- Full Title : The French Kitchen: 200 Recipes from the Master of French Cooking
- Autor: Michel Roux Jr
- Print Length:
- Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
- Publication Date: 2001
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1681880601
- ISBN-13: 978-0297867234
- Download File Format | Size: epub | 8,04 Mb
About the Author
Michel Roux Jr. is Britain’s most popular and acclaimed French chef. After an apprenticeship with Alain Chapel, he took over running Le Gavroche in 1991, maintaining the restaurant’s two Michelin stars.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
8 slices of good sourdough bread
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cup of milk
freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups grated cheese (a mixture of Emmental, Gruyère and Cheddar is good)
5oz good-quality, sliced ham
Lightly toast the bread on both sides, then butter one side of each slice
To make the béchamel sauce, melt the remaining butter in a small pan, stir in the flour to make a roux, then whisk in the milk. Keep whisking it well to avoid lumps and bring the sauce to a boil. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and cook for 3-4 minutes, then remove from heat.
Preheat the oven at 400 °F. Spread a little mustard on the buttered side of the piece of toast. Add a generous amount of béchamel, followed by grated cheese and a slice of ham. Spread a little more béchamel on the dry side of another piece of toast and place them on top of the sandwich and sprinkle with grated cheese. Make all the sandwiches in the same way.
Put the sandwiches on a baking sheet and bake them in a preheated oven until crisp and golden, 6-8 minutes. Serve at once.
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OF THE TABLE: PERSPECTIVES ON CULINARY HISTORY
ARTS AND TRADITIONS OF THE TABLE: PERSPECTIVES ON CULINARY HISTORY
Albert Sonnenfeld, Series Editor
Salt: Grain of Life, Pierre Laszlo, translated by Mary Beth Mader
Culture of the Fork, Giovanni Rebora, translated by Albert Sonnenfeld
French Gastronomy: The History and Geography of a Passion, Jean-Robert Pitte, translated by Jody Gladding
Pasta: The Story of a Universal Food, Silvano Serventi and Françoise Sabban, translated by Antony Shugar
Slow Food: The Case for Taste, Carlo Petrini, translated by William McCuaig
Italian Cuisine: A Cultural History, Alberto Capatti and Massimo Montanari, translated by Áine O’Healy
British Food: An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History, Colin Spencer
A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America, James E. McWilliams
Sacred Cow, Mad Cow: A History of Food Fears, Madeleine Ferrières, translated by Jody Gladding
Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor, Hervé This, translated by M. B. DeBevoise
Food Is Culture, Massimo Montanari, translated by Albert Sonnenfeld
Kitchen Mysteries: Revealing the Science of Cooking, Hervé This, translated by Jody Gladding
Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America, Frederick Douglass Opie
Gastropolis: Food and New York City, edited by Annie Hauck-Lawson and Jonathan Deutsch
Building a Meal: From Molecular Gastronomy to Culinary Constructivism, Hervé This, translated by M. B. DeBevoise
Eating History: Thirty Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine, Andrew F. Smith
The Science of the Oven, Hervé This, translated by Jody Gladding
Pomodoro! A History of the Tomato in Italy, David Gentilcore
Cheese, Pears, and History in a Proverb, Massimo Montanari, translated by Beth Archer Brombert
Food and Faith in Christian Culture, edited by Ken Albala and Trudy Eden
The Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking, edited by César Vega, Job Ubbink, and Erik van der Linden
Creamy and Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food, Jon Krampner
Let the Meatballs Rest: And Other Stories About Food and Culture, Massimo Montanari, translated by Beth Archer Brombert
The Secret Financial Life of Food: From Commodities Markets to Supermarkets, Kara Newman
Drinking History: Fifteen Turning Points in the Making of American Beverages, Andrew Smith
Italian Identity in the Kitchen, or Food and the Nation, Massimo Montanari, translated by Beth Archer Brombert
Fashioning Appetite: Restaurants and the Making of Modern Identity, Joanne Finkelstein
The Land of the Five Flavors: A Cultural History of Chinese Cuisine, Thomas O. Höllmann, translated by Karen Margolis
The Insect Cookbook: Food for a Sustainable Planet, Arnold van Huis, Henk van Gurp, and Marcel Dicke, translated by Françoise Takken-Kaminker and Diane Blumenfeld-Schaap
Religion, Food, and Eating in North America, edited by Benjamin E. Zeller, Marie W. Dallam, Reid L. Neilson, and Nora L. Rubel
Ole G. Mouritsen and Klavs Styrbæk
Unlocking the Secrets of the Fifth Taste
Photography, layout, and design
Jonas Drotner Mouritsen
Translation and adaptation to English
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PRESS
Columbia University Press
Publishers Since 1893
New York Chichester, West Sussex
Copyright © 2014 Columbia University Press
All rights reserved
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Mouritsen, Ole G.
