It was just over three years ago when I got an email asking if I'd be interested in taking up a column on sauces and condiments. Being mainly a grilling guy, I had some initial reservations about venturing out of my comfort zone, but then I realized it was actually a natural extension—so many dishes that I grilled and cooked were accompanied by one sauce or another. So I took up the challenge and forced myself to learn the basics and then branch out into the creative with one sauce recipe after another, hoping all of you would enjoy ride and also serve as an inspiration for where to take the column. In my eyes, it was great fun and a success, but alas, the time has come to say a goodbye to Sauced.
My goal was to provide a solid foundation on sauce-making that would allow for easy exploration. By first laying down the fundamentals on emulsions, infusions, roux, and reductions, I was later led down a road of experimentation that resulted in some delicious sauces like rich and tangy tomato gravy, bright and peppy arugula pesto, and sweet and smoky bacon jam. Really, the possibilities are endless, and I can easily keep churning out new recipes, but they're ultimately variations on a past themes and I have no doubt that being the inventive cooks you all are, there are a ton good ideas out there to match each one I come up with.
With that realization, it seems like the right time to lay Sauced down to sleep. Just because it'll be resting, doesn't mean a random sauce won't show up here or there if something comes across my path that's too good not to share. As a final farewell, though, I decided to go back to where it all started: Ketchup.
As much as I liked making my own ketchup, the reality is that I've almost always grabbed the bottle of Heinz over homemade since then. But looking back at all the sauces I whipped up over the years, I started to see how easy it would be to take that supermarket staple and make quick and easy variations using that trove of recipes as inspiration. So I went into the kitchen, and before I knew it I had ten different deliciously flavored ketchups. Take a look at them all in the slideshow, or just jump straight to one of the recipes below.
I saw even more possibilities, but there's virtue in knowing when to stop and leaving even more ketchups (and sauces) up to your own imagination. I can just hope you all enjoyed and got as much out of Sauced as I did. I look forward to starting my next tasty venture with all of you—hope you like dumplings!
About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment every other Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every other Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.