Cooking is an art and just like any other art, many people don’t have the creative talent to design a very good work of art. However, cooking comes very naturally to the French. We can probably say that most French people are artistic by nature considering the fact that food, preparation and their meals are done religiously with a certain touch of uniqueness and creativity.
It may sound very difficult but the French culinary techniques can actually be done by a novice as well as those under training by expert chefs and the French chefs themselves. Creating a masterpiece using these famous cooking techniques will make the impossible seem very possible.
The chefs in a French restaurant, a five star restaurant, or even in the best Tucson restaurant are proud of being able to produce great gourmet food. These chefs have studied internationally just to learn the best ways of cooking. This may seem to be the case in the other parts of the world but it is amazing to know that the greatest chefs in France have learned their skills from their own mothers and grandmothers. They may not be real chefs but the best chefs have learned their basic skills from them.
Among the basic French culinary techniques are the following:
- Baking (faire cuire au four) & Roasting (rotir) are similar as they both use dry heat to prepare the food. The oven is preheated at over 450° and the heat is slowly reduced to 325° as the food gets warm. The idea of this cooking technique is to ensure browning of the food without drying it out.
- Broiling (faire rotir) & Grilling (faire griller) are also identical and the result of grilling oiled foods or putting them into a preheated oven. Thicker or bigger slices or item are cooked longer and at a distance from the source of heat while thin meat cuts can be broiled or grilled fast.
- Braising is cooking meat in liquid with stock, wine or vegetables liquid. The result is a cooked meat with a delicious sauce. Other combinations consists of garlic, wine, tomatoes. One French cooking secret: Anything with a combination of vegetables and wine will always work.
- Frying is a cooking technique that everybody from all over the world knows and practices most of the time. It is a cooking process that is used for cooking practically almost all types of food. Food is fried on low saturated fat oils and being left in a shallow pan to cook.
This article continues to French Cooking Basics, Part 2.