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Nov 12, 2005 05:36 PM

ISO "mother sauces" recipes

  • b

So I'm hoping to expand my cooking skills, and was looking for some recipes involving the so-called mother sauces (not just a recipe for the sauces themselves).

I'm reasonably comfortable with Bechamel and Vinaigrette, so looking for the two stock based ones and possibly mayonaise (although never been a mayo fan). Any suggestions?

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  1. Your best bet would be to invest in a decent french cookbook that focuses on technique. A good one is La Varenne Pratique by Anne Willan, although personally, I think the section on sauces in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking can't be beat.

    Otherwise, there are a ton of hits when googling "mother sauces."


    1 Reply
    1. re: DanaB

      If you're specifically interested in French sauces, you _need_ James Peterson's first book "Sauces." (I think it was later supplemented and can't vouch for anything beyond the first edition; hopefully he left that alone and just added additional material.) I don't think his other, later books are anything special, and I don't tend to lavish praise on anything, but it really is a superlative book. (It's largely patterned after Escoffier's work on the subject, but explains in greater detail, since it's not aimed at a professional audience and is more geared toward modern, home kitchens.)

    2. not many replies here. Usually mother sauces are not used as is-they are modded into daughter or derivatives-of course there are exceptions; hollandaise, bechamel, tomato used straight up. Vinaigrette and mayo are not mother sauces btw.

      You need to know how to make em before you f" with em i.e. modern demi vs traditional vs espagnole, roux vs reduction and so on.Petersons book would work well for the home cook as said. Or look into the CIA's Pro Chef(sauces and a whole lot more ;). Madeleine Kamman devotes a fair amount of her book to "new" saucemaking in "Making of a Cook"-highly recommended by me ;).

      Good luck, a sauce is an integral part of a dish in classical cooking and make it or break it.