Basic Cooking Terms

ingredientsThese are terms from my textbooks from school. Many of them can be very useful and pretty interesting!

Aioli-Garlic mayonnaise.

A la minute-Cooking food at the moment it is needed; cooked to order.

Albumen-The protein portion of an egg white.

Alkali-A substance that tests at higher than 7 on the pH scale. Baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, is an example.

All-purpose potatoes-A type of potato with moderate moisture and starch. They hold their shape after cooking and are suited for boiling, steaming, sautéing, oven roasting, braising, and stewing.

Allumette-A matchstick cut that is 1/8 × 1/8 × 1 to 2 inches (0.3 × 0.3 × 5 to 6 cm). It is normally used only for potatoes.

Amuse-bouche-A single bite of food; a bite-sized hors d’oeuvre. Amuse-bouche are not ordered by the guest but served at the chef’s discretion.

Anthocyanin-A flavonoid pigment that gives fruits and vegetables their red, purple, and blue colors.

Anthoxanthin-A pigment in fruits and vegetables that changes from white or clear to yellowish as the cooking liquid increases from acidic to alkaline.

Antipasto-Any typical Italian hors d’oeuvre that is served hot or cold. The word antipasto means “before the meal,” and antipasto is the traditional first course or course before the pasta. It may include an assortment of cured meats, seafood, olives, cheeses, relishes, or marinated vegetables.

Aquaculture-The farming of fish and shellfish.

Area chef-The cook that manages one of the dining facilities or a specific function.

Aromatics-Vegetable or plant ingredients used to enhance flavor and fragrance.

Aseptic packaging-A process in which a food product and its package are sterilized separately and then combined and sealed in a sterilized atmosphere, typically vacuum-packed. This type of packaging maintains a product’s flavor for many months. Aseptically packaged food does not need to be refrigerated until it has been opened.

Aspic-A flavorful, clarified stock set with gelatin.

Au sec-Literally, “with dryness.” Describes a liquid that has been reduced until it has almost cooked away during deglazing.

Bain marie-A water bath used to cook foods gently by surrounding the cooking vessel with simmering water. Also, a double boiler arrangement.

Baking-The technique of cooking food by dry heat acting by convection, not by radiation.

Barbecue-A slow moist-heat cooking method that is typically used for beef briskets, beef or pork ribs, and pork shoulders. The smoldering wood used for heat creates a smoky flavor.

Barding-Wrapping a thin sheet of fatback or caul fat around an item so the meat does not dry out during cooking. The item will not have a flavorful crust, but will have a moister interior.

Basic or simple stock-Strained liquid produced by cooking vegetables, meat, or fish and other seasoning ingredients in water.

Baste-To spoon hot fat over the top of an item.

Batonnet-A cut that is 1/4 × 1/4 × 2 to 2 1/2 inches (0.6 × 0.6 × 5 to 6 cm).

Batters-Coatings made from flour, liquid, and often a chemical leavener that protect, color, crisp, and puff or lighten a product.

Béchamel-A grand sauce that is made from milk and a pale roux and flavored with onion piquet.

Betalains-Red and yellow water-soluble pigments found in some fruits and vegetables. Betalains give beets their purplish-red color.

Beurre blanc-A butter emulsion sauce traditionally consisting of a cooking liquid (cuisson) whisked with softened whole butter.

Binders-Thickening agents, typically eggs or panadas, that are used in forcemeats.

Biological hazards-Dangers to the safety of food caused by disease-causing microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, mold, and fungi.

Bisque-A rich, thick, creamy shellfish-based soup that is thickened with rice or a roux, then puréed. It can also feature tomato or corn in place of shellfish.

Bitter-One of the basic tastes; harsh or astringent.

Blanching-The method of immersing food or bones into boiling water or hot fat to partially cook as a way to preserve their color, texture, and flavor. Foods immersed in boiling water are then submerged in an ice-water bath to stop the cooking process.

Blanquette-A white stew traditionally made from white meat (veal) or lamb. The main item is simmered with mirepoix, drained and combined with garnishes, and finished in a sauce. It is traditionally finished with a liaison of egg yolks and heavy cream.

Bleu cheese-A molded, ripened, crumbly cheese that is spotted or veined throughout with blue, blue-gray, or bluegreen mold and has a distinct odor.

Bloom-The effect that occurs when beef is taken out of vacuum-sealed packages, is exposed to oxygen, and begins to takes on a bright cherry-red color. Or, to soften gelatin in lukewarm liquid. Also describes the silver “dust” that forms on solid chocolate that has been exposed to high temperatures.

