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Cuisine Terminology

A D J M R S V W

 

A

Al Dente

An Italian term meaning “to the tooth.” It refers to the firm but tender consistency a perfectly (in some opinions) cooked piece of pasta should have.

 

A la

(French) The style of, such as: a la Francaise (The style of the French).

 

A la Bourgeoise

(French) The style of the family (family style).

 

A la Broche

(French) Cooked on a skewer over a flame. See Brochette.

 

A la Carte

(French) Each menu item is priced separately: Foods prepared to order.

 

A la King

(French) A Béchamel sauce containing mushrooms, green peppers, and red peppers or pimentos.

 

A la Mode

(French) Refers to ice cream on top of pie.

 

A la Florentine

Literally French for "in the style of Florence". in Italian its "alla Fiorentina". It refers to dishes served on a bed os spinach and topped with mornay sauce.

 

A la Provencale

(French) Dishes prepared with garlic and olive oil. See Provencale.

 

A la Russe

(French) The Russian way.

 

A.P.

As Purchased.

 

Arroz A La Espanola

Spanish rice.

 

Arroz Con Pollo

Chicken with rice.

 

Au Gratin

(French) To top food with cheese or bread crumbs, then baked.

 

Au Jus

(French) Served with natural juices.

 

Affriander

(French) To give a dish a more appetizing appearance by garnishing it.

 

Affriter

A French term used to describe the seasoning of a pan. This can be achieved by rubbing it with salt or by heating a little bit of oil in the pan and then drying it with a cloth.

 

Alabaster

A shaker dish of mashed potatoes and turnips, name after the silvery white colour.

 

Amandine

(French) Prepared with or garnished with almonds.

 

Aging

A term used to describe the holding of meats at a temperature of 34 to 36 degrees F. for a period of time to break down the tough connective tissues through the action of enzymes thus increasing tenderness.

 

Accolade

En accolade means presenting two similar kinds of food leaning on each other on the same plate. The term usually applies to poultry and game hens.

 

Acidulate

To give a dish or liquid a slightly acidic, tart or piquant taste by adding some lemon juice, vinegar, or unripened fruit juice. Also, one can acidulate fresh cream by adding lemon juice to get sour cream

 

Abaisse

A French term for a sheet of rolled out pastry which is usually used as base in a dessert. It can also mean a cookie or slice of sponge cake on which a filling (preserves or cream) is to be spread.

 

Aboukir Almonds

A sugar-glazed petit-four made by pressing two whole blanched and roasted almonds into the sides of a ball of green-colored marzipan. It is then held with a dipping fork and dipped into boiled sugar syrup and left to sit on parchment paper until firmly set. 

 

 

 

B

 

Bruschetta

Originally from the Italian "bruscare"  meaning "to roast over coals," It is traditionally made by rubbing slices of toasted bread with garlic cloves, then drizzling the bread with extra-virgin olive oil. The bread is salted and peppered, then heated and served warm. Most people serve it topped with tomato, garlic, basil. However, these days restaurants and marketers are calling any piece of dough with a chopped up topping a "bruschetta".

 

Bake

Cooking in an oven.

 

Baste

To pour drippings, fat, or stock over food while cooking.

The process of spooning or pouring pan juices over food while it cooks. This promotes moistness and a browned surface.

 

Bard

To wrap meat with bacon or salt pork

 

Beat

Making a mixture smooth by whipping or stirring with a spoon, fork, wire whisk, or beater.

 

Blanch

To place foods in boiling water briefly either to partially cook them or to aid in the removal of the skin (i.e. nuts, peaches, tomatoes). Blanching also removes the bitterness from citrus zests

 

Blanch

Refers to partially cooking an ingredient, usually vegetables, by placing them in boiling water for a few minutes.

 

Blend

Combining ingredients until smooth and uniform in texture, flavor, and color.

 

Blind Bake

To bake a pie crust without the filling. Metal weights or dried beans are usually used to keep the pastry from bubbling.

 

 

Boil

Heating liquid, which causes a constant production of bubbles that rise and break the surface.

