3 A-B, Cooking Techniques Blacken A cooking technique, associated with New Orleans, thats used to create an extra crispy crust on food (usually meat or fish). Food is tossed in Cajun spice mixture and cooked in a cast-iron skillet thats been heated until almost red hot. Basting A process that brings color, flavor, and moisture to cooking meat. Spoon or brush food with melted butter, oils, meat drippings, or liquid such as stock. Barbecue A cooking method, which involves grilling food over a wood or charcoal fire. Produces a browned or blackened exterior and tender interior. Bard To tie a fat (usually bacon) around what you are cooking to prevent it from drying out while roasting. Adds flavor and tenderness to cooking.
4 B, Cooking Techniques Braising A slow-cooking method, where food (usually meat or vegetables) is first browned, then covered and cooked in small amount of liquid at low heat for a lengthy period of time. Braised food is usually tender and full of flavor. Brining A technique for moisturizing and flavoring meat. Combine, salt, liquid (e.g., water, juices, etc.), and seasonings (e.g., herbs and spices) for brining mixture, and meat and let sit for allotted time. Broiling Put a browned or bubbly finish on a dish with broiling, a technique where you cook food directly under or above the heat source. Food can be broiled in an oven, on a barbeque grill, directly over charcoal, or with another heat source. Browning To cook quickly over high heat, causing the surface of the food to turn brown while the interior stays moist. This method gives food an appetizing color and rich flavor.
5 C-D, Cooking Techniques Dredge To lightly coat food to be fried, as with flour, cornmeal, or breadcrumbs. This coating helps brown the foodand gives it additional flavor. Deglaze A common technique used in making sauces and gravies. Add liquid to a pan in which foods have been sautéed or roasted to dissolve the caramelized juices stuck to the bottom of the pan. Caramelize To heat sugar in order to turn it brown and give it a special sweet taste. May be used to make desserts or savory dishes. Any food with natural sugars or added sugar may be caramelized (e.g., caramelized onions). Drizzle To sprinkle drops of liquid lightly over food in a casual manner. May be used for decoration or to add subtle flavor.
6 E-F, Cooking Techniques Flambé French for flamed this dramatic cooking method caramelizes food with liquor and fire. Simply, sprinkle foods with liquor and ignite before serving. Fire-cooking Cooking over an open flame, either in a barbecue, outdoor pit, or fire-cooking oven (e.g., wood-fired oven, tandoori). En Croute A food that is wrapped in pastry dough and baked. Creates a buttery flakey crust around foods. Emulsion A smooth mixture of two liquids that do not usually mix, like oil and water. Used to make sauces like mayonnaise, hollandaise, cream sauces, vinaigrettes, and béchamel.
7 G-M, Cooking Techniques Infusion Extracting flavor from an ingredient, such as tea leaves, herbs, or fruit, by steeping them in a hot like liquid (usually water). Sauces with a variety of flavor (say from herbs) are also called infusions. Glaze To create a smooth, shiny finish on food by coating it with a thin, liquid, sweet or savory mixture. Gratin A comforting dish made by combining, cooked or raw foods (usually vegetables or pasta) with a liquid (such as cream, milk, béchamel sauce, or tomato sauce) in a shallow dish and baking until cooked and set. Baked mac n cheese is a gratin. Marinating To tenderize and flavor a food (such as a meat, fish, or vegetables) by soaking it in a seasoned liquid mixture called a marinade. When fruits are similarly soaked, the term used is macerate.
8 M-R, Cooking Techniques Pan-searing A technique in which the surface of the food (usually meat, poultry or fish) is cooked at high temperature so a caramelized crust forms. Pan-seared foods are usually finished in the oven. Pot roasting A method for cooking tender, deeply flavored meats. Cook meat by browning, then braising in a covered pot either on top of the stove or in the oven. Roasting/Pan-roasting A technique used to cook food (usually meats and vegetables) that produces a well- browned exterior and moist interior. To make, oven cook food (from meats to vegetables) in a shallow uncovered pan. Rotisserie-cooking Cooking food slowly while it rotates, to insure evenly cooked, moist foods with a browned exterior.
9 R-S, Cooking Techniques Sauté To brown and cook food quickly in a small amount of oil or other fat in a skillet or sauté pans over direct heat. Simmering To cook food gently in liquid at a low temperature. Often used bring deep, slow-cooked flavor to sauces and soups. Smoke-curing To bring deep, smoky flavors to foods (often meats) through cold-smoking (smokes the food at between 70 degrees to 90 degrees) or hot-smoking (partially or totally cooks the food at temperatures between 100 degrees and 190 degrees). Smother To cook in a covered pan with little liquid over low heat. Creates tender food.
10 S-W, Cooking Techniques Stewing A cooking process that tenderizes tough foods (like meat) and allows the flavors of the ingredients to blend deliciously. A food is barely covered with liquid and simmered slowly for a long period of time in a tightly covered pot. Tempura A Japanese specialty of batter-dipped, deep-fried pieces of fish or vegetables. Tempura, which is usually accompanied by soy sauce, can be served as an hors doeuvre, first course, or entrée. Sweat To cook foods over gentle heat, usually covered or partly covered, until they release their moisture. Vegetables, meats, and seafood are often sweated when making soups, stews, and sauces so that the foods release their juices into the pan. Whip To beat a preparation with the goal of introducing air into it.
12 A-C, Cookware Baking Stone A heavy, thick, flat round or rectangular plate of stone used to create crisp, brown crusts on pizzas and breads. Casserole Often a deep, round, ovenproof container with handles and a tight-fitting lid thats used to make a casserole. Cast-iron skillet A classic heavy skillet, with excellent heat retention, for good searing and frying, and strong heat diffusion properties, which is good for cooking stews or braised dishes. Cast- iron pans can develop nonstick surfaces, which also make them good for eggs and baking (e.g., cornbread). Butcher Block A heavy duty chopping block made of mixed woods. Traditionally, used in professional environments (e.g., butcher shops), but now used at home as well.
13 C-D, Cookware Dutch Oven A large pot or kettle usually made of cast iron, with a tight-fitting lid so steam cannot easily escape. Used for moist-cooking methods, such as braising or stewing. Cutting/Carving Block A wooden block on which food (as meat and vegetables) is cut, split, or diced. Chefs Knife In cooking, a chefs knife, also known as a French knife or a cooks knife, is the primary cutting tool used in food preparation. Cedar/Wood Planks Cedar or wood planks on which foods (usually meats and vegetables) can be cooked. The planks impart a delicate sweetness and hint of woody flavor.
14 D-S, Cookware Fondue Pot A pot typically used to serve fondue. It generally comes in a set with 6 to 8 long-handled fondue forks. The pot sits atop a stand fitted with a container for heat. Griddle A flat, rimless pan designed to cook food (such as pancakes) with a minimal amount of fat or oil. Griddles are usually made of thick, heavy metals that are good heat conductors. Mandolin A compact, hand-operated machine with various adjustable blades for thin to thick slicing and for julienne and French fry cutting. Soufflé Dish A round dish with straight sides to facilitate the rising of a soufflé. These special dishes come in a variety of sizes.