The final sauce on our list is velouté, and in the most anticlimactic manner ever I inadvertently chose to do the easiest mother sauce last and the supposed most difficult mother sauce first. Hindsight says, “whoops,” and presently I say, “whatever.”
Velouté is so easy in fact that I feel like a fraud making an entire entry based around it. This sauce is a very basic white sauce from white stock from chicken, veal or fish. It’s called a white stock because it’s made from bones that have not been roasted, thus the taste is more light, clean and pure.
To start you must warm up your fish/veal/chicken stock until just boiling and then reduce heat to low. While the stock is heating up, using 1/4 unsalted butter and 1/4 unbleached all purpose flour, create a blond roux (geez, blond roux, white sauce, “clean and pure”…you’d think the Aryans developed this sauce or something) and stir continuously over medium heat.
Once the roux has reached the desired color, start ladling in your warm stock while stirring until completely mixed in with the roux. Allow to simmer until it reaches a thick enough consistency to coat the back of a spoon, add salt and pepper and you’re done.
Seriously, that’s it. I’m yawning right now, that’s how bored I am with this sauce. Don’t get me wrong, it tastes better than any of the other sauces I’ve made so far, but there is no CHALLENGE. It’s a baby sauce! In any case, given that this is a very basic sauce, you can make it into many, many other sauces such as suprême sauce, allemande sauce, and the list is virtually endless.
Obviously this doesn’t fit in with the French theme at all, but the night I made the batch of velouté I was having Mexican fiesta feast at my house with enchiladas stuffed with peppered chicken and avocado/ricotta brown rice (I even made the tortillas!) and originally I was going to make a spicy corn and tortilla soup out of the sauce to accompany it. After looking in my fridge at the four quarts of untouched chicken soup I’d made the week before, I decided on mole instead.
Before you have a conniption, mole isn’t made from that underground annoyance that whistles when speaking his S’s and is friends with Winnie the Pooh. Nor is it made from the brown beauty that rests above your dear Grandma’s mustache.
Mole (pronounced MOLE-AY, like olé, but with a mole) is a rich, dark savory sauce that is a staple in Mexican cuisine. The term mole is actually really generic, given that it is Aztecan word for “sauce.” This means that saying mole sauce is like saying ATM machine, so don’t ever do it because it’s incredibly redundant. And repetitive.
Now there are numerous types of mole, each with their own long list of ingredients. Typical mole is a very involved and takes a lot of love, patience and care to prepare the traditional way. Truthfully I didn’t have time for any of that and I never had an Abuelito teach me the correct way, so I made my mole the Kerry way. While not authentic, it serves as a decent, if not spot-on, alternative with its rich, thick consistency and spicy and lightly sweetened flavor.
If you have any personal favorite or authentic mole recipes you’d like to share, please share away in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!
Kerry’s Authentic-But-Not-So-Authentic Mole
Time: 35 minutes
- 1 cup velouté sauce, warmed (or you can substitute chicken or beef stock)
- 1 tsp flour (1TBSP if using stock instead of sauce)
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup white onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 oz dark chocolate (60% cacao works well)
- In a small sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium and add onions and garlic, stirring constantly. Continue to cook until the onions are translucent, but before they start to brown.
- Add in salt, cumin, cinnamon and flour and continue to cook for an additional two minutes.
- Slowly pour in the warm sauce or stock, and whisk while pouring ensuring that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
- Raise the heat to medium high while stirring and once the sauce comes to a boil, reduce to medium, add in the chili powder and chocolate, and reduce the sauce for 20 minutes or to desired consistency.
Serve immediately and spare the moles!