Aioli - (garlic mayonnaise) is a delicious accompaniment to cold or hot grilled vegetables,
steamed or boiled artichokes, boiled potatoes, and grilled or baked fish and shellfish.
À la Nage - Cooking à la nage means poaching food, usually seafood, in a court bouillon
and serving the court bouillon and the vegetables around the food as part the garniture.
When making a court bouillon to use for cooking à la nage, cut the vegetables in a decorative
manner, such as julienne
Albumen - A synonym
for egg white.
Al dente - An Italian expression applied in all western
kitchens to pasta cooked just until enough resistance is left in it to be felt by the tooth. Fresh pasta can never by cooked al dente as it is
too soft. The expression is also applied to vegetables that have been cooked crisp by steaming, boiling,
Arborio - The name given to
some of the best short-grained rices grown in the Po Valley of Italy, and used to prepare risotto.
Aromatics - Plant ingredients,
such as herbs and spices, used to enhance the flavor and fragrance of food.
Arrowroot - A fine starch extracted from the rhizomes of
plants of the genus Maranta.
Aspic - A clear jelly made from stock or occasionally from
fruit or vegetable juices.
Bain-marie - A bain-marie is a pan of water that is used to help mixtures such as custards
bake evenly and to protect them from the direct heat of the oven or, in some cases, the stove.
To Bake - to cook in the oven. The terms baking and roasting
are often used interchangeably, but roasting usually implies cooking at a higher temperature
at least at the beginning to get the surface of the foods to brown.
Barbecue - a cooking method involving grilling food over a
wood or charcoal fire. Usually some sort of rub, marinade, or sauce is brushed
on the item before or during cooking.
Basmati - The name of the most deliciously flavored
long-grain rice from India.
Baste - To moisten food during cooking with pan drippings,
sauce, or other liquid. Basting prevents foods from drying out.
Baster - A large kitchen syringe used to baste meats with
their own gravy, another liquid, or melted fat.
Batter - A mixture of flour and liquid with the addition of
flour, eggs, and sometimes fat, used to prepare cakes, muffins, pancakes,
crepes, and quick breads.
Battuto - A combination of chopped raw vegetables for
saucing, typically carrots, celery, onion and/or garlic, and parsley that is
the foundation of many Italian sauces and other dishes.
A type of custard made by folding together whipped cream and a flavorful liquid mixture,
usually a creme anglaise flavored with vanilla, coffee, chocolate, or a fruit puree.
To Bard - To tie bacon or pork
fat over a joint of meat or poultry before it is roasted to prevent it from drying out during cooking.
A warm, emulsified egg and butter sauce similar to hollandaise, but with the addition of white wine,
shallots, and tarragon.
Beat - To agitate a mixture
with the goal of making it smooth and introducing as much air as possible into it.
Bechamel - A classic white
sauce made with whole milk thickened with a white roux, and flavored with aromatic vegetables.
Beurre Blanc - A rich butter
sauce made by whisking butter into a reduction of white wine, white wine vinegar, and shallots, and
sometimes finished with fresh herbs or other seasoning.
Bisque - A soup based on purees of vegetables, or
crustaceans. It is classically thickened with rice and usually finished with cream.
To Blanch - A method of cooking in which foods are plunged
into boiling water for a few seconds, removed from the water and refreshed under cold water,
which stops the cooking process. Used to heighten color and flavor, to firm flesh and to loosen skins.
Bocconcini - Fresh Italian mozzarella balls sold in a water
or brine solution. Available from delicatessens and supermarkets.
Mediterranean seafood soup.
Bouillon - French, for broth. Refers to the liquid
resulting from simmering meats, vegetables, and aromatics in water until the
meats have lost all their nutritional elements to the water and the broth can
jell upon cooling.
Bouquet Garni - A bundle of parsley stems, dried thyme, and
a large bay leaf, tied together and left to float freely in broth, stock, or sauce.
Braise - To cook in a small amount of liquid (also called
stewing or pot roasting). Usually, the purpose of braising is to concentrate the food's
flavors in the surrounding liquid so that it can be made into a sauce, or
allowed to reduce so that it coats or is reabsorbed by the foods being braised.
To Brine - A salt, water, and seasoning solution used to
The famous flour, egg, and yeast cake of northern France, which is now made in one form or
Brisket - A cut of beef from the lower forequarter, best
suited for long-cooking preparations like braising.
To Broil - To cook with a direct heat source, usually a gas
flame or an electric element above the food.