Umami: unlocking the secrets of the fifth taste / Ole G. Mouritsen and Klavs Styrbæk
p. cm. — (Arts and traditions of the table: perspectives on culinary history)
ISBN 978-0-231-16890-8 (cloth: alk. paper) — ISBN 978-0-231-53758-2 (e-book)
Library of Congress Holding Information can be found on the Library of Congress Online Catalog.
A Columbia University Press E-book.
CUP would be pleased to hear about your reading experience with this e-book at [email protected]
Cover design by Jonas Drotner Mouritsen.
References to websites (URLs) were accurate at the time of writing. Neither the author nor Columbia University Press is responsible for URLs that may have expired or changed since the manuscript was prepared.
PROLOGUE: HOW IT ALL BEGAN
WHAT EXACTLY IS TASTE, AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
The basic tastes: From seven to four to five and possibly many more
Why do we need to be able to taste our food?
There is more to it: Sensory science, taste, smell, aroma, flavor, mouthfeel, texture, and chemesthesis
Is there a taste map of the tongue?
Why are some foods more palatable than others?
A few words about proteins, amino acids, nucleotide
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pa bought when they married. The work we all did was hard—the kind that makes you tired, achy, and old. As a girl, I often cried to myself that we were born to do chores—scrub, scour, and clean. But on many days those tears turned to smiles.
The two of us with a cousin at the beach.
Only with Gilbert did I feel girlish and carefree. I can see him now, so smooth-faced, a sweetly wicked French schoolboy, who hated to conform to the disciplines of schooling. Even at an early age, he wanted to do things his own way. In public, we were obedient little people, doing what our parents said, but left alone, we would plan and plot. To retaliate, we’d sneak upstairs with a tray of shrimp and a bottle of cider, and eat until we were sick. Behind Papa’s back in the kitchen, we’d snatch handfuls of freshly fried potato chips, then quickly lick our fingers to conceal the crime. We had secret games and hiding places, we made plans to break out of Port Navalo.
Port Navalo, with the Hôtel du Rhuys on the right.
Our very childishness drove Papa crazy. For him, the Rhuys was all-important: Family activity meant scrubbing the walk-in box (the restaurant refrigerator) and carting away garbage in the middle of the night. He didn’t understand when Maman begged for a real house, not just rooms in the hotel, so we could live like a real family. He didn’t understand when Gilbert and I wanted to go to the circus. He’d make us shell forty pounds of haricots blancs first, but being two little devils, we would ask the customers who had come back from the beach to help us. In one hour the task would be done with a lot of laughs, and Gilbert and I would be off. Papa loved us, but when he needed four more hands, we were those hands.
Brittany was a wild place then, carved and defined by the sea. It was miles of jagged, windswept coastline, poor fishing villages, wide swaths of heather, and sweeps of wildflowers. It was harsh, then dazzling, then harsh again. One region, northwest of us, was called Finistère, “the end of the earth” in Breton. That’s what it felt like to us. Even our village, in the gentler Morbihan region, was remote and undeveloped. After the war, when we were growing up, we had no running water, no television, and only one telephone, ours—in the hotel.
The dining room of the Rhuys.
Since the Rhuys was small, to accommodate guests, Maman and Papa sublet spare rooms in private homes in the village. A guest who slept in someone else’s house was staying “chez l’habitant.” You could always see one of our waitresses scurrying down the street with a broom and a bucket of water, on her way to or from cleaning a room. The waitresses did everything back then: housekeeping, serving meals, clearing the tables, working the bar, and, of course, taking care of us if Maman was busy. It was a real family business. There was no money for a large staff. Papa was the chef and administrator; Maman, the head housekeeper and hostess. By the time I was fourteen and Gilbert twelve, we were both working full-time in the summers, he in the kitchen and I in the dining room, at the cash register, or out front with the customers. But our mother would do wonders, balancing Papa’s sternness—with her help we would go to the cinema in an old small church, or go dancing. And when she could not help us, we would sneak out at night, making it even more exciting and fun to break Papa’s rules.
Mama and Papa outside the Rhuys.
Our family (Mama on the right; Papa with Gilbert on his shoulders and me in front; Grandpère Durand) and an English couple who were regular guests at the hotel.
