Reduction Sauces For Healthy Eaters

reduction sauces for healthy eatersHealthy eaters, from online culinary school students to sous chefs around the world, have searched for different ways to clean up their diets without sacrificing taste. In the past, one of your options was to completely forego traditional sauces that were offered in restaurants, often leaving meals dry and flavorless.

There were two kinds of sauces you could order: those thickened by roux or those thickened by cornstarch. Classic roux consisted of equal parts fat and flour. The fat in roux could come from anything, including oil, bacon grease and animal shortening; not exactly the way to cleaner eating. Thickening sauce through the use of cornstarch did not really fit the description either, due to the amount of carbohydrates and whole egg yolks in the recipe. The demand for less fat and fewer calories in dishes resulted in the now widely used reduction sauce.

The reduction method of sauce making involves boiling a liquid until its water content evaporates, creating a sauce-like consistency that is bursting with flavor. The possibilities are quite varied; you can use balsamic vinegar, whiskey, red or white wine, onions and shallots, and even the juice from semi-cooked meat, fish and poultry.

Here are some tips on how to make some simple reduction sauces:

Red wine reduction
You’ll need:

  • 1/3 cup of chopped shallots
  • a tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 2 cups roasted chicken stock
  • 5 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • a sprig of thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 cup zinfandel or dry red wine

Bring the chicken stock to a boil. Reduce the amount to about half a cup and store in bowl. Combine wine with shallots, tomato paste and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce mixture to 1/3 cup. Stir in reserved stock and reduce until 2/3 of a cup remain. Strain mixture and make sure that there are no solids left. Stir in 1 teaspoon of butter at a time. Finally, add your salt and pepper.

Teriyaki-style reduction sauce
You’ll need:

  • 1 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 shallots
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • one clove of garlic

Peel and chop garlic and shallots. Cook in pot until caramelized. Add sugar and soy sauce and mix under medium to high heat. Reduce heat when bubbles are visibly large. Sauce is ready when the mixture has reached your desired thickness. Strain to remove bits of garlic and shallots. You should be left with a sweet and thick sauce ready to serve.

If you like this post, please be sure to check out the following!

The Five French Mother Sauces
Stocks And Mother Sauces: Emulsion Sauces

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