photos at the beginning of each chapter do not give any indication about which recipe they depict. Also, there is no recipe for mushroom gravy or other mushroom sauce. I am a huge mushroom fan, but I’m not going to let that influence my rating for this book. The Art Of The Perfect Sauce is something that anyone who wants to be able to create good sauces will want to keep on hand as their main reference guide.
For the included recipe I have chosen the Guinness Chocolate Sauce as it is positively decadent. Enjoy!
Guinness Chocolate Sauce
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 150g
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 43g
- 1 cup Guinness Stout, 240mL
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, 270g
- 2 teaspoons vanilla, 10mL
- In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, salt, coconut powder, and Guinness. Bring to a boil and turn down and allow to simmer for about five minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the chocolate chips and a vanilla. Cool completely and serve over vanilla ice cream or a brownie sundae. Store unused sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator.