What's Your Favorite Sauce?

by Carolina Santos-Neves, Epicurious.comPhoto by Romulo Yanes/GourmetPhoto by Romulo Yanes/Gourmet

In cooking school this weekend, we spent the morning making stocks and the afternoon crafting an array of sauces. I love a good sauce. Whether it's salad dressing or, well, just sauce I love it...especially with veggies and rice. I find that it can make for the perfect meal. So this was an exciting day for me.

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Most of the sauces we make on Saturday called for mire poix (generally chopped or minced celery, onion, and carrot), stock, and whatever the flavor profile was like curry, or a red wine based sauce. And all of them called for roux, a.k.a. 4 tablespoons of butter (or 3 1/4 tablespoons of oil) to 7 tablespoons of flour.

In general roux is used as the thickening agent in the three mother sauces of classical French cooking. It was the first time I ever made roux. It's fairly simple, but there are three types: light or white, which adds little flavor; brown, which add a slight nutty flavor; and dark, which has the least thickening power of all. The darker it is, the less thickening power it has.

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We made classic and vegan Bechamel as well as classic and vegetarian Bordelaise. There was a curry, onion, and garlic sauce. And lastly, we made an apple and mustard sauce, which many of my classmates thought would go perfectly with a nice pork loin! Even though all the sauces were amazing, I would rather use something like arrowroot rather than a roux as a thickening agent.

Are you a sauce master? Do you have a favorite?

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