The results include recent additions as well as classics that date back as far as the mother sauces themselves. Purists may follow a set of rules for what you can and can’t add to certain sauces for fear of “corrupting their integrity,” but let’s be frank: In your kitchen, you’re the boss.
For the next three days, we’ll focus on two “secondary sauces” for each mother sauce, starting with a quart of mother sauce as your base. The first will be a classic secondary sauce, straight from Escoffier; the second will be my own creation or suggestion. Hopefully these suggestions will act as a jumping-off point for you to create your own sauces and dishes based on whatever it is that you like.
TOMATO SAUCE BECOMES CREOLE SAUCE
Creole sauce is an easy variation made with tomato sauce. You’ll be surprised at how some bell pepper can change the flavor profile of the original mother sauce. Creole sauce is delicious with chicken, fish/seafood, rice and pasta.
1. Dice half an onion, a stalk of celery and a bell pepper. Sauté them in oil along with a teaspoon of minced garlic.
2. Once the vegetables are soft, add a quart of tomato sauce, a bay leaf, a pinch of dried thyme and a teaspoon of lemon zest.
3. Simmer for 15 minutes, then season with salt, pepper and cayenne.
Variation #2: Tomato Vegetable Sauce
I like to build on tomato sauce simply by adding whatever seasonal vegetables I have on hand. Pretty much anything, from artichoke hearts to eggplant to zucchini, can be cleaned, diced and dropped in to simmer in the sauce. Frozen vegetables work just as well.
Freezing separate portions of the plain sauce gives you many opportunities to put a new spin on it. You can make a gallon or more of tomato sauce at once, then freeze portions in quart or even pint containers. At dinnertime, just pull one out, toss it into a pot with a little water, get it simmering and add the vegetables.
Serve with pasta, chicken or fish as a sauce; or even with a crusty chunk of bread—the sauce acts as a soup.