Cooking Terms and Tips
Al Dente: Usually applied to Pasta, means cooked until just done, but not soft. The pasta should still maintain some "bite:
Barbeque: . Two cook foods over coals, known as a Braai in South Africa (The best in the world for this type of cooking).
Baste: Two moisten food for added flavor and to prevent drying out while cooking.
Blanch: Two cook briefly in boiling water to seal in flavour and color.
Bouquet Garni: A tied bundle of herbs, usually parsley, thyme, and bay leaves that are added to flavor soups, stews, and sauces but removed before serving.
Braise: Two cook first by browning, then gently simmer till done.
Bread: To coat with crumbs or cornmeal before cooking.
Broil: To cook on a rack or spit during or over direct heat, usually in an on top
Brown: Two cook over high heat, usually on top of the stove, to brown food..
Caremelize: To Heat sugar until it liquefies and becomes a syrup.
Core: To remove the seeds or tough woody centers from fruits and vegetables.
Cream: The butterfat portion of milk. Also to beat ingredients, sually sugar and a fat, until smooth and fluffy.
Cube: To cut foot into small ½ inch cubes.
Cut In: To distribute a solid fat in flour using a cutting motion, with 2 knives used scissors-fashion or a pastry blender, until divided evenly into tiny pieces. Usually refers to naking pastry.
Croutons: These are tiny cubes of toasted or fried bread, used as a garnish for
Coriander: Also known as Dhania
Dollop: A spoonful of soft food such as whipped cream or mashed potatoes.
Dot: To scatter butter in bits over food.
Dress: To coat foods such as salad with a sauce. Also, to clean fish, poultry or game for cooking.
Drippings: Juices and fats rendered by meat or poultry while cooking.
Drizzle: To pour melted butter, oil, syrup, melted chocolate, or other liquid back and forth over food in a fine stream.
Experiment: Always keep to the basics, but, take out and put in spices etc to your tastes.
Fines Herbs: A mixture of herbs, normally parsley, chervil, chives and tarragon used to flavour fish, chicken and eggs.
Glace: To coat foods with glossy mixtures such as jellies or sauces.
Julienne: To cut into long thin strips match-sticklike in shape
Macerate: To soak in flavoured liquid; usually refers to fruit
Picked Over: If you are working with lentils or other beans you might sometimes find a few little rocks that managed to sneak their way in, picked over means to make sure there are none left in what you are going to be using.
Poach: To cook gently over very low heat ib barely simmering liquid just to cover.
Puree: To mash or grind food until completely smooth. usually in a food processor, blender, sieve, or food mill.
Ragout: The basic method of preparation involves slow cooking over a low heat.
Reduce: To thicken a liquid and concentrate its flavor by boiling.
Render: To cook fatty meat or poultry - such as bacon or goose - over low heat to obtain drippings.
Sear: To brown surface of meat quickly over a high heat, to seal in juices.
Simmer: To cook in liquid at just below boiling point, with only a few bubbles breaking the surface.
Skim: To remove surface foam or fat from a liquid
Seep: To soak in a liquid just under the boiling point to extract the essence i.e. Tea.
Truss: To tie whole poultry with skin or skewers so it will hold its shape in cooking.
Whip: To beat eggs or cream with a wire whisk, egg beater or electric mixer which increases the volume as air is incorporated into the eggs or cream
Zest: The outer, colored part of the peel of citrus fruits.