Sauces | Basics with Babish

Sauces | Basics with Babish

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Hey guys, welcome back to Basics with Babish where this week is our first ever instructional episode. And we’re gonna be taking a look at sauces. Now, you might think, “Sauces? That’s kind of boring, I want to learn how to make a steak.” Well, sauce is the bedrock of some of the best flavors that you’ve ever had. Some of your favorite meals They also offer the opportunity to learn some cooking essentials like chopping, slicing, mincing, deglazing, reducing, seasoning to taste. These are all things that you need to have a grasp on before you can really experiment and try new things in the kitchen. They’re also an opportunity to improve some of your favorite dishes, like lasagna with a slow-simmered homemade sauce or macaroni and cheese made from scratch with Béchamel. They’re also gonna come in handy next week when we do learn how to make steak and we make a red wine pan sauce. I hope you guys join me during next week’s live stream and cook along with me. The details of that will be at the end of this episode but for now, let’s get down to basics. (Music) All right, so first up, we’re making a dish whose name literally translates to sauce- salsa. This might seem like a pretty simple dish to be learning how to make on this show, but it’s gonna give you some great opportunities to practice knife skills- mainly chopping, dicing, and mincing- As you can see, to chop tomatoes I’m cutting them in half placing cuts laterally down the length of the tomato and then placing a single slice down the center of the tomato so then when I chop it It gets cut up into perfectly sized little pieces like this. Cutting tomatoes, potatoes, and onions are great opportunities to learn about basic knife skills speaking of which, after we’ve chopped up two tomatoes It is time to to chop up an onion into slightly smaller pieces We want to cut it in half, cut off the head of the onion, and then peel off the skin then we’re gonna place slices down the length of the onion without cutting all the way through to the end so we have a sort of little handle to hang on to and then similarly we’re going to place a slice down the center of the onion and chop through. This gets us consistently sized pieces of onion which, even more than in salsa most aspects of cooking is important to have consistently sized pieces of food. Now on to the optional jalapeno If you don’t want this to be too spicy pull out all the white stuff and the seeds in the center of the pepper. This is where all the capsaicin lives. And thus where all the heat lives. As you can see we’re employing a similar chopping technique where we’re placing Lateral slices down the length of the pepper and then moving our knife through the pepper in a rocking motion To cut it into pieces. Make sure you wear gloves, too. You’ll thank me later Now that we’ve got a base of tomatoes and onions, it’s time to start building flavors on top of that. A squeeze of lime, and as much as I personally hate it, a few leaves of cilantro This is actually is a great opportunity to learn about chopping herbs; fold the herbs on top of themselves into a little bundle and then run your knife through them for easy chopping. And then, holding your hand over the tip of your knife, rock the knife back and forth across the pile of herbs to finely Chop them. This method can be used for almost any kind of herb, not just ones that are super gross. Now on to one of the most essential and confounding knife skills – garlic. First we want to press down on the entire head of garlic to separate the cloves We’re gonna pull out just one single clove for the size of the bowl of salsa. To peel it, we’re going to place our knife over top of the clove and pound it down You’ll be surprised at how easily the clove jumps out of its skin. We’ll worry about mincing later because for this application a garlic press works just fine now. For another absolutely fundamental element of cooking- seasoning. We want to add kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste and when I say to taste I mean mix it up, make sure everything is incorporated, and taste it. Make sure that it tastes good Don’t rely on measurements for this add salt and pepper as you think it’s needed. Now this sauce is very simple You could serve it as is, but why not get a little creative with it? Let’s add some red pepper that we’re gonna core by cutting off the top and pulling out the innards all in one step Just like the tomato or the onion or the jalapeno, we’re going to cut this into strips and then cut perpendicular to the strips to make smaller pieces but why stop there? You know what else goes good with salsa? Tropical fruit. Acidic tropical fruit like Pineapple or in this case mango. The best way to learn how to peel and chop a mango try it for yourself There is an oval-shaped Pit that runs the width of the mango that you need to sort of cut around and then similarly to everything else We’ve cut here today, cut into strips ,cut down the center, and then chop into pieces. All right So we’ve got a lot of sweetness and acidity in this salsa Let’s add back some aromatics while simultaneously bringing back some green to all the red and yellow So let’s use a scallion which is going to be less oniony than red onion But it’s gonna bring some crunch and some nice sweet onion flavor. Like I said we’re starting with some very basic elements And we’re building on them layer by layer. Like how about a little bit of sour tartness from some red wine vinegar or some earthy warmth from some freshly toasted cumin And of course, since we added a bunch of ingredients, we need to re season with salt and pepper These are some of the little things that subtly, almost subconsciously, can make a seemingly simple dish vibrant and complex. Layering, contrasting flavors, brights audacious colors, and good knife skills to boot. It’s a great way to practice with fresh ingredients. If, however, you want to see how flavors develop over time, red sauce is the way to go We’re going to start with three cloves of garlic. Start similarly by separating the cloves, smashing them down with the heel of your knife, peeling away the skin, and then placing slices lengthwise down the clove of garlic holding it with a little claw. See how I’m sort of holding the food with a Claw of my hand that’s keeping the tips of my fingers away from the angry edge of the knife. You’ll find that this gets the garlic into small enough pieces to cook with but we want really finely minced pieces. so we’re going to Hold down one end of the knife with our hand and then rock the knife back and forth across the garlic until it is Finely minced. Now It’s time to break down a yellow onion yellow onions are a little bit sweeter and a little bit less intrusive than red onions So they’re gonna work perfectly in a tomato sauce. We’re going to place slices down the length of the onion leaving the Stump at the