Culinary Education - Taino Smokehouse Connecticut

Chapter 1 : Basic Cuts and Mother Sauces

The Julienne Cut
The julienne is a type of cut that is stick-shaped and very thin. Cut from a squared off item, you will then slice that item length-wise at a thickness of 1-2mm (1/16 in) leaving you with thin rectangular cuts. Then, take the thin slices and apply the same technique. You will end up with Julienne (Or matchstick) cuts! Dimensions: 2mm X 2mm X 4cm (1/16in X 1/16in X 2in)

The Brunoise or Fine Dice
The Brunoise dice is the smallest dice you can have. While you can mince to a smaller dimension, this method refers to the smallest uniform size available for dicing. This method is simple and only adds an additional step to the Julienne method. Take your julienne cuts and bunch them up with your hand. Then cut the julienne into equally shaped dice. Great for Soups Dimensions: 2mm X 2mm X 2mm (1/16 in X 1/16 in X 1/16 in)

The Small Dice
The small dice are similar to the brunoise, but it is slightly larger. Start by following the steps to Julienne your item. You want to slice your squared-off item at a thickness of 3mm. Now it’s only a matter of finishing off the dice as you would the Brunoise! Dimensions: 3mm X 3mm X 3mm (1/8 in X 1/8 in X 1/8 in)

The Batonnet Cut
We start with squaring off our item, slicing it to the thickness desires, and then going from there. We are aiming for a larger stick-cut. The batonnet is used when serving a larger potion of an item such as a vegetable side, to gain height in your dish, or to provide imposing linear appeal to an otherwise linear-absent dish. Dimensions: 6mm X 6mm X 6cm (1/4 in X 1/4 in X 2 in)

The Medium Dice
The medium dice type of cuts are derived from the Batonnet and the only added step is slicing the batonnet to produce cubes. This size is called a Medium Dice. Dimensions: 6mm X 6mm X 6mm (1/4 in X 1/4 in X 1/4 in)

The Baton The baton type of cuts are the largest stick-cut you can cut. It is used for crudites and for presentation purposes. While not used as much as the rest, it is the foundation for the more common Large Dice. Dimensions: 12mm X 12mm X 6cm (1/2 in X 1/2 in X 2-1/2 in)

The Large Dice
The large dice types of cuts are primarily used for stews, long-cooking dishes and for mirepoix in stocks. The large dice is important, because it is relatively quick, has a great imposing nature and looks professional. When cutting a large dice, you will tend to have a higher waste when trying to get nicely cut pieces using the method describing how to square off your item. Remember when doing any cutting or dicing to use the method best suited for your dish. Dimensions: 12mm X 12mm X 12mm (1/2 in X 1/2 in X 1/2 in).

Paysanne Cut
The paysanne types of cuts are included here to show you that while cubed items are common, sometimes you would prefer a slimmer, flat, square item. This is called the Paysanne. This is achieved by creating your desired stick-cut size, then slicing thinly to produce a thin square. Typically used for larger cuts, this method can be applied to smaller cuts and dices as well. Dimensions: 12mm X 12mm X 3mm (1/2 in X 1/2 in X 1/8 in) There are different types of cuts that you can use as well.

The Chiffonade
The chiffonade types of cuts are used when slicing very thin items such as herbs or leaf vegetables such as spinach. Cutting en chiffonade is a really simple process. Start by stacking the items you are looking to slice. Then roll up the items, producing a cigar-shaped roll. Once it’s rolled, start slicing to produce a nice chiffonade suitable for garnishing and other purposes.

The Five Mother Sauces B. E. T. H. V.
The French mother sauces were originally four base sauces set forth by Antonin Careme in the 19th century. Careme’s four original mother sauces were Allemande, Bechamel, Veloute and Espagnole. In the 20th century, Chef Auguste Escoffier demoted Allemande to a secondary sauce of Veloute, and added Sauce Tomat and Hollandaise.

Bechamel Sauce
  • Base: Milk (Usually Whole Milk)
  • Thickening Agent: White Roux
  • Classical Flavorings: White Onion, Clove, Bay Leaf, Salt, White Pepper, Nutmeg
  • Common Secondary Sauces: Cream Sauce, Mornay, Cheddar Cheese Sauce, Mustard Sauce, Nantua
  • Classically Served With: Eggs, Fish, Steamed Poultry, Steamed Vegetables, Pastas, Veal
  • Bechamel Recipe
Espagnole Sauce (AKA Sauce Brune or Brown)
  • Base: Roasted Veal Stock (Roasted Chicken Stock Is Sometimes Used In Modern Variations).
  • Thickening Agent: Brown Roux
  • Classical Flavorings: Mirepoix, Sachet (Bay Leaf, Fresh Thyme, Parsely), Tomato Puree
  • Common Secondary Sauces: Demi-Glace, Bordelaise, Sauce Robert, Lyonnaise, Sauce Madeira, Sauce Bercy, Sauce Chasseur
  • Classically Served With: Roasted meats, especially beef, duck, veal, lamb
  • Espagnole Sauce Recipe
Tomat (AKA Tomato) Sauce
  • Base: Tomatoes (Raw, Tomato Paste, Tomato Puree, Stewed Tomatoes)
  • Thickening Agent: Classically a Roux, modern versions commonly use a reduction or purees
  • Classical Flavorings: Salt Pork, Mirepoix, Garlic, White Veal Stock, Salt & Pepper, Sugar (Just enough to balance acidity, not enough to make the sweetness perceptible).
  • Common Secondary Sauces: Modern variations concentrate more on seasonings giving rise to sauces such as Creole, Portuguese and Spanish Sauce Tomat.
  • Classically Served With: Pasta, Fish, Vegetables (Especially Grilled), Polenta, Veal, Poultry (Especially Chicken), Breads and Dumplings such as Gnocchi.
  • Tomato Sauce Recipe
Hollandaise Sauce
  • Base: Egg Yolks and Butter (Classically Clarified Butter)
  • Thickening Agent: Emulsification
  • Classical Flavorings: Peppercorns (Black), White Wine Vinegar, Salt, Lemon Juice, Cayenne Pepper
  • Common Secondary Sauces: Bearnaise, Maltaise, Mousseline, Foyot, Choron…Also check out this post on How to Make Mayonnaise and Its Derivatives, which is based on the hollandaise technique.
  • Classically Served With: Eggs (Eggs Benedict), Vegetables (especially Asparagus), light poultry dishes, fish, Beef (Bernaise Sauce)
  • Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
Veloute Sauce
  • Base: White Stock (Classically Veal, but Chicken and Fish Stock can also be used)
  • Thickening Agent: Classically a Roux, but sometimes also a Liason is used.
  • Classical Flavorings: None, used specifically as a base
  • Common Secondary Sauces: Sauce Vin Blanc (White Wine Sauce), Sauce Supreme, Sauce Allemande, Sauce Poulette, Sauce Bercy, Sauce Normandy
  • Classically Served With: Eggs, Fish, Steamed Poultry, Steamed Vegetables, Pastas, Veal
  • Veloute Recipe