Creative Cooking: Simple Sauces to Elevate Every Meal | Kelis | Skillshare

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Creative Cooking: Simple Sauces to Elevate Every Meal

teacher avatar Kelis, Chef, Songwriter, Designer, Entrepreneur

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Cooking Your Story


    • 3.

      Why Sauce?


    • 4.

      Kitchen Essentials


    • 5.

      Making Salad Dressing


    • 6.

      Making Guava Vinaigrette


    • 7.

      Making Jerk Sauce


    • 8.

      Making Gravy


    • 9.

      Final Thoughts


    • 10.

      BONUS: Make Sauce Life with Kelis


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About This Class

A meal is made or broken by its final touch: the sauce. 

Kelis might be known to many for her Grammy-nominated, instantly iconic “Milkshake,” but music has always been only one of her great loves. She is also an author and a classically-trained chef; for her, food is as much a way to express yourself and your creativity as music or art. Sauces, specifically — you can tell a lot about a person (anything about a person, really) by the food they create and what sauce they use to flavor it.

A sauce, in Kelis’ words, is like the lipstick; your outfit might be dope before you add it, but really it’s that last thing that takes it from great to phenomenal. Now, she’s bringing her expertise — built at home and elaborated on by training at internationally renowned culinary school Le Cordon Bleu — to you! Cooking alongside Kelis and you’ll learn:

  • The essentials of flavor and flavor combinations
  • What makes a perfect salad dressing
  • How to create a mouthwatering jerk sauce
  • And, of course, how to make the perfect gravy

Kelis doesn’t just tell you the recipes — she’ll make sure you understand what’s happening in your dish, ensuring you have the skills to create your own unique, personal spin on your sauces and your food. Join in and get cooking!

Though the class is tailored to beginner chefs, the class is welcoming to anyone interested in expressing themselves creatively through food. Download Kelis’ recipes from the Resources section to cook along, or improvise with the ingredients you already have at home!

Meet Your Teacher

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Chef, Songwriter, Designer, Entrepreneur


Kelis is an American singer, songwriter, and chef who believes everything is better smothered and dipped in sauce. She has released six studio albums and studied as a saucier at the world-famous Le Cordon Bleu. Kelis has been recognized at the Brit Awards, Q Awards, NME Awards, and Grammy Awards ceremonies. Her musical output, both as a lead and featured artist, encompasses various genres—she has collaborated with R&B and hip hop acts including Busta Rhymes and Clipse, electronic and dance producers such as Calvin Harris, Timo Maas, and Richard X, pop and rock acts Enrique Iglesias and No Doubt and indie and alternative musicians including Björk and Dave Sitek. She has sold six million records worldwide. Kelis' first cookbook, My Life on a Plate, was released o... See full profile

