Learn French Food Terminology!

While learning the French language and correct pronunciations may seem like a bit of a challenge it’s always fun to try!  We figured that because you are learning to become an at home French cuisine master why not learn some of the French food terminology.  Check out this video complete with the correct pronunciations!  You are not only on your way to mastering French Cuisine but also one step closer to learning the language of love!!

Common Cooking Techniques 101

master-of-french-cuisineIf you have been following our blog, you have learned French Food Facts, a bit about French wine, and how to execute the perfect stay at home French Date night.  Now it’s time to really master the art of cooking your own French Cuisine! But first! First for those of you especially those who are not completely comfortable in the kitchen and with cooking terms, we will give you a guide to some of the most widely used terms when it comes to cooking.  Having a bit of knowledge as to what each term actually means will help making french cuisine and cooking for that matter that much easier! Did you know that a lot of the cooking terms that are used daily are actually french derived? Take Cuisine for example, yep you guessed it, it’s a french word!

Widely Used (French) Cooking Terms

 

  • Mise en Place- “Put In Place”  While this isn’t too commonly used of a cooking term it does help to know it’s meaning especially when cooking French recipes. It’s also a great habit to get into when cooking ANY recipe for that matter.  Look through your recipe and find the measured ingredients and put them in individual bowl, piles, dishes etc. This will help make executing the recipe that much easier. For example when making cookies it calls for X cups of flour sifted.  Having your sifted flour ready to go along with your beaten eggs and the rest will help you to complete the recipe just as its called for and in a simple organized fashion!
  • Blanch- Wondering how restaurants get their veggies so perfectly cooked, with theblanching-veggies right amount of crisp and without losing the nutrients.(Yes, cooking your veggies too long will void them of nutrients!) Introducing “blanching”.  Start with a pot of boiling water, a spoon with slits, and a bowl of ice water. Put your veggies in the boiling water, then using your slotted spoon transfer them to the waiting ice water. Perfectly cooked veggies every time!
  • Julienne- this term refers to a matchstick like knife cut resulting in (veggies usually) cut into dimensions measuring 1/8×1/8 x 2in.  Don’t fret if yours come out a bit thicker, why? A thicker cut means they are “Jardine”
  • saute-french-cookingSaute- A term that is very commonly used is sauteed. This basically, means cooking something over high heat in some type of fat, think butter, olive oil etc. Next you must move the food around at a fast pace in the pan as to evenly coat the ingredients with the fat of your choice as well as to evenly cook the ingredients as well.
  • Deglacer- This is your gateway to delicious sauces.  You will add wine(we know the french love their wine) or another type of stock ingredient to a pan you have cooked something in( maybe the saute pan).  You will being the ingredients to a boil while lightly scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any leftover remnants. Talk about delicious flavor for your sake you will further make!

While there are other cooking terms to master these 5 will surely help you on your way to becoming an at home master in your own kitchen.  Understanding cooking terms even slightly will help make recipes to appear as if they are not entirely speaking in a foreign language you do not quite understand! Good look all you future chefs, you are on your way to making your own great cuisine!

The Perfect French Date Night At Home

eiffel-tower

You are planning a romantic date night for you and your partner. One filled with great food, romance and an intimate feel, but have no idea what route to go.  Should you go to that trendy new restaurant in town, or perhaps you are thinking of an expensive dinner for two at a fancy place where reservations may be hard to come by?  Nothing seems to be fitting and what you really want is to spend an amazing evening with the person you love. Enter in a French inspired date night at home! After all Paris, France is considered the city of love and French Cuisine and desserts are fabulous at that! Not sure where to start in planning this spectacular romantic evening? Check out our guide to the ultimate French Date!

limousine-french-date-nightThe Invitation: Send an invite to your love affection with minimal details. Time & Place for a romantic evening for two.  If you want to really get into the spirit of things find a limousine service near you that can pick your partner up and whisk them away to your “Date Night In France”.  When planning my French date night at home I used limozarizona.com and clued the driver in on the date night plan. John, the driver for the evening was more than happy to help in making sure that at least the beginning of our night went smoothly and with grace.  I think there is something about love and romance that people just love to see!

The Setting: You want to create a setting that is soft light, relaxing, and inspires intimacy.  Think lowlights (not to low) maybe some candles, soft music, a nice bottle of French wine either chilling in a bucket on your counter or a fine red opened and breathing next to your cheese plate

meat-and-cheese-boardThe Starters: Speaking of that cheese plate, let’s talk about starters!  Use a wood cutting board or another platter of your choice and layout an authentic french baguette ( if you aren’t ready to try your hand at making the bread at home, AJ’s or another fine foods store will usually have them) fresh fruit, a few assorted cheeses, gourmet meats and olive oil dusted with fresh herbs. When your guest arrives pour them a glass of wine and linger over the cheese & meat board while the aromas of your dinner cooking fill your nose and the ambiance relaxes you both.  Pour a glass of that waiting wine and really start to enjoy your evening.

The Main Course:  This is your time to shine!  That French cuisine you have been excited to cook is now in the making!  We suggest picking from main entrees such as Crock Pot Beef Bourguignon (rich beef stew cooked in a burgundy wine), Steak Frites, which is basically a french twist on a nice piece of steak and gourmet style french fries.  Its a French Classic that’s simple, easy to execute and delicious at that! Or perhaps in the colder months you can try out a Cassoulet. This usually consists of white beans stewed slowly with meats. Themeats typically used for this dish are duck, sausage, or pork.  You pick your favorite and give it a bit of your own twist.

creme-bruleeThe Dessert: While there are a variety of incredible French desserts that can be made and chosen from, we suggest none other than Creme Brulee!  This french classic is easy enough to make although it does require a torch and individual dishes. It sweet, creamy custard and can be topped with any fruit of your choice.

The Rest Of The Evening:  The rest of the evening is up to you lovebirds.  What we can assure you is that by this time in the date you are both relaxed not only from the wine but from the atmosphere as well.  You have just eaten a delicious meal and all from the comfort of your own home. Romance is in the air and the rest of the evening is stretching ahead of you!

Congratulations, you have pulled off a memorable and magnificent evening and you have tried your hand at french cuisine!  Who said a romantic date night couldn’t be something “out of the box” and completely amazing!