Broth - Broth and stock are interchangeable terms and mean
a flavorful liquid made by gently cooking meat, seafood, or vegetables, often with herbs, in liquid,
Brown stock - A amber liquid produced by simmering browned
bones and meat with vegetables and aromatics.
A mixture of butter, sugar, and eggs or custard.
To Butterfly - To cut and
open out the edges of meat or seafood like a book or the wings of a butterfly.
To Caramelize - The flavor of many foods, including
vegetables, meats, and seafood, is often enhanced by a gentle browning that
caramelizes natural sugars and other compounds and intensifies their flavor.
Meats for stews, for example, are usually browned to caramelize juices that if
not caramelized are much less flavorful. Chopped vegetables, especially aromatic
ones such as carrots and onions, are often caramelized nsometimes with cubes of
meat in a small amount of fat before liquid is added to enhance the flavor of
soups, stews, and sauces.
Cassoulet - Consists of partially cooked white beans
blended with diverse meats, baked in a deep, round earthenware container.
Cheesecloth - A light, fine mesh gauze used for straining
Chevre - The French word for goat and by extension the
cheeses made from goats milk.
Chiffonade - The fine ribbons obtained when several leafy
vegetables or herbs are tightly rolled into a cigar shape and cut across into
1/16 to 1/8-inch wide shreds.
Chinoise - A very fine-meshed conical strainer
used for straining refined sauces.
To Chop - To cut into irregular pieces. Foods can be chopped
from very fine (minced) to coarse.
Chorizo Sausage - A spicy Spanish sausage containing a
mixture of pork, pepper, and chilies.
A Chowder -
A thick soup that usually contains potatoes.
Clarified Butter - Because butter contains milk solids
which burn at relatively low temperatures, it can't be used to saute at the high
temperatures required for browning most meats and seafood and some vegetables.
Clarifying removes the water and milk solids in butter. You can purchase
clarified butter called ghee at most larger grocery stores.
Colander - A perforated bowl made of metal or plastic that
is used to strain foods.
A Compote - A dish of fruit cooked in syrup flavored with
spices or liqueur.
Compound Butter - Whole butter combined with herbs or other
seasonings and used to sauce grilled or broiled meats or vegetables.
Cornichon - Tiny pickles mixed with onions and other
aromatics and preserved in seasoned pure wine or cider vinegar.
Coulis - A mixture often a fruit puree that has been
strained of tiny seeds or pieces of peel so it is perfectly smooth.
Court Bouillon - A vegetable broth made by simmering onions
(or leeks), carrots, celery, and sometimes, other vegetables, such as fennel,
with a bouquet garni in water and, often, white wine or vinegar.
To Cream - To stir a fat
usually butter and sugar together rapidly until the mixture looks white, aerated, and somewhat
like stiffly beaten whipped cream. Or, that part of milk, containing 32 to 42 percent of butterfat
in emulsion, that rises to its surface after the milk cools to room temperature
and stands for several hours.
Creme Anglaise - Custard
sauce or vanilla sauce.
Creme Brulee -
Custard topped with sugar and caramelized
under the broiler before serving.
Creme Fraiche - Heavy cream cultured to give it a thick
consistency and a slightly tangy flavor. Substitute sour cream, if necessary.
Creme Patisserie - Custard made with eggs, flour or other
starches, milk, sugar, and flavorings, used to fill and garnish pastries or as
the base for puddings, pies, souffles, and creams.
Crepe - A thin
pancake made with egg batter.
Croute en -
Enclosed in a bread or pastry crust.
French for a mixture of sliced and shredded
vegetables diversely dressed and served as a first course.
To Cure -
To treat with an ingredient, usually salt and/or
sugar, originally for the purpose of preserving foods by protecting them from
bacteria, molds, etc.
Cube - To cut a solid food
into squares of about 1/2" in size or larger.
A mixture of spices that may include turmeric,
coriander, cumin, cayenne or other chilies, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, fennel,
fenugreek, ginger, or garlic.
A liquid mixture that is combined with whole
eggs, egg whites, or egg yolks, or a combination, and gently baked until set.
To Deglaze - To add liquid to a pan in which foods have been
sauted or roasted in order to dissolve the caramelized juices stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Demi Glace - A mixture of equal parts of brown stock and
brown sauce that has been reduced by half.
To Dice - To cut into cubes, unlike chopping which cuts foods
into irregular pieces.
To Dredge - To coat a food with flour, any finely crumbled
ingredient, or, in pastry, with fine sugar.
