My Food Style

The Thick of It: The Many Ways to Thicken Sauces


The chef instructor screamed, “Lie. Lie.” (Pronounced lee-ay), from across the kitchen. My cooking partner and I flinched with terror as the chef ran across the floor raising a piece of paper, “Lie! Lie!” As he approached our cooking station, he threw down the piece of paper, and with frustration pointed at the recipe printed there. I read the word Lie and its definition under his manicured fingernail, "Consistency of a liquid to coat back of metal spoon."  He was trying to explain to me how to check the thickness of my sauce by dipping a spoon into it and running my finger through it. If the line drawn by my finger holds, then the sauce is thick enough.

I still do not understand all the excitement, but it was obvious that he was trying to teach me something. Nonetheless, there may be only one way to check the consistency of a thick sauce or soup, but there are many ways to actually thicken.

It is well known that Interstitial Cystitis affects each food style differently. For that reason, I have listed in the recipe titled "Thickeners" different techniques and ingredients to accomplishing Lie!


Thanksgiving: We are all Pilgrims

I was a little embarrassed this morning when I had to look up the definition of pilgrimage? A long journey or search of great moral significance,spelled out by the ink on the dictionary page. If I were still in elementary school I would tell you a pilgrimage is a collective group of hungry people, putting up with in-laws so they can devour the legs of the fowl they just caught! Insensitive I know, but let me be honest, when I read the definition, I was a little discouraged to see food had little to do with pilgrimage.

Either way I still promote Thanksgiving as a feast! A holiday of epic proportion, where there are always leftovers and second helpings. You can pass me the turkey all day long, in fact, leave it right in front of me, because Thanksgiving dinner is chock full of dishes that can be enjoyed by almost any Interstitial Cystitis sufferer. So if I were you, I would mark this day on your calendar, because during Thanksgiving, you can eat like everyone else!

My Food Style’s Thanksgiving menu is designed to bring the holiday to life. I have focused on the colors, textures, aromas, and the flavors of the season to make certain this Thanksgiving is one to remember! Enjoy all the free recipes!


Allow Me to Clarify: Butter

Alec was the Executive Chef at Del Frisco’s Steak House in Denver for more than a decade. If there was anyone who knew everything there was to know about steak, it was Alec, so I picked his brain daily. I asked him, “What makes the steaks at Del Frisco better then others? “ His answer, “Clarified butter.” I figured their ode to fame would be blue cheese, or a secret seasoning salt. Absolutely. The same stuff I dip crab legs in, is the same ingredient that makes all the difference at the famous steak house.

Clarified butter is the result of melting butter until the milk solids separate and float to the top. Simply skim the white milk solids off the top and strain the remaining butter.

There are several advantages to using clarified butter, health not being one. Contrary to popular belief, clarifying butter eliminates milk solids, not butterfat. One advantage however, is the smoke point (the temperature at which the butter starts to burn) increases considerably from 350 degrees Fahrenheit to 485 degrees Fahrenheit, making it possible to create a wonderful crust on proteins without burning your cooking fat. Another advantage to using clarified butter is the classic butter taste. You can easily substitute clarified butter in any recipe that calls for oil. The third advantage is the length of time you can refrigerate clarified butter before it goes rancid. Butter has a four month refrigerated life span, one year if you clarify the butter.


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