Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Légumes à la grèque (Turned vegetables cooked in a court bouillon with coriander) Part 2

Now that the turning is done, I can move onto the easier part: the cooking. I used the Court Bouillon recipe from an original Le Cordon Bleu book called Grand Diplôme Cooking Course published in 1971 with Anne Willan as the editor. It looked easy. I added coriander (fresh cilantro) to the original recipe as well.

A court bouillon (which means “short broth” in French) is a poaching liquid that contains water, an acid (such as wine, vinegar, or citrus), and aromatics (such as herbs, zest, or spices). It is used to poach fish, shellfish, or vegetables.

Another term I came across when reading about court bouillon was à la nage. Cooking à la nage means poaching food in a court bouillon and serving the court bouillon and the vegetables around the food as part of the garnish. When making a court bouillon to use for cooking à la nage, cut the vegetables in a decorative manner, such as turned or julienned.

Tip on cooking vegetables in a court bouillon: Do not cover while cooking. The colour of the vegetables will be lost if covered.

Blanc de cuisson is another term I found that is described as a court bouillon. It means to cook food in a white broth, such as a "short" broth based on water, flour, lemon juice, and salt. The differentiating ingredient is flour. In Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child explains that a blanc is used for any food that may discolour during cooking, such as artichokes. The flour and lemon juice combination keep the food white.

Recipe for Court Bouillon adapted from Grand Diplôme Cooking Course

Here's what my court bouillon looked like.

Tasting Notes

The vinegar in the recipe permeated through the air, pungent. The vegetables were tender, with a subtle taste of coriander. Just boiled vegetables. Nothing spectacular.

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Running total: $33.88 + $1.69 = $35.57

Butter used so far: ⅛ cup