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1. Introduction: I always say, "Tell me what you eat and I can tell you who you are." I can tell you how you grew up, where you grew up, what values your family had. My name is Kelis. I am a singer, songwriter, and chef. This class will be about finding your history through your food. Everyone always says music is the international language, and being that I do both, I would definitely say that it's food. Food is the one thing that we all do. It's art and science, it's love. Every time we cook, we should dig into some of the best parts of our life. I think the best way to get into this, is to do it through sauce. Sauce is the accessory, it's the accoutrement. It's the shoes and the bag, and the earrings and the lipstick. The sauce is the answer. The key is to always bottle hot and seal it immediately. Turn it upside-down. The distilled vinegar, apple cider vinegar, you can use lime. You could very easily substitute the red bell peppers and only do green and it becomes a completely different thing. When you're done with this, you'll understand this is why we add this, this is why this has this, this should always have this because of this. Once you understand what something does and what its purpose is, it takes the fear away. I think if you like food, you should take this class. Don't over think it. Go with the flow. I hope you cook along because it's a lot more fun that way. 2. Cooking Your Story: Welcome, I'm so glad you decided to take this class. I'm super excited, I hope you are too. I feel like food, it's a tell all, it tells us who we are. It tells us where we come from. It tells us who we love and what we love. I think that for me I found out so much about myself when I really started to focus on myself as a chef. My mom is a chef, so I grew up with a chef and musician, between both my parents in my whole life. I always continually saw the process, but I never really thought about it seriously. Being signed so young, life just takes off really fast. I remember very distinctly I woke up one day and it was 10 years later, and I'd been signed my entire adult life. I'd been on this really fast train for such a long time that I didn't have a chance to stop and think. I didn't have any deep thoughts or plans about culinary school. I was sitting in my kitchen one day and this commercial came on and it just sparked this idea and I was like, ''Let me look and see what's actually in my area.'' When I called they were like, ''Oh, we're starting a session,'' it was Le Cordon Bleu, ''We start our next session Monday morning,'' it was a Friday. I was like, ''Oh, God, okay,'' and I was like, ''I guess, well, yeah sign me up.'' I signed up and literally from Friday to Monday, my entire world had turned around. Going to culinary school, reminded me that number one, I am who I am no matter what I'm in. When you eat my food, it is very much my personality. It's bold, really colorful, is extremely traveled, it's spicy, lots of sauce, lots of fire. I think it's actually way more my personality than anything else I can do. Food is nostalgic, I think it should be. A lot of times for me, it always goes back to memories. I didn't realize how Latin I was until I started to think about myself as a chef and what I like to make and what my memories were. My mom is part Puerto Rican and she cooks tons of Puerto Rican food. I spent summers in Puerto Rico and the things that I think about that make me, me. I'm so Latin in the kitchen and so I think it's really interesting that if you are able to think about the things that you love and why you love them it will tell you so much about who you are and then we can then gauge where we're going as it pertains to food. How to approach food? I think the easiest way to do that is to think about how you feel. What are you trying to get from it. Do you want to feel light? Do you want to feel fresh? Are you looking for something cozy and comforting? Are you trying to please other people? Then you take that and you think about, what do I like? Because I think also we go to these restaurants and we see these beautiful plates all over social media and we're like, that looks amazing. But we don't really think about, what do I actually want to taste? What do I want to feel? What textures am I drawn to? Then what do I have? Because the other thing is, sometimes it's we overthink, so I'm going to say, ''I don't even have that stuff.'' The idea is that, if you keep a fairly, functional, stocked kitchen space, there are so many different things and so many different ways you can go, that don't take a lot of overthinking. They don't take super crazy shopping lists and all this crazy stock. Food is science, but a lot of it is common sense. It's really about those main thoughts. How are we feeling, what do you want to feel, what do we have, what are we trying to do here? I'm assuming you've got some of your own fundamentals. I'm not expecting you to be Wolfgang or anything, but it'd be good if you had a away around the kitchen and then also you can definitely go and look at our resources and we'll have some recipes for some guidelines. But don't panic, we got this, you're going to be fine. I want you to think about just the moments and the flavors that make you feel consoled and comforted. Because that's going to be our template. I want you to think about, what it is that you really like, what it is that you don't want at all, and then we're going to find what the basics are in that. As I talk through things, it will help you to say, ''Okay. Yes, I do like that, I don't like that.'' You can always substitute things in and out, but the premises, you'll get it and you'll see where we're going. This is pretty casual, you can cook along obviously, I think it's fun, and then you can eat it afterwards which is definitely the best part, or you can sit back and watch and take it all in and then do your own thing when I'm gone. But that's up to you. Now let's talk about the fundamentals of sauce. 