I'm a pretty simple cook really. I know how o make pretty much anything, but I find a simple piece of protein, cooked well, with a simple and tasty sauce and a delicious salad, pretty hard to resist, not to mention quick and easy to throw together.

I have created a simple pan sauce recipe and added a series of variations (please note the full versions of these traditional French sauces are a little more time consuming but these are quick and easy alternatives for those of you, like me, who don't want to spend hours in the kitchen but want to east something delicious), that anyone can whip up from the pan drippings, (known as fond) from the meat, fish, chicken or pork, you've just pan fried.

In essence, a pan sauce is created by first deglazing the pan, which is chef talk for adding liquid to a pan in which you've just cooked some kind of meat or vegetables, in oil or butter.

The fun of pan sauces is the variety of flavours you can use. In general, though, the liquid added can be stock, juice, or wine. Apple juice, for example, goes very well with pork. Measurements are not strict. One cup of liquid added before reducing will generally produce 2 tablespoons of sauce per serving (if you've cooked enough for 4 people). Enrichments can be herbs, mustard, vinegar, wine, honey, sugar, chilies, capers, oriental flavourings, olives, liqueurs, etc.

All pan sauces are also improved with some fat whisked in at the end, such as butter, cream, or olive oil. For those of you on a strict low fat diet, pureed vegetables can be substituted. A sauce starting with 1 cup of liquid would normally take about 2 Tbsp of butter, or 4 Tbsp of cream. Remember to have fun, try lots of combinations, and taste as you go along.

Quantities of the variation ingredients depends on taste and amount of sauce you're making. Variations include Sauce Diane, Sauce Al Limone, A La Orange, Bordelaise Sauce, Chasseur Sauce, Sauce Diable, Sauce Lyonnaise, Piquante Sauce, Reforme Sauce, Sauce Robert, Mushroom Sauce, Curry Sauce. See the recipe for ( Pan Sauce ).