Al Dente – to be firm and yet tender, often used when cooking pasta.

Baste – spooning liquid (drippings, fat, or stock) over food while cooking. Most often used when roasting.

Blanch – boil water and place food in the boiling water for a moment. Often, used to peel away the skins of vegetable or to partially cook.

Blend – To mix foods/ingredients together, usually done with a spoon or a fork. Speed of mixing is very slow.

Braising usually done with meats, by heating a saucepan with oil and brown all sides of meat and then bake slowly or cook slowly in some kind of liquid.

Broiling – cooking directly under heat usually around 500 degrees Fahrenheit

Caramelizing – melting sugar over a low heat until it melts and bellows a golden brown. (want to make sure you do not burn, low heat is important)

Chopping – cutting into small irregular pieces

Coddling – cooking just before boiling

Cubing – cutting pieces in equally sides squares.

Coulis – a puree of fruit sweetened and thinned into a sauce.

Dash – is less than 1/8 a teaspoon

Deglaze – Adding liquid to the bottom of a pan to dissolve and caramelize, this can then be added to a sauce to give it extra flavor.

Demiglace – intensely flavored sauce which is prepared by a reduction of stock, diced vegetables, tomato paste and sherry.

Diced – Cut into small cubes, less than ½ inch

Double-Boiler- Cooking without using direct heat, there are either special double boiler pots or fill a larger pot with water and put food a smaller pot and place in the larger pot.

Dusting – to sprinkle with flour or sugar

Fillets – boneless piece of meat or fish.

Fold – To delicately combine together a delicate mixture (example. egg whites) with a heavier mixtures. Be very gentle when folding together.

Giblets – the trimmings from poultry i.e. liver and heart

Glazing – to brush and drizzle the glaze over food to give a glossy finish instead of a matte

Grilling cooking over a an open flame of charcoal

Julienne cutting fruits, vegetables and even meats into a uniform size

Kneading – working with a dough to produce a elastic mass. (It is important to learn this can take some time 10 minutes or so; I took a bread making class and realized you can get an upper body work out.)

Minced – ground or chopped finely

Parchment Paper – silicon paper that can resist high heats and food does not stick . A bonus is that parchment paper can be re-used.

Poach – In boiling/simmering liquid submerge food and cook.

Puree – Solid foods become a mash

Ramekin shallow baking dish, these dishes are often used when making souffles. (This was my first purchase when I starting buying my own kitchen supplies)

Saute – the cooking of food using a small amount of fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat. Food should be dry and fats should be hot before adding the food. Olive oil or clarified butter are commonly used for sautéeing, but most fats will do. Regular butter is less well suited for sauteeing, because it will burn at a lower temperature due to the presence of milk solids.

Tempering – increasing the temperature of a room temperature ingredient by slowly adding a hot ingredient. This is most commonly done when cooking with eggs so they do not cook through all the way. (Example: of using tempering with eggs is done when making custards so it does not curdle) When cooking with real chocolate tempering is also used so the chocolate does not burn.

Truss – to bind poultry for roasting

Vaporize – to turn liquids into gas.

Whisk – to beat mixture until well combined

Zest – the rind of citrus fruits, be careful not to use the white part of the skin of the fruit. The zest of the fruit creates a rich flavor to finish off a lot of dishes.

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