We’ve all been there. Reading a recipe and then all of a sudden we see a term that is unfamiliar to us. “What do you mean aerate. You want me to blanch what?” With this series I will bring you some not so familiar cooking terms and maybe some you need to brush up on to help get you more familiar and comfortable in your kitchen. I’ll present them in order week by week from A-Z so subscribe to my RSS feed to continue to receive these and other cooking tips!
Due to the bitterness (especially when grilled) This is not my favorite. It is a red-leafed Italian chicory and is most often used as a salad green.
A staple of northern Italy’s Bologna, ragu is a meat sauce that is typically served with pasta.
You may see these in restaurants for use with condiments and you can also use them for setting up your miss en place. It is an individual baking dish (3 to 4 inches in diameter) that resembles a miniature soufflé dish. Ramekins are usually made of porcelain or earthenware and can be used for both sweet and savory dishes — either baked or chilled.
No, I am not talking about the movie with the oddly cute rat. A popular dish from the French region of Provence that combines eggplant, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, garlic and herbs — all simmered in olive oil.
Culinarily, the term means to return a dehydrated food (such as dried milk) to its original consistency by adding a liquid, usually water.
Culinarily, to boil a liquid (usually stock, wine or a sauce mixture) rapidly until the volume is reduced by evaporation, thereby thickening the consistency and intensifying the flavor. The sauce is then referred to as a reduction.
This classic French sauce is made by combining mayonnaise with mustard, Capers and chopped Gherkins, herbs and Anchovies. It’s served chilled as an accompaniment to cold meat, fish and shellfish.
Extract the fat from meat by cooking over low heat.
For step-by-step instructions for making risotto, view How to Series: Make a Great Risotto
. An Italian rice specialty made by stirring hot stock into a mixture of rice (and often chopped onions) that has been sautéed in butter. The stock is added 1/2 cup at a time and the mixture is stirred continually while it cooks until all the liquid is absorbed before more stock is added. The use of Italian Arborio rice is traditional in the preparation of risotto.Roast
To oven-cook food in an uncovered pan, a method that usually produces a well-browned exterior and ideally a moist interior.
Basically, fish eggs. Soft roe is female eggs, hard roe is male. When you salt the roe, you get caviar. Hmmm, learn something new everyday.
A very fast boil that doesn’t slow when stirred.
The French term for a thin slice of meat rolled around a filling. The rolled package is usually secured with string or a wooden pick. A roulade is browned before being baked or braised in wine or stock.
A mixture of flour and fat that, after being slowly cooked over low heat, is used to thicken mixtures such as soups and sauces. There are three classic roux — white, blond and brown. The color and flavor is determined by the length of time the mixture is cooked. White sauces like Béchamel and Alfredo use a white roux, that is cooked for a short amount of time. A classic brown gumbo uses a dark roux that has been cooked for a longer amount of time – until the roux becomes a golden brown.
An icing made of confectioners’ sugar, egg whites and a few drops of lemon juice. It hardens when dry, making it a favorite for durable decorations (such as flowers and leaves) and ornamental writing. Royal icing is often tinted with food coloring.
Looking for something in particular? View all Cooking Terms in the series so far.