French Culinary Techniques Tips

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What's wrong with comfort food?

French Cuisine Comfort Food

Comfort food started getting a bad rap right around the time people began to shun carbs. It's a shame, really, because once in a while a soul needs a big helping of comfort food. For some people, “comfort food” is defined as simple casserole dishes with the main ingredients being cheese, fat, more cheese, and maybe chopped hotdogs mixed in for good measure. How about thinking about comfort food in a whole new light?

French food is really just code for “comfort food”. Think about it: French bread with a pat of homemade garlic butter, a steaming bowl of French onion soup, a beautifully cut steak, and an array of cream-filled French desserts. If that doesn't scream “comfort food”, nothing does.

French cooking used to be a daily event in some lives. It took time and energy to cook a meal, but everyone appreciated it. French cooking not only nourished the body; it nourished the soul. If you believe what the media tells you, food is a bad thing. Everything seems to be about justifying every morsel you put in your mouth. Sure it's good to eat a healthy, balanced diet. In fact, by doing your own French culinary cooking, you control the ingredients and end up eating a far healthier meal as a result.

So the next time you're feeling down in the dumps, crack open the French cookbooks and whip up a delicious meal. Uncork a bottle of wine, invite a friend over, and enjoy that comfort food. Who knows, the process of French cooking may lift your spirits before you even lift a fork to your mouth.

   
What are some examples of French Acadian cuisine?

Nova Scotia French Kitchen Parties

In Nova Scotia, people party in the kitchen. It's where the food is, where the drinks are, and it's the best place to relax and be you. Alongside the beer you're likely to find plates of French cooking or French desserts. It's not unusual for people to get together for potluck suppers. Everyone brings something different to eat. However, with the large population of French Acadians in the area, you're most likely to wind up with a French menu. Bread pudding, pastries, smoked fish, seafood (lots of seafood), and traditional French Acadian dishes like baked beans and blueberry fungi might show up on the kitchen table.

French cooking is the heart and soul of many Nova Scotian households. It's how people socialize. It's how families come together. Even the English enjoy French recipes, incorporating them into their restaurant menus. When a tourist stops you in the street to ask where they can get “homemade Rappie Pie”, you know that someone, somewhere, has piqued their interest. There's always a restaurant nearby (usually only open during the summer months) with a few classic French recipes on the menu.

So, the next time you have a party, don't party like a rock star, party like a Nova Scotian.

   
What are some examples of French Acadian cuisine?

French Cooking the Acadian Way

Who doesn't love French cooking? When most people think of French cooking, they tend to think of the Parisian French menu. As soon as you even think “Parisian” images of smoke-filled cafes, late night meals, and tall glasses of wine come to mind. You think elegance and culture; sultry and seductive.

Now, think about Acadian French cuisine. Different images come to mind? For the French Acadians living in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and parts of the United States, French cooking has more to do with comfort food. Traditional French Acadian menus go back to the harsh days of winter spent without adequate shelter, etc. They worked hard with little to eat in those days and, as a result, ended up cooking a lot of food with whatever they had on hand. Flour, water, sugar, spices, fruit, and basic vegetables like carrots and potatoes were often used. Today, French Acadian families still incorporate traditional menus into their lives. One meal, called Rappie Pie, isn't really “pie” at all. Basically, it's made from finely grated potatoes, chicken meat, chicken stock, onions, salt, and pepper. A little water is added to the mixture and the entire thing is poured into large, square, pans. As the mixture bakes in the oven, a crisp crust develops over the top (it's the best part!). The cooked mixture is cut in blocks and served with butter or molasses drizzled over the top.

So you see, French cooking isn't always Parisian style. If you're interested in learning more about different types of French cuisine, do an Internet search for French Acadian recipes and enjoy!

   
Are french fries considered quality French cuisine?

French Cuisine With French Fries

If you've never thought of French Fries as fine French culinary cuisine, think again. French fries don't have to be the kind you buy in a plastic bag. There are any number of ways to make homemade French fries including chopping or slicing your own potatoes. The only time it'll matter if the cut is uniform or not would be if you were a student of the French Culinary Institute, or working in an upscale restaurant. If you're making them for home, don't worry about making sure each fry is three inches long by two inches wide.

By making your own French fries you can avoid a lot of unnecessary additives and preservatives. They're nutritious, delicious, and make a nice change from traditionally cooked potatoes or rice.

Simply chop and/or slice the amount required, grease a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray, and spread out the chopped and sliced potatoes. For added flavour, sprinkle the tops of the French Fries with a few spices, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. The amount of time required to cook will depend on the amount of food being cooked and the thickness of each fry. Try adding a dash of curry to your fries, or dry wasabi powder, or cajun seasoning for some spice!

Making your own homemade French Fries might not be rocket science, but it can really add to your overall French menu.

   
What makes bakeries so irresistable?

French Desserts

Walking past a bakery window without stopping to look inside is about the equivalent of trying to sneak past a shoe store without stopping in “just to look”. You can try to walk by, but that top row of vanilla cupcakes with creamy pink frosting will settle itself into your peripheral vision. Not even a robot could resist the internal command to stop, turn around, go back, and purchase.

Walk inside the bakery and you're toast! If you're one of the millions of people with a serious sweet tooth, the sights and smells of that bakery are going to leave you salivating all over the floor. Just think, if the general public has that kind of reaction in a bakery, maybe you should become a pastry chef. Let's face it, French desserts and pastry sells.

If you already have a work history in the food, travel, or hotel industry, all you might require are some evening courses in French cooking and pastry making to help get you started.

To make your own bakery of French desserts, think about what it is that makes a bakery such a pleasant place and experience for you. Is it the smells? The colors? The sweet treats beckoning from behind a glass counter? Envision your ideals for a French desserts bakery and then go make it a reality.

   
Is it possible to whip up a french meal with very short notice?

Simple French Cooking

One of the best meals I have ever had involved homemade French bread and homemade French Onion Soup. It was delicious! It's amazing how a simple dinner menu can be so impressive. Remember that the next time you've got guests coming and you're frantic about what to cook for supper. Trying to do too much in a short period of time is a recipe for disaster, so relax. If you've taken amateur cooking classes through culinary schools like the French Culinary Institute, you'll already know how to prepare the foundations for most recipes: stocks and broths. Having some on hand makes it as easy as popping a frozen block from the freezer, defrosting, and adding the ingredients to make a casserole, marinate steak, or complete a French Onion Soup recipe.

The trick is to have the basics on hand at all times. That way, when you find out that guests are arriving for supper (and it's already four o'clock!) you won't be reduced to opening canned beans. It's okay to mix food choices too. Maybe you've got two or three types of bread left in the house, but not really enough of any one to serve a loaf. No problem! Cut the bread up in chunks and serve it in a bowl with some dipping oil. If you've got frozen French cuisine in your freezer, pop it out, defrost in the microwave, and set it all out on the table. Create a mini buffet for your guests to serve themselves. Instead of them leaving your house thinking you weren't prepared and didn't have anything made, they'll think you're a genius for coming up with such a great idea in such a short period of time.

   
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