Emulsify. In the culinary arts, an emulsion is a union of two liquids that would ordinarily not mix company, like oil and vinegar. There are two sorts; temporary emulsions like a simple vinaigrette and permanent emulsions such as aioli which is stabilized by egg yolks. To create an emulsion, the droplets of one of the […]
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Sear proteins for two simple reasons: rich flavor and juicy meat. Searing provides a juice-preserving shield that holds in moisture during subsequent cooking. More important to your taste buds, when meat touches a scorching hot pan, the surface instantly begins to brown through a process called the Maillard reaction. That golden brown coating then seeps […]
Sweat – Sweating is the gentle heating of vegetables in a little oil or butter, with frequent stirring to evaporate liquids and yield tender, sometimes translucent, pieces. As compared to sautéing, sweating is done over a much lower heat, sometimes with a bit of salt, and making sure that little or no browning takes place. […]
Parboil – Parboiling is set apart from blanching in that you skip the polar bear plunge into icy water after the item it boiled. Parboiling is usually used to precook an item which will then be cooked another way such as braising, grilling or stir-frying. A classic example is the parboiling of bell peppers in […]
Confit (pronounced con-fee) is a French term for various kinds of food (fruits, vegetables and meats) that have been slowly cooked in oil or sugar water (syrup). Sealed and stored in a cool, dark place, a confit perishable is good for several months. The technique is one of the oldest known ways to preserve food […]
Cascada or cachelos – Both terms refer to a specific type of cut used when preparing bite-sized potatoes for certain dishes and soups. Beginning with peeled potatoes, make the cut by sliding a knife into the raw potato and then pry the piece off, snapping the uncut edge from the potato. This broken edge exudes […]
Blanch – Blanching is a process of quickly dipping an item, let’s say a tomato, into boiling water and then shocking it by plunging it into ice water. This process causes skins to loosen and shrink so that they are easier to remove. Blanching also serves to reduce strong odors or to set the vibrant […]
Mirepoix (pronounced mirh-pwah) is an aromatic base for countless dishes from chicken soup to balsamic reduction. In its most basic form, Mirepoix is a dice of onions (or leeks), celery, and carrots used to add flavor to a dish or sauce. Variations on this staple include garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, cloves, thyme, and rosemary. Termed […]
Mortar & Pestle (mortero or almirez) This basic tool is indispensable in the traditional Spanish kitchen. Made of hefty stone, olive wood or shiny brass, the mortar is often as lovely as it is useful. The tool is the starting point of many of Spain’s most famous concoctions including ajoblanco, cold almond soup and romesco […]
In mid-2000, Ferran Adria, the acclaimed Spanish Chef, took a look at a long-used kitchen tool, a whip cream and soda siphon, and opened our eyes to whole new possibilities. It was a big re-discovery for gastronomy and had a lot of chefs and cooks reaching for their old whipper and siphon with new ideas […]