Glossary of Cooking Terms
Al Dente: Refers to pasta or vegetables that are firm (not soft or mushy) to the bite.
Bake: To cook by dry heat, usually in an oven at desired temperature suited for food; usually applies to breads, pastries, vegetables and fish.
Baking Blind: Baking a pie or tart shell without filling
Barbecue: To cook with dry heat created by burning of hardwood or by coals..
Baste: To spoon liquid, drippings, fats or oils over food during cooking to keep it moist.
Batter: An uncooked mixture of flour, eggs, liquid and other ingredients, thin enough to pour.
Beat: To mix rapidly in order to make a mixture smooth and light by incorporating as much air as possible.
Blanch: To cook food partially and briefly in boiling water or fat.
Blend: To incorporate two or more ingredients thoroughly.
Bread: To coat with bread crumbs by itself or with a beaten eggs, and again with crumbs.
Boil: To heat a liquid until bubbles break continually on the surface and steam is given off.
Broil: To cook directly under radiant heat (oven broiler).
Caramelize: To heat sugar or foods containing sugar until it turns brown.
Cast Sugar: Sugar boiled to the hard crack stage, then poured into molds to harden.
Chop: To cut in irregular shaped pieces.
Clarify Butter: Purified butter, by removing water and milk solids.
Coat: Cover food evenly crumbs or sauce.
Cool: Allow hot food to stand and cool at room temperature.
Coulis: A sweetened fruit puree, use as a sauce.
Cream: The process of beating fat and sugar together to incorporate air.
Cube: Cut food in squares ½ inch or larger.
Cure: To preserve meats by salting, drying and/or smoking.
Cut: To divide food wither with a knife or scissors .
De-glazed: To swirl a liquid in a pan to dissolve cooked particles or food remaining at the bottom.
Degrease: To remove fat from the surface food or sauce.
Dice: To cut food in small cubes.
Dissolved: Stir a dry ingredient into a liquid until dry ingredient dissolves.
Drain: To completely pour off liquid, such as, water, juices, etc., from a solid.
Dredge: To completely coat a food with flour.
Dripping: Fat which melts from meat during roasting, broiling or pan-broiling.
Drizzle: To sprinkle liquid lightly over food in an uneven manner.
Dust: To sprinkle lightly with a dry ingredients.
Fillet: Boneless side of fish.
Flake: To break lightly into small pieces.
Flambé: To light alcohol in food preparation.
Fold: To incorporate a delicate substance, such as whipped cream or beaten egg whites, into another substance without releasing air bubbles. Cut down through mixture with spoon, whisk, or fork; go across bottom of bowl, up and over, close to surface. The process is repeated, while slowing rotating the bowl, until the ingredients are thoroughly blended.
Fricassee: A white stew in which meat is cooked in fat without browning before a liquid is added
Fry: To cook in hot fat.
Garnish: An edible item added to another food for decoration.
Glaze: Brush, spread or drizzle an ingredient on hot or cold food to give it a glossy appearance or hard finish.
Grate: To rub on a grater that separates the food in various sizes of bits or shreds.
Grill: To cook on a open grid over a heat source.
Grind: To process solids by hand or mechanically to reduce them to tiny particles.
Hard Sauce: A mixture of sugar and butter; usually served with a steam pudding.
Hearth Bread: Bread baked directly on the bottom of the oven (not in a bread pan).
Heavy Pack: A type of canned fruit or vegetable with very little added water or juice.
Julienne: To cut vegetables, fruits, or cheeses into thin strips.
Knead: To work and press dough with the palms of the hands or mechanically, to develop the gluten in the flour.
Lukewarm: Temperature around 98 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit, 36.5 to 40.5 Celsius; just above cool temperature.
Marinate: To soak food in a seasoned liquid for a period of time as suggested.
Meuniere: Referring to fish prepared by dredging in flour and sautéing. Served with brown butter, lemon juice and parsley.
Mince: To chop food into very fine pieces.
Mix: To combine ingredients evenly using any method.
Pan-Broil: To cook uncovered in a sauté pan without fat.
Pan-Fry: To cook uncovered in a pan with a moderate amount of fat.
Parboil: To cook partially in a boiling or simmering liquid.
Pare: To remove the outermost skin of a fruit or vegetable.
Peel: To cut off the outer covering of vegetables or fruits with a knife or vegetable peeler.
Peel: Flat wooden shovel used to place hearth breads in and out of an oven.
Pickle: To preserve meats, vegetables, and fruits in brine.
Pinch: A pinch is the small amount you can hold between your thumb and forefinger.
Pit: To remove pits from fruits.
Poach: Cooking in hot liquid just below boiling point.
Puree: Blend food until it is smooth in texture, using a blender or food processer.
Reduce: To cook by boiling or simmer until liquid is decreased.
Render: To make solid fat into liquid by melting it slowly.
Roast: To cook food uncovered, without adding any liquid, by dry heat in an oven.
Sautee: To cook quickly in small amount of fat.
Scald: To heat liquid just below boiling point and tiny bubbles form at the edges.
Score: Lightly cutting the surface of a food about ¼ inch deep using a sharp knife.
Sear: To brown the surface of food quickly at high temperature.
Shred: To cut in thin but irregular strips.
Sift: To put one or more dry ingredients through a sieve or sifter.
Simmer: To cook in water or other liquid that is bubbling gently, 185-200 degrees F (85-93 degrees C).
Skim: To remove impurities, whether scum or fat, from the surface of a liquid during cooking.
Steam: To cook by direct contact with steam.
Steep: To extract color, flavour, or other qualities from a substance by leaving it in water just below the boiling point.
Stew: To simmer slowly in a small amount of liquid for a period time.
Stir: To mix ingredients with a circular motion until well blended.
Toss: To combine ingredients lightly with a lifting motion.
Whip: To beat ingredients to add air and increase volume until the ingredients are light and fluffy, i.e., cream, egg whites).