French food immediately conjures up fantastic smells, exquisite dishes and excellent presentation.
Many people at home don’t fully understand how to go about preparing French food.
There are two factors that need to be considered when both preparing and cooking dishes that are French in origin.
The first is the ingredients used, and second is the techniques used to cook them.
It goes without saying that the ingredients should be of a good quality. This doesn’t mean that you have to go and buy the most expensive items on the shelf.
Regarding the cooking methods, a combination of techniques is generally used. You don’t need to be well versed in all of them, but learning and using one or two of them at a time is the best way to proceed.
As you become more accustomed to one technique, you then add in another and another. In no time, you’ll then be more than knowledgeable about the different methods.
If you would like to experience French food and culture at its finest then there’s no better way than to visit the country itself. Like anywhere in the world, authentic local cuisine is always best from within the country itself.
The following three techniques form the basis of French cooking:
This is used to prepare a variety of vegetables. It brightens the colour of the vegetables and to make sure that the colours remain consistent.
In order to blanch, you need to bring a pan of water to the boil. Once it’s boiling you then drop the vegetables into it for between half a minute to two minutes.
You immediately remove them and rinse them in cold water
This technique looks tricky at first but in reality it’s quite simple. This method of cooking vegetables will reduce the amount of time needed to cook and will also help retain more flavour and colour.
To brunoise a vegetable like a carrot, you cut the edges so that it becomes a square or rectangular vegetable. Next you slice the carrot into lengths of strips that are usually 1/8 of an inch thick.
Cut lengthways again in the same way. Finally, you want to chop from the ends of the thin strips to make small cubes around 1/8 inch square.
This technique is very similar to the one above and will provide another interesting way in which to present food.
You start by using the same process as with brunoised vegetables. You create a square sided vegetable and then cut lengthways at about 1/8 inch apart. You turn the vegetable on its side so that pieces are stacked up and then cut again lengthways.
These are just 3 techniques that anyone can try out at home in order to get a small taste of some French cooking techniques.