Making Sauces for Sauteed Foods

Making Sauces for Sauteed Foods

The basic technique for making a sauce that incorporates the fond found in saute pans is to remove any excess fat or oils. Add aromatic ingredients or garnish items that need to be cooked, such as garlic, shallots, mushrooms, ginger and so forth. Then, deglaze the pan, releasing the reduced drippings from the pan. Wines, cognac, water or broths can be used for this step. Whatever liquid is added now is allowed to reduce. That means that fortified wines should be reserved until later, since their flavors are best when not allowed to reduce.

The base sauce is added at this point, along with any other ingredients as desired to add flavor, texture and color. Finishing ingredients such as cream, butter, purees or vegetables or herbs, or fortified wines are all appropriate.

In many cases, chefs opt to return the main item (a chicken breast or veal scallop, for example) to the finished sauce briefly. This glazes and coats the item, as well as reheats it very gently. The sauce may be ladled directly onto the plate, forming a pool; the sauteed item is placed on the sauce. Or, the sauce may be ladled over the food. Be sure that any stray spots or drips are carefully wiped from the plate using a clean cloth wrung out in hot water.

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