3. Why Sauce?: I think the best way to get into this is to do it through sauce. I happen to be a saucier, so that's easy for me. Why sauce you ask? I think it's pretty clear. Sauce is amazing, I want sauce with everything. Everything literally is better smother, dipped, or poured. I'm always that person in the restaurant like, "Excuse me, is there sauce that goes with this? Is there something to dip?" I want gravy, I want stew, I want salad dressing, I want all the sauces all the time. It does define the meal. It's like we can be anywhere, and the sauce that comes with it, and the sauce that it's in, really tells you where you're at. You can order a steak anywhere in the world, the sauce is going to tell you where you're at. If you're here in the States, you go to a steakhouse, you might get a peppercorn sauce. It could be in Penang, it might be pineapple curry. Really the idea is just that sauce is going to show you the culture, it's going to show you the history, it's going to show you the technique. Then also two, I think sauce is like every other accessory. It is the defining factor. It's like every one of us could have a little black dress. But how I wear my black dress, what earrings, how I do my hair, what shoes, am I wearing lipstick, necklaces, scarfs, shrug, shawl, jacket, tuxedo, who knows, how am I wearing this black dress? That's what's going to tell you about who I am, where I'm going, where I come from. Sauce is exactly that. Sauce is going to tell you where we're at, where we came from, why we're doing this, what we want you to feel, so I think sauce is definitely the answer. Sauce making is going to begin with a flavor foundation. What's my main ingredient. An easy one to go to you just because it works with almost everything all the time, onions. You'd be surprised even people who don't like onions, onions are in so many things because they're a fantastic base. They have a lot of water, they're also like a good emulsifier. Meaning that they bring things together. So they're are good gap bridger. Whether it's onions, shallots, garlic, scallions, chives, these are your good basics. In French cuisine, it is your mirepoix like carrots, onions, celery. That's pretty much the foundation for all French cooking, and then lots and lots and lots of butter. For me, being Puerto Rican, which I found out in culinary school, also, there's something very similar in Italian cooking, it's called sofrito. That is onions, garlic, bell peppers. That's really good foundational stuff because from that point you can do a curry, you can do a jerk, and then it's really just what herbs are you adding? What spices are you adding? Are we adding olive oil versus coconut oil or sesame oil? It kind of [inaudible] like it's the span of all the different stuff you can do. Sauce fundamentals, really simple. You need fat, you need acidity, you got to have salt. Food is about balance, and sauce specifically is about finding the ratio of fat to acid, and then salt is what kind of like brings them all together flavor-wise. What do we want? Are we okay with a salad dressing that's going to separate? Often a vinaigrette does, totally fine with that. Do we want something tangy? Do we want something that we're going to drizzle? Are we dowsing? Do we want to trough it that we're just going to pour over ourselves? How much of it are we using? What is its purpose? Is the purpose of the sauce to cut the fat of what we already made on the plate, or is it to add a little bit of something creamy to something that already is acidic? For me, usually the two most obvious ones are always acid, fat, because for the most part, you need them in everything. If you're making sauce, you need acid, you need fat. For example, salad dressing, because we can do a billion different kinds of salad dressings. The easiest thing to start with with salad dressing is as a 3:1 ratio. That right there will take you far my friend, you can't go wrong. You want 3:1, you want three parts fat, one part acid. It could be anything. You could be olive oil and lemon juice, sesame oil and fish sauce. Once you have those kind of ideas, then you understand, "Okay, I can now play around with whatever it is I have in my refrigerator or in my pantry." I think we've definitely talked it up enough. I feel like now it's time for us to wrap this up. Let's go to the kitchen and I'll start to show you some of my kitchen essentials. 4. Kitchen Essentials: We've been talking about all of this kitchen action and we're finally in the kitchen, which is where I want to be. Kitchen essentials, things you should absolutely have. The list can get pretty lengthy, but to start off, if we were starting with nothing, I think this is a really easy, very comprehensive way to go, and for our purposes today, it will absolutely suit you fabulously. First and foremost, you do not have to go this far, but you should have a good chef knife. I cannot tell you how much I hate seeing people in the kitchen cooking with a paring knife or a de-boning knife. That's how you get cut, actually. right does a chef knife look like? This is a fancy Schmidt one, but essentially, your blade's about two inches thick, it's got a good, heavy handle on it, it's got to be long, it's on a short, little knife. This is not something that you want to be using all the time. Totally useless. These are for fun for me, you do not need this. Honestly, as long as you've one good chef knife, I really think that you're good to go. That's your first thing. Second thing, cutting board. I'm obsessed with a blender. I have all kinds of different blenders and food processors. Why? Because I'm a [inaudible]. You should totally have a blender. It cuts so much time. This makes everything uniform super fast, and super easy. I am also a huge advocate for a skillet. I have them in all sizes because I do everything in them. This is obviously a very adorable, tiny one, but having one good 9-10 inch size cast-iron skillet, you can do everything in it from cakes, pies, breads, stews, literally everything. There is not a single thing in the world that I can say I can't make in a cast-iron skillet. A sauce pan this size I think is really good because I just feel it's really functional. It's not oversized, it's not going to take over your oven, it's easy, you can do your sauces in it, you can make beans and all kinds of little soups and quick, little things in it. I said we're going to start with salad dressing and we are. I'm going to show you something so simple. If you don't already know, you're going to be like, "Why have I not been doing this before?" 