Later, people would tell us that with our background, it was natural for Gilbert and me to be a success in the restaurant business. But nothing could be further from the truth. The Hôtel du Rhuys was a small family business. Maman and Papa meant well, but the inn and restaurant were poorly run and a drain on all of us. Financially, they barely made it from year to year. There was no maître d’, no Michelin Guide stars. Eventually, Papa bought a boat, named it Maguy Gilbert, and ran a small fishing operation in the off-season to make ends meet.
The funny thing is, the work, that life, got into Gilbert’s blood and mine. We’d see the tourists coming in summer, and we knew there was another kind of life somewhere else. We wanted to know that somewhere else.
First, we tried to create it in Port Navalo. In 1964, we opened our own disco, La Biscorne, just around the corner from the Hôtel du Rhuys. It was actually a scheme of Papa’s. He thought a disco would be a big moneymaker, and who better to run it than his two ambitious teenagers? I don’t think he knew what he was unleashing by giving La Biscorne to us. We ran the disco while running the Rhuys. It didn’t matter. We enjoyed it so much, we were never tired. This was new and differen
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normous baker working an old tin bath of dough. The buckets of sweat were running off his big, black, muscley body into the bath, and I thought half the bread that was baked from the dough must be made of him!
Once Dad was working in Brunei I couldn’t wait to leave drab school meals behind for the school holidays, which meant wok-cooking in the markets: pak choy and grilled langoustines, delicate chicken satay, beef rendang, or char kway teow – spicy wide, flat noodles, with prawns, chicken, bean shoots and chives, which we often ate out of newspaper on the go, and which, I later discovered, makes an excellent hangover breakfast!
Lunch on a rubbish dump
One memory, from a few years later, really stands out, because it underlines for me the generosity of sharing food even in dire circumstances – something that underpins so many of the simple, sustaining dishes in this book, dishes that are born of the need to feed family and friends, even in hard times. As part of my university studies, my friend Annabel and I spent time at Lima’s Católica University, then travelled around Peru and Ecuador, discovering yet another world of food and flavour. On a memorable Palm Sunday we were invited to family lunch with cousins in ‘the country’ by a local woman called Isabel and her daughters, who all looked like Diana Ross. Isabel first befriended us after we bought single cigarettes from her kiosk in Rimac, a suburb of Lima which at that time was known as ‘un pueblo joven’, a poetic way of describing a semi-slum.
We bumped along a dirt track, with stones bouncing through the holes in the floor of her old car, towards the beach and what looked like sand dunes stretching for miles, until we got closer and realised that they weren’t dunes, but mountains of rubbish. These were the city rubbish dumps and the cousins lived in two brick houses in the middle of them, making their living Slumdog Millionaire style from selling whatever of value they could sift from each new batch. While the children were outside picking through the rubbish, looking for pieces of leather, metal, or whatever they could salvage, Annabel and I were given seats at a canvas-covered table, and lunch of rice, avocado and steak: only us; no one else ate. Over 30 years later I still remember that food vividly, because every mouthful was intertwined with the local shapes, sounds and smells and the touching embarrassment of this lovely family going hungry themselves, while they cooked, waited on and welcomed guests they had never met before.
Costa Brava to Barcelona
Of all the places I have come to know in Spain, Catalunya is the most familiar and perhaps closest to my heart, since I lived there for three years and my brother lives there still. The land, the people I met and stayed with, and the places and producers I got to know, are all an integral part of why Brindisa happened in the first place.
The summer I finished my degree I had some time on my hands before starting a teaching course in Barcelona in the autumn, so I went with my parents for a holiday to the beautiful town of Begur on the Costa Brava. Because I spoke Spanish, I quickly made friends locally, and, though I had planned to move on and work as an au pair in Valencia, they said: ‘You can’t go – stay here!’ One of the friends was Pepa Salvador, who gave me a job in her restaurant, La Salsita, despite the fact that I was very green, and my previous job experience was limited to working in a toy factory and helping with the hop and fruit harvests near my parents’ home in Hampshire.
The dishes of the coast, with their natural emphasis on fish and seafood, tend to be more colourful than the typical sausage, bean and vegetable dishes of inland Catalunya, which taste delicious, but often look brown and dark; and Pepa always tried to make her dishes visually stunning. Favourites included her gazpacho and suquet de peix (the famous, glorious fish stew), along with suquet de rascassa i congre (made with potato, scorpion fish and crab). Hake would be served with bright parsley sauce, or monkfish would be pan-fried in butter with slices of apricot, roasted pine nuts and raisins. There were stand-out meat dishes too, such as pork loin with prune sauce, and conejo al ‘jas’, a juicy rabbit stew sweetened with carrots and tomatoes (see here).
