Sauces used in Gastronomy by Carlos Mirasierras .pdf
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Sauces used in gastronomy, by Carlos Mirasierras
Technically speaking, the sofrito is a hot sauce that can be obtained by
simmering a series of veggies, such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, shallots, etc.
(grated, cut into small dice, chopped, etc.) in oil, butter, margarine, etc. The
sofrito is a very important part of the Spanish cuisine, and some dare to say that
it is the cornerstone of its recipe book; although it's not the leading character of
any preparation, so to use too much tomato, or onions, or any other veggies will
ruin the preparation, no matter how good or expensive the meats, fish, or other
food stuffs might be.
A tomato sauce, for example, contains a large amount of tomato, onion, leek,
etc; the aim is to "wrap" the meat or the fish in a sauce, so in this case we're not
talking about sofritos. And going back to the subject, tough meats will gain in
flavor during the stewing process because the sofrito will enrich the surrounding
liquid/sauce/stock, and the aromas and other organoleptic properties will finally
end up in the meat, above all, when the stew meat is eaten a day later. There
are in fact variations of the sofrito and they include the addition of other
elements, such as species (hot or sweet), alcoholic drinks (wine, brandy, flambé
or not). A sirloin steak doesn't need a sofrito since it is broiled on an intense
heat for a short time, so it is juicy and doesn't get overcooked in the process;
then you can add a home-made sauce, and that is all about.
The arrival of tomatoes and other exotic products from the New Word (Las
Indias) changed the cooking rules, and made possible to detach from certain
Moorish cooking influences, which were not bad, although the advent of new
veggies stirred the creativity of cooks (mostly women at that time), with the
result that a new recipe book was beginning to emerge. Today it is unthinkable
to cook many of the Spanish recipes without the use of a sofrito; there are many
variations that do, or do not, include tomato, and use flour, together with other
ingredients, to thicken and flavor the sofrito and turn it into a more elaborate
sauce, which in turn could be used on that broiled sirloin that I mentioned
before. The imagination is the limit, as long as it is guided by the common
sense and the practical knowledge of a series of basic cooking rules.
Red Sauce (My recipe) Salsa roja
Ingredients: 5-6 piquillo peppers (or roasted red bell peppers; although canned
ones are OK, too); 1 small onion finely chopped; 1 tbsp of flour; 1 tbsp of butter;
350 ml of veggies broth; salt and pepper to taste.
Preparation: Start by preparing a béchamel sauce with the onion, the flour, the
butter, and the broth. Next, put the red peppers in a glass blender and process;
once they're finely ground, add the béchamel, some salt and mix it all with the
blender for a few seconds.
Cabrales Sauce (Salsa de Cabrales)
Cabrales (queso de Cabrales, in Spanish) is a cheese in the artisan tradition by
rural dairy farmers in Asturias in the north of Spain. This cheese can be made
from pure, un-pasteurized cow's milk or blended in the traditional manner with
goat and/or sheep milk, which lends the cheese a stronger, and more spicy
All of the milk used in the production of Cabrales must come exclusively from
herds raised in a small zone of production in Asturias, in the mountains of the
Picos de Europa. In fact this sauce is a copy developed by me from the French
Roquefort sauce, since both cheeses share the same production system.
Ingredients: 1lb of Cabrales, softened with a fork; 3 tbsp of unsalted butter,
softened with a fork (do not use salted butter as Cabrales is quite salty); 2 cups
dry white wine; 4-6 tsp dried green peppercorns; 2 cups of cream; 2 tbsp of
fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped.
Preparation: Mix the cheese and the butter in a bowl until both ingredients form
a smooth mixture. Next, boil the wine and the peppercorns in a sauce pan until
both things become reduced; add the cream and bring to a boil again until the
mixture is reduced by half.
Reduce the heat a moderately low level, whisk in the cheese mixture, a little at
a time, and then whisk in the parsley. Remove the pan from the heat and keep
the sauce warm.
Check for seasoning and add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Do not add
any salt, since Cabrales cheese is quite salty on its own.
