A Saucy Affair

gravy, more gravy, swimming in gravyyyyy.

to say that a sauce makes or breaks a dish is an understatement. otherwise bland dishes get transformed with the right curry, gravy, dressing.

take the salisbury steak. a simple burger patty set on a sizzling plate and drenched with gravy. butter, mushroom, cream and wine gravy - each lends a special flavor to the dish and i've always favored the mushroom gravy used by casa verde.

today i had to change my list of favorites when i sampled dong juan's version.

thick quarter pound beef patty, spiced and grilled and set on a sizzling plate with the absolutely tastiest butter mushroom gravy. the clincher was when i took a knife to cut a portion and juice started to leak out of the burger. i was tempted to order another serving of rice so i can wipe off every last bit of sauce left on the pan.

mozzarela sticks

on the distaff side, we ordered fried mozzarella sticks and found it to be too bland. even the tomato based salsa sauce wasn't enough to give it that extra flavor. they could have mixed Parmesan with the batter-crust and or garlic and chili powder to give it an extra bite to counter the near tasteless cheese. we resorted to asking for the ubiquitous knorr soy sauce and mixed it with some tomato ketchup just to give it some flavor.

meatballs in pomodoro sauce over linguine

coincidentally, the same tomato salsa sauce was used as the base for the meatball pasta dish. the meatball was obviously from the same patty used in the salisbury steak but tasted rather bland, perhaps there was too much pasta and very little pomodoro sauce to coat the linguine. it was only when i added a dash of parmesan that the flavors balanced out - the summery sour garlic flavor of the pomodoro sauce infused by the salty bite of parmesan and mixed with the beefy flavors of the meatball.

ziti pasta, the ridged surface can hold the pomodoro sauce better

if i were to make some changes, i'd use zitti pasta so that it can hold the sauce better rather than have most of the sauce stick to the bowl as well as garnish the pasta with caramelized or sautéed white onions. but that's my style ;)

linguine is more suitable for cream or oil based sauce like pesto

i guess i'm just being filipino where a distinct favoritism for sauce in most of our dishes is common.

salsa as sauce for the mozarella sticks

better if they used parmesan and garlic powder as part of the crust


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