Author :chef ssentongo Geoffrey
Blog : French cooking Techniques chefs Need to Know..
Culinary arts has strong roots in French cuisine.
Inspired by our namesake, Auguste Escoffier. Our cooking have a versatile foundation in French cooking that can be applied to advanced techniques from a variety of cultures!
Here are some of the most useful French cooking techniques for an aspiring chef to hone.
1 – The Foundational Mirepoix
In French cuisine, it’s the miropoix, a finely diced blend of two parts onion, one part celery, and one part carrots, lightly cooked in butter or olive oil. To make perfect miropoix, you must cook your veggies slowly in order to release the flavors without browning or caramelizing them.
2 – The perfect Roux
As a starting point for many of Mother sauces the roux is an indispensable French cooking techniques. A perfect roux helps to thicken a liquid, stock, or sauces.
The ingredients for a roux couldn’t be simpler, made from equal parts Flour and fat—often butter. The trick is in the heat, the movement, and the timing.
A roux should be cooked over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it’s just the right color.
The only difference between a blonde roux, and a brown roux and dark roux is in the timing.
3 – The Five Mother Sauces
The Five “Mother sauces ” in French cuisine form the basis of dozens of additional sources.
The four original mother sauces were Bechamel, Veloute, Espanole, and Tomate. These were selected by legendary French chef Marie-Antoine Careme, the man who developed the concept of Haute cuisine. Later, Hollandaise was added to the lineup by Auguste Escoffier himself. When you knows how to make these, a whole world of sauces opens up! These sauces and the secondary sauces can be found on Pastas, proteins, vegetables, and much more.
The Five Mother sauces
° Bechamel : A roux of flour and butter with milk
° Hollandaise : Made from clarified butter, warm egg yolks, and an acid like vinegar or white wine
° Veloute : A white stock (chicken, or vegetables) flavored with mirepoix and thickened with a trademark blonde roux
° Espanole : A brown stock flavored with mirepoix and thickened with a roux
° Tomate : Made from rendered pork, a romantic veggies, tomatoes, stock, and ham bone for flavor
4 – Delicate French Cuts
In French cooking, you should have a specialty knife skills that can help you to make short work of their herbs and veggies. These techniques help cooks to reduce irregular foods into uniform shapes for even cooking.
To julienne, for example, is to cut vegetables into small, uniform Matchsticks. These cook quickly and evenly and are perfect for a light Sautee.
The Batonnet is similar in shape to julienne, but it’s a bit shorter and thicker.
A Brunoise is a fine dice, often used in sauces as their small size releases flavor quickly. A small dice is a slightly larger cube than a Brunoise.
The Chiffonade is a method of cutting herbs and leafy vegetables into fine stripes.
The differences between these various cuts can be subtle, but they’re important distinctions in French cuisine!
5 – Flavorful Deglacer
Much of French cooking comes down to simplicity. Rather than adding additional ingredients or seasonings for extra flavor.
One way to do that is with the method of deglacer, or deglazing. To deglaze is to release the browned juices and fats from the bottom of your pan by adding a bit of stock, water, or wine and heating to a low simmer.
Deglazing pulls the concentrated flavors and fats from the pan which can then be re-use for a delicious pan sauce or Demi-Glace to pour over the protein that you’ve just cooked!
6 – Cooking “En Papillote”
A great deal of modern cooking terminology is in French, which can make simple concepts sound complicated. But it simply means cook “in paper”. It’s ideal for tender proteins like fish, chicken and veggies and a romantics atop your protein to impart their flavors to the finished dish. For example..
7 – The Bouquet Garni
In some French recipes, herbs impart a bit of their flavor to a stew, sauce, or stock… but they’re not meant to be eaten.
So How can you remove individual ingredients from the greater whole?
The answer is the bouquet garni, a common method of adding a ” garnish bouquet” to a dish thet let’s you take it out after cooking.
This is a perfect way to get peppercorn flavor in your dish without biting into one!
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