Cooking Terms and Their Meanings
To incorporate air to make ingredients
lighter. Sifting flour is an example of the
process. Whipped butter is another. Air is
whipped in, thus making the butter lighter
and increase in volume.
Keeping meats and a or cheese in a
controlled environment for a specific amount
of time in a controlled and ventilated
atmosphere to permit natural flavoring and
"To the tooth," in Italian. Pasta is cooked
just to a firm and chewy texture.
In French Cooking it means in the German
style. Sauce Allemande is made from veal
stock, cream, egg yolks and lemon juice.
Seasonings to enhance the flavor and aroma
usually herbs and spices and some
A transparent meat flavored jelly/jello that
is firm when cold. Used to flavor and add
moisture to pate, charcuterie and cold food
This is the natural pan drippings or juice
that comes from a roasting pan after
Microscopic organisms, some of which can
cause sickness including food-borne
infections. Others can be perfectly safe and
help tenderize or even add flavor. The blue
veining in cheese is an example of the
To cook in the oven as baking a cake, but
also may be used in meat cookery such as
baked leg of lamb.
To brush or spoon liquid fat or juices over
meat, fish poultry or vegetables during
cooking to help keep moisture on the surface
A mixture of flour and liquid that is beaten
or stirred in preparation of baking, i.e.
Briskly whipping or stirring it with a
spoon, fork, wire whisk, beater or mixer.
Heating salted butter until dark brown and
foamy but not smoking. A type of butter
sauce called black butter sauce.
Slicing a food crosswise at a 45-degree
To thickening a sauce or hot liquid by
stirring in ingredients such as roux, flour,
butter, cornstarch, egg yolks, vegetable
puree or cream.
A rich thick shellfish soup with cream.
Cajun-style cooking method in which highly
seasoned foods are dipped in liquid butter
then cooked over high heat in a super-heated
heavy skillet until charred.
To partially cook vegetables by parboiling
them in highly salted water then cooling
quickly in ice water.
Mixing two or more ingredients together to
obtain an equally distributed mixture.
To heat water or other liquids to 212
degrees Fahrenheit, 100 degrees Celsius and
to keep it bubbling and shimmering in the
A Mediterranean fish soup made from several
varieties of fish, tomatoes, saffron, fennel
Clear soup made from slow simmering lean
meat, bones and seasonings and vegetables.
Strained and served with the shredded cooked
meat it was made from.
A bundle of seasonings; bay leaf, thyme and
parsley stems tied with leeks, carrot and
celery stalk. It's used to season braised
foods and stocks.
Meat browned in fat with vegetables,
seasonings and then cooked slowly in liquid
so it is partially submerged then cooked in
an oven, this combines moist and dry heat
cooking. Making a pot roast is an example.
To coat the food with bread crumbs. Standard
method is to first dip in salted flour, then
beaten egg and then bread crumbs. Items
prepared like this are usually pan fried in
oil or clarified butter until golden and
To cook food directly under a very hot 500
degree F. heat source.
Broth or stock
A liquid made by gently simmering meats,
fish, or vegetables and/or their
by-products, such as bones and trimming with
herbs, in liquid, usually water. Broths
usually have a higher proportion of meat to
bones than stock.
A quick sautÃ©ing/searing done either at the
beginning or end of meal preparation, often
to enhance flavor, texture, or eye appeal.
To coat food with melted butter, glaze, or
other liquid using a pastry brush.
The name for a tube baking pan having fluted
A frosting made from sugar, sweet butter,
milk, egg yolks and flavoring.
Confectioner's or powdered sugar is often
used buy not required.
To cut food down the center without cutting
all the way through to open and then spread
it apart. Shrimp cut this way is popular.
Meat may be butterflied when cooking it well
done so it isn't burned during the process
as if it remained thick.
Round baking pan with straight sides. It
comes in 8", 9" and other sizes.
Plural for squid in Italian.
Brunt sugar used for sauces, coloring,
flavoring and candy.
Natural sugars turn brown when exposed to
direct heat over a flame, with or without
the addition of some oil to aid the process.