5. Making Salad Dressing: We're going to start with a really simple dressing. The reason why I wanted to start with this dressing is because I feel like it is a really good example of what we were talking about of your fats and your acid. This is your idea for sauces and really flavor in general for everything you want. Some good stuff to coat your tongue and it feels nice and cozy rosy. Then you want something to cut through that because ultimately it's like who really wants to swallow that. The combo, it's the perfect marriage, I think. The ingredient list, which I think is important, is the fun part because it's stuff people usually have. This is a really nice Dijon seedy mustard. It doesn't have to be that. It can literally be yellow mustard you use for hot dogs. It doesn't matter, who cares? But mustard. This is a raw honey. I personally like it because it's nice and thick. But again, it can be anything. If you don't have honey and you still want to do this, you should have honey, first of all. But if you don't have honey, you can use jam or something like fruit, something like that. But honey is a really good one, and it's something that you can always have in your pantry essentials. Here, I've got an already chopped shallot. I've got some rosemary, fresh and dried. I've got some thyme, salt, and pepper, easy breezy. Here's what we're going to do. We are going to start with our mustard. Again, the idea of the mustard is just to emulsify. This is also not really about a recipe as much as it is about the components. This is our olive oil. Some olive oil has an actual pressed olive flavor. That's the kind I like. We talked about doing three parts fat and one part vinegar. Like I said, the flavor is according to your palate and what you like. It can be absolutely anything. But just understanding that we want to add a little of this and a little of that, and that's what's going to bring us into understanding. Shallot, it can be green onions, it can be garlic, it can be scallions, whatever. Right now we've got a little shallot. We are now going to add our honey. Something to note too is that the raw honey, they're specifically as firmer. The idea is this is also going to not just sweeten, but it will also help to bind everything together. some rosemary. The thing that's nice about this is that when you think about the flavors, it's one of those it's an unassuming dressing. It goes with everything. It's really simple. Personally, with dressings and sauces, and things like that, when I know that I'm going to be able to get everything ground up and fine, I like being able to use the whole stem, so you're going to get far more flavor and body and everything, which I really like. Red wine vinegar. Again, doesn't have to be. It can be distilled vinegar, apple cider vinegar. You can use lime. Just something acidic. Just a little black pepper and a little bit of salt. The thing about salt too, I think a lot of people are afraid of it. Without salt, it doesn't matter how many flavors you put in there, if you don't add salt, nothing's really coming out. Salt, it is the enhancer. It's what's going to tell you what's happening, so it's important. [NOISE] It's so pretty. You taste things so that you know where you're at. right want to make sure that it's balanced. I think that that's the whole idea with cooking too, it's about a balance of flavor. I want enough acidity, I want enough fat, I want enough heat. I want to make sure that it's salted properly. Can I taste the herbs? Did I put too much rosemary versus too much thyme? Once you start to do it, you get really comfortable and you realize you really don't have to taste. It just becomes a habit, which for me it is. But it's nice too. It's like success, victory. I was right, this is delicious. Like I said, you can really vary it with anything now. If you don't want to use thyme or rosemary, you can use oregano and sage. You can use cilantro and parsley. That will change the flavor profile, so you can get something that's more chimichurri, or more aji, or more salsa. You can add tomato. The list is endless, but this is the idea. These are the simplest, most basic ingredients. They're things you usually have in your pantry or in your refrigerator. If you don't usually have them, you should. You should always have a vinegar, you should always have a nice olive oil. I think a mustard, like I said, it's a great bridge. Honey or jam, something like that, marmalade even. The dope thing about this is too, because I'm a family of five, I'll make more of this and then I'll put it in a jar, sit it in the fridge. I've got dressing all week. It helps me eat better because now I'm not thinking about, what I'm going to do? I got to make it, all that stuff. Sit it in your refrigerator or on your counter, you're good to go. So easy. It's really is so delicious. It's so simple. Wasn't arduous. There's no weird ingredients you can't spell. You did it yourself. Go for it, make your own dressing. 6. Making Guava Vinaigrette: I want to show you what I was saying, just the idea that with the exact same knowledge, we're not going to really learn anything new, but we're just going to show you how that can be adjusted and played with and this is when it starts to get fun because for me, this is when the flavors start to pop and I start to think about things that remind me of home and things that make me feel like this is a Kelis thing. For you, it can be a whoever thing. But for me, these are flavors that I love that I find don't get used that often here specifically. I guess like tropical fruits and things like that. I spent a lot of summers in Puerto Rico with my family when I was a kid. For example, we're going to use guava purée. This is totally a cheat because I did not sit there and purée a bunch of guava. You can if you like. Guava is not in season right now, so finding guava purée was awesome. Some cilantro, chop this up a little bit, so we can stick it in our blender. We've got a shallot. Shallots are nice. They are just milder, smaller onions. Our guava purée. Don't be shy. Got a lime here. My friend was asking, how do you know what flavors go together? One of the ways that I think is a good marker is things that don't grow together, don't go together. You'll think about like tropical fruits and then you'll think about places that are not tropical and then you're like, "Let's put guava and potato." Please don't, it's not going to go together. They don't grow together, they don't go together. Are there going to be exceptions to that rule? Yes. But it's a nice guideline for you when you're trying to figure it out and you're learning. I feel like citrus is something that goes with so many things. When you need acidity, it's always a great go-to. I love lime, it's a very distinct flavor. Well, it has a lot of sour and has a little bit of that bitter but like in a good way. I love that. We're going to add some lime juice. You got a little black pepper. I'm also going to use a little cayenne. It's not to blow your face off, it's just a little nice kick and it's nice because the sweetness of the guava, it's just a really good combo, I think. I'm going to throw a little cumin in there. It's a really powerful ingredient. It's one of those things if you put too much, you can absolutely demolish something. It's really strong. Take a little pinch of it, put it in your mouth, and just see how it's like poof. Then think about what it's going to do to all the other flavors in your blender or in your pot or in your dish. Just know that it doesn't really play well with others. I like to minimize it just so it doesn't take over everything else because then it's a waste. Remember