Dumplings - A small lump of soft leavened and seasoned egg,
milk, and flour dough, shaped with two spoons or from a pastry bag
fitted with a nozzle. Usually it is poached in simmering water, but can be
cooked in a stew.
Dutch Oven - A cast-iron
pot used for the preparation of stews, braises, and pot-roasts.
Duxelles - A medium-fine
shallot-scented mushroom hash.
Egg Wash - A mixture of egg or egg white, oil, and water
brushed over floured items, which are then deep-fried or pan-fried in clarified butter or oil.
Emulsion - An emulsion is a smooth mixture of two liquids,
such as oil and water that normally do not mix. Mayonnaise, beurre blank, hollandaise, cream sauces,
vinaigrettes, and bechamel sauce are examples of emulsions.
Espagnole - Brown sauce made with brown stock, caramelized
mirepoix and tomato puree and seasonings.
Essence - A concentrated
flavoring extracted from an item.
Etouffe - A cooking method similar to braising in which
items are cooked with little or no added liquid in a pan with a tight-fitting lid, often a Cajun stew is called this as well.
File' - Ground sassafras leaves used to give the Southern
gumbos their distinct flavor.
Fines Herbes - A mixture
of chervil, chives, parsley, and tarragon.
Fish Sauce - Clear, amber-tinted liquid that is drained
from salted, fermented fish. A very important flavoring in Asian cuisine.
To Flambe - To ignite a sauce or other liquid on a dessert
so that it flames.
Flan - A liquid or
semi liquid mixture, held together with whole eggs, egg whites, or egg yolks, that is gently baked in
a mold or pastry shell. Quiches, creme caramel, and creme brulee are examples of sweet flans. Any
puree, or pureed soup, can be converted to a flan with the addition of egg.
Flute - To make
decorative indentations around the edge of pastries, vegetables or fruit.
Foie Gras - The livers of geese and ducks that have been
force-fed a mixture of corn, lard, and salted water.
To Fold - To incorporate an egg-white foam into an egg yolk
foam or a flour batter without deflating it so that it retains its full leavening power.
Forcemeat - A mixture of chopped or ground meat and other
ingredients used for pates, sausages, and other preparations.
Fricassee - A fricassee is almost always a stew in which
the meat, usually poultry, is cut up, lightly cooked in butter, and then simmered in liquid until done.
Frittata - A flat Italian baked or
sometimes half-fried / half-baked omelet.
Fritter - Any food coated with a batter or crumbs and
Fry - To cook in a hot fat.
Ganache - A mixture of grated or finely chopped chocolate,
black or white, and scalded heavy cream, whisked on medium speed until completely cool.
Garnish - To add an interesting and completely edible item
to a plate to make it look more attractive; or any such edible item.
Genoise - A sponge cake
made with whole eggs, used for layer cakes and other desserts.
Gherkin - A small pickled cucumber.
Giblets - The neck, heart,
gizzard, and liver of poultry.
Glaze - To give food a shiny surface by brushing it with
sauce, aspic, icing, or another appariel. For meat, to coat with sauce and then brown in an oven.
Gnocchi - Gnocchi are starchy dumplings that are made in
various shapes. There are two basic types of gnocchi: those based on potatoes and those based on flour
Grand Sauce - One of several basic
sauces that are used in the preparation of many other small sauces. The grand
sauces are - demi-glace, veloute, bechamel, hollandaise, and tomato.
Gravy - A gravy is an American-style jus that has been
thickened with a roux. This roux can be made using butter and flour or by
cooking flour into some of the fat skimmed off the jus. Cornstarch mixed with a
little water can also be whisked into the jus and the jus brought to a simmer to
get the cornstarch to thicken. Once the gravy is thickened, other ingredients,
such as herbs or chopped giblets, can be added to it to give it extra flavor.
Vegetable purees can also be used to thicken a natural jus and turn it into a
flourless gravy. Garlic, roasted along with meats and poultry, or separately, is
excellent pureed and whisked into the jus to thicken it.
To Grill - To cook above the heat source (traditionally over
wood coals) in the open air.
To Grind - To pass meats or nuts through a grinder or a food
processor to reduce to small pieces.
Haloumi - Firm white cheese made from sheepâ€™s milk. It has
a stringy texture and is usually sold in brine.
Haricot - French for bean.
Harissa - A hot paste of red chilies, garlic and olive oil.
Available in tubes or jars.