Vinaigrette Sauce (Salsa vinagreta)
Ingredients: 1 onion; ½ green pepper; 2 hardboiled eggs;1 tsp of mustard;
olive oil; vinegar; salt; black pepper
Preparation: Mix the onion with the pepper and eggs in a bowl, all previously
Add the mustard and season all with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Wine Sauce (Salsa de vino)
Ingredients: 50 grams butter; 50 g of wheat flour; 500 ml of broth; 1/2 cup of
dry white wine.
Preparation: Cook the butter and the flour in a pan on a low heat for 10
Add the broth and increase the heat to a moderate level. Continue stirring until it
begins to boil. At that time, add the wine, return to a low heat and cook a little
longer. Turn off the heat, let it cool and skim off the fat on the surface. Strain
and keep it in the fridge until needed.
Cheese Sauce (Salsa de queso)
Ingredients: 200 grams of white cheese; 2 tbsp of mustard; salt; black pepper;
Preparation: Place the ingredients into a bowl and mix until it becomes an
homogeneous preparation. Store in the refrigerator until serving time.
Walnut Sauce (salsa de nueces)
Ingredients:1 tsp oregano; 1 sprig of rosemary; 1sprig of thyme; ½ onion; 1
cup of beef or chicken broth; 1 cup water; black pepper; salt; 2 or 3 chopped
Preparation: Make a broth with the herbs and the cup of water by cooking them
for a few minutes. Strain the broth and set aside.
Sauté the onion and add the broth, the pepper, the salt, the nuts and cook
another few minutes until the broth is reduced. It is an ideal accompaniment to
Meat marinade Sauce
Ingredients: Five garlic cloves, finely chopped; several parsley sprigs (to use
only the leaves), finely chopped; 2 tsp paprika & 1 tsp of paprika; 2 tsp of salt; 1
tsp of black pepper; 3 tbsp olive oil; 4 tbsp vinegar; a cupful hot water.
Preparation: Mix the garlic, parsley, paprika, salt, and the black pepper in a
glass with a screw cap, add the hot water and let sit the mixture until it cools
down; then add the oil, and the vinegar. Give a good shake and keep this sauce
in the fridge for at least a week. This sauce is ideal for marinating meats that will
be barbequed or cooked on a griddle.
Béarnaise Sauce (Salsa bearnesa)
Recipe provided by the Cooking School, IES Escuela de Hosteleria de Leioa
Ingredients: 250 g of butter,melted;4 eggs; tarragon vinegar; some tarragon,
finely chopped: 3-4 shallots, cut into brunoise.
Preparation: Put the vinegar and the shallots in a saucepan and reduce the
vinegar on a mild heat. Drain the reduced preparation, add the egg yolks and
emulsify on a medium heat. Once this is achieved, add the melted butter
(clarified or not). Complete the process of fusion of ingredients, add the
chopped tarragon and mix it all.
Bilbao Sauce (raw preparation) (Salsa bilbaína cruda)
Recipe provided by the Cooking School, IES Escuela de Hosteleria de Leioa
Ingredients: 200 ml of olive oil; 4 garlic cloves, sliced; a sprig of parsley, finely
chopped; red chili; 6 tbsp of vinegar.
Preparation: Slowly simmer in olive oil the garlic slices until they are soft but
not brown. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the chilies, some finely
chopped parsley, vinegar, and mix everything well.
Gazpacho Sauce (Salsa de gazpacho) Recipe provided by the Cooking
School, IES Escuela de Hostelería deLeioa
Ingredients: 1 garlic clove, sliced; 1 green pepper, chunked: 4-5 tbsp of
vinegar; 200 ml of water; a pinch of fine salt; 4-5 tomatoes, grated; 100 ml of
Preparation: First of all put the ingredients (reserving a little water, the vinegar
and all the oil) in a tall glass and mix them with a hand blender; next emulsify
the sauce by slowly adding a fine drizzle of oil in the container while mixing it all
well with the hand blender. Strain the mixture through a sieve, add a pinch of
salt, vinegar, as well as some of the reserved water in case you want to thin the
Piquillo Sauce (Salsa de piquillo) Recipe provided by the Cooking School, IES
Escuela de Hostelería de Leioa
Ingredients: 1 large onion, finely chopped; 10 piquillo peppers, chopped; 7-8
tbsp of flour; 1 l of fish stock.
