The sauce should be a little more salt than the food with which it is to be served.
As a rule, the sauce should be poured around, not over the food.
No positive general rule can be given for thickening, as flour varies and different kinds of liquid require different proportions. Also the evaporation of liquids, in different quantities, varies.
Do not make sauces too thick. A sauce should not be a paste. The consistency of medium cream is about right for nearly all; some should be thinner, and a few slightly thicker.
As they thicken by standing, make sauces thinner at first than required.
A Roux is a mixture of oil or butter, and flour, heated together for thickening sauces. It is used in the following manner;
Heat the oil, without browning, in a saucepan; add the flour, rub smooth with wire batter whip, then add liquid, hot, stirring until smooth. The sauce should come to the boiling point only and be removed at once from the fire as otherwise the oil will separate.
Adding flour to hot oil cooks it more perfectly than a boiling liquid and obviates the raw flour taste. Directions for flavoring, pp. 24-27.
I tablespn. raw nut butter, 1 pt. water. Mix butter with water, boil 1/2 hr., add salt with water to make 1 1/2-2 cups; thicken slightly.
Cook sliced onions with plain sauce.
Use 1/3 tomato instead of all water in plain sauce. A little browned flour sometimes.
Cook browned flour, onion, garlic, bayleaf and a very little tomato with plain sauce. A little sage occasionally.
Thicken nut and tomato bisque, p. 93, slightly.
2 tablespns. oil or melted butter 1-2 teaspns. browned flour
2 tablespns. flour 1 pt. water salt
Follow directions for making sauce with roux.
Simmer without browning sliced or chopped onion in oil, before adding flour to brown sauce.
Add a delicate flavoring of leaf sage to brown or brown onion sauce.
A little tomato, onion, a trifle of thyme and bay leaf with nut cream in brown sauce. Simmer, strain.
Consomme with more browned flour and tomato or onion, thickened. Roux may be used.
1/2 cup finely-sliced celery 2 tablespns. flour
2 tablespns. oil or melted butter 1 pt. consomme
Add celery to hot oil, then flour and hot consomme with more salt if necessary.
2/3 tablespn. butter 1 1/2 - 2 tablespns. white flour
1 1/3 tablespn. oil 1 3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 - 1 clove garlic 3/4 cup milk
1-2 teaspns. browned flour salt
1/2 tablespn. chopped parsley
Throw crushed or finely-chopped garlic into oil and proceed as for sauce with roux, adding parsley last, of course. The sauce is nice without the parsley. Raw or steamed nut butter may be used.