A synonym for sift; to pass ingredients through a fine-mesh device to
break up large pieces and to incorporate air into the ingredients to
make them lighter.
"To the tooth," in Italian. The pasta is cooked just enough to maintain
a firm, chewy texture.
To cook in the oven. Food is cooked slowly with gentle heat, causing the
natural moisture to evaporate slowly, concentrating the flavor.
To brush or spoon liquid fat or juices over meat during roasting to add
flavor and to prevent it from drying out.
A mixture of flour, fat, and liquid that is thin enough in consistency
to require a pan to encase it. Used in such preparations as cakes and
some cookies. A batter is different from dough, which maintains its
To smoothen a mixture by briskly whipping or stirring it with a spoon,
fork, wire whisk, rotary beater, or electric mixer.
To slice a food crosswise at a 45-degree angle.
To thicken a sauce or hot liquid by stirring in ingredients such as
eggs, flour, butter, or cream.
A popular Cajun-style cooking method in which seasoned foods are cooked
over high heat in a super-heated heavy skillet until charred.
To boil briefly to loosen the skin of a fruit or a vegetable. After 30
seconds in boiling water, the fruit or vegetable should be plunged into
ice water to stop the cooking action, and then the skin easily slices
To mix or fold two or more ingredients together to obtain equal
distribution throughout the mixture.
To cook food in heated water or other liquid that is bubbling
A cooking technique that requires browning meat in oil or other fat and
then cooking slowly in liquid. The effect of braising is to tenderize
To coat the food with crumbs (usually with soft or dry bread crumbs),
To cook food directly under the heat source.
Broth or stock
A flavorful liquid made by gently cooking meat, seafood, or vegetables
(and/or their by-products, such as bones and trimming) often with herbs,
in liquid, usually water.
A quick sautéing, pan/oven broiling, or grilling method done either at
the beginning or end of meal preparation, often to enhance flavor,
texture, or eye appeal.
Using a pastry brush, to coat a food such as meat or bread with melted
butter, glaze, or other liquid.
The generic name for any tube baking pan having fluted sides (though it
was once a trademarked name).
To cut open a food such as pork chops down the center without cutting
all the way through, and then spread apart.
Browning sugar over a flame, with or without the addition of some water
to aid the process. The temperature range in which sugar caramelizes is
approximately 320º F to 360º F (160º C to 182º C).
Pie filling made light and fluffy with stabilized gelatin and beaten egg
To cut into irregular pieces.
Remove impurities from butter or stock by heating the liquid, then
straining or skimming it.
To evenly cover food with flour, crumbs, or a batter.
A cooking method in which foods (such as eggs) are put in separate
containers and placed in a pan of simmering water for slow, gentle
To blend two or more ingredients into a single mixture.
To slowly cook pieces of meat in their own gently rendered fat.
To remove the inedible center of fruits such as pineapples.
To beat vegetable shortening, butter, or margarine, with or without
sugar, until light and fluffy. This process traps in air bubbles, later
used to create height in cookies and cakes.
To create a decorative edge on a piecrust. On a double piecrust, this
also seals the edges together.
To restore the crunch to foods; vegetables such as celery and carrots
can be crisped with an ice water bath, and foods such as stale crackers
can be heated in a medium oven.
To condense a food to its smallest particles, usually using a mortar and
pestle or a rolling pin.
To form sugar- or honey-based syrups into crystals. The term also
describes the coating.
Custard-like pie or tart filling flavored with juice and zest of citrus
fruit, usually lemon, although lime and orange may also be used.
To cause semisolid pieces of coagulated protein to develop in food,
usually as a result of the addition of an acid substance, or the
overheating of milk or egg-based sauces.
To preserve or add flavor with an ingredient, usually salt and/or sugar.
A mixture of beaten egg, milk, and possibly other ingredients such as
sweet or savory flavorings, which is cooked with gentle heat, often in a
water bath or double boiler. As pie filling, the custard is frequently
cooked and chilled before being layered into a prebaked crust.
To work vegetable shortening, margarine, or butter into dry ingredients.
A measure approximately equal to 1/16 teaspoon.
To completely submerge the food in hot oil.
To add liquid to a pan in which foods have been fried or roasted, in
order to dissolve the caramelized juices stuck to the bottom of the pan.
To add hot or spicy ingredients such as cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce
to a food.
To cut into cubes.
