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Modern French cooking

French cuisine has traditionally had a global reputation for creating intricate and spectacular food using the finest of ingredients and techniques. In fact, French cuisine is extremely interesting both professional and amateur cooks as it represents some of the most challenging types of recipes for cooks. Alongside the precision and tradition of French cuisine, there is a growing movement of French chefs and cook who inject creativity and humor into their French dishes to achieve delicious and interesting takes on traditional dishes. This blog is all about modern French cooking and marries together traditional with the new French style to help inspire you to culinary heights.



Modern French cooking

How to Make Richer Sauces

by Stephen Williams

In many types of cuisine, it is the sauce which makes a dish distinctive and rich. Think of Indian curries and the way in which rich sauces add to the flavour of recipes such as dopiaza and or rogan josh. Chinese dipping sauce is a favourite all over Australia as are the rich sauces which accompany pasta in Italian food.

Of course, thin sauces have their place, too. For example, scotch broth is a famously this sauce. However, if you want a rich sauce to add to your cooking, then pay attention to the following tips. These are not sauce recipes as such, more principles that you can apply to making any richly flavoured sauce.

Work With a Flavourless Base

If you are after a highly distinctive flavour, or combination of flavours, then you need to eradicate any taste which might detract. As such, you should make your own pure stock when cooking meat and vegetables and avoid generic stock cubes which offer a blend of flavours already. When you add water to a sauce, make sure that it is as pure as possible. Filtered water is ideal because impurities which have been absorbed by the fluid are removed. An undersink water filter is perfect for the job because it means you have constant access to pure and flavourless water. Hard water can be especially strong in flavour and affect a rich sauce adversely. Therefore, you should do what a number of professional cooks do and filter your water.

Reduce For Flavour Intensity

Reduction is the process of evaporating the water in a sauce so that the remaining desirable flavours become more intense. For example, a tomato-based sauce might be made from either fresh or canned tomatoes but, either way, they will contain water as a part of their natural juices. When you reduce in a saucepan on the hob, steam leaves the sauce and you end up with less sauce – that's why it is called reduction. However, the flavour is always richer, no matter what sort of sauce you are making. Remember to stir continually, however, so that the sauce at the bottom of the pan does not burn which would ruin it.

Thicken With Starches

Rich sauces tend to be thicker. You can make your sauce thicker by adding starchy foods. If you add cubed potatoes, for example, then they will eventually lose their texture and just become starches that thicken the sauce. However, ingredients like potatoes and maize will also impact on the flavour of the sauce. If you want a starchy foodstuff which is relatively free from flavour, then opt for cornflour. Add it just after your reduction and stir in thoroughly before you pour in more filtered water to make the rest of the sauce.