The difference between this and poulette is its superior delicacy and the snowy white tint which differentiates it from the more substantial and cream coloured poulette.
Sauce a la creme is another variant of bechamel, made by reducing about a fourth part rather more than a pint of bechamel, with a gill of rich white stock, a bouquet, a slice of ham, and a handful of mushroom stems and peelings, then tammying it, and adding into it very gradually 3oz. or 4oz. of butter, broken up small, never adding another piece of this till the previous piece has been thoroughly dissolved. A little attention to this point adds greatly to the velvety smoothness and lightness of this sauce.
Sauce a la creme a l'estragon, more succinctly known as creme a l'estragon, is made in precisely the same way, save that a teaspoonful of tarragon vinegar is added just before it is sieved, and a little finely minced green tarragon is sprinkled in, as it is to be served. Creme au fenouil, or au persil is made in the same way, using fennel, or parsley, instead of the green tarragon, and plain or chilli vinegar. Creme de concombres, a most delicate accompaniment for iamb cutlets, etc., is made by stewing a small cucumber in white stock till tender enough to sieve, moistening it with a little more stock or milk and reducing it over the fire to a thick puree. Then dilute this with a short half pint of bechamel, season to taste with white pepper, and just let it heat for a few minutes (but not boil) in the bain-marie, and at the last stir in a couple of spoonfuls of stiffly whipped cream. This sauce may be served white, or it may be coloured to a faint cucumber green with a drop or two of green colouring.
Creme de champignons can be made in precisely the same way using ½lb. finely chopped young button mushrooms, and stewing these in milk and butter, seasoning it with either a short gill of light French wine, or half a sherryglassful of sherry and a little lemon juice.
This can also be made with older mushrooms and brown stock. For Sauce Italienne (blanche) mince and blanch four shallots, and toss them when drained, in a good spoonful of salad oil with two or three finely minced mushrooms, and a bouquet; let them cook for five minutes, then add a gill of French white wine, and let it all boil together till the wine is reduced to half, when you stir in half a pint of good reduced bechamel, and a little white stock; boil it up, and serve, after skimming off all the oil carefully and removing the bouquet. (It cannot be too strongly impressed on young cooks that greasy sauces are an unpardonable offence. As a matter of fact it is to neglect of this rule that so many persons object to French sauces as "so rich!" The right way is just before serving to draw the pan containing the sauce to the side of the stove, and sprinkle in a few drops (not spoonfuls!) of cold water on the surface; this forces the butter or fat to the top, whence it can be easily removed with a spoon on tilting the pan slightly.
Sauce Milanaise, also called Creme au fromage, is made by adding two tablespoonfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, a good dust of coralline or cayenne pepper, and a gill of new milk or cream to half a pint of creamy bechamel, and stirring it over the fire till the cheese is melted and well blended with the rest of the ingredients. A very nice sauce for cutlets, Ac., may be made in precisely the same way, only using brown or espagnole sauce instead of the bechamel, and stirring in a spoonful of made or French mustard with the cheese, etc. A variant of this sauce is often known as Sauce Morny, and is made by stirring two good tablespoonfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and a dust of cayenne, or preferably coralline, pepper into half a pint of good veloute sauce until it boils, when it is sieved and used. Usually with this sauce, which is frequently served with quenelles, rissoles, etc., a cheese mixture, made by dissolving 2oz. or 3oz. of very thinly sliced Gruyere, or any other cheese to taste, in two table-spoonfuls or so of thick cream, and a dust of cayenne pepper, is used as a surface coating, sprinkled with finely chopped parsley, and browned with a red hot salamander or the kitchen shovel.
This sauce is particularly good for rechauffes of all kinds.
Sauce Raifort is prepared by simmering a small finely scraped horseradish in about half a pint of bechamel sauce (which for this purpose is generally the kind made without any stock) for half an hour; then sieve it, heat in the bain-marie, and stir into it a liaison of one or more egg yolks, beaten up with two or three tablespoonfuls of thick (and preferably sour) cream; season with a few drops of tarragon or horseradish vinegar, and use. An excellent sauce for tournedos or fillets of beef, either fresh or rechauffe.
Sauce Ravigotte, another sauce much approved of with either beef or mutton cutlets, is made thus: Blanch 2oz. of onions and a tablespoonful of minced parsley for five minutes in boiling water, then strain off the water, replacing it with a pint of milk, and let it all boil together till the milk is well flavoured with the onion, etc.; then strain this milk on to 2oz. of white roux (or 1 oz. each of butter and flour previously cooked together till perfectly blended), and boil it all gently together for a few minutes, stirring it occasionally till it thickens. Meanwhile boil together a tablespoonful each of tarragon and chilli vinegar till reduced to half, and stir this into the sauce, adding to this latter just at the last one tablespoonful of picked parsley, a dessert spoonful of garden cress, and a teaspoonful of chives and chervil (all very finely minced), with sufficient green colouring to bring it all to a very pale green. If liked, a spoonful of thick or whipped cream may be stirred in just at the last.
A plainer version of this sauce is Sauce Maitre d'Hotel, for which you stir into half a pint of more or less rich bechamel maigre, just at the last, an ounce of Maitre d'Hotel butter, a teaspoonful of finely minced parsley, a few drops of lemon juice, and a seasoning of salt and white pepper.
Sauce Soubise, more generally called Puree, or Creme Soubise (a garnish much appreciated with broiled cutlets), is made thus: Blanch two good sized onions for five minutes in a little boiling water, then drain off this and mince the onion not too finely; stew this onion in an ounce of butter (or well clarified dripping) till perfectly tender, but not coloured, then lift the pan off the fire, stir in half a pint of bechamel sauce, and let it all boil up, skimming it carefully; now let it boil-in a little over the fire, rub it through a sieve, and reheat in the bain-marie, adding at the last a spoonful of whipped cream. A variation of this is made by stirring about a tablespoonful of grated cheese into the mixture, which is then known abroad as Crime Soubise au frontage. Both these sauces should be very white, but there is a form of onion puree in which the onions, when stewed, are allowed to colour, and are mixed with veloute sauce, being in consequence almost a light fawn colour, which is often known in England as Sauce Soubise, though its real name is