Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 10

 Today we learned how to make Les Fonds (basic stocks). 
The French word fond translates to "foundation" or "base".

There are 5 main categories:

[1.] Fonds : stock
[2.] Fumets : cooking aromas, basic fish stock
[3.] Essences: a concentrated extract used as a flavoring
[4.] Glaces : glaze, stock reduced until it is syrupy
[5.] Jus: a mixture of fats and juices released from meat during cooking

Within each category they are then classified as either Brown or White. The goal is to create something that is generic so that you don't overpower the final preparation of whatever you are cooking. 

Broth versus Stock? 
A broth is made using more meat than bones and a stock is made using primarily bones, not meat. 

A key ingredient when making stocks is the acid component. For white stock, white wine is always a great choice. For brown stock, red wine or tomatoes work great. You need acid to help dissolve the connective material and extract the flavor and body from the bones. The acid helps dissolve the collagen found in the bones into a liquid form known as gelatin. Excellent stocks need the presence of gelatin to give body, depth, and richness.

 Important things to remember?

Never add salt to your stock - once it is reduced the natural sodium will concentrate. Herbs and spices are to be used at a minimum so they don't dominate the stock.

Today we made fumet de poisson (fish stock). A fumet is a lighter preparation than a fonds and the flavor elements and liquid are cooked generally for only 20-45 minutes. We used halibut bones and trimmings, white wine,mushrooms, leeks, onion, shallots, celery stalk, whole peppercorns, and a bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaf, celery stalk, parsley stems) for our stock. Don't worry too much about measurements, you just want to work with a standard ratio of 50% bones, 10% mirepoix (carrots, onions, celery, and other vegetables) and 100% water. 

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