 

Bombe

A frozen dessert made by lining a special mold with ice cream or sorbet, The center cavity is then filled with a mousse, cream or parfait mixture. The mold is tightly sealed and the dessert is frozen solid before unmolding and serving. 

 

Braising

A cooking method where food (usually meat) is first browned in oil, then cooked slowly in a liquid (wine, stock, or water).Cooking food slowly in a small amount of liquid in a tightly covered pan.

 

Broil

Cooking food using an overhead source of heat.

 

 

 

C

Calorie

Unit of heat; 1 calorie = 3.968 B.T.U. The heat required to raise 1 gram of water 1 degrees centigrade.

 

Canape

(French) An appetizer prepared on a base such as toast or crackers.

 

Candy Thermometer

Usually a large glass mercury thermometer that measures temperatures from about 40 degrees F to 400 degrees F. A frame or clip allows it to stand or hang in a pan during cooking. 

 

Carmelize

The process of causing sugar or the natural sugars in food to darken to a golden brown and develop a rich flavor by cooking on a constant heat.

 

Capirotada

(Bread Pudding) Toasted bread topped with caramelized-sugar corn syrup, sliced longhorn cheese, raisins and cinnamon, and baked until cheese melts.

 

Chaud

(French) Hot.

 

Chop

Cutting foods with a knife into smaller pieces.

 

Clamart, a la

Any of a few dishes that include green peas (either whole or in a puree). Its named after a district of Hauts-de-Seine that was famous forits pea crops. Famous Clamart dishes include Clamart soup (puree of fresh peas in consomme), poached eggs Clamart, and puff pastry Clamart. There is also a garnish called Clamart (tartlets or artichoke bottoms filled with buttered peas).

 

Cream

Beating butter or shortening, either alone or with sugar, until it is light and fluffy.

 

Crepe

(French) Thin pancakes.

 

Cut In

Working a solid fat such as butter or shortening into dry ingredients.

 

 

A D J M R S V W

 

 

D

 

Dash

1/16 teaspoon measure. (Use 1/2 of a 1/8 teaspoon measure.)

 

Deglaze

To add liquid such as wine, stock, or water to the bottom of a pan to dissolve the caramelized drippings so that they may be added to a sauce, for added flavour When the liquid is added, it loosens the flavour from the pan to make a sauce for the meat.

 

Devil

To combine a food with various hot or spicy seasonings such as red pepper, mustard or a piquant spicy sauce, thereby creating a "deviled" dish. Devilled dishes are very popular in English cookery; devilled eggs being one of the most popular.

 

Diable

Devilled.

 

Dice

To cut up in uniform pieces. Cut into small cubes.

Usually in 1/8 to 1/4 inch squares.

 

Dissolve

Stirring a solid food into a liquid to form a mixture in which the solid food does not remain.

 

Doria, a la

The name given to various dishes dedicated to the famous Genoese Doria family. The dishes evoke an Italian image in one way or another; for example, combining green, white, or red colors (the colors of the Italian flag) or by including Piedmontese truffles. Famous a la Doria dishes include bombe Doria, chicken Doria, and Doria salad. 

 

Double Boiler

Like a bain-marie, a double broiler is a method of cooking without using direct heat. It usually consists of two saucepans that fit together. The bottom sauce pan is filled with water and the top one with the mixture (custard, chocolate, etc.). The saucepans can be made from stainless steel, aluminum, and glass. 

 

Dredge

Coating food with flour, corn meal or sugar before of after cooking.

 

Dredging

To coat with dry ingredients such as flour or bread crumbs.

 

Dusting

To sprinkle with sugar or flour.

 

 

 

Emulsion

Suspension of two liquid ingredients that do not dissolve into each other.

 

E.P.

Edible Portion

 

 

 

Fold

A method of gently mixing ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to cut down through the mixture, move across the bottom of the bowl, and come back up, folding some of the mixture from the bottom close to the surface.

 

Fry

Fast browning and cooking food in varying amounts of fat, most often at a high heat.

 

Farce

(French) Forcemeat or Stuffing.

 

Farci

Stuffed.

 

 

 

G

 

Garde Manger

(French) The person in charge of cold meat department or the department itself.

