Technique Tuesday – Roast, Beat, Fold
Wait, what?! Does the title of this article really say Roast Beast? Is this a Dr. Seuss story? Who doesn’t love a Dr. Seuss story?!
Today we’re sharing our knowledge of cooking.
It’s easy to see if you know where you’re looking.
The second in this series is Roast, Beat and Fold.
Or if you read it real fast, it might be…the roast beast is cold!
If you haven’t had the chance to read our first blog in this series: Saute, Chop and Cut In;
You can find it right here, just click on it and grin.
Don’t worry if you miss any of our Technique Tuesday articles, this series is not sequential. You can ‘cut in’ and catch up anywhere along the way. If you’ve read them hopefully you’ve had the chance to practice those techniques to up your culinary and pastry game. Now, onward…
Roasting is a cooking method utilizing hot air that completely envelopes the food, thereby cooking it evenly on all sides. It can be done over an open flame, like on a grill, or in an oven. Roasting enhances the flavor of the food through caramelization or the browning of the food surface. The term roast as a noun typically refers to a type of meat, mostly red/beef, but can include pork or lamb. Vegetables, specifically root and bulb, are also commonly roasted for full flavor; think carrots, parsnips or squash. However, both meats and vegetables prepared with fully surrounding heat are considered ‘roasted’.
Beating means to add air into a mixture. It’s a more intense process than ‘mixing’ and is typically used in baking. You can beat something with a fork, spoon, electric mixer, or food processor. The repetitive motion in ‘beating’ carries air from the top of the mixture to the bottom over and over again, making it light and fluffy and thoroughly combining all ingredients. Sometimes it’s also called whip or stir and is commonly used with oil, water, heavy cream, and eggs.
Folding is a term that describes the motion used to gently combine ingredients together without stirring, beating or otherwise agitating the mixture. So, how do you fold in an ingredient? When you add something to a batter like chopped nuts or pieces of fruit, such as mulberries, you sprinkle the ingredients on top of the batter and draw the spatula gently across the bottom and up the sides of the bowl. Then, slowly and delicately fold the batter (and newly added ingredient) into itself. Repeat this gentle rolling method with the spatula maintaining constant contact with the mixture until the new ingredient is evenly distributed throughout the batter.
As they say, practice makes perfect. So, continue trying new recipes and techniques to improve your cooking and baking skills. In our next article we will focus on Braise, Grate and Core.