Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Your Five New Mother Sauces

Sauce - any sauce is an important component in any chef's arsenal. They can liven up a dull  slice of meat or add zing to drab veggies. They can be creamy or chunky, spicy or herbal. Best of all, they're pretty easy to whip up.Even the most novice of cooks can make a decent, flavorful sauce.

Samin Nosrat, a writer and top chef, wrote about the five new "mother" sauces in today's New York Times Food section.The idea is taken from the French with their five main  or "mother" sauces. The famed  19th Century chef Auguste Escoffier  laid out the blueprints for  them in his encyclopedic textbook Le Guide Culinaire published in 1903. (The book is still in publication and can be bought at He borrowed the sauce recipes from another great French chef of the early 1800's, Antoine Careme,one of the first truly great chefs, from Paris established the basic sauces: bechamel,espagnole,veloute, hollandaise and tomat. Gently tinker with them and voila - an entirely new creation. Add shallots, chervil  peppercorn and tarragon to hollandaise and you have bearnaise. Grated Gruyere stirred into bechamel will create Mornay, the classic cheese sauce that livens up chicken and  savory crepes. Chefs adhered to these sauces and combinations for decades. The only problem with these centuries old gems is that their base is a heavy roux - a mix of butter and flour. The new group of sauces get away from that heaviness with lighter ingredients. They 'll make any meat or veggie a bit livelier , instead of weighing them down.

What are the new sauces? They're not French, instead taking their heritage from the Eastern Mediterranean   Northern Italy and Mexico. Chef Nosrat starts off with a basic herb salsa. This is the most versatile of the sauces because it goes well with the main course and sides. It's  really nothing more than a parsley vinaigrette, sort of like a salsa verde or chimichurra sauce.You  can sub in basil, cilantro,marjoram or even mint for a different spin, The next sauce is a creamy  tahini sauce. This Greek and Arab  classic is made with tahini paste, ground sesame seeds along with one garlic clove.The last is finely grated into the other ingredients.It goes well over fresh tomatoes or sliced cukes but also dresses up chicken and lamb. Yogurt sauce is the third sauce Use the lighter Greek yogurt , blending it with fresh mint, olive oil lime juice and garlic. Drizzle  it on chicken kabobs or roasted eggplant. . There is also the basic pesto sauce. It is the Genovese classic, made with fresh basil, olive oil and pine nuts along with garlic and Parmesan.  Serve on any kind of pasta or added to a pizza. The last is a black pepper salsa. This involves guajillo and arbol chiles mixed with tomatoes and garlic. This sauce can be poured over meats or a spicy addition to any taco or tortilla recipe.

Each of the new "mother" sauces can make any dish better. They''re easy to make, only using a few ingredients to create a delicious addition to any meal. Try them all , Put them in your arsenal They're what you need to create memorable and flavorful recipes.

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