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refining a sauce

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Last night we made a sauce for slices of roasted eggplant that were rolled around some goat cheese. The sauce was a saute of roasted red bell peppers, onion, garlic, fresh basil and white wine that was then pureed in a food processor. The result was a tiny bit lumpy. Personally, I liked the rustic look and mouth-feel, but David would prefer a much smoother result. How do we get that?
Emily

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Emily

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post #2 of 11
Strain it.
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post #3 of 11
What you made would pretty much be a called a Red Bell Pepper Coulis. The point of that sauce is that it's unstrained. You can put it through a china cap which will make it a little smoother, but if you put it through a chinois I would think it would turn into a complete liquid.
post #4 of 11
Personally, I would prefer the taste and mouth feel of a coulis with that eggplant.

Presumably you roasted the peppers on the grill, to accentuate the smokiness of the eggplant?

Can't imagine, though, why you got lumps. Unless there wasn't enough liquid for the processor to do its thing? Maybe a little more wine, added directly to the food processor? Or even some EVOO?
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 11
I agree with everyone else here about the texture. It should be lumpy. Tell David he is wrong. :lol:

But: Another possibility is to puree it in a blender rather than a food processor. I always find that when the mixture is very wet, a food processor doesn't get all the chunks down small enough. With a blender, you can get a smoother puree, but not as smooth as if you then put it through a strainer. You just have to watch it carefully, or you might blend it so long that it does liquefy completely.

KYH -- I realize this is in contradiction to what you said. To me, a food processor works better with dry ingredients, and a blender with wet. Maybe we just have different equipment. ;)
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #6 of 11
Sometimes the size of the item and the texture of the sauce create a visual disconnect. If you have small eggplant/goat cheese roulades then a lumpy sauce would sorta make the whole dish meld together. Try making the roulades a little bigger, or puree finer, or dip the roulades in the coulis and serve packed together in a small dish with sides.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
thank you! :D
He read your comment when I did and asked "Which one is Suzanne?" When I told him, he just looked down and said, "oh.":o :lol: But we both know that I tend to like "rustic" and he likes "refined"

Excellent! I'm never exactly sure when to use my processor and when to use the blender, especially when our ancient, hand-me-down blender has many buttons but, essentially, only one speed.

And KYHeirloomer: I think I wasn't clear. The sauce wasn't so much lumpy as a bit coarse.
Emily

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"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
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Emily

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post #8 of 11
To keep is simple i would of blended it longer with some vegatable stock. Do you have an industrial blender or just a bacis $20 one. if possable you should invest in a Robocup. It is a little expensive but i am sure you can find one on ebay or related site. this is such a great tool for making anything blended. i.e. sauces, mayo or aolis, and soups. good luck.
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Robert Forti A.K.A. GourmetAmor
Gourmet and Compay

"Good Food And Good Wine never tastes as good without good Friends And Family" Visit my myspace page. www.myspace.com/gourmetandcoDont forget to add me as a friend.
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post #9 of 11
Phoebe, How long did you cook the ingredients for? Was it pureed immediately after you sauteed? Did you peel the peppers?

Personally I have found that if you add a bit more wine plus maybe an acid like lemon juice or balsamic vinegar and some reduction time it helps to minmize the lumpy texture. Suzanne is right on target about the whole blender thing. A food processors blades just don't get moving fast enough. Another tool that works well is an immersion or stick blender. Never was a believer in straining my Coulis tho.

I prefer the old Bermixer style of a metal wand and blade shroud. You can actually put this right into the sauce pan while the mixture is simmering. I have a KA version that works great.

Kuan also hit on a point about texture. This provides almost as much effect as the flavor with a sauce. Consider a Ragout for example. Yet a Coulis always has a bit of a texture. IMHPO that's its characteristic. And he is dead on about the size of the chunk overpowering/distracting the dish itself.

BTW be careful how long you actually mix the sauce using a high speed blender. Too much air will alter the flavor as well (ie make it appear somewhat bland.)

Heck what do I know. I've forgotten so much over the last couple years it scares the hello outta me.:look::rolleyes:;)
post #10 of 11
Chinois and cheesecloth.....or just the chinois depending on the amount of liquid.

Or with a simple coulis like that,I would have used a Burr Mixer instead of a processor.
"Sometimes people can be oh so dense"

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"Sometimes people can be oh so dense"

The Pixies
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post #11 of 11
Problem is that the smooth mouthfeel he's looking for won't come from an all veg preparation. If it will, please someone tell me, too...
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