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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sauces

         When I uploaded my last post, "Another Pork Chop recipe" I mentioned about blogging more on Sauce.  I had the opportunity to learn from a Chef on an "Introduction to the Basic Art of Cooking" ten years ago and he touched on many subjects and it has improved so much on my cooking and not only that I practise what I have been taught by not only him but by other Chefs too so that some of the things I learnt; I know it like the back of my hand and I would like to share my knowledge. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to learn from him as it has broaden my horizon and I learnt alot from him both in Baking and Cooking and today I want to touch on the subject of "Sauces".

          Sauces serve a particular function in a composition of a dish:-

          (a)  They introduce complementary or counterpoint flavourings ie it complements the essential flavour of the dish and help to intensify the meat flavour & and you would have to agree that we also "eat" with our eyes;

          (b)  At the sametime Sauces also adds moisture & succulence especially in respect of lean food such as poultry or fish, which tends to have a drying effect when either grilling or sauteing/searing;

           (c)  Sauces add visual interest by enhancing a dish by its appearance and colour; adding luster & sheen;

           (d)  They help adjust flavours.  At times sauces will complement the food by bringing out the flavour from the food for example; if the sauce you make is flavoured with the herb, "Tarragon" it will bring out the mild sweetness of poultry as Tarragon goes hand in glove with poultry and fish;

           (d)  At the sametime it adds texture example a Mushroom Sauce; a Black Pepper Sauce where your palate can feel the slight grainess of the ground Black Pepper.

             Grand Sauces is also known as Mother Sauces.  There are generally five [5] types of Grand Sauces/Mother Sauces:-

              (1)  Demi Glace  - a highly flavoured glossy sauce made from bones of meat eg Black Pepper Sauce;

              (2)  Veloute - [prounounce as "Wooloteh"] A white sauce made by thickening a White Stock with an appropriate amount of pale roux [*A "roux" is a thickening agent made with Equal portion of Fats ie Butter to Plain Flour].  If you add stock, whipping cream, veg & seafood to a Veloute you can get a seafood chowder.

              (3)  Bechamel - A white sauce made by thickening  Milk with White Roux & then simmer with *Oignon Pique [see below for explanation]; and when we add Whipping Cream we can get our very own Supreme Sauce OR if we were to add a Mild Curry Powder [brand of the imported Mild Curry Powder is "Watch" brand] it then becomes a Curry Sauce;

              (4)  Tomato Sauce - Made, of course with Tomatoes [and if I am not wrong, I have already uploaded this recipe in my Blog] most of us are so spoilt for choice.  If we need a Tomato Sauce, we just go to a Supermarket and buy same but making your own Tomato Sauce adds a whole new dimension to your cooking; and when we make our own Tomato Sauce, we can then divert and make your own Pizza or Spagetti Sauce from scratch;

              (5) Finally, a Hollandaise Sauce - This is an emulsion sauce formed when one substance is suspended in another and in this case, Clarified Butter is suspended in partially cooked egg yolks and if you add Mango Puree; it becomes a Mango Bernaise Sauce Or you can add Tarragon to it, to eat with poached Fish but of all the Sauces; the hardest to make is the Hollandaise as there is an art to doing same and sad to say I have only tried doing this Hollandaise Sauce once as it is a little tricky to get a smooth texture as if you dont do it right; the clarified butter will split :(

                 Comments.  Just for addition information:-

                 (a)  "Oignon Pique is made by halving a big Onion.  Then you make a slash on the halved Onion & fasten a Bay Leaf & pricking 6 whole Cloves into the halved Onion and is used for flavouring a Bechamel Sauce;

                  (b) As mentioned in No.2 above, a Roux is a thickening agent and it is made by heating equal amount of Butter to equal amount of Plain Flour & cooking over medium fire and there are 3 types of Roux:-

                     (i) White Roux cooking the Clarified Butter & Plain Flour over medium fire for 3 - 5 minutes;

                    (ii)  Pale Roux cooking .................................................................. for 6 - 8 minutes; and

                    (iii)  Blonde Roux cooking ............................................................ for 10 - 12 minutes;

               so if you want to darken your White Stock, you choose either (i) - (iii).  Next time when I have the time I will touch on the subject of Stock; a very important subject.

                    I am eternally grateful to you Derrick, you rocked my world with your Cooking and Baking expertise and the two year visavis the constant week end classes for 2 short years that I was lucky to learn from you as you opened the "playing field" as I always believe that Food is the glue that keeps family together. God Bless.  Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

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