COOKING TERMS

 

Au gratin:  Topped with crumbs and/or cheese and browned in oven or under broiler.

 

Au jus:  Served in its own juices.

 

Baste:  To moisten foods during cooking with pan drippings or special sauce in order to add flavor and prevent drying.

 

Bisque:  A thick cream soup.

 

Blanch:  To immerse in rapidly boiling water and allow to cook slightly.

 

Cream:  To soften a fat, especially butter, by beating it at room temperature.  Butter and sugar are often creamed together, making smooth, soft paste.

 

Crimp:  To seal the edges of a two-crust pie either by pinching them at intervals with the fingers or by pressing them together with the tines of a fork.

 

Crudités:  An assortment of raw vegetables (i.e. carrots, broccoli, celery, mushrooms) that is served as an hors d’oeuvre, often accompanied by a dip.

 

Degrease:  To remove fat from the surface of stews, soups or stock.  Usually cooled in the refrigerator so that fat hardens and is easily removed.

 

Dredge:  To coat lightly with flour, cornmeal, etc.

 

Entrée:  The main course.

 

Fold:  To incorporate a delicate substance, such as whipped cream or beaten egg whites, into another substance without releasing air bubbles.  A spatula is used to gently bring part of the mixture from the bottom of the bowl to the top.  The process is repeated, while slowly rotating the bowl, until the ingredients are thoroughly blended.

 

Glaze:  To cover with a glossy coating, such as a melted and somewhat diluted jelly for fruit desserts.

 

Julienne:  To cut or slice vegetables, fruits or cheeses into match-shaped slivers.

 

Marinate:  To allow food to stand in a liquid in order to tenderize or to add flavor.

 

Meuniere:  Dredged with flour and sautéed in butter.

 

Mince:  To chop food into very small pieces.

 

Parboil:  To boil until partially cooked; to blanch.  Usually final cooking in a seasoned sauce follows this procedure.

 

Pare:  To remove the outermost skin of a fruit or vegetable.

 

Poach:  To cook gently in hot liquid kept just below the boiling point.

 

Puree:  To mash foods by hand by rubbing through a sieve or food mill, or by whirling in a blender or food processor until perfectly smooth.

 

Refresh:  To run cold water over food that has been parboiled in order to stop the cooking process quickly.

 

Sauté:  To cook and/or brown food in a small quantity of hot shortening.

 

Scald:  To heat to just below the boiling point, when tiny bubbies appear at the edge of the saucepan.

 

Simmer:  To cook in liquid just below the boiling point.  The surface of the liquid should be barely moving, broken from time to time by slowly rising bubbles.

 

Steep:  To let food stand in hot liquid in order to extract or to enhance flavor, like tea in hot water or poached fruit in syrup.

 

Toss:  To combine ingredients with a repeated lifting motion.

 

Whip:  To beat rapidly in order to incorporate air and produce expansion, as in heavy cream or egg whites.