Onions when fried in butter over high heat
causes them to turn brown and have a sweet
toasted flavor. Carrots in a roasting pan
turn golden with a roast chicken. This
process and color change from raw to cooked
The process of cooking sugar until it begins
to color. Also, while slowly cooking some
vegetables e.g. onions, root vegetables, the
natural sugars are released and the
vegetables will caramelize in their own
sugars, usually oil is used in the pan to
help the process.
A lettuce used for salad and sometimes
called curly endive. Also added to coffee in
the deep South.
Usually a pureed filling made light and
fluffy with beaten egg whites, gelatin and
or whipped cream. Lemon chiffon pie is one
Lettuces, sorrel, basil leaves and other
leafy vegetables cut into julienne strips.
A very fine conical wire mesh strainer.
Using a chinoise removes the small
impurities from the liquid that is strained.
It is a must in any professional kitchen.
To cut into irregular pieces with no set
size as a result. Chopping parsley is a good
Parsley like herb with a basil, mint and
green onion flavor, popular in Chinese and
A process of making a liquid clear by adding
beaten egg whites, ground meat and tomato,
then simmering slowly. The liquid is then
strained and the result is consommÃ©.
Also---melting butter over medium heat so
the milk solids settle to the bottom and
impurities float to the top. The foamy top
is discarded and pure golden liquid butter
is ladled off into a clean container for
other cooking uses.
Evenly covering food with flour, crumbs,
herbs, oil or batter.
To cook slowly and gently in a liquid just
below the boiling point. Usually eggs are
coddled when making traditional Caesar salad
to help them absorb and emulsify evenly with
the lemon juice and olive oil. Coddled eggs
for breakfast a different than poached as
they relatively soft but fully heated
The mixing of two or more ingredients into a
Slowly cook pieces of meat in their own
gently rendered fat until very soft and
tender. With seasonings, brandy/wine and
sometimes vegetables. Duck and pork are two
popular meats to be used in confit. When
cooked and cooled the meat is keep submerged
in its cooking fat as a preservative and as
a seal against oxygen.
Applying to raw or cooked tomatoes: Peeled,
seeded and diced/chopped fine, raw; or then
sautÃ©ed with minced onions in olive oil,
To remove the inedible center of fruits such
apples and pears.
To beat vegetable shortening, butter, or
margarine, with or without sugar, until
light and fluffy.
To create a decorative edge on a piecrust,
also seal the edges together.
To restore the crunch to vegetables such as
celery and lettuce. This can be done with an
ice water bath. Stale crackers can be
crisped in a medium oven. Also a type of a
pan baked dessert made of cooked fruit with
a crunchy flour and sugar topping. Apple or
peach crisp are examples.
Chopped seasoned food held together by cream
sauce, eggs, flour/breadcrumbs, shaped and
then breaded with bread crumbs and deep
fried. Crab cakes that are deep fried, not
sautÃ©ed are really crab croquettes.
To reduce a food to small particles, usually
using a mortar and pestle, rolling pin or
bottom of a pot. To crush crackers you may
place them in a double bag and roll a
rolling pin over them.
To form sugar or honey syrups into crystals
buy cooking it to hard crack and letting it
cool on an oiled surface. The term also
describes a sugar coating surrounding a
fruit dipped in a egg white and granulated
To cut in even pieces. May be 1/4 inch/ 1/2
inch or 1 inch. Sides must be of even size
to be conceded cubed. This is a description
used in dicing as an exact dice.
Custard-like pie or tart filling made with
whole eggs, sugar,juice and zest of citrus
the fruit, usually lemon. May also be the
solidified nuggets of milk after citric acid
has been added and rennet introduced. The
curding process is an important stage in the
cheese making process.
Separation of a milk/cream based sauce or
the cooking of eggs when over cooked. Sauces
look like egg drop soup when curdled.
Marinating to preserve an ingredient with
salt and/or sugar and spices. Preparing
gravlax, marinated salmon, is an example of
A mixture of beaten egg, egg yolks, milk,
and other ingredients. Which is cooked with
gentle heat, often in a water bath. A
custard differs from a pudding in that it
isn't stirred during the cooking process.
