For decades, French cuisine has always been regarded as one of the finest art forms in cooking, the crème de la crème of all the cuisines in the world. This is mainly contributed by the fact that every cooking technique is done step by step and applied through fine practices when preparing dishes, ranging from beginner level to haute cuisine and documented. Don’t we all agree that French cuisine has always been the envy of many other cuisines anyway?
After mastering fish-filleting, turning and knotting as shown in our previous post like the future top chef that you are, we’re now going to introduce you to the Le Cordon Bleu way of caramelising, preparing blue crab and garnishing tomato rose. This is the second of four articles in total, covering all the fundamental techniques that will prepare you for creating “magic” in the kitchen.
If you haven’t already known, caramelisation is the process of oxidising sugar. It is used extensively in cooking for the resulting nutty flavour and brown colour. Caramelisation is a type of non-enzymatic browning reaction and is considered a basic technique, where it involves the removal of water (as steam) and the breakdown of the sugar. Be sure to equip yourself with a chef’s knife and see how meat is caramelised with these steps as shown in the video:
Preheat the pan accordingly and add a teaspoon of olive oil into it.
Brush the meat with olive oil on one side and leave it approximately for one minute until it turns brown.
Flip over the meat with a thong and brown the edges.
Repeat step 2 and 3 for the other side of the meat using the same timing.
You now have some perfectly caramelised meat and shall slice it as desired.
Under the guidance of our Chefs from Le Cordon Bleu Malaysia, you’ll be shown the professional way to enhance the flavour you desire by producing the characteristic caramel flavour. Délicieux!
2. BLUE crab preparation
Handling Crustaceans like crabs for cooking is not as easy as eating them. In our Cuisine Diploma programme, you will learn how to prepare a crab before making them into a great meal. You may follow these steps and all you need is a pair of scissors.
Flip over the crab on its back and pull off the shell or carapace.
Remove the eyes, mouth and the antennas off the shell with your scissor.
Using the scissor, you may also clean its gills and the abdomen.
You may now cut the walking legs and chelipeds off the body as demonstrated.
For the rest of parts, cut them into smaller parts and that will be the end of the preparation.
This eight-legged Crustacean is now ready to grace your delectable menu!
3. garnishing tomato rose
You must have seen them at some fancy events you rarely get invited to or in some cook books. Tomato rose certainly is an elegant way to dress up your dish and the best thing is, it is easy to make. So why don’t you pick up yourself a good paring knife to start with?
Place your paring knife into the stem and carve it around in a circle, without detaching the base in a single strip.
Place the long strip of tomato stem on a surface.
Twirl the strip around using the paring knife until you see a rose resemblance.
Role the beautiful tomato you just created and there you go!
Your beautifully made tomato rose is now ready to complement your dish alongside the other garnishes and herbs! Who knew that a simple thing like this can really make a difference to your dish!
We understand that when you’re first learning to cook, some of the terms and techniques you usually hear can be intimidating and extravagant at the same time, but under our programmes, our Chefs are here to take on the role of making sure these techniques are mastered and that you are given undivided attention in class. If you are tempted already, let’s get you signed up for our Cuisine programme and master these skills that are envied by many!