Sucs and fond?
I've often heard the term fond used for the bits at the bottom of the pan. Is sucs the same thing?
Julienne, chiffonade, emince...? Fancy names. Simple concepts. Find clarity here.
I decided to apply some of the techniques that I learnt in the "Pan Sauces" lesson. I had tilapia in the fridge. I pan-fried it carefully so that the sucs didn't burn and then made a pan sauce by sauteeing garlic and ginger, de-glazing with sake, and then adding juice of one orange with a half a table-spoon of dark brown sugar whisked into it. As the orange juice simmered, I added a few pieces of serrano chili sliced on the bias to give the sauce a hint of spice but not to make it really spicy. I finished the sauce with cilantro and served the whole dish over white rice.
I was very surprised (pleasantly so) at how good the dish tasted. No flavour dominated. It was a fantastic balance. I took a few photos of the plated dish, with the idea of submitting it to the Rouxbe Test kitchen, but my plates are a flaming red and the photos don't do justice to the taste of the dish. Do I have to have winning photos of my dishes for them to ever make it beyond the Test Kitchen?
Okay, when I recommended to Mom that she place her cheesecake in a bain marie, I got in hot water ABSOLUTELY NO PUN INTENDED; this is a woman who has been making cheesecakes since before I was born 40+ odd years ago, when I suggested she might modify her pan sauce techniques (getting rid of the BURNED sucs) and perhaps deglazing with something other than stock (although I'm no a huge wine fan, just me it makes me itchy) and then finishing with butter for a beautiful glossy, lovely sauce, I nearly got my petunias kicked out of the kitchen, and trust me I've been a precocious pain in mom's kitchen since she taught me to make her first dessert eons ago. I was too big for my briches; I just wanted to help. Now, I going to mind my own business, love her dearly, and keep it that way! I did however email her a link to this site; it's up to her..?..
I have experimented with pan sauces lately. The main problem for me is during the time it takes for the sauce to form, reduce, emulsify etc, my meat gets cold. I often like to make steaks with a nice creamy cognac pan sauce. This take some time. I have considered placing the steaks in the oven but I am concerned about over cooking them. I have also used a foil wrap. Any suggestions on how to remedy this?
When cooking meats and making sauces it can be tricky to get the right timing. This is one of the reasons why in professional kitchens the "saucier" (the person in charge making and finishing the sauces), is so very important.
Here are a couple of things I do to help myself out. When I make stock, I usually reduce it down quite far (almost to a sauce-like consistency). This helps to speed up the "reduction" stage. You could even do the same thing with your cream sauces, you could have some cream on the side and reduce it by half while the steak is cooking. Then when the steak is done let it rest and proceed with making the sauce. Add the cream in when ready and it should come together much quicker.
If my sauce still seems to be taking longer than I would like, I pop the steaks, or meat into a warm oven (but not until after the meat has rested for a good 5 minutes or so, this will stop the cooking process).
Another thing I sometimes do (depending on what I am serving), is I add the meat back to the pan and coat it in the hot sauce. I let it warm up in the sauce for a minute or so and then serve it.
Whichever way you decide to do it, just make sure your sauce is nice and hot and this should help as well. Also use hot/warm plates and this will keep everything warmer.
Hope this helps, let me know if you have anymore questions. dawn
I routinely cook for vegetarians and would like to make good sauces using the techniques in these videos. I tried carrot- not much on the bottom of the pan, leek- it sticks and hard to control the burning, and turnip- didn't like the flavour. I know onion will make a browning but what other vegetable would also make good sucs and hence a good sauce?
Without meat you will likely have trouble coming up with a rich pan sauce, as pan sauces are really a result of cooking meat in a pan. That being said, you could try mushrooms or caramelized onions for flavor.
You could also just make a sauce using veggie stock, and just thicken it a bit with either cornstarch or roux. Good Luck!
I've always had a problem using stainless steel pans because of all the burning I do... Well needless to say, I have learned that cooking doesn't always take place on high heat :)
Today I made Grilled Chicken and it made the perfect sucs and had the perfect crust! No burned chicken whatsoever. I added mushrooms/garlic/basil to the pan once the chicken was removed, put in some chicken stock and once I lifted the sucs I melted in butter, I put goat cheese on top of the grilled chicken and then the sauce on top, it was delicious and my wife says it is her new favorite. The sauce was so delicious. I wouldn't have been able to do it without learning the proper techniques here first. I checked the pan temp with the water test and I believe that was the real clincher.
Thank you Rouxbe :)
Cornstarch can be used but roux is more common with sauces and gravies. Not only does it add more flavor it also has other advantages (which will be discussed in a future lesson on thickeners).
Cornstarch gives sauces a glossy finish. This is often not desired in sauces or gravies as it can give them an almost artificial look - like they came from a mix or a powder rather than being homemade. That being said, many Asian sauces such as sweet and sour etc...use cornstarch as they are looking for that high gloss finish. For things like pie fillings the shine is also often a good thing, which is why things like cornstarch, arrowroot and tapioca flour are used as thickeners instead of flour.
If using cornstarch, just remember that just like a roux, it must be cooked briefly to cook out the starchy flavor.
Hope this helps!
Liquids that contain high levels of alcohol are often flambed to burn off some of the alcohol and its harsh alcohol flavor. This leaves behind the subtle flavor of the liquid.
You don't have to flambe. You can simply let the alcohol simmer and reduce to dissipate most of the harsh alcohol flavors, but this will take longer. Cheers!
Isn't it a fallacy that most of the alcohol is burned off when added to a given dish, at least that is what I was taught when I took a cooking class here in NYC. It gave the different percentages which remained in the dish afterward via different "burn-off methods". They also suggested that, if cooking for children, we substitute something else or leave the alcohol out. True or false?
You are right, Julie; when cooking, it takes a few hours to cook off most of the alcohol.
Here is a quick reference chart for anyone that is interested.
As for leaving the alcohol out when cooking for children, I would have to say this would be a personal choice. I am sure most of the Nonna's out there would leave it in :-) But again this is up to the individual. Cheers!