Monday 7 November 2022

Food Preparation terms A & B


A la carte (adj.) - separately priced items from a menu, not as part of a set meal.

Al dente (adj.) - cooked so it's still tough when bitten, often referring to pasta

AL DENTE - Generally, this cooking term is used when referring to the cooking of pasta and rice, but technically includes vegetables and beans too. Al dente is translated as ‘to the tooth’ meaning something cooked but left with a bite of firmness.

A la grecque (adj.) - served in the Greek style of cooking, with olive oil, lemon juice, and several seasonings, often referring to vegetables

A point (adj.) - cooking until the ideal degree of doneness, often referring to meat as medium rare

Acidulation (n.) - the process of making something acid or sour with lemon or lime juice

Aerate (v.) - the process when dry ingredients pass through a sifter and air is circulated through, changing the composition of the material, often referring to flour

Air fry: To cook in a quick-heating countertop convection oven. Air frying is not actually frying.

Aspic (n.) - a dish in which ingredients are set into a gelatine made from a meat stock or consommé

Au gratin (adj.) - sprinkled with breadcrumbs and cheese, or both, and browned

AU GRATIN - Sprinkled with breadcrumbs and cheese, or both, and browned. The phrase ‘au gratin’ literally means “by grating” in French, or “with a crust”.

Au jus (adj.) - with its own juices from cooking, often referring to steak or other meat

Au poivre (adj.) - coated with loosely cracked peppercorns and then cooked, often referring to steak

Au sec (adj.) - the descriptor for a liquid which has been reduced until it is nearly dry, a process often used in sauce making

AU SEC - Description of a liquid that has been reduced until it’s almost nearly dry, a process often used in sauce making.


Bain Marie (n.) - a container holding hot water into which a pan is placed for slow cooking, otherwise known as a "water bath" or "double boiler"

Bake: To cook in an oven, usually at moderate temperatures (around 350°F).

Barding (v.) - to cover a meat with a layer of fat, such as bacon, before cooking, effectively maintaining the moisture of the meat while it cooks to avoid overcooking

Baste (v.) - to pour juices or melted fat over meat or other food while cooking to keep it moist

Beurre blanc (n.) - a sauce made with butter, onions, and vinegar, usually served with seafood dishes

Bisque (n.) - a thick, creamy soup, with a base of strained broth (see coulis) of shellfish or game

BLANCH - A quick method of cooking food, usually green vegetables, whereby the item is basically scalded in boiling hot water for a short period of time and then refreshed in ice cold water. This ensures that the veggie retains its bright green colour and a good firm texture.

Blanching (v.) - to plunge into boiling water, remove after moment, and then plunge into iced water to halt the cooking process, usually referring to vegetable or fruit

BLEND - The process of combining two or more ingredients so that they become smooth and uniform in texture and lose their individual characteristics.

BONE -  to bone a piece of meat is to remove the bone from it.

BRAISE - Braising is an old French method of cooking meat. It uses a combination of dry and moist heat, dry being when the meat is seared at a high heat and moist when it’s gently cooked in a liquid. This cooking method is ideal with sinewy, tougher cuts of meat.

Braising (v.) - a combination-cooking method that first sears the food at high temperature, then finished it in a covered pot at low temperature while sitting in some amount of liquid

Brining (v.) - the process of soaking meat in a brine, or heavily salted water, before cooking, similar to marination

BROIL - Normally a cooking term used in the States, broil is what we know as grilling. Basically, you preheat the hot rod or grill at the top of your oven until it gets exceptionally hot. Place the food on an oven tray under the preheated grill until it browns and has some incredible flavour.

Brown: To cook food until it becomes brown, but not burned.

BUTTERFLY - Butterflying food refers to splitting it through the centre to thin it out, but not cutting through it entirely.

Roasting potatoes - sprinkled with spices

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