A cooking method that allows heat to meet food directly, such as
grilling, broiling, or toasting.
To sprinkle food with small bits of an ingredient such as butter to
allow for even melting.
A combination of ingredients including flour, water or milk, and,
sometimes, a leavener, producing a firm but workable mixture for making
To sprinkle lightly and evenly with sugar or flour. A dredger has holes
pierced on the lid to sprinkle evenly.
To pour a liquid such as a sweet glaze or melted butter in a slow, light
trickle over food.
Used for gravies and sauces, drippings are the liquids left in the
bottom of a roasting or frying pan after meat is cooked.
To sprinkle food lightly with spices, sugar, or flour for a light
A mixture of beaten eggs (yolks, whites, or whole eggs) with either milk
or water. Used to coat cookies and other baked goods to give them a
shine when baked.
A mixture of liquids, one being a fat or oil and the other being water
based so that tiny globules of one are suspended in the other. This may
involve the use of stabilizers, such as egg or mustard. Emulsions may be
temporary or permanent.
A French term that originally referred to the first course of a meal,
served after the soup and before the meat courses. In the United States,
it refers to the main dish of a meal.
To remove the bones from meat or fish for cooking.
To remove lumps, excess liquid, or impurities by passing through paper
In candy making, the point where boiling syrup dropped in cold water
forms a ball that is compact yet gives slightly to the touch.
To ignite a sauce or other liquid so that it flames.
An open pie filled with sweet or savory ingredients; also, a Spanish
dessert of baked custard covered with caramel.
To create a decorative scalloped or undulating edge on a piecrust or
To cut and mix lightly with a spoon to keep as much air in the mixture
Usually a stew in which the meat is cut up, lightly cooked in butter,
and then simmered in liquid until done.
Sweet or savory foods coated or mixed into batter, then deep fried
(also, in French, beignet).
To cook thin slices of meat in hot oil until crisp and slightly curly.
To cook food in hot cooking oil, usually until a crisp brown crust
A rich chocolate filling or coating made with chocolate, vegetable
shortening, and possibly heavy cream. It can coat cakes or cookies, and
be used as a filling for truffles.
A decorative piece of an edible ingredient such as parsley, lemon
wedges, croutons, or chocolate curls placed as a finishing touch to
dishes or drinks.
A liquid that gives an item a shiny surface. Examples are fruit jams
that have been heated or chocolate thinned with melted vegetable
shortening. Also, to cover a food with such a liquid.
A protein formed when hard wheat flour is moistened and agitated. Gluten
is what gives yeast dough its characteristic elasticity.
To shred or cut down a food into fine pieces by rubbing it against a
To bind together or combine food with a liquid such as cream, milk,
béchamel sauce, or tomato sauce, in a shallow dish. The mixture is then
baked until cooked and set.
To coat a pan or skillet with a thin layer of oil.
To cook over the heat source (traditionally over wood coals) in the open
To mechanically cut a food into small pieces.
In candy making, the point at which syrup has cooked long enough to form
a solid ball in cold water.
Hull (also husk)
To remove the leafy parts of soft fruits, such as strawberries or
To cool down cooked food by placing in ice; also, to spread frosting on
Extracting flavors by soaking them in liquid heated in a covered pan.
The term also refers to the liquid resulting from this process.
Jell (also gel)
To cause a food to set or solidify, usually by adding gelatin.
Jerk or Jamaican jerk seasoning
A dry mixture of various spices such as chilies, thyme, garlic, onions,
and cinnamon or cloves used to season meats such as chicken or pork.
To cut into long, thin strips.
The natural juices released by roasting meats.
To work dough with the heels of your hands in a pressing and folding
motion until it becomes smooth and elastic.
Inserting strips of fat into pieces of meat, so that the braised meat
stays moist and juicy.
An ingredient or process that produces air bubbles and causes the rising
of baked goods such as cookies and cakes.
To place layers of edible (cake or bread slices) or inedible (foil or
wax paper) ingredients in a pan to provide structure for a dish or to
A cut of meat that typically comes from the back of the animal.
To gently swirl one food into another.
To combine food with aromatic ingredients to add flavor.
A paste (of ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites) used to fill and
To beat or press a food to remove lumps and make a smooth mixture.
A small round or oval bit of meat.
Egg whites beaten until they are stiff, then sweetened. It can be used
as the topping for pies, or baked as cookies.
