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Cookery Terms

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Aerate
   means   
Sift, to Add Air
To pass ingredients through a fine-mesh device to break up large pieces and to incorporate air into the ingredients to make them lighter
Al Dente
   means   
Cook So As to Retain a Firm Chewy Texture
The pasta is cooked "To the tooth"
Bake
   means   
Cook With Dry Heat in an Oven
Food is cooked slowly with gentle heat causing the natural moisture to evaporate slowly concentrating the flavor
Baste
   means   
Brush or Spoon Liquid Fat or Juices over Meat During Roasting
to add flavor and to prevent it from drying out
Beat
   means   
Stir or Whip Ingredients Vigorously Until Smooth
With a spoon, fork, wire whisk, rotary beater or electric mixer
Bias-slice
   means   
Slice Food at a 45-degree Angle
Blanch
   means   
Plunge Fruit or Vegetables Briefly Into Boiling Water
The ingredients can then be placed into ice or cold water (refreshed) in order to stop the cooking process and so prepare the ingredients for freezing or peeling.
Braise
   means   
Brown Meat in Oil or Other Fat and then Cook Slowly in Liquid
The effect of braising is to tenderize the meat.
Broil/Grill
   means   
Cook Food Directly Under the Heat Source
Butterfly
   means   
Slice Food Such As Steak Down the Centre then Spread Apart
Clarify
   means   
Remove Impurities from Butter or Stock by Heating then Straining or Skimming It
Coat
   means   
Evenly Cover Food With Flour, Crumbs or a Batter
Confit
   means   
Slowly Cook Pieces of Meat in Their Own Rendered Fat
Eg Confit duck
Core
   means   
Remove the Inedible Center of Fruits Such As Apples
Deep-fry
   means   
Completely Submerge the Food in Hot Oil
Devil
   means   
Add Hot or Spicy Ingredients Such As Chilli
or cayenne pepper. eg. devilled sausages
Dice
   means   
Cut Into Cubes
Dot
   means   
Sprinkle Food With Small Bits of an Ingredient Such As Butter
to allow for even melting or distribution
Dredge
   means   
Sprinkle Evenly With Dry Ingredients Like Sugar or Flour
Dredgers are containers with holes in the lid or spoons with holes in the bowl, to produce an even sprinkle. Not quite a synonym for 'dust', dredge usually refers to the top of a food being sprinkled.
Drizzle
   means   
Pour a Slow Thin Trickle of Liquid over Food
Sweet glazes, melted butter. Lemon drizzle cake!
Dust
   means   
Sprinkle Evenly With Dry Ingredients Like Sugar or Flour
Before or after cooking. Coat meatballs with flour before cooking e.g. coat chocolate truffles with fine grated chocolate and spices as a final touch.
Egg Wash
   means   
Beaten Egg Mixture Used to Glaze
Usually for baked goods, egg wash can be the whole egg or the yolk, either neat or mixed with milk, water or butter.
Fillet
   means   
Remove the Bones from Meat or Fish for Cooking
Filter
   means   
Remove Lumps, Excess Liquid or Impurities by Passing Through Paper or Cheesecloth
Flambé
   means   
Ignite a Sauce or Other Liquid
Flames add to the cooking process and flavour e.g. Steak Diane, Christmas Pudding.
Flute
   means   
Create a Decorative Scalloped or Undulating Edge
Usually on a piecrust or other pastry
Fold
   means   
Cut and Mix Lightly With a Spoon to Keep Air in the Mixture
Fricassee
   means   
Cut up Meat, Sautée and Braise, Add White Sauce
Garnish
   means   
The Addition of a Decorative Edible Ingredient
Parsley, basil or mint sprigs, chocolate curls, lemon wedges and many more.
Glaze
   means   
Coat With a Liquid That Gives a Shiny Surface
Egg wash or milk on pastry or water on nearly finished loaves, provide glaze.
Gluten
   means   
Protein Formed when Hard Wheat Flour is Moistened and Agitated
Gluten is what gives yeast dough its characteristic elasticity.
Grate
   means   
Shred a Food Into Fine Pieces by Rubbing It Against a Rough Surface
Hull
