Have you ever heard of the term “mother sauce?” Now, if you’re not super well versed in the kitchen it may not be something you’re familiar with, but it can change the world when you master at least one of them.

Janelle Whempner is a culinary instructor at CTE Academy. She joined us to give us a crash course in the five mother sauces and help us build a better bechamel just in time for all your holiday dinners.

5 mother sauces Janelle Whempner and Ashley Thompson on the KELOLAND Living set
Janelle Whempner and Ashley Thompson on the KELOLAND Living set

Béchamel sauce

Béchamel is made by thickening hot milk with a simple white roux. A white roux is equal parts fat and flour. The sauce is then flavored with salt and nutmeg and simmered until it is creamy and velvety smooth.

Velouté sauce

Velouté sauce is made by thickening white stock with a roux and then simmering it for a while.

Espagnole sauce

The Espagnole sauce, also sometimes called brown sauce, is a slightly more complex mother sauce. Espagnole is made by thickening brown stock with a roux. The difference between a velouté and Espagnole sauce is that Espagnole sauce is made with tomato purée and mirepoix for deeper color and flavor. 

Hollandaise sauce ingredients

Hollandaise sauce

Hollandaise sauce is unlike any of the other mother sauces. Hollandaise is an emulsified sauce that contains butter, egg yolks and lemon.

Janelle’s recipe for Perfectly poached eggs and egg-cellent Hollandaise

Tomato sauce