Cooking Techniques

What is the function of lean ground meat in the clearmeat for consomme?

The lean ground meat traditionally added to clearmeat mixtures for consomme is used to fortify the flavor of the stock. Typically chefs use the same species of meat as the stock – i.e. ground chicken with chicken stock, veal with
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How do you prep & sear foie gras?

Selecting Foie Gras The foie grade you select is important as different grades are suited to different applications: Grade A foie is the best choice for searing because it’s firmer, larger, and better looking. Grade B can also be used
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What is “Beurre Manie”?

Buerre manie (“kneaded butter”) is a method of using starch to thicken liquids without risking clumps.  Starch (traditionally wheat flour) is pressed into clumps of butter (traditionally in a 1 to 1 ratio) before being added to the pot or
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What is a Slurry?

A slurry is a method for incorporating starches or flours into simmering liquids without clumping. Starches and flours thicken by “gelating” – their granules swell (trapping water) and leak starches into the surrounding liquid.  This is what makes gravy thick
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What does “blooming” gelatin mean? Why do it?

Blooming gelatin refers to soaking gelatin sheets (aka leaf gelatin, gelatin leaves) or granules in cold water for a few minutes before use.The gelatin absorbs some of the water, becoming more tender and dissolving more readily in warm liquids. Some
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How do you make brown butter?

Browned butter (aka Beurre Noisette) has a delicious nutty, rich flavor.  It’s really easy to make at home and can be added to recipes or used as a sauce.  It’s a great accompaniment to pasta and fresh herbs (especially sage).
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What’s the best way to deseed dried chiles?

Removing the seeds from dried chiles reduces the overall heat level of those chiles substantially.  In addition, chile seeds have a different color and somewhat different texture than the rest of the chile, so you’ll get a more uniform result,
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What is “sous vide”?

Sous vide” (French for “under vacuum”) is a relatively new technique for cooking food where it is wrapped in food safe plastic bags and submerged in temperature-controlled water baths. Though food cooked sous vide is generally vacuum packed, the water
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Why is chicken stock cooked for 4-6 hours and beef stock for 6-8 hours?

The different cooking times for stocks have to do with beliefs about the amount of time necessary to extract the best amount of gelatin and flavor from the bones being used. Beef and veal bones are thicker, heavier and generally
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What’s the best way to clean fresh morels?

Generally we feel fresh morel mushrooms don’t need to be washed, but here are the recommended cleaning methods if you would like to clean yours. What We Recommend: Give your morels a quick dunk in cool water and then let
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What is tempering?

The term tempering has two different meanings in the kitchen that tend to be ingredient specific.  One can temper eggs and one can temper chocolate. Tempering Eggs: The thickening properties of eggs are used in a variety of sauces and
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What is a reduction?

Reduction is an important tool in the kitchen used all the time in the creation of sauces, soups, and stews.  As liquids boil or simmer they evaporate, reducing down and thickening. However, you’ve probably seen phrases like “red wine reduction”, “balsamic reduction” or “raspberry
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Where can I find recipes for a home sous vide machine?

Home sous vide machines are still extremely rare, and as such most recipes and information is written with chefs in mind.  Sous vide is a technique particularly popular with the “molecular gastronomy” movement at the moment, so you’re likely to
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How do I reconstitute dried chantrelles for use in fresh chanterelle recipes?

Dried chanterelles can be reconstituted with boiling water just like any other dried wild mushrooms.  Unfortunately, in our experience we’ve often found that they rehydrate to a somewhat “woody” texture that’s best pureed for soups, stews, etc.  We may be
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What’s the difference between sauteing and sweating veggies?

Sweating and sautéing are very similar cooking methods that both involve cooking food in a pan with a small amount of fat (oil, butter, duck fat, bacon fat, etc).  Sweating is essentially sautéing at a lower temperature.  Read on for
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