Preparation: First simmer the onion, and when it is nearly cooked add the red
peppers, continue to simmer a little on a low heat, add the flour, give a good
stir, add the fish stock and bring the preparation to a boil. Finally, mix the sauce
with a hand blender and sieve.
Parsley Sauce (Salsa de perejil) Recipe provided by the Cooking School, IES
Escuela de Hostelería de Leioa
Ingredients: a small bunch of parsley; 100 ml of water; some salt; 1 garlic
cloves, sliced; some vinegar to taste; 100 ml of olive oil.
Preparation: Put the parsley (only the leaves and fine stems) with the water,
the salt, the vinegar, and the garlic in a mixer glass and grind it all. Sieve the
preparation, place again in the mixer glass, and emulsify by adding the oil with a
fine drizzle through the upper window of the cap, and finally add salt to taste.
Green Pepper Sauce (Salsa de pimiento verde) Recipe provided by the
Cooking School, IES Escuela de Hostelería de Leioa
Ingredients: 1 large onion; 1 green pepper; 5-6 tbsp of flour; 1 l of fish stock.
Preparation: Sauté the onion, and when it is half cooked add the pepper,
simmer for 3-5 minutes, add the flour, give a good stir to build the sauce, and
add the fish stock. Bring the preparation to a boil, mix with a hand blender and
Mushroom Sauce (Salsa de champiñones)
Ingredients 4 persons: A small can of sliced mushroom (they can be replaced
by fresh ones); 1 medium-sized onion, grated; 1tbsp of flour; a large cup of beef
broth (warm);1-2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce; olive oil & salt.
Preparation: Sauté the mushrooms until they brown a bit, and set aside; add
the onion, and simmer it until it crystallizes. Add the flour and stir with a whip to
form the roux. Bit by bit add the warm broth and slowly stir it all until the sauce
starts to thicken. Next add the mushrooms, give a good stir, and finally add the
Worcestershire sauce. Let it simmer for some mins, check the salt taste, add
some water if the sauce gets too thick, and process in the mixer to get an
homogeneous sauce. This sauce can be used to top thick cuts of beef cooked
to medium rare; or even immerse such cuts when the meat is undercooked.
Béchamel Sauce (also known as white sauce)
Ingredients: 1/4 cup butter;1/4 cup all-purpose flour; 2 1/4 cup milk; pinch of
freshly grated black pepper; nutmeg (optional); and salt.
Preparation: Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the flour when the
melted butter is bubbling a bit. Pour in all the milk (better if it is warm), and start
whisking the ingredients constantly to get an homogeneous mix and wait until it
starts to boil. Season with salt, lower the heat, put a lid on and simmer gently,
while stirring occasionally for at least 20 minutes to cook it thoroughly and so
avoid it takes a floury taste. During the cooking process check if it needs more
salt, add some black pepper and some nutmeg. Add some more milk if the
sauce is too thick , but when it is too runny, pour some corn flour (from 1 to 3
tsp) in a cup with some cold milk, whisk both ingredients thoroughly and pour
them in the sauce. Next, return the sauce to the fire and check if the béchamel
is at the point of thickness you were looking for.
A variation to this sauce is used when preparing croquettes, and it involves
adding finely chopped onion(French cooks would used shallot, which is much
better to my taste) once the butter is melted and starts to boil. It is also
recommendable to initially add half tsp of olive oil to the butter so it doesn't get
Bolognese Sauce (Quick recipe)
Ingredients for 4 servings: 250 gm of beef ground meat; 150 gm of pork
ground meat; 2 onions, finely chopped; 400 gm of tomato purée; half glass of
white wine;1 tsp of corn flour, salt, pepper.
