Author Topic: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"  (Read 11004 times)

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Offline 2stone

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"my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« on: September 27, 2007, 10:28:59 PM »
Hi again,

I have been concentrating on baking and crust,
but my sauce just doesn't cut it.

I'm working on my website, and would like to post a
great recipe for a sauce. I have tried allot of different
ones, but don't seem to find one that really nails it.

If anyone can recommend one that you are really happy with
I would really like to try it out.

regards,

willard
2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com


Offline BenLee

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2007, 11:05:51 PM »
try to find tomatoes not packed in citric acid.  A lot of times, they are very dense and you actually have to add a little water to them.  If you can get the right consistency, all you need to do is add salt until it tastes perfect.  If you have the right tomatoes, you really don't need to add other herbs and spices to get the flavor out of your sauce.

Offline 2stone

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2007, 11:27:43 PM »
ben lee

when you say packed, are you talking about canned,
diced, or crushed tomatoes?

willard
2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com

Offline yaddayaddayadda

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2007, 09:34:10 AM »
2stone,

My current sauce recipe is as follows:

1 28 oz can of Cento san marzano tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp Penzey's pizza seasoning
5-6 basil leaves, chiffonade(d?)
some olive oil, maybe a tsp or two
some kosher salt

I hand crush the tomatoes, add the garlic, seasoning and basil leaves. Then I stir in the olive oil until its all incorporated.  I've found it may taste a little flat at this point, so I add a pinch or two of kosher salt.

It's an uncooked sauce and gets rave reviews from the wife.  The batch of sauce probably makes about 6 pies.  It's better if you make it the night before and park it in the fridge, the flavors have a chance to meld and the sauce gets thicker.

Offline BenLee

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2007, 01:06:31 PM »
canned, usually crushed.  Escalon makes a great one.  So does Colavita.  Sclafani can be ok as well.

Offline 2stone

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2007, 08:30:36 PM »
yadayada,

Thanks, I am going to pick up some of the seasoning you mentioned.
and I will try yours next.

thanks Ben Lee

I blanched some tomatoes from my garden (so I know they had no additives)
and I crushed and drained them and added just a little sea salt. I have never tried
such a stripped down sauce before, and I must say it was PRETTY GOOD. It was on the wet
side so I must figure out how to drain without loosing a lot of the tomato. I don't have a food
processor maybe thats what I need.

willard
2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2007, 08:58:24 PM »
2stone,
I know you're gonna think this is just way too simple, but I use a round coffee filter and either a sieve or colander over a deep bowl.  Smash your tomatoes up really well and you'll be surprised how much water you will get out of them!  I usually let them sit overnight on the counter, lightly covered with a piece of plastic wrap.

I have "discovered", thanks to this forum, that just tomatoes and sea salt (or kosher) makes the best sauce because you can really taste the tomatoes... and that's what it's about, IMHO!

~sd

Never trust a skinny cook!

Offline Furo

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2007, 10:39:40 PM »
Willard,
I have used the vegetable strainer attachment on my Kitchen Aid to process tomatoes, usually run the "excreted" part (any one who has used a screw type force strainer will know what I mean) through it twice to get as much pulp as possible. I grow San Marzano and Principe Borghese tomatoes, lots of pulp with less juice. I agree with sourdough girl that to reduce the liquid content even further just line a colander with a large coffee filter or some fine cheese cloth and let it drain, you can always chop up some chunks and add to it for a coarser texture. We usually add some grated onion (drained of juice too, but save it to add to hamburgers) and fresh garlic to our sauce plus kosher salt, black and aleppo pepper, and some basil.
I can't say its like what is used on a New York pizza since both times I have been there it wasn't possible to try any and the only NY style I know of in Kansas City is from a place called "D-Bronx", decent pizza but not that exciting.
Woody.
Being crazy isn't a necessity but it sure is FUN!

Offline dms

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2007, 01:20:49 AM »
Keep in mind that the liquid in the tomatoes is high in acids, typically two times the concentrations of the solid walls.  Removing the liquid will make the sauce much sweeter, and give less aroma.  Some people like that.  I don't like sweet sauces, so I don't remove much of the fluid from tomatoes.  It's possible to cook the drained fluid until it's reduced in volume, and add it back.  That reduces the water content, but the citric and malic acids aren't much reduced by the boiling, so you get the tartness back.  That avoids the problems of a cooked sauce, which is another way of getting a thicker end product.

Offline DWChun

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2007, 10:41:54 AM »
Keep in mind that the liquid in the tomatoes is high in acids, typically two times the concentrations of the solid walls.  Removing the liquid will make the sauce much sweeter, and give less aroma.  Some people like that.  I don't like sweet sauces, so I don't remove much of the fluid from tomatoes.  It's possible to cook the drained fluid until it's reduced in volume, and add it back.  That reduces the water content, but the citric and malic acids aren't much reduced by the boiling, so you get the tartness back.  That avoids the problems of a cooked sauce, which is another way of getting a thicker end product.

I also prefer a less sweet sauce and the canned tomatoes I use have no citric acid, salt, or calcium chloride added, just the tomatoes and the juice. My current sauce uses just tomato and reduced drained liquid that are seasoned with salt and pepper when I dress the pizza. I drain the excess liquid from the tomatoes through a fine sifter lined with folded cheese cloth and then reduce it until it's nearly a syrup before adding it back to the tomatoes. I like this approach because I get the fresher/brighter taste of tomatoes that are only cooked once on the pie but I also keep a lot of the tomato flavour by using the reduced drained liquid rather than disposing of it.


