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I am a home cook with no aspirations of a culinary career. I'll leave that to the professionals. They work too hard for their money. Anyhow, I am an intermediate home cook comfortable with the grill or smoker and can saute or braise cuts of meat. Nothing great but I turn out some respectable dishes. I want to progress as a cook, though, since I have a passion for food.

I want to perfect some other basic skills, particularly sauce making. I am capable of producing a decent bechamel and will play a little bit from there. I no longer attempt any of the other mother sauces, though. Honestly, I have wasted too much time and food, in part due to poor technique but mostly because I don't understand how to pair particular flavors together. I can often get color and texture right but the taste is abysmal. I can follow recipes but that doesn't teach me much. I want to understand the foundation of flavor pairing and balance so I can make creative sauces at home. Where can I learn the Xs and Os of combining ingredients to make good sauces? Books? Online? Classes? Videos? Thanks for any suggestions.
post #2 of 2
Saucemaking can be tricky to learn at home. Short of apprenticing in a French restaurant, I would recommend (with the danger or being self serving) my book Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making. That should give you some of the basic techniques and flavor combinations, many of them derived from classic sauces but the techniques updated.
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