Week 3, Day 12- Another Serve Safe lecture followed by sauce lecture part 2. We learned about thickening agents and finishing the sauces. I hadn't realized how many thickening agents there were, I'd really only heard of flour. However, you can also use arrowroot, waxy maize, instant starche, bread crumbs, vegatable puree, or a liasion (egg yolk and cream) to thicken various sauces. A reduction is also a way to thicken, by reducing the liquid in a sauce by simmering. This is a popular technique today because no additional starch is added. A sauce should be thick enough to cling lightly to food or a back of a spoon, if you are testing it. It should not be pasty or heavy.
All sauces need be finished in some way or another. Straining to create the smooth texture desires, deglazing remeining food from the bottom of your pan, or enriching a sauce with butter or cream are typical techniques. Finally, seasoning is the last step of a great sauce. Yesterday, I mentioned the five primary sauces and that all classical sauces are derived from them. There is a string of modern sauces that are made quite differently from the traditional sauces those might include; jus, puree, cream reduction, salsa, relish, chutney, and flavored oil. I am told we will learn more about these in later classes.
Lab: Included a Chef demo of a veloute sauce, a white stock sauce, and we practiced more cuts.....
At the end of class I was chosen to be one of the Sous Chefs for the day. That means myself and another lucky individual got to be responsible to make sure the kitchen was clean, everything was in its place (mies en platz), and everyone pitched in. As usual, the class did a great job. At this point, we are three weeks in, and most people just jump in and start helping out. It's pretty cool really.