Category Archives: Master Recipe

Master Recipe: Reductions

Wait! Don’t let the word ‘reduction’ scare you away, it’s one of the easiest techniques to mater and will help you create deeply flavorful sauces for all kinds of dishes.

You simply start with a seasoned liquid, anything from balsamic vinegar to broth, boil it down to a fraction of its volume, and you’re done! What you will have is a concentrated sauce that’s naturally thick and redolent with flavor.

master recipe:
1) Sauté 1/4 cup chopped onion, green onion, and/or celery, plus 1 teaspoon ginger and/or garlic (optional) in 1 to 2 tablespoons oil or butter over medium-low heat until golden brown.
2) Add 1 cup broth, wine, or fruit or vegetable juice, plus fresh or dried herbs (sprigs work well) and/or spices.
3) Boil mixture, uncovered, until syrupy and reduced by at least half.
4) Strain, and discard solids.

Here’s a few reductions to get you started:

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 leek, chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 and 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup dry sherry
6 whole peppercorns
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves

To make Demi~Glace: Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leek, carrot, and celery; sauté 10 minutes. Stir in flour; cook 2 minutes, or until flour begins to brown. Add tomato paste, garlic, broth, wine, and sherry and simmer 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool 30 minutes. Strain mixture through sieve, and discard solids.
**Demi-glace is a classic French brown sauce with hundreds of uses, it can be spooned over roasted-vegetable dishes or used to flavor soups.**

Balsamic~Agave Drizzle
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 and 1/2 teaspoon agave
3 allspice berries
3 whole peppercorns
1 sprig fresh rosemary

To make Balsamic~Agave Drizzle: Bring vinegar, 1 tablespoon agave, allspice, peppercorns, and rosemary sprig to a boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes, or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove rosemary sprig and spices; stir in remaining 1 and 1/2 teaspoon agave.
**Gastrique is a culinary term for the reduced balsamic sauce, it can be drizzled it over parsnip fritters.**

Lemongrass~Orange Reduction
2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon minced fresh lemongrass
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 and 1/2 tablespoons tamari

To make Lemongrass~Orange Reduction: Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Whisk in juice, broth, and tamari. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
**This bright citrus sauce makes a tasty topping for roasted squash.**

master recipe:
1) Combine 1 cup juice, wine, or balsamic vinegar
and 2 to 8 tablespoons agave, sugar, or maple syrup in small saucepan.
2) Add herbs (rosemary, thyme, lavender, and lemony
herbs are good choices) and/or spices (cinnamon,
nutmeg, cloves, vanilla).
3) Boil mixture, watching it closely to prevent
scorching, until syrupy and reduced by at least half.
(Sweet reductions will thicken as they cool.)
4) Strain, and discard solids.

Spiced Zinfandel Syrup with Fruit Compote
3 cups dry red wine
1/3 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
16 whole pitted prunes or dried plums
16 whole dried figs
16 whole dried pitted apricots
1/4 cup dried pitted cherries

Bring wine, 1 cup water, sugar, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean to a boil in large saucepan. Add prunes, figs, apricots, and cherries, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 1 hour. Cool. Remove cinnamon stick and vanilla bean, and chill 3 hours.

Other Master Recipe Posts:

{Source: Vegetarian Times, October 2012}

Master Recipe: Vinaigrette

I love a good homemade salad dressing, don’t you? For a smooth sauce that clings to leafy greens and has the right balance of creaminess and tang, follow the master vinaigrette recipe below. Feel free to play around with the basic ratio using different acids, binders, flavoring, and oils. There is no limit to the endless and tasty possibilities!

When you blend vinaigrette ingredients, an emulsion is created that suspends droplets of acidic liquid in the oil. Sooner or later, the vinaigrette will separate, but a binding ingredient such as mustard can slow down the process to keep the dressing blended longer.

master recipe:
Combine1 part vinegar (or another acidic liquid, such as citrus juice)
1 teaspoon mustard.
Whisk, shake, or blend  3 parts oil
into vinegar mixture. Toss with salad.
Use about 1/4 cup vinaigrette for every
6 to 8 cups salad.

basic-vinaigrette //

{Source: My Recipes}

Here’s a few vinaigrettes to get you started:

Walnut~Tarragon Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons walnut oil
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot or red onion

Miso Dressing
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 and 1/2 teaspoon miso paste
3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil

Cracked Pepper Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon red or white wine vinegar, optional
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 and 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional

Peanut~Lime Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons grapeseed or peanut oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional

Wasabi Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon white rice vinegar
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
1 and 1/2 teaspoon minced gari (pickled ginger)
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional

{Source: Vegetarian Times, September 2012}

What’s your favorite kind of dressing? Do ever make your own at home? I like to keep mine simple and play around quite a bit with different combinations.