* Before you add a thickener to a sauce, skim the fat from the top. Once you've added the thickener,
the fat will be harder to remove.
* Starch thickeners like cornstarch are mixed with an equal amount of cold water, then added to warm
liquids to thicken them. They're a good choice if you want a low-fat, neutral tasting thickener. They give
dishes a glossy sheen, which looks wonderful if you're making a dessert sauce or pie filling, but a bit artificial in a gravy or stew.
* You can thicken soups and stews with flour in several ways. One is to make a roux with 1½ teaspoons each of butter and flour for every cup of liquid in the soup. Pour the soup into the roux, bring it to a boil, stirring constantly until smooth.
* You can also make a paste of 1½ teaspoons of flour for every cup of liquid in the soup. Mix the flour
with twice as much cold stock, water, or milk, and pour the paste into the boiling soup, stirring attentively. Let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes as you stir.
* You can correct greasy gravy by adding a little baking soda to it.
* A good way to thicken soups or stews is to add grated starchy vegetables, or to purée the vegetables in
* The addition of egg yolks to a soup thickens and also makes it much richer. For each cup of soup, you could add 1 egg yolk beaten with a tablespoon of cream or sherry. It is safest to temper the eggs by adding a little of the hot soup to the egg container, mixing it thoroughly, and then adding that mix to the soup. This will help keep the eggs from curdling (scrambling). You add eggs to a soup right when you are about to serve it, and at all costs, keep the soup from coming to a boil.
* Wine Cubes
Don't throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.