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Cooking Terminology and Definition

A BLANC : A term used to describe foods that are cooked or partially cooked but not browned.

AL DENTE ( ahl den' tay ) : An Italian term applied in cooking pastas also with vegetables that means firm to the bite and yet tender.

BASTE : To moisten meat or other foods while cooking also adding flavor and to prevent it from drying. The mixture for basting are usually melted fat, meat drippings, fruit juices or sauce.

BARBECUE : To slow-roast over coals, or under free flame or oven electric unit, usually basting with seasoned sauce like barbecue sauce.

GRILL : To cook on a grate with heat from below. The term is also used loosely for cooking on a fry-top range.

SMOKING : To preserve food by exposing to smoke. Smoked salmon and Tinapa are examples.

BARD : To bard means covering a piece of meat, poultry, or a large fish with thin slices of bacon or salt or fresh pork tied with string before it. Example, Bacon-wrapped Meat Loaf.

SCALD : To bring just to boiling, usually for milk. Also to rinse with boiling water.

BLANCH : To plunge into a boiling liquid and cook 10 to 20 percent of doneness. This is done also to remove the outer covering or skins from nuts, fruits, and some vegetables.

PARBOIL : To simmer in liquid or fat until appoximately 50 percent done.

SIMMER : To cook submerged in liquid just below a boil, at temperature upwards of 180F ( 82C ). A simmering liquid has bubbles floating slowly from the bottom, and the surface is fairly quiet.

BOIL : To cook in water or liquid under a boiling point or reaches the point when a boiling liquid is in turmoil; its surface is agitated and rolling.

REDUCE : To boil or simmer a liquid until it reaches a smaller volume through evaporation. A liquid so reduced has a greater concentration of flavor. If it contains starch it becomes thicker.

BRAISE : To cook with a small amount of liquid in a covered container in a low lemperature to produce a thick sauce. Examples are adobo, mechado, etc.

POACH : To cook submerged in liquid at temperatures of roughly 160 to 180 F (71 - 82 C). A liquid at these temperatures has bubbles on the bottom of the pan but is undisturbed.

BAINE - MARIE ( ban' ma ree' ) : A French utensil, often called a water bath something like a DOUBLE BOILER, only not quite. It consists of a traylike device into which you put hot or simmering water and then one or more thin cylindrical pots. Some delicate concoction -- a custard or a sauce, for example -- goes into the pot, the pot goes into the bain marie, and everything stays warm or cooks without an excess of heat that might ruin the whole thing. You can fake a bain marie by using a roasting pan, so long as the water doesn't come so far up the sides of your pot that it spills into it. On for a single small pot, try a CHAFING DISH.

WATER BATH : A term used primarily in canning. Jars of food are placed in a rack inside a large pan. Enough boiling water is poured into the large pan to cover the jars. The pan is covered and the filled jars are cooked the recommended amount of time with the water boiling.

SEAL OR SEAR : To expose the surface of meat to extreme heat in a hot pan or oven for the purpose of browning before cooking at a lower temperature; a partial-cooking process and by so doing enhance the flavor.

SINGE : To scorch something. Usually done to remove the last pesky pinfeathers of fowl being readied for cooking.

ROAST : To cook by heated air, usually in an enclosed space such as an oven or barbecue pit, but also on a revolving spit before an open fire. Roasting nearly always refers to meats.

POT ROAST : Applied to cooking larger cuts of meat by braising.

BROIL : To cook with heat from above like the broiler. Example is the ham.

COOK : To bring about change in a food product by applying heat over a period of time, usually to make the food more edible.

FINISH - COOK : To bring a partially cooked food to doneness, usually just before service.

SOUSE : To cover food, particularly fish, in wine vinegar and spices and cook slowly, the food is cooled in the same liquid. Sousing gives food a pickled flavour.





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