 

Garnish

Adding extra appeal to a finished dish. To decorate. Also referring to the food used to decorate.

 

Garniture

French for garnish.

 

Grate

Using a grater to rub food, such as vegetables, cheeses and spices, across surface to make fine pieces.

 

Gratin

Any sweet or savory dish baked or broiled so its topping forms a golden crust.



A D J M R S V W

 

J

Juice

Extracted liquid that comes from fruits, vegetables or meats.

 

Julienne

Cutting food into thin sticks about two inches long.

 

 

 

K 

Kitchen Bouquet

A trade name a bottled sauce flavour and colour enhancer



A D J M R S V W

 

M

Marinade

A process of flavouring food by soaking in a liquid or dry mixture.

 

Macerate

To soak a fruit in liquor or wine. This softens the fruit while releasing its juices and absorbing the macerating liquid's flavour. 

 

Mash

Removing all lumps from food with either a fork or electric beater.

 

Melt

To heat a solid food until it becomes liquid or semi-liquid.

 

Mix

Beating or stirring foods together until they are incorporated.

 

Maitre d'Hotel

(French) The head of the catering department.

 

Maitre d'Hotel, a la

(French) A yellow butter sauce consisting of lemon juice, parsley, salt, pepper, and drawn butter. Butter: Same as theother but with whole butter.

 

 

 

Pit

Taking the seed out of a piece of fruit or vegetable.

 

Pizzelles

Thin decoratively patterned Italian wafer cookies that are made in an iron similar to a waffle iron. They may be flat or rolled into ice cream cones.   

Poach

Cooking food by placing in simmering liquid.

 

Posole

Hominy stew made with dried lime-treated corn and combined with pork and seasonings.

 

Primavera

Primavera literally means "spring style” in Italian. This usually means topping a dish with fresh vegetables (raw or blanched). Pasta Primavera is one of the most common primavera dishes and usually has a combination of the following: broccoli, squash, asparagus, red bell peppers, and peas. Just on its own pasta with fresh vegetables might be too bland, so many cooks supplement the dish with either a light, broth based sauce or a creamy cheese sauce. 

 

Princess, a la

Any dish (usually poultry, salmon, sweetbreads, or egg) topped with the rich garnish of asparagus tips and slivers of truffle.

 

Proscuitto

The Italian word for ham, used in the names of raw hams coming from Italy, in particular Proscuitto di Parma and Proscuitto di San Daniele

 

Proof

Allowing a yeast dough to rise before baking.

 

Pre-heat

Heating the oven to the temperature needed before using it.

 

Puree

Blending a food into a liquid or heavy paste.

  


A D J M R S V W

 

 

R 

Reconstitute

Bringing condensed or concentrated food to its original strength by adding water.

 

Reduce

Briskly boil liquids, so that the liquid evaporates to thicken the sauce making it rich and flavourful.

 

Roast

Cooking an uncovered piece of meat in an oven.

 

Ragout

A stew made from poultry, game, fish, or vegetables cut into pieces and cooked-with or without first having been browned- in a thickened liquid, generally flavoured with herbs and seasonings. There are two basic types of ragout: brown and white. For a brown ragout, the meat is first browned in fat, then sprinkled with flour, cooked a little, and finally moistened with clear stock or water (or thickened meat juices, if the meat has not been floured). For a white ragout, , the meat is cooked until firm, but not coloured, then sprinkled with flour and diluted with stock. 

 

