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Unfamiliar Culinary Term

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
So, ok, comes a recipe that calls for creating a blanc. Basically this is a combination of water, lemon juice, and flour, whisked together. The purpose is to serve as an acidic bath to prevent vegetables---in this case celeraic---from browning.

I'd never heard the term before. So my questions are twofold: 1. Is this at all a common term? And, 2. what is the purpose of the flour? Ive always acidified merely by mixing lemon juice and water. I'm sure the flour must serve some function, but I can't figure what it might be.

Thnx
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #2 of 29
"Mastering the Art of French Cooking", pg 430:

"A blanc is a solution of salted water with lemon juice and flour. It is used for the preliminary cooking of any food which discolors easily, such as artichoke bottoms, salsify, calf's head. Flour and lemon juice blanch the food and keep its whiteness."

Basically the same as you posted. I also found a similar description in "The Professional Chef" glossary.
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post #3 of 29
Quote:
So, ok, comes a recipe that calls for creating a blanc. Basically this is a combination of water, lemon juice, and flour, whisked together. The purpose is to serve as an acidic bath to prevent vegetables---in this case celeraic---from browning.

Found it here, but it sounds moderately revolting and seems to be a cooking method, not just to prevent browning.

http://cueflash.com/Decks/culinary_test_1/

Have you ever seen it done. Seems like the veggies would get covered in random gluey bits of four, unless it was thick enough to actually be a sauce.

Terry
post #4 of 29

A long time ago there was a chemical we used to use to keep certain foods from dicoloring the trade name was Spud-Nu it was sulpher based and eventually was taken off the market. We then used a  mix  refered to as a blanc.. omeone once told me that the ingredients are the same as a beurre blanc(which is a cooked sauce) Flour optional and add buttert. Dont know if true but makes some sense.I used it to dip sliced mushrooms it worked pretty good.

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post #5 of 29
But again, as KY asked, what is the purpose of the flour?
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #6 of 29
The "recipe" from Julia Childs is:

1/4 cup flour
1 quart very cold water
2 tablespoons Lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Put the flour in a saucepan and beat in some of the water to make a smooth paste. Then beat in the rest of the water and remaining ingredients.

Sounds very "loose" to me.
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post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Terry, this version lacks half the ingredients listed in that glossery. And it isn't used to cook with. After soaking in the blanc the celeraic is rinsed well, then cooked until tender. The blanc is discarded.

I see absolutely no reason for the flour.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 29
The term has been around for many years although not a commonly used term in American kitchens. I have made blanc's before using just milk, because the lactic acid helps prevent oxidation.For the flour in a blanc, when the flour gets wet gliadin doesn't do much, but the glutinin forms long strong chains that bond with eacthother and basically encapsulate the item you don't want to oxidize. The lemon anti oxidizing properties are elevated because they co-exist with the amino acids in the flour
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

Terry, this version lacks half the ingredients listed in that glossery. And it isn't used to cook with. After soaking in the blanc the celeraic is rinsed well, then cooked until tender. The blanc is discarded.

I see absolutely no reason for the flour.

It didn't sound very tasty.

Terry
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

Terry, this version lacks half the ingredients listed in that glossery. And it isn't used to cook with. After soaking in the blanc the celeraic is rinsed well, then cooked until tender. The blanc is discarded.

I see absolutely no reason for the flour.

The role of the flour is to opacify the water and protect the ingredients from the light. The oil (or butter) forms a protective film and protects the ingredient from contact with air. The acid prevents oxydation.
post #11 of 29
Honestly, we should just stick to using ascorbic acid
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
No argument, Blueicus. Normally that's all I ever do---in the form of lemon juice. But being as I was testing the recipe I figured it would be nice to both follow the instructions and understand what was going on.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #13 of 29
Cape Chef

The flour then helps adhere or bind , this sounds logical.
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post #14 of 29
During my apprenticeship in Switzerland (67-71), our much-cherished apprentices handbook informed us that the purpose of the flour in a blanc was to raise the temperature of the liquid, thus shortening the cooking time -- an adequate-enough justification, considering the gloop had the cute-as-a-mule's-kick knack of permeating every leaf and layer of every globe artichoke.

