Velouté Sauce

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One of the basic white sauces of French origin, which is prepared from a white stock, such as chicken or seafood stock, and a roux. The roux is a thickening agent made from cooked flour and fat. Numerous variations of this sauce are made, such as sauce aurore (puréed tomatoes are added) or sauce supréme (cream and mushroom cooking stock is added).

A typical velouté sauce begins by making a roux. A 6 to 4 ratio of flour and fat (usually whole butter or clarified butter) is cooked over moderate heat. (The actual quantity of flour and fat to use depends on the quantity of liquid added to the roux and the desired thickness of the sauce). While stirring for 2 to 3 minutes, the mixture should bubble and foam and the color should gradually darken the longer the roux cooks. A light yellow to golden yellow color is typical of a roux that will be used for a velouté sauce. It is important that the flour not burn, but it should be cooked thoroughly so that the resulting sauce will not attain a pasty, floury flavor.

When the roux has cooked sufficiently, remove the pan from the heat to allow the roux to cool slightly. After the short cooling period, pour heated stock into the pan and return the pan to moderate heat. Vigorously whisk the liquid into the roux, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and continue stirring until the sauce becomes smooth. When the velouté sauce is ready to serve, stir in a small quantity of cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Other seasonings can be added based on the type of dish that the sauce is accompanying.

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