Boiling-Using a large amount of rapidly bubbling liquid to cook food quickly by transferring heat from the liquid to the food. Boiling water has a temperature of 212°F (100°C).

Botulism-A food-borne illness caused by toxins produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botulism grows well in low acid, anaerobic environments, such as improperly canned protein foods, potatoes, or vegetables.

Bound salad-A salad that contains hearty ingredients, such as cooked meats, poultry, shellfish, potatoes, eggs, or pasta, and is bound together by a thick dressing.

Bouquet garni-A bundle of fresh herbs and vegetables tied together that enhances and supports the flavors of a dish.

Boxed meat-The restaurant industry term for primal and subprimal cuts of beef that are vacuum-sealed, packed into boxes, and shipped to restaurants, butchers, and supermarkets for sale.

Braising-A slow simmer of whole or portion cuts of the main food item that is cooked in a small amount of liquid in a tightly covered pot. It is usually started on the stove-top and finished in the oven.

Breakdown-The chemical changes that happen over time to oil during storage, heating, or exposure to light.

Brigade-An organization method in which the kitchen staff is organized into departments each with defined responsibilities. Each department has a chef in charge and a varying number of assistants to the chef, depending on the size of the kitchen.

Brine-Salt or dry cure mix that is dissolved in water and used to preserve foods. Brine is also part of the pickling process.

Brochette-Any food cooked on a skewer and also the skewer itself.

Broiling-Cooking food by heat that radiates from the top down onto the food. It is typically done on a rodded surface, a sheet pan, or a sizzle platter.

Broth-A liquid similar to a stock that is made with more meat than bones. It is more flavorful and clearer than most stocks.

Brown sauce-Another name for an espagnole sauce.

Brown stocks-Stocks made from chicken, veal, beef, or game bones and vegetables with the addition of a tomato product. These items are caramelized first to give them a rich flavor and deep brown color.

Bruise-free-Describes a fruit or vegetable that displays no marks or indentations on its outermost layers.

Brunoise-A dice cut that is 1/8 × 1/8 × 1/8 inch (0.3 × 0.3 × 0.3 cm). Fine brunoise is 1/16 × 1/16 × 1/16 inch.

Bruschetta-A slice of toasted bread that is rubbed with garlic and topped with a bit of olive oil. It is often topped with chopped onions, herbs and tomatoes.

Butterfly-To cut an item (meat or seafood) and open out the edges like the wings of a butterfly, which promotes even cooking and adds eye appeal.

Canapé-A bread-based open-faced bite-size sandwich with a savory topping.

Caramelization-A complex chemical reaction that occurs when sugars are heated, causing them to brown.

Carotenoids-Yellow, orange, and red-orange fat-soluble pigments found in fruits and vegetables.

Carryover cooking-Heat retained in the cooked food that allows the item to continue to cook even after being removed from a heat source.

Casing-The edible processed intestines of hogs, sheep, and cattle, or processed animal collagen tissue, that is filled with forcemeat to form a cylindrical shape.

Caul fat-A fatty membrane from a pig or sheep that lines the stomach and resembles fine netting. Caul fat is used to bard meat and encase forcemeat.

Caviar-The processed, salted, nonfertilized eggs (roe) of the sturgeon. Other fish eggs must be clearly labeled to indicate that they are not from sturgeon—for example, salmon caviar.

Charcuterie-The European art of preparing meat specialties, particularly (but not limited to) pork specialties. From chair cuit, “cooked meat.”

Charcutier-A person involved in charcuterie; a butcher of pork.

Cheesecloth-A light, fine-mesh gauze cloth used for straining liquids, making sachets, cheese making, and other kitchen applications.

Chef’s knife-A knife that can slice, chop, crack, and peel. It is also called a cook’s knife or French knife.

Chemical hazards-Dangers to the safety of food caused by chemical substances such as cleaning agents, pesticides, and toxic metals.

Chiffonade-A cut done by hand that cuts herbs and leafy greens into very fine shreds.

Chilies-Types of peppers that vary in size, color, and spiciness or heat. The degree of spiciness is determined by the capsaicin content, and the hottest part is where the seeds attach to the white membrane.

Chlorophyll-A pigment that gives plants their green color.

Chop-To cut food into pieces that are roughly the same size.

Chowder-Traditionally, a thick, chunky, creamy seafood soup. However, other styles of chowder are clear and briny or tomato based. The soup is not puréed or strained.

