Secrets of French cuisine. Sauce

Secrets of French cuisine. Sauce

The French cuisine. With these words, it says it all and says nothing. What we imagine, talking about her? Onion soup? Frog legs? Foie gras? The refinement and perfection in everything – both in preparation and in the supply of food, honed over the centuries? Let’s start with the fact that a single French cuisine does not exist …

There are many regional variations (cuisine regionale), there is a “normal” or “commonplace”, the kitchen (cuisine bourgeose) and, of course, high (haute cuisine), whose ancestors were the chefs of the French kings. The division is conditional – dishes easily “migrate” from one category to another. So, the famous Marseille bouillabaisse was promoted from lowly fishermen dishes up a masterpiece of culinary art. And, of course, there are some features that are common to any version of French cuisine. One of them – the sauces.

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Sauce – is not just a supplement to the food, it is an elegant bar, the final stroke that turns a good meal into a true masterpiece. Properly cooked sauce is intended to emphasize shade, but in no case does not change the taste of the food! Served with different sauces familiar dish begins to play with new flavors and aromas.

It has sauce is another important role. Beautiful design dishes – an indispensable component of French cuisine, and the sauces are playing into the hands of the chef. If the sauce is served separately, the gravy boat adds an elegant note to the correct serving. How often do we use the gravy boat that exist in our service, inherited from mothers and grandmothers? I am afraid that many ignore this item serving – and it is in vain!

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If the dish is served with sauce, then even wider scope for fancy cooking. French chefs manage to create a real picture on the plate, “reviving” the appearance of bright spots colored dishes and sauces. Sometimes this beauty is even a pity …

Secrets of French cuisine. Sauce

Secrets of French cuisine. Sauce

Secrets of French cuisine. Sauce

How many sauces knows French cuisine? The answer to this question does not exist – because every day there are new. French statesman Talleyrand credited with these words: “In England there are 360 religious and 3 sauces, and in France – 3 360 religious and sauces.” However, some claim that it is said the British. But what’s the difference if the meaning is clear – a lot of sauces in France, with more than 360 specialists number about 3000. Tell all impossible, but here we have the support of the history of French cuisine.

In the XVIII century France becomes a culinary trendsetter of fashion and reinforces its position in the next century. Have a cook-Frenchman seek not only European royal courts, but also more or less rich and noble people. It was in those days comes the “classical” French food, sauces and take it its rightful place.

An important role in the classification of sauces played “king of chefs and chef of kings” Marie-Antoine Careme, who served from Talleyrand, Rothschild, King George IV, and (albeit briefly) at the court of Alexander I of Russia. Tradition “high” Kerem cuisine in a modern version continued no less famous Georges Auguste Escoffier, who worked in the famous restaurants of Paris, Cannes, Monte Carlo and London. He became a bestseller published “Culinary Guide”, where considerable space is given to sauces.

JO Escoffier M. A. Karem

JO Escoffier                                                                                                                                                                                                                M. A. Karem

I present to you (according to the classification of the great chefs of the past) basic sauces of French cuisine. They are called “basic”, and Karem described as “great” or “parent”, as based on them can be cooked many others.

Sauce “Bechamel” (béchamel). This is probably the most famous, most versatile, and is not difficult to prepare the sauce. Like all meals “with history”, “Bechamel” has several versions of the origin. One of them says that the court came up with the sauce cook Varennes Versailles, but the name of the dish has been named the Marquis de Bechamel.

Sauce "Bechamel"

To prepare the sauce “bechamel” we need:

½ liter of milk
50 grams butter
50 grams of flour
Salt, white pepper, grated nutmeg to taste

Melt the butter over low heat, add the flour, stirring constantly. This is the basis of the sauce, in French called a roux. Remove from heat, add the hot milk is the basis of the cold, rubbing until complete homogeneity. Again, put on low heat and cook stirring constantly until boiling and a few more minutes. Add salt and spices.

The main difficulty, in my view – to achieve complete homogeneity sauce. If it is not turned, it can drain through a strainer.

“Bechamel” is perfect to light meat, chicken, lasagne, potato, vegetable and mushroom casseroles. And this sauce opens a wide scope for culinary experimentation – it can add a variety of spices, herbs and many other products.

Wonderful sauce is obtained by a “bechamel” add fried until golden brown onions. Grated cheese (better than several different varieties), egg yolks and cream turn “Bechamel” sauce to “Mornay”, ideal for pasta, seafood and chopped shrimp with cream – in the exquisite “Nantua” …

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Sauce “Dutch” (Hollandaise) – another masterpiece of French cuisine without having to Holland irrelevant.

