Basic Cooking Terms

The following is a list of common cooking terms and their definitions that you might hear used on this site.

Au Gratin:  Cooked or baked with a topping of either browned bread crumbs and butter or grated cheese, or with both.

Baste: To moisten (meat or other food) while cooking, with drippings, butter, etc.

Bisque: A thick cream soup, especially of puréed shellfish or vegetables.

Blanch: To scald briefly and then drain, as peaches or almonds to facilitate removal of skins, or as rice or macaroni to separate the grains or strands.

Cream: To beat or mix until softened and mixed together. IE – Cream the butter and sugar together.

Crimp: To seal the edges by pressing together with the fingers.

Crudites: An assortment of raw vegetables usually accompanied by a dip.

Degrease: To remove the grease and fatty substance from something.

Dredge: To coat lightly with powder.

Entree: The main course.

Fold: To gently incorporate one substance into another by repeatedly folding onto itself.

Glaze: To cover with a melted substance such as jelly, jams butter or chocolate.

Julienne: To cut into matchstick size pieces.

Marinade: To allow food, typically meats, to stand in liquid to absorb the flavoring of the liquid.

Meuniere: Food, especially fish dipped in flour, sautéed in butter, and sprinkled with lemon juice and chopped parsley.

Mince: To cut or chop into very small pieces.

Parboil: To boil partially or for a short time; precook.

Pare: To cut off the outer coating, layer, or part of.

Poach: To cook (eggs, fish, fruits, etc.) in a hot liquid that is kept just below the boiling point.

Puree: A cooked food, especially a vegetable or fruit, that has been put through a sieve, blender, or the like.

Refresh: To immerse food that has been parboiled in ice water to stop the cooking process.

Saute: Cooked or browned in a pan containing a small quantity of butter, oil, or other fat.

Scald: To heat to a temperature just short of the boiling point: to scald milk.

Simmer: To cook or cook in a liquid at or just below the boiling point.

Steep: To soak in water or other liquid, as to soften, cleanse, or extract some constituent: to steep tea in boiling-hot water; to steep reeds for basket weaving.

Toss: To mix ingredients with a repeated lifting motion.

Whip: To mix rapidly in an effort to incorporate air into the mixture, usually with the use of a mechanical whipper.

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