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Cooking Vocab 101


When we started this process, Bridget was using tons of terms that were way over my head and had me constantly Googling. I still learn phrases daily, but we wanted to make a quick guide to help you along the way on your cooking journey. This will be updated periodically as we continue to learn new phrases and words!


Braise-Braising is a combination-cooking method that uses both wet and dry heats: typically, the food is first sautéed or seared at a high temperature, then finished in a covered pot at a lower temperature while sitting in some amount of liquid.


Dice-Dicing is a culinary knife cut in which the food item is cut into small blocks or dice. This may be done for aesthetic reasons or to create uniformly sized pieces to ensure even cooking. Dicing allows for distribution of flavour and texture throughout the dish, as well as a somewhat quicker cooking time


Mince-Mincing is a food preparation technique in which food ingredients are finely divided into uniform pieces. Minced food is in smaller pieces than diced or chopped foods, and is often prepared with a chef's knife or food processor, or in the case of meat by a specialised meat grinder. Think of it as mini dicing, as small as possible!


Julienne-Julienne, allumette, or french cut, is a culinary knife cut in which the food item is cut into long thin strips, similar to matchsticks. Common items to be julienned are carrots for carrots julienne, celery for céléris remoulade, or potatoes for Julienne Fries.


Coddle-In cooking, coddled eggs are eggs that are gently or lightly cooked in water just below boiling temperature in or out of the shell or other container. They can be partially cooked, mostly cooked, or hardly cooked at all. Poached eggs are a type of coddled egg cooked in water.


Whip-The process of beating an ingredient vigorously to incorporate air, which makes the ingredient frothy.


Zest-Zest is a food ingredient that is prepared by scraping or cutting from the rind of unwaxed citrus fruits such as lemon, orange, citron, and lime. Zest is used to add flavor to foods. In terms of fruit anatomy, the zest is obtained from the flavedo which is also referred to as zest.


Emulsification-To Emulsify means to combine two ingredients together which do not ordinarily mix easily. The ingredients are usually a fat or an oil, like olive oil, and a water-based liquid like broth, vinegar, or water itself.


Cure-Curing is any of various food preservation and flavoring processes of foods such as meat, fish and vegetables, by the addition of salt, with the aim of drawing moisture out of the food by the process of osmosis


Dollop-A very small amount of a soft food item that can be formed into a small round shape as a serving. Foods such as whipped cream, mashed potatoes, sauces, jams, sherbets, and other similar products are often placed on a plate or on food as a topping and referred to as a dollop of the item.


Pinch-A pinch refers to a small amount of something, usually salt. A pinch is equivalent to 1/8 teaspoon in our classes.


Deglaze-Deglazing is a cooking technique for removing and dissolving browned food residue from a pan to flavor sauces, soups, and gravies.


Marinate-Marination is the process of soaking foods in a seasoned, often acidic, liquid before cooking. ... In addition to these ingredients, a marinade often contains oils, herbs, and spices to further flavor the food items. It is commonly used to flavor foods and to tenderize tougher cuts of meat.


Poach-Poaching is a cooking technique that involves cooking by submerging food in a liquid, such as water, milk, stock or wine. Poaching is differentiated from the other "moist heat" cooking methods, such as simmering and boiling, in that it uses a relatively low temperature (about 70–80 °C (158–176 °F)).


Roast-Roasting is a cooking method that uses dry heat where hot air covers the food, cooking it evenly on all sides with temperatures of at least 150 °C (300 °F) from an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting can enhance the flavor through caramelization and Maillard browning on the surface of the food.


Reduce-In cooking, reduction is the process of thickening and intensifying the flavor of a liquid mixture such as a soup, sauce, wine, or juice by simmering or boiling.


Pickle-Pickling is the process of preserving or extending the shelf life of food by either anaerobic fermentation in brine or immersion in vinegar. The pickling procedure typically affects the food's texture, taste and flavor. The resulting food is called a pickle, or, to prevent ambiguity, prefaced with pickled.


Sauteé-Sautéing or sauteing is a method of cooking that uses a relatively small amount of oil or fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat. Various sauté methods exist, and sauté pans are a specific type of pan designed for sautéing.


Simmer-Simmering is a food preparation technique by which foods are cooked in hot liquids kept just below the boiling point of water and above poaching temperature. To create a steady simmer, a liquid is brought to a boil, then its heat source is reduced to a lower, constant temperature.


Boil-Boiling is the rapid vaporization of a liquid, which occurs when a liquid is heated to its boiling point, the temperature at which the vapour pressure of the liquid is equal to the pressure exerted on the liquid by the surrounding atmosphere.


Sweat-Sweating in cooking is the gentle heating of vegetables in a little oil or butter, with frequent stirring and turning to ensure that any emitted liquid will evaporate. Sweating usually results in tender, sometimes translucent, pieces.


Al Dente-Al dente (Italian for “to the tooth”) is where pasta tastes and feels the best. It's chewy and firm, holding its whole shape in whatever sauce you put it in.


Blanch-Blanching is a cooking process in which a food, usually a vegetable or fruit, is scalded in boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water to halt the cooking process. Blanching foods helps reduce quality loss over time.


Aus Jus- A French culinary term meaning "with juice". It refers to meat dishes prepared or served together with a light gravy, or broth, made from the fluids secreted by the meat as it is cooked.




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