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Cartouche Cooking:

Have you ever been disappointed by returning to a pan only to find an unpleasant skin forming on your once beautiful sauce or found it all too easy to dry out sweating onions – then what your cooking has been missing is a cartouche!

What is a cartouche?
A lid made from parchment paper used to cover a saute pan, perfect for when you want to control heat and evaporation during simmering or poaching.

Why use a cartouche in cooking
A cartouche serves two purposes:

1. It slows down the rate of eveporation– perfect for poaching or simmering when it’s important to maintain moistmenss and a steady temperature.

2. Placed directly on top of a sauce, soup or protein a cartouched prevents the unwanted surface “skin” that can form on sauces when they come into contact with air.

How to Make a cartouche –
To make a cartouche, all you’ll need is some parchment or greaseproof paper and some scissors.

1 Cut a square or round piece of greaseproof paper and fold into segments, the shape of an elongated triangle. Cut the triangle to slightly larger than the radius of your pan.

2 Unfold the paper into a circle that should fit snugly inside the saucepan on top of the onions.

3 Crumple the cartouche and dampen under cold water before use. The crumpling helps the greaseproof paper hold a little more water. Lay on top of the ingredient(s) to be cooked.

Watch how it’s done in the clip below:


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About Mary Ellen Bellusci

Mary Ellen Bellusci is a longtime resident of Baltimore, Maryland... A foodie, traveler, writer, and pursuer of happiness.