Mother Sauces: Sauce Tomat
Around Christmas time last year, I watched the incredible movie, The Hundred-Foot Journey. I loved the movie, of course, because it is centered around cooking in France. There is one scene in the movie where a character makes a reference to the French Mother Sauces.
I did a little google research, and learned that the Mother Sauces are a collection of five basic French sauces that are the basis, or foundation, for many other sauces and dishes. The five French Mother Sauces are:
- Sauce Tomat
- Béchamel Sauce
- Velouté Sauce
- Espagnole Sauce
- Hollandaise Sauce
I have heard of almost all of these sauces, and have made them before, but I wanted to prepare and explore different uses for each sauce, and share them here!
The first sauce I decided to tackle was Sauce Tomat, or tomato sauce. I think most Americans think of tomato sauce as the basis for many Italian dishes, but it can be much more varied than that.
The basic sauces listed above, can all be transformed into “Daughter Sauces”. The daughter sauces for sauce tomat are:
- Creole Sauce
- Spanish Sauce
- Calamari Sauce
- Hot Sauce
- Barbecue Sauce
- Vodka Sauce
By learning how to prepare sauce tomat, you are well on your way to being able to prepare 7 other sauces!
There are many variations of sauce tomat. The traditional ones usually contain salted pork, a roux and veal stock (here is a classic recipe, if you’re interested).
I decided to make a very simple version that I could create in about an hour. Here’s my recipe for tomat sauce.
- 5 pounds roma tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 – 6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 1 tsp salt
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut an “x” into the flowering end of the tomatoes, and add to the boiling water. Allow to boil about a minute, then remove and place in an ice bath to cool. Once cooled, peel skins away from the tomatoes, and dice tomatoes.
Heat a large pot or stockpot over medium heat, and add in olive oil. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 5 – 8 minutes. Add in diced tomatoes, garlic and salt, and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer for about an hour.
Transfer tomato mixture to a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth.
This sauce, as it is, would be great tossed with warm pasta! You could add in some fresh basil and oregano to give it some more flavor, but on its own, it’s fantastic.
I decided to turn it into a spicy spanish sauce, and poured it over fried potatoes topped with crumbled bacon and a sunny-side up egg. It was amazing! I will post the recipe for that soon, and I’ll be posting the remaining four mother sauces during May and June!
Have you heard of the Mother Sauces? What is your favorite sauce?
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