Preparation: Heat some oil (2 tbsp) in a saucepan, add the meat, cook for 2
minutes, and next add the onion and the tomato purée straightaway, together
with the wine, and the corn flour to thicken the resulting sauce and some salt to
taste. Let simmer the sauce with no lid on for some 25 minutes on a small-tolow fire, and check the salt taste. In the event that the tomato sauce is too thick
you can add some water, or cooked tomato sauce. It is better to use cooked
tomato sauce (canned) to avoid simmering the preparation for a long time, as
ground meat loses its taste properties during the cooking process; it also makes
unnecessary to add sugar for lowering acidity.
Allioli (Garlic sauce)
This is a Catalan sauce used for accompanying meats, fish, legumes and some
rice preparations. There are two versions: one (the original sauce) for very
"brave and iron-mouthed men", and the light one, for current people. It is not a
garlic mayonnaise as most people think
Ingredients for the original recipe: All the cloves of a garlic bulb, 1/2 tsp of
salt, and olive oil (a mortar and a pestle).
Put the cloves, cut into small dices, in the mortar with the salt; Start pounding
both elements to get a very fine paste. Then is the moment to start adding the
oil from an oil dispenser, but drop by drop for the first steps of the process. Next
go on adding oil, but always with extreme care, that is, a fine drizzle of oil. You
will see that the sauce starts to thicken and to get clung around the pestle and
to form a single mass. At this point, don't add more or it will turn into a liquid
oily sauce (cortarse el allioli).
As to the light version of this sauce, do as follows:
Pound two or three garlic cloves, cut into slices, with the salt to get a fine paste;
next add an egg yolk and mix it all with the pestle. From that point on, proceed
as explained before with regard to the addition of oil. Some people use a handblender, with all the ingredients put in a mixer vase and the blades right on the
bottom of the vase, but, to me, a lot of practice is needed.
Biscay Sauce (Salsa Viscaína) Recipe provided by the Cooking School, IES
Escuela deHostelería de Leioa.
Ingredients for 1/2 liter of sauce: 3 large onions, finely chopped; 3 dried
sweet chorizo peppers, previously soaked in warm water for a few hours so the
pulp can be scraped off; 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped; 3 tsp of flour; 1 carrot; 1
l of chicken/veggies stock.
Preparation: Simmer the onion and the garlic until both changes their color and
then add the pepper pulp. Next add the flour to build a roux-like paste, add the
stock (fish or meat or veggies, depending on the future use of the sauce), and
simmer for some mins until it thickens while stirring it all continuously to make
an homogeneous sauce. Mix it all with a hand blender and strain through a
Romesco sauce (Salsa Romesco)
Romesco is a sauce from Tarragona (in Northeastern Spain). It is said that the
fishermen of the area used it with fish. It is also great with seafood, but it is
mostly used with meats and to dress some salads. It also can be used as
already-made sofrito to prepare some rice recipes.
Ingredients for around two cups of romesco: 12 skinned almonds; 10-12
hazelnuts; 1 garlic bulb, (rub the white flossy skin off) ; 1 slice of dried-out bread
fried in some olive oil; 2 ripe medium size tomatoes, or 1 large tomato; 2
large roasted red peppers, well-drained; 1cup of extra virgin olive oil; 1/2 cup of
red wine or sherry vinegar.
Note: Add approximately 15 minutes to the preparation time if blanching
almonds. This romesco sauce recipe makes about 2 cups of sauce.
Preparation: Place the garlic hub, the red peppers and the tomatoes in a
roasting pan, drizzle some oil on them and roast in the oven for some 25
minutes at 160ºC (320º F, this two-fold value is a coincidence, so do not take it
as a rule of thumb). Next, peel the garlic cloves, the tomatoes and the peppers,
remove seeds, remove some of the juices released by the peppers and the
tomatoes (not all), and place in a food processor together with the almonds and
hazelnuts(skinned), the bread, the oil and the vinegar, and grind all the
elements to get a fine paste. Taste to correct salt.
