Blog Archive: Uncategorized

Cooking Terms

Acid water: Water to which vinegar or lemon juice has been added; used to prevent discoloration and darkening of certain foods.

Al dente: Italian term used to describe pasta cooked until tender but still slightly firm to the bite.

Baste: To brush or spoon pan drippings, other fat, or a liquid mixture over food as it cooks, to keep the surface moist and add flavor.

Batter: A semi liquid mixture (containing flour and other ingredients) that can be dropped from a spoon or poured.

Bone: To remove bones from meat, poultry, or fish.

Braise: To cook slowly in liquid in a covered kettle or casserole. Food may or may not be browned first in a small amount of fat.

Broil: To cook below direct heat in the broiler of an electric or gas range.

Butterfly: To cut a piece of meat, fish, or poultry in half horizontally, leaving one side attached.

Caramelize: To melt sugar over low heat, without scorching or burning, until it turns golden brown and develops characteristic caramel flavor. To cook onions until sweet and golden.

Coagulate: To thicken into a curd or thick jelly.

Condiment: A sauce, relish, or additional ingredient use to season food at the table.

Curdled: Separated into a liquid containing small solid particles (caused by overcooking or to much heat or agitation).

Dash: A very small amount, less than 1/8 teaspoon.

Degrease: To skim fat from surface of a liquid

Dice: To cut into very small pieces (about 1/8 to 1/4 inch).

Dollop: A large spoonful of a mixture, such as whipped cream or sour cream

Entrée: The main dish of a meal

Fillet: A piece of meat or fish that is naturally boneless or has had all bones removed

Forcemeat: Finely chopped, seasoned meat, served separately or used as a stuffing.

Garnish: To decorate a completed dish, making it more attractive.

Glaze: To coat with smooth mixture, giving food a sheen.

Grate: To rub solid food against a metal object that has sharp-edged holes, reducing food to thin shreds.

Grill: To cook on a rack over direct heat–gas, electricity, or charcoal; to broil on a grill.

Julienne: Matchstick pieces of vegetables, fruits, or cooked meats.

Marinade: A seasoned liquid (usually containing acid such as vinegar or wine) in which food soaks. Marinating helps to tenderize meats, enhances flavor of all foods.

Parboil: To boil until partially cooked.

Pare: To remove skin.

Pâté: A mixture of one or more chopped meats or puréed vegetables, served chilled as an hors d’ oeuvre. some pâtés are baked; others are not.

Purée: To sieve in a food mill or whirl in a food processor or blender into a smooth, thick mixture.

Render: To free fat from animal tissue by heating.

Score: To cut shallow grooves or slits through outer layer of food to increase tenderness, to prevent edge fat of meat from curling, or to make decorative top before roasting certain meats.

Sear: To brown meat briefly over high heat to seal in juices.

Sweat: To cook chunks of meat, covered, until the natural juices are released.

Zest: Thin, colored outer layer of citrus peel.

Stir-ins For Rice

Easy Cheesy Rice
add butter and Parmesan cheese to hot cooked rice

Emerald Isle
add peas and finely chopped fresh mint to hot cooked rice

Baked, But Not Potato
add crumbled bacon and sour cream to hot cooked rice

Lemon Zinger
Add butter, fresh lemon juice and lemon zest to hot cooked rice

How Sweet It Is
add cinnamon, sugar and butter to hot cooked rice

Maui Wowi
add crushed pineapples and green bell pepper slice to hot cooked rice

Sesame Treat
add toasted sesame seeds, sesame oil and thinly sliced green onions to hot cooked rice

Country Bumpkin
add cream gravy to hot cooked rice

Dracula’s Shroom
add mushrooms and garlic sautéed in butter to hot cooked rice

Gardener’s Delight
add chopped fresh basil, chopped tomatoes and fresh corn off the cob to hot cooked rice

Cantonese Please
Add broccoli florets, sesame oil, chopped toasted peanuts or cashews to hot cooked rice

Pass the Parmesan, Peas
add garlic sautéed in butter, peas and parmesan cheese to hot cooked rice

Let’s Salsa
add cooked beans, salsa and shredded cheese to hot cooked rice

Pooh Bear’s Favorite
add milk, raisin, sugar and a dash of vanilla to hot cooked rice. Simmer until thickened. Drizzle with honey

Farmers Scramble
add scrambled eggs, sausage and green onions to hot cooked rice

Rice Cream
add vanilla ice cream and a dash of cinnamon to hot cooked rice

Tea Time
for extra flavor, toss an herbal tea bag in the water while rice cooks

It’s Greek to me
cook rice in chicken broth with chopped onions and a clove of minced garlic. Fold in feta cheese and chopped Parsley

Curry in a Hurry
saute curry and tumeric in saucepan. Ad rice and stir to coat. Add water and cook rice. Top with chopped peanuts or cashews

Polish BBQ
add kielbasa sausage and BBQ sauce to hot cooked rice

Unkissable Crunch
add sautéed garlic and onions and toasted walnuts to hot cooked rice

Mama Mia
add tomato basil sauce, cooked zucchini and Italian sausage to hot cooked rice. Tope with Parmesan cheese

Corn on the Range
add corn and BBQ sauce to hot cooked rice

Porky Peas
add crumbled bacon and peas to hot cooked rice

Veggie Medley
add garbanzo beans, shredded carrots, ripe olives, parsley and ricotta cheese to hot cooked rice. Top with Parmesan cheese

Mock Apple Cobbler
add sliced appples, cinnamon, brown sugar, chopped nuts and vanilla yogurt to hot cooked rice

Rice Parmigana
add mixed vegetables, your favorite herb or spice, butter and Parmesan cheese to hot cooked rice

South of the Border
add diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, shredded Monterey Jack cheese and chopped cilantro to hot cooked rice

Little Bit of Italy
add asparagus tips, toasted pine nuts, red and yellow peppers to hot cooked rice. Top with Parmesan cheese

Someone posted the URL to this a few years ago, but I can’t remember who it was so I can give credit to them…


Rice Tips

  • To keep rice white while cooking, add a few drops of lemon juice to the water. A few minutes before your rice is done, place a double paper towel just under the lid and finish cooking. The rive will come out more fluffy and dry. Never add salt to rice until fully cooked, it will toughen the rice.
  • I use Uncle Ben’s, and the directions always tell you to use too much water. One of my Indian cookbooks contained the hint to use exactly double the amount of water to rice. It’s true. Bring water to boil, add rice, stir, cover tightly, cook on low for 25 minutes. Don’t peek. Fluff with fork. It’s always perfect, no matter what amount. It holds quite well and can be reheated in the microwave if necessary. Adding a little chicken bouillon to the rice at the beginning flavors it nicely
  • My rice tip is for fried rice:
    Always cook rice day before, then store in refrigerator uncovered (stir once in a while) until ready to use in your fried rice. Chilling the rice uncovered gives a very nice texture in your finished fried rice.