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New resolution- Help me to explore the wonderful, yet frightening, world of sauces

jessicheese Jan 3, 2007 08:43 PM

I took numerous cooking classes in college and interned in a few kitchens, which gave me a pretty good background for cooking. The one thing that I could never master was making sauces. I could let that thing simmer for 2 hours and it wouldn't reduce. I burnt my roux, got clumpy gravy, or plain sauce with no flavor. Ugh! I just couldn't get it and gave up trying.

Well, it's 6 years since college and I'm getting back on the horse again. This year I will expand my cooking skills! I will make my own gravy, whip up a fab mac and cheese, and reduce the hell out of some demi glace out there. So, where do I start? Does anyone know of any good cookbooks to start with, or any recipes I should start with? Help would be greatly appreciated. TIA!

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    diropstim RE: jessicheese Jan 3, 2007 08:47 PM

    "Sauces", by Michel Roux, is a good one for beginners. Very straightforward without too much technical jargon and lots of step-by-step color photos.

    3 Replies
    1. re: diropstim
      Buckethead RE: diropstim Jan 3, 2007 09:10 PM

      A sauce guy named Roux?! That's like an ice cream man named Cone!!

      James Peterson's "Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making" is also a great book.

      1. re: Buckethead
        IndyGirl RE: Buckethead Jan 3, 2007 09:11 PM

        I can't believe his name is Roux either! Haahah!

        I like all the classic stuff--Julia Child, Joy of Cooking. You can get a solid base there, IMO

        1. re: Buckethead
          diropstim RE: Buckethead Jan 4, 2007 02:39 PM

          Yeah, the Peterson books are all good, if a bit encyclopedic. The great thing about his sauce book is that he gives alternate methods for almost everything. I just think it might be a little dry and academic for a beginner. And FYI, Michel and Albert Roux are both Michelin-starred chefs in France. Doesn't mean it's not funny, but then we might as well josh about Susan Spicer of Bayona in New Orleans.

      2. pitu RE: jessicheese Jan 4, 2007 02:44 PM

        There's an excellent, accessible, and rather comprehensive book (includes techniques from all over the world) by Grace Parisi of Food and Wine mag. The title is something awful, like "Get Saucey"
        Still, it's a terrific book.

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