Last Tuesday was Week 2 of my Introduction to Culinary Arts class. The topic of that class was Classic & Contemporary Sauces. It was a very interesting class and I learned a lot. It really has me wishing that I went to Culinary school after I graduated high school. But back then I didn’t realize I wanted to go there, if that makes any sense. Now, over 15 years later, I finally realize what I want to do!
Although there are an endless assortment of sauces, there are only 5 “Mother”sauces. Any sauce can be created with a little modification using one of these 5 sauces:
- Béchamel – The Béchamel sauce is your basic white sauce. This sauce is perfect for making a cheese sauce for Macaroni & Cheese.
- Velouté – The Velouté sauce is a white sauce using stock. It’s a good sauce that goes very well with meat and it’s simple to make. The thing you want to remember is when using this sauce you want to pair it with the same meat as the stock you are using. So you want to use beef stock when making beef, chicken stock when making chicken, etc.
- Espagnole – The Espagnole sauce is a brown sauce. The basic method of making Espagnole is to prepare a very dark brown roux (cooked flour and fat), and add several gallons of veal stock, along with browned bones, pieces of beef, pounds of vegetables, and various seasonings. This takes many hours or even several days to make.
- Hollandaise – Hollandaise is a sauce made with an emulsion of egg yolks and fat. It is commonly used in the classic dish Eggs Benedict. Chef made this in class so we got to watch how he made it. My confession for the week is that I’ve never tasted Hollandaise sauce. But I vow that I will do that one day soon.
- Tomato – One of the most popular, the Tomato sauce is a wonderful sauce to make in large volume. It can be used in so many different sauces and it freezes very well too.
The dish that I made in class was Chicken with a Brandy Mustard Cream Sauce. It was truly to die for. I really enjoyed it and I need to go to the Liquor store to pick up some brandy so I can make it at home. Recipe available upon request.