What is Normandy Sauce?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Normandy sauce often includes shallots.
Normandy sauce often includes shallots.

Normandy sauce is a form of white sauce which is designed to be paired with fish, although it can be used on other foods as well. As the name implies, this sauce takes its inspiration from the region of France known as Normandy. There are a number of variations on basic Normandy sauce which can be used to bring out specific flavors in a dish, making the sauce extremely versatile, and it is also very easy to make, even for inexperienced cooks.

Normandy sauce is made from a veloute base.
Normandy sauce is made from a veloute base.

The basis of Normandy sauce is the veloute, considered one of the “mother sauces” of French cuisine. A veloute sauce is made by simmering stock with cream or sometimes a roux, a thickening mixture of flour and butter. Once a basic veloute is mastered, a wide assortment of sauces can be produced, with flavors ranging from the sweet to the tart. Common ingredients in veloute include shallots, mushrooms, tarragon, and paprika, though not usually together.

Normandy sauce can be a good accompaniment to salmon dishes.
Normandy sauce can be a good accompaniment to salmon dishes.

A basic Normandy sauce includes fish stock, egg yolk, butter, and heavy cream. These ingredients are simmered together until the sauce thickens into a rich cream which can be poured over fish which has been baked, broiled, grilled, or sauteed, depending on personal choice. The creamy sauce has a mild flavor in this basic form which complements a wide variety of fish, from salmon to cod. The high fat content of the sauce also enhances the flavor of a dish, giving it a fuller mouthfeel.

Some cooks simmer ingredients like bay leaves, apple slices, or shallots in their Normandy sauce, and some recipes call for the addition of ciders or Calvados, a type of liquor. These ingredients can make the dish seem sweeter, tarter, or more intense, depending on what is added and how much of it is added. Once a fish has been sauced, it can be garnished with ingredients like parsley, lemon, or dill, depending on personal taste.

In addition to being served with fish, Normandy sauce can be used to dress other foods. White meats like pork and chicken can go well with this sauce, for example, and the sauce can also be used on things like steaks, although the recommendation of ingredients to strengthen the flavor is recommended, as the sauce can feel anemic with a red meat.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments

wesley91

@oceanswimmer: My sister worked at an elegant little restaurant in New Orleans a couple of years ago and she brought back this recipe for Normandy sauce. It is really easy to make and the taste is out of this world! These are the ingredients: ¼ cup butter, 1 cup mushrooms (chopped), ¼ cup flour, 1 cup fish stock, dash of Cayenne, 6 oysters, 2 egg yolks, ½ cup cream 2 Tbsp. white wine (or lemon juice), salt and pepper to taste.

Melt the butter in a pan over low heat. Add the mushrooms and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the cayenne and the flour. Stir until well blended. Remove from the heat and stir in the fish stock. Return to heat and stir constantly until it is smooth and thick.

Chop up the soft part of the oysters and add to the sauce. Beat the egg yolks slightly, add cream and a little of the hot sauce. Add that to the remaining sauce. Add the wine or lemon juice. Cook until thoroughly heated. Season to taste. It is great served with poached fish.

dill1971

@oceanswimmer: I got this recipe from one of those TV cooking shows. It is for Normandy Cheese Sauce. I tried it a couple of weeks ago and it was absolutely delicious and super easy to make. You will need 2 Tbsp. flour, ¼ tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1 Tbsp. prepared mustard, 2 Tbsp. butter, 1 can (14 ½ oz.) evaporated milk, ½ cup water, and ¼ lb. American cheese.

Blend the flour, pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard with heated butter in a saucepan. Stir in the evaporated milk and water. Cook and stir over low heat until it is smooth and thick. Add the cheese and stir until melted.

OceanSwimmer

I would like to try to make Normandy sauce but I have yet to find a recipe that was simple enough for an amateur cook like myself. Does anyone have an easy recipe for beginners?

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    • Normandy sauce often includes shallots.
      Normandy sauce often includes shallots.
    • Normandy sauce is made from a veloute base.
      Normandy sauce is made from a veloute base.
    • Normandy sauce can be a good accompaniment to salmon dishes.
      Normandy sauce can be a good accompaniment to salmon dishes.