A solution to getting more flavorful and nutritious vegetables on your plate with each meal is to cook them in batches ahead of time, either by blanching or parboiling. When you are ready to serve, the vegetables can be quickly finished in a variety of ways. | The Rouxbe Online Cooking School
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The longer roux is cooked, the less thickening power it has. However, the more it is cooked, the darker it becomes and the nuttier the flavor. Figure out which roux is right to create various flavor profiles by practicing with the different types of roux in a variety of dishes. | Rouxbe Online Cooking School
Roux (pronounced “roo”) is one of the essential building blocks of cooking. || Roux is a base for several of the mother sauces. For example, take a roux and add stock to make a velouté. Add milk or cream to a roux and you have a béchamel. || Learn more at the Rouxbe Online Cooking School
Pizza, dough-n’t you know? (video link) (Public access expires Nov 5, 2012) ||| Improve your pizza skill by watching the short video “Making Pizza Dough” (one in a series on making pizza) and learn the techniques to create simple, light pizza dough that bakes up crispy with just a bit of chewiness.
Braising is revered for its ability to render even the toughest cuts of meat or heartiest vegetables tender and flavorful. While there are several stages responsible for the layered flavors of a braised dish, the first layer for meats is often browning. (You don’t always have to sear the meat before braising.) But if you do, make sure pat the meat dry. Then, brown until a thin crust develops - remember this step is to develop flavor and color.
Sometimes, braised meats, such as this oxtail, can be cumbersome to serve to dinner guests whole due to the bone or type of cut. For oxtail specifically, the most simple way of preparing it for plating is to break it down with your hands. | Rouxbe students can hone their braising skills using the practice recipe “ Braised Oxtail Ragu with Chanterelle Mushrooms”
Ways to Tie the Bouquet Garni || There are a number of ways to (or not to) tie/wrap a bouquet garni to make it easier to remove when you are finished cooking. See the image below for some tips such as the classic French method of tying it up in a leek or using household items such as tea bags. For a reusable way to wrap your bouquet garni, try small reusable vegetable bags.
Vary the components of your bouquet garni to tailor the flavor profile of your dish to fit your taste or a specific type of cuisine. | For example, a classic French bouquet garni has parsley, bay leaf and peppercorn. Try rosemary, fennel leaf, parsley and fennel seed for a Mediterranean flavor. For an Asian inspired dish, try cinnamon, star anise, coriander seed, cilantro and kaffir lime leaves.
Browning, also known as the Maillard reaction, is a chemical reaction between proteins and sugars that happens most noticeably at around 300° F to 500° F. The result on food is an intensified flavor and deepened color, as well as an appealing crust. Lower moisture increases the power of this reaction, making the dry-heat cooking method of roasting ideal for obtaining deliciously browned foods. | Rouxbe Online Cooking School
When roasting vegetables, remember to give them enough space in the pan. Recall that the surfaces of vegetables caramelize as they begin to dry out and approach the temperature of the oven. If the vegetables are too crowded, the steam produced from the natural moisture in the vegetables can get trapped. This means the vegetables will come out cooked, but not caramelized. | Weekly technique video “Preparing to Roast Vegetables” rouxbe.com/... (expires Oct 15)