When I worked with the late Alain Chapel, he was of the opinion that the flour 'nourished' the vegetable ensuring it remained moist ... with each seat at the table reserved for culinary legends, comes a badge which reads 'Don't argue'. 
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
There, again, this makes some sort of sense if the product is being cooked in the blanc.

I'm beginning to think the authors used the term incorrectly in the recipe I was testing.

It's a CIA publication, though, and I would have expected better of them.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #16 of 29
also 'Beurre Blanc' is a reduction of white wine/white wine vinegar and butter
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post #17 of 29
post #18 of 29
My brother, who is a chef, once told me the purpose of the flour when washing mushrooms was to cause any impurities and grit to fall to the bottom of the basin. I don't recall if he used lemon juice at all (it was many years ago). I've never used a blanc, and as a home cook, I wouldn't expect to. I acidulate water with lemon juice or other citrus (and maybe a hunk of the fruit tossed in). If I'm in a pinch and don't have any citrus, I add a bit of white wine. A friend used to crush a vitamin C tablet for this purpose.
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post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Talk about coincidence. Happened to have FN on this morning, and Emeril was doing his thing. Lo and behold if he didn't use a blanc to cook artichokes.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #20 of 29
Ha ha, your not alone

Quote:
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 
Sorry FF and Cape Chef. I wasn't aware that every post required a response. Sometimes you say what has to be said with no reply needed.

Unless you just want an argument? In that case: You're both wrong!
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #22 of 29
 

Edited by cape chef - 3/2/10 at 1:35am
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #23 of 29
cape chef - I suppose she was joking?! Anyway, glad to know I'm not invisible.

KYHeirloomer, not every post deserves a response, but since you asked a question and I provided an answer I was hoping to get some form of "reaction" I guess (but no, not looking for an argument)... especially since you did update the thread but did not acknowledge the answers you got to your question. Just felt kinda odd - like maybe you didn't see the answer... But no big deal!
post #24 of 29
Over -reacted,

Long day
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #25 of 29
Quote:
If you mean you didn't get a reply from the likes of me then I, for one, am guilty. But no way does that mean your posting went unnoticed. More to the point, I was so impressed with your determined efforts to search out an answer, I followed your lead and checked out your link to Bertrand Simon's site: the rights or wrongs of him introducing oil or butter into the traditional fat-free blanc can be debated elsewhere; I just got the impression that KYHeirloomer was more concerned with the more commonplace recipe. But having said that, Mons. Simon's reasoning doesn't stack up: the flour might 'opacify' the liquid, but no way will this exclude light -- putting a lid on the pan will do the trick, but then you have to ask 'how important is it?' And as for the fat forming a film on the vegetables -- someone as bright and well-informed as yourself doesn't need me to explain about fat floating on water; even when cooking vegetables à la Greque -- with 1 part oil to 4 parts water -- the vegetables only accept the oil during the post-cooking cold marination.

So, that's me done sounding off; but whatever I've said should not detract from your commendable diligence. Good on you.
post #26 of 29
Goodevans, you are twisting Chef Simon's words before proving your twisted version wrong!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodevans View Post
the flour might 'opacify' the liquid, but no way will this exclude light

And Chef Simon doesn't say it will exclude the light. It says it protects the ingredients from the light.

Originally Posted by Goodevans View Post
And as for the fat forming a film on the vegetables

Chef Simon doesn't say the fat forms a film on the vegetables, he says it forms a protective film. As you've remarked, that film is formed at the surface of the water.
post #27 of 29
I'm sorry if you thought my version was 'twisted'; my intention was never to distort, merely to offer a couple of rational observations.

I'm quite happy to be judged by my peers -- it would be certainly be interesting to read the thoughts of others -- but I suspect we might both be accused of being petty for petty's sake.
post #28 of 29
I would have been interested in continuing this discussion if you didn't take a patronizing tone (surely someone as bright as you and as well informed as you and with your level of experience should know better).
post #29 of 29
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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