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Q&A -- Stock based Sauces Unit 4

20 posts in this topic

7. Correction of an edge of bitterness

- An 'edge' of bitterness will occur in sauces containing burned shallot or garlic, citrus rinds, chocolate, and sometimes a cooked puree of garlic (in this case because the green bud inside older cloves has not been removed before the garlic is cooked). To correct this problem, try adding reduced heavy cream or a dab of money in minute amounts.

Is the money what makes this such a rich sauce? :biggrin:

Seriously, thanks for this great resource.


Those who do not remember the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

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Once the roux is made, what is the proper way to store it? For how long can it be kept without altering its flavor?

FM


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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You mean you have never fixed a bitter sauce with a torn up 1$ bill? Well spotted!

Edited and fixed.


Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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Heating the pan up quickly to melt the fat will result in evaporation and you will lose your proportions.

When you say that, do you mean that the water (the ~15% of the butter that's not fat) is important in making a roux? One should not wait for the butter to foam and water to evaporate out? I've gotten into the habit of always waiting for the fat to get above 212F as a means of ensuring that it is just fat that I'm dealing with.

If one's butter does faom before adding the flour, should one add a splash of water to make up for the evaporation?


Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Once the roux is made, what is the proper way to store it? For how long can it be kept without altering its flavor?

FM

I have successfully stored roux in the back of my fridge in a good-sealing Tupperware for up to a year. As the roux isn't really flavoring per se, there would be more concern about the roux having added flavor of the fridge but I feel it is miniscule compared to the other flavors in the sauce which should counter-act any 'old tasting' roux.

Alternately, if you are really energenic, you could freeze your roux in portions and then defrost when needed. The only reason I've never done this is complete accessibility to what I may need immediately as opposed to having wait for it to thaw out.

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Heating the pan up quickly to melt the fat will result in evaporation and you will lose your proportions.

When you say that, do you mean that the water (the ~15% of the butter that's not fat) is important in making a roux? One should not wait for the butter to foam and water to evaporate out? I've gotten into the habit of always waiting for the fat to get above 212F as a means of ensuring that it is just fat that I'm dealing with.

If one's butter does faom before adding the flour, should one add a splash of water to make up for the evaporation?

This is entirely one of those experience-things. There have been occasions where I find that if I try and rush the roux and the butter has foamed, when I add the flour it SEEMS as though there is too much flour and it becomes pasty immediately and never smooths out.

As I suggest weighing the proportions of the ingredients (1/2 pound butter with 1/2 flour), yes the weight of the water is important.

Also, it is not so much that the butter has foamed INITIALLY, but that it continues to foam and evaporate even after adding the flour. I wouldn't necessarily add water to compensate but have had, on occasions, added a pat more butter to compensate (or a tad less flour in the beginning).

Sadly, it is not very scientific but is all by feel.

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Assuming we are using the reduced stock that we have just prepared, when the recipe calls for 2 cups of stock, how do we reconstitute (is that a word :unsure: ) the stock to bring it to the correct strength?


Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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Assuming we are using the reduced stock that we have just prepared, when the recipe calls for 2 cups of stock, how do we reconstitute (is that a word  :unsure: ) the stock to bring it to the correct strength?

I should have clarified that point better -- "stock" in sauce recipes ARE the reduced stocks. There is no reconstituting. This is what makes for very, very rich sauces.

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Assuming we are using the reduced stock that we have just prepared, when the recipe calls for 2 cups of stock, how do we reconstitute (is that a word  :unsure: ) the stock to bring it to the correct strength?

I should have clarified that point better -- "stock" in sauce recipes ARE the reduced stocks. There is no reconstituting. This is what makes for very, very rich sauces.

So what does one do if one isn't using a reduced stock? *curious*

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I can handle this one:

If your stock isn't reduced, reduce it!

Reducing stock is easy (boiling is just about the easiest thing you can do in the kitchen), and in small amounts it's really quick. All you do is put a bit of stock (say, 3-4 times what you want to end up with) in a saucepan and turn on the heat. Bring it to a medium boil and let it begin reducing. Depending on how well filtered and how pure your stock is already, you may notice scum accumulating on top, in which case you should skim the scum off. That's it.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I can handle this one:

If your stock isn't reduced, reduce it!

Reducing stock is easy (boiling is just about the easiest thing you can do in the kitchen), and in small amounts it's really quick. All you do is put a bit of stock (say, 3-4 times what you want to end up with) in a saucepan and turn on the heat. Bring it to a medium boil and let it begin reducing. Depending on how well filtered and how pure your stock is already, you may notice scum accumulating on top, in which case you should skim the scum off. That's it.

