A-Z of Cooking “Just follow the recipe,” they say. “How hard can it be?” However, not everyone is familiar with the language used in so many of the cookbooks currently in circulation. We hope that the following list of useful vocab for the kitchen will make it a less scary place. Bake – Cook in oven surrounded by dry heat. Bake uncovered for dry, crisp surfaces (bread, cakes, cookies, chicken) or covered for moistness (vegetables, casseroles, stews). poured (muffins, pancakes). and freezing. Baste – Moisten food as it cooks, with sauce, pan drippings or fat. Batter – An uncooked mixture of flour, eggs and liquid with other ingredients; thin enough to be spooned or Blanch – Cook in or simply cover with boiling water in order to simplify peeling. Used as a preparation for canning Boil – Heat liquid until bubbles rise continuously and break on the surface and steam is given off. For rolling boil, the bubbles form rapidly. Or sprinkle granulated, powdered or brown sugar on top of a food, then place under a broiler until the sugar is melted and caramelised. Braise – Cook covered in a small amount of liquid, in the oven or on the stove. Broil – Cook directly under or above a red hot heating unit. Caramelise – Melt sugar slowly over low heat until it becomes a golden brown, caramel-flavoured syrup. Chop – Cut into coarse or fine irregular pieces, using knife, food chopper, blender or food processor. Coat – Cover food evenly with crumbs or sauce. Core – To remove the centre of a fruit (eg. apple). Cores contain small seeds or are woody in texture (eg. pineapple). Cream – Blend ingredients with a spoon, fork or with a mixer until softened and creamy. Crisp-tender – Description of vegetables cooked until they retain some of the crisp texture of the raw food. Crush – Press into very fine particles (crushing a clove of garlic, using chef’s knife or garlic press). Cube – Cut food into squares 1/2 inch or larger, using a knife. Dash – Less than 1/8 teaspoon of an ingredient. Deep-fry – Cook in hot fat that’s deep enough to float the food. Dice – Cut food into squares smaller than 1/2 inch, using a knife. Dissolve – Stir a dry ingredient into a liquid ingredient until the dry ingredient disappears. Dot – Scatter small amounts of specified ingredients, usually butter, on top of food. Dough – Mixture of flour and liquid with other ingredients; it is stiff but pliable. Dough can be dropped from a spoon, rolled or kneaded. Drain – Pour off liquid by putting the food into a strainer or colander that has been set in the sink. Dredge – Cover with a coating of flour, crumbs or cornmeal. Drizzle – Pour topping in thin lines from a spoon or liquid measuring cup in an uneven pattern over food. Dust – Sprinkle lightly with flour, cornmeal, powdered sugar or cocoa. Flake – Break lightly into small pieces, using fork. Flute – Squeeze pastry edge with fingers to make a finished, ornamental edge. Fold – Blend beaten egg whites or whipped cream into a thicker, heavier mixture, using a gentle under and over motion that does not break down the air bubbles. TURKEY FOR THE BIG DAY. Glaze – Brush, spread or drizzle an ingredient or mixture of ingredients on hot or cold foods to give a glossy appearance or hard finish. Grate – Rub a hard-textured food against the small, rough, sharp-edged holes of a grater, reducing them to tiny particles. Grease – Rub the inside surface of a pan with shortening, using pastry brush, waxed paper or paper towel, to prevent food from sticking during baking. Nonstick cooking spray may also be used. Margarine and butter usually contain salt that may cause hot foods to stick. Grease and flour – Rub the inside surface of a pan with shortening before dusting it with flour to prevent food during baking, such as cakes. After flouring the pan, turn the pan upside down, and tap the bottom to remove excess flour. Preheat oven – Turn the oven controls to the desired temperature, allowing the oven to heat thoroughly before adding food. Heating takes about 10 minutes for most ovens. Julienne – Cut into thin, match like strips, using knife or food processor; for example, fruits, vegetables, meats. Marinade – Soak in a liquid containing acid such as lemon juice, vinegar or wine, plus seasonings and sometimes oil. moist and glossy. Mince – Cut food into very fine pieces, smaller than chopped food. Parboil – Precook until partially done. Peel – Cut off outer covering, using knife or vegetable peeler. Pinch – As much as may be taken between the finger and thumb. Poach – Cook in simmering liquid just below the boiling point. Purée – Reduce food to smooth, uniform consistency by pressing it through a sieve or running it through a blender. Reduce – Boil liquid uncovered to evaporate liquid and intensify flavor. Roast – Cook meat uncovered on rack in a shallow pan in the oven without adding liquid. Sauté – Cook in a small amount of hot fat. Scald – Heat liquid, usually milk, to a temperature just below boiling. Scant – Measured slightly less than the required amount. Score – Mark with a sharp knife or with a fork to make decorative lines. Sear – Brown quickly at high temperature. Shred – Cut into long, thin pieces, using round, smooth holes of shredder, a knife or food processor. Simmer – Cook slowly, just below the boiling point. Slice – Cut into uniform-size flat pieces. Soft Peaks – Egg whites beaten until peaks are rounded or curl when beaters are lifted from bowl, while still Soften – Let cold food stand at room temperature, or microwave at low power setting, until no longer hard. Steam – Cook food by placing on a rack or special steamer basket over a small amount of boiling or simmering Stew – Cook slowly in a small amount of liquid for a long time. Stiff Peaks – Egg whites beaten until peaks stand up straight when beaters are lifted from bowl, while still moist Stir-fry – A Chinese method of cooking uniform pieces of food in small amount of hot oil over high heat, stirring constantly. water in a covered pan. Steam helps retain flavor, shape, color, texture and nutritional value. and glossy. Strain – Pour mixture or liquid through a fine sieve or strainer to remove larger particles. Tear – Break into pieces, using fingers. Toss – Tumble ingredients lightly with a lifting motion, such as a salad with greens. Zest – Grated orange, lemon or lime peel.