The pleasures of the table are greatly increased by a variety of carefully made sauces; and homely dishes are made sightly by their use. While many sauces may seem elaborate and mysterious to the uninitiated they are all quite simple when once understood.
They may be, however, divided into two classes—the simple, every-day ones, as brown sauce, cream or white sauce, English drawn butter, sauce Bechamel with a host of others; and the more elaborate sauces, such as mayonnaise, Bearnaise, sauce tartar, and those savory dish sauces which heighten the flavor of fish, flesh and game.
These elaborate sauces are not in the least complicated, but require materials and seasonings not usually found in the everyday American kitchen and moreover, require the delicate taste and trained hand of an intelligent cook.
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The chief causes of failure in even the more simple sauces are the use of inferior materials, and the lack of constant stirring and careful attention while the sauce is heating. Lard or suet cannot be substituted for good, sweet butter; corn starch or coarse flour will not take the place of fine flour. Ingredients must be carefully measured.
Sauces one of the fine arts of Cookery
An untrained cook with an untrained palate cannot make a perfect sauce. Sauces and soups are the fine arts of cookery, and the person who undertakes them must understand tastes and flavors, as well as chemistry.
Cold butter put into a hot saucepan spoils the sauce; saucepan and butter must heat slowly together, and the butter must not be left to boil, or both flavor and digestibility are spoiled. An iron saucepan will not produce a delicate sauce. Keep a dainty white granite pan especially for sauces. Each sauce should be fitted or adapted to the vegetable or meat or fish with which it is to be served. Fish requires a slightly acid sauce; for it either lemon juice or vinegar may be used.
Roots used as vegetables, such as turnips, carrots etc., not containing much nourishment, may be covered with a cream or an egg sauce. Asparagus, summer squash, cooked radishes, artichokes are better with sauce Hollandaise. One rounding or two level tablespoonfuls of butter and one rounding or two level tablespoonfuls of flour will thicken half a pint of liquid. The rounding measurements are used in the recipes.
Seasonings must be added to harmonize with the articles with which the sauce is to be served. Blend the fat and flour, and add the liquid cold, if possible. Stir constantly until the mixture boils. This method insures a smooth sauce, prevents the boiling of the butter and more thoroughly cooks the starch. Eggs must be added after the sauce is taken from the fire; then cook slightly over hot water. Add salt and pepper at last.
- For Fish, Meat and Poultry White, Milk or Cream Sauce
- English Drawn Butter
- Chilli Sauce
- Sauce Hollandaise
- Sauce Bearnaise
- Mayonnaise Sauce
- Sauce Tartar
- Cream of Horseradish Sauce
- Sauce Vinaigrette
- Cucumber Sauce for Fish
- Bread Sauce for Game
- Tomato Sauce
- Cream Tomato Sauce for Fried Chicken
- Cranberry Sauce
- French Tomato Sauce
- Sauce Bechamel
- Apple Sauce
- Bennet’s Sauce for Poultry
- For Puddings and Ice Cream Pudding Sauce
- Our Cooking School Sauce
- Nun’s Butter
- Chocolate Sauce
- Golden Sauce
1. For Fish, Meat and Poultry White, Milk or Cream Sauce
Rub together a tablespoonful of butter and one of flour; add half a pint of cold milk, stir until boiling; take from the fire, add half a teaspoonful of salt and a saltspoonful of white pepper. Serve with boiled mutton, potatoes, white meats or green vegetables.
2. English Drawn Butter
Rub together a tablespoonful of butter and one of flour. Add slowly half a pint of boiling water, beating all the while. Boil for a moment, take from the fire; add half a teaspoonful of salt, a saltspoonful of pepper, and then stir in another tablespoonful of butter.
- Serve with summer squash, stewed cucumbers or other green vegetables.
- By adding the juice of half a lemon this sauce will answer nicely for fish.
3. Chilli Sauce
Peel, cut in halves and press out the seeds from six good-sized tomatoes ; chop the flesh very fine and drain the pulp in a sieve until dry. Add a saltspoonful of celery seed, a tablespoonful of grated onion, two tablespoonfuls of tarragon vinegar, half a teaspoonful of salt and a drop of Tabasco.
