Glossary of Terms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Al dente
An Italian term applied in cooking pastas also with vegetables that means firm to the bite and yet tender.
Baste
To moisten meat or other foods while cooking also adding flavour and to prevent it from drying. The mixture for basting are usually melted fat, meat drippings, fruit juices or sauce.
Beat
Stir (cooking ingredients) vigorously to make a smooth or frothy mixture.
Blanch
To plunge into a boiling liquid and cook 10 to 20 percent of doneness. This is done also to remove the outer covering or skins from nuts, fruits, and some vegetables.
Blend
Mix (a substance) with another substance so that they combine together.
Boil
To cook in water or liquid under a boiling point or reaches the point when a boiling liquid is in turmoil; its surface is agitated and rolling.
Broth
Soup consisting of meat or vegetables cooked in stock, sometimes thickened with barley or other cereals.
Caramelized
(of sugar or syrup) to be converted into caramel
Chop
To divide into small pieces with a knife or other sharp tool.
Coat
To cover surfaces of an item with another substance.
Cream
Creaming in baking is the technique of blending ingredients, generally granulated sugar with fat like butter or shortening.
Deep fry
Cooking of food in preheated deep oil or in clarified fat.
Deglaze
Cooking technique for removing and dissolving caramelised bits of food from a pan in order to make a pan sauce.
Dissolve
To become incorporated into a liquid so as to form a solution.
Emulsify
The process of dispersing one liquid in a second immersable liquid.
Fold
Mix an ingredient gently with (another ingredient), esp. by lifting a mixture with a spoon so as to enclose it without stirring or beating.
Frosting
A flavoured sugar topping used to coat and decorate cakes.
Fry
Cook in hot fat or oil, typically in a shallow pan.
Garnish
Decorate or embellish.
Gelatin
A virtually colorless and tasteless water-soluble protein prepared from collagen and used in food preparation as the basis of jellies.
Grate
Reduce (something, esp. food) to small shreds by rubbing it on a grater.
Grease
Smear or lubricate with grease.
Knead
Work into dough with the hands.
Marinade
A sauce, typically made of oil, vinegar, spices, and herbs, in which meat, fish, or other food is soaked before cooking in order to flavour or soften it.
Marinate
Soak meat, fish or other food in a marinade.
Mash
To crush , beat or squeeze food into a soft state by using a fork or a masher.
Melt
Become liquefied by heat.
Mince
Cut up or grind (food, esp. meat) into very small pieces, typically in a machine with revolving blades.
Pipe
Put (a decorative line or pattern) on a cake or similar dish using icing, whipped cream, etc.
Poach
To cook submerged in liquid at temperatures of roughly 71º - 82º C. A liquid at these temperatures has bubbles on the bottom of the pan but is undisturbed.
Preheat
Heat beforehand.
Process
To blend.
Puree
To mash a cooked product into a fine pulp, usually by forcing it through a sieve or putting it into a blender.
Reduce
Boil (a sauce or other liquid) in cooking so that it becomes thicker and more concentrated.
Roast
To cook by heated air, usually in an enclosed space such as an oven or barbecue pit, but also on a revolving spit before an open fire. Roasting nearly always refers to meats.
Sauté
Pan fry.
Shred
To cut into very fine strips or pieces.
Sift
To shake through a fine sift.
Simmer
Stay just below the boiling point while being heated.
Skewer
Fasten together or pierce with a pin or skewer.
Skim
Remove a substance from the surface of a liquid.
Slice
To slice is to cut into even slices, usually across the grain.
Stir-fry
Fry very quickly over high heat.
Zest
The outer coloured part of the peel  or citrus fruit, used for flavouring.