also of course we're going to put a little salt. I've got a little mirin here. I felt inspired to use it. Mirin is the sweeter side of rice vinegar. It's really yummy. It's used a lot in Asian cuisine. Now if you recall, what are we missing in here? We not have yet? I'll tell you. We don't have our fat yet, which is okay. I will tell you why in a moment. Let's just see where we're at. Pretty damn delicious. I'm going to put this back on. When you blend stuff also, you're aerating, so you're bringing air into it and so it gives it a color and it makes it feel more smooth and changes the consistency a little bit. I've got my coconut oil and I can stick it in some hot water just because for this it gives you more control when it's in its liquid form. I'm going to add a little bit more guava purée because once I've tasted it, I feel like it's perfect, but I know once I add the coconut it's going to alter our flavor profile a little bit. Then just to dash more cayenne because I feel like I was very conservative and that's not my style. Now let's see where we're at. That feels like I've transported myself somewhere far and fabulous. That's it. You see it's the exact same concept. We didn't change anything or do anything different. Our flavors changed. Premise stayed the same. You can get as fancy and as exciting as you want to get. Salads to me are really easy to make balanced. It's like I want a really good green, I want something with some flavor. To me personally, I'm not an iceberg kind of girl. I want like a really good flavorful green. Something that's going to actually give me some punch and some nutrients, so whether it's arugula, or spinach, dandelion greens, you can do whatever you want to do. There should be something that's creamy and right. Whether you took avocado, you can use a little fresh cheese, something like that. I love to put in some fruit, so might be an apple, maybe it's dried cranberries, chili mango, whatever. Just something because you want all the different textures, flavors, you want all the nutrients. Then whatever other vegetables you want. Those are just going to add to the beauty of the salad and you got your dressing. This is so good. For me personally different than like, say our more basic classic dressing, this you can do something more fun with because it's got like this tropical feeling. Checkout all these options we have. Stunning. I love heirloom tomatoes. Love, love, love. You want to make sure they're nice and firm. Like I said, I think balance is absolutely everything, especially in a salad because salads can be really boring. I think a lot of times it's all mush in one note and that's not very exciting at all. Remember too that the more colors on your plate means the more nutrients, vitamins, and just diversity. That's the idea. You want diversity on your plate. I've got some shredded kale here. We grew tons of kale this year. Talking about balanced, these are some chopped dried apricots. I love that sweet chew vibe, so good. You put that in your salad. These are just a little bit of candied pecans, you want a little bite. Then these are some really beautifully thin cut red onions. Then our gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous tomatoes. I detest a soggy salad, so I don't go too crazy with the dressing. Sog is never the goal of anything. Soggy? No, thanks, I'll pass. Always season, so a little salt, a little cracked pepper. Then I really think the best way to do this is just to get in there with your hands, toss it, get the dressing on everything nice and even, so you don't have to mix while you're eating. You want to be able to get like a bite of everything all the time. Look at that. Don't you want to eat that? So easy, so yummy. If you wanted to add avocado or cheese, you could. But this is literally so simple. Try it out. 7. Making Jerk Sauce: We did it. We made things super simple, I think. I hope you feel really good about that. We want to move to hot stuff. We want things that are going to warm our bodies and our soul. Still though, we're not going to leave the blender because I love it. The first thing, I want to make a jerk sauce. This is something that I think sometimes it's very specific, it can be a little bit daunting. People from the island will tell you, you should be afraid. However, I got you, don't worry, not scary at all. We're going to use a little green onion. The thing about this is you could, if you wanted, to put everything first in your pot because we are going to end up in a pot. You could put everything in a pot first if you wanted to, cook it all down, and then blend after. This cuts out the steps. Because with that, you might still have to add things in because you weren't able to get the full cohesion, and it doesn't always work. But this specifically, with stuff like this, it works better to put it in the blender first. You get all the flavors you want together, you taste, then you heat it, and then you know for a fact you love what you're doing. As opposed to having your thyme, your scallions, your garlic, everything all separate, and then having to blend together and be like, that's actually not what I thought it was going to be. For this particular situation, we are going to do it like this. Green onion, we've got a little garlic. I will put garlic in everything. It's good for you. A little bit of onion. We don't need too much, remember we're cooking this one down. So when you cook stuff down, as you are getting that cohesion, the flavors will mild out a bit. That's something to always think about. Just think about the fact that when you have a fresh sauce or when you have a fresh vegetable, biting into a bell pepper is going to be different than when you cook it. That's just the nature of it. That's why we're going to add some onion along with our green onion, which is milder. We're going to add the punchier yellow onion because we know that we're going to cook it. We want to keep that flavor in there, we don't want it to disappear. The beauty of this sauce, which I think a lot of people don't know, is that it is herb based. Can you use dry thyme? You can. I would say if you don't have to, don't. This is one of the things where it does make a difference. Remember, we use the whole thing because we like the body, we like all the oils, we like all the goodness that it offers. Again, do not panic. I do like space, but I promise that these guys are all going to make sense. This is not a raw sauce, so when we cook it, especially spicy things, they always come down in 10. We're going to put in our habanero. For the record, I also want to point out that jerk sauce, traditionally, I know to all my island folks, is scotch bonnet. We happen to be in California. Scotch bonnet is not something that's