“The Art of the Perfect Sauce” by Lorilynn Bauer and Ramin Ganeshram, Page Street Publishing Co., $21.99, 192 pages, paperback

Finishing touches can make a dish special. Imagine rice without gravy or spaghetti without a rich tomato sauce. Sage brown butter sauce enhances gnocchi and vegetables. And what would we do without barbecue sauce and glazes for various cuts of meat?

In their cookbook “The Art of the Perfect Sauce,” chefs Lorilynn Bauer and Ramin Ganeshram point out one of the first things culinary students learn is how to make sauces. That’s because “sauces can elevate even the most well-prepared dish to new heights. In fact, in traditional French kitchens, the position of saucier or sauce-making chef was a profession unto itself and one of honor and distinction.”

The authors offer 75 recipes they say will take the home cook’s dishes “from ordinary to extraordinary.” Knowing the technique used in making sauces allows chefs and home cooks to create new sauces to pair with today’s fresh, lighter dishes, Bauer and Ganeshram say.

Most of their cookbook’s recipes are easy to make and cover various techniques for making stocks, dipping sauces, and sauces for poultry, fish, meat, vegetables, pasta and desserts. There’s also a “sauce primer” on the various techniques used in making sauces, along with information on thickening agents and a “sauce table” that shows which sauces work with which proteins and vegetables.

Among the recipes are Coconut Cream and Turmeric Sauce to spoon over chicken or turkey; Apricot Sauvignon Blanc Pan Sauce for serving over fish or as a dipping sauce for shrimp, crab or lobster; Red Wine and Fig Pan Sauce for pork chops, pork loin, tender cuts of beef or turkey; the jammy Sour Cherry Chili Sauce that works with pork roast or on barbecue meat; Broccoli Pesto; Tropical Fruit Salsa; and Extra Dark Mexican Chocolate Sauce.

Recipes are clearly and concisely written and each is illustrated with an attractive, full-color photograph.

“The Art of the Perfect Sauce” is sure to appeal to home cooks interested in elevating their cooking.


Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Contact her at sonnierfood@gmail.com, and follow her on Twitter, @CheramieSonnier.