Rub the mixing-spoon with a clove of garlic. Stir the mixture for a moment and serve with boiled or broiled lobster, or with cold meats. If fresh, sweet, red chillies are at hand put one in the oven until the skin cracks, peel it off, remove the seeds, chop the flesh fine and use it in the place of Tabasco.
4. Sauce Hollandaise
Heat in a saucepan a slice of onion, a bay leaf, a little chopped celery or a saltspoonful of celery seed, a clove of garlic mashed, and four tablespoonfuls of tarragon vinegar. When reduced one-half strain and cool.
Rub together one tablespoonful of butter and one of flour; add half a pint of boiling water and stir until boiling. Take from the fire; add the yolks of two eggs beaten; reheat; add a tablespoonful of butter cut in blocks, half a teaspoonful of salt, a dash of pepper and the vinegar. Press through a fine sieve.
This is one of the best of the fish sauces. A plain sauce Hollandaise may be made by adding the yolks of two eggs slightly beaten and two tablespoonfuls of tarragon vinegar to English drawn butter.
5. Sauce Bearnaise
Beat the yolks of four eggs; add four tablespoonfuls of olive oil and four of stock; stir and cook over hot water until jelly-like. Be careful or it will curdle. Take from the fire; add half a teaspoonful of salt, a saltspoonful of pepper and the scented vinegar made according to the recipe for sauce Hollandaise.
This sauce is served cold, as an accompaniment to broiled steak, or fish, either broiled or planked.
6. Mayonnaise Sauce
Put the yolks of two eggs in a cold soup-dish or bowl; beat lightly, add a saltspoonful of salt, and slowly, drop by drop, six tablespoonfuls of olive oil; add a few drops of lemon juice and it is ready for use. Where a large quantity of dressing is needed add more oil.
Two eggs will hold a pint of oil, providing you add a little vinegar now and then.
7. Sauce Tartar
Chop a tablespoonful of parsley very fine and rub it to a paste. Add it to a mayonnaise sauce; mix and add a tablespoonful of chopped capers, two or three olives chopped very fine, a small gherkin or a tablespoonful of any chopped pickle, and a teaspoonful of onion juice.
This sauce may be served with lobster cutlets, broiled or fried fish, deviled crabs or broiled tenderloin.
8. Cream of Horseradish Sauce
Add to six tablespoonfuls of grated horseradish, the yolk of one egg and half a teaspoonful of salt; mix thoroughly; add a tablespoonful of good vinegar and then fold in carefully a quarter of a cupful of cream whipped to a stiff froth. If the horseradish is already in vinegar omit the tablespoonful of vinegar and press the horseradish until dry.
This is one of the nicest of sauces to serve with cold roasted beef or mutton, or with hot or cold corned beef.
9. Sauce Vinaigrette
Add to four tablespoonfuls of good consomme half a teaspoonful of paprika, two tablespoonfuls of tarragon vinegar, half a teaspoonful of salt, a teaspoonful of sugar, a tablespoonful of capers, a tablespoonful of grated or finely chopped onion and two tablespoonfuls of chopped gherkin.
- Serve this sauce with boiled calf’s head, pig’s feet or plain boiled lobster.
10. Cucumber Sauce for Fish
Pare and grate on a sieve four large crisp, fresh cucumbers; when the pulp is thoroughly drained turn it in a bowl; add a teaspoonful of pepper, one medium-sized onion grated, a level teaspoonful of salt and two tablespoonfuls of tarragon vinegar.
Mix and stir in just at serving time six tablespoonfuls of cream whipped to a stiff froth.
11. Bread Sauce for Game
Cook half a pint of soft, stale breadcrumbs, a pint of milk, one good-sized onion chopped very fine, a saltspoonful of ground mace, a saltspoonful of paprika and a level teaspoonful of salt for five minutes in a double boiler, stirring constantly.
The mixture must be perfectly smooth. Add a rounding tablespoonful of butter; stir until it is melted; add four tablespoonfuls of thick cream and use at once for game or roasted guinea fowl.
12. Tomato Sauce
Put half a can of tomatoes, a slice of onion, a bay leaf and a blade of mace over the fire and cook gently for ten minutes. Rub a tablespoonful of butter and one of flour together and add them to the stewed tomatoes. Stir and cook a moment longer; add half a teaspoonful of salt and a dash of pepper.
Strain and use.
