For my money, the very best classic steak sauce you can make at home, a sauce that will wow your guests with its flavor and elegance, and—most importantly—a sauce that can be made start to finish in under half an hour, is béarnaise. The catch (there's always a catch) is that made with the classic technique, it's very easy to mess up. Here is a foolproof technique that uses hot butter and a hand blender for perfect results every time.
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This no-cook dipping sauce features ponzu, the citrus- and soy-spiked Japanese sauce, that's enlivened with ginger, scallions, and sesame oil. It's reminiscent of teriyaki, but substantially more complex. Try it with dumplings, simply cooked chicken, or steamed or roasted fish.
South Asian flavors come together harmoniously in this easy dipping sauce, made by warming red curry paste with coconut milk, then rounding out and boosting their flavors with honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger, and lime. It's perfect as a dip for dumplings, or with poached chicken.
Chinese fermented black soy beans are eye-bulgingly salty and all kinds of funky. Here, its fermented tang is transformed into a delicious dipping sauce with the help of maple syrup, creamy peanut butter, and a little chili oil for some warm heat. It's perfect as a dip for dumplings, and is also delicious with roasted chicken and seared pork chops.
To make this amazing dipping sauce for dumplings, we start with the classic combination of Asian fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar, then punch it up with raw garlic, fresh cilantro, and hot chili flakes. The flavors blend seamlessly into a sauce that's versatile enough to dress a salad, marinate a steak, and, yes, coat your dumplings.
If you've never heard of kimchi paste, you're not alone. It's a simple combination of red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, sugar, lime juice, water, salt, and fish sauce, but the easiest way to get it is to buy it at Korean grocers and Asian specialty markets, where it's often labeled as "kimchi base." It's punchy and sharp, tangy, and incredibly invigorating. To turn it into a dip for dumplings, we temper it with honey, sesame seeds, and melted butter to create a smooth sauce that's intensely sweet, spicy, buttery, and just a little nutty all at once.
Chinese hot pot is truly communal: Not only do you sit down to eat with all your companions, but you cook the food together in the same pot of simmering broth.
If you were to pick a president and el tigre numero uno of the ragù world, it'd be ragù Napoletano, a meaty stew with big chunks of beef, pork, and sausages simmered until fall-apart tender in a rich tomato sauce flavored with wine, onions, garlic, basil, and plenty of good Southern Italian olive oil. It's the precursor to Italian-American Sunday gravy: just add some meatballs, serve it with spaghetti, and you're there. It's also the perfect dish for a lazy Sunday with family or friends at home.
This pizza sauce from The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes, Kitchens & Tips to Inspire Your Cooking, by Sara Kate Gillingham and Faith Durand, gets an interesting lift from lemon zest.
Most produce is a sad sight during the winter, except for citrus. We whipped up this tangerine vinaigrette to celebrate one of the few fruits that's best this time of year. It's delicious on salads, or as a sauce for roasted or grilled fish, pork, or chicken.
A basic gravy gets a mellow mustard bite that goes incredibly well with roast or smoked turkey.
This no-fuss, fail-safe oven-roasted tomato sauce is loaded with bold ingredients: salami, sherry vinegar, kalamata olives, capers and a smashed anchovy, all tied together with olive oil and a touch of white wine. Its secret ingredient? A bit of maple syrup for sweetness. Then, it's tossed with al dente spaghetti noodles and showered with Pecorino and lemon zest.
Alright, I'll tell you upfront that this ain't pretty, in the conventional sense; I doubt I'll be seeing it on anybody's Instagram feed. But Nigel Slater's lentil bolognaise from his newest cookbook, Eat, makes up for it's deficit in the looks department with earthy, sweet, tangy flavor that belies it's homely simplicity.
A super-simple basic vinaigrette appropriate for all lightly dressed green salads.
White chicken stock, in which neither the chicken nor the aromatics are roasted first, may be the most versatile of all stocks. It's also incredibly easy to make, leading to a deeply flavorful stock, with a method and ingredients that are as easy and accessible as possible. Requiring such a minimal investment of time and effort, this stock will upgrade any dish or sauce you make compared to the store-bought variety.
There are times when you can stand over the stove all day, slowly cooking that red sauce down. Then there are times when you need to put dinner on the table in under an hour. For those moments when convenience trumps patience, this is the red sauce to turn to. Simmered with plenty of garlic, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, and basil, this sauce can be whipped up in no time but still has that deep, rich, long-cooked flavor.
This rich and hearty red sauce tastes like it's been cooked for hours, because it has. The secret to rich, naturally sweet, complex flavors is to cook the sauce in the oven, allowing the surface to brown while the sauce slowly concentrates. The resultant sauce is great on pasta, with meatballs, on your chicken parm, or scooped right out of the pan with a spoon on its own.
Roasted fennel bulb, raw fennel fronds, toasted almonds, olive oil, and garlic are the starts of this flavorful pesto variation. It's good on...well, just about everything.
The key to this amazingly rich-yet-fresh sauce made from perfect summertime tomatoes is that it's a blend of three different sauces: homemade oven-baked tomato paste is deeply sweet and rich; a classic tomato sauce provides bulk and flavor; and finally a splash of barely-cooked tomato purée guarantees the bright, fresh, fruity taste of vine-ripened tomatoes. Served on pasta, it's so flavorful you won't even need cheese on top.
Mint, pistachios, and feta make a deeply flavorful, rich variation on a classic pesto. It's delicious tossed with pasta, drizzled on fresh vegetables like sliced tomatoes, or served as a sauce for meats like chicken, pork, or lamb.