Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 10

Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 10

The chapter on Sauces, garnished and accompaniments starts:

“The days are long gone when a French visitor could complain that Americans know only one sauce – white sauce.  We are well aware that a sauce chosen with discretion to bring out the flavour of the food it accompanies is a culinary triumph.  As a nation we like to preserve the natural flavor of many of our foods, but we know that many others are enhanced by the addition of a sauce.  There are even people who eat lamp only for the mint sauce that goes with it and feel cheated if fillet of sole is served without tartar sauce.  And what would boiled beef be to any of us without horse-radish?

Leave the cream sauce off the potatoes and serve asparagus with plain butter if you like, but if you add lemon juice to the butter, technically you have made a sauce.  From these simple beginnings sauces range through ketchups and chutneys to the elaborate blendings of mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and peppers which go with Creole cooking.  Whatever or not a sauce accompanies the main course, remember that relishes and garnishes afford contrast to the palate and appeal to they eye.


The basic sauces are white sauce, brown sauce, velouté sauce and hollandaise.  Different seasonings and added ingredients furnish endless variations of these.  Flour is the usual thickening agent in sauces, but the hollandaise family are thickened with egg yolks instead.  In sauces thickened with flour, a smooth creamy texture should be the same, accomplished by thorough blending of fat and flour and gradual adding of the liquid with constant stirring.  If the pan is removed from the heat while the cold liquid is added, the risk of lumping is lessened.

Flour-thickened sauces may be kept hot by standing over hot water tightly covered to prevent evaporation and the forming of a kin over the top.  Sauces thickened with egg yolk should be served immediately.  If they must stand they should be allowed to cool, then reheated over hot water just before serving.

Milk, cream, stock, consommé and tomato juice are the liquids used in sauces.  Canned consommés and bouillons and bouillon concentrates dissolved in water can be substituted from stock in brown or velouté sauces.  Wine, vinegar or lemon juice used as part of the liquid makes fo piquancy.  Wine should be added just before serving.

Garnishes and Accompaniments

Relishes add piquancy to the main course and also serve as garnishes.  For instance, stuffed apples may be used as a garnish around a port roast.  When a relish is to be served from the meat platter, the platter should be large enough, so that the garnish will not hinder carving or make serving difficult.”

There is a myriad of sauce recipes over 22 pages.


30 thoughts on “Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 10

  1. I do love these posts, Mandy. They provide an interesting look back and usually offer a helpful hint or 2. In today’s lesson, there was the discussion of how to keep and possibly re-heat the sauces. Then again, I think we all would know to serve the meat entree on a large enough plate. 🙂

  2. Oh this is such a helpful post- especially to those who think sauces are a nightmare. They really don’t have to be and can really be the star of a dish so to speak. Great article- I love when you do posts from this cookbook

  3. Aah – your Woman´s Home Companion is back…I love “her”. Interesting read, and although I don´t eat sauces that often, I absolutely adore them and could eat sauce with sauce 🙂

  4. I love that word piquancy. and yes you make things so clear. the first thing my mum taught me how to make were scones. The second was a roux. White sauces were big in our house! thank you mandy, enjoy the rest of your day..c

    • I often think of my Nana using it Kim – I can picture her holding the book and paging through it to find a recipe and know that she is with me each time I share a chapter with you. Have a super day. 🙂 xo

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