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This is a list of common cooking and baking terms


to beat food lightly and rapidly in order to incorporate air into the mixture and to increase its volume


to moisten foods during cooking with pan drippings or a sauce in order to add flavor and prevent drying


to cool a food to below room temperature in the refrigerator or freezer or over ice


to cut food, often fresh herbs or dried fruit, with kitchen shears into very small, uniform pieces using short quick strokes


to cut into uniform pieces, usually a half inch on all sides


to split foods in the middle without completely separating the halves, then spreading the halves to resemble a butterfly. This exposes more of the food's surface to allow for quicker and more even cooking.

cut in

to work a solid fat such as shortening, margarine, or butter into dry ingredients, with a pastry blender or with two butter knives


to partially cook fruits, vegetables, or nuts in boiling water or steam; to immerse fruits or nuts in boiling water to remove skins or make them easy to peel

al dente

"to the tooth," a term to indicate that pasta is cooked just enough to keep a firm texture


a liquid in which food is allowed to stand in order to flavor or tenderize it


to place food in a liquid for the purpose of flavoring or tenderizing it


a measure equal to 1/16 teaspoon


to chop food into tiny irregular pieces


to heat an oven or utensil to a temperature before using it


to cut food into uniform pieces, usually 1/8 to 1/4 inch on all sides


to cook food in the vapor given off by boiling water


to cook food in a liquid for a long time until tender, usually in a covered pot or slow cooker; also the name of the food prepared this way


to work dough with the heels of the hands in a pressing and folding motion until it becomes smooth and elastic


to cut the skin or outer covering of a fruit or vegetable, using a knife or vegetable peeler


to add visual appeal to a finished dish


to cut narrow grooves or slits partway through the outer surface of a food to tenderize it or to form a decorative pattern


to cut food into thin match-like sticks about two inches long


to evenly cover food with crumbs, flour, or a batter, or to dip food first into slightly beaten egg or milk and then cover with other coating as indicated in the recipe


to brown a food, usually meat, quickly, on all sides using high heat to seal in the juices


to gently swirl one food into another, usually done with light and dark batters for cakes and cookies


to cook food in a liquid that is kept just below the boiling point; a few bubbles will form slowly and burst just before reaching the surface


to cook, uncovered, on a hot surface, usually a skillet; pouring off the fat as it accumulates


to cook or fry on the top of the range in a hot, uncovered skillet with little or no fat


to coat with a thin sugar syrup cooked to the cracked stage


a degree of doneness for cooked vegetables and meats; you should feel just a slight resistance when piercing food with a fork

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