Friday, January 27, 2012

Secret Sauce Ingredients: Glace and Demi-Glace



I stumbled on it completely by accident.  Searching for different kinds of chicken broths available on Costco.com, I came across something called Glace de Poulet Gold Classic Roasted Chicken Stock by a company called More Than Gourmet.  It sounded intriguing: a twenty-times reduced concentrated product that can be dissolved (with 20 parts water) for a traditional chicken stock, or used very sparingly full-strength as a sauce enhancer.


Since a teaspoon of it was supposed to go a long way, I didn’t feel that our two-person household could really make a dent in the size sold through Costco: 4 tubs of 16 oz each, totaling 64 oz.  So I did the next best thing.  I sorted through the glowing reviews on Amazon.com and ordered just one 16 oz tub--though you do have the option of getting a 4-pack of 1.5 oz each if you feel you won't go through it fast enough.  (Here's link if you want to see the product reviews: http://www.amazon.com/More-Than-Gourmet-16-Ounce-Packages/dp/B0010ON2AK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327931429&sr=8-1).

Then a week after we first tried the chicken glace, I ordered Classic French Demi-Glace (“Made with Beef and Veal Stock”).  Then a week after that, I ordered Glace de Fruits de Mer Classic Seafood Stock.  For the demi-glace and the seafood stock I chose the 4-packs of smaller 1.5 oz packages.  I’m taking a breather for now on purchasing new items from More Than Gourmet, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting more varieties.  My favorite is still the first we tried (the Classic Roasted Chicken Stock), but the entire line is pretty impressive.  And for those who are balking at the high price tags for demi-glaces from other manufacturers, the More Than Gourmet line is a bargain for how much you get.  And even after opening the package, they last for at least 6 months in the refrigerator without going bad.


In dishes that call for clam juice (which can get fairly expensive and not always in my pantry), I use the seafood stock.  Though they recommend 20 part water to 1 part glace, I found the strong flavor of the glace could actually withstand 30+ part water.  So, for instance, 1 tablespoon of glace could mix with about 4 cups of water—or roughly 1 teaspoon with 1 and 1/4 cups water—for a soup recipe calling for fish stock or clam juice as in the Shrimp and Scallop Stew with Spanish chorizo and red pepper rouille here.

And the sauces!  Try pan sautéing/frying chicken breasts (or other meats you are cooking up).  After you remove your meat from the pan, heat a little olive oil and stir in minced shallots.  Splash a little wine (usually white with chicken, red with beef), then just a teaspoon of a glace along with about 1/4 to 1/3 cup water to dissolve.  Stir in a little cream if you want a more creamy looking sauce or leave plain.  Either way, you still want to mix in a cold tablespoon of butter right before serving to enhance the taste and help emulsify into a beautiful glossy sauce. 


In the picture above, we seared a thick ribeye steak and then roasted it in the oven until it was medium rare.  In the time it took for the meat to rest (and redistribute its juices), we had a quick brown pan sauce using the Classic French Demi-Glace.  Don’t worry.  Some recipes come with the package, and there are simple preparation tips provided.  At the very top of this post is a picture of “Braised Shrimp with Pancetta” with the recipe that came with the package.  Again, the glace is quite flavorful, so I’d go with even less of the glace (and no salt) in your preparation than the recipe calls for.

Low in sodium and made with quality ingredients like lobster stock and shrimp stock and roast chicken and veal bones and other real food (gasp!), any of these products is a real life saver when you need a quick sauce enhancer or a broth.  You can feel like an English country house guest by dissolving a small (I’d say ½) teaspoon of the glace in boiling water.  When you feel a little run down, this is the quick and elegant chicken noodle soup equivalent.  And, yes, do serve it in a porcelain cup!



2 comments:

  1. Enjoying a cup of this broth in a porcelain cup is one of my simple luxuries. Glad to know others are doing the same. Excellent post. Look forward to more if you are inclined.

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