Working butter or vegetable shortening,
margarine, into dry ingredients for equal
distribution. This is done with the help of
a pastry blender and is an important
procedure in making flaky pie crusts.
A measure approximately equal to 1/16
teaspoon, a pinch or less.
To partially or completely submerge and cook
food in hot oil until golden brown.
Adding liquid to a pan in which foods have
been sautÃ©ed, fried or roasted to dissolve
the caramelized juices stuck to the bottom
of the pan.
To add hot or spicy ingredients such as
cayenne pepper, mustard or Tabasco sauce to
a food. Sauce Diable is a classic French
sauce made with demi-glace and Dijon
To cut food into cubes. The cubes can be
small, medium or large. Dicing is slightly
less exact as cubing is but still should
A grilling method that allows food to be
cooked directly over the high heat of a
To place small bits of an ingredient such as
butter on foods at random intervals for the
purpose of adding flavor and to aid in
browning during cooking.
Double a recipe
To increase recipe amounts by two.
A combination of ingredients usually
including flour, water or milk, and,
sometimes, a leavener, producing a pliable
mixture for making baked goods.
Completely coating in flour and shaking off
Drippings are the liquids and bits of food
left in the bottom of a roasting or frying
pan after meat is cooked.
Pouring a liquid such as as melted butter,
olive oil or other liquid in a slow trickle
Sprinkling flour on a work surface to evenly
coat it, or as with spices, sugar, or bread
crumbs, light coating a food item.
A mixture of beaten eggs, yolks, whites, or
both with milk or water. Used in the
standard breading process of foods. May be
used to coat baked goods to give them a
shine when baked. Also may be used as a
sealant of pieces of dough.
A mixture of oil and liquid in which tiny
globules of one are suspended in the other.
Stabilizers, such as egg or mustard may be
used. Classic example is vinaigrette salad
In the United States it refers to the main
dish. In France it's a term that referrers
to the first course of a meal, served after
the soup and before the meat course.
A strong dark coffee brewed under steam
pressure. Popular in many European
countries, it is the base for other coffee
drinks such as Cappuccino
A boneless and skinless piece of meat cut
away from the bone, usually fish.
A well trimmed center cut steak from the
whole beef tenderloin.
To remove the bones from fish or meat for
To remove impurities by passing through
paper, cheesecloth or chinoise.
The point where boiling syrup dropped in
cold water forms a ball that is compact yet
gives slightly to the touch. 243 degrees F.
To ignite liquid that contains an alcoholic
substance so that it flames.
Open tart filled with sweet or savory
ingredients, i.e. a chocolate ganache flan.
Second it is a Spanish dessert of baked
custard covered with caramel.
It is food garnished or cooked with spinach.
To create a decorative scalloped edge on a
pie crust or pastry. Also mushrooms and
vegetables are fluted to give them an
attractive cut and rolled symmetric edging.
To gently combine and aerate two or more
ingredients using a bottom-to-top or
side-to-side motion with a spoon or spatula.
A warm creamy dish made of cheese, eggs,
wine, brandy and or other items. Served warm
with toasted bread cubes, vegetables or
stale bread cubes in which the bread is
skewered and then dipped in the hot creamy
mixture before eating it.
A stew in which usually poultry is cut up,
fried in butter, and then simmered in a
liquid with vegetables until done.
A flat Italian style omelet that is baked
and not folded.
A deep fried sweet or savory food coated or
mixed in a batter. Conch fritters are
popular in South Florida as Corn Fritters
are popular in the Southeastern United
To fry thin julienne of vegetables in hot
oil until crisp and slightly curly.
To cook food in hot cooking oil, usually
until a crisp brown crust forms.
A chocolate filling or coating made with
chocolate, egg yolks and heavy cream. Most
often used as a filling for truffles and
coating for cakes such as Boston Cream Pie.
A decorative piece of an edible ingredient
placed as a finishing touch to dishes or
drinks. A simple rose made from a radish or
sprig of parsley is a garnish.
