An opinionated blog beginning with advice on how to create the ultimate French sauces
As a young sauté cook working in a fancy kitchen, my biggest worry was that when I was making each entrée in the pan, and creating its accompanying sauce in the same pan, that my sauce would break and I would have to start everything over again. (As well as infuriate the chef!).
For example, I would beautifully sauté a filet of cod and then sweat bullets as I prepared its accompanying lemon-butter sauce in the same pan because lemon and butter are notoriously difficult to mix together without breakage.
Over time I have learned how to make flavorful and smooth sauces that don't easily break (without using unwanted ingredients like flour or cornstarch). For the above example, I have learned that adding a little fumet (reduced fish stock) to the lemon butter sauce at the end of the cooking process prevents breakage and also adds flavor.
Using Fumet to thicken your sauce
1) Fumet (center) is added to lemon butter sauce to both thicken and flavor it
2) After reducing sauce, flame is shut off and parsley is added for color
Fumet- thickened Lemon Butter Sauce is ladled on the fish filet
In my upcoming book I will walk you through all the steps involved in making delicious sauces in the same pan that you cooked your chicken, fish, or meat. Nothing beats the flavor and quality of a freshly made sauce!
Brent Littlefield has worked as a chef de cuisine, pastry chef, saucier, and sous chef, for more than 25 years in San Francisco, San Diego, and Las Vegas.