Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sauce it Up!

So, I love sauce. I really really love it. And one of the things that I was most excited about learning in culinary school was how to make a great sauce. And boy oh boy did we learn to make some kickin' sauces: bechaemel, espagnol, cheese, hollandaise, mayonnaise, bologonese. You name it, we made it.... and ate it. Hence, the current situation.

Sauces was one of the first tricks I brought home, adding butter and heavy cream and stock to crispy bits left over in the pan from sauteing. And let's face it, all my dinner guests loved these sauces, too. Oh my god, biscuits and gravy--just another word for sauce, right?

But stop! No sauce, no more. At least not like I used to make it. But thanks to some channel surfing on a rainy Saturday afternoon, I found Ellie Krieger on the Food Network channel, and she made a sauce without cream or butter or flour. She used stock and fresh fruit. I tried it with roasted pork (very lean) and it worked. And it was delicious. Here's what I did:

I browned the pork tenderloin, and when browned, I removed it from the pan and deglazed the pan with a half-cup of white wine and let that reduce. Then I added 1 cup of chicken broth, 1 cup of orange juice, and then a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, and crushed ginger. Let that reduce, and then I added a cup of chopped pineapple. Taste and season. Let it reduce again, returned the pork to the pan, and let the whole thing cook until the porkloin was finished. Really good, and really low in points.

The trick is the reduction technique and the use of good fresh fruit. Ellie used peaches in her recipe, but I think many fruits word work well, as would cherries. The resulting sauce is definitely thinner than a sauce made with fat and flour, but it still has flavor--lots of it. Try it!

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