The gizzard or sand sack of poultry. It's
popular to boil, skin, clean and dice these
and then add them to turkey gravy for giblet
A liquid that gives an item a shiny surface.
To cover a food with a shiny liquid. Melted
apricot jam is a popular glaze.
Gluten is a wheat protein that gives yeast
dough its characteristic elasticity and
To shred food into fine pieces by rubbing it
against a coarse surface. Grating cheese or
lemon rind are 2 examples.
Food mixed together then baked until cooked,
set and golden brown. Cheese or egg yolks
are often and important ingredient.
A thick sauce made from pan drippings, other
liquids and thickened with a starch such as
To coat a pan or skillet with a thin layer
Meat that has not had no aging to become
tender and flavorful.
Cook directly over the heat source on metal
racks or rods in the open air.
To mechanically cut a food into small
Halve a recipe
Reduce the amounts of a recipe by 50%.
In candy making, the point at which syrup
has cooked long enough to form a solid ball
in cold water. Between 250-268 degrees F.
A dish made of onions, leftover meats,
potatoes and seasonings. It is molded and
then crisply pan-fried and served with
poached eggs and or demi-glace and
Herbes de Provence
A blend of herbs consisting of chervil,
tarragon, chives, rosemary and lavender.
There are many recipes for this blended used
in the south of France, some may include
Corn kernels with the germ and bran removed
with lye. A popular Southern United States
Small individual portions of foods, canapÃ©s,
served as appetizers before a meal.
To remove the leafy and stem parts off
fruits such as strawberries.
To spread frosting on a cake, cupcake or
pastry. Also to cool down cooked food by
placing in ice and water.
Making tea is an example. Extracting flavors
by soaking them in liquid heated in a
covered pan. Chefs make herbal infusions to
season delicate dishes at the last minute.
Insulated baking sheet
A cookie sheet that has a two-layer bottom
with a space of air between to prevent hot
A process to set or solidify, usually by
A baking pan with sides about an inch high.
Commonly called a sheet pan.
A dry mixture of various spices such as
habenaro chilies, thyme, garlic, onions,
allspice, ginger and cinnamon used to season
meats such as chicken or pork, a Jamaican
BBQ specialty. If made well and grilled over
a wood fire you will twitch "Jerk" when
eating this very spicy dish!
To cut into thin strips 1/8 inch x 1/8 inch
strips or smaller, about 2-3 inches long.
May be meats or vegetables.
The natural juices released by roasting
meats that have collected on the bottom of
the roasting pan.
To work dough with the heels of your hands
in a pressing and folding motion until it
becomes smooth and elastic.
Salt that is coarser that regular table
salt. There are several brands but Diamond
Crystal is preferred by many chefs because
it isn't flaked and doesn't contain
magnesium sulfate.1 Tbsp. of Kosher salt
equals 2 tsp. table salt in salting
Inserting strips of fat into pieces of meat,
helping the braised meat stays moist and
juicy during cooking. This isn't used as
much as it was in the earlier days of
Ingredient, (Yeast) or process (Whipping Egg
Whites) that produces air bubbles and causes
the rising of baked goods.
To place layers of foil, silicone paper, or
wax paper in a pan to prevent sticking.
A cut of meat that typically comes from the
back of the animal.
Pasta made with flour and water and then
A chopped or diced mixture of several fruits
or vegetables cooked or uncooked. A
macedoine of vegetables may include celery,
carrots, turnips, peas, mushrooms, chestnuts
and pearl onions sautÃ©ed in butter.
To gently swirl or layer one food into
another to create a ribbon effect when
cooked and sliced.
Liquid with is seasoned with herbs, spices
and vegetables which is used to marinate
food. thus enhancing flavor or tenderizing
the item. More often than not marinades will
contain an acid like vinegar, wine or lemon
juice and sometimes an oil. The pickling
process uses a marinade in the curing
Submerging a food in a seasoned liquid in
order to tenderize and flavor the food. .
A paste of ground blanched almonds that is
cooked with glucose and sugar. This paste is
of the cooked almonds and sugar becomes
marzipan when confectioner's sugar and egg
white is added. It is used to fill and
To press or mix a food to remove lumps and
make a smooth mixture.
