Food Network shares how to make a roux, which is the base to thicken sauces and soups. It’s made from equal parts butter or oil and flour. For a light roux, melt butter over medium-low heat, add flour and stir constantly with a wooden spoon in a figure eight for even cooking. In three to five minutes the light roux will be slightly puffed. It can be used in white sauces like white pepper gravy or bechamel sauce. A brown roux is perfect for gravy and will need to cook for six to seven minutes. Dark roux is great for Cajun and Creole recipes and needs to cook for eight to 15 minutes. Keep in mind that the longer a roux cooks, the less thickening power it will have. Always let your roux cool slightly before adding another liquid, like stock or milk, then whisk and simmer to your desired thickness.
Ina Garten shows how quick and easy it is to make homemade hollandaise sauce with a blender. Her key to making the perfect hollandaise sauce is to use the yolks of two eggs that are at room temperature, which helps them better absorb the hot butter and emulsify when blending. Pair this foolproof recipe with eggs Benedict.
Bobby Flay explains that making chimichurri takes a lot of herbs, which will be finely chopped up in a food processor. The herbs are the base of the sauce. He starts by adding flat-leaf parsley to the processor and tops it with a bit of fresh oregano. He then adds fresh cilantro, red wine vinegar, lots of black pepper, fresh garlic and smoked paprika to the processor. He tops it off with salt and a healthy amount of olive oil and purees it. The finished chimichurri has a slight red tinge to it thanks to the paprika. Bobby recommends using chimichurri sauce on fish, grilled chicken and red meats.
Guy Fieri visits Smalley’s Caribbean Barbecue in Stillwater, Minnesota. Owner Shawn Smalley claims Guy hasn’t known real heat until he tries Shawn’s infamous 666 Wings. Shawn starts with sauce called Death Juice that includes the hottest peppers there are: habaneros, scotch bonnets and ghost peppers. He adds to the sauce Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, vinegar, homemade curry powder, salt, pepper and sugar – and more ghost peppers. After cooking the sauce for an hour, Shawn reduces it down and purees it. Fresh-cooked wings are then tossed in the sauce. When the wings are dished up with blue cheese dressing and celery, Guy can’t even get close to them because of the vapors. Guy brings in his (unsuspecting) friends to try the 666 Wings with him. After eating one wing, Guy buries his face in the blue cheese, while his friends comment that he didn’t warn them exactly what they were agreeing to. Guy sums it up by saying, “It hurts all the way through.”
Sunny Anderson walks us through making her easy, beefy, cheesy enchilada casserole. She starts with red sauce by adding tomato paste to a pan with onions, salt and olive oil. She notes you can freeze leftover tomato paste flat in a bag for future use. She has another pan cooking onions, minced garlic, and yellow and green bell peppers, to which she adds a pound and a half of ground beef. She adds onion powder to the beef mix, and adds cumin to both pans. She then adds and mixes in a packet of Sazon to the beef pan. She browns the beef a bit before adding beef broth. She opens a can of crushed tomatoes and adds them to the red sauce. Sunny then seeds and chops up Roma tomatoes for the beef mix. Switching back to the red sauce, she adds salt and beef broth. She starts ladling the sauce into a 13” x 9” glass baking pan. She tilts the pan so the sauce coats the whole bottom. Corn tortillas are laid down on top of the sauce, overlapping a bit. About half the beef is then added on top of the tortillas then topped with shredded cheddar and Monterrey jack cheeses. She then repeats the process with the layers, for a total of two layers of cheese-topped beef and three layers of tortillas. The top of the casserole is then topped off with more cheddar cheese. After baking at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 35 minutes, the casserole is set.