Language - Terms
How much is a pinch or a dash?
a la king: A dish of diced foods, usually chicken or turkey, in a cream sauce with pimientos, mushrooms, green peppers and sometimes sherry.
Al dente: pasta is cooked just enough to maintain a firm chewy texture.
Aroma: Fragrance or odor.
Au gratin: A method of cooking in which food is placed in a shallow dish and sprinkled with cheese and/or breadcrumbs.
au jus: A French term for roasted meats, poultry or game served with their natural, unthickened juices.
Baste: To pour or brush melted fat, water, wine or other liquid over food as it cooks.
Bind: To thicken a sauce or hot liquid by stirring in ingredients such as eggs, flour, butter, or cream.
Blanch : To apply boiling water or steam briefly to fruits and vegetables, then cold water to stop the cooking process. Blanching is used to to loosen skins.
Blend: To mix two or more ingredients together thoroughly with a spoon, beater or blender.
Boil: To heat a liquid until bubbles rise to the surface and break
Bone-in: a cut of meat containing the bone.
Bouquet garni: A combination of herbs tied together in cheesecloth used as a seasoning for stocks.
Braise: To use fat to brown a meat or vegetable before adding a small amount of liquid and covering to cook.
Broil: To expose food to a direct source of intense heat one side at a time.
Butterfly: To cut open a food down the center without cutting all the way through, and then spread apart, such as; large shrimp and pork chops.
Caramelized: Browning sugar over a flame, with or without the addition of some water to aid the process. Because it will burn, the temperature should be controled, the range in which sugar caramelizes is approximately 320º F to 360º F (160º C to 182º C).
Chiffon: A filling made light and fluffy with stabilized gelatin and beaten egg whites.
Clarify: To remove impurities from butter or stock by heating the liquid, then straining or skimming off the froth.
Coat: To evenly cover food with flour, crumbs, or a batter.
Core: To remove the central seeded area from a fruit.
Court bouillon: A highly seasoned broth made from fish; also a broth in which fish is cooked.
Crush: To break up a food to its smallest particles, usually using a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin.
Cut in: To work vegetable shortening, margarine, or butter into dry ingredients.
Deep-fry: To cook by immersing food in hot oil heated to 375°F or higher.
Deglaze: To add liquid to a pan in which foods have been fried or roasted, in order to dissolve the caramelized juices stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Devein: To remove the gritty, grey-black vein running down the curved top of the shelled shrimp by slitting the top of the shrimp open and pulling it out.
Dice: To cut into small cubes.
Dredge: To coat with flour.
Entree (entree): The main dish of an informal meal or a subordinate dish served between main courses.
Fold in: To gently mix food without releasing air bubbles by lifting a part of the mixture from the very bottom until blended.
Fricassee: To cook unbrowned meat or poultry slowly in a seasoned liquid.
Fry: To, cook in fat over direct heat.
Garnish: To use edible decorations on to and the sides of a dish which is appealing to the eye.
Glaze: To add something usually mixed with sugar to give a shiny coating to a food as it browns.
Grind: To reduce the food size by using a food chopper.
Julienne: A technique of cutting vegetables or meats into thin strips of even length and width.
Knead: To work dough with the hands or using an electric mixer, food processor or bread maker mixer until smooth and elastic.
Marinade: Soaking, usually in a mixture of oil, wine or vinegar and seasonings prior to cooking. Food should be covered and refrigerated while marinating.
Mince: To cut into fine pieces.
Pare or Peel: To cut (remove) the outside covering of potatoes, apples, etc.
Parboil: To partially cook a food briefly in boiling water before storing or finishing it by another method.
Poach: To simmer gently in hot liquid.
Preheat: To bring the oven or grill to the desired temperature before placing the food in to cook.
Puree: To process a food into a smooth creamy paste, usually with a blender or food processor.
Roast: To cook using dry heat, usually in an oven.
Roux: A mixture of fat and flour cooked together until the flour has turned an even, nut-brown color.
Saute: To cook or brown in a small amount of oil or butter on top of the stove.
Scald: To heat a liquid, usually milk or cream, to just below the boiling point, until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan.
Scalloped: To bake with crumbs of bread or cracker.
Score: To make slashes in meats or breads before baking.
Sear: To brown the a surface of meat on all sides quickly by cooking in a little fat at a very high heat which will seal in the meats juices.
Sieve: To strain liquid from food through the fine mesh holes of a strainer.
Sift: To pass dry ingredients, such as flour and baking powder, through a sifter to remove lumps and create a fine powder.
Simmer: To cook liquid at a temperature just below the boiling point, low enough for tiny bubbles to form around the edge of the pan..
Snip: To cut into tiny pieces with scissors or knife.
Steam: To cook food over boiling water or wrapped in foil to create steam.
Stew: To cook slowly for a long period of time in a liquid.
Stir-fry: To fly quickly over high heat with a small amount of oil, butter or margarine, stirring constantly.
Truss: To tie a fowl or meat or wooden skewers so that the shape is preserved during cooking and moisture is retained.
Vent: To allow to circulate and allow escape of steam.
Warm: To heat a food using a very low temperature not higher then 105°F to 115°F
Whip: To mix ingredients quickly and vigorously using a beater or whisk to incorporate air bubbles which increases volume.
Zest: The thin outermost skin layer of citrus fruit which contains flavorful aromatic oils, removed with a zester, paring knife or vegetable peeler.