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Soigne

Soigne (pronounced “SWAN-YAY”) means “elegant” in French. It’s used by Chef’s to boast an exceptionally sexy presentation of a dish. But, the next time something gorgeous hits your table, please do not try to impress your server with this term. It is one thing for Chef Grant Achatz to tout his own soigne creation, but it is somewhat douche-y territory for a foodie […]

Smoking

Smoking – refers to cooking at temperatures less than 250 degrees with the addition of smoke from various hardwoods. There are two smoking techniques. Cold smoking uses very low temperatures (70F-90F) so as to smoke the meat without necessarily cooking it. With hot smoking, the goal is to cook the meat while also flavoring it […]

Brine

Brine – Brining is a process in which fish, meat or poultry is soaked in a salt water solution before cooking. Salt is added to cold water in a container, where the meat is soaked for six to twelve hours – depending on the size of the meat. Brining makes cooked meat moister by hydrating […]

Vacuum sealer

Vacuum Sealer – A vacuum sealer is a reduced oxygen packaging device that keeps food fresh in the freezer by creating an airtight Mylar wrap around products. This process creates an anaerobic environment that limits the growth of aerobic bacteria or fungi, and prevents the evaporation of volatile components (no more freezer burn!), extending the […]

Smoker

Smoker or Smokehouse – a smoker is generally an outbuilding designed to hold racks of brined meat while low temperature and smoke from wood chips slowly cooks the product. The structure needs only to have a door for access, vents to regulate the intensity of the smoke, and a means to hold multiple wire racks. The […]

Pimentón

Pimentón (or Paprika) is one of the most ubiquitously used spices of Spanish cooking. Made from ground, dried red chile peppers, Pimentón is used in making sausages, soups, stews and is generously sprinkled on top of eggs, octopus, and even French fries (seriously, try it!) The spice is categorized by its heat: Pimentón Dulce (Sweet); […]

Veloute

Velouté is one of the five “mother sauces” of French cuisine.

Roux

Roux – Melted fat (usually butter) to which flour has been added. A roux is used as a thickener for sauces and soups including three of the mother sauces of classical French cooking: béchamel sauce, velouté sauce, and espagnole sauce. This step is the foundation to developing a wide variety of dishes from gumbo to […]

Mise en place

Mise en place (pronounced MEEZ ahn plahs) is a French phrase which means “putting in place.” It’s one of the first lessons taught in culinary school and many novice cooks will spend countless hours honing their knife skills at this task. In home cooking, as in restaurants, it is used to refer to the process […]