Friday, December 14, 2007

Quiz Answer and Wine

Hey, folks, I'm taking the weekend off, so you'll have lots of time to discuss the quiz answer.

Answer: Matignon. This may have been a bit of a flawed question. There is no question that a finely diced mirepoix could be a brunoise. Brunoise is the name of the tiny dice and applies to any food -- carrots, bread, finger, whatever. (For pics, check your New Professional Chef or Labensky's On Cooking.) A very fine dice of mirepoix, the triumvirate of onion, carrot, and celery, is specifically called matignon. Matignon has a number of meanings based on region and country but one of them is finely diced mirepoix. The confusion, of course, is that any fine dice is a brunoise, but a fine dice specifically of mirepoix is matignon. As a result, only 18% got the right answer. 66% answered brunoise and deserve half a point. However, I am gone for the remainder of the weekend, so feel free to clarify and discuss. I know we have some chefs lurking around here who will be able to clarify to a better degree or give a different opinion. (Or you can all make fun of all the people who answered "coulis" or "roux".) New quiz next week.

Elegant Vintages International Wine Auction: Wine fans will want to mark their calendars for the annual Elegant Vintages International Wine Auction benefiting the Indianapolis Zoo, March 8, 2008, at the Marriott Downtown. If you've never attended this event before, you're in for a real treat as it includes a live wine auction of some pretty spectacular wines, private dinner parties, winery trips, and more. We saw some early wine lots at the preview party and they're already pretty fantastic. (They previewed lots valued anywhere from $500-$10,000.) Wine auctioneer David Reynolds will preside over the black tie dinner and live auction afterwords. Many of you are involved with the event and some have even donated. Need to make some space in your cellar? Pick out the good stuff and give us or the Zoo a call. Donor deadline is Feb 1 to make the catalog.


Anonymous said...

Q. What is a matignon?
A. For a word that doesn’t come up very often, it has a surprising number of meanings. It comes up in French cooking, and at its most basic is a vegetable mixture that has been cooked down to a pulp. Only the French don’t call it a pulp, they call it a fondue, which simply means "melted."

Carrots, celery, and onion are cooked very slowly in butter, with a little salt, thyme, bay leaf, and sugar. When the vegetables are already very soft, some Madeira is added, and cooked further until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. That produces a maitgnon au maigre, or vegetarian version. It can also be prepared au gras, with the addition of a little bacon.

The matignon is then used as an ingredient in other dishes. A chicken might be roasted on a bed of matignon in a covered dish in the oven, or the matignon can be spread on a chicken or a beef fillet that is to be braised. When the meat is done, the matignon is collected and served as a garnish.

Matignon is also the name of a side dish, in which artichoke hearts are stuffed with the vegetable pulp, sprinkled with bread crumbs, and browned. These are served with braised lettuce and a port wine sauce.

In restaurant kitchens in this country, matignon is sometimes referred to as an edible mirepoix. A mirepoix is a mixture of diced carrot, celery, and onion (or leek), with some herbs that is used to flavor stocks, soups and stews, and often does not make it into the finished dish. A matignon in this country generally includes some ham.

braingirl said...

Giving credit where credit it due, the above is copied from Ochef. I'll leave it up but it's the text from the link in the post.