Part of Unit: Stocks,Soups and Sauces
Lesson Plan Overview / Details
Students will learn the procedure used in "a la minute" preparation of sauce making. They will prepare a variety of sauces using the same procedure until they grasp it as a procedure. This lesson plan can be repeated with other mother sauces. 55 minutes.
Requirements- Students must be aware of fond, deglazing, have an understanding of stock, mother sauces, small sauces and finishing techniques.
For 2 day lesson, It can easily be made in to a 2 day lesson plan with an additional lab attached. If time, I do a lab that allows them to create their own sauce after they make the one I did a demo on. Basically, they present the idea to me for approval from a list of ingredients I create (to ensure success). Then they write down the procedure with the ingredients added (with approximate amounts), collect mise en place and then cook it. I visually watch them make the sauce and taste it for their assessment. They can not collect mise en place till they have created a recipe properly.
- Hooked on Sauce
- 20 - 22 Minutes
- The Procedure
- 20 - 22 Minutes
- 10 - 12 Minutes
California Career and Technical Education Standards
- HTR.B.B6.1 Know the qualities and properties of food items and ingredients used in food pre...
- HTR.B.B6.3 Know the principle of mise en place, including the placement and order of use of...
- HTR.B.B6.4 Prepare food by using the correct techniques and procedures specified in recipes...
- HTR.FS.9.3 Understand how to organize and structure work individually and in teams for effe...
Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS)
Objectives and Goals
- Student will demonstrate the ability to prepare food and a sauce "a la minute"
- Student will be able to describe the relationship between mother sauces and their derivatives
- Student will create their own derivative sauce from a mother sauce and prepare it "a la minute"
- Student will identify which base or mother sauce to use when creating a sauce for common proteins.
- Students will work as a group to create a sauce
Activities in this Lesson
- Prepare Before Class - Other
Prepare mise en place for lesson plan. Use a variety of items for sauce making that you are comfortable using. I always start with a classic or popular sauce and then have ingredients for a sauce I know the students will really like. For your protein, you can use any cut of beef or veal that you can cut into scallopini or small thin cuts that are somewhat tender. This is a sauce lesson , not a beef or veal lesson so cheaper is okay.
- Hooked on Sauce - Hooks / Set
As students enter class have them wash and report to demo area (or right after attendance).
Say, you guys are always asking me to cook you something, so today I am going to cook you steak au poivre using the "a la minute" method for the sauce. Basically I am cooking it to order. Today I want you to focus on the procedure, remember the steps. Make notes in your journal or note pad.( We keep a tasting journal, personal recipe book, and vocabulary)
I review the process of sauteing as I do it. We have covered it already so this is review. I re-emphasize and point out my mise en place and how my organization makes it easy to complete the task at hand.
Say, The first part I will review is the saute procedure and then you will take notes on the sauce procedure. I will inform you when it is time but do not let this stop you from taking any notes on sauteing if you find them helpful.
I usually ask a student(s) the name of the sauce procedure to see if they are paying attention.
Say, What type of sauce making procedure is this called? What does it stand for or mean? Where in the industry do you think we use it?
Teaching point, during periods of time during cooking, while waiting for product to cook, I talk to students about when and where this method is used. ( in restaraunts mostly ($$) especially, demonstration cooking, TV, not in buffet catering or commercial kitchens etc.) If I have time I will have the students talk me through saute. If not, I narrate as specific as time allows.
1. Heat pan first, medium high heat on the stove. High enough heat to cook quickly without burning the product and fond.
Say, Remember to monitor the heat constantly.
Point out your mise en place if time.
2. Add small amount of fat, just enough to cover bottom of pan and make contact with product.
3. Dredge product in flour is needed to promote even browning and to prevent sticking. Or ask a student what dredging is for (Opinions vary on beef). When lecturing and cooking I find it is easier to not dredge so I do not have to worry about the flour burning.
4. Place product in pan presentation side down. Saute and monitor heat source. Again question them why if time. How do we know what the presentation side is?
Say (while browning product if time or fit in somewhere else), cooking sauce a la minute is used in restaurants when preparing food to order. It ensures freshness and control of the sauce instead of one that was prepared earlier in the day or by someone else. You find it in quality restaurants. Being good at this skill will earn you more $$$
5. Cook till brown and desired temperature (doneness) then turn and repeat.
6. Remove when done and place on a holding plate. Take pan off heat while talking or fond will burn
A la minute sauce method begins now. Remind the students to write steps down in their own words.
1. Check fat level, adjust if needed. just enough to coat the bottom of pan. New cooks have a tendency to put too much. Let them know it will show in their sauce or even ruin it.