Clarification-The process of combining cold degreased stock or broth with a clearmeat or egg whites. As the clearmeat is heated, it rises to the surface and coagulates, collecting any particles that cloud the stock or broth. It is then removed from the stock or broth.

Clarified butter-Butter from which the milk solids and water have been removed.

Clearmeat-A mixture of egg whites, ground meat, mirepoix, herbs and spices, and an acidic product, used to clarify stock or broth.

Clear soup-A soup made from a clear broth or stock that has not been thickened.

Clingstone-A type of stone fruit that does not separate easily from the fruit.

Coagulation-The process by which proteins bond to each other, transforming them from a liquid or semiliquid state to a solid state, usually through the application of heat.

Cold smoking-Smoking a food item at or below 100°F (38°C) so the food remains uncooked but takes on a smoky flavor.

Cold soup-A specialty soup that is often a cold version of a basic clear or thick soup.

Collagen-A type of connective tissue that is a protein and appears white, thin, and semitransparent, found exclusively in animals. Collagen converts into gelatin with moist heat.

Combination cooking method-A cooking method that involves both dry- and moist-heat cooking methods.

Complex carbohydrates-Starches composed of three or more sugar molecules linked together; used by the human body for energy.

Composed salad-A salad that includes a base or bed, a main item, a dressing, and a garnish, such as a Salade Nicoise or a Cobb Salad.

Compound butter-Whole butter combined with herbs, spices, or diced vegetables.

Conduction-The transfer of heat is through direct contact.

Confit-A type of preservation achieved by poaching an item in fat and then storing it in the cooking fat. The item is then heated and served.

Consommé-A strong concentrated stock or broth that has been clarified so that it is crystal-clear; it has a naturally thick mouth feel created by its high gelatin content.

Convection-The transfer of heat through a fluid, either a liquid or a gas.

Coulis-A thick purée, usually of vegetables or fruit.

Country-style forcemeat-Forcemeat that is ground to a dense, coarse texture.

Court bouillon-A combination of water, mirepoix, acid, and aromatics that is brought to a boil for 10 minutes and then strained. It is used as a poaching liquid.

Cream soup-A type of thick soup with the main ingredient simmered in a velouté or béchamel sauce until tender. Afterward the soup may or may not be puréed and strained. It is finished with milk or cream, which thins and adds flavor to the soup.

Créme fraiche-Heavy cream cultured to give a thick consistency and a slight tangy flavor; when used in hot preparations, it is less likely to curdle when heated.

Cross-contamination-The transfer of disease-causing elements from one source to another through physical contact.

Crosshatch marks-Two or more sets of intersecting parallel lines. The result of grilling an item approximately 25 percent, then rotating the item 90 degrees until cooked halfway, then flipping the item over to cook it another 25 percent, and then rotating the item 90 degrees for the remainder of the cooking process.

Crouton-A bread garnish sautéed in butter until crisp.

Crudités-Vegetables that are raw or slightly blanched, served whole, or cut into thin strips. They are bite size and usually served with a dip or sauce.

Crustaceans- A type of shellfish that has an outer shell and jointed appendages, such as lobsters, crabs, and shrimp.

Caisson-The liquid left over after shallow poaching that is used as the base of a sauce.

Culinology-A field of study that combines culinary arts, food science, and technology.

Curdling-The process of milk separating into curds and whey after being combined with an acidic product or after naturally souring.

Curing-The preservation of meats or fish with salt, nitrates, nitrites, and sugar.

Curry-A spicy mixture or a highly seasoned dish originating in South Asia or Asia that is simmered or stewed.

Dark meat-Poultry meat that contains more myoglobin and fat; these muscles are more heavily exercised. Dark meat may have more connective tissue. However, birds that fly, such as ducks, geese, and doves, have dark-meat breasts.

Daube-A braise made from red meats that includes red wine. The meat is often marinated before braising.

Deep-frying-Using high heat to cook a food that is completely submerged in fat. Considered to be a dry-heat cooking method.

Deglazing-The process of adding liquid to a pan and swirling it to stop the cooking process after the main item has been removed and the browned bits of food from the bottom are loosened up. This liquid then becomes the base of the sauce used for the dish.

Demi-glace-A sauce made from taking equal quantities of espagnole sauce and brown stock and reducing it by half to make an equal quantity of double-strength sauce. Contemporary demi-glace may consist of brown stock reduced to nappe.

Denaturation-Occurs when the three-dimensional protein structures begin to lose their shape in the presence of heat.

Dépouillage-To skim the thick foam, or scum, off the top of a simmering stock.

