Cooking Terms

November 26, 2016  Online Recipe Guide Avatar

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.

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