cooking terms

Here are some common terms that will help you as you make your way through learning the basics in the kitchen.  Go through and study them as you will be taking a quiz in this unit.

a la king           served in rich cream sauce usually seasoned with mushrooms, green peppers, and pimento

a la mode          served in style, served with ice cream

au gratin          food mixed with cream or white sauce and topped with crumbs,  grated cheese , or both; browned in the oven under the broiler

baste                to spoon liquid over food while it is cooking, prevents from drying out and adds flavor

bouillon            clear meat broth, may be made with bouillon cubes

bread               to coat with bread crumbs alone or to first coat with beaten egg or  milk, then in  crumbs

condiment        seasoning served at the table

consommé         a clear stock soup , usually served double strength

cream               to soften and make creamy by beating with mixer.  You do this                         when combining the butter and sugars in making cookies.

cut in               to combine solid shortening with flour by repeated cuts through both   substances, using two knives in a scissor fashion or a pastry blender

dash                 a few sprinkles from a shaker about ¼ tsp

dredge             to coat with flour or a mixture of seasoning and flour or bread crumbs

fold                  to gently mix ingredients with a down, over, up, over motion.  Ex. Egg whites are often folded into waffle mix to make them light and fluffy.

garnish             to decorate one food with another

hors d’ oeuvres    a French term pronounced “or derv”, meaning an assortment                                of appetizers or dainty “finger foods.”

julienne            to cut into long, thin strips


knead                   to work dough by stretching, folding, and pressing it                                          with palms of hands to develop strands of gluten and make                            dough smooth and elastic.

lukewarm          not hot or cold—approximately 95-100 degrees

marinate           to let food stand in a  mixture to improve the flavor and texture, which usually contains vinegar and some spices

mince               to chop food very fine with a chopper or sharp knife

parboil             to partially cook food in boiling water, then continue cooking in a different method like grilling

puree                to blend food in a blender till smooth

sauté                to lightly brown or cook in small amount of fat in skillet

scallions           another term for green onions

simmer             to reduce the heat from boiling—full bubbles—to a low heat to continue the bubbles, to let the flavors blend