readily available here all the time, but because I'm super farmers market type person, and I like being able to grow stuff, and use things that are local, habaneros have a very similar flavor profile. They are very similar in heat and they grow here. If you're on the East Coast, absolutely use scotch bonnet. That's the way to go. If you're out here, don't feel bad. We can totally get away with using habanero. You will love it. No one will know the difference. It's delicious, and you will not feel like you're making a compromise. This is a little all spice. All spice in its natural form is extremely deceiving. You'll be like, I never knew that's what it was. It looks like a giant pepper corn. This is already ground. When you smell it, you're automatically going to think of pumpkin pie. Delicious. It is also a staple for jerk sauce. A little molasses. A little bit goes a long way. It also goes with the term "slow as molasses" because it really does take forever to pour out off your jar. For the ratio for this, I would say it's probably about a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half. It has a little bitter. It's definitely sweet. Not overly sugary. It has an earthy, almost, I don't want say burnt, but maybe in the best possible way. While this happens, I'm going to add a little soy sauce, sesame oil, I love it. Toasted sesame, specifically, has a really divine, nutty goodness about it that I feel like you really can't get anywhere else. The interesting thing is, you might say soy sauce and sesame sauces are usually used in Asian cuisine. What you don't know is that Jamaicans and Asians actually have a fabulous history together. Look it up. I've got some more lime juice. When I can use lime, I love it. I think it does something special and spectacular that regular vinegar doesn't have. Salt, always. I'm going to put a little black pepper. Something actually cool, fun fact about black pepper. I feel like it's the most underrated seasoning. However, what you don't realize is that black pepper is one of those ingredients that, if you add black pepper to something like turmeric which has really amazing anti-inflammation properties and stuff like that, black pepper is one of those things that actually allows it to circulate into your system and get into your system better. That works and goes for everything. Like I said, I feel like part of being a chef and part of cooking well for yourself is cooking with purpose. So it's like, what do I want to get from it? How do I want to feel? What do I want this to do for me? It's funny. My five-year-old, he's now five, he just turned five. When he started talking he'd be like, but what it could do because I told him that vegetables, this is going to be good for your eyes and this is going to make you really fast, and you're going to run really fast. So he'd be like, what it could do? What powers is he going to have? So as adorable and hilarious as that is, the truth of the matter is, we want to eat stuff that only just tastes amazing and that's makes us feel good about our lives. We also want to be able to eat stuff that's actually really nourishing, and feeding us, and giving us all of the things that we want. That's the whole point of choosing good ingredients. Now we're going to blend. This is one of those sauces too that you can leave it a little chunkier if you like. You can make it smoother if you want. It doesn't really matter. When I like to cook stuff and heat them, I want to add about 20 percent water. Why? Because although there's liquid in here, you don't want to lose the integrity of what you've got. So to heat it up, you want to put about 20 percent water in there so that it will cook the water down while heating, as opposed to losing the contents of the sauce you just made. Then what we do is, we're turn this on medium. We're going to bring it to temperature. We will stir as we go along. What we're looking for is the color to change. The color is going to turn to a nice brown. Then we know that we are ready to rock. You store it, after a minute, you check on it. Right now you can see that the color is starting to change. So you get the edges. This is one sauce that I don't usually do [inaudible]. I want to see the chunks of thyme and stuff in it. The other thing is, this is a sauce that when stored will separate. It's okay. There's no emulsifier in it. It's just one of the things you shake up, so it's totally fine. The key is to always, if you're cooking something is to bottle hot and seal it immediately, turned upside-down. That's pretty much the home version of pasteurization. I'm a big believer in, make more than you actually need. That way it's like a treat one day, a week from now, and you're like, I'm going to have jerk chicken, and I didn't have to make it today. That's the beauty of that. It will hold in your fridge for a good long while. Why? It's about the pH balance. How do we know? Honestly, there's a very precise, scientific way of doing this. We're not going to do that. But whenever you've got acid that we talked about in there, you know that it's going to help to keep things from turning on you and from rotting. Salt helps with that, sugars help with that. That's why you'd think about it, like you have a jam, and you're like this has been here forever and it's still good. It's because of the sugar. The jerk sauce is not going to last as long as jam, but it will hold for a good long while in your refrigerator. That's if you don't need it first because it's so good. You can absolutely freeze it. I am a big believer in a deep freezer situation. My husband actually gets mad because I freeze everything because I really think having it for later is divine. Don't you have days when you're just like, I can't do anything. I don't have the will to do absolutely anything. But yet I must eat, I must eat a lot. So it's like, go to the freezer, what's in there? I have all kinds of good stuff in the freezer. Get yourself a Sharpie, and a label maker, and put the date on it and what it is. Let the fun begin. 