Our Cooking Sauces are Derived from the “Mother Sauces”

October 4th, 2012 by Chef Louie

At More Than Gourmet, we take our sauces seriously. We craft what we believe to be the best cooking sauces out there. This is partly because we’re just passionate about what we do. It’s also because we follow tradition, including making some of our sauces by starting out with mother sauces. These mother sauces form the base of nearly every sauce in the world—from simple sauce and noodles to elaborate dinner party fare.

What Are the Mother Sauces?

Espagnole, béchamel, velouté, tomato, and hollandaise are the names of the five mother sauces. Béchamel and velouté form the base for white sauces.  These are made from a white roux and milk or fish or poultry stock. Espagnole forms the base for beef and veal dishes. It is comprised of tomato, beef stock, mirepoix, and herbs. While rarely used by itself, espagnole has a complex of flavor that provides a great starting place for dishes from around the world. Hollandaise, a butter sauce laced with lemon, can be used for a variety of dishes from eggs benedict to dipping sauce for fresh vegetables.  Tomato sauce has the versatility for use in everything from pasta to braising.

A few of these mother sauces can be used without further refinement, but mostly they serve as a cooking foundation for more complex dishes. Starting out with some of these basics, we create an array of cooking sauces that will prove to be a staple in your kitchen.  Your own choices regarding the addition of herbs and spices, and the cooking method of your chosen ingredients determine your final, delicious results.

Why Are Cooking Sauces So Important?

They form the foundation of a dish. You begin with a few ingredients—meat or vegetables—and proceed to mix and add until you achieve a glorious, edible result. Having some prepared cooking sauces on hand reduces your cooking time while adding depth of flavor to your dish.  Some sauces that form the base of a more elaborate dish take a lot of time to prepare properly. Multiple reductions and simmering can take hours to complete, not to mention equipment you may not have in your home. More Than Gourmet provides these sauces for you. We perform the 30-hour reductions and grant you a delicious base to build upon.

What About Stocks?

Stocks are another great resource to have around. Use them to spruce up white rice, add some veggies or grilled meat, and your rushed weeknight dinner transforms! Stocks are also the main component for soups. These are concentrated flavors that you can use to create your own cooking sauces. A stock is made with water, poultry or meat, vegetables, and herbs. For example, chicken stock is basically chicken simmered with complementary vegetables and herbs. This flavored water is reduced time and time again to form a concentrated, chicken-flavored base. Such a base has a longer shelf life and takes up less room in your pantry or fridge.

Stocks vs. Sauce

Our stocks are concentrated flavors. You wouldn’t want a lump of bullion on your plate, and you probably wouldn’t want a plain stock as a meal feature. Cooking sauces are often created using stocks. Sauce itself enhances your meal and can play a prominent role on a plate. Sauce and just one other ingredient can become a whole meal!  Gravies, barbecue, or demi-glace sauces are a vital element.

Cooking sauces and stocks provide a basis for you to build on. A good foundation is a vital component of a good dish. For this reason, we make our many of our cooking sauces using the bases of “mother” sauces. Our sauces are the base of your meal, and the mother sauces are the bases of our sauces!

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