13. Cream Tomato Sauce for Fried Chicken
Strain sufficient stewed or canned tomatoes to make half a pint; add a slice of onion, a bay leaf and a blade of mace; cook gently until reduced one-half. Rub together a tablespoonful of butter and one of flour; add to the tomatoes; cook for a moment.
Take from the fire and add half a cupful of very rich milk, half a teaspoonful of salt and a saltspoonful of pepper. Strain and serve.
14. Cranberry Sauce
Wash and pick over a quart of cranberries; put them in a granite or porcelain saucepan with one pint of cold water; cover the saucepan, bring to boiling point and boil rapidly for five minutes. Press through a colander.
Add one pint of sugar, stir until the sugar is dissolved and turn the sauce out to cool.
15. French Tomato Sauce
Rub together a tablespoonful of butter and one of flour ; add half a pint of strained tomatoes; stir and cook five minutes; add a teaspoonful of salt, one of onion juice and half a teaspoonful of ground mace. Rub the mixing-spoon with a clove of garlic; stir and cook the sauce a moment longer ; take from the fire, add five tablespoonfuls of thick cream.
Strain through a very fine sieve, and serve with boiled or fried chicken, or chicken cutlets.
16. Sauce Bechamel
Rub together a tablespoonful of butter and one of flour; fill the cup half full of milk and the remaining half with chicken stock; stir until boiling. Take from the fire; add half a teaspoonful of salt and a dash of pepper. Beat the yolks of two eggs with four tablespoonfuls of cream; stir them in the hot sauce; reheat; do not boil or the eggs will “curdle.” Use at once.
This is one of the nicest sauces for chicken, sweetbreads or other white meats.
17. Apple Sauce
This sauce is used with roast duck, goose or pork. Cut the apples in quarters, remove the cores but do not pare the apples; cut them into thin slices; cover with boiling water, cover the saucepan and boil rapidly until the apples are tender but light in color. Press quickly through a colander; to each pint add two tablespoonfuls of sugar and stand aside to cool.
The colander should be rather coarse; apple sauce that is pressed through a sieve becomes discolored and heavy.
18. Bennet’s Sauce for Poultry
Wash a quart of cranberries, put them in a stewing-pan with one pound of tart apples cored, not pared, and cut in thin slices; add a pint of water; cover the saucepan, boil rapidly for ten minutes; press through a colander; add one pound of sugar; stir until the sugar is dissolved and boil for five minutes.
19. For Puddings and Ice Cream Pudding Sauce
Mix a rounding tablespoonful of flour with half a cupful of sugar; add hastily half a pint of boiling water; boil for a moment and pour, while hot, into one egg well beaten. Flavoring of any kind may be added to this sauce—the grated rind and juice of one lemon or orange, or a suspicion of mace, with the juice of half a lemon and a teaspoonful of vanilla.
20. Our Cooking School Sauce
Wash and beat to a cream half a pound of butter; add gradually one cupful of powdered sugar, and, one at a time, the yolks of three eggs. When very light add a gill of boiling water and stir over hot water until the mixture thickens; then take from the fire and add eight tablespoonfuls of orange juice or other flavoring.
Or add nutmeg and a little lemon juice. Use this sauce for plum or any rich boiled pudding.
21. Nun’s Butter
Wash, by pressing under water, a quarter of a pound of butter; beat to a cream, and add gradually half a pound of powdered sugar. When very light drop in the unbeaten white of one egg, beat for five minutes, add the second white and beat for five minutes again. Put the mixture in the serving-dish, dust it with grated nutmeg and stand on the ice.
Serve this sauce with dumplings or hot puddings.
22. Chocolate Sauce
This is usually served hot as a sauce for ice cream. Put four ounces of grated chocolate, one cupful of sugar and half a cupful of milk over the fire; stir until the sugar is dissolved, and boil until the mixture forms a soft ball when dropped into ice water.
This sauce should be served at once.
23. Golden Sauce
This sauce is also served with ice cream. Put a pint of cream in a double boiler; when hot add the yolks of three eggs thoroughly beaten with half a cupful of sugar; cook a moment; take from the fire and add a tablespoonful of gelatine that has been soaking for fifteen minutes in half a cupful of cold milk.
Strain, and when cold add the flavoring, which may be the juice and grated rind of an orange, vanilla or any flavoring in common use.