Glossary Of Cooking Terms
A La Mode – Dessert served with or garnished with a topping of ice cream
Bake – To cook by dry heat in an oven
Baste – To moisten foods during cooking with pan drippings or special sauce to add flavor and prevent drying
Beat – To whip with a spoon, hand beater or electric mixer in order to combine food or incorporate air as in beat in egg whites and whipping cream
Blanch – Placing food in cold water, bringing it to a boil for the time specified in the recipe, then draining well and refreshing in cold water to stop the cooking process. This technique is often used to loosen the skin of tomatoes for easier peeling or partially cooking fresh green beans or asparagus for use in a recipe.
Blend – To mix ingredients until thoroughly combined
Boil – To cook at boiling temperature which is 212 degrees at sea level
Braising – A cooking method where the food (usually meat) is browned first, then slowly cooked in a liquid such as broth, water, or wine.
Broil – To cook by broiler or over coals or any other method of direct heat
Cream – To work or beat shortening until light and fluffy
Cut In – To mix shortening with dry ingredients using pastry blender or knives
Dredge – To coat with flour or finely ground ingredients
Fold – To combine ingredients by blending with a spoon or wire whisk, using and up and over rotating motions
Glaze – To coat with thin sugar syrup that has been cooked to the crack stage or to cover with a thin icing
Grill – To cook food on a heavy metal grate that is set over hot coals or other source of heat.
Julienne – To cut vegetables, meat, or poultry into thin, matchstick-size strips.
Knead – To manipulate with a pressing motion plus folding and stretching
Marinate – To allow food to stand in a liquid to tenderize or to add flavor
Mince – To cut of finely chop food into very small pieces
Poach – To cook in hot liquid, be careful that food holds its shape while cooking
Pre Cook – To cook food partially or completely before final cooking or reheating
Puree – To grind or mash food until it forms a smooth, thick mixture.
Reconstitute – To return a dried form of food to its natural state, usually by adding water.
Reduce – Through evaporation, to decrease the volume of liquid by boiling it rapidly in an uncovered pan to increase its flavor and thicken the consistency.
Sauté – To brown or cook in a small amount of hot shortening
Scald – To heat liquid to a temperature just below the boiling point
Score – To cut shallow slits in the surface of a food before cooking to increase tenderness, to vent steam, or to serve as a decoration.
Sear – To brown the surface of a food quickly with high heat.
Shred – To cut food (such as cheese, carrots, or cabbage) into slivers or narrow strips, either by hand or using a hand-held grater or a food processor fitted with a shredding disk. Cooked meat, fish, or poultry can be shredded by pulling it apart using two forks.
Shuck – To remove the husks and silks of an ear of corn or to remove the shell from shellfish such as oysters or clams.
Simmer – To cook in liquid that is just below the boiling point
Steam – To cook in steam with or without pressure, a small amount of boiling water is used, more water being added during steaming process necessary
Stir-fry – To quickly cook small pieces of food over very high heat while constantly and briskly stirring the food until the food is crisply tender. A wok or large skillet is usually used with this Asian cooking technique.
Truss – To secure fowl or other meat with skewers to hold its shape during cooking
Whip – To beat rapidly to incorporate air and produce expansion, as in heavy cream or egg whites
Whisk – To beat or whip ingredients with a kitchen utensil that consists of a series of looped wires that form a three-dimensional teardrop shape.