Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Production kitchen: veal stock, fish fumet, roux

Well-made sauces in five categories are the basis for classic French cooking, and we started in earnest down that path today in Culinary Foundations II.

* The roasting of 50 pounds of veal bones and 10 pounds of mirepoix (onions, carrots, celery) for creating brown stock was the first task of the day. (Roasted veal bones at right; brown stock simmering below right.)

* Using the bones of a large halibut, we also created a fish fumet, or fish stock, with a mirepoix of onions, leeks and celery and a bit of white wine.

* Stocks are combined with a thickening agent, most often a roux (fat and flour). So we made roux, cooking it to three distinct colors, each with a use in a different sauce. (Photo below shows my white, blonde and brown roux efforts.)

Chef demonstrated the makings of two "mother" sauces, béchamel and velouté and two secondary or small sauces from them -- mornay from the béchamel, vin blanc from the velouté. On Wednesday, we will be tested on the making of béchamel, fish velouté and chicken velouté, mornay, sauce supreme and vin blanc sauce.

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