Entering the wonderful world of cookery could mean two things – you’re one step closer to creating magic in the kitchen; or you’re about to learn some great number of cooking techniques. It is no secret that the outcome of a dish varies nearly as much through cooking methods as it does through the ingredients used in the preparation. Let’s go over a few of the most common French cooking classic techniques that are being highlighted in our courses at Le Cordon Bleu Malaysia culinary institute.
1. Fish Filleting
Like a professional fishmonger, fish filleting is one of the skills you will acquire in a French culinary kitchen to make sure the fillets are removed perfectly. Here’s the Le Cordon Bleu way of filleting your fish in the correct way. But first, grab your filleting knife and your scaler.
Lay the gutted fish on one side, stomach facing towards you. Make an incision behind the head.
Following the backbone, make an incision along the back of the fish from the head to the tail. Hold the knife flat and slide it along the fish to separate the fillet from the backbone. Turn the fish over and repeat the operation to remove the second fillet.
Place the fillet skin side down and make a small cut at the tail end to separate the skin from the flesh. Dip your fingers in salt, hold the tail skin firmly and tautly. Using a sawing action, skin the fillet by sliding the knife along the skin up towards the head at a slight angle.
2. TURNING VEGETABLES
Another classic technique taught in French cuisine is turning vegetables. They are turned to form a similar barrel shape and size to ensure even cooking and a pleasing loo. The chefs of Le Cordon Bleu Malaysia will show you how to turn vegetables; potato, carrot, zucchini trimmed into the “cocotte” sized oval shape – just one of the skills you will learn from the Cuisine Diploma programme. Here’s the Le Cordon Bleu way of turning vegetables. But of course, before we start, equip yourself with a turning knife.
Use a ruler to make the vegetables the same size. Trim off the edges of the vegetables and cut them into the desired lengths.
Round off and remove the spongy middle.
Curve each side forming a long oval.
Trim off the while flesh on the sides.
A perfect oval shape should have three to five facets.
Make sure they are of the same size and shape.
3. KNottiNG Meat
In French cuisine, there are a few intricate methods used. However, some are quite straightforward but remain a must-know skill in any chef’s repertoire. One of these is knotting, often applied to prepare meat for roasting. Knotting a roast or applying a butcher’s knot is a useful technique that helps the block of meat retain a nice shape as it cooks, leading to both better presentation and more even cooking . Knotting a piece of meat will also help to keep the stuffing inside. Based on the video, assuming you are right handed, here’s how you knot perfectly, Le Cordon Bleu style.
Roll your joint of meat as desired and grab long enough kitchen twine to wrap round your roast.
Slide one length underneath the meat, with a longer one in your right hand.
Wrap the twine anti-clockwise around the string in your left hand.
Cross the twine over to form a loop then insert the string underneath the loop to form a knot.
Pull the string in your left hand so that it tightens around the joint while your right hand pulls to secure the knot.
You now have a slip knot and you can still loosen it if needed. To complete the knot, both ends of the twine to tighten the knot.
Cut the excess string with a scissor or kitchen knife. Tie the next length of twine around the joint. Repeat the steps until the roast is completely tied up.
Those are some of the classical cooking techniques that are commonly used in French cuisine. These instructional videos make it seem so easy but like any other skillset, the art of French culinary is learned by careful attention to detail in all the steps and a lot of practice. Le Cordon Bleu Malaysia culinary academy will be with you every step of the way in making sure you get the best guidance through its programmes and short courses where you will be practising the techniques shown above. When these techniques are mastered, you will be able to include them in your repertoire of la cuisine Française.