I started work at La Salsita at six every evening and finished at around two in the morning. My job was to hand-write the menus, prepare the starters, serve the puddings and make coffees. We had a crazy mix of culture and dialect in the kitchen. Pepa’s business partner, Marta Aramburu, was from Uruguay, and so we always had matambre on the menu, a Uruguayan dish of slices of beef, rolled up and stuffed with hearty local ingredients such as chorizo. There was an old lady who did the washing up and spoke in old Catalan, which at that time was almost unintellig
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holiday breads are filled will all kinds of tasty additions, it is nice to have the extra lift and lightness. That, in a nutshell, is how you make artisan breads with only five minutes a day of active effort. In this book, there are some breads that take a few more minutes to achieve the full beauty of their traditional shapes, but they’re worth it.
A one- or two-week supply of dough is made in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Measuring and mixing the dough takes less than fifteen minutes. Kneading, at least in the mixing process, as we’ve said, is not necessary. Every day, cut off a hunk of dough from the storage container and briefly shape it without kneading. Allow it to rest briefly on the counter, and then toss it in the oven. We don’t count the rest time (twenty minutes or more depending on the recipe) or baking time (usually about thirty minutes) in our five-minute-a-day calculation, since you can be doing something else while that’s happening. If you bake after dinner, the bread will stay fresh for use the next day (higher-moisture breads stay fresh longer), but the method is so convenient that you probably will find you can cut off some dough and bake a loaf every morning before your day starts (especially if you make flatbreads like pita).
Using high-moisture, pre-mixed, pre-risen dough makes most of the difficult, time-consuming, and demanding steps in traditional bread baking completely superfluous:
1. You don’t need to make dough every day to have fresh bread every day: Stored dough makes wonderful fresh loaves. Only the shaping and baking steps are done daily; the rest has been done in advance.
2. It doesn’t matter how you mix the dry and wet ingredients together: So long as the mixture is uniform, without any dry lumps of flour, it makes no difference whether you use a spoon, a Danish dough whisk, or a heavy-duty stand mixer. Choose based on your own convenience.
3. You don’t need to “proof” yeast: Traditional recipes require that yeast be dissolved in water with a little sugar and allowed to sit for five minutes to prove that bubbles can form and the yeast is alive. But modern yeast simply doesn’t fail if used before its expiration date and the baker remembers to use lukewarm, not hot, water. The high water content in our doughs further ensures that the yeast will fully hydrate and activate without a proofing step. Further storage gives it plenty of time to fully ferment the dough—our approach doesn’t need the head start.
4. The dough isn’t kneaded: It can be mixed and stored in the same large, lidded plastic container. No wooden board is required. There should be only one vessel to wash, plus a spoon (or a mixer). You’ll never tell the difference between breads made with kneaded and unkneaded high-moisture dough, so long as you mix to a basically uniform consistency. In our method, a very quick “cloaking and shaping” step substitutes for kneading (see Chapter 5, step 4) .
WHAT WE DON’T HAVE TO DO: STEPS FROM TRADITIONAL ARTISAN BAKING THAT WE OMITTED
1. Mix a new batch of dough every time we want to make bread.
2. “Proof” yeast.
3. Knead dough.
4. Rest and rise the loaves in a draft-free location—it doesn’t matter!
5. Fuss over doubling or tripling of dough volume.
6. Punch down and re-rise: Never punch down stored dough!
7. Poke rising loaves to be sure they’ve “proofed” by leaving indentations.
Now you know why it only takes five minutes a day, not including resting and baking time.
Given these simple principles, anyone can make artisan bread at home. We’ll talk about what you’ll need in Chapters 2 (Ingredients) and 3 (Equipment). You don’t need a professional baker’s kitchen. In Chapter 4, you’ll learn the tips and techniques that we’ve taken years to accumulate. Then, in Chapter 5, we’ll lay out the basics of our method, applying them to simple white dough and several delicious variations. Chapter 5’s master recipe is the model for the rest of our recipes. We suggest you read it first and bake some of its breads before trying anything else. You won’t regret it. And if you want more information, we’re on the Web at BreadIn5.com, where you’ll find instructional text, photographs, videos, and a community of other five-minute bakers. Other easy ways to keep in touch: follow us on Instagram at @Breadin5, Twitter at @ArtisanBreadin5, on Facebook at @BreadIn5, on Pinterest at BreadIn5, or on our YouTube channel, BreadIn5.
Here’s a very practical guide to the ingredients we use to produce artisan loaves.
Flours and Grains
ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR: This is the staple ingredient for most of the recipes in this book. All-purpose flour is a great choice for white flour because of its medium protein content. Most of the protein in it is highly elastic gluten, which allows bread dough to trap the carbon dioxide gas produced by yeast. Without gluten, bread would