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mirepoix 01The Basic Mirepoix

 

Introduction 

Every recipe can be flavor and texture enhanced with these basic vegetables, herbs and spices. Soup stocks, ragus and gravies are built with these foundation ingredients. By learning their ratios and simple preparation techniques, dishes are no longer just OK, they become fabulous.

I would like to give credit to The Culinary Institute of America. Their book The Professional Chef, 8th edition, is where most of this information comes from. It has guided me for decades, and I recommend everyone get a current edition.

 

Mirepoix

The Mirepoix

Serves 6 – Preparation time 30 minutes.

mirepoix 01

 

The Basic Mirepoix

Primarily used to flavor a variety of stocks and soups. Tomato paste, or puree is often included for brown stocks, gravy, stew or soup. Often sautéed for additional flavor. The ratios are generally by weight, and can be changed based on the recipe of flavors desired.

  • 2 Parts Onion
  • 1 Part Celery
  • 1 Part Carrot

In Italian cuisine, chopped onions, carrots and celery is battuto, and then, slowly sauteed in olive oil, becomes soffritto. It is used as the base for most pasta sauces, such as bolognese sauce, but occasionally it can be used as the base of other dishes, such as sauteed vegetables. For this reason, it is a fundamental component in Italian cuisine. It may also contain garlic, shallot or leek.

 

The Basic White Mirepoix

Primarily used to flavor stocks and soups that should have a mild flavor and/or pale ivory or white color.

  • 2 Parts Onion or the white of Leaks
  • 1 Part Celery Roots or Hearts
  • 1 Part Parsnips


The Basic Mirepoix for Asian Aromatics

Used in many Asian stir fries, soups and sauces.

  • 2 Parts Garlic
  • 2 Parts Ginger
  • 1 Part Green Onion

 

The Basic Mirepoix for Cajun Trinity

Used in many Louisiana Creole and Cajun dishes.

  • 2 Parts Onion
  • 1 Part Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 Part Celery

 

The Basic Combination for Matignon

Sometimes called edible Mirepoix. It typically includes onions, carrots, celery and ham cut into very fine dice. Mushrooms and assorted herbs and spices may be added as desired. Used to garnish a dish as well as flavor it.

  • 3-1/2 oz. / 99 gr. Ham
  • 4-1/2 oz. / 128 gr. Onion
  • 4-1/2 oz. / 128 gr. Carrot
  • 2 oz. 57 gr. Celery
  • 1 Sprig Thyme
  • 1 Bay Leaf

 

Laß es Dir schmecken...!

Bouquets & Sachets

Bouquets, Sachets & Oignon Brûlé

Serves 6 – Preparation time 30 minutes.

Bouquets 01Herbs & Spices

 

These combinations of aromatic vegetables, herbs and spices are meant to enhance and support the flavors of a dish. They add flavors to stocks, sauces and soups by gently infusing the liquid with their aroma.

A Standard Bouquet GarniFor 1 gallon / 3.84 liter of liquid

  • 1 Sprig of Thyme
  • 3 or 4 Parsley Stems
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 or 3 Leek Leaves and/or 1 Celery Stalk, cut in half crosswise

 

A Standard Sachet d’ÉpicesFor 1 gallon / 3.84 liter of liquid

  • 3 or 4 Parsley Stems
  • 1 Sprig of Thyme or 1 tsp. / 2 gr. Dried Thyme
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp. / 2 gr. Cracked Peppercorns
  • 1 Garlic Clove (optional)

 

Laß es Dir schmecken...!

Clarified Butter

Clarified Butter

Serves 6 – Preparation time 30 minutes.

clarified butter 01Clarified Butter

 

Clarified butter is made by heating whole butter until the butter fat, water and milk solids separate. Only use unsalted butter. Remaining butter volume will be lost. Clarified butter is commonly used to make roux and has a higher smoke temperature, making it excellent for sautéing.

 

Clarified Butter Preparation

  • Heat butter over low heat
  • Skim off the foam and solids sink to the pan bottom
  • Decant the clarified butter

1 pound of whole butter yields approximately 12 oz. / 340 gr. of clarified.

 

Laß es Dir schmecken...!

