Tuesday, January 6, 2009

De Glaze! De Glaaaze!

Smiles, everyone, smiles!

OK. Enough with my seventies flashback.

Today I want to talk about deglazing.

Deglazing is one of my all-time favorite things to do in the kitchen. Why? Well, probably because it generally involves wine and...well...B loves his wine. But wait - that's not really it BECAUSE deglazing doesn't necessarily have to be done with wine. (Can you feel me frowning?)

OK. When you're cooking something in a pan - be it vegetables or some sort of protein (meat, seafood...) - bits of what you're cooking stick to the bottom of the pan and become this highly flavorful brown stuff referred to as 'fond.'

Fond is good. (So is fondue, but FOCUS, Sven.)

It means foundation. (Stocks are referred to as 'fond de cuisine,' as in the base of cooking.) And that fond in your pan can be the foundation of a quick pan sauce for whatever was cooking in said pan. And you get that sauce, or incorporate all the flavor of that fond into your sauce, by deglazing.

To deglaze a pan, you add liquid to the hot pan and stir, scraping up the fond from the bottom of the pan. That flavor incorporates into the liquid and the liquid also reduces over the heat, so you are left with a lovely, flavorful sauce.

et voila!

If you cook for any length of time, you're going to deglaze a pan at some point - if you, in fact, already haven't. It was one of the first cooking techniques I learned that actually made me feel like I was COOKING something. (It's true, mom, opening the jar of Ragu did not count! Sticklers...) The liquid makes this great noise when it hits the pan. The entire room fills with a fabulous aroma. I still can't resist bending over the pan and inhaling every time I add some wine to a pan of sauteing tomatoes and garlic. Mm-mm!

So...love your fond. (And, yeah, you can't really get good fond with your non-stick pans, so...) Grab the wine (or stock or water or what have you) and create yourself some pan sauces, amigos.

Sauteing the shrimp leads to...


And so we add some wine. (Say it with me, now: yay, wine!)

Look, ma, no fond!!


Jeff P said...

Face it, when you are leaning over the pan that you have just poured wine into, you KNOW it is because you just want to drink the wine...

Brad said...

Awesome article of a term I've never heard before! Obviously you have a certain FONDness for it.