8. Making Gravy: We've made some really special sauces that I think you will take with you for a very long time. I'm happy about that. This is our mothership, which is ironic because it comes from the list of mother sauces. There are five mother sauces and I think the beauty of that is that they have very fancy French names and it seems really daunting, but they're not, and the thing that's cool about it is that the five mother sauces are the five foundational sauces for all of the subcategories. There is a bechamel which is your flour, butter, cream situation. There is a tomato, then there's your veloute, there's your Espagnole, and then there's a hollandaise. Those are the five and from those, it's all the other stuff that comes down. It's like all of the other versions and all the different variations of it. We're going to do veloute. Veloute just means velvety, which is very fitting. Basically, I'm going to tell you exactly how to do a traditionally French veloute. Really though, veloute is gravy. I'm American. I love gravy. Part of when I think about how I started making sauce, there were maybe three sauces that really pushed me forward, gravy was one of them because I felt like am often disappointed by a gravy. But it's so delicious and when it's done right, it's everything. You think about it, you can even use it as if the gravy on top, it's literally that, it's become a three. It's that good. I wanted to make gravy and I feel like every time someone offered me gravy, like what is this? This is not gravy, this is not delicious. But there are some fundamentals and some things that once you understand them, again, you can play around and you can add all kinds of different spices and herbs and things like that, that will enhance this wonderful sauce that I think is so important in everybody's life. We're going to make a veloute, it means velvety. We're going to make it smooth, and creamy, and divine. We've got all our stuff here. With the veloute, it's really simple. It's a French sauce. Basically, it's about adding stock and flour. That's your veloute, that's making it takes minutes. It is velvety, and it's beautiful, and it's very proper. We are going to do gravy. This concept is very similar, except for the fact that I'm going to start with sofrito, obviously. What is a sofrito? Do you remember? Think about it. I'll tell you. It's onions, it's bell peppers, and it's garlic. You can add parsley, you can add cumin, and you can run the game after that, but those are the essentials. That's your sofrito. Sofrito is really just like your foundation. It's your base. It's one of those things you can make. You can freeze it. Lots of abuelitas all over the world and all kinds of other grandmothers make it, they might freeze it, put it in ice cubes so you can just pop one out and stick it in your pan. It is a great thing to have and it's just a wonderful starter because it just guarantees you're going to have layers of flavor. We've got that, we've got a little flour or thickening agent, we've got a little butter. We have our pre-braised lamb. We're going to take the juice from the lamb and we're going to use that as our stock, which is what we're going to do. That's our veloute. I've got my larger saucepan here. In my pressure cooker, I've got my lamb and all of my juice. I am going to turn this on, turn on low because you don't want it to burn. Now, like I said, if we were starting with a traditional veloute, it would just be like stock first. That's what we're going to do. But just so you know, that's how we would do it. We're going to start with some butter, that's our fat. We're going to let that melt. You don't want your butter to burn on though, you just want it to melt. I like the fat solids. You can also use clarified butter or ghee in curry. But something about the fat solids I think really is what gives us the velvety graviness that we want. Remember we're going to season in layers. That's super important. When you think about flavor profile, you have to think about, I always am a very visual person, so I always think about butter, for example, like full-fat butter. It gives you a roundness. When we think about balance, you think about something like butter in a gravy, in a sauce, it's going to give you that round full flavor, specifically with something like this because it's got, especially we're going up with lamb. Lamb is a really bold meat. It's got a really good flavor. I'm excited too because the lamb that I made is our lamb from our farm. It was very loved and it's going to be loved tonight. I'm going to add my chopped onions. The idea now is you want to bring the temperature up a little bit and you want to sweat these out. Sweating out is when they start to look a little translucent. We're going to add a little salt because it's all going to draw out the moisture. We'll also going to add a little cracked pepper. Next is going to be our bell peppers. We want to bring this to temperature first. Before you add something else in, you want to make sure that the temperature regulates again. We had melted butter means we know it's hot. Then it means it's okay to add in your next ingredients. That was our onions. We're going to sweat them out. We put the salt in, that's going to draw out the moisture. We need to get this closer to where we want to be so they're not so al dente? So crunchy. Then that means the next thing you can add in is your peppers, but you have to make sure that the cold onions are now brought to the same temperature the butter was when you first put it in. It just means that you want to get that sizzle again so that you can then add the next ingredient. Adding in my bell peppers. Onions are the base. So I would say the peppers are probably half to three-quarter ratio to the onions. This is the minced garlic. That can go in there now because it's cut really fine. Here's the other thing, something to note, it's super important that when you're chopping vegetables in something like this, that they're all relatively the same size because you want things to cook at the same speed and the same temperature. If something is super thin and tiny and then something else is super chunky, and then you look at one thing and it's like half-done and the other thing is burnt, that's because they weren't all cut the same way. It's like now you've lost control basically. Now, we're going to let them sweat a bit more, but this is coming together really good. Remember we said we're seasoning in layers so we are going to add a little bit more salt again. Why? Because you added more vegetables. Every time you add something, you're like, okay, now I need to [inaudible]. I don't like super fine salt unless it's something very specific that I'm making. Super fine salt works for a really smooth, beautiful sauce maybe or maybe pastry. But other than that, I think you have more control when it's coarse. This here, we're going to take that off and we're still going to put the stem in there. This we can either take out as it cooks down, you want the oils, or you can add them again, that doesn't matter. We're going to let that get in there. We're going to start to add our stock. Remember, like I said, if we were doing a traditional French [inaudible] , this would have been our first thing. Right now we're adding enough to submerge everything. We will increase shortly. Got a little cumin, and remember I said cumin is extremely overpowering, it does not play well with others, so we want to