2182 The Gratins

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This operation holds a sufficiently important place in culinary practice for an explanation to be given and if not the complete theory of it, at least the broad outlines.
The various kinds of gratins which come under this heading are: 1) the Complete Gratin, 2) the Quick Gratin, 3) the Light Gratin and 4) Glazings; which are a form of the Quick Gratin.

The Complete Gratin: This is the original form of the method and the one that takes the longest. It is the most painstaking because firstly, the main ingredient whatever it is, is always raw and has to undergo a complete process of cooking. Secondly, the process of cooking has to keep in step with the reduction of the sauce which is the agent of the gratin and thirdly, the cooking and reduction of the sauce has to keep in step with the formation of the crust on the surface which is the actual gratin; this is brought about by the combination of the sauce, breadcrumbs and butter under the direct action of the heat.