The Best Cooking Sauces
Best Cacciatore Sauce
Good Clean Food Cacciatore
Tasters gushed that this classic, chock-full of onions, yellow peppers, herbs, and chunky mushrooms, had "the perfect balance of spiciness and sweetness." The fresh tomato flavor "would be killer with turkey meatballs," said a fan. Try simmering it with browned chicken or baking it in pasta. Look for this sauce in a refrigerator case.
Best Braising Sauce
Williams-Sonoma Irish Stout Braising Base
Stout―a very dark, full-bodied beer―gives this blend its unique, slightly tangy kick. "Superb," said one tester of the pricey-but-worth-it mix. "It has a nice zing." Try using it to bake lamb shanks, brisket, or short ribs―or as a base for beef stew.
Best Ginger Sauce
The Ginger People Ginger Lime Marinade & Cooking Sauce
This potent mixture, made with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, lime juice, and a hint of chili pepper, reminded one tester of "a great Asian barbecue sauce. I'd sear some salmon, shrimp, or pork, add the sauce, and let it simmer." Or just use it as a dip for spring rolls.
Best Tomato-Based Curry Sauce
This spicy tamarind-spiked sauce was a hit with testers. "The amazing tomato flavor comes at you right away, followed by coriander, curry, and cumin," one enthused. "And the hearty texture is great." Simmer it with browned meat or fish, then add vegetables toward the end. Stir in yogurt at the table if you want a milder sauce.
Best Peanut Satay Sauce
Sharwood's Indonesian Satay Curry
"Much better than the satay at my favorite take-out place," raved a taster. "I've got chicken breasts in the refrigerator just crying out for this." Another praised the "good nut flavor and right amount of spice." Try adding it to stir-fried beef with green peppers. Or use it as a warm dip for cooked shrimp and vegetables.
Best Coconut Curry Sauce
Maya Kaimal Tamarind Coconut Curry
The "mildly spicy flavor" of this South Indian sauce was universally adored. Seasoned with tart tamarind juice, it is a savory match for shrimp, chicken, or vegetables. "The coconut tasted smoky and was oddly comforting," said one admirer. "The curry packed a small punch at the end." Look for it in a refrigerator case.
Best Red Curry Sauce
Thai Taste Red Curry Sauce Panang
With aromatic kaffir-lime leaves, cardamom, and coriander, this silky sauce will perk up sautéed beef, duck, or pork. "It's nice and mellow," a volunteer remarked. "I couldn't stop licking the spoon." The generous amounts of potatoes, shallots, and bamboo shoots reminded one happy eater of her local Thai restaurant.
Best Korma Sauce
Tiger Tiger Kashmiri Mild Korma
Almost everyone loved this "extra-rich" mild curry. And no wonder: The thick blend is made with not only coconut milk but also creamed coconut and double cream. (Whoa!) Ginger, onions, and red chilies add just enough spark to temper the sauce's natural sweetness. Pair it with lamb, pork, or beef if you're tired of chicken. Try browning the meat first.