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Becoming a "Serious" Home Cook - Page 2

post #31 of 38

I had the chance to try powdered demi-glace by Knorr. One of the ugliest things i tasted in my life. But well, Knorr in Argentina may not be as a serious company as Knorr in Europe or USA.

I find strange that there's a confusion in this thread between demi-glace and glace de viande, being both totally different products.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post
 

When I worked in DC for a Marriott account we used Knorr Swiss products and they DID have a Demi-Glace in powder form.

Just add water and heat.

 

I too see no true Demi-glace as well.

It's difficult in my rural area to get veal bones, so when I do, I will indulge and make a batch of demi-glace.

It takes 3-4 days for me to make 1 gallon. I portion it in small plastic bag lined muffin tins, freeze them solid, pop them out and twist tie the bags. I keep these in the freezer.

When I need one, it's a simple act of peeling back the bag and popping the demi into the sauce.

 

A few years ago,  I took some cooking lessons for "retired seniors" where we used that Knorr powder too, also not available on the consumer market. However, I found this Maggi "fond de veau" powder in a supermarket which is very similar. It has the distinct veal aroma but there's a thickener in the product that I don't like.

 

Maggi fond de veau

 

Veal is a much loved meat over here but veal bones are quite expensive! I'm gonna use your idea of using muffin molds next time. Seems like a perfect portioning method for veal fond.

post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ordo View Post
 

I had the chance to try powdered demi-glace by Knorr. One of the ugliest things i tasted in my life. But well, Knorr in Argentina may not be as a serious company as Knorr in Europe or USA.

....

 

I don't share the same experience, ordo, about the taste of those Knorr powdered products. I thought it was more than acceptable. Also, thousands of restaurants use it on a daily basis and I don't think Knorr will damage their reputation by delivering a bad product.

It is true however that Knorr makes different product for different areas. I have a few bouillon cubes made for the North-African market with the Knorr logo and the rest in Arabic. Content; sheep bouillon!

 

Many years ago, a good friend of mine started fabricating "coquilles Saint-Jacques" for the frozen foods consumer market. He and his wife are both fantastic cooks, so they started by making their very own Mornay sauce. By his first visit at a large chain of a frozen food supplier, the buyer put one of his frozen samples in the microwave and... the sauce curdled! Accoring to the buyer, this often happens when heating handmade roux based sauces in a microwave. The buyer suggested to contact Knorr to make a custom powder to my friend's wishes. So he did and his business took off! And, the sauce is simply delicious.

post #34 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium View Post
 

 

Absolutely agreeing on both points! In modern kitchens, mostly a "fond brun" is used for sauces, a reduction of veal stock. Other musts in a modern kitchen are chickenstocks, mostly "blanc" types which are made without roasting the bones first.

 

As a starting home cook, imo you should experiment first with simple things and see how they work in sauces. Many times you will end up with a disappointing tasteless watery concoction if you're overly ambitious.

How about starting with a "fond blanc de volaille". The suggestion that Gene makes of using meat is so very true when it comes to taste. Simply put a whole chicken in a large pot, cover with cold water, bring to a boil, skim, reduce fire and add aromats like onion, carrot, leek, celery and herbs. Simmer for no longer that one hour. Take the meat off the bones and make something interesting with it like vol-au-vent. Put the bones and skin back in the bouillon (broth) and simmer for another hour. Always without a lid of course. Remove the solids and reduce the stock by half on much higher fire. You'll end up with no more than this amount of gelatinous fond blanc, a thousand times tastier that making quarts of watery stuff. All using only one whole chicken. Perfect addition for poultry and... fish sauces. 

 

 

Same thing with using just a couple of thick slices (1 inch) of beef shank with bone or an oxtail etc. Same method as above but use a pressure cooker this time and let it go for around 3 hours. Best stock ever, also to be reduced if you want a gelatinous stock. Beware,do not overfill the pressure cooker. You'll end up with a rather small amount of stock.

 

Making "fond brun" with veal bones would be the last step I make. It takes like forever to roast the bones for an hour, add aromatics and tomato paste, roast again for an hour, transfer to a stockpot and simmer for 12 hours, then reduce to one third or so. I think that's a little overkill for homecooks (like I am), even experienced ones. I never hesitate to use those modern low salt stock pastes to make the most fantastic sauces.  As far as I'm concerned, better using good commercial stock paste than a watery homemade bouillon.

 

If I prepare this fond blanc as you describe, can I dissolve some in water if I want to use it to flavor other food that could be cooked in water such as rice?

post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cardello View Post

 

If I prepare this fond blanc as you describe, can I dissolve some in water if I want to use it to flavor other food that could be cooked in water such as rice?

Yes! Definitely. 

post #36 of 38

Indeed!  Water does not add flavor. Stocks, broths, vermouth, wine - those add flavor. On occasion I cheat and prepare boxed stuffing mix, and almost always use stock instead of water.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cardello View Post
 

 

If I prepare this fond blanc as you describe, can I dissolve some in water if I want to use it to flavor other food that could be cooked in water such as rice?


As already said, yes indeed. However, I keep fond blanc more for making sauces that go with chicken and other poultry, pork and... fish (I hate stinky fish fond). This chicken stock goes well with all these meats and fish.

 

When making soups or in other boiling water like to make rice, I will rather use a (chunk of) bouillon cube or a bit of bouillon paste in the cooking water.

 

Do whatever inspires you and experiment!

post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cardello View Post

If I prepare this fond blanc as you describe, can I dissolve some in water if I want to use it to flavor other food that could be cooked in water such as rice?
just note that rice cooked in stock is a bit less forgiving than water with regard to sticking and if overcooked can scorch
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