This month, the Daring Cooks got a little saucy! Jenni from the Gingered Whisk taught us the basics of how to make the five mother-sauces and encouraged us to get creative with them, creating a wide variety of delicious, fresh sauces in our very own kitchens.
As Jenni quotes Julia Child, from Mastering the Art of French Cooking: “Sauces are the splendor and glory of cooking, yet there is nothing serious or mysterious about making them. These are indispensable to the home cook”. Well, I've been making all sorts of sauces for a great many years, being the old lady that I am, so the real job was to find the untried, the tasteful new horizon.
I had a nice piece of ahi tuna, left from the previous night's dinner, and wanted to do something other than mash it up and make sandwiches, or slice it onto a big Salade Nicoise, (admittedly tempting in this still hot summer weather). But just enough for a dinner for two. Nicely sauced.
A famous French chef of the early 19th century, Antonin Carême said there were 5 classic "mother"sauces: Béchamel, Velouté, Espagnole, Hollandaise and Tomato, and from these, which were given for our challenge, listed with their various derivatives, I thought the Sauce Allemande, an off-shoot of Velouté, sounded yummy and just right for that fish.
I first made a batch of stock from my hoarded freezer bag of goodies (mostly chicken bones with some carrot, onion and celery bits), strained it all, then put into the fridge to let the fat rise and harden, for lifting off. Then you might reduce your stock to concentrate the flavor.
adapted from Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups of stock, chicken, veal or vegetable
salt and pepper
1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon capers (optional, but nice with fish)
Melt the butter, add flour and then the stock and seasoning. Simmer and stir until well combined and thickened. Off the heat whisk well the egg yolk and cream and add gradually to the sauce whilst whisking. Stir the sauce until slightly thickened. Do not re-boil. Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice, butter and capers.
Made a bit more than needed, but delightful tasting, subtle delicate flavors to aid and albeit a nice piece of fish, or veal would also be good. Highly recommended. I have plans to consider for the extra sauce. And, that recipe made quite a bit of sauce.
Next night report: I ladled it onto steamed new potatoes as a side with tenderloin steaks. Really, really yummy.