Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Multi-tasking: making 3 sauces at a time

Chef Dan Fluharty has set a pace of production work in Culinary Foundations II that demands multi-tasking. The idea is that it's what happens in restaurant kitchens, so we best learn it now.

And learn it we are. On Tuesday, we made fish fumet (a fish stock) and prepped the ingredients for veal stock at the same time, followed quickly by making roux.

Today, we stepped it up: Three white sauces to be made to appropriate texture and flavor in 90 minutes. From a béchamel base, we made mornay sauce; from fish velouté, we made vin du blanc; from chicken velouté, we made sauce supreme.

An aid to multi-tasking is that the three sauces include several common ingredients, starting with white roux (butter and flour thickening agent), and including cream, butter and lemon juice.

Chef pointed out that the classic French sauces have foundations that are created over and over, with dfferentiation coming from introduction of flavors from other ingredients. Fo example, the supreme sauce is based on chicken velouté with cream and butter added for flavor; the vin du blanc is fish velouté with a white wine reduction.

Thursday comes an accelerated challenge: four sauces in 90 minutes. We wll be visiting the deeply flavorful family of brown sauces and a tomato sauce.

(Photo shows my versions of sauce supreme at lower left, vin du blanc at top center, mornay sauce at lower right.)

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