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Easy sauces—here's a trick

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

One of the questions I get asked most is: why are sauces so hard and are they really important?

The answer is yes, they are important. It might be hard to believe, but sauces actually make cooking easier and when you know a few tricks they don’t have to be hard.

“An ounce of sauce covers a multitude of sins.” —Anthony Bourdain

“It is the sauce that distinguishes a good chef.” —Fernand Point

I explain one trick in the video below that results in many great dishes.

Bechamel or White Sauce


2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons white flour 1 cup milk Salt and white pepper to taste Pinch of nutmeg—optional


  1. Make a roux in a heavy-bottom saucepan, melt butter until it becomes frothy. Add flour, stirring with a wooden spoon, or whisk until it forms a paste.

  2. Continue to stir and cook for 2 minutes without letting roux darken.

  3. While you whisk, slowly add milk letting it combine before adding more.

  4. Once all milk is added and sauce is smooth, continue to cook on low for a few minutes to let sauce thicken.

  5. Continue to stir until bechamel is smooth and thick.

Velouté sauce

Makes: 2 cups Prep time: 20 minutes Total time: 50 minutes


3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons flour 2 cups chicken, veal, or fish stock depending of what you will use it with.


  1. Heat the 2 cups of broth; reduce heat to keep warm.

  2. In a separate skillet over medium heat, make a roux, melt butter without letting it brown.

  3. Add flour and blend with wooden spoon until it becomes a paste and cook for a minute or two without letting it brown.

  4. Pour in half the stock, whisking continuously until sauce thickens. Make certain to whisk out any lumps.

  5. Add in rest of the stock; continue whisking and bring to a boil.

  6. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking, for 30 minutes. Continue to stir as sauce evaporates and concentrates.

  7. Remove any skin that appears on surface.

  8. Optional—to produce a smooth sauce, pour sauce through a sieve.

  9. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

  10. Use immediately.


Le Kitchen Cookbook

A Workbook

Everything you need to know to be a good cook.

by Adeline M. Olmer

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