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Basics & Beyond: Classic Sauces

Carl Lewis

Executive Chef
Temple University Hospital
Philadelphia, PA

“We love barbecue sauce here. Today, I'm making a sweet and tangy Thai chili barbecue sauce.

“I always start with a base of good quality chili sauce, ketchup, vinegar, fruit juices, and mustard. There are also some good commercial sauces you can use as a base. Once you have the base, the possibilities are unlimited. You can adapt a recipe to go with short ribs of beef, spare ribs of pork, chicken, and salmon.

“We add different flavors to the base to make a Texas-style sauce with chipotle; Jamaican jerk; Asian Teriyaki glaze; an apricot glaze…and herbs can give it a different kick. Bold herbs and pungent flavor — that's what barbecue is all about.

“For a Southwest blend, I use cumin and cilantro. I've even used coffee in a carmelized reduction with brown sugar, or chocolate moles in barbecue sauces.

“How about trying an apple cider glazed sauce for winter? You reduce the base with Granny Smith apples, then fold in sweet Thai chile, and honey and cloves.”

Justin Ward

Chef Instructor
Art Institute of Atlanta
Atlanta, GA

“I'm a big fan of Mexican cuisine, and my recipe for Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Mole and Cranberry Salsa stems from that.

“Moles depend on which part of Mexico you're in. Even then, a house across the street will have a different mole than its neighbor.

“Traditional moles don't have fruit, so that's the twist with my recipe.

“Pork lends itself to sweeter flavors, and cranberries naturally combine with savory dishes.

“There is chocolate in the mole, which came from a trail mix. It's a savory chocolate. But I can't take credit for that. The Mayans have been doing it for centuries!”

Dawn Menz, MS, RD, SFNS

District Food and Nutrition Manager
Brevard County Schools
Viera, FL

“A great way to cut costs is to stretch marinara sauce. We cut pizza or spaghetti sauce with commodity tomatoes and then add seasoning.

“We always use a lot of marinara sauce. It goes with our popular pepperoni bread and pizza sticks. To stretch it out in one recipe, we will take purchased pizza sauce and mix it with commodity tomato sauce, and season it with black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, brown sugar and parmesan cheese.”

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