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Sauces; French classic - warm and hot

Alexandra: supreme sauce with the addition of truffles.

Allemande: a classical light-coloured sauce consisting of velouté blended with egg yolks, cream and nutmeg. Sometimes known as Sauce Blonde or Sauce Parisienne,

Américaine: a sauce for fish and lobsters consisting of velouté, pounded lobster, lobster coral, butter, white wine and brandy.

Amiral: a sauce for boiled fish, made with anchovies, capers and lemon zest.

Aurore: a véloute sauce flavoured with tomato purée, and perhaps parsley sprigs (but these must be strained out before serving).

Béarnaise: a sauce made by slowly adding butter to a tarragon-flavoured vinegar reduction, which has been mixed with egg yolks. The process takes place over a gentle heat, or the sauce will separate.

Béchamel: the basis of all white sauces. This is made by slowly adding hot milk to a white roux, and mixing until smooth over a gently heat. Serious cooks add flavour to the milk, by first heating it with a little onion, bay leaf, nutmeg and whole pepper corns.

Bigarade, á la: an orange sauce served with roast duck.

Chaudfroid: a coating sauce, made by mixing aspic to béchamel, cream or mayonnaise. This is then used to coat chicken, fish etc.

Châteaubriand: white wine, demi-glace, shallots, tarragon, cayenne pepper and lemon juice - the traditional accompaniment for Châteaubriand steak.

Choron: a classical sauce made by mixing Béarnaise Sauce with tomato purée.

Demi- glace: a rich brown sauce based on espagnole sauce, usually served with red meat or game - and often forming the base for more complex sauces.

Espagnole: the classic brown French sauce, the basis of "Demi-Glace", and a whole family of other sauces.

Financière: a sauce made from a velouté sauce (made from chicken stock), with finely sliced mushrooms added. The mushrooms should first be gently sweated in butter with a squeeze of lemon juice; this removes the extremely rich taste inherent when frying mushrooms.

Hollandaise: a sauce made by slowly adding butter to lemon-flavoured egg yolks over a gentle heat.

Indienne: classic curry sauce.

Mornay: Béchamel flavoured with cheese. In France this would be Gruyère or Parmesan, but good Cheddar works very well.

Mousseline: Hollandaise Sauce lightened by the addition of double cream.

Nantua: a classical French sauce made with béchamel, cream fish fumet, vegetables, crayfish butter and tomato.

Normande: a sauce from the Normandy area consisting of cream or crème fraiche, apples, cider or Calvados. Used for fish and white meat and poultry.

Parisienne - see Allemande.

Périgueux: a sauce of demi-glace, truffles and Madeira.

Pérgourdine: Périgueux with the addition of foie gras.

Provençale: a classic sauce made with shallots, garlic, meat stock and white wine.

Suprême: a white sauce, using Béchamel as its base, enriched with cream and egg yolks.

Tyrolienne: sauce béarnaise with olive oil instead of butter.

Velouté: basic white sauce (Béchamel), but with a bouillon of chicken, fish or meat used as its base.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Classes take place in the beautiful Charente region of France & can be combined with a holiday, they are suitable for beginners upwards. Especially for those hoping to open their own restaurant. Small classes.

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