methods of cooking
BLANCHINGCold Water:Stock Bones of beef, veal and poultry, cured ham or salt pork need to be started in cold water and brought to a boil. This removes impurities, strong flavours and excess blood. Hot Water:Vegetables and sliced or cutter potatoes are blanched in hot water.According to the recipe after blanching the food should be plunged into cold water to prevent further cooking.Oil:All the potato preparation likes French fries, Pont noeuf, soufflé, sautéed ….etc will be blanched at 140° POACHINGFish, poultry are poached in a small amount of liquid at 70-80°C 1/3 of the highs and covered.Dumplings, smoked pork, sausages and eggs are immersed and cooked in water, stock at 70-80°C.Farces, fillings, puddings, timbales, sweets and Royales are cooked in water baths without stirring.Creams, sponge mixtures and sauces are cooked on a double boiler with stirring at 65-80°C.Poaching is a gentle process, which prevents the food from drying out. BOILINGPotatoes and whole tubers, dried vegetables and bones should start with cold water to allow the food to absorb water and an even cooking to take place.Clear stocks, clear broths and meat jellies also should start in cold water and after the first boil, the temperature should be kept below boiling point.Cut vegetables should be cooked in boiling water to retain their vitamins, minerals and colour.Pasta and rice should also be cooked in boiling salted water as this keeps the starchy pieces from sticking together.Meat and poultry that needs to be boiled should be immersed in boiling water to seal the pores and then the cooking should be completed on a simmer. STEAMING Poultry, meats, fish, potatoes, vegetables, dumplings can be steamed. The food must not come in contact with the water. Only tender cuts of meat and poultry are used. The temperature is between 95-110°C. DEEP-FAT FRYINGFish, meat, poultry, vegetables, potatoes, fritters, doughnuts and other dessert may be deep-fried. The food normally is coated with breadcrumbs, batter, semolina or crushed nuts. Do not over load the fryer as this brings down the temperature and would result in food that is oily. Food should be at room temperature before frying, the exceptions being frozen blanched potatoes and shrimps. The temperature should be between 160-180°C. SAUTÉINGFinely sliced meat and poultry, fish, vegetables, potatoes are sautéed in a pan with a small quantity of fat, the being moved (shaken) constantly. The temperature is between 160-240°C. BROILING/GRILLINGSmall and medium sized pieces of meat (chops, cutlets, sirloin steaks, Chateaubriand), poultry, sausages, small fish, shellfish and vegetables and potatoes wrapped in aluminium foil may be used for grilling.The meat is marinated and seasoned for about 30 minutes. The heat source may be from above, below or both. High heat is used initially to seal the meat and then at lower temperatures the meat is cooked to the desired degree of doneness. Temperatures between 220-250°C are used to sear and the cooking is completed at 150-200°C.In order to have an equal juice repartition, turn the piece after each side is signed. GRATINATINGThe surface of a gratin dish is covered with butter, cheese, cream or egg mix, and bread crumbs. The dish is then placed under a salamander at 250-300°C until a gold brown crust is formed. BAKINGThe food is placed on a greased sheet, rack or moulds and cooked at the desired temperature till the required degree of doneness. In baking, dry, hot air is used as the element of heat transfer. ROASTINGTop grades of meat with a fat covering; prime rib, rib eye, sirloin, rump roast and turkey, the meat is placed on a rack, fat side up and a meat thermometer is inserted into the muscle, not touching the bone, and at temperatures between 150-177°C, the roast is cooked till the desired degree of doneness.When the meat does not have a fat layer, it is first seared and then with the meat thermometer in it, the meat is cooked in the oven and is constantly basted.For fish after searing the roasting temperature is 110°C.For poultry, game, potatoes, after searing the oven temperature is between 180-200°C.For spit roasting the meat is at first exposed to high temperature, then lowered, the meat being basted more frequently. The bigger the piece of meat, the lower the temperature. BRAISINGThis method is used for the less tender cuts of meat such as; beef: chuck, foreshank, brisket, shoulder, flank and round.Mutton/lamb: neck, shoulder, shank, breast, and leg.The meat is browned quickly in fat at 200°C. The liquid is then added, like brown stock, upto 2/3rds of the meat’s height. The pan is covered and the meat is braised at simmering temperatures. From time to time the meat is turned over. When the meat is cooked the liquid is strained and the excess fat is skimmed off. The sauce is finished off (red wine and roux are added). The meat is sliced ½ inch thick and the sauce poured over.Fish: for fish, the cooking liquid is white wine and fish stock. The level of the liquid is 1/3 rd up the fish and the temperature is less. After it is cooked the liquid is used for preparing a fish stock.Glazed vegetables may be served with the dish. Carrots, turnips, small onions and chestnuts are cooked covered with a small quantity of liquid, butter and sugar. It is stewed at 150°C and when the liquid has evaporated the heat is turned upto 200°C and the vegetables tossed to give a glaze. POELERChicken, turkey, goose, duck, loin and sirloin of veal, tenderloin and sirloin of beef may be cooked in generous amounts of butter in a covered pan in the oven. The meat is basted regularly. The temperature is at 140-160°C. Later the meat is uncovered and cooked a golden brown at 160-180°C. The meat is removed and the pan is deglazed using wine and/or brown stock. The liquid is reduced. STEWINGSmall pieces of meat, fish, vegetables and fruits are stewed. The food is browned in fat and then the liquid is added to cover. A lid is fitted on and on a simmer the food is finished cooking. Stewed items are served with their liquid.