2. Add minced shallots (and garlic if required). (students have a habit of adding too much garlic) Monitor heat I repeat this often. So many students burn their product at this point by not monitoring the heat. Especially with commercial stoves!
3. Lightly brown to slightly carmelize. This changes the flavor of shallots and garlic if used . It gets rid of the overwhelming strong flavor , sweetens the shallot and gives the garlic a light nutty flavor .
4. Deglaze with 1 oz. deglazing liquid, (only ignite if tableside) remove the alcohol before bringing it to school (school rules) Monitor heat. Say, like stock, there is no substitute for the flavor of fond.
5. Reduce until medium light consistency. Varies depending on product, cuisine, local, etc.
While reducing, talk more about the method or give examples of other dishes where it is used. Ask a student the name of the procedure again.
Inform students that steps 6/7 are interchangeable due to products (flavoring and seasoning) cooking time. (opinions vary)
Say, like all cooking procedures they vary slightly from chef to chef. If you understand the procedure well, making subtle changes is easy.
6. Add any additional flavoring or seasoning. Steps 6 and 7 are interchangeable depending on cooking times of flavoring and seasoning.
7. Add base sauce. (mother, leading, grand etc.) Reduce if needed.
8. Check consistency and use a finishing technique if needed. Finishing techniques has been covered earlier in class but I hand them out with the procedure again.
9. Add any fresh herbs. I add fine minced parsley to some of my sauces for color and freshness.
10, AS = Adjust seasonings, Taste and adjust if needed
11. Plate, some product gets dredged through sauce for sheen, apply sauce to plate. Discuss different methods for applying sauce. napaying, smothering, underlining, in front, just on plate, etc. Note, always impress on them the importance of presentation.
Optional, I quiz groups to see who gets the first one but if I am in a hurry I just make several at one time so they all can taste it together.
Teachers note, I usually make a sauce au poivre or Dianne variation and then do it again with the students picking ingredients and then have them talk me through it. (Checking for Understanding)I control what ingredients are out to insure it tastes good. If needed I pick the ingredients but they still talk me through it.
Say, Okay let's return to our seats for a few minutes. You have two minutes to get to your seats and have writing material out.
- The Procedure - Check Understanding
Teaching point. I review but do not write the steps down to sauteing as they have it in their PRB's (personal recipe books) and we have covered it. I ask different students to explain each step of a la minute sauce making to me and write them on the right of the white board. I ask students until they get it correct with a good explanation and make sure everyone agrees. I use a hand out and write them on the board. On the board it is paraphrased with full explanation in the hand out.
Pick a student after reviewing the saute method and ask what the first step for "a la minute" sauce making is. When done it should look something like below. Hand out is below in assessment attached.
A la minute sauce making
1. Check fat level (med heat) 1. Student description
2. Add minced shallots and garlic if required 2. Student description
3. Caramalize lightly (monitor heat) 3. Student description
4. Deglaze fond 4. Student description
5. Reduce till desired consistency. 5. Student description
6/7. Add flavorings and/or seasonings (see hand out) 6/7 Student Description
6/7 Add base sauce (mother, grand etc) 6. Student description
8. Finishing technique (check consistency) 8. Student description
9. Fresh herbs (optional) 9. Student description
10. Taste and adjust 10. Student description
Say, Take the handout and read the complete description of each step. In your recipe book, use words and descriptions from the board and hand out that will ensure your success. Write the procedure down. For me it is just the words in bold. Write enough down to ensure you can look at it and repeat the process with success. It may also help you to have a cheat sheet the fist couple times you make sauce. You have 10 minutes.
- A La Minute Sauce Procedure.docx [ Download ]
- Assessment Types:
- work sheet
When students are done with writing the procedure down I hand out the work sheet.
Say, To get out of class today you need to complete before leaving. Read the instructions well. The columns on the middle of the page have the a la minute procedure. There are 2 lists of ingredients at the bottom labeled #1 and #2. Carefully place the number of the ingredient to the corresponding step in the procedure in labeled. There is also an extra step that does not belong in the procedure. Identify it and mark it with an X in both columns.
You have two minutes to read the directions then I need your attention for a brief moment. When they are done reading check to make sure they understand by asking the students several questions (below)
Pick random students and ask if they can explain what goes in columns #1 and #2.
Also ask how many steps are in the a la minute procedure? (Remember the hand-out has one extra)
How many ingredients in list #1?
Why does the number differ from the procedure (you should get several answers) 1. Some steps do not add any ingredients. 2 There is a step that does not belong. 3 some ingredients may go in the same column. Ask any other questions you feel is important to their completion and success then remind them to turn it in as they leave or if limited by time when they return to class tomorrow.
- A la minute worksheet.docx [ Download ]