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#101103 - 08/11/08 03:54 PM Making thick sauces without long boiling
OregonBeerMan Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/16/07
Posts: 8
Loc: Oregon
When creating recipes, what is a good way to get thick saucey foods without a long boil or simmer.

I follow the packaged freezed dried food method of just dumping boiling water into the freezer bag and letting it rehydrate.

I notice in my recipes I don't get nice sauces like some of the commercial trail food does.

Do I need to use flour or potato starch to thicken up the sauce?

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#101104 - 08/11/08 05:39 PM Re: Making thick sauces without long boiling [Re: OregonBeerMan]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
Starches, whether it is flour, corn etc... require significant heating(as in bring to a boil) to really thicken. So dumping it in won't do that much. It will do a little though. If you must, choose cornstarch, it thickens better and won't leave a pasty taste. Plus it gives a nice "shine" to sauces. To use cornstarch, make a slurry with the starch and water and stir it in.

Cheese will thicken the sauce as well, this might be the best option.

I don't use freeze dried stuff, but I have noticed all my friends who do, they don;t add as much water as the package says. Maybe less water and the aforementioned problem will be a non-issue.

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#101105 - 08/11/08 05:40 PM Re: Making thick sauces without long boiling [Re: OregonBeerMan]
RobertL Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 174
Loc: Oregon
A tablespoon or two of instant mashed potatoes works well and fast and doesn't radically change the flavor of most sauces. No boiling required.

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#101106 - 08/11/08 06:49 PM Re: Making thick sauces without long boiling [Re: OregonBeerMan]
WildChild Offline
member

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 36
Loc: Canada
I find the best way is to make your soup, stew, chili or whatever at home and when it gets to the consistency you like then dry it. At camp add a slight bit less water than what the recipe calls for (you can add more if it is still too thick). This way you do all the simmering at home and on the trail you just rehydrate and reheat.

I like sauces that are hearty... like this....



which is probably why FBC doesn't appeal to me as much as my own way of doing things.
_________________________
my recipes

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#101107 - 08/11/08 07:31 PM Re: Making thick sauces without long boiling [Re: OregonBeerMan]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Potato starch will work, as does cutting back water and or adding instant potatoes or cheese. In most cases I make the sauce part of the meal (integrated). To make a pack of say Alfredo sauce to pour over pasta separately, cooking it in a Ti mug would be the best choice - so it can have the heat and time needed for the thickeners to work.
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#101108 - 08/13/08 07:29 PM Re: Making thick sauces without long boiling [Re: OregonBeerMan]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
I often use potato FLOUR to thicken sauces and soups as it doesn't require much, nor does it require boiling to create a thicker consistency. It is similar to potato flakes (instant potatoes) but without all of the amendments. It has a slight potato flavor, but generally not enough to make you say "Wow, POTATO!"

mns
_________________________
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

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#101109 - 08/14/08 08:00 AM Re: Making thick sauces without long boiling [Re: OregonBeerMan]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
In addition to using less water, potato flakes/flour, or cornstarch, consider dry bread or cracker crumbs added little by little at the end.

CM

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#101110 - 08/14/08 08:39 AM Re: Making thick sauces without long boiling [Re: OregonBeerMan]
Hector Offline
member

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 325
Loc: LA/ARK/TX corner
Okay, everyone can laugh, but I use masa flour that comes with the chili seasoning mix I use as a starter for chili. It's always left over and works well for thickening things. Has no appreciable taste.

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#101111 - 08/20/08 07:33 AM Re: Making thick sauces without long boiling [Re: Hector]
bulrush Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 132
Loc: Michigan
Some people may not know that masa flour is corn ground into a flour.

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#101112 - 08/20/08 11:10 AM Re: Making thick sauces without long boiling [Re: OregonBeerMan]
OregonBeerMan Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/16/07
Posts: 8
Loc: Oregon
I read that Xanthaun Gum is a common thickener.

Anyone ever use it?

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#101113 - 08/20/08 04:01 PM Re: Making thick sauces without long boiling [Re: Hector]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Hmm-My first reply didn't get posted for some reason.

I'm not laughing at the corn flour as thickener suggestion. I use it in chili. Other easy thickeners that are actually pre-cooked include finely ground (dry) bread, cracker, or cookie crumbs, or infant cereals. Consider pulverized ginger snaps for thickening an Asian or German-inspired sauce (Like Teriyaki or Sauerbraten). The upside of using infant cereals for thickening, in addition to their being pre-cooked, is that they are highly fortified with iron. Crackers will add a significant amount of sodium, so unless you feel you are sweating heavily and need to replace some, be careful.

CamperMom

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#101114 - 08/21/08 08:50 AM Re: Making thick sauces without long boiling [Re: OregonBeerMan]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Xanthan gum is indeed a thickener, and only a tiny tiny amount is needed to thicken liquids. It needs no heat to do its thing.

I'm serious about the tiny amount... to thicken a sauce at most you'd only need 1/64 to 1/32 tsp per cup of sauce.

MNS
_________________________
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

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#101115 - 08/21/08 10:02 AM Re: Making thick sauces without long boiling [Re: midnightsun03]
OregonBeerMan Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/16/07
Posts: 8
Loc: Oregon
Hey thanks!

That would be a tiny "pinch" <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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