Cold sauce or dressing consisting of oil,
dry mustard, sugar, vinegar and lemon juice
mixed with egg yolks. Hellmann's is thought
buy chefs to be the best.
Small round or oval of lightly pounded meat
such as chicken, tenderloin, pork and veal.
Sweetened egg whites beaten until they are
stiff, light and airy. There are 3
types---Swiss, Italian and common.
To chop or dice food into tiny, 1/8 inch or
less irregular pieces.
A mixture of vegetables, 2 parts onions, 1
part celery, 1 part carrots and may also
contain leeks and mushrooms in which case
the amount of onions would be decreased.
It's used as a seasoning and flavor enhancer
for the sauce that be made from it and the
To stir two or more foods together until
they are completely combined.
Adding only enough liquid to dry ingredients
to dampen them.
A cheese that has a mild flavor and used in
Italian-style recipes. This cheese is best
fresh and can be found in many supermarkets
in this fresh state.
Slowly heating wine, juices or cider with
spices, citrus and sugar.
An European term for margarine, a stick of
oleo is a stick of margarine.
Cooking food in a heavy bottom pan without
added fat, then removing any fat as it
accumulates so it doesn't burn.
Cooking in a hot pan with small amount of
hot oil, butter, or other fat, turning the
food over once or twice.
A cooking technique in which food is wrapped
in paper or foil pouch and then baked so
that the food steams in its own moisture and
the pouch puffs.
Partly cooking in a boiling salted liquid as
Boiling foods until partially cooked.
A non-stick, silicone coated, heat-resistant
paper used in cooking.
To peel or trim food of its outer layer of
skin, usually vegetables.
The mounds and swirls made in a mixture; egg
whites that has been whipped are stiff if
they stay upright, or soft if they fall
over. The same applies to whipped cream.
A sauce made of fresh basil, garlic, olive
oil, pine nuts, cheese and water. Modern
pesto may be made with any fresh herbs and
variety of ingredients as long as it isn't
Round baking pan with slanted sides, it may
be glass (Pyrex) or aluminum.
A small inexact measurement amount that
basically add up to 1/16 of a teaspoon.
Using a pastry bag to squeeze a soft food
through a decorative tip to create swirled
and artful wisps of the product on to
To take out the center stone or seed of a
fruit, such as a nectarine or a plum.
To simmer in liquid that is just below the
boiling point. Usually about 208 degree F.
Cooking method that uses steam under a
locked lid to produce high temperatures and
achieve a faster cooking time.
The term used for the growth of a yeast
dough's rise prior to baking.
The process of of yeast dough's growth
leading to the final baking.
For yeast-risen products. After letting the
dough rise, punching it down knocks out the
air before turning it out onto a floured
surface for shaping.
A smooth pureed and strained liquid pulp
usually slightly thick.
A small oven proof dish used for individual
To restore a dried food back to its original
state by adding hot or cold liquid.
To slowly or rapidly cook liquids down so
that some or most of the water evaporates.
Simmering and cooking a sauce so that
moisture is released in the form of steam
causing the remaining ingredients to
concentrate, thickening and strengthening
the flavors. A reduced sauce is the result.
Pouring or sprinkling cold water or ice over
cooked or raw vegetables to prevent
oxidation and to retain the fresh cooked
look. Raw, wilted vegetables are refreshed
by sprinkling them with water.
To melt down hard fat to a liquid fat.
In bread-making, to let the dough sit a few
minutes before shaping.
With yeast dough's, to leave the dough in a
warm place and allow to double in volume.
A method of cooking in an oven where the
item isn't covered allowing the dry heat to
surround the item.
Boiling water very rapidly so that stirring
with a spoon does not cause it to stop
A somewhat equal cooked mixture of flour and
oil, fat or butter used to thicken liquids.
Most roux is made with a little more flour
An icing used for decorating purposes. This
icing becomes solid quickly and is made with
confectioner's sugar, dash of cream of
tartar and lemon juice.
A small gas or electric broiler used to
brown or glaze the tops of certain food
items, creme brulee finished under a
A lightly thickened liquid that adds,
flavor, moisture and visual appeal to foods.