   means   
Remove the Calyx of Soft Fruit
Such as strawberries or blackberries
Husk
   means   
Remove the Outer Membrane of a Fruit, Nut or Seed
Corn, cobnuts, walnuts.
Infuse
   means   
Extract Flavour from an Ingredient by Steeping in Liquid
-- The result is an infusion. Tea and coffee are hot infusions, chilli oil a cold infusion.
Jell/gel
   means   
Cause a Food to Set or Solidify Usually by Adding Gelatin
Julienne
   means   
Cut Into Long Thin Strips
Knead
   means   
Work Dough to a Smooth and Elastic State
Larding
   means   
The Insertion of Pieces of Fat to Meat
In order to maintain moisture and improve basting
Leaven
   means   
A Process or Ingredient That Causes Baked Goods to Rise
E.g. using yeast, bicarbonate of soda, baking soda etc.
Marinate
   means   
Soak Food in a Seasoned, Often Acidic Liquid Before Cooking
To add flavour and/or tenderise e.g. marinate steak
Mince
   means   
Chop Food Into Tiny Irregular Pieces
Mix
   means   
Stir Two or More Foods Together Until They Are Thoroughly Combined
Moisten
   means   
Add Enough Liquid to Dry Ingredients to Dampen but Not Soak Them
Mull
   means   
Slowly Heat Wine or Cider With Spices and Sugar
Peaks
   means   
Mounds in a Stiffly Beaten Ingredient or Mixture
e.g. peaks of egg white for meringue.
Pipe
   means   
Use a Bag to Force out a Soft Ingredient As Decoration
E.g. mashed potato, icing for a cake.
Pit
   means   
Remove the Central Pip or Seed from a Fruit
E.g. apricots, olives, mangoes.
Poach
   means   
Simmer in Liquid
Pressure Cooking
   means   
Cook Food in Liquid in a Sealed Container to Produce High Temperatures
Speeds cooking time.
Proof
   means   
Let Yeast Dough Rise
Purée
   means   
Mash or Sieve Food Into a Thick Liquid
Reconstitute
   means   
Return a Dried Food to Its Original State by Adding Liquid
Such as milk from milk powder
Reduce
   means   
Cook Liquids Down So That Some of the Water Evaporates
Refresh
   means   
Plunge Cooked Vegetables/fruit Into Ice Water
Or cold water, to halt the cooking process and retain colour and flavour
Render
   means   
Melt Fat to Create Drippings
Sauté
   means   
Fry in Shallow Oil
Scald
   means   
Heat a Liquid to Just Below Boiling Point
E.g. scalded cream or milk
Score
   means   
Make Shallow Cuts on the Surface of Meat, Fruit or Vegetables
Assists in marinating, creates crackling on roast pork.
Sear
   means   
Seal in a Meat's Juices by Cooking Quickly at a High Heat
Seize
   means   
Ingredients Form a Thick Lumpy Mass when Melted
Usually applied to chocolate.
Set
   means   
Let Food Become Solid
Shred
   means   
Cut or Tear Into Long Narrow Strips Either by Hand or by Using a Grater or Food Processor
Sift
   means   
Remove Lumps from a Dry Ingredient by Using a Mesh
E.g. sieving flour or sugar. It also helps to aerate the ingredient.
Simmer
   means   
Cook Food in a Liquid at a Low Temperature So Small Bubble Break the Surface
Skim
   means   
Remove the Top Layer from a Liquid
E.g. cream from milk, fat from gravy or stock.
Steep
   means   
Infuse Dry Ingredients in Liquid
E.g. tea leaves in hot water
Stir-Fry
   means   
Rapid Frying With Constant Stirring in Very Little Oil
A Chinese technique usually using a wok, to cook finely cut meat, vegetables or fish.
Thin
   means   
Add Liquid to Reduce a Mixture's Thickness
Toss
   means   
Thoroughly Combine Several Ingredients by Mixing Lightly
Truss
   means   
Use String or Skewers to Shape Meat and Poultry
Keeps the shape whilst cooking.
Unleavened
   means   
Baked Goods That Contain No Rising Agents
Whisk
   means   
Mix or Fluff by Beating With a Fork or Whisk
also refers to the utensil used for this action
Zest
   means   
Finely Grated Citrus Peel
Don't use waxed fruits, or if you do, wash them in hot water beforehand.


Facts contributed by:


Diana








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