Baby’s Got (Secret) Sauce: Recipes to Add Swagger to Your Table

Sauce. The word has come to mean so much more than just its Merriam-Webster definition of “a condiment or relish for food.” According to Urban Dictionary, the slang term “sauce” is something of a synonym for “swagger”: it denotes a preternatural confidence, allure or style. Something special. A je ne sais quoi. Take it from ’90s alternative hip-hop group G. Love & Special Sauce (experts on the subject) in their hit song “Baby’s Got Sauce”: “My baby’s got sauce / and of course as a matter of course / she does what she wants to / ’cause she’s the boss.”

What I’m trying to say is: if you want to be the boss, you’ve gotta have sauce. And this holds true in the kitchen, too. Why do you think there are so many “secret sauces” out there? A sauce is a special and delicate thing, not to be shared with just anyone – the key to taking any old recipe from average to delicious.

ProFmagazine’s Jacque has got sauce. Read on below as she shares her secrets for three delectable-yet-simple batches.

Cane’s Secret Sauce

Everyone knows that the best thing about fast food restaurant Raising Cane’s is not the chicken or the fries or the sweet tea – it’s the “Cane’s sauce,” a mysterious tangy miracle in a plastic container. I dip everything I get at Cane’s in this sauce – chicken, fries and bread (and I always order two extra, because running out is simply not an option). But who wants to sit in the drive-thru when you can make this awesome sauce at home?

All you need to do to make Cane’s sauce is mix together the following ingredients:

1 cup real mayonnaise

1/2 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Restaurant Ranch

Like many who dwell in the Midwest and Great Plains, I like ranch dressing on everything. Salads, raw veggies, pizza, French fries . . . you name it, I’ve probably put ranch on it at one time or another. Bottled ranch just isn’t the same as restaurant ranch, but you don’t have to make dressing from scratch to get that restaurant flavor. The secret? Most restaurants use the Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning packet to make their “house-made” ranch dressing!

To get restaurant ranch at home, first make sure you buy Hidden Valley’s “ranch dressing” packet, not the “dip” packet (they look alike). Follow the directions on the packet, using 1 cup of real mayonnaise and 1 cup of buttermilk for best results.

Avocado Grapefruit Dressing

This dressing is great on salads, but the term “dressing” is far too limiting for this versatile little sauce. It’s fresh, light and colorful, and even makes a tasty dip for a summer party!

In a food processor or blender, mix the following ingredients:

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup grapefruit juice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup good olive oil

1 ripe Hass avocado

If you like it a little thinner, add more olive oil and grapefruit juice until you get the consistency you prefer.