For anyone looking to diversify their culinary game, learning a few new sauces is a must. When I was writing the World Sauces Cookbook, it was always a pleasant surprise to note just how many different proteins a particular sauce could accommodate. A Rolodex of sauces at your disposal can heighten your standard fare and push you from “competent” to “skilled” in the kitchen. That’s a big level up.
Case in point, let’s says you’re in your comfort zone and know how to make grilled steak and French fries. A different sauce on each day of the week can take your taste buds on a completely separate journey each time you prep those two items. Whether you’re looking to wow a date, cooking for more people than you’re used to, or just looking to expand your gastronomic repertoire, these are the sauces that any home cook ought to know — plus recipes for three of my absolute favorites.
Mole Poblano — Pueblo, Mexico
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There are many variations of mole and most have a plethora of ingredients. For this reason, I feel like most people overlook making it at home. Also, they may have rightfully been led to believe that they will get it better elsewhere. However, a simple mole Poblano is fairly straightforward as it is tasty.
The mole I make most often comes from the grandfather of my Mexican friend Lola. Even though he is from Veracruz, his mole is an easy-to-make sauce that gets better each time you reheat it. An added bonus to making mole is that the leftovers are raging with flavor. I love making a batch and then eating it all week long. Make sure you get some bolillo bread rolls to help thicken things up.