Culinary Dictionary- Part I

Information obtained from the Culinary Food Dictionary

To Bake To cook surrounded by dry heat, uncovered. Roasting and baking are essentially the same thing, however the term baking is usually applied to breads, pastries, vegetables and fish.
Baking Powder A mixture of baking soda with an acid, typically cream of tartar, and sometimes cornstarch, used as a chemical leavener. Because baking powder already contains an acid, it does not require acidic ingredients to activate its leavening power. Single acting baking powder requires only moisture to produce gas and should be baked immediately. Double acting baking powder will produce gas during the mixing stage, and then requires heat (baking) to complete the leavening action.
Baking Soda Sodium bicarbonate, used as a chemical leavener but requires an acid, such as buttermilk, to be activated.
Garam Masala
What is Garam Masala? Garam Masala is a blend of ground spices used extensively in Indian cuisine and
Bearnaise A sauce made of butter and egg yolks, traditionally flavored with a reduction of vinegar, shallots, tarragon and pepper.
Bechamel A sauce made by thickening milk with a roux.
To Blanch To par-cook foods ahead of time, for later use, to speed up the cooking process. Blanching is most associated with vegetables that may take a longer time to cook than the rest of the ingredients. Salted water is brought to a boil, vegetables are dropped in and cooked for 1-2 minutes (or less, depending on the vegetable and the cut), removed from the water and then quickly cooled under cold running water. Green vegetables are sometimes shocked in an ice bath to preserve their bright green color. French fries are often cooked twice in oil; first to par-cook the potato, and a second time to crisp the fries just before being served. The first dip in the oil is considered blanching.
To Boil Heating liquids until bubbles break the surface (212°F for water at sea level).
To Braise Simmer foods in a small amount of liquid, over low heat, for an extended period of time. Braising can be done on the stovetop, in a crock pot or oven. Tough cuts of meat are typically used for braising, as the low temperature and slow cooking time breaks down the tough connective tissues in the meat, rendering it tender. Meats are first seared in a separate pan or in a roasting pan to develop flavor, and then covered with a seasoned liquid.
To Broil To cook using radiant heat, with the heat source above the food.
Broth Liquid made from simmering meat, fish or vegetables, without the use of bones in the cooking process.
Carry-over Cooking The rise in temperature inside food after it is removed from the heat source. Most often the term refers to roasted meats.
Chiffonade Cut into fine shreds.
Coulis A vegetable or fruit puree, used as a sauce or base.
To Deep Fry To cook submerged in hot fat.
To Deglaze To add liquid to a pan, most often a saute pan or roasting pan, to dissolve cooked particles or food remaining on the bottom. The brown bits on the bottom of the pan are called the “fond.”
Dry-Heat Cooking A method of cooking where heat is conducted to food without the use of moisture. Roasting, baking, broiling and grilling are dry-heat cooking methods. Sauteing, pan frying and deep frying are dry-heat methods using fat.
To Dry Marinate To place aromatic flavorings on and around food. A weight is placed over the food and refrigerated, usually overnight. Dry marinating is typically used to draw moisture out of foods with the use of salt.
Dry Rub A spice mixture worked into meat by rubbing and patting the mixture onto the meat before cooking.
Emulsion A uniform mixture of two unmixable liquids.
Flavor Profile The combination of flavors and aromas that make up the total taste impression of the dish. Flavor profiles are most often used to describe specific ingredients used in different cultures.
Florentine Garnished with or containing spinach.
Fond The dark brown food particles at the bottom of a pan after browning.
To Grill To cook on an open grid over a heat source.
To sweat
To cook aromatic vegetables or other food, over low heat in a small amount of fat, usually in a covered pan or pot.
To Julienne To cut into small strips.
Liaison A binding agent, usually made of cream and egg yolks, used to thicken sauces and soups.
To Lard To stud or inject flavor into foods. Larding can be done with fats, herbs, and seasoned liquids.
Mirepoix A mixture of rough cut or diced vegetables, herbs and spices, used for flavoring. Traditional mirapoix consists of 50% onion, 25% carrot and 25% celery. A white mirepoix does not contain carrot. A Cajun mirepoix includes green bell pepper. An Italian mirepoix, called soffritto, is more about technique and flavor rather than a specific recipe. Soffrittos typically begins with olive oil, onion and garlic and sometimes contains pancetta.
What is Hominy? Hominy is a type of corn (or maize) that has been soaked in an alkali solution which causes it to… Read the definition of Hominy.
Moist-Heat Cooking A method of cooking where heat is conducted to food by water or water-based liquids such as stocks, sauces, or by steam. Poaching, simmering, boiling, braising, stewing and steaming are all moist-heat cooking methods.
Mornay A sauce made of bechamel and Gruyere cheese.
Organic Grown or raised without chemical growth enhancers or medications or, for pants, without artificial fertilizers or pesticides.
Pan Gravy A type of sauce made with the pan drippings of the meat or poultry being served by deglazing the pan with liquid and thickening with cream, a roux, slurry, or liaison.
To Pan Fry To cook in a moderate amount of fat in an uncovered pan.
To Par cook To partially cook by any cooking method.
Pate Brisee A short dough (pie dough) made with flour, fat and salt. American versions include sugar and sometimes other flavorings, as well as an acid such as vinegar.
Pate a Choux A soft dough used for making eclairs and cream puffs.
Pate Sucree A short dough used for sweet tarts, often with higher amounts of sugar than pate brisee, and with the addition of egg.
Pilaf A cooking method where rice or other grain products first cooked in fat, and then simmered in stock or liquid with onions, seasonings and other ingredients.
To Poach To cook gently in water or another liquid that is hot, but not bubbling — typically 160 – 180 degrees F.
Quick Bread Breads leavened by chemical leaveners or steam, rather than yeast.
A Reduction A liquid concentrated by cooking it to evaporate part of the water.
Roast To cook foods by surrounding them with hot, dry air, in an oven or on a spit over an open fire.
Roux An equal mixture of fat and flour cooked in a pan and used to thicken liquids. By adding milk to the roux, you will produce a bechamel. Adding stock will create a veloute.
Sache A mixture of herbs and spices tied in a cheesecloth bag.
Sauce A flavorful liquid, usually thickened, used to season, flavor and enhance other foods.
Slurry A mixture of cornstarch and water or stock used to thicken liquids such as sauces, gravies and soups.
To Stew To simmer foods, that have been cut into small pieces, in a small amount of liquid until rendered tender. Similar to braising.
Stock A flavorful liquid created by simmering meat and bones with vegetables and seasoning. Ingredients are often roasted first and then added to a stock pot.
Veloute A sauce made from butter, flour and stock.
To Wet Marinate Food are coated or submerged into flavorful liquids such as seasoned stock, oils, wines and acids to add flavor to the outer layers.
The tang is the section of steel inside the handle of a chef’s knife. It provides strength and helps balance the knife, making it easier to us
To Zest To remove the colored part of the peel of a citrus fruit, without the pith — the bitter white portion beneath the peel.

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