Common Cooking Terms

Have you ever read a recipe and wondered what some of the terms  mean?    Let’s clear up a few of the most common ones in alphabetical order.

Au Jus: Served in juice, usually from roasted meat.

Baste: To moisten food by spooning liquid or fat over it during the cooking to help retain moistness.

Blanch: To immerse briefly in boiling water, usually followed by quick cooling in cold water.  It is used for easy skin removal, as in fruits and vegetables like peaches & tomatoes.

Bouillon:  A clear soup usually made from beef or chicken.

Braise: To simmer covered in a small amount of liquid on top of the range or in the oven.  Meat may sometimes be browned first.

Bread: To coat by dipping in milk or egg and then in fine crumbs.

Brown: To make food brown either in a small amount of hot fat in a pan or by exposing it to dry heat in an oven.

Cream: Combining two or more ingredients until mixture is light and completely blended.

Drippings: The residue left in the pan after meat or poultry is cooked.

Glaze: To coat with syrup, thin icing, honey or jelly.

Marinate: To let stand in liquid (marinade) to add flavor & tenderize prior to cooking, baking or grilling.

Pan Broil: To cook meat uncovered in skillet, turning frequently and pouring off excess fat.

Pan Fry:  to cook in skillet with small amount of fat.

Parboil: To boil until partially cooked.

Saute: To cook in a skillet in a small amount of oil, stirring until tender.

Sear: A quick application of heat to brown the surface of foods.

Steam: To cook over, but not in, boiling water.  Microwaves can be used for quick steaming in a dish that has holes in it and is placed into another.

Stew: To cook long and slowly in liquid.

Stock: The liquid in which meat, fish or vegetables have been cooked.

Tempura: A method of preparing Japanese dishes by dipping sliced vegetables or meat in a batter until well coated and then into hot oil to cook.

Whisk: a wire tool, somewaht balloon shapped at the end, used for hand beating.

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