Steaming and submersion cooking

Moist heat techniques – steaming, cooking en papillote, shallow poaching, deep poaching and simmering are liquid and or water vapor based cooking.


Steaming

steaming-food

Cooking is done by water vapor in a closed vessel.

Steamed foods don’t lose much of their color. This method doesn’t  impart their own flavor as the frying or roasting does. So steaming provides more intrinsic flavors.

Water is mostly the medium for cooking but different stocks, broth, court bouillon, wine, beer etc can also be used for steaming.

Different sizes take different time to cook.

Steamed foods are tender, moist and plump.

It is important to provide enough room for the steam to circulate so that the foods cook evenly and rapidly.

Liquid can also be flavored with herbs, spices and aromatic vegetables according to the desired taste.


Cooking en papillote

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It translates to cooking in paper. The main item is wrapped in parchment paper and cooked in the steam created by its own juices.

Similar results can be achieved by aluminum foil, banana leaves, lettuce, plantain and grape leaves. If the food is slightly cooked in advance, then the food is done if the paper is puffy and brown.

The dish is often presented with the wrapper.

Searing can give additional texture and flavor.

Vegetables can be added to the wrapper to provide moisture and flavor.

To add additional flavor, add herbs and spices, or aromatic vegetables.

To provide additional moisture and flavor, add wine, stock, broth or sauces.


Shallow poaching

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Food is partially covered in liquid with an addition of acid like lemon juice or wine and cooked with a combination of steam and simmering liquid.

The acid gives the sauce a bright and balanced flavor.

Flavor is transferred from the food to the simmering liquid which can be used as a sauce.

To add additional flavor, add herbs and spices, or aromatic vegetables.

To provide additional flavor add wine, stock, broth or sauces in the liquid or use just them instead of water.

A cuisson is broth type liquid used to serve the main item.


Deep poaching and simmering

Deep poaching

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Simmering

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Deep poaching and simmering is completely submerging the food in the liquid and cooking in a moderate temperature.

Foods cooked under this method are moist and extremely tender.

The differences in both methods is the temperature. Deep poaching items are naturally tender and the temperature is lower while the simmering items are large and tough cuts which needs high temperature to become tender and moist.

To add additional flavor, add herbs and spices, or aromatic vegetables.

To provide additional flavor add wine, stock, broth or sauces in the liquid.


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