Cooking Terms Magazine Clipping - Click To View LargerHere’s a 3 column magazine clipping, date unknown. Great cookery terms listed, article below:

DO YOU sometimes wonder what we mean when we use certain cookery terms? And do you often wish a word or a process might be made more explicit and save you bother and confusion? If such is the case, you’ll get light on the path from this page of meanings. And there’ll come a day when I shall “take up my parable” again and tell you more. For unusual words do crop up in recipes. Let’s start, then, with a word I often use.

ASPIC: This is a savory jelly made from stock, broth, consommé or tomato juice with gelatine. And it is used to denote fruit juice jellies, too. At least by me.

BASTE: To dip liquid upon a food in cooking. Poultry and meats are basted with fat and drippings. Fruits are basted with syrups or the juices in the pan. The object is to add succulence to the food.

BIND: This is to bind together the ingredients and complete the making of a sauce. We bind with egg, butter, cream. Binding is simply a holding together to prevent curdling or separation of the sauce and to complete the texture.

BLANCH: We use this term to denote the process of plunging food into hot water and then into cold to produce firmness and preserve the color. An example is the blanching of sweetbreads. And we also blanch nuts to make it easier to remove the skins. Fruits, tomatoes and some vegetables are often blanched to aid in removal of the skin.

CANAPÉ: Simply a small open appetizer. It is usually round and the base may be bread, crackers, or a specially designed wafer-like shell that comes ready to fill with any desired appetizer, such as caviar, relish, fish, or vegetable. It serves as a first course at luncheon or dinner, or is often served with the cocktail before a meal.

CARAMELIZE: To melt sugar to a liquid. We do this by constantly stirring the sugar in a frying pan over a low flame until the sugar is entirely melted. It is then added to scalded milk, as in a baked custard, or boiling water is added to the melted sugar and the whole simmered to a syrup.

COATS: “Coating the spoon,” a term many cooks understand but some do not, is the only way to tell when a boiled custard or cream is cooked to exactly the right point. The custard or cream completely covers the spoon with a film that does not run off when the spoon is taken from the double boiler. Watch for it and get to know it. Coating the spoon is an absolutely infallible test for this kind of cooking.

COMPÔTE: In case you’ve forgotten, a compôte is made by gently poaching fruit in a syrup and serving chilled, or hot with rice. All kinds of fruits may be done so. Try plums sometime.

CREAM: To cream means to convert an ingredient into a creamy stage. We cream shortening before adding sugar, in making cake. And it is simply beating and manipulating any substance into a consistency of softness. The word also applies to combining ingredients, “creaming together,” so the resulting texture is very smooth and delicate.

DREDGE: Here is a simple word that is used to cover the process of working flour or sugar into food, or sprinkling them over it. Flour is dredged into meat or poultry to give a well seared surface when cooked. Cakes and cookies are dredged by sprinkling with sugar or spice. The best way to dredge is to sift the substance over the food so it will be lightly and evenly covered. Floured has the same meaning.

DRESS: To me this implies a finishing touch. It is also used to mean getting something ready to cook. You read, “dress the fowl,” “dress the fish.” That is usually done at the market. Dressing a salad is adding, at the last moment, the oil or mayonnaise that completes the dish.

FOLD: Folding in an ingredient signifies a light touch. You fold in beaten whites of eggs in cake or dessert by folding the mixture over and over just enough to take in the eggs or cream or whatever. It is not a beating process but a gentle persuasive incorporation of the ingredient by using as few and as light strokes of fork or spoon as you possibly can to complete the batter. A light-handed process.

GLAZE: Just reduced stock or juices or syrups, cooked down to the almost jelly stage, used to lightly cover meat or any dish that is enhanced by a beautiful glazed appearance.

GRATIN: Briefly here, this term means a dish covered with crumbs and cheese and baked either in the oven or under a broiler.

GRENADINE: Briefer still, grenadine is the juice of the pomegranate. I use it for color and flavor in jellied dishes, ices, and salads. Delicious fruits come preserved in it, notably stuffed oranges and pineapple slices as well as pears and apricots.

JULIENNE: Cut in fine strips or strings. Vegetables, mostly, and French fried ones in particular are oftenest done Julienne. Also those for garnishes. A real good soup comes nicely canned, bearing this name, derived from a famous French chef of long ago.

KIRSCH: I often speak of this, so to set you straight, I will say the Kirsch is a flavoring liqueur made from cherries. It is wonderfully good, especially with fruits and particularly with berries.

LARD: I should say to lard. That’s different. The process is to draw through poultry and meat thin strips of salt pork or bacon. It is done with a larding needle. Fish is sometimes larded, too. The object is to add fat and succulence to the meat or fish and to overcome any possible dryness.

MARINATE: Just allowing fruit, vegetables, meat or fish to stand in a liquid to improve texture or flavor.

MASK: To cover with a jelly or glaze. Or to incase in a gelatine or sauce, in order to add a contrasting color and flavor to the dish. It is done with a spatula or by pouring the glaze over the food, or by congealing in a cold sauce.

MINCE: This means cutting or chopping to a fine degree either in a bowl or with a knife.

PARBOIL: Partly boil. Very simple. The technique is to put the food into cold water, bring to a boil, then simmer gently until the right stage of cooking is attained, avoiding violent boiling.

PIPE: Here is an old word with a dozen meanings. What I mean by it is to decorate. Use the metal decorator or pastry bag and tube to make designs and patterns of icing, puréers, and mayonnaise on cakes, salads and vegetable service.

POACH: Merely to cook gently in water, cooking wine or syrups, as in poaching fish or eggs and fruits, in making dishes that are to be dressed with a sauce. In the case of fruits, the syrup forms the sauce.

PURÉE: Vegetables and fruits put through a colander or sieve so that the juices and pulp are preserved together and blended into a thickened whole. Most foods are cooked before being puréed.

RICE: Potatoes and other vegetables put through a ricer. Eggs, hard cooked, are riced as a decoration for hors d’oeuvres and salads.

ROUX: When you see this word, remember it means only a blend of fat and flour used to thicken sauces, soups, and gravies.

SAUTÉ: The light and pleasant browning of meat, fish, fruits and vegetables in a frying pan, with as little fat as possible. A gentle process.

SEAR: When you sear anything, you apply a high degree of heat to the surface in order to quickly seal and preserve the juices. Steak and all roasts are seared at high temperatures, then the heat is reduced to conclude cooking.

SHRED: Just what it sounds like. A good sharp knife or a silver fork. And shred. Making fine slivers and splinters of any fruit, nut, or leafy thing that makes a dish attractive or easier to serve.

SUPRÊME: The best part, cooked superbly. For example: suprême of chicken. The breast and filet, with the upper part of the wing attached, cooked in butter and cooking wine or baked in cream, and served with a rich sauce. And suprême applies to other dishes prepared in a similar manner.

TOSS: Doing this, we lightly turn and overturn anything we are making. So–we toss the greens in a salad by tenderly turning over and over with a fork in either hand, in order to cover every bit of salad with the dressing, and making a blended whole. We follow the same process in cooking many vegetables, when completing the saucing and serving.

TRUFFLE: Oh, you know what this is. An underground mushroom grown in France. Comes in cans. Dandy for flavor, garnishing, and style.

WORK: We all know what this means. I have an added meaning though. I work in shortening, with the hand, or with a knife or spatula. Just lightly rubbing together ingredients, or combining a sauce. It’s really not work to do it, still it is work.

Is this all clear?

The 2 Week Diet

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