Ingredients for 1/2 litter of sauce: 1 kg. of fresh beef bones;1 k of chicken
bones (which can be replaced by more beef bones); 1/2 k of beef meat; 600 g
of carrots; 2 medium-sized leeks; 2 onions; 5 garlic cloves; 1 tsp of
peppercorns; 1 clove; 1 bay leave; 1 ripe tomato, 200 ml. of red wine.
Preparation: First of all, place the beef and chicken bones, and the meat in a
roasting pan and in the oven at 200ºC (390º F). Keep turning all the pieces so
they can brown uniformly; 30 minutes later add the veggies, cut into coarse
pieces, and let it all get a brown color. After this, put all these ingredients in a
pressure cooker, add water to cover it all sufficiently, together with the pepper,
bay leaves, and the clove.
In the meantime, place the roasting pan on the fire and pour some wine on the
bottom; bring to a boil, deglaze the caramelized juices, and pour them into the
pressure cooker. Lock the lid of the pressure cooker, place it on the fire and let
it boil for an hour from the moment the valve stars to let out steam. After this
time, strain the resulting broth, let it sit to allow the fat to rise to the top and skim
it off. Finally, reduce the amount of broth to a half (around 1/2 liter), and there it
is a beef extract of the best quality, also known in Spain as "Caldo oscuro, or
Gravy Sauce (My recipe) Salsa Gravy
Ingredients: 1cupful of beef broth; 30 ml of olive oil; 2 tbsp of meat extract
(Salsa española, Bovril, or similar); 2 tbsp of mustard sauce; and 1 tsp of
Preparation: First lightly heat the olive oil and add the mustard; then add the
broth and the corn starch and simmer for 15 minutes, on a mild fire, while
stirring with a wire whip. The final result must be an oily and slightly thick sauce.
Ingredients for 4 people: Three tablespoons of butter, a cup of cream, a
lemon, two tablespoons flour, two glasses milk, some grated nutmeg, salt and
Melt the butter in saucepan and when melted sprinkle the flour on it. Start
stirring until the mixture gets a brown color; add the milk, a bit warm, stir again,
add the nutmeg, salt & pepper, continue stirring, add in the cream, the lemon
juice and continue stirring until it all thickens to a smooth and different béchamel
Ingredients: Three red chilies, half a teaspoon of ground coriander seeds, half
a teaspoon of ground cumin, half a teaspoon of black pepper, two garlic cloves,
a tablespoon of chopped sorrel, a teaspoon of grated ginger, half a teaspoon
salt and some olive oil, (the amount will depend on the thickness desired).
Mash the garlic, chopped chili, ground coriander, ground cumin, black pepper,
chopped sorrel, ginger and salt in a mortar to get an homogeneous paste. Next,
add in the olive oil.
Guirlache (a type of nougat)
Ingredients: One hundred grams of raw almonds, one hundred fifty grams of
sugar, a glass of water, a tablespoon lemon juice.
Roast the almonds in the oven at 180ºC-356ºF, stirring them to prevent they get
burned. Let them cool and reserve a third of them.
Put the water, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil until this
begins to take on a brown color; next, add in the almonds and let it caramelize.
Then, pour this caramel on a greased surface, stretch it and let it to cool. Once
it has set break it up with a wooden hammer.
Ingredients: Half a glass of white wine, an onion, 50 g butter, half a cup of
cream, salt and pepper.
Peel the onion, chop and cook it in a large saucepan with the wine over low
heat until the wine has reduced.
Add in the butter, cut into dices; stir and then add the cream. Salt and pepper,
stir with a whisk, and drain it into a sauce boat.
Olive and Anchovy Butter
Ingredients: 200 g butter four anchovy fillets (large pieces), 12 black pitted
olives, six leaves of sage, half orange juice, the grated rind of half orange..
Chop the anchovy fillets, olives and sage leaves into a fine paste. Add in the
juice of half orange, the butter (previously softened) and the grated orange rind.
put it all in a bowl and store in the fridge.
Ingredients: Three tablespoons of milk, a cup of oil, oil from a can of
anchovies, some chopped anchovies, a few drops of lemon juice (or vinegar, or
both) and salt.