For the “Dutch” sauce will need:

"Dutch" sauce

2-3 egg yolks
250 grams of butter
2 teaspoons lemon juice (can substitute half of wine vinegar)
Salt and pepper to taste
According to the classic sauce cooked in a water bath, but you can just beat with a mixer (although the sauce turns softer in the first method). Beat yolks with salt water bath, then gradually add the butter, pour the lemon juice and add pepper. The main difficulty – the yolks should not overheat and curdle. If the sauce will be too thick, add a little warm water. “Dutch” sauce is prepared immediately before serving and do not store.

There is another option – using proteins that are whipped separately and introduced into the finished sauce. This “Dutch” is a more airy, and yet it can be stored and even warm up. Hollandaise sauce is perfect for vegetables (especially asparagus), fish and seafood, and eggs (for example, the famous Eggs Benedict).

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Variations on the theme of “Dutch” sauce set. If to it to add the shallots and tarragon, we get a wonderful “Bearnez” perfect steak and Dijon mustard turn it respectively in “Dijon”.

Mayonnaise, by the way – is also a relative of “Dutch” sauce. There is a legend that he was born all known mayonnaise on the island of Menorca, where during the siege of the French chef was over butter, and he came up with sauce based on olive. Homemade mayonnaise – it’s a great sauce, high-calorie, of course, but very tasty …

You can also prepare a “tartar”, adding mayonnaise greens, pickled gherkins, capers and mustard, or “Remoulade” – with herbs, capers, anchovies and herbs. These sauces are very good with seafood, vegetables and meat.

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Sauce “velouté sauce” (velouté) has been known since the middle of the XVI century and exists in several varieties – depending on the broth – the basics. Bouillon (rather weak and light!) Can be veal, chicken and fish, and it solidified the very foundation of a roux, which we mentioned in connection with “bechamel”.

It is prepared in the same manner as “Bechamel”, but is used instead of milk broth which is added to the hot base. Very simple and very tasty, try it! In pure form, the sauce is served to poultry and fish, but also it can be used as a base for soups.

"velouté sauce"

On the basis of “velouté sauce” can be cooked many a wide variety of sauces. The most famous of them, perhaps – “German” (allemande). Interestingly, during the First World War patriotic French abandoned the name (but not from the sauce!) The sauce is prepared by adding to the “velouté sauce” yolk, cream and lemon juice. The fish “velouté sauce” is often added to white wine, shallots and butter, in the chicken – cream and fried mushrooms. Try experimenting with different herbs and spices – sure, you will find your own version!

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“Spanish” sauce (Espagnole) – representative of the family of dark or brown sauces. Its features – strong dark broth that boiled veal, beef and bone, and a base of butter and flour fry until brown. According to legend (for she, too, has this sauce), its author was a cook Spaniard, who came to France with Anne of Austria.

To prepare the “Hispaniola” is necessary:


1 liter of broth
50 grams butter
50 grams of flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Tomato paste or tomato puree – 1-2 tablespoons
In the melted butter add the flour and fry until brown stirring continuously. Stir in tomato paste, add the warm broth and cook for at least 4 hours on low heat. The sauce should not boil, and, of course, be burnt. Often in the e sauce added passaged onion, carrot and celery, various spices and herbs.

Preparation of “Spanish” sauce – a long and troublesome process, but it can be done in large quantities and then freeze, which does not affect the taste.
This sauce is rarely used in its pure form, creating more thereof. You can search your options by trying different combinations of spices, herbs and spicy vegetables, add red or white wine, bacon or mushrooms. And you can refer to many recipes – Hunting, Peregё, Robert, Lyon … These sauces are perfect for meat dishes.

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And finally, tomato sauce, which is why it would be desirable to include Italian and Latin American cuisine. But he became one of the basic sauces with a light hand Escoffier at the beginning of the XX century and became an integral part of French cuisine.

You can certainly buy a tomato sauce in the shop – good range of modern supermarkets allows it. And you can cook the most that I lately and try to do. its preparation technology is not complicated, so only takes time, so I’m doing it “on a commercial scale” and store in sealed jars in a cool place.

The main tomato sauce – it simply evaporated puree of fresh and ripe tomatoes with added olive oil, salt, garlic and other spices. Incidentally, spices (besides those which may be ground) is preferably added to the sauce in the bag near the end of cooking.

What good tomato sauce? First of all, the scope for creativity – it is perfectly combined with greens and herbs (try the olive!), With vegetables, olives, mushrooms and cheese … Add minced meat, we get the classic “Bolognese” and cream sauce will become a delicate tomato cream … This sauce derived from it are essential for pasta, pizza, foods made from potatoes and other vegetables, meat (especially minced), fish and seafood.


And how do you feel about the sauces?

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