Friday, February 22, 2008

Some Common Cooking Terms

Glaze - To give food a shiny surface by brushing it with sauce, aspic, icing, or another appariel. For meat, to coat with sauce and then brown in an oven.

Deglaze - To add liquid (few tablespoons of flavorful liquid, such as wine, broth, or, in a pinch, water) to a pan in which foods have been sautéed or roasted in order to dissolve the caramelized juices stuck to the bottom of the pan. The purpose of deglazing is to make a quick sauce or gravy for a roast, steak, chop, or a piece of seafood fillet or steak.

Blanch - foods are plunged into boiling water for a few seconds, removed from the water and refreshed under cold water, which stops the cooking process. Used to heighten color and flavor, to firm flesh and to loosen skins.

Broil - cooking food in an oven with an intense heat source above the food. Broiling pans are usually used to hold the food, allowing the fat to be collected in the pan under the grate so that flare ups don't occur. Foods commonly broiled are steaks, poultry, fish fillets, and vegetables.

Braise - cooking food long and slow in a few inches of liquid. The food is not quite covered by the liquid, producing both a steaming and stewing effect. This long, slow cooking method allows you to use less expensive cuts of meat because the fibers break down, making it tender. Foods commonly braised are large, tough cuts of meat such as chuck steak. Vegetables and broth are usually added to produce a tasty mixture of flavors.

Grill - cooking food over an intense source of heat.

Parboil - partially cooking foods by plunging them briefly into boiling water. Foods commonly parboiled are potatoes, carrots, and rice.

Poach - cooking foods in simmering, but not boiling liquid. Liquids could be water or vegetable stock. Foods commonly poached are eggs and fish.

Saute - cooking food in a hot pan, and is sometimes referred to as pan-frying.

Scald - heating milk over medium-low heat until it foams, but doesn't boil. This is primarily done to shorten cooking times when making sauces and custards.

Sear - subjecting the food to high heat in a pan, under a broiler or in the oven to quickly brown it. Searing helps to lock in the juices in foods such as steaks before completing the cooking process.

Stew - cooking food long and slow, completely covered in liquid. Stews consist of vegetables, broth, and stew meat simmered for a long time to combine the flavors.

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