Culinary Foundations 2
LCB Week 8: The Five Leading Sauces

I’ve eaten Eggs Benedict every Sunday for the last five weeks. In case you don’t see the allure in this dish let me paint you a picture: a delicious velvety Hollandaise sauce drapes a poached egg with a flowing yolky center atop a sauteed slice of Canadian bacon, all of these elements are stacked deliciously on a raft of a buttery half of a toasted English muffin. Whether you eat this bite by dripping bite in hand or etiquettely with fork and knife it is not one to miss out on. However without the Hollandaise sauce you may as well eat an Egg McMuffin.

Sauce by definition is a usually thickened, flavorful liquid used to season, flavor and enhance other foods. The French are very well established in the perfection of refined sauces so as you might imagine our first few months are spent on their science and technique.

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The French recognize Five Leading Sauces
•Béchamel (Beh-shah-mel)
A cooked sauce made by thickening milk with white roux (cooked equal parts by measurement of flour and fat).
•Velouté (veh-loo-teh)
A sauce made by thickening white stock with a pale roux.
•Espagnole
A sauce made of brown stock and flavoring ingredients thickened by brown roux. (brown sauce)
•Tomato
A sauce made of tomato and stock with roux as an optional thickener.
•Hollandaise
A sauce made of butter (clarified), egg yolks as thickening agent, and an acid such as lemon or vinegar.

These Leading or “Mother Sauces” are rarely are they used as is so they are utilized in the production of other sauces called secondary sauces. To confuse you a bit more we then take the 2nd generation, secondary sauce, and add different varieties of flavor to make a 3rd generation “daughter” or small sauces.

The simplest way I can explain this is if you are to make one of the mother sauce recipes, the product it yields then becomes one ingredient in a finished soup or stew.

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