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Panade is a paste with the consistency of a very moist dough. It can be savoury or sweet.

It is used as a thickener to:
    • bind other food ingredients together, such as ground meat or fish;
    • thicken sauces;
    • add volume, capture flavours.

A Panade is made from a liquid such as milk, stock or just water, with butter or egg yolk sometimes added, and a starchy item.

The starchy item used depend on what the Panade will be used for. Potato may be used for quenelles made from white meat, soft white bread crumbs (no crust) for fish, rice for ground meats. Also used are toasted bread, or flour.

For a mixture being bound together, the practice is to use an amount of panade equal to anywhere from 1/4 to 1/3 of the mixture being bound. Up to this point, it will bind and enhance flavour and texture. Beyond that, it's seen as someone cheaply trying to bulk something up.

The word "Panade" can also be used to describe a purée made as baby food that has a ground cracker or rice flour in it.

Cooking Tips

Panade à la farine (flour panade, used for quenelles)
1 cup (8 oz / 250ml water), 1/3 cup ( 3 oz / 80g) butter, 1 cup (5 oz / 150g) flour
Boil the water, melt the butter in it, lower to a medium heat, add the flour all at once and stir until thickened to the consistency of choux pastry dough and the mixture leaves the sides of the pot
variation: egg added

Panade au pain (bread panade, used for ground fish)
Boil together milk, bread and salt. Mix over heat until it has the consistency of choux pastry and the mixture leaves the sides of the pot; let cool before mixing in with fish.

Panade au riz (rice panade, used for a great variety of items)
2/3 cup uncooked rice (7 oz / 200g), 2 1/2 cups (1 pint / 600 ml) light-coloured stock, 1 tablespoon butter
Put all ingredients in a pot, cook the rice until it is very soft, without stirring. Then mix and purée all.

Panade à la pomme de terre (Potato panade, for large quenelles, and for veal)
Heat some milk with butter in it. Cut the potatoes in small, peeled pieces. Cook them in the milk. Purée all; season with nutmeg. Sometimes chilled before it is mixed in with other ingredients; sometimes used warm.

Panade à la frangipane (for ground poultry and fish)
See separate entry.

Language Notes

"Panade" means literally a "bread mash."

Also spelt "Panada."

German speakers sometimes confuse in German "Panade" with "Panierung"; "Panade" is bread used as a binding agent; "Panierung" is bread used as a coating.

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Bon mots

"Plant a radish, get a radish, never any doubt. That's why I love vegetables, you know what they're about!"

-- Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt (American musical writers team)

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