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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

CULINARY 101: MIREPOIX

Julip Made culinary 101 mirepoix4 Mirepoix, otherwise known as delicious heaven or your best friend in the kitchen.  Mirepoix is a classic mixture of carrots, celery, and onion that acts as a flavor base for everything from soups to sauces to stocks to even breakfast hashes (trust me, try it sauteed with a sunny-side-up egg over top).  The concept is simple, three aromatic veggies that when combined add subtle delicious flavor that layers with additional ingredients to create a complex mix of flavors.
Julip Made culinary 101 mirepoix2 The ratio to remember is 2:1:1 of onion to celery to carrot.  However, if you want a sweeter flavor base, up the amount of carrot you are using.  In terms of dicing, the size of the dice will impact the speed of the release of flavor as the mirepoix cooks.  A smaller dice will release flavor more quickly for delicate, quick cook meals versus a larger dice, or even chunks for a stock that will simmer for hours.  Julip Made culinary 101 mirepoix1 Although carrot, celery, and onion is the classic French mirepoix combo, there are numerous other triad flavor combos used in other cultures and to achieve other equally delicious flavor bases.  For example the Holy Trinity (onion, celery, and red bell pepper) is a Cajun classic used to achieve a similar, but slightly sweeter taste.

When you need a lighter color stock there is also the "white mirepoix", which substitutes parsnip for carrot and often adds other aromatics such as mushrooms or herbs.
Julip Made culinary 101 mirepoix3 To speed up my prep for many stews or sauces, I often keep a prepped and chopped supply of mirepoix in a Tupperware container in my fridge.  I go through the mixture often enough to use it up so replenish it whenever I have time.  However, if you don't think you'll use it that frequently, go ahead and freeze it in an air tight zip-lock bag.
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14 comments:

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