DW


Offline Evietoo

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2007, 04:00:32 PM »
Something I'm curious about ... what is the taste difference of uncooked vs. cooked ?  and is one preferred over the other depending on the type of pizza ?
 

Offline 2stone

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2007, 02:11:08 PM »
Thanks for all the helpfull tips.

sd girl, I got myself a little setup with some commercial
sized coffee filters that I had, and I'm going to try it out
here real quick.

I read in Peter Reinhart's book (I think) that the sauce is fresher
tasting if you don't cook it, because it essentially gets cooked again
when you bake the pizza. (to answere weather to cook the sauce or not)

regards,
willard
2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2007, 02:27:57 PM »
Tom Lehmann occasionally gets asked the question about cooking or not cooking pizza sauces. A typical response is this one: http://www.pmq.com/cgi-bin/tt/index.cgi?noframes;read=17354.

For the three pizza sauce recipes (commercial size) presented at the PMQ Recipe Bank, see http://www.pmq.com/recipe/.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 01, 2007, 02:30:30 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Furo

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2007, 02:40:03 PM »
Willard,
Another way of adding some extra flavor to your sauce. If you are using Italian sausage as a topping, use a little of the fresh sauce to de-glaze the pan you cooked it in. Mix it back with the rest of your sauce. Helps to clean the pan and save all the goodies from the sausage.
Woody.
Being crazy isn't a necessity but it sure is FUN!

Offline ManChicken

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2007, 03:32:55 PM »
I too have been struggling a bit with sauce.  I've tried various recipes but am not totally happy with what I'm getting yet.

At the moment I am using a can of 6-in-1 tomatoes (which by the way I just ordered 6 cans on their website for $2.50 a can and it was only $1.50 shipping!  Insane!) and adding a small amount of dried basil, oregano, some salt, and some red pepper flakes.  Not cooking, just doing at room temperature and popping in the fridge.

The sauce it's self has a decent enough taste right after mixing - heck even the plain tomato sauce with no spice is good.  But what I'm finding is that on the pizza, no matter what else I do or don't put in it, it just seems to have very little taste - it almost gets really lost with everything else.  I've tried a little sugar, some parmesean cheese, I've done the whole fresh garlic bit (mostly when I was cooking the sauce with different canned tomatoes before finding the 6-in-1 which I like the best so far).

The local favorite NY pizza shop's sauce is what I'm trying to replicate but I can't figure out what to add to get there.  I know it's not a lot to go on, but all I can describe is that their sauce has a bit of tanginess to it which makes it stand out.

Any ideas?  The 6-in-1 seem to have the perfect consistency right out of the can (they are the ones 'with extra heavy puree') so I don't think it's due to being watered down.  I just can't seem to get a good punchy flavor.

Offline 2stone

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2007, 06:59:47 PM »
Well I followed the advice from this thread and
started straining my tomatoes. I am mixing it with
equal parts of tomato paste. I have a real good dry
consistency now but I am finding out that a tomato is not a tomato.

I wonder what tomato is the better tasting one,
that can be purchased without flying them inn from Italy!!

willard
2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com

Offline scott r

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2007, 02:20:37 PM »

The local favorite NY pizza shop's sauce is what I'm trying to replicate but I can't figure out what to add to get there.  I know it's not a lot to go on, but all I can describe is that their sauce has a bit of tanginess to it which makes it stand out.


Manchicken, after reading your post I think you may be using the wrong tomatoes for the taste you are trying to achieve.  6in1's are not tangy tomatoes, but there are some used widely by pizzerias that are quite tangy.  Try the alta cucina's from stanislaus.  They require much more prep than the 6in1 since they are a whole tomato, but it might be the flavor you are looking for. 

Offline BenLee

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2007, 05:41:42 PM »
I recently found a little farm in NJ that picks their tomatoes from the garden daily (too bad tomato season ends this week).  I've been getting heirloom and jersey tomatoes that are so ripe, their dense red color is almost purple.  For my sauces, I just cut out the stem, slice them in half, squeeze and deseed, grind up.  I add just a little bit of sweet canned tomatoes and salt.  What I get is the sweetest freshest sauce I've ever tasted.  Basically, if you can find super ripe tomatoes, that's about all you need. 

Offline ManChicken

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2007, 03:47:51 AM »
Well I know everyone rails against the evils of citric acid, but in the last batch of sauce I made I added a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice and it's allowed the sauce to punch through the rest of the pie for me, so I think I'm happy.  I also think I might have been using a little too much cheese on top which was burying everything;  I've cut back a tad and am much happier with the overall taste of the last few pizzas I've made.

Offline steve in FL

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Re: "my sauce just doesn't cut it"
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2007, 10:07:31 AM »
Hi folks.. first time poster, long-time lurker.. Just wanted to jump in here and add my thoughts. I've been working on my homemade pizzas every weekend for the past who-knows-how-long, (serious!) and each time, I've used a different sauce 'recipe' to try and find a perfect blend that would complement the crust and cheese without overpowering them and taking over. I, too, have found that my all-time favorite flavor sensation for this is simply crushed tomatoes + salt. I use Cento brand, it does not contain additional citric acid or other enhancers. Personal preference I guess.

Now my mission can remain focused on perfecting the dough. I see a scale in my near-future, for I cannot get a consistent pie to save my life. I am lucky enough to have a restaurant supply warehouse nearby (public welcome!) and will be checking them out this week.

Oh, for the record, my aim is to perfect a 16" NY style. (16" because that is the largest size screen that will fit in my home oven.)

Love this site. I wanna marry it..

- steve


 

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