To chop food into tiny, irregular pieces.
To beat or stir two or more foods together until they are thoroughly
Adding enough liquid to dry ingredients to dampen but not soak them.
To slowly heat wine or cider with spices and sugar.
To cook a food in a skillet without added fat, removing any fat as it
To cook in a hot pan with small amount of hot oil, butter, or other fat,
turning the food over once or twice.
To partly cook in a boiling liquid.
A heavy, heat-resistant paper used in cooking.
To peel or trim a food, usually vegetables.
The mounds made in a mixture. For example, egg white that has been
whipped to stiffness. Peaks are "stiff" if they stay upright, or "soft"
if they curl over.
A sauce usually made of fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, and
cheese. The ingredients are finely chopped and then mixed, uncooked,
with pasta. Generally, the term refers to any uncooked sauce made of
finely chopped herbs and nuts.
Same as "dash."
To force a semisoft food through a bag (either a pastry bag or a plastic
bag with one corner cut off) to decorate food.
Using a sharp knife to take out the center stone or seed of a fruit,
such as a peach or a mango.
To simmer in liquid.
A cooking method that uses steam trapped under a locked lid to produce
high temperatures and achieve fast cooking time.
To let yeast dough rise.
To mash or sieve food into a thick liquid.
A small baking dish used for individual servings of sweet and savory
To take a dried food such as milk back to its original state by adding
To cook liquids down so that some of the water evaporates.
To pour cold water over freshly cooked vegetables to prevent further
cooking and to retain color.
To melt down fat to make drippings.
To cook uncovered in the oven.
A cooked paste usually made from flour and butter used to thicken
To cook food quickly in a small amount of oil in a skillet or sauté pan
over direct heat.
Cooking a liquid such as milk to just below the point of boiling; also
to loosen the skin of fruits or vegetables by dipping them in boiling
To tenderize meat by making a number of shallow (often diagonal) cuts
across its surface. This technique is also useful in marinating, as it
allows for better absorption of the marinade.
Sealing in a meat's juices by cooking it quickly under very high heat.
To enhance the flavor of foods by adding ingredients such as salt,
pepper, oregano, basil, cinnamon, and a variety of other herbs, spices,
condiments, and vinegars. Also, to treat a pot or pan (usually cast
iron) with a coating of cooking oil and baking it in a 350° F oven for
approximately 1 hour; this process seals any tiny rough spots on the
pan's surface that may cause food to stick.
To form a thick, lumpy mass when melted (usually applied to chocolate).
Let food become solid. (See also "Jell.")
To cut or tear into long narrow strips, either by hand or by using a
grater or food processor.
To remove large lumps from a dry ingredient such as flour or
confectioners' sugar by passing it through a fine mesh. This process
also incorporates air into the ingredients, making them lighter.
Cooking food in a liquid at a low enough temperature that small bubble
begin to break the surface.
To remove the top fat layer from stocks, soups, sauces, or other liquids
such as cream from milk.
A two-part baking pan in which a spring-loaded collar fits around a
base; the collar is removed after baking is complete. Used for foods
that may be difficult to remove from regular pans, such as cheesecake.
To cook over boiling water in a covered pan, this method keeps foods'
shape, texture, and nutritional value intact better than methods such as
To soak dry ingredients (tea leaves, ground coffee, herbs, spices, etc.)
in liquid until the flavor is infused into the liquid.
Browning small pieces of meat, poultry, or fish, then simmering them
with vegetables or other ingredients in enough liquid to cover them,
usually in a closed pot on the stove, in the oven, or with a slow
The fast frying of small pieces of meat and vegetables over very high
heat with continual and rapid stirring.
To reduce a mixture's thickness with the addition of more liquid.
To thoroughly combine several ingredients by mixing lightly.
To use string, skewers, or pins to hold together a food to maintain its
shape while it cooks (usually applied to meat or poultry).
Baked goods that contain no agents to give them volume, such as baking
powder, baking soda, or yeast.
A general term referring to any sauce made with vinegar, oil, and
A gentle cooking technique in which a container is set in a pan of
simmering water. (See also "Coddle.")
To incorporate air into ingredients such as cream or egg whites by
beating until light and fluffy; also refers to the utensil used for this
To mix or fluff by beating; also refers to the utensil used for this
The thin, brightly colored outer part of the rind of citrus fruits. It
contains volatile oils, used as a flavoring.