I use certain terms throughout this blog – terms that we use in everyday life in the kitchen. If you want to work in a world-class kitchen, it’s expected that you’ll understand these and can carry them out correctly and perfectly.
It’s a bit different for the home cooks who haven’t had the same level of instruction as professional chefs. It’s our career, after all! So this section explains some of the terminology used in the book. As well as some of the core values to my cooking.
I’ll be adding to this as we go along, so just let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll add info here!
I weigh absolutely everything for accuracy, so I give all measurements in grams unless it’s something like a sprig of thyme. However, I know you might be more accustomed to weighing only dry ingredients and measuring liquids in milliliters. That’s totally fine, and the conversion is easy – it’s just 1-to-1 – so for instance 100g = 100ml, and so on. And measuring on a digital scale (which you can get really cheaply) is actually a lot easier than pulling out measuring cups – and creates fewer dishes to wash!
All vegetables unless otherwise mentioned are fresh. I’m not a fan of anything frozen or canned. Also these recipes are just a guide, so feel free to experiment. All the recipes were created with a lot of consideration of flavor profiles. If followed to a T they will come out as they should and be delicious. But if you want to use a different ingredient here or omit one there, do so, understanding that it will change the final product. I don’t give alternatives to the ingredients because I picked each one for a reason – sometimes based on the book it relates to or because it adds something to the dish.
To blanch means cooking something in heavily salted water. The water should always taste like the ocean.
To shock something is to rapidly cool. When referring to blanching I do this by taking the product and submerging it in ice water.
When I temper egg yolks, I add a little bit of hot liquid gradually while stirring constantly. This brings the temperature of the yolks up to the hot liquid without cooking the eggs. If this isn’t done or not done correctly, the eggs cook or scramble. When this happens not only does it compromise the flavour but the consistency as well.
Parbaking is a technique where you pre-bake a dough. In this blog, I parbake the dough to ensure it is crispy. You cover the dough with parchment paper and use something to anchor it down. You can use dried beans or you can stake two sheet trays on top of each other. It doesn’t matter how you do it, what is important is that the dough is weighed down.
The French word for stock. Always use cold water when making it and cook very gently. Allow to rest covered.
There are a few garnishes that I fry in this blog. It’s important that you never cover things that are fried or dried, both while cooking and while resting. This turns them from crispy to soggy.
TO MOUNT WITH BUTTER
This is when you gradually add butter to a warm pan with liquid in it, then either stir or swirl the butter into the liquid, thus emulsifying it and thickening the liquid.
Have fun! Eric