Hash - Chopped, cooked meat, usually with potatoes and/or
other vegetables, which is seasoned, bound with a sauce, and sauted. Also, to chop.
Hoisin Sauce - A thick, sweet-tasting Chinese sauce made
from fermented soy beans, sugar, salt, and red rice. Used as a dipping sauce or glaze.
Hollandaise - One of the Grand or Mother sauces. It is made
with a vinegar reduction, egg yolks, and melted butter flavored with lemon juice.
Infuse - To steep or
heat gently to extract flavor. For example to put a vanilla pod into sugar infuses the sugar with vanilla flavor.
Jambalaya - A Cajun and Creole composition of rice, smoke
sausage, cubed ham, aromatics, and any meat that interests the cook.
Jardiniere - French for a main course made mostly of new
spring vegetables, like lettuce, peas, green beans, carrots, turnips, and flavored with bacon or salt pork.
It may also contain baby artichokes and young celery and fennel hearts, or cauliflower.
Julienne - To cut into long thin matchstick size strips.
Jus - The natural juices released by roasting meats and
Kaffir lime - A variety of lime with a
knobby outer skin. The fragrant leaves are crushed or shredded and used in cooking, and the limes
are used for their juice, mainly in Thai and Indian cuisine.
Kosher - From the Hebrew kasher.
When talking about food, to prepare it at every stage in strict observance of the Jewish dietary laws.
When talking about salt, kosher salt is a coarse salt that does not contain magnesium carbonate.
Lard - To insert strips of fatback into a piece of meat to
be braised, using a special cutter with a hollow blade called a lardoir. Also,
to wrap a tenderloin of beef in a thin sheet of fatback before roasting it.
Lasagne - Wide strips of thin pasta.
Lemongrass - A tall, lemon-scented grass, used in Thai
London Broil - A large steak generally grilled or broiled
and cut out of the rib cap, flank, or chuck of beef.
Lox - Yiddish word derived from the German word lachs for
salmon and the name of salt-cured belly of salmon.
Lyonnaise - Lyons style, with onions and usually butter,
white wine, vinegar, and demi-glace.
Mahimahi - A firm-fleshed fish with a light, delicate
Mandoline - A slicer that can be fitted with diverse
Marinade - A mixture of ingredients used to flavor and
moisten foods. May be liquid of dry. Liquid marinades are usually acidic based
and dry marinades are usually salt based.
Marinate - To combine foods usually meat or seafood, and
occasionally vegetablesâ€”with aromatic ingredients in order to flavor the food.
Marsala - An Italian fortified wine made in the vicinity of
Marsala in Sicily.
To Melt - To liquefy a fat or a gel by heating it.
Meringue - Egg whites beaten until they are stiff, with
added sugar or sugar syrup, used as a topping or shaped and baked until stiff.
Mince - To chop very fine.
Mirepoix - Many cooking preparations, particularly braises,
stews, roasts, and soups, call for sweating various mixtures of chopped aromatic
vegetables before liquid is added. These mixtures are designed to add freshness
and flavor to meats and seafood. The best-known mixture is the French mirepoix,
a mixture of 2 parts onion, 2 parts carrot, and 1 part celery, but other
countries and regions have their own variations. Italy has its soffritto (onion,
carrot, celery, and usually, garlic). Spain has its sofregit and sofrito (onion,
carrot, celery, ham, and sometimes tomato). Indonesia has bumbu (garlic,
shallots, spices, and shrimp paste).
Mirin - Heavily sweetened rice wine used as cooking wine.
You can substitute sweet white wine.
Miso - A thick paste made from fermented and processed soy
beans. Red miso is a combination of barley and soy beans and yellow miso is a
combination of rice and soy beans.
Mix - To combine ingredients by hand or with a mixer with
the goal of blending them well and uniformly together.
Mousse - A general term that can describe any mixture
lightened with something airy, usually beaten egg whites or whipped cream.
Mousseline - A sauce made by folding whipped cream into
hollandaise. Or, a very light forcemeat based on white meat or seafood lightened
with cream and eggs.
Mozzarella - Italian cheese made of pasta filata, a cheese
paste that pulls into strings when cooked to approximately 96 to 98 degrees F.
Napoleon - A pastry made with alternating layers of puff
pastry and a cream of your choice and glazed.
Nori sheets - Dried seaweed pressed into square sheets.
Used for nori rolls, soups and Japanese cuisine.
Oeuf - An Egg
Omelet - Beaten eggs that are cooked in butter, then rolled
or folded into an oval. They may be filled with any variety of ingredients before folding.
