Cornstarch is a special ingredient that can make Mexican sauces just right. It helps sauces become thick and gives them a good texture. Furthermore, cornstarch makes the taste of the sauce even better. Whether you’re making salsa, burrito sauce, or enchilada sauce, cornstarch can make them perfect.
If you love Mexican food Brandon, Canada, using it in your cooking can bring the real flavors of Mexico to your kitchen. Here we discuss some useful tips for using cornstarch through which you can enhance your cooking skills. It’s easy to use and can make your dishes taste yummy.
What It Cornstarch and Where to Locate It
Cornstarch is a versatile ingredient that is extracted from the endosperm of corn. It has many culinary applications. It is commonly used as a thickening component in many sauce recipes. Furthermore, it can be utilized to improve the texture and flavor of soups as well as other culinary preparations.
In Canada, corn starch is readily available at affordable prices in every nearest grocery store. However, many brands provide the best quality corn starch for culinary and baking purposes. You can easily access them through any reputable online food store. Maizena Canada has one of them that offers a wide range of cornstarch-based products for baking and culinary preparations.
How does cornstarch work?
When you cook cornstarch in water, something interesting happens. The starch granules soak up the water, swell, and burst open, creating a smooth and see-through thick mixture. This process is called gelatinization. You must add it to recipes at room temperature, not at high temperatures if you want lumps to avoid.
Start by making a slurry by mixing it with a cold liquid like water. This helps the cornstarch spread evenly in the recipe. Then, add this paste-like mixture to your dish. For the consistency and texture of your dish when it thaws, you should avoid freezing sauces or soups made with cornstarch. To get the desired flavor and consistency when using cornstarch inside the kitchen, follow these tips.
Thicken any sauce by adding cornstarch.
Mexican sauce of your choice
Determine the desired consistency
Firstly, start by considering the desired thickness for your Mexican sauce. Every recipe has different requirements for thickness. Therefore it is important to know the recipe properly before moving further.
Create a slurry
In 2 tablespoons of cold water, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Adjust the amounts if you have more sauce. This will produce a smooth and lump-free slurry. Dissolve the cornstarch and water mixture until it is completely mixed. This will ensure a smooth and consistent thickening.
Add the slurry to the sauce
Pour the prepared slurry into your sauce while it is simmering on the stove. Ensure that the sauce is at low to medium heat to allow proper thickening. Stir the slurry continuously after adding it to the sauce to avoid lumping and for a smoother texture.
Observe the thickening process
Cornstarch requires heat to activate its thickening properties, so allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes after adding the slurry. As the sauce heats up, the starch will thicken it gradually. Be patient and monitor the consistency closely.
To save the sauce from becoming too thick, avoid using it in large amounts. If the sauce becomes too thick, dilute it by adding water or broth. This is a quick and simple step that restores the sauce’s consistency.
Final seasoning and serving
After achieving the desired thickness, actively taste the sauce and make any necessary seasoning adjustments. Adding cornstarch may sometimes slightly alter the flavor, so it is crucial to make the needed tweaks before serving. Now use your delicious sauce in many ways, for example, over enchiladas, tacos, or as a dip for tortilla chips.
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Other alternatives for the thickening purpose
Many easy-to-access alternatives are available in the market, other than cornstarch, for getting the desired thickness in your sauces, gravies, soups, and other cuisines. Although it is excellent for dairy sauces, it may not work well with acidic sauces like tomato-based ones. In addition to this, all-purpose flour is also used for thickening purposes. Despite its many uses, all-purpose flour contains gluten thus, may not be suitable for all. Here comes the usage of alternatives like arrowroot and tapioca starch.
Arrowroot and tapioca starch work well as alternatives and are particularly suitable if you plan to freeze the dish. It can develop a spongy texture when frozen, but arrowroot and tapioca starch handle freezing better. It’s worth noting that arrowroot may not be the best choice for cream or milk-based sauces, as it can create a slightly slimy texture when combined with dairy.
In conclusion, cornstarch becomes a versatile ingredient that provides the desired consistency and thickness to many Mexican sauces. By following the steps mentioned above, you can easily use them and elevate your culinary creations to new heights.