Must Have Ingredients For French Cuisine
Want to prepare a French dish? Start by gathering the best ingredients. French cooking is all about sourcing for high quality food products that will add a unique flavor and texture to your dish. Some of the ingredients are readily available at the local supermarkets whereas others are unavailable in the region.
What most French restaurants in Ottawa do is to look for similar ingredients which can act as an acceptable substitute for something that they cannot find locally. Creativity is key when preparing French cuisine. We’ve gathered a list of popular ingredients that you are likely to come across in a French restaurant Ottawa.
Have These Ingredients in Your Kitchen Whenever You Need to Prepare French Cuisine:
Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemons can add a unique flavor to any French dish. Forget about the bottled lemon juice that you are likely to find at the stores. This one is likely to have too many additives and taste totally different from the fresh real juice. Buy lemons and add them to your dish by squeezing each through a sieve held over the pot to remove the seeds.
Black pepper: Though black pepper is becoming increasingly costly, it’s one of those ingredients you certainly cannot do without when preparing French meals. Avoid ground pepper and instead get the peppercorns which you can prepare by grinding them whenever you need to cook.
Fresh herbs: Ask any French chef and they’ll tell you fresh herbs can add a creative texture and flavor to different French dishes. The most commonly used herbs include sage, dill, mint, cilantro, rosemary, thyme and parsley. Some of them are available locally such as parsley and basil.
Red wine vinegar: This is traditionally used in French cooking but you need to consider the exact type you buy. In most French recipes, the exact type of red vinegar required is likely to be stated. Just make sure you don’t use white vinegar or cider vinegar as a substitute for red vinegar. You really don’t have to break the bank to get a good quality balsamic vinegar at the local supermarkets.
Sea salt: French dishes are prepared using sea salt instead of table salt especially the soups and stews. The good thing with sea salt is that it is a natural ingredient. There are also many different types of sea salt to choose from. Opt for the finer varieties from France. If you are not able to find sea salt, one acceptable substitute is kosher salt.
Fresh farm tomatoes: Get the fresh farm tomatoes that are grown in the soil. It could be a challenge to get farm tomatoes of the organic varieties given that most tomatoes are grown hydroponically nowadays. The normal red tomatoes straight from the farm will add the best flavors to your French cuisine.
Crème Fraiche: This is one ingredient that you may not find readily available in Ottawa. What most French restaurants Ottawa do is to create their own crème fraiche. This is usually done by allowing a mixture of heavy cream and buttermilk to ferment overnight. There are lots of recipes online to create crème fraiche.