The Roux

The Roux

Serves 6 – Preparation time 30 minutes.

the roux 01The Roux

 

Roux thickens sauces, soups and stews, as well as providing flavors. Both the flavor and color become deeper as cooking time increases. Various flours and fats – whole butter, vegetable oils, rendered chicken fat or other rendered fats – may be used. Flours vary in starch to protein ratios. Cake flours contain more starch than bread flours and will, therefore, have more thickening power than bread flour. All-Purpose flour is between bread and cake flour. Roux varies from light, blond, brown to dark.

 

A Typical Roux14 to 16 oz. of roux per 1 gallon / 3.84 liter of liquid

  • Use Clarified Butter
  • Use All-Purpose Flour
  • Formula by weight: 3 parts flour to 2 parts fat


Instructions

  • Heat the clarified butter, whole butter, vegetable oil or other rendered poultry or beef fat over medium heat.
  • Add flour and constantly stir until combined and a very smooth consistency is reached.

 

Combining Roux with A Liquid

  • Cool roux may be added to a hot liquid or
  • Cool liquid may be added to hot roux or
  • Roux may be added to the sauce temperature

 

Note

  • The full thickening action of the roux is when the liquid has reached approximately 200°F.
  • For a light consistency use 14 oz. of roux to 1 gallon of liquid.
  • For a medium consistency use 15 to 16 oz. of roux per 1 gallon of liquid.
  • Long cooking sauces and stews are thickened further through reduction.

the roux 02Colors of the Roux

  • White ― Barely colored
  • Blonde ― Golden Straw with a slightly nutty aroma
  • Brown ― Deep brown with a strong nutty aroma
  • Dark Brown ― Dark brown with a pronounced nutty flavor and aroma

 

Laß es Dir schmecken...!

Starch Slurries

Starch Slurries

Serves 6 – Preparation time 30 minutes.

Pure Starch Slurries 01Pure Starch Slurries

 

Cornstarch, arrowroot and other pure starches – tapioca, potato starch and rice flour –   have greater thickening power, ounce for ounce, than flour. Keep in mind, these slurries break down faster than a flour roux (starches settle out of the liquid) and must be re-stirred to maintain their quality.

Thoroughly blend the starch and liquid to the consistency of heavy cream. Pour the slurry slowly into the simmering liquid. Whisk constantly to prevent clumping or scorching. Bring the liquid back to a boil and bring the sauce to the desired thickness and consistency.

 

Thickening Powers – Compared to Flour

  • Potato Starch – 0.2
  • Tapioca – 0.4
  • Arrowroot – 0.5
  • Cornstarch – 0.5
  • Rice Flour – 0.6

 

Laß es Dir schmecken...!

Laison

Laison

Serves 6 – Preparation time 30 minutes.

Laison 01

 

Liaison is a mixture of egg yolks and cream, used to enrich flavors and slightly thicken sauces and soups. It is not used as a thickener per se, but adds sheen, smoothness, body and a golden ivory color.

Egg yolks coagulate at 149°F / 65°C. Adding cream raises this point to approximately 180°F / 82°C. Blend egg yolks and cream until evenly blended. Add approximately 1/3 of the hot liquid to the liaison to help prevent a drastic temperature change, which could cause curdling.

When adequate hot liquid has been added, return the tempered liaison to the soup or sauce. Return the pot to low heat (below 185°F / 85°C), stirring constantly until the soup or sauce thickens slightly.

Add the liaison to the soup or sauce as late as possible, prior to serving.

 

Liaison RatioTo Thicken 24 fluid oz. / 720 ml Liquid

3 Parts Cream – 8 fluid oz. / 240 ml

1 Part Egg – 3 large yolks or 2-1/2 fluid oz. / 75 ml

 

Laß es Dir schmecken...!

Reference

Reference

This can serve as a master reference for all things cooking. 

The Professional Chef 01

 


Copyright

All material, information and images are © 2015 - 2023 Christoph G. Olesch, unless otherwise noted, and may not be reproduced without permission. Certain content, material, information and images may be subject to copyrights by their respective owners, as indicated, and may not be reproduced without written agreement. All rights reserved.

 

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