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Terms Used in Cookery


  • Au Gratin
    A term applied to dishes prepared with or without sauce that are topped with breadcrumbs or grated cheese or both, dotted with butter and browned in the oven or under the grill.
  • Bake Blind
    To bake a pastry case without filling. To keep the shape put a piece of foil into the bottom of the case and weigh down with rice.
  • Baste
    To pour or spoon liquid over food as it cooks to moisten and flavour it
  • Beurre Manie
    Equal amounts of butter and plain flour mixed together until smooth added piece by piece to a stew, casserole or sauce to thicken it
  • Blanch
    Plunge into boiling water briefly and drain or cover with cold water, bring to the boil and drain.
  • Blend
    To mix two or more ingredients thoroughly. Usually a powdered ingredient and a liquid mixed to a smooth paste using a wooden spoon.
  • Bouquet Garni
    A bouquet of herbs tied together used for flavouring soups, sauces and stews.
  • Braise
    A method of cooking meat and vegetables in a covered pan over slow heat or in a slow oven and with a minimum amount of water.
  • Buttered Breadcrumbs
    Soft white breadcrumbs tossed in melted butter to coat
  • Caramel
    Sugar cooked over a moderate heat and stirred constantly until it turns to a dark brown syrup. Used as a colouring for soups, stews and gravies.
  • Chill
    To place in a refrigerator or other cool place until cold.
  • Clarified Butter
    Salted butter which has been heated and the clear butter poured off.
  • Coat
    To cover the entire surface with a mixture such as flour, breadcrumbs or batter.
  • Cool
    To stand at room temperature until no longer warm to the touch.
  • Cream
    To cream butter and sugar by beating with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until light and white like whipped cream.
  • Crepe
    A very thin pancake served with sweet or savoury filling.
  • Crouton
    Fried or toasted cubes of bread
  • Cut in
    To combine fat and dry ingredients with two knives, scissor fashion or with a pastry blender
  • Deep Fry
    Cooking in deep hot fat or oil that covers food until crisp and golden
  • Dice
    Cut into very small cubes.
  • Flake
    To break into small pieces with a fork.
  • Flame
    To spoon alcohol over food and ignite.

  • Fold in
    To add ingredients to a mixture which has been beaten until light and fluffy using a spatula or spoon in a light folding movement to retain the air.
  • Garnish
    Decorate food.
  • Glaze
    A thin coating of beaten egg, syrup or aspic which is brushed on.
  • Infuse
    To extract flavour by steeping
  • Kneed
    To work dough with hands until it is of a desired consistency.
  • Marinade
    Usually a mixture of an oil and an acid, such as vinegar, and seasoning in which food is marinated to add flavour and soften tissue.
  • Marinate
    To stand food in a marinade.
  • Mask
    Cover or coat with a thick sauce or aspic.
  • Parboil
    To boil until partially cooked.
  • Poach
    To gently cook in a simmering liquid.
  • Puree
    To press food through a fine sieve or blender to produce a thick, smooth mixture.
  • Reduce
    To cook over a sauce over a high heat until it is reduced by evaporation to a desired consistency.
  • Roux
    A mixture of fat and flour cooked slowly over a low heat as a foundation for sauces, soups and gravies.
  • Sauté
    To toss or turn food in a small quantity of fat over a low heat.
  • Scald
    To heat a liquid to just under boiling point or to pour over boiling water.
  • Seasoned Flour
    Plain flour to which salt and pepper has been added.
  • Shortening
    Any animal or vegetable fat such as butter, margarine, lard or dripping.
  • Shred
    To cut into small pieces.
  • Simmer
    To cook in a liquid at just under boiling point with small bubbles occasionally rising.
  • Spatula
    A broad bladed implement made of wood, metal or plastic, used to spread and smooth cake icing.
  • Steam
    To cook food in steam from boiling water
  • Stock
    A liquid in which meat, bones or vegetables have been gently simmered for a long time.
  • Toss
    Lightly mix a salad using a fork and a spoon.
  • Truss
    To secure the legs and wings of a bird with string or skewers to retain its shape.

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