October 14, 2023
Truffles and Trifles
Sauces play an important role in maximizing flavors, adding juiciness and improving the mouth feel of a dish. For instance, if you’re having a BBQ party at home, having a delicious sauce to slather over your BBQ meat will make a world of difference. Sauces create an elegant look to a dish. And most sauces are not difficult and can be prepared in advance.
Béchamel! Velouté! Espagnole! Hollandaise! Tomato!
Though some will argue for the importance of chimichurri and chocolate sauce, it’s a knowledge of the five French mother sauces that will prove essential. They may seem intimidating, but mother sauces will nurture your kitchen confidence. With a few simple ingredients (mostly flour, butter, and a liquid) and a couple easy techniques, these five sauces, all equally important to your cooking repertoire, serve as the
Once you get the feel for these sauces, you’ll be able to whisk them up whenever you want to get fancy. And soon enough, you’ll feel confident enough to break tradition and take that Mother Sauce somewhere she’s never gone before.
Beyond flavor, the most important element of any sauce is its ability to smother and cling to whatever it gets drizzled, dolloped, or poured on. That means making the sauce thick and stable, which is accomplished with three techniques: a roux, an emulsifier, and a reduction (liquid that’s slowly cooked down until thick).
Four out of the five mother sauces start with a roux. Roux is a fancy name for flour mixed with fat. Equal parts butter and flour get cooked over medium heat, then a liquid gets added. This mixture then boils, thickens (reduces), and becomes the base of your sauce. Just note, if you’re making a white sauce—like Béchamel or Velouté—do not brown the butter, as it will darken the finished product.
Although some think blond roux have more fun, Espagnole proves that dark roux know how to party, too. Also known as brown sauce, Espagnole begins with a mirepoix (carrots, celery, and onions), beef stock, and deglazed brown bits (fond) from beef bones. From there, tomato paste and spices may be added.
To make a demi-glace, a rich French brown sauce, combine the Espagnole with more beef stock; to create Bordelaise, a red wine sauce that pairs well with steak and mushrooms, mix the demi-glace with red wine and herbs. Serve this with filet mignon for an excellent dinner.
Probably the first mother sauce you ever tasted (over a heaping bowl of spaghetti), tomato sauce is often a mixture of just onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Although some traditionalists may start with a roux, most tomato sauces merely rely on a tomato reduction to build flavor and create thickness.
TWO WEEK CANCELLATION POLICY
There are absolutely no refunds at any time. If you cancel within 2 calendar weeks of the class date, there will be no refunds, transfers, gift cards or credits issued. We cannot provide refunds, transfers, or makeup sessions for classes missed because of illness, job loss, personal emergencies or events beyond our control.
To cancel, you must notify us by phone/and or email, at least two weeks before the class is held. You can send another person in your place or transfer to another class (based upon availability). Or we will issue a T& T gift card redeemable for another class. This option is available only if you cancel at least 2 weeks before the scheduled class date.
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