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The Saucier's Apprentice: A Modern Guide to Classic French Sauces for the Home Hardcover – March 12, 1976
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-- George Lang,
author of The Cuisine of Hungary
"[Raymond Sokolov] has found a way to systematize the different families of sauces -- something no one before has done -- and I found the whole concept very exciting. This would be a useful book even in France."
-- Simone Beck,
author of Simca's Cuisine
From the Inside Flap
-- How to prepare, at your leisure, the three fundamental classic sauces (the "mother" sauces from which all others evolve: Brown, White, and Fish Veloute)...
-- How to freeze them in one-meal-size containers, ready for use at a moment's notice...
-- How to transform any of these basic put-away sauces, quickly and easily, into the exact ones that French chefs are famous for and serve in the finest restaurants...
-- How to prepare the classic dish for which each sauce is traditionally used, with suggestions for enhancing simpler fare (the recipes run the gamut from Duckling a la Bigarade to Poached Eggs Petit-Duc -- that is, with Chateaubriand Sauce).
Mr. Sokolov has conceived, then, a comprehensive collection of recipes -- authoritative, clear, and easy to follow -- as well as an inventive method of cooking for the average kitchen. Peppered with culinary lore and with reassuring accounts of the author's own experiences as a modern-day Saucier's Apprentice, here is a book that will appeal to every good amateur cook who wants to produce sumptuous fare at home for occasions great and small.
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Top Customer Reviews
One or two or three caveats: if you make the "mother sauce" espagnole, and then the demi-glace, following his recipe, you are going to need at least *two* enormous, restaurant-sized kettles. I had one very large one to start with and at some point in the proceedings had to go out and buy another one. He wasn't very clear about this.
Plus, he consistently understates the *time* needed to do these recipes, perhaps because he doesn't want to frighten the reader away. He says, for instance, that to make the espagnole-demi-glace, you can do it easily over a weekend in bits and pieces, stepping away from the kitchen occasionally to pass the time with "Fanny Hill" (he's also a wonderfully witty and amusing writer into the bargain). But he is seriously wrong about this particular recipe, the most important one in the book. I am a very experienced cook, and I work fairly quickly, and I undertook this recipe with my French wife, another serious cook, plus occasional help from my mother, *another* very serious cook, and it essentially took *three* days to end up with, as I recall, 18 1-cup frozen portions of demi-glace.Read more ›
I spent two days preparing the mother sauce for brown sauces and the result was spectacular. I've eaten at many of the top four and five star restaurants in New York, many restaurants throughout Europe (I lived in Germany near the French border for over three years), many restaurants in Chicago, and have never tasted better sauces than those I produced at home from the mother sauce. Here's the trick. You should follow Sokolov's instructions. After you've been through the process, you can get creative if you wish. But keep in mind Sokolov's goal is to teach amateur and professional chefs how to make TRADITIONAL SAUCES, not modern incarnations that use lots of fruits, etc.
As for the book, it's pretty straightforward. It starts with a brief history of French sauces and then it pretty much goes right into the sauces. There are 5 mother sauces (Sauce Espagnole, Hollandaise, Béchamel, Velouté, and Tomato) and from these 5 you can make hundreds and hundreds of little derivative sauces. For example, take Sauce Espagnole (Brown Sauce). If you combine equal parts of Brown Sauce and Brown Veal Stock and let that reduce, you've got Demi-Glace (Half-Glaze). Now if you sauté some mushrooms, shallots, add some white wine, Madeira, some demi-glace and tomato, you've got Sauce Chasseur.
Here's another example. Take Velouté, add some mushroom liquid and a liaison, and mount the sauce with butter and you've got Sacue Allemande. Now take Sauce Allemande and add three simple ingredients and you've got Sauce Aux Champignons.
There are about 70 pages devoted to just brown sauces. The two most time consuming mother sauces to make is Sauce Espagnole and Velouté. Both require stock, however, Velouté is easy to make since it only takes 30 to 40 minutes to make once you have the stock. Sauce Espagnole, on the other hand, takes about 6 to 8 hours to make. Plus you need brown veal stock which takes anywhere from 8-11 hours to make.
As you can see it's pretty time consuming but if you take one weekend to make enough stock, once you're done you can freeze them in ice cube trays and take them as you need them. Remember the derivative sauces are really quick and simple, it's the mother sauces that take the most time.
If you're serious about cooking, I highly recommend this book.
This is the best book I've seen on the subject. Serious saucemaking is time consuming, but if the sauce meres are made in quantity and frozen in portions, the final assembly of nearly every sauce in the book may be accomplished as your dinner vegetables steam - by understanding the theory of progression from one sauce to the next, and devoting perhaps one Saturday every few months to keeping an eye on a stock pot, one may enjoy the sophistication of classical Haute Cuisine with the convenience of bottled substitutes. The initial chapters discussing the history of Haute Cuisine is a treat in itself. Most of the 100+ sauce recipes are followed with the recipe for a single classic example dish where it is featured.
When served with a fine sauce, your family and guests will close their eyes and savor every bite of your meal. Nice...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you want to make sauces, this is your book. A detailed history with occasional humor, and recipes both for and using the many sauces that descend from the Mothers.Published 11 months ago by Theophilus
Haven't had the time to try the recipes yet! But it is interesting!Published 16 months ago by Kirsten Ann Hansen
This is the original serious sauce book used by serious chefs and cooks. Even this seasoned chef had something to learn and continues to learn with this book.Published 24 months ago by J. Canfield
Excellent book, lots of information to help take your cooking skills to the next level. I would recommend this book to those who want to get out of the doldrums of their current... Read morePublished on February 2, 2014 by Mark Dewhirst
This book has been cropping up on my Amazon recommendations radar for years, based on my previous purchases.
The Saucier's Apprentice is aptly named. Read more
T h e book looked s***ty but at least it had all its pages and it was only a few dollars so I cant complain to much.Published on August 27, 2013 by terrell grimes
The Saucier's Apprentice: A Modern Guide to Classic French Sauces for the Home
The Saucier's Apprentice: A Modern Guide to Classic French Sauces for... Read more