Oyster Mushrooms - Thin-ridged, delicately flavored,
cultivated mushrooms with a slight taste of oysters.
Paella - A Spanish dish of rice cooked with onion, tomato,
garlic, saffron, vegetables, and various meats, including chicken, chorizo, and/or shellfish.
Most cooks use the terms panfry and saute interchangeably, but strictly speaking, there is a difference.
Although both terms refer to cooking in a small amount of hot oil, butter, or other fat,
sauteing means to toss foods over high heat, while pan-frying describes cooking
pieces of meat, seafood, or large pieces of vegetables in a hot pan, turning
with tongs, a spatula, or a fork only once or twice.
Pan gravy - A sauce made by
deglazing pan drippings from a roast and combining them with a roux or other starch and additional stock.
Papillote - Food wrapped in parchment paper for aluminum
foil and baked in an oven where it will steam in its own moisture and that of
any vegetable added to the package to flavor the meat.
Parboil - To cook partially in boiling water.
Parchment paper - Heat-resistant paper used in baking to
line pans. It does not need to be buttered or greased, and it keeps rich cookies
from losing their shape and from sticking to the pan.
Paring knife - A short knife used for paring and trimming
fruits and vegetables. Its blade is usually 2 to 4 inches long.
Parmigiano Reggiano - The king of Italian hard-grating
cheeses made from cows milk.
Pasta - The Italian generic name for all forms of
alimentary pastes made from a mixture of flour, semolina, and whole eggs or egg
whites, but no water, as opposed to macaroni, which contains water and no eggs.
Pasticcio - A baked dish of pasta and other ingredients,
moistened with one or more sauces.
Pâté à choux – Cream
puff paste, made by boiling a mixture of water, butter, and flour, then beating in whole eggs.
Pâté brisee – Short
pastry for pie crusts.
Pâté en croute – Pâté
baked in a pastry crust.
Pecorino - A hard grating cheese derived from
eweacs milk, mostly made in the Roman Lazio countryside and Sardinia.
Persillade - Finely or coarsely chopped mixture of garlic
Pesto - From the
Italian pestare, a verb that means to pound or crush. Pesto is traditionally
made of crushed fresh basil leaves pounded with garlic, Pecorino, either pine
nuts for walnuts, and olive oil.
Phyllo dough - Pastry made with very thin sheets of a
flour-and-water dough layered with butter and / or crumbs; similar to strudel.
Also called filo dough.
Pilaf - A technique for cooking rice in which the rice is
sauted briefly in butter, then simmered in stock or water with various
To Poach - To cook completely submerged in barely simmering
To Puree - To work or strain foods until they are completely
Quenelle - A paste made of fish, poultry, or veal meat
mixed with eggs, cream, panade, and/or beef suet. Or, an oblong dumpling made
from such a paste or other more modern and lighter pastes, shaped between two
spoons, poached in stock, and served with a sauce and garnish.
Quiche - Originally a pie made with a butter crust and
filled with eggs beaten with heavy cream and very smoky bacon. American cooks
have created a plethora of recipes for quiche.
Quick bread - Bread made with chemical leaveners, which
work more quickly than yeast.
Ragout - A Stew.
Ragá - A complex meat sauce that may or may not contain
Ramekin - A small, ovenproof dish, usually ceramic.
Ratatouille - An ancient Mediterranean mixture of
vegetables cooked slowly until they make a well-bound compote.
Reduce or Reduction - The technique of cooking liquids down
so that some of the water they contain evaporates. Reduction is used to
concentrate the flavor of a broth or sauce and, at times, to help thicken the
sauce by concentrating ingredients such as natural gelatin.
Refresh - To rinse just-boiled vegetables under very cold
water to stop their cooking.
Resting – Roasted meats
should not be served straight out of the over, but should be allowed to rest in a warm place for
20 to 30 minutes, loosely covered with aluminum foil. (The foil keeps the meat warm, loose wrapping
ensures that the outside of the meat doesn’t steam and lose its crispness.) Resting allows the meat
to relax so the juices become redistributed in the meat and aren’t squeezed out onto the platter during
Ricotta - A fresh, creamy white cheese, smoother than
cottage cheese, with a slightly sweet flavor. It is available in whole milk and
part-skim milk versions, and is often used in lasagna and stuffed pastas. A
little can be stirred into a sauce to add richness as well as creamy body.
Refrigerate and use within a week.