Mix the ingredients in the mixer, and beat until thick.
This sauce is ideal for dressing salads, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
Ingredients: ½ cup of mayonnaise, a tablespoon of French mustard, 1 tbsp
vinegar, a tbsp sugar, half a cup of cream, a tbsp chopped dill.
Mix all the ingredients mentioned before together with the mayonnaise, and
store it in the fridge for a later use.
Ingredients: Three tbsp milk, a glass of oil, few drops of lemon juice (or
vinegar) and salt.
Mix the ingredients in the mixer, and beat until it thickens. It's ideal for salads,
fish, eggs, and vegetables.
Eggless Tomato Mayonnaise
Ingredients: One tablespoon of tomato purée, half a glass of cold milk, half a
cup of oil, juice of half a lemon, ten raw almonds (crushed), salt and pepper.
Beat the tomato purée, milk, oil, lemon juice, crushed almonds, salt and pepper
in a the blender to get an homogeneous thick sauce. Store it in the fridge before
ingredients: A cup of mayonnaise, a tablespoon of parsley, two pickles, one
tbsp mustard, two tbsp of capers, salt and pepper.
Mix the mayonnaise with the parsley, pickles, mustard and capers in the
blender; salt & pepper and store it in the fridge before serving.
Canary Green Mojo (Mojo is a garlic sauce)
ingredients: Two tbsp parsley, half a pepper, two tbsp cilantro, two garlic
cloves, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp vinegar, 3 tbsp oil, salt.
Mash the garlic in a mortar along with the parsley, pepper, coriander, cumin;
then add in the vinegar, oil, salt and a glass of water; mix it all well and reserve
in a sauce boat.
Ingredients: One tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp salt, four garlic cloves, half a tsp paprika, 4
tbsp oil, 1 tbsp vinegar.
Mash the garlic cloves together with the salt, cumin, paprika in a mortar. Next,
add in the, olive oil and vinegar mash to get an homogeneous mixture. Add now
a glass of water, stir well and serve.
Garlic Fine Sauce
Two garlic cloves of garlic, 1 egg, a glass of oil, 1 tbsp of whipped cream.
Fry the garlic cloves (previously chopped) in some olive and on a medium heat.
Allow the garlic to cool down, put it in a mixer and process; add in the egg yolk,
and slowly add the oil (the mixer blades must be close to the bottom of the
glass and rotate at a slow speed). Next, add the whipped cream, but mix it in
with a fork. The result is similar to a mayonnaise.
Half a glass of oil, 2 tbsp of chopped basil, 2 garlic cloves, 2 tbsp of grated
Parmesan cheese, 2 tbsp pine nuts, salt and pepper to taste.
Put the chopped basil, minced garlic, pine nuts, cheese, oil, salt and pepper in
a blender glass; process it all to get an homogeneous sauce.
This sauce is ideal for hot pastry, pasta salads, baked potatoes, vegetables and
A kilo of ripe red tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves, a pinch of salt, a cup of extra virgin
olive oil and a bread bun.
First wash, peel, seed and chop the tomatoes. Process in the mixer together
with the two garlic cloves, and the salt; Slowly drizzle in the oil while the
mixture is being processed.
Next, add the amount of bread (continue processing) to the desired point of
Pass through the sieve and serve, or reserve in the fridge for a later use.
Sweet and Sour Sauce
An onion, a tbsp of butter, 1 garlic clove, 100 g grams of prunes, a glass of
white wine , 1 orange, 1 tbsp honey, one teaspoon cornstarch, two drops of
Tabasco, salt and pepper.
Soak the prunes in water the whole night; then, drain them, seed, chop and
Melt the butter in a pan with two drops of oil to then sauté the onion and
garlic; when browned add in the chopped prunes, wine, orange juice and honey.
Le it simmer for ten mins over low heat.
Next, add in the cornstarch dissolved in a little water, two drops of Tabasco and
continue simmering for another two minutes.
This sauce is OK for chicken, pork and fatty fish
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