Dice-A cube-shaped cut: small dice is 1/4 × 1/4 × 1/4 inch (0.6 × 0.6 × 0.6 cm), medium dice is 1/2 × 1/2 × 1/2 inch (1.2 × 1.2 × 1.2 cm), large dice is 3/4 × 3/4 × 3/4 inch (2 × 2 × 2 cm).

Dim sum-A Cantonese custom of serving many small dishes that are chosen from a cart continuously throughout the meal. The food can be heated on the cart or served at room temperature.

Disaccharides-Simple carbohydrates, such as sucrose, galactose, and lactose, formed with two sugar molecules.

Dominant meat-The main meat of the forcemeat that gives the product its name. The weight is typically double that of the secondary meats.

Doré-A French word meaning “golden” or “golden-brown.”

Drawn fish-Also known as H&G (headed and gutted); fish with the head and viscera (guts) removed.

Dressed or pan-dressed fish-Fish that have had the viscera, gills, scales, and fins removed. The head may or may not be removed.

Dried noodles-A pasta that comes ready to cook. They have a sturdier texture than fresh pasta and take longer to cook than fresh noodles.

Dry (cured) onion-An onion that has had the necks and outer scales dried to help heal harvesting injuries, reduce water loss, and prevent entry of decay during storage. This process is completed after harvesting and before storage or marketing.

Duxelles-Finely chopped mushrooms and shallots sautéed in butter.

Elastin-A type of connective tissue that is yellowish in color and becomes thicker and more predominant in older beef, especially in locomotion muscles. Elastin does not break down when cooked.

Emulsion-A mixture of two or more things that do not ordinarily mix together, but whisking the ingredients together until one of the ingredients breaks down into tiny droplets enables the mixture to be formed.

Enemies of oil-Factors that aid in the breakdown of oil, which include high heat, salt, aeration/oxygen, water, free-floating fatty acids, and crumbs and food particles.

En papillote-Describes the process of cooking food in a pa- per envelope.

Espagnole-A grand sauce made from a brown stock and dark roux, and flavored with a caramelized mirepoix, onion brulée, or a sachet d’épices.

Ethylene-A gas that is naturally produced by ripening fruits and vegetables. It can also be artificially introduced by spraying the item with the gas to speed up ripening. Apples and pears contain high levels of ethylene.

Evaporate-To change from a liquid to a gas.

Executive chef-The chef responsible for all kitchen operations.

Exotic-Describes food items that are imported to areas where the item is not naturally found.

Farm-raised-Animals that were originally wild species but are now being raised domestically for sale.

FAS-Frozen at Sea; FAS products may be frozen whole for later thawing and reprocessing on a factory ship or a plant on shore, or they may be landed, filleted, and frozen aboard the same vessel.

Fatback-The pure unsalted fresh pork fat from the back of the animal.

Fat cap-The fat on the outside of a piece of meat.

Fat-soluble vitamins-Vitamins that are absorbed into the body with the help of fats and can accumulate in the body. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble vitamins.

Fermented-The process of adding a bacterial culture to dairy to convert the milk sugar lactose into lactic acid. The milk or cream will thicken, creating a pleasantly sour flavor.

Fine herbs-Finely chopped herbs, specifically parsley, chives, tarragon, and thyme, mixed together and used as a seasoning. They are always added toward the end of the cooking time.

Finfish-Any species of fish that have fins. They are separated into freshwater fish, which have a lighter-weight skeletal structure with many tiny bones, and saltwater fish, which have bigger bones.

Fish sauce-A Southeast Asian condiment.

Flatfish-Any species of thin, flat fish that swim on one side. Both of their eyes are located on the side that faces up.

Flavonoids-Nutrients that give many fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors.

Flavor profile-The dominant flavors featured in a cuisine.

Focal point-The part of a dish or platter that draws the guest’s eye.

Foie gras-The liver of a duck or goose that is fattened by a special feeding process. It can be grilled, roasted, sautéed, or made into pâtés or terrines.

Fond-The dehydrated juices left in the pan after food is seared; they can be used to build a sauce.

Food-borne infection-Occurs when food is eaten that contains bacteria, which continues to grow in the intestines and results in illness. The symptoms start 12 to 48 hours after consumption.

Food-borne intoxication-Occurs when food is eaten that contains toxins from bacteria, mold, or certain plants and animals. The symptoms start 1 to 12 hours after consumption.

Forcemeat-A mixture of meat, poultry, or fish ground or puréed with some form of fat, seasoning, and optional binders.

