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Dressings, Sauces and Relishes that Every Cook Should Know about

By Edited Dec 29, 2015 2 2

Balsamic Dressing

This is an absolute classic but the proportions are important. It's important to whisk the ingredients well together.


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

balsamic dressing



  • Mix ingredients together.

Honey Mustard Dressing

This can be used for a salad dressing and tastes really good on a chicken burger or sandwich.


  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1-1/4 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper

honey mustard dressing



Mix all ingredients together with a whisk until the mixture starts to thicken. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Bechamel Sauce (white sauce)

This is an essential base sauce which is used in so many dishes in the kitchen.


  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • salt


In a small pot over gentle heat melt the butter. Once the butter has melted add the flour. Mix the butter and flour to a paste. Whisk in the milk. Keep on whisking until the sauce thickens and remove from the heat. Add salt to taste.

Tomato Sauce

I actually can't do without this sauce. It's a base and I use it for so many things like pasta, soups and other sauces. Simply add ingredients according to what you are making.


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 x 14 oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

tomato sauce



  • Add the olive oil to a sauce pan and fry the garlic.
  • Add the cans of tomatoes and simmer over a gentle heat.
  • Stir and break them up a little.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the sugar and the salt and pepper.
  • You can puree this if you want it smooth.

Onion Marmalade

I really enjoyed working as a private chef at a beach house over Christmas for a family and their friends. There were many mouths to feed, especially young, hungry people. Everyone helped and the meals were always appreciated.

Francois, the dad, christened this dish "onion mush" so I guess that's what it is. It goes down well on a piece of French bread with a slice of cheese.

onion marmalade


  • 6 onions (red is good)
  • 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar



  • Cut the onions in half rings.
  • Fry the onions until they are soft.
  • Add the vinegar.
  • Add the sugar and simmer until the sugar has dissolved.

Serves 4

Beef Stock

This is something that I make on a regular basis. There are no shortcuts, but it is definitely worth the effort. I usually make a lot at once and just freeze it. Commercial boullion cubes are handy for a few things but definitely can't be used in a risotto or good soup.

You can make this into a chicken stock by using chicken bones, or just use the vegetables for vegetable stock.


  • 1 carrot
  • 1 leek
  • ½ celery stalk
  • ½ onion
  • 4 pounds beef bones
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 pints water
  • 1 tsp tomato paste


  • Set the oven to 200°C/375°F.
  • Dice the carrot, leek, celery and onion roughly into equal sized pieces and place onto a roasting tray with the bones.
  • Place this in the oven.
  • When the vegetables start to brown take the tray out of the oven.
  • Place everything in a pot on a medium heat and add the tomato paste.
  • Add the water and then add the thyme, peppercorns and bay leaves.
  • Leave to simmer for 1 hour and then strain the stock.

Makes 4 pints



Jun 22, 2013 4:52pm
thank you, love cooking and was wondering how to make a few things. These seem simple enough, especially the honey mustard
Jun 23, 2013 4:57am
Thanks, ferpuerto17 - well, once you have the basics down, like these, there is so much more you can do. Happy cooking!
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