bottom of the onion as a little handle. Place a slice down the center Horizontally and rock the knife through to finely chop the onion. Now to start building our flavors in a red sauce like this We’re going to sweat our aromatics We’re going to start with the garlic saute it in about a quarter cup of olive oil That’s been heated over medium heat until shimmering We’re then optionally going to add a little bit of red pepper flake and dried oregano for some Brooklyn pizzeria authenticity and saute for about one minute or until very fragrant and then we’re going to add our minced onion all the extra moisture from the onion is going to prevent the garlic from burning and give us the opportunity to Caramelize the natural sugars in the onion deepening the flavors down the line. Speaking of which, a little bit of tomato paste can help make your sauce taste like it’s been simmered for four hours even though after adding two 28-ounce cans of san marzano tomatoes we’re only gonna let this guy simmer for like an hour or crush the tomatoes against the side of the pot until you get a sort of chunky marinara sauce add a sprig of fresh basil stir to incorporate Bring to a bare simmer and partially cover, allowing to cook over very low heat for at least one hour After that amount of time you should be greeted with a deepened color and flavor that Rivals your grandmother’s Sunday gravy. After fishing out your spent sprigs of basil, it is time to deepen flavor with fat Specifically a few tablespoons of good unsalted butter I can’t tell you the difference that this makes in a red sauce and of course Be sure to season to taste with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Now this guy is ready to be put to use in all your favorite pastas and lasagna. speaking of lasagna Bechamel is the key to any lasagnas heart also to a wide variety of Important sauces. We’re going to start by bringing two tablespoons of butter to a bubble and adding an equal amount of all-purpose flour Whisking over medium-high heat until we are greeted with a lovely blonde roux And after about one minute once everything is smelling nice and nutty we’re going to slowly slowly Drizzle in about one cup of whole milk until a thick sauce forms about the consistency of gravy This is called bechamel. It’s also the foundation for the best mac and cheese you will ever put in your face I’m adding maybe four ounces each of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese over low heat Maybe a little bit extra because who doesn’t like extra cheese make sure everything is melted And then I’m also going to add another four ounces of Parmesan cheese. This way We’re getting a savory and salty, round and sharp. Keep stirring over medium-low heat until you get what your idea of a perfect cheese sauce is. And of course Season to taste with salt and pepper. I know what you’re thinking. It’s macaroni time well not yet first We need to make a bread crumb topping. We’re gonna melt about two tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat until Nice and bubbly, and then we’re going to add maybe a cup of panko breadcrumbs make sure you go panko Nothing pre-seasoned, nothing too small. Add a little hint of freshly chopped thyme, and toast until beautiful and brown This is a great opportunity to practice your tossing skills. Now It’s time to par cook your pasta. Make sure that you’re under cooking it before adding the cheese sauce if it calls for ten minutes Cook it for six it’s going to keep cooking and Absorbing the sauce when we put this whole thing in the oven and of course, taste it because this is really really delicious And you’re the chef, you’ve earned it. place in a well-buttered Casserole spread out evenly and top with our bread crumb mixture and let’s face facts bread crumbs are lonely without cheese So let’s grate some fresh parmesan on top We’re then going to cover and bake this at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes uncovering and baking for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until Everything is browned and crispy. So crispy that you have to break through with your spoon like it’s friggin creme brulee I hope this is helping you start to see the importance and utility of sauces. There is a way to add to or augment your everyday cooking But fans of Binging with Babish will know that no matter how rich and decadent this macaroni and cheese is it can’t hold a candle to Fond the brown bits that make up the basis for all the finest pan sauces ever Imagined. A chopped shallot also can help contribute to the delicious Maillard reactions that we have happening in the bottom this pan in which I have seared a steak We’re covering steak next episode But it doesn’t matter what you’re searing in here be it chicken or pork or vegetables. This right here Is where all truly great flavors begin. Anyway before I freak out, Let’s start sauteing our finely minced shallot in our fond glazed pan until soft and fragrant then we’re going to deglaze with Some red wine something full-bodied not too fruity And we’re gonna scrape the bottom of the pan to get all those beautiful brown bits up then we’re gonna add optionally some herbs I’m throwing in a few sprigs of thyme that I’m gonna whisk around, letting this sauce reduce a bit. Taking out the herbs once They’ve softened and become fragrant. Continuing to reduce Until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. At which point we’re going to add a healthy pat of butter Talking about two tablespoons roughly equals the amount of liquid That’s currently in the pan keep melting over medium heat until it’s totally incorporated and you’re left with an Incredibly rich sauce that we’re gonna brighten up a little bit with the acidity of a squeezed lemon This is gonna help cut through all the unctuousness of the wine the butter and the meat. Continue to heat and stir It’s gonna seem like a little bit too long, but you’re gonna know when it’s right. I mean look at that We want a sauce that’s going to stick to the meat or vegetables in question We don’t want it pooling around the bottom We want it to cling to every nook and cranny and almost hold its shape. If you’re serving a crowd garnish the food simply, maybe with some herbs that you used in the actual making of the dish, and don’t be too weirded out when Your guests lick the plate clean All right So I hope you guys saw a recipe or two that you might want to try to recreate yourselves along with me during the livestream next week. It’s gonna be on Twitch. Go to and join me at 8 p.m. Eastern. At the end of the livestream I’m also going to tell you how you can take a picture of your creation Post it on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter for a chance to win kitchen gear, copy of my book, beard care products. Whatever floats your boat Really looking forward to cooking along with you guys. Thank you for checking out basics. I’ll see you again soon. Next episode We’re going to be taking a look at steak (Music)

