Dictionary of Cooking Terms
An Italian term used to describe pasta that is cooked with a slight firmness.
To cook in the oven which is surrounded by heat.
Refers to grilling done outdoors, on racks or over charcoal or wood fire.
To moisten foods whilst it is cooking. This is done by spooning the pan drippings or sauce over the food to add flavour and prevent the food from drying.
A mixture comprising of flour and liquid, which can be poured.
To mix quickly to create a mixture that is smooth & light by incorporating. Aim is to incorporate as much air as possible.
To immerse ingredient into rapidly boiling water & allow to cook briefly.
To combine two or more ingredients which is mixed thoroughly. Can be blended by hand or mixer.
To heat a water or liquid until it creates bubbles breaking continually on the surface. Liquid reaches 100 degrees Celsius (212 Fahrenheit).
Is to cook on a griller under strong, direct heat.
Refers to heating sugar & liquid & turn it into a brown sticky consistency.
To cut food into pieces with a sharp knife or other chopping device, of similar size.
Used to describe the separation of solids from a liquid, making the liquid clear.
Often used to describe the mixing of butter & sugar into a creamy consistency making a smooth, soft paste.
A method of preserving foods by drying & salting or smoking the food. Can be used for meats & fish.
To dissolve the juices & brown bits on the surface of a pan where food has been fried, sautéed or roasted. This is done by adding liquid to a pan & then scraping the pan over high heat. Method of adding flavour to the liquid which can be used to create a sauce.
Method used to remove fat from the top layer of stews, soups, or stock. The method involves cooling the soup or stew in the refrigerator so that fat hardens & is easily removed.
To cut food in small cubes of same size and shape.
To melt a dry substance into solution in a liquid.
To pour drops of liquid lightly back & forth over food in a fine stream.
To sprinkle food with dry ingredients. Usually icing or flour using a strainer or sieve to create a fine layer of dust like particles.
To fillet a fillet refers to the process in which bones are removed from the bones of meat or fish.
To break lightly with fingers into small pieces.
To ignite a flame onto the foods by dousing with alcohol & setting alight.
To delicately mix a substance with another in a delicate manner without releasing air bubbles. Often done gently with a spatula in an over-and-under motion.
To cook food with hot fat.
To decorate a dish both so to enhance the appearance of the dish as well as provide added flavour. Garnishes may include herbs or lemon wedges.
To coat food with a thin glossy mixture such as jellies or sauces.
To rub food on a grater designed to cut the food in various sizes or shapes.
To cook on a grill over intense heat.
To process solids by hand (using a pestle & mortar) or machine to reduce them to tiny particles.
To cut vegetables, fruits, or cheeses into long, thin strips.
To work & press dough with the palms of the hands to develop the gluten in the flour.
Approximately room temperature liquid.
To add flavour to & moisten meat, poultry, seafood or vegetable by soaking them in a liquid mixture of seasonings known as a marinade. Marinades can be dry or in liquid form I.e. salt, pepper, herbs, spices or sauces.
To cut into tiny, small pieces.
To combine ingredients usually by stirring.
To cook food in a pan with a small amount of fat.
To partially boil or cook in water.
To remove the skin or peel from fruits or vegetables
Method used to preserve foods. I.e. meats, vegetables, & fruits in usually in brine, oil or vinegar.
To remove the stone or pit from fruits.
Term used to describe the soaking of dried fruits in liquid until they swell.
To very gently cook food in hot liquid that is slightly below boiling point.
To squash or mash foods until smooth. Can be done by hand or via a sieve, blender or food processor.
To boil down liquid and reduce it’s volume.
To melt away the solid fat by adding heat to it & turning it into liquid.
To cook with dry heat in an oven.
To brown food in a small amount of hot fat under slightly tender.
To brown food at a high temperature, very quickly to seal in flavour. This method increases shrinkage but develops flavour and improves appearance.
To cut or tear in long, narrow pieces.
To put dry ingredients through a sieve or sifter to remove lumps or large particles.
To slowly cook in liquid over a low heat, approx. 180°. The surface of the liquid should barely be moving but has slow rising bubbles.
To remove any impurities, scum or fat, from the surface of a liquid during cooking. The aim is to create a clear, cleaner-tasting broth or soup.
To cook in vapours that arises from the result of water boiling. Food cooks in the vapours.
To soak a substance in liquid in order to create colour, flavour, or other qualities from the soaking substance.
To boil, dry heat or steam a utensil or cooking apparatus to destroy any micro organisms that may be on it.
To simmer slowly in a small amount of liquid for a long period of time. Slow cooking method.
To mix ingredients together in a circular motion until all ingredients are blended as one.
To combine ingredients with a lifting motion.