What is gratin?
What Does gratin Mean
The verb gratinar has its etymological origin in the French word gratiner . The action of gratin consists of toasting the surface layer of a food , usually in the oven.
The act and result of gratin is known as gratin , as is this technique . To gratinate a food, it must be placed under a source of high intensity heat, in such a way that its upper part is toasted.
The goal of the gratin is to make the top layer brown and crisp . In this way, a new texture is created and the inside of the food is protected, maintaining the aromas and juices.
In order for this crunchy layer to be generated when au gratin, the preparation is often covered with white sauce or béchamel sauce, grated cheese or bread crumbs. The heat thus impacts directly on this aggregate.
Bechamel sauce is considered one of the easiest to prepare. The necessary ingredients are flour, butter, milk, nutmeg, and white pepper. The first step is to melt the butter. Next, we must add the flour and fry the mixture . Little by little, we must add the milk (it is important that it is cold) and dissolve everything with a rod. When it boils, it is time to add some nutmeg and white pepper.
At home level, to gratinate a meal it is introduced in the lower part of the kitchen , making the fire reach over it. Professional cooks, meanwhile, usually have a torch to apply the flame directly on the plate manually.
The pastas are among the foods that are usually brown. The gratin lasagne , for example, is very popular. You can also gratin noodles with bechamel sauce or cream, previously sprinkling grated cheese.
It is even possible to gratin desserts and sweet preparations. The crumble is prepared by covering fresh fruit with a mixture of lard (butter), sugar and flour that is au gratin so that the heat hardens the topping and softens the fruit .
Returning to salty food, we must point out that for people who love cheese in all its varieties, gratin is a technique that they cannot miss, since it gives an exceptional finish to the dishes, both in their appearance and in the texture and consistency. Whether we are preparing a pizza, cannelloni or lasagna, gratin cheese is a ticket to success when it comes to bringing them to the table .
As mentioned in a previous paragraph, at home the oven is used as the main tool for gratin dishes, although this does not mean that it is an easy task. Most of the models offer us the option to activate only the upper fire , or even to enhance it more than the lower one, although this depends on the brand. This can be very useful if we have already cooked the food and we decide to add a layer of gratin at the last minute, since we can simply apply heat on top to prevent the base from burning.
One of the secrets of good food is that the same ingredient can acquire different apparent flavors, depending on the way in which they are cooked. Let's take the example of the potato : it is not the same to boil it than to bake it in slices or fry it in sticks, and these are just three of the many possibilities that this wonderful vegetable offers us, which can also be used to prepare mashed potatoes or laminated potatoes. Well, gratin also alters the flavor of the products, opening a new world of possibilities, such as using them in more than one state simultaneously.