To cook food quickly in a small amount of
fat in a pan over regulated direct heat.
Cooking a liquid such as milk to just below
the point of boiling. To loosen the skin of
fruits or vegetables by dipping them in
boiling water and then plunging them into
ice water so they can be peeled easily.
To tenderize meat, fish or shellfish by
making a number of shallow often diagonal
cuts across its surface.
A scraper is a flexible piece of rubber
attached to a handle and used for scraping
food down the sides of a pan, bowl or jar. A
spatula is used to turn food in a pan, like
what is used to turn eggs over.
To quickly brown and caramelize the outside
of meats at a high temperature.
To enhance the flavor of foods by adding
ingredients such as salt, pepper, and a
variety of other herbs, and spices. Also to
treat a pan so it becomes non-stick.
A thick, lumpy mass when melted items get
Let food become solid.
To cut or tear into narrow strips, either by
hand or by using a grater or food processor.
Pressing items through a screen or strainer
to break up the mass. It produces a lump
free mixture that won't clog a pastry tip
Removing lumps from dry ingredients such as
flour or confectioners' sugar by passing it
through a strainer. It also aerates the item
making them lighter.
Cooking food in a liquid at just below a
boil point so that small bubbles begin to
rise the surface.
Syrup that results from cooking 2 parts
water and 1 part sugar together, then using
it warm or cold.
Removing the top layer of fat and impurities
that rise to the top of stocks, soups,
sauces, or other liquids.
A cutting shape usually meaning thin slices
1/4 inch by 1/8 inch by 1/8 inch.
Temperature at which a fat begins to break
down and emit smoke.
Soft ball/Soft crack
Candy making term that denote what a ball of
the candy does when placed in a cup of cold
water, 234-239 degrees F.
Spin a thread
Creating a thread that appears between the
spoon and candy when the spoon is lifted and
turned. A popular garnish on modern dessert
presentations is to use these threads in a
wistful manner to call attention to the
pastry chef's artistic talents.
Spring form pan
A two-part spring-loaded baking pan in which
a collar fits around a base, the collar is
removed after baking.
To cook over boiling water in a covered pan
or to cook in a special pressurized steam
A dowel shaped tool used to hone knife
To soak dry ingredients such as ground
coffee, herbs, spices, etc. in liquid until
the flavor is infused into it.
Browning pieces of meat, then simmering them
with vegetables seasonings and enough liquid
to cover them. This method produces tender
well cook items.
Fast frying of small pieces of meats and
vegetables over very high heat with
continuous stirring in a small about of oil.
The liquid that results from simmering
bones, vegetable and seasonings in water or
A crumbly baked good topping, made by
combining butter, sugar, ground nuts, spices
Cooking vegetables over low heat in a small
amount of fat to release their moisture,
flavor and to have them look translucent..
Reducing thickness with the addition of more
To completely combine several ingredients by
mixing lightly in an upward motion.
To tie with twine to hold together a roast
to maintain its shape while it cooks.
A round cake pan with tall, smooth sides and
a metal tube in the middle. Often used for
angel food cake, but an excellent
all-purpose cake pan for baking batters of
Baked goods that contain no ingredients to
give them volume, such as eggs, baking
powder, or yeast.
Sour juice made from under ripe grapes, it's
popular as a substitute for vinegar and has
a mild grapelike flavor..
Cold soup made from a puree of the white
part of leeks, potatoes, onions, chicken
stock, cream and chives.
An acidic sauce or dressing made with
vinegar, oil, mustard and seasonings.
A storage method in which a container is set
in a pan of simmering water to keep it hot.
To quickly mix air into ingredients such as
cream or egg whites by beating until light
and fluffy, it also is the the utensil used
in this whipping and whisking action.
Fluff by beating. The utensil used for this
is also called a whisk
A thin mixture of 1/3 flour and 2/3 cold
water that is used to quickly thicken soups,
sauces and stocks in an emergency..
The thin outer part of the rind of citrus
cut into a thin narrow strip. It contains
none of the white pith on the inside of the