Risotto - Risotto is a
creamy rice dish made with short-grain or Arborio Italian rice. The
rice is gently cooked in butter or olive oil. Liquid, usually broth, is then
added a small amount at a time until the rice is cooked and bathed in creamy
liquid. Risotto must be stirred almost constantly to release the starch from the
rice so the starch thickens the broth, giving the dish its characteristic creamy
Roast - The purpose of roasting is to create a golden brown
crust on whatever it is we are roasting and, at the same time, make sure the
meat, fish, or vegetable properly cooks in the center. When roasting, no liquid
such as broth, wine, or water comes in contact with the food only hot air, or,
if the roast is being basted, hot fat. Roasting is both simple and complex and simple because
there's very little to do except slide the food into the oven; complex because if the temperature
isn't correct, the food may never brown or cook properly.
Roma - Also known as egg tomatoes. Oval-shaped
tomatoes, which are great for cooking and eating.
Romano cheese - A hard, salty grating cheese. Pecorino
Romano is the best known, and is made with sheeps milk, while many other types
are made with cows milk or a blend of both cow and goats milk. Grate as you would
Parmesan and use as a tangy accent for pasta dishes.
Roulade - A slice of meat
or fish rolled around a stuffing.
Roux - A mixture of flour and butter used to thicken
sauces, soups, and gravies. Usually the butter is cooked with the flour in a
heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Most roux are white roux, made by cooking
the flour for only a minute or two. Brown roux made by cooking the flour until
pale brown to dark brown is also used in many recipes, especially Cajun cooking.
Sabayon - A light, frothy mixture made by beating egg yolks
with water or other liquid over gentle heat.
Sake - Japanese fermented rice wine. Used in cooking to
tenderize and add flavor. Store in a cool, dark place and use soon after opening. Substitute dry white wine.
Salsa - Tomato sauce or other type of sauce flavored with a
fairly wide variety of ingredients.
Sashimi tuna - Finest quality tuna cut in an Asian or
Japanese style. It is very tender and used raw in Japanese cuisine.
Saute - To cook over high heat in a small
amount of fat in a saute pan or skillet.
Scald - To heat milk just below the boiling point. Or, to
immerse a vegetable or fruit in boiling water in order to remove its skin easily.
Scallions - Immature onions (also called green onions) with
a milk and slightly sweet flavor. Both the white bulb and the green tops can be
used in cooking. The green tops also make an attractive garnish.
Sear - To brown the surface of pieces of meats and or fish
by submitting them to intense initial heat.
Sea salt - Salt produced by evaporating sea water. It is
available refined, or unrefined, crystallized, or ground.
Semolina - The coarsely milled hard wheat endosperm used
for gnocchi, some pasta, and couscous.
Shallot - A member of the onion family, looking rather like
large cloves of garlic. Shallots are used to infuse savory dishes with a mild,
delicate onion flavor. Refrigerate for not more than 1 week to maintain maximum
Shred - To cut into fine strips. Shredding is similar to
cutting into chiffonade but less precise.
Shitake mushroom - A meaty, Oriental variety of mushroom
with an almost steak-like flavor, used in pasta sauces and salads for depth.
Choose fresh shitakes that are plump and unblemished, and avoid broken or
Simmer - To maintain the temperature of a liquid just below
Skim - To lift and discard any unwanted foam or fat from
the surface of a stock, broth, sauce, or soup.
Smother - To cook in a covered pan with little liquid over
Sorbet - A frozen dessert made with fruit juice or another
flavoring, a sweetener (usually sugar), and beaten egg whites, which prevent the
formation of large ice crystals.
Souffle - A preparation made with a sauce base, whipped egg
whites, and flavorings. The egg whites cause the souffle to puff during cooking.
Spatzle - Small flour, egg, and milk dumplings resembling
fine noodles which are poached in water and then buttered.
Spring-form pan - A cake pan with a detachable bottom and a
clamp on its side that can be released to easily unmold the cake. You make Tiramisu link in one of these.
Steam - To cook in steam by suspending foods over (not in)
boiling water, in a covered pot or steamer.
Stew - A cooking method nearly identical to braising but
generally involving smaller pieces of meat, and hence a shorter cooking time.
Also, the dish prepared by using this method of preparation.
Stir-fry - Chinese technique of cooking think slivers of
meat, shellfish, and vegetables in hot oil.
Stock - A rich meat, fish, or vegetable broth. It is
used as a base for soups, sauces, and other preparations.
Sugo - A simple tomato sauce or other type of sauce
comprised of relatively few ingredients.
