Is there foreign travel in your future?
Or maybe dinner at that new French restaurant you've been wanting to try?
Have you ever read an entire menu, then realized that, while you knew there was beef and chicken, you hadn't a clue as to how they were fixed?
Never fear – your cheat-sheet is here!
Once you learn what the 'syles' and 'sauces' are you can translate any menu that uses them.
You don't need to learn them all – only the ones you like.
Or the ones you don't like….
First, the styles.
Some are fairly well-known:
- Florentine – with spinach
- Lyonnaise – with onions
- à la dijonnaise – with mustard
- au gratin – with a thin, browned crust, often with breadcrumbs (may or may not have cheese)
- à la meunière – coated with flour, sauted, served with butter and lemon
- à la espagnole – with red peppers, tomatoes and garlic
Some are fairly common:
- forestière – with mushrooms, diced potatoes, sliced truffles and gravy
- normande – with apples and Calvados
- Rossini – noodles, Parmesan, truffles and foie gras in a Marsala sauce
- provençale – tomatoes, onions, garlic, olives, anchovies, breadcrumbs
- Saint-Germain – with peas
- landaise – foie gras and truffles
- à la savoyarde – with cheese and potatoes
Some are not so common:
- financière – cockscombs, truffles, mushrooms, olives, veal or chicken quenelles in Madiera sauce
- godard – same as financiere but with the addition of sweetbreads
- judic – small braised lettuces with cockscombs, truffles, kidneys in sauce demi-glace
- à la grecque – vegetables cooked in water, cooled and served cold
- toulousaine – with cockscombs, kidneys, sweetbreads, truffles, mushrooms in a sauce bound with egg yolk
- à l'oriental – usually with saffron
Now – for the examples:
These are incredibly easy and delicious, and pair well with flavorful fish and chicken. They absorb the chicken stock at the end, giving them a bit of a syrupy glaze.
2 medium potatoes
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
2 tsp butter
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup chicken stock
Peel onion, cut in half and slice thinly. Peel and chop garlic. Sauté onion and garlic in medium nonstick skillet in 2 tsp butter until lightly golden, about 10 minutes.
Cut potatoes in quarters lengthwise, then slice thinly. Remove onions and garlic from pan. Add 2 tsp oil, potatoes and sauté until golden, turning often with spatula, about 20 minutes. When potatoes are golden, return onion and garlic to pan, add chicken stock, cover and simmer until stock is absorbed, 5 – 10 minutes. Serve.
Next week – the sauces.