- roxana fisherman
Many of the great chefs say that to learn how to cook well, you have to start with classic French cuisine.
But there are those who criticize it for not adjusting to the tastes of the moment: it is a tradition in which it is not possible to be shy with cream or butter, and wonders are done with sugar.
Chef Michel Guérard, winner of three Michelin stars, promoted the movement new kitchen that redefined French cuisine in the 1970s.
With BBC GoodFood he shared his secrets for making French delicacies a little healthier.
1. Reduce fat in sauces
Instead of using a lot of oil in the vinaigrettes, replace three-fourths of what you would with a thickened broth (with cornstarch, for example), to give it an oily consistency.
You can also infuse the oil with fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, etc., which will add a complex and aromatic flavor to sauces without adding calories.
When making mayonnaise, replace half the oil with nonfat yogurt.
The same can be done with the sauce. bearnaise: Instead of butter, use whipped concentrated milk.
2. Go crazy with vegetables
They can be used for everything.
In sauces, replace the traditional mixture of butter and flour with a whipped mixture of different vegetables. Try it with potatoes, celery and Parisian mushrooms: it’s great for veal blanquette, one of the classics of French cuisine. The possible combinations are unlimited!
Plus, you can use those fantastic purées to make gratins, and you can even mix in some fruit to add a bit of sweetness.
Another possibility is to prepare a risotto by substituting half of the rice with cauliflower and/or celery.
3. Trim the fat from the meat
It takes a little more time but it’s worth it.
You can’t do with every piece of meat in stews like Boeuf Bourguignon (Meat Burgundian) or navarin of lamb, but if you prepare it in advance, you can put it in the fridge when it’s ready.
As it cools, the fat will solidify on the surface so it can be easily removed.
4. Choose the indicated cooking method
If the meat or fish are steamed, poached or poached or en papillote, they need little or no oil or butter.
If you prefer to bake or broil, limit the amount of fat you use and, if possible, apply directly with a brush or kitchen paper…you’ll use a lot less!
5. Do not add too much salt to your dishes
Eating too much salt can be bad for your health.
To use less, you can cook with broths, use spices and aromatic herbs; it will taste even better.
And stick to this rule: taste before adding more salt. You don’t have to do it automatically.
6. Let the meat rest
The secret of a tender and juicy meat is that the time it is allowed to rest is the same as it took to cook.
Wrap the piece in aluminum foil so that any blood that ran to the center of the meat when it was seared can flow to the ends.
7. Don’t burn fat
When fat (butter or oil) is cooked at very high temperatures, it burns and becomes toxic.
To prevent burning, water can be added to cool the oil while it is cooking, and it will turn out in a delicious syrup.
With butter you have to be careful because it burns faster than oil: you can start cooking with oil, which is less delicate, and then add the butter at the end to give flavor, or try mixing the butter and oil from the beginning. principle.
8. Healthier fries
The reason French fries are so greasy is that they usually go through two oil baths: the first to cook them and the second to turn them golden and crisp.
Try to replace the first step with a healthier method, such as steaming or boiling them in water.
9. Do not sweeten desserts too much
Today there are a large number of sweeteners to use instead of sugar.
Also, don’t forget that fruits contain sugar so you shouldn’t need anything else to sweeten.
And remember: the less sweet things you eat, the less you’ll crave them.
10. Use beaten egg whites
Substitute three quarts of the cream that you would normally use with beaten egg whites that can be gently incorporated with the quart of cream that you are going to use.
It will make desserts lighter and more exquisite.
More tips and recipes on BBC GoodFood (