Unit 319 Prepare, Cook and Finish Complex Sauces and Cold Dressings. Revision of Level 2 Sauces. Basic sauces and dressings. Complex Sauces Introduction. • The modern kitchen has produced a wide range of variations to the old classical methods of roux based sauces. Nowadays crème fraiche, fromage frais and yogurt are used as alternatives to cream, egg yolks and butter making today's sauces lighter, less fatty with less rich textures. • Many modern chefs will use a reduced purée of vegetable or fruit base preparation as the sauce without any thickening agent. • It is worth noting that very small amounts of a starch can be added to act as a stabilizer. Cream Thickened Sauce. • Many sauces are ‘enriched’ with the addition of cream. Most sauces will have been made in the traditional way before the cream is added, therefore their thickening agent will already be present. • Some dishes will have their cooking liquid reduced to concentrate the flavour and consistency and then the cream is added. It is then necessary to cook and reduce again to thicken the sauce. • Only a good quality double cream is suitable for this method of sauce making as single and whipping cream do not have the viscosity to ensure a suitably thickened sauce. • It is worth noting that when cooked for any length of time thin cream or one with insufficient butter fat content, will result in the protein overcooked and shrunk, giving it a curdled appearance. • It is also important to note that many chefs prefer not to over use cream in their dishes as many customers today prefer the lighter less rich sauces. Fruit/Pulse/Vegetable Thickened Sauces. • This type of sauce is the process of cooking down the main ingredient until it is soft enough to be puréed in a blender (or similar). • The concentration is achieved by the evaporation of the water content until the desired thickness occurs. Sometimes a starch can be added in the form of cornflour or potato starch. Reduction Sauce. • Many different sauces develop from this basic technique. In classical cookery a reduction sauce was based on the addition of wine, vinegar or a quality stock added to a pan in which meat, poultry, game or fish had been cooked. • The item is removed, the fat tipped off and the wine, vinegar or stock added. The liquid is reduced and concentrated before other ingredients are added. A spirit like brandy can be added and ‘ignited’ that is to ‘flambé’ the dish. • Other ingredients added could be a white or brown sauce, garnish, cream, herbs etc. This is only a brief explanation of a very extensive and varied selection of sauces and it is not within the requirements of this unit to identify them all. • The term ‘reduction sauce’ can include sauces whose base starts with the main ingredient or ‘body’ of the sauce being concentrated by simmering away the water content in order to concentrate the flavour and thicken the sauce. Egg Based Sauce. • The combining of egg yolks and melted butter to form an emulsified sauce, is known as a hollandaise sauce. The attention to correct preparation and production methods is vital to make this sauce. • Awareness of good hygiene, use of fresh eggs, the temperature of the egg yolks and butter and the fact that the sauce must be made just prior to service, requires a sound level of knowledge and skill. Hollandaise sauce. • Is also classed as a ‘warm sauce’. The best temperature for the ‘holding’ of the sauce is 37°C or blood heat. Explain the differences between Hollandaise & Béarnaise. Stocks/Gravy/Glaze. • Stocks. • The traditional stock pot has been the foundation of many kitchen preparations for many, many years. The cooking of meat/bones, vegetables and herbs in a pot with water has long been a basic method of cookery to produce an aromatic cooking liquor to be used as the basis to other dishes. • The classical kitchen has worked with the making of these stocks – beef, veal, poultry, game and fish as the first step in ensuring the quality of a finished dish. • Nowadays due to a greater awareness of food hygiene, strict kitchen procedures, economy of time, and food cost, the stock pot has lost its role as an essential preparation. • Convenience stocks have taken over and fulfil a necessary requirement. However, there is no substitute for the freshly made stock and where factors allow, a fresh stock will always assist in producing a dish of an excellent, original flavour. Gravy. • The dictionary describes gravy as. ‘the juice that comes from the flesh when cooking.’ • Explained in French as a ‘Jus’. Likewise Jus is explained as juice, gravy. • The traditional English understanding of a gravy is a sauce-like preparation which has gained its texture by being thickened with a gravy powder out of a tin. • In good kitchens, the liquid left after roasting beef, poultry, veal and game etc, has the grease removed, is then boiled down to a concentrate and offered as the Jus-rôti (juice from the roast) as the accompaniment to the joint. • Jus-lie is a stock made up from veal bones/chicken, bacon pieces, vegetables and herbs, fresh stock and tomato purée. This is cooked for 1-2 hours before being thickened. • Hence Jus-lie – Juice thickened. Glazes. • The process of making a glaze will normally be found in only the most professional of kitchens. Good quality stock, one with a definite taste, free from grease and clear, is suitable. • Constant simmering, reducing and straining the stock down to a sticky glutinous mass takes time and an ever watchful eye, especially over the last stages. The original quantity of stock, that is 12-15 litres will become no more than ½ litre and it is very easy to spoil by reducing too fast and burning. • The time taken can be several hours and the consumption of gas or electricity can make this process prohibitive. • Sometimes this reduction can be left at the stage of a concentrated stock called an essence, which is much thinner than a glaze and cannot be used in quite the same way. • Essences can be purchased in bottles from good quality stockists (mushroom, truffle, anchovy etc). • A finished glaze resembles a dark sticky mass and is very strong in flavour. It must be used in very small amounts and added to sauces to strengthen the flavour, to darken the colour slightly, and help to give a shine. Oil And Vinegar Based Sauce. • Vinaigrette or French dressing as it is sometimes referred to, is made by mixing together oil and vinegar, with seasoning, to produce a sharp flavoured preparation used on a variety of salads. • A basic vinaigrette is made using a good quality oil – groundnut, or a mixture of olive oil and groundnut, with white wine vinegar. • Due to the wide range of oils available and an even greater choice of vinegars you can produce a dressing to suit every and any combination of salads. • Mustard can be added to a vinaigrette to add further flavour and to help in stabilising the dressing. • Vinegar (sharply flavoured water) and oil will not mix as oil is less dense than water and will float on the water. Next time you look at a bottle of vinaigrette (not commercial but kitchen made) you will see that the oil has separated out and is on top of the vinegar. • When mustard is added it helps the oil and water mix together and stay together longer. The separating out effect has no ill effect on the flavour or quality of the vinaigrette. It is important though to shake the vinaigrette well to remix the ingredients just before using. Sour Cream Based Sauce. • In classical cookery in particular, fruit based salads were bound with acidulated cream – cream mixed with fresh lemon juice. The lemon juice has the effect of denaturing the protein of the cream. In simple terms the protein was changed so that it became thick. • The use of sour cream or crème fraîche is an alternative to acidulated cream. Each one of the creams mentioned offers a different flavour and acidity to the finished salad. • With the change in eating habits, sour cream or similar ingredients have been substituted where mayonnaise was once the binding agent. A well known salad such as coleslaw can be changed by using sour cream and adding herbs or spices, such as carraway seed or poppy seed. • The choice and variations are limitless and in the hands of a good chef a wide range of interesting salads can be developed. • Using good quality catering reference books identify a range of salad preparations using acidulated cream/sour cream as their binding agent. Vegetable/Fruit Coulis. • The term ‘coulis’ is a well known term used in good quality kitchens. A thin purée of the main ingredient, smooth and definite in taste is used as a sauce around the plate of the dish to be presented. • This method is very popular in the up-to-date presentation of plated dishes because the coulis is very much part of the taste of the dish. Its colour and style of presentation will enhance the appearance of the dish being presented. Aspic Jelly. • Aspic jelly is a savoury jelly used for decorative purposes in cold work presentation. It can also be found in pâtés, terrines and pork pies. • The aspic jelly used in kitchens in past generations would have been produced from veal bones, calves feet, shin of beef, to produce a well flavoured stock with the natural gelatine of the animal. This in turn would be clarified to produce a crystal clear gelatinous stock. • Today, because of the length of time to produce, the cost and in particular the availability of some of the ingredients, aspic jelly is even more unlikely to be produced in a modern kitchen. For example calves feet are difficult to obtain due to strict slaughter house regulations as a result of BSE. • It is also worth noting that aspic jelly is high in protein and very easily exposed to bacterial infection. Due to the fact that it is only warmed over a gentle heat before being coated over meat or fish etc, it can become an excellent medium for food poisoning. • Convenience aspic is the most commonly used savoury jelly used in kitchens. It is still very important to remember that this product is high in protein but Agar Agar is a safer product to use.