Basic Cooking Techniques Continued
By Leslie Radford
Here is a continuation of some basic cooking techniques you may want to try at your restaurant. Each method can add some depth to your dishes whether you are new to cooking or a more experienced chef.
Many dishes call for meat to be dredged in eggs and flour to add a golden-brown exterior when it is pan-fried. Dredging can also help an additional coating, like breadcrumbs, stick to your protein.
To dredge something, you will coat it in breadcrumbs, flour, or another dry mixture prior to cooking it (and if it isn’t “sticky” enough to hold the coating, it’ll need to be coated in a wet substance, such as egg or milk, before dredging). This is most often done to meat prior to frying it in a deep fryer or pan, giving it additional flavor, texture, and browned appearance after it’s cooked.
After frying or sautéing a food item, you can deglaze the pan. You do this by removing the caramelized residue, called “fond,” by pouring in broth, stock, or wine to turn into the base of a sauce. You may hear the terms “pan sauce” or “pan gravy” used to refer to sauces and gravies made with this method.
Julienned ingredients have a distinctive shape. This is also known as a French cut. Vegetables are cut this way for a variety of dishes. This cut adds a sense of elegance to your dish and is appealing to the eye, not to mention an easy cut to perform.
To julienne an ingredient, cut it into long, thin strips, just like the classic shape of a French fry (thus, their name). The most common ingredients cut in this style are vegetables (like bell peppers and onions) although meat may be julienned for certain stir fry dishes.