Hey from EL The Cook! We often wonder what makes a restaurant quality dish and how it differs from what we make at home! Is there a universal formula? Enter Mother Sauces!
The answer is in your sauce. Often the crowning glory of your dish and one of the most neglected elements for home cooks.
Marie Antoine (Antonin) Carême, a cook for kings in the 19th century devised an intricate method of classification of sauces as Velouté,Béchamel, Allemande and Espagnole.
However in the 20th century Auguste Escoffier refined the list defining “5 mother sauces”, mentioned in the picture above. From these 5 sauces a multitude of delicious sauces can be made.
To make these sauces, we have to make a Roux(r-uu)!
A Roux is simply equal quantities of flour and fat(butter,oil).
A Roux ensures there is no uncooked flour in your sauce.
There are 3 types of Roux
1) White Roux – 1:1 fat and flour whisked over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes.Base for sauces like bechamel
2) Blond Roux – 1:1 fat and flour whisked over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes.Base for sauces like veloute
3) Brown Roux – 1:1 fat and flour whisked over a medium heat for 8-9 minutes, giving a distinct nutty flavour and a base for sauces like espagnole
Heres a brief on these 5 sauces.
A] Sauce Béchamel
A classic white sauce named after King Louis XIV’s steward, Lois de Béchamel. Its made by whisking a white roux through 4 times its quantity of milk.
B] Sauce Velouté
It is a stock based white sauce. Its made by mixing a blond roux with 4 times the quantity of a white stock like chicken or fish.
C] Sauce Espagnole
Traditionally made from a rich meat stock, mirepoix (meer-PWAH) of browned vegetables (onions, carrots and celery diced), a nicely browned roux.
D] Sauce Hollandaise
Made with butter, egg yolks and a splash of lemon juice, usually in a double boiler to prevent overheating and served warm. Usually the hero when serving an Eggs Benedict.
E] Sauce Tomate
Made with tomato paste (from San Marzano tomatoes), extra virgin olive oil and sometimes with mirepoix and flavoured with thyme or basil. It is the basis for several Creole dishes.
Now you know the secrets to some of the sauces which make exemplary restaurant food. Go ahead and try some of these sauces at home!