Important Techniques for Making Great Sauces at Home
Now that we have looked at some of the important ingredients used for restaurant quality sauces, let's look at a few of the important cooking techniques associated with sauce making.
This is not a complete list. There are some great saucing cookbooks that go into much more detail but these are the techniques you'll need for making the sauces on my site.
How to Emulsify
To emulsify is to force two ingredients to go into solution that don't naturally combine, most usually fat and water. Emulsions can be made by hand with a whisk or in a mixer, food processor or blender.
An emulsifier, usually lecithin in egg yolks, is added to assist in forcing the emulsion. Mayonnaise, aioli, vinaigrette, Hollandaise sauce and sabayon are all emulsions.
The secret to making a stable emulsion is to add the fat to the water ingredients very slowly while whisking quickly and constantly. Emulsions cannot be rushed. If you get impatient and start adding the fat (oil, butter) too quickly, the emulsion will break, leaving you with a watery, oily mess.