The Mother Sauces

January 12, 2012


In her book Kitchen Wisdom, Julia Child distills her vast repertoire of knowledge into something that I use every day.  For anyone who feels overwhelmed by her larger work, Mastering the Art of French Cooking,  you should definitely check out this abbreviated version.

In this slim cookbook, she talks about the two Mother sauces, which are Bechemel (butter, flour, and milk whisked together to form a creamy sauce – add cheese and you have the basis for a cheesy sauce), and Hollandaise, (eggs, butter, more butter, and lemon juice).  I admit, these two are rightly called the Mother Sauces.  Knowing how to make both of them will make anything delicious, and they can be transformed into many different dishes.


But I have my own Mother Sauces.  They are the two my mother gave me that I make most frequently.  They are:

Homemade Chocolate Sauce: 

I gave these in Ball Jars to teachers at Christmas.  I always have a Ball Jar filled in my fridge.  This sauce is BEYOND good.  I lick the spoon ever time it comes near.

3/4 cup semisweet Chocolate Chips (they have a thickening agent over chocolate bars)
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 5-ounce can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)

Melt chocolate & butter in heavy pan over medium heat.  Add sugar, then gradually stir in the evaporated milk.  (Make sure sugar is dissolved.)  Bring to boil then boil for 6-8 min til sugar dissolves, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat, cool slightly to transfer. Serve hot or cold.

I use this chocolate sauce on top of ice cream, as a chocolate fondue for diced pound cake and fruit, or just off the spoon.  Today I served it for dessert with fresh strawberries to my kids.  (See picture below where they had the bowl on their face.)  It is especially good with peppermint ice cream if you can find it. Recently I couldn’t and just defrosted vanilla then added 2 tsp peppermint extract and 6 crushed candy canes which came out delicious.


Eileen’s Barbeque Sauce: 

2 Tbsp EVOO
1 rib celery, chopped 

1 small onion, chopped
1 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp yellow mustard 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1/2 cup water

Directions: Sautee Celery & Onion in Olive Oil.  Add next 7 ingredients and simmer until brown sugar is dissolved. Double or triple quantity depending on how much meat you have. 

This sauce is delicious smothering a rack of ribs that you have broiled on each side for 10 min. or in a crock pot with 3 lbs of pork loin for pulled pork.  (SEE Game Day Post). 

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