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What I Learn When I Learn About Cooking » digest LA

salad and bread

I am not going to pull a Julie and Julia, but I have started reading through Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck.

Here is what I have learned so far:

Oil – French cooking doesn’t use olive oil. It has too strong a taste. For French cooking use odorless and tasteless vegetable oils. Since I moved to LA, I already have gone through a big bottle of olive oil. Now on to Canola.

Butter – French butter is more akin to salted butter in the U.S. So there is use for salted butter besides for bread after all.

Bacon – If you use American smoked bacon in a French recipe, you should blanch it first.

Creme fraiche - Creme fraiche can be recreated with whipping cream and buttermilk. It takes a long time so luckily Pavilions carries creme fraiche.

Flour – French household flour is like 3 parts all purpose flour and 1 part bleached cake flour.

Vinaigrette – Sugar is heresy in vinaigrettes. I can’t get behind that rule because of my Aunt Sara’s Poppy Seed Vinaigrette Dressing in the picture above.

Here is what I learned from my own kitchen experiments:

Tapioca starch – Tapioca starch and tapioca starch modified is not the same thing. Especially when the modified tapioca starch is called Ultratex 3. If you know what Ultratex 3 is, then you know what I tried to do is pretty funny. I will stop buying weird chemicals that I don’t know what they are. I will buy tapioca starch and make pao de queijo.

Oh and if you want to know more about the title of the post, you may want to check out What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by my favorite author Haruki Murakami.

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