Cream sauces

A friend asked for this process after I made a chipotle cream sauce, and I’m happy to share it.  Send me your sauce and soup questions this month … I need the practice. (Big test Thursday.)

This is not so much a recipe as a procedure for a quick sauce. Put chopped onion and garlic in a sauce pot (not a sauté pan) with butter over low heat. Throw some salt on. The idea is to sweat the onion – to carmelize without browning. The salt takes up moisture and helps prevent browning. If you’re unsure about quantity, try an ounce of each. Cook until the onions soften … the aroma will call you.

Crank the heat up to about medium/med hi and add some appropriate booze to the pan to deglaze (for chipotle, I used Tequila) … just enough to cover the ingredients. Reduce the amount of liquid by half to concentrate the flavors and burn off the alcohol.

Add your main flavor ingredients and get them warm. Add some heavy cream … with these amounts, probably an ounce or so. Whisk it in so the sauce hangs together, 30 to 40 seconds, and pull it off the heat. Serve.

You can make any sort of cream sauce just by thinking about ingredients that like each other. (Tomato and basil and Chianti, for instance.) I used a chipotle in adobo and maybe a quarter of a lime, and chopped both fine.

To recap: Sweat the onion and garlic, deglaze, add flavors, add cream, serve.

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