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Welcome to the September issue of Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair! This month's theme is sauces. Sauces are one of the things that give each country its particular flair with food. In India you will find curry very prevalent. In China, a variety of gravies, typically thickened with starch, are used to compliment the flavor of foods. The Vietnamese often use fish sauce spiced with hot chili to fire the palate. Japanese devised teriyaki sauce to compliment the flavor of meat, fish and chicken. The French have a diverse variety of sauces that often make the meal!
This month I have selected some of my favorite sauces. It would be overwhelming to put recipes representative of each country. However, some basic sauces are presented here that will fill the needs of most meals. Some of these you can use to marinate meat or fowl, and others can be served with meat or vegetables to make your meal something very special and appetizing. My favorite barbeque sauces and an excellent Marinara sauce can be found in the Seasoned Cooking archives.
Each sauce has endless variations, and some suggestions are given on how to make a particular sauce in several different ways. Spices are the key to sauces having variety, so don't be afraid to experiment a little. Try the recipes as they are and then adjust the seasonings to suit your palate. Try to be conservative until you have a handle on using the herbs and spices effectively. Don't adhere too strictly to the proportions of herbs and spices in any recipe. The quantities are always given as a guideline only. After all, who measures everything? If a chef or cook always spent time measuring things, dinner would always be late!
Sauces may be categorized into several types. There are barbecue sauces, gravies or brown sauces, white sauces, teriyaki sauces, cheese sauces, sweet and sour sauces, chili sauces, mustard sauces, cream sauces, cocktail sauces, and an endless variety of other sauces. What I hope to present here is a sampling of the more common types of sauces which can be used in many of the recipes included in this book. Some of the sauces are very basic and can be made from scratch. This is particularly valuable for those who happen to have a garden with a surplus of vegetables.
The recipes presented this month are but a small yet diverse collection of the recipes in my yet to be published book, Phil's Family and Friends Cookbook. Feel free to email me at with your comments and requests. Be well, and good eating!
Now, on to the recipes!