Perfect -- thanks, FG!

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Not a question, but a thanks for offering these courses. I've cooked in Mom and Pop style restaurants before and do a lot of cooking at home, unfortunately I can't do culinary school due to being disabled (no professional kitchen I've ever seen is wheelchair accessible :)

This is a wonderful way for me to learn some new things and again I thank you.


Edited by Suzy (log)

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Not a question, but a thanks for offering these courses.  I've cooked in Mom and Pop style restaurants before and do a lot of cooking at home, unfortunately I can't do culinary school due to being disabled (no professional kitchen I've ever seen is wheelchair accessible :)

This is a wonderful way for me to learn some new things and again I thank you.

Ah... that just warmed the cockles of my despairing heart. Thank YOU!

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Carolyn, your sauce lesson was wonderful-- such a concise, clear introduction to sauces! I am very grateful for it, and I will recommend it to others.

I made Sauce Allemande tonight, and with the course materials it went very well. I have had some experience with making a roux-- I have made Bechemel and Sauce Mornay before. I didn't realize it until I was halfway through today's lesson, but I have made Sauce Allemande before as well. In Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child's master recipe for the "old fashioned" chicken fricassee (which I highly recommend to anyone who hasn't tried it) is essentially a Fat Guy stock-making exercise. You brown chicken pieces in butter, and then add liquid and a mirepoix, essentially making chicken stock and cooking the chicken at the same time. Once the chicken is done, you take out the pieces and finish the sauce by making it into an Allemande, although Julia never describes it as such. The dish at the end is quite rich; it ain't my everyday chicken but I have made it on a few occasions and remember each bite vividly.

At any rate, I took pictures along the way tonight but I don't think anything much will be gained by posting them. They show a pot of liquid getting slightly more reduced and yellow over time. Each of the steps in making the sauce went well. I poached some chicken breasts for my wife and me as the sauce was simmering, and when it came time to "personalize" the Allemande, I decided to add the capers, but to hold off on the tarragon. I was worried that it would taste too much like Julia's fricassee, and I wanted a new experience.

So then I tasted the sauce, and got a hit of something I wasn't expecting at all. Then I realized what I'd done. Instead of adding capers, I'd added green peppercorns! And you know what? It was really good! Thankfully I had started with a heaping tablespoon instead of a quarter cup. Because the peppercorns were added whole at the end, they didn't pervade the sauce, but instead gave a nice bite when you crunched into them. (They were packed in brine, so they weren't hard.)

So here's the dish I made:

fb756163.jpg

It may not look like much, but man was it delicious.

I cooked up some wild rice, which was also very tasty when covered with the Sauce Allemande, and I sauteed some spinach and sprinkled it with lemon juice.

After trying the sauce with peppercorns, I added a pinch of tarragon and some vinegar just to see how it would taste, and I thought it improved the sauce even more. I needn't have worried about it being too similar to Julia's fricassee. The fricassee gains a lot of its character from the mushroom and onion broths that are added in along the way. Tonight's meal had none of that. But what tonight's chicken had was a homemade stock reduced and strengthened, forming the basis of the sauce. And that's where tonight's meal truly rocked. The underlying stock flavor was so good.

So thank you once again for a great learning experience. I may try a meat stock next week.


"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Seth;

Excellent job! I learned years ago that peppercorns and capers are frequently interchangeable when I started cooking out of San Francisco a la Carte. In there is a recipe for Poulet au Poive Vert where they advise that if peppercorns are too strong a taste for some, substitute capers. I had ever since and also serve it with wild rice.

So glad you enjoyed yourself! Report back on the brown sauce...

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on a wonderful cooking course in the South of france a couple of years ago we were taught to remove every other rib from a rack of lamb and then just before serving put the saved ribs in the sauce and reheat it - the additional lamby flavour was amazing and the removal of the ribs made it easier to carve too!

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Thanks Carolyn! Did a sauce espagnole last night - added some red wine, simmered for a while and then whisked in some butter. This was served with pan fried Kudu fillet, topped with a round of garlic toast, on potato maxim (sort of), with a watercress and pine nut puree and a Five Spice flavoured carrot puree. Went down great! Here is a pic:

plate.jpg


Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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The sauce was wonderful and complex. The first taste was almost sweet and slightly tangy. The real payoff for my efforts came as I swallowed... a rich hit of chicken stock on the back of the tounge that lingered in my mouth. Really incredible. I have learned a lot so far and can't wait to experiement. Thanks again!


Edited by Foam Pants (log)

9 out of 10 dentists recommend wild Alaska salmon.

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