Have You Ever Dreamed of Going to Culinary School? Glossary and Recipes

Beurre manié is simply softened butter that has been kneaded into flour until well incorporated.  The mixture, usually composed of equal amounts of butter and flour, is then formed into small pieces or pea-sized balls that can be whisked into a simmering sauce or liquid just before the end of the cooking period to thicken it slightly.  When adding beurre manié to a sauce, the mixture is never brought to a boil, as boiling can cause the separate.  Since the sauce will not be cooked for any length of time, it is suggested that only a small amount of the thickener be used or the finished sauce will taste of uncooked flour.

Hollandaise Sauce

7 ounces Clarified Butter

2 Egg Yolks

2 Tablespoons water

Lemon Juice, to taste, Salt, to taste, Cayenne Pepper, to taste

  1. If it is not already available clarify 10 ounces of whole butter by melting it over low heat without allowing it to simmer.  Let stand for 5 minutes, skim off the foam on top, and pour off the clarified butter, leaving behind the water and milk solids that have settled on the bottom. Set aside.
  2. Place the egg yolks and water in a non-reactive bowl and whisk together.  Over a pot of water heated to simmer on medium-low heat, make sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the simmering water.
  3. Beat the egg yolk mixture for approximately 4 minutes.  The consistency of the mixture should be that of thick, soft, very smooth whipped cream.  Between the streaks of the whisk, the bottom of the pan should be visible.  This light yet thick mixture is a delicate sabayon; be careful not to overheat it or the eggs may scramble.
  4. Remove from heat and add the clarified butter a little at a time, beating after each addition.  Move the hollandaise on and off the heat to keep the temperature just hot enough to absorb the butter and thicken the sauce.  Add lemon juice to taste, and season with salt and cayenne to taste.
  5. If the sauce gets too thick, carefully thin it with warm water to achieve the proper consistency.  Check again for seasoning, and if necessary, season to taste with salt, cayenne, and lemon juice.
  6. Serve warm, but do not allow it to get too hot or it will break.

Blind Baking is a two-step process, it requires that the tart shell be partially or completely baked and then cooled before any filling is added.  This method is referred to as blind baking.  This is required for tarts in which the filling is not to be baked or for tarts with fillings that bake quickly.

To blind bake a tart shell, line the chilled raw tart shell with a piece of parchment paper and fill the center with beans or pie weights.  This will help the tart keep it’s shape in the initial phase of baking and to prevent pockets of air in dough from forming.  Bake at high heat (400 degrees F) until it looks white and chalky (the bottom of the shell is usually raw at this point). Remove the beans and parchment and return pastry shell to the oven until it is baked through.  If preparing in advance, the crust is at risk of breaking if not stored properly.

Tournage – the technique of shaping and carving.  The word “tournage” comes from the French verb tourner, which means simply “to turn.”  The idea is to cut each vegetable into faceted-oval shapes-usually with seven sides and blunt ends.

à l’anglaise – a technique used for cooking vegetables prior to service, where they are plunged into an ice bath for reheating later.

à l’etuvée –  This is a simple method to cook vegetables to perfection using a little water, a pinch of salt, butter and a parchment lid cut to size to control the rate of the evaporation.

èmincer – to thinly slice

Pâte Brisée (Flaky Tart Dough)

Standard

4 oz cake flour

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon granulated sugar

2 oz cold butter

1 oz water

With Egg

5 oz cake flour

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon granulated sugar

2 oz cold butter

1 egg

By Hand

  1. Mix together the cake flour, salt and sugar.
  2. Cut the cold butter into ½ – in cubes.
  3. Add the cubed butter to the dry ingredients and using a bowl scraper, cut in the butter until the butter pieces are approximately the size of dried lentils (about 3mm), working quickly to avoid melting the butter.
  4. Form a well in the flour-butter mixture and add some of the cold water to the well.
  5. Begin to combine the water (or egg, if using) into the flour-butter mixture; be careful not to overwork the dough at this stage.
  6. As the dough comes together, set it aside and make a well in the remaining dry ingredients.
  7. Add more water as needed until all of the dough is soft and shaggy.
  8. To ensure that the dough is homogenous, remove walnut-size pieces from the dough and crush them against the work surface with the heel of your hand or with a plastic bowl scraper.  The French term for this technique is fraisage.
  9. Gather all the pieces of dough together, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to relax the gluten.

By Machine

  1. Place the cake flour, salt and sugar into the mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment.
  2. Add the cold butter that has been cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
  3. Turn the mixer on slow and mix the ingredients until the butter pieces are approximately the size of dried lentils, about 1/8.
  4. Add the cold water (or egg, if using) to the dough gradually, until it is soft and shaggy.
  5. Work the dough on the bench to finish it and to make it homogenous (fraisage).
  6. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate as above.