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Old 08-04-2010, 11:26 PM   #31
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Go rent some "Everybody Loves Raymond" TV show seasons and watch them.
THEN you will be prepared for the MIL.... and will understand why kissing up to her is important!!! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:39 AM   #32
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Everyone Loves Raymond is a good one to watch if you are thinking of getting married, It will stop you in your tracks from thinking of getting married.
My MIL was Irish and FIL Polish - I'm Dutch and English, let me tell you I have had a few rounds but we ironed out out differences. Her hot temper and his bullheadness. but then you have my husband the combination of both Polish/Irish and he was the one that straignten them out. been maried 33 years. Shared alot dishes together and alot of laughs along with a few arguments -but start out honest and be yourself as I did and you will go far.
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Old 08-05-2010, 02:38 PM   #33
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I tried once to butter up my MIL by asking her how she made her fried chicken, she gave me directions to the local KFC...she didn't cook.
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Old 08-05-2010, 04:57 PM   #34
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My m-i-l felt no one could cook for her boys like she did and she wasnnn't about to tell what she did. My dh managed to get her to teach me but it was miserable, because I was as stubborn as she. I inststed of measuing and weighing every think so we finally got things straight. Funny thing my husband and his brothers all agreed that I did the recipes exactl like her, but she wouldnt touch a thing I made. There was always an excuse. Today my husband is the only one left and you should see him when I make something his mom use to make for her boys, It gives me so much pleasure to make him happy.
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:45 AM   #35
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Since there are so many preferences for how a red sauce should be, I won't post mine - but I will give you a few ideas to consider.

1. Instead of adding sugar or trying to remove acid, try caramelizing a bunch of common onions as though you were making an onion soup.

2. Use a food mill to smooth out the sauce instead of a blender/food-processor/immersion-blender. This method prevents aeration and over-emulsification which can lead to an orange sauce and odd mouth-feel.

3. Use a splash of alcohol. Tomatoes have quite a few alcohol-soluble flavor and aroma compounds that just won't be released for your enjoyment without some ethanol. Red and white wine are great choices (I go with a simple Pinot Grigio). For the same reason, make sure you have some sort of fat (such as olive oil or meat drippings).

4. Most importantly... use tomatoes that taste good. If fresh tomatoes taste like acidic water laden sand-bags, don't use 'em! If you choose a canned tomato and it doesn't taste great straight from the can, find another brand!

Good luck, and I second the lessons if you know someone who makes a sauce you love.
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:28 AM   #36
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If you are going for an authentic Italian tomato based sauce, the #1 taboo is to mangle 500 different ingredients, spices and herbs. Italian cooking is all about simplicity.
Instead, concentrate on using a quality, in-season ingredients.
Ripe, fresh san marzano tomatoes (often known in the english speaking world as "Roma Tomatoes") are the ideal main ingredient, but some tinned product will do if it is of high-quality.
Enforce the flavour with minced garlic, salt & pepper (to your taste), fresh basil leaves (do not cook them in the sauce, or add it just to get them warmed and blend into the sauce) and drizzle of good extra virgine olive oil will do more than it's job.
This is the basic recipe. For the variation you can add caper, chopped olive, shallot, oregano instead of basil, chopped anchovy fillets etc.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:46 AM   #37
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all great advice above! and keep it simple, let the accompaniments flavor the sauce. meat balls, or sausage or pork cutlets etc. basis being the onions cooked through, the fine sweet tomatoes (often canned and hand crushed or food mill) a nice splash of red wine. salt pepper maybe chili flake (for an spicy sauce). there are some traditional herbs but often they are added at the end fresh ie. basil. fennel can be cooked with the onions from the start. Oregano or rosemary might also be used for various reasons/dishes. But not all at the same time. (basil alone or with meatballs, fennel with sausage, rosemary with chicken for example) as you head south stronger flavors and various sauces occur: putanesca (olives capers anchovies) tonnata (tuna) etc.

So start with the classic taught by mamma (or mil) and go from there as you see fit.
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:14 AM   #38
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I have a question for all of you. Do you like your gravy to be bright red like the tomatoes? Or do you like a rich brown gravy thats has a less acid taste and tastes mor like the herbs and mushrooms
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:21 AM   #39
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I expect my sauce to be red and not acidic
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Old 08-06-2010, 12:06 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kadesma View Post
I have a question for all of you. Do you like your gravy to be bright red like the tomatoes? Or do you like a rich brown gravy thats has a less acid taste and tastes mor like the herbs and mushrooms
kadesma
I consider these two difference types of sauce CJ, and it depends on what kind of food goes with it. I use very little tomato paste on the second type (brown gravy type), and mainly with red wine and fondo bruno, with some herbs.
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