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30 terms

Common Cooking Terms

This is a list of common cooking and baking terms
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whip
to beat food lightly and rapidly in order to incorporate air into the mixture and to increase its volume
baste
to moisten foods during cooking with pan drippings or a sauce in order to add flavor and prevent drying
chill
to cool a food to below room temperature in the refrigerator or freezer or over ice
snip
to cut food, often fresh herbs or dried fruit, with kitchen shears into very small, uniform pieces using short quick strokes
cube
to cut into uniform pieces, usually a half inch on all sides
butterfly
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
blanch
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
marinade
a liquid in which food is allowed to stand in order to flavor or tenderize it
marinate
to place food in a liquid for the purpose of flavoring or tenderizing it
dash
a measure equal to 1/16 teaspoon
mince
to chop food into tiny irregular pieces
preheat
to heat an oven or utensil to a temperature before using it
dice
to cut food into uniform pieces, usually 1/8 to 1/4 inch on all sides
steam
to cook food in the vapor given off by boiling water
stew
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
knead
to work dough with the heels of the hands in a pressing and folding motion until it becomes smooth and elastic
pare
to cut the skin or outer covering of a fruit or vegetable, using a knife or vegetable peeler
garnish
to add visual appeal to a finished dish
score
to cut narrow grooves or slits partway through the outer surface of a food to tenderize it or to form a decorative pattern
julienne
to cut food into thin match-like sticks about two inches long
coat
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
sear
to brown a food, usually meat, quickly, on all sides using high heat to seal in the juices
marble
to gently swirl one food into another, usually done with light and dark batters for cakes and cookies
simmer
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
pan-broil
to cook, uncovered, on a hot surface, usually a skillet; pouring off the fat as it accumulates
pan-fry
to cook or fry on the top of the range in a hot, uncovered skillet with little or no fat
glace
to coat with a thin sugar syrup cooked to the cracked stage
fork-tender
a degree of doneness for cooked vegetables and meats; you should feel just a slight resistance when piercing food with a fork