Roasting, Peeling, and Seeding a Bell Pepper

Many methods exist for roasting peppers. Among them are roasting them atop a stove, in an oven broiler, on a grill, and in hot oil. Using the broiler to roast peppers is my preferred method. I find it the least messy and lends itself to preparing large quantities. It is also the only one I have enough experience to explain in detail. Roasting: Preheat the oven broiler for 15 minutes. Place the peppers on the top rack (3-4 inches away from flame). Once a side has blackened., turn (with tongs, fork, towel, or other utensil). Repeat until all sides are blackened. If you are using this method for chili pepper, other than the bell pepper, you have to monitor closely so as only the skin and not the flesh of the pepper is charred. The bell pepper has a hardier skin and does not burn so easily. Peeling: Two different methods can be employed to peel a charred pepper. I personally prefer the first method. Place the peppers in a plastic or paper bag. Fold over the top of the bag, so no steam can escape. This way the steam will build up between the flesh and the skin, making peeling even easier. When the pepper is cool enough to handle (20 minutes), take out of the bag and peel the rest by hand. OR Submerge the charred pepper into a bowl of ice cold water. This will stop the cooking process and aid in the removal of the skin. Once the pepper is cool enough to handle, peel off the rest of the skin. Seeding: If you are going to be using the peppers whole, make a slit down one side, leaving a small space at both ends. Carefully remove the inside with a knife, small spoon, or one of those otherwise useless melon ballers. Otherwise, just remove the stem, remove the seeds and veins with your fingers, and rinse the pepper under water. Sometimes, I seed the pepper before it is charred, with no real difference in the final result. 

 



A D J M R S V W

 

 

S

Sauté

Cooking on a stove in a small amount of oil or butter until tender.

 

Score

To cut slits through the outer surface of food before cooking to tenderize or to make a decorative pattern.

 

Sear

Quickly browning meat on all sides with high heat to seal in the juices.

 

Shred

Making long narrow strips of food with a food processor or a grater.

 

Sift

Putting dry ingredients such as flour or sugar through a sifter or mesh screen to loosen particles and incorporate air.

 

Simmer

A method of cooking food in liquid that is kept just below the boiling point.

 

Sorbet

A smooth frozen ice made with flavoured liquids, either sweet or savoury. Unlike sherbet, it never contains dairy products.

 

Skim

Removing any fat or foam from the surface of liquid.

 

Steam

A method of cooking food in the vapour given off by boiling water.

 

Steep

Letting a food, such as tea, stand in water that is just below boiling to extract flavour and color.

 

Stir

Incorporating ingredients with a spoon to prevent them from sticking during cooking or to cool them after cooking.

 

Spaetzle

A dish of small noodles or dumplings made with flour, eggs, water or milk, salt and sometimes nutmeg. In German, spaetzle literally translates to "little sparrow" and is typically served as a side dish like potatoes and is often accompanied by a sauce or gravy. 

 

Spatchcocking

A French technique of butterflying a whole chicken by removing the backbone so you can open it up flat, like a book, and cook it using direct heat. Because the spatchcocked chicken cooks over fiery hot coals, the process cuts the grilling time almost in half and helps keep the meat moist.

 

Sundae

A dessert of ice cream served with one or more toppings, such as flavored syrup, dessert sauce, nut, whipped cream, fruit, etc. It is said to have originated in Massachusetts when a law prohibiting the sale of all soft beverages on Sunday was passed. An enterprising soda jerk combined ingredients of an ice cream soda but omitted the carbonated beverage to make a 'sundae'. 

 

 

T

Toast

Heating nuts, seeds, coconut or bread in the oven until they are slightly browned. This will bring out their natural flavour.

 

Toasting Nuts

Toasting nuts brings the oils closer to the surface, bringing out the flavour. This is especially useful in low fat cooking, where you want to use less nuts, since they tend to be extremely high in fat. Toasting also makes removing the skins off of nuts easier. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In an ungreased cookie sheet, spread the nuts in a single layer and let bake for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven. If you want to remove the skins from nuts, wrap the toasted nuts in a kitchen towel. Let the nuts steam for 5 minutes. Roll the nuts around (while still in towel) until skins rub off. 

 



A D J M R S V W

 

V 

Vichyssoise

A cold potato and leek soup thickened with cream and garnished with chives. The term is now applied to many other tuber-based soups. 

 

Vaporize

To turn liquids into gasses.



A D J M R S V W

 

W 

Whip

Beating food rapidly by using a whisk or electric beater to incorporate air into the mixture.

 

Whisk

A mixing tool designed so its many strands of looped wire make it effective for beating.   To beat with a whisk until well mixed. 

 

Washed

A form of cleansing food before preparation or eating.

 

Water bath

Bain Marie in French. A method of gently cooking delicate foods such as custards, on the stove or in the oven in a pan partially filled with water.

A D J M R S V W

 

 



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