Sun-dried tomatoes - Plum tomatoes that have been dried
slowly to produce a chewy, intensely flavorful sauce ingredient. They are
available in both oil-packed and dry-packed. For many recipes, the dried
tomatoes must be soaked in hot water to soften them before using.
Table salt - Refined, granulated rock salt.
Tamarind paste - A product from the ripe bean pods of the
tamarind tree. It can be purchased as pulp or in the more convenient form of
tamarind concentrate ready to use.
Tart - A pie that has only a bottom crust.
Tempura - A Japanese method of cooking vegetables and
shellfish. They are coated with a light cornstarch batter and deep-fried.
Terrine - A loaf of forcemeat, similar to a pate, but
cooked in a covered mold in a bain-marie. Also, the mold used to cook this item.
Timbale - A small pail-shaped mold used to shape rice,
custards, mousselines, and other foods. Also, a preparation made in such a mold.
Tomato paste - A concentrated essence of cooked tomatoes,
sold in cans and tubes. It is commonly used to thicken and accent the flavor and
color of sauces; however it is slightly bitter and should not be used alone or
in large quantities. If you are using only part of a can, save the remainder by
freezing it in a plastic bag.
Tournedos - A ¼ inch steak
cut from the tenderloin.
Veloute - One of the Grande or Mother sauces. A sauce of
white stock thickened with white roux. Also, a cream soup made with a veloute
sauce base and flavorings that is usually finished with a mixture of egg yolks
Vinaigrette - The classic French salad dressing made of one
part vinegar and three parts oil. Mustard and cream can be added if desired.
Wasabi - A spice that comes from a knobby green root of the
Japanese plant wasbia japonica. A traditional condiment served with Japanese
sushi and sashimi. It has the same warming or stinging nasal sensation as horseradish.
To Whisk - To beat a preparation with the goal of introducing
air into it. Or, the balloon wire whisk often used to do so.
White chocolate - Cocoabutter flavored with sugar and milk
White mirepoi - Mirepoix that does not include carrots and
may include chopped mushrooms or mushroom trimmings. It is used for pale or
white sauces and stocks.
White sauce - Traditional white sauces are divided into two
types: those based on bechamel sauce and those based on veloute sauce. A basic
bechamel sauce is made by adding hot milk to a white roux, and a basic veloute
sauce is made by adding hot broth to a white roux.
White stock - A light-colored stock made with bones that
have not been browned.
Wok - A round-bottomed pan, usually made of rolled steel,
used for virtually all Chinese cooking methods.
Yogurt - Milk cultured with bacteria to give it a slightly
thick consistency and sour flavor.
Zabaglione - A whipped custard made
with egg yolks and sugar gradually diluted over heat with Marsala or other wine, fruit juice, or
Zest - The thin, brightly
colored outer part of the rind of citrus fruits. The oils make it ideal for use as a flavoring. Remove the zest
with a grater, citrus zester, or vegetable peeler, becareful to remove only the colored layer, not the
bitter-white pith beneath it.
French Cooking Terms
Bain-marie - A roasting pan or baking dish partially filled with water to allow food to cook more slowly and be protected from direct high heat. Used for custards and terrines.
Bavarois - Creamy pudding that is made with cream and eggs, then set with gelatin.
Beignets - Fritters. Small dollops of dough that are fried.
Beurre Manié - Butter and flour mixed together in equal parts and used to thicken liquids.
Beurre Noisette - Browned butter.
Bisque - A shellfish soup that has been thickened.
Blanquette - A stew made from meat that has not been browned or fried. Usually refers to stews made of lamb, chicken or veal.
Bouchées - Small puff pastry cases.
Bouillon - Broth or stock.
Bouquet Garni - A mixture of fresh herbs tied together with string and used to flavor stews, soups etc. It refers to a mix of parsley, bay leaf, thyme (and sometimes celery stalk). The bouquet is removed before serving.
Brunoise - Vegetables cut into very small diced pieces.
Canapé - An appetizer consisting of a small bread or biscuit base covered with a flavored topping.
Chapelux - Browned bread crumbs.
Chine - To remove the backbone from a rack of ribs.
Concasser - To chop roughly
Consommé - Broth
that has been made clear.
Coulis - A thick
sauce usually made from one main ingredient, such as raspberry coulis.
Court Bouillon - Flavored
liquid used for cooking fish.
Crêpes - Very thin pancakes.
