Day 67 : Basic Mother Sauces

Whether its the creamy pasta that makes you drool or the roasted meat that makes you go nuts, sauces play an important part in taking the dish to the next level. There are infinite number of sauces which you can prepare with different ingredient combinations. It’s always good to experiment while making those delicacies.

Though the concept of sauces is actually French in origin, nowadays you do not have to use it only in French cuisine. There are 5 French  mother sauces that open the doors to an enormous other combinations. Let us look at these five main sauces.

1. Bechamal

This is quite a bland sauce, though you can enhance its taste by using salt and pepper. First of all, prepare a roux. Now what is a roux. Cooking of a fat ( butter) along with flour is called a roux. Melt butter in a vessel. Add all purpose flour and keep stirring. Remember that your roux shouldn’t darken in color. Next add milk. Whisk it well to ensure there are no lumps. Season with salt, pepper or oregano if you wish so.

2.  Veloute

This has its name derived from a French word that means velvet. It suits this name as the resulting sauce is highly smooth giving a velvety finish. For this sauce, prepare the roux as said above. Whisk in chicken/vegetable stock. After some time, the mixture appears thick and velvet like. The sauce is then ready.

3. Espagnole

This is also referred to as the brown sauce. Highly preferred over meats, this is considered one of the exquisite tasting sauce. The stock used here is beef stock. It is mixed with brown roux. In a pan melt butter. Add finely chopped carrots, celery and onions and cook till deeply caramelized. Add the flour. Cook the roux till it is browned in color. Always cook on low heat else there is a high chance for it to be burnt. Add brown stock and whisk it well. Let it boil. Remove from heat and strain through a strainer.

4. Hollandaise

This is the sauce where your most patience is required. It uses the process of emulsification. You will need butter, egg yolk and lemon juice. Melt butter in a pan. Now prepare a double boiler. Put egg yolk and lemon juice in the glass bowl placed over the boiler. To separate the egg yolk from its white, use this little trick.

Whisk it vigorously. The egg should not scramble. If it does scramble, remove the bowl from the boiler but do not stop whisking. Continue to whisk till it is thick and creamy and you can start seeing ribbon like trails. Remove from the heat and slowly add butter and continue with whisking it. Season as required. Keep the sauce warm until you are ready to serve.

5. Tomato sauce

This is one of the most basic sauce widely used in pizzas and pasta. It is usually made by cooking tomatoes into a thick sauce. However it can also be thickened using a roux. Vegetables like garlic and onion can also be cooked along with tomatoes to give a classic flavour.

 

 

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