88 thoughts on “Sauces | Basics with Babish”

  1. But you didn't tag a bayleaf to a halved onion with cloves and simmer it in the milk, adding hot roux to the onion pique milk deliciousness. Good Lord. The blasphemy. And I thought the carbonara was bad. Lol.

  2. TIL that green onion and scallion are the same thing.. Why most thing be called different depending on where you are?

  3. "Crush the tomatoes against the side of the pot."
    tomato explodes in my face
    Note for you super armatures like myself: squish the tomatoes on the opposite end of the pot.

  4. These fundamentals are so, so crucial.

    If you put in a little bit of time each day, you can easily become a great cook.

  5. Hi just a little add in here, we char our tomatoes, onions garlic and jalapenos. Then cut and mix with fresh!! It makes it so much better.

  6. i found your channel a few days ago and i m literally sitting here absorbing what you are saying. i have probably heard your voice in the past few days more often then that of my girlfriend xD

  7. I have a mango cutting related scar on my left thumb, just don't try and cut the mango seed open, there's nothing in there for you but a trip to the ER and losing the respect of your mother.

  8. BUTTER!? In a marinara!?

    What would those savage Italian chefs say?

    Babish, no! EVOO!

    Also yeah release a bedtime story channel because I love your voice

  9. Love your videos man. You move forward at a perfect pace. The humor is just right. And you're also a great teacher. Thank you, and good luck to you.

  10. So question – if you're like me and you don't drink wine, what else could you use in cooking? Will wine vinegar do the same trick or do you have to use it in a different manner?

  11. Just used this to make a red sauce….had to use onion powder instead of onions my mums courgettes kind of went funky and i had to throw them and my entire vegetable crisper out nothing was salvageable.

  12. LOL garlic before the onion in the red sauce?!?!? go to bed babish. this is the first thing ive seen you do that offended me.

  13. Love the channel Babish, but for the love of god people, dont put butter in your tomato sauce. Finishing with a drizzle of EV olive oil is amazing, but when you put that butter in it just reminded me of honey boo boos mom putting butter and ketchup on noodles and calling it spaghetti. Just 2 cents from a Sicilian cook.

  14. Only thing I would suggest different is DO NOT remove the seeds from peppers. That’s where the heat and spiciness is. There is no such thing as too spicy.

  15. Babish(not his name) and sean evens wander onto the bbq pit boys property… Result: the greatest cooking episode ever, or the greatest horror movie ever. I'd watch either. =)

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