Croquettes - A mixture
of potato with ground cooked meat, fish or poultry formed into balls, patties or other shapes and coated
with a breading before frying.
Croustade - Bread
piece dipped in butter and baked until it is crisp.
Croûte - Crust.
Sometimes refers to a pastry crust, sometimes to toasted or fried bread.
Croûtons - Small cubes
of bread used as a garnish is salads and soups.
Dariole - Small mould
shaped like a castle used for moulding salads or baking cakes.
Déglacer - To deglaze, to loosen browned juices and fat from the bottom of a frying
pan or saucepan by adding liquid, bringing to a boil and stirring. The liquid is usually
water, wine or broth.
Dégorger - To extract juices from meat, fish or vegetables, usually by salting them,
then soaking or washing. It is usually done to remove a strong taste.
Dépouiller - To skim off
the scum that accumulates at the top of a stock or sauce.
Duxelles - Finely chopped raw mushrooms, used as a stuffing. Sometimes combined with
chopped ham or scallops.
Entrecôte - Sirloin steak.
Entrée - The term used to refer to something served before the main course
but is used now to refer to the actual main course.
Entremet - Dessert
or sweet, but not including pastries.
Escalop - A thin slice of
meat that is often pounded out to make it thinner.
Farce - Stuffing.
Flamber or Flambé - To set
alcohol on fire.
Frappé - Something that
is iced or set on or in a bed of ice.
Fricassé - A stew made
from poultry, meat or rabbit that has a white sauce.
Glace de Viande - Reduced
brown stock used to add color and flavor to sauces.
Gratiner or Au Gratin - To sprinkle the surface of a cooked food with bread crumbs
and butter, and sometimes cheese and brown under the broiler. The finished food is referred to
as au gratin as in au gratin potatoes.
Hors d'Oeuvre - First course
Jus or Jus de Viande - The
juices that occur naturally from cooking.
Jus Lié - A thickened gravy.
Liaison - Ingredients used
for thickening sauces, soups or other liquids.
Macédoine - Small diced mixed vegetables, usually containing at least one root vegetable.
Sometimes also means a mixture of fruit, like fruit salad.
Marmite - French word for a covered earthenware container for soup. The soup is both
cooked and served in it.
Mirepoix - A mixture
of braising vegetables.
Moulè-â-manqué - A cake tin
that is wider at the base than at the top and only about 1" in depth.
Napper - To coat, mask
or cover with something.
Noisette - The word literally means "nut". It usually means nut brown in color.
For example, beurre noisette is butter browned over heat until it becomes a nut brown color.
It can also refer to boneless rack of lamb that is rolled, tied and cut into rounds.
The word can also refer to hazelnuts.
Nouvelle Cuisine - A term that refers to the style of cooking that features lighter dishes
with lighter sauces and very fresh ingredients.
Panade - A very thick mixture, usually made from a combination of flour, butter and milk,
that is used as a base for dishes such as soufflés and fish cakes.
Paner - To coat with
egg and crumbs before frying.
Papillote - A wrapping of parchment paper around fish or meat used for cooking.
The paper retains moisture in the food.
Parisienne - Refers to
potatoes molded into balls with a melon scoop and fried or roasted.
Pâte - A basic mixture
or paste. Often refers to uncooked dough or pastry.
Pâté - A paste
made of liver, pork or game.
Pâtisserie - A sweet or
pastry, it also refers to a cake shop.
Piquer - To insert fat,
bacon, ham etc into meat or poultry.
Poussin - A young chicken.
Quenelle - Minced fish or meat mixture that is formed into small shapes and poached.
It also refers to a shape that the minced mixture is made into.
Ragoût - A stew
Réchauffée - Reheated food.
Repere - Flour mixed
with water or egg white and used to seal pans when cooking food slowly,
often used when cooking a ragoût.
Revenir - To quickly fry
meats or vegetables in hot fat to warm them through.
Roux - Melted butter
to which flour has been added. Used as a thickener for sauces or soups.
Rouille - Garlic and oil
emulsion used as flavoring.
Sautoir - A deep frying
pan with a lid, used for recipes that require fast frying, then slow cooking.
Terrine - Pâté or
mixture of minced ingredients, baked or steamed in a loaf shaped container.
Timbale - A dish cooked
in a mould that is higher than it is wide and has sloping sides.
Velouté - A type of
sauce made from butter, flour, cream and stock.
Vol-au-vent - A large pastry case made of puff pastry that is usually used
as a container for creamed dishes, such as creamed chicken.