Tuesday, March 11, 2014
At both neighborhood stores I shop at-Kroger and Publix-many aisles are reserved for sauces of all kinds. There is no end to them. From the tiny tins of salsa ranchera to the pasta and pizza sauces. From expensive little bottles of pesto to barbeque and dipping sauces.
All the world's a sauce!
Some, in my opinion are wastes of time, and any competent cook could make a better version. Diced tomatoes, garlic, sweetly softened onions sauteed in olive oil, a few tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar and a pound or so of browned Italian sausage turn into a pasta sauce that would make the angels sing. And adding a bit of cream in winter for heartiness will also keep the angels warm-
A plain, fresh salsa of tomatoes, chiles,garlic, and vinegar is not hard to make either, as long as one does not over spin it to pureed mush in the processor bowl.
And even I can make guacamole.
But there are other sauces more problematical. Sauces that require ingredients a million and a friendly relationship with a mortar and pestle. Curry sauces and creole sauces and Mexican sauces such as Mole and Salsa Pasilla. I suppose I could come up with a passable version, but why settle for passable. I would also worry that my cultural culinary taste would fail me, for my mother and grandmother did not raise me in the Hispanic or Indian traditions. (Neither raised me in any tradition, since both were awful cooks,but that is not the point here.)
I recently had Fed Ex bring me some Salsa Pasilla from Fischer and Weiser at Jelly.com. I buy all kinds of sauces from their website, for they have mango curry sauces, and blueberry chile sauces, and sweet and savory onion glazes.
Nothing I could imitate at home.
Their pasilla chile salsa is especially interesting and delicious, for not only does it have a smoky, earthy taste, it has something rarer.
The taste of mystery and exotica. See it at work here on a simple fried tortilla topped with a black bean chili-
And it is wonderful mixed with scrambled eggs as well-