Dear Friends of Falk,
We hope you are well and enjoying the summer season!
Mike and I have been busy learning more about the very foundations of gourmet cooking—sauces!
A good sauce can transform a simple dish into something super special. Once we became familiar with the mother (mere) sauces we were delighted to discover that it is easy to make an infinite number of variations. We will be posting recipes on our blog of each mere sauce starting with our favorite- Hollandaise! The others will follow over the next several weeks.
Here is a brief summary of the five basic mother sauces:
Béchamel, the classic white sauce, was named after its inventor, Louis XIV's steward Louis de Béchamel. The king of all sauces, it is often referred to as a cream sauce because of its appearance. Made by stirring milk into a butter-flour roux, the thickness of the sauce depends on the proportion of flour and butter to milk.
Velouté is a savory sauce made from chicken, veal, or fish stock and roux. Enrichments such as egg yolks or cream are sometimes also added.
Espagnole, or brown sauce, is traditionally made of a rich meat stock, a mirepoix of browned vegetables (most often a mixture of diced onion, carrots, and celery), a nicely browned roux, herbs and sometimes tomato paste.
Hollandaise is an emulsion of egg yolks, butter and lemon juice. It is generally used to embellish vegetables, fish, and egg dishes, like the classic Eggs Benedict. Check out the recipe posted on our blog: Mike’s Hollandaise sauce recipe (You will not be sorry you made this.)
Tomato sauce (also known as Neapolitan sauce or salsa di pomodoro in Italian, or salsa roja in Spanish) can refer to many different sauces made primarily from tomatoes. The classic French version includes roux, pork stock and vegetables. For most cooks now this sauce is tomatoes, onions and garlic simmered down to the consistency one prefers. Because this sauce is easy to freeze, we make a double batch in our 7.9 Qt Dutch Oven.
Last month we featured our sauce and saucier pans, so you should have everything you need to start exploring the sauces above and all their variations. However, for tomatoes you need something bigger! in July our Dutch ovens are on sale. Get ready to process those delicious vine ripe tomatoes into a wonderful sauce!
Vicki and Mike Davison
Falk Culinair USA