make sure that we are sparing with it. We're going to add a little nutmeg. Nutmeg, like cumin, is extremely overpowering. So if you need to add more afterwards you can, but this is one of the ones where I say, start off slow and you could add as you go along. If you put the right amount and it's not overpowering, then it's magical, that's the thing. You can either go too far and you're like, oh my god, I just ruined it or you can put just the right amount and you're like, this is a delight. So it's literally the difference between the two. There is all kinds of emulsions and thickening agents and all kinds of stuff you can use. As a sauce maker, I've used so many things. There's tapioca and there's all kinds of different tapioca, and cornstarch, and xanthan, and all kinds of stuff that you can use. Sometimes it's just old reliable, little AP flour's what we're going to use right now because it works, and it's good, and sometimes it [inaudible] don't fix it. This is another thing, we're going to start off slow, we want to begin to thicken. Let me get my whisk. We're whisking because we want to make sure that we don't have any clumps of flour in there because that would be gross. So right now it's a thickness that I like, so I'm going to add some more of my stock here. Now, this is lush. Once you start to understand what ingredients are and what they do, then you can play around. Because sometimes, one cut of lamb needs something more than another cut of lamb. Or maybe you're feeling a certain way, and you're like, it's actually really cold out, and this would be super comforting if it had whatever in it. So I tend to cook that way. I do drive you a little bit crazy, but it's okay because they love me after. I'm going to add a little paprika and a little bit of cinnamon in here, and you will all thank me later. I just added a teaspoon of paprika, teaspoon of cinnamon. We added less than that of nutmeg and less than that of cumin. It's delicious. Now, we're going to turn this off for a moment. Also remember, if you feel like it's too tight, I need to loosen the sauce up a little bit, you have your stock and you can just add a little bit as you go along. When it's hot, FYI, I've done this so many times, where I forget the top to the blender, and then my ceiling has sauce all over it, just get a little towel. It is hot, it will burn. It's definitely velvety, so good. Now that the sauce is ready, we're going to plate it. First, what we going to do is, I left some of my sauce behind so that it's not blended just because it's beautiful, and I like you to be able to see what you're eating. So in a country style effect, we are going to spoon some of this goodness in the bottom. This is super easy. All we did was just braise this lamb, so it is falling off the bone literally, which means it's going to be really tender, really divine. Whatever you put on your plate, you always dress it. [inaudible] I love this because it's delicious, and it's easy, and it's done with ingredients that are accessible. Especially in the winter, I love a one-pot family meal type thing. I think it always feels like love, it's delicious, and this is one of those really easy things because it's really about the sauce. It's about that gravy, that good, warm, yummy thing that I think we get slided on so often, and it ends up being some gray-brown gelatinous madness, which I hate. With a few tweaks with spices or ingredients, it becomes something totally different, I love that. You could very easily substitute the red bell pepper and only do green, and then maybe add oregano and sage, and it becomes a completely different thing. It's these little things that change, but the premise stays the same. You understand that there is certain things that we do, this is what we're going to get, and now it becomes this painting palette you can now do a million different things with, and I love that. I want you to think about what we've learned today, what we've done, and not so much recipes. I feel like that's where people get stumped, and then it becomes too regimented. I think the beauty of it is that once you understand these fundamentals and understand these ideas, then you can really begin to get confident and comfortable in the kitchen because you can play now. So I want you to get some ingredients, go to your house, open up your fridge, open up your pantries and start cooking, and have a good time with that. I hope that you love it as much as I do. 9. Final Thoughts: Cheers to you. Congratulations are in order. Celebratory sauce for sure. You made it. We did it. The class is over. I hope you guys loved it. Cooking is truthful by nature and I think that if you allow yourself to go home in your thoughts and think about how you grew up and whether it was hard or joyous or forgetful, there are things that brought you here. For me, one of the things that I think I learned about myself was that, albeit my language doesn't prove it. My mother's upbringing and her culture are so inherently part of my life that, I didn't even realize until I started thinking about the things that made me feel good and made me feel like home until I started cooking. I hope that you can take this and with the few facts that we learned and the few tips and tricks that hopefully you can start to think about, the things that you genuinely like, the things that make you think like, "I crave that. I want that. That would be perfect right now." You can actually do them yourself, you don't have to rely on someone else. You can be at home, you can start to stock up on these things that you always have and you can start to like drizzle sauce on everything. Your life would be better. Mine is. I'd love to see what it is that you've come up with and what you've made. I think it'd be great if you would go on the project gallery and you can upload your pictures, make sure they're in good light of things that you've made and recipes. Thank you so much for joining me in this class and this time I hope that it was memorable. I hope that you feel confident. I hope that you make tons of sauce because everything really is better, smother, dipped, and poured. 10. BONUS: Make Sauce Life with Kelis: Hi, I'm Kelis. I am a singer, I'm a songwriter, I'm a chef, and now I'm a Skillshare teacher. If you liked my original class for Skillshare, The Creative Kitchen, now might be the time to test your skills. You can join me and Shaq and a bunch of our friends for a sauce showdown at The Shaq Bowl. You can watch live and cook along, and then post your pictures on Instagram and tag Skillshare for a chance to win a free year-long membership and a goldmine spice box from my company, Bounty and Full. Below is the grocery lists and the recipe. I'll see you guys on Sunday in the kitchen.