Friday, February 1, 2008

Ask Mary: Fond

Dear Mary, 
I've heard of a term in cooking called "fond" and wanted to know what it is. Can you tell me more? 
Thanks, Rose

Fond is so important in cooking. Fond, the French word for base, is created when you are cooking a vegetable or a protein and some of the juices or particles on the item stick to the pan and start to caramelize.

When making fond, if it looks like it is going to burn, you can add a little bit of liquid to it like water, stock or wine and it will prevent the fond from burning and easily go into whatever you are cooking. At the end, to make a sauce, you can add a lot of wine or stock to a hot pan
(just off the fire) and use a flat-ended spoon to scrape it all off – a process called deglazing. Remember, never add wine to a pan still on the flame. You don't want the alcohol to ignite.

Depending on what substance you add, your fond will result in a variety of tastes and flavors. You can even add spices, garlic, mushrooms or mustards to further intensify the resulting sauce. Lastly, don't use a non-stick pan in this endeavor. This is one case where you actually want your food to stick!

Happy Cooking! Mary  

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