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Simple question: how do I thicken a sauce?

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  • Simple question: how do I thicken a sauce?

    I always used to thicken gravy or white sauce with wholewheat flour. What can I use instead?

  • #2
    Arrowroot works pretty well, as long as you don't keep boiling the sauce for too long--eventually, excessive heating will cause the sauce to thin out again.

    Or you could just not thicken the sauce, use a spoon to eat most of it, and then resort to my new found gleeful activity: licking the plate.
    Liz.

    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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    • #3
      What kind of sauce? I'm just curious cause I haven't made any sauces in a really long time...
      Starting weight, June 10, 2010: 213 pounds
      Current weight, October 31, 2010: 177 pounds
      Goal: Happiness, Health, Hotness

      Screw "moderation"!!

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      • #4
        I make lots of sauces. Last week we had osso buco, tonight's dinner is beef bourguignon, so I get you about thickening the cooking liquid into a velvety sauce.

        I use flour. (ducks and covers head). I only use about a tablespoon for the whole recipe and that usually means 4-6 servings so I don't feel guitly about it. I have stoppped serving these dishes with pasta/rice/bread so I allow the small amount of flour. I figure if I'm only using flour in seasoning-size amounts I'll be okay.

        I know there are some other thickeners available out there that someone else may suggest for you and I'll watch this thread for ideas.

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        • #5
          I wonder if a tablespoon of mashed potato flakes would be a better substitute? Egg yolk is also a possibilty. Okay, I'll have to experiment a little.

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          • #6
            For most of my sauces, I just cook them down or add a touch (as in a Tbsp for half a stockpot) of cornstarch, masa, or coconut flour. I usually try to stick with the coconut flour unless I absolutely can't avoid it.
            Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
            My Latest Journal

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            • #7
              I guess depending on the sauce, you could add a pureed vegetable in there to thicken it up.
              Starting weight, June 10, 2010: 213 pounds
              Current weight, October 31, 2010: 177 pounds
              Goal: Happiness, Health, Hotness

              Screw "moderation"!!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lodini View Post
                I guess depending on the sauce, you could add a pureed vegetable in there to thicken it up.
                +1.
                If you can, throw some carrots, or parsnips and even a sweet tater with your cooking liquid. Then puree with some of the liquid and you have a great thickened sauce.....

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                • #9
                  I mostly just make reduction sauces, but arrowroot or cornstarch work pretty well. Neither will give you quite the same texture (and arrowroot doesn't harden up when chilled) but there ya go.

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                  • #10
                    I normally put in pureed squash or pumpkin, or I just add less liquid and let it cook down.

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                    • #11
                      Puréed vegetable is a great substitute. I make a great gravy thickened with veg when I make a roast dinner.

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                      • #12
                        Cook it down.
                        sigpicGustofson on Health - " I eat bacon, a whole damn plate!"

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                        • #13
                          mmm... yum. Thank you. I'm very glad I asked!

                          So... gravy and meat-based sauces, pureed starchy veg or boil it down.
                          Milk/ cheese sauce - probably arrowroot.

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                          • #14
                            I've had good results reducing the liquid and/or adding pureed veg and/or pumpkin (canned works best as it is much drier than fresh cooked).

                            For white sauces, arrowroot or cornstarch aren't really primal. If you do dairy, this recipe makes a nice white sauce. It also makes tasty creamed eggs or creamed salmon.

                            White Cream Sauce

                            1/4 lb. sweet butter
                            3 egg yolks
                            1/4 cup water
                            1/4 cup heavy cream
                            dash of nutmeg, if desired (optional)

                            Place butter in top of double boiler over hot (not boiling) water. Add egg yolks one at a time, whisking constantly. At water and heavy cream. Continue to beat until sauce thickens, about 7 to 10 minutes. If desired, add nutmeg as a garnish.

                            Recipe by Fran Gare, M.S. and Robert C. Atkins, M.D.
                            312/149/150

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                            • #15
                              Mmmm

                              mmmmmmm.

                              (*Copies to recipe file*)

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