Fork-tender-A description of proper doneness for food in which a fork can tear away a piece of meat with little resistance.

Fresh cheese-A cheese that is mild and creamy. It can be made from any type of milk and is usually aged for a short period of time or not at all. Cream cheese or ricotta are examples of fresh cheeses.

Fresh noodles-A pasta dough that is prepared, stretched, rolled into thin sheets, and then cut into the desired shape. They are perishable and have a very short cooking time.

Fricassee-A white stew similar to the blanquette, except that the meat and garnish are cooked directly in the sauce.

Fumet-A concentrated stock from poultry, game, vegetable, or fish that has a strong, pleasant, and characteristic smell of a particular food.

Galantines-Forcemeats wrapped in the skin of the animal that was the primary meat, which is then poached and served cold. Galantine should be a cylindrical shape.

Garde manger-A cold kitchen chef or station; a person who is responsible for cold food preparations.

Gaufrette-A waffle cut made by a mandoline.

Gelatin-An animal protein that can act as a thickener.

Gelatinization-The process by which starches absorb water and swell in a moist-heat environment.

Gelatinization range-The temperature range in which a starch’s granules become fully swollen. It can be seen when the cloudy suspension of granules suddenly becomes more translucent and increases viscosity.

Ghee-Clarified butter without any solid milk particles or water, which is heated to get a pleasant flavor. Frequently used as the fat of choice in South Asian cuisine.

Glaçage-A coating made from hollandaise and whipped cream that is applied to delicate proteins to protect them from direct heat while cooking.

Glace-A stock reduced until it coats the back of a spoon. Also called glaze.

Global cuisine-Foods or methods of preparation that are used throughout the world.

Grading-A voluntary service requested and paid for by meat and poultry producers/processors that is determined by criteria such as the overall shape of the meat, the ratio of fat to lean meat, the ratio of meat to bone, and the color of the meat. Beef also is graded on the marbling of lean flesh.

Grains-The part of seed-bearing grasses eaten by humans.

Grand sauce-A basic sauce that provides the foundation for other sauces. Also called a mother sauce or a leading sauce.

Grating cheese-A cheese that is saltier and drier than other types of cheeses and has a heavy wax rind to protect it from drying out during the aging process.

Gratin-style forcemeat-A forcemeat mixture in which part is precooked, giving it a roasted flavor.

Green salad-A salad made with at least two kinds of greens that is served dressed on its own or as a base for other ingredients.

Grilling-To cook food by heat that radiates from below. Food is typically grilled on a grate, rack, or flat-top griddle.

Gumbo-A hearty stew typical of cuisines in Louisiana, South Carolina, and along the Gulf of Mexico that contains a spicy broth, a thickener, and the vegetable “holy trinity” of celery, bell peppers, and onions. Traditionally, okra has been included in the dish. It can also include seafood, chicken, sausages, pork, and red meat. Gumbo is almost always served over rice.

Hard cheeses-A cheese that is cured for a longer period of time and can be stored for a longer period of time.

Hard-cooked-Describes an egg that is cooked by bringing the water to a full boil, then immediately removing the pan from the heat so that the egg cooks gently in hot water. This produces tender, not rubbery, eggs and minimizes cracking. Afterward the egg is cooled and the shell is peeled off.

Harissa-A sauce based on chilies; it is very spicy and is featured in Moroccan cuisine.

Heirloom fruits and vegetables-Items that are antique varieties that are open pollinated instead of hybrids, which are most common today.

Hollandaise-A sauce made with clarified butter and egg yolks and flavored with a vinegar peppercorn reduction. It is considered a grand sauce.

Homogenization-The process of breaking up fat globules in cream to a small size so they are suspended evenly in the milk rather than separating and floating to the surface.

Hors d’oeuvre-A food served before or outside the main dish of the meal.

Hydrogenation-The process of converting liquid oils to semisolid fats.

Hygiene-Conditions and practices followed to maintain sanitation and personal cleanliness.

Immature-Describes a food product picked before it has ripened.

Induction-The transfer of heat accomplished by placing a cooking vessel made with iron or with a piece of magnetic material on a cooktop that has a induction coil. The field transfers energy into the metal, causing the vessel to become hot. The heat induced in the base is transferred to the food via conduction. Induction cookers are efficient and safe (the induction cooktop does not heat), and they heat very quickly.

Infrared cooking-A type of radiation in which a heating element is heated to a high temperature that gives off waves of heat and in turn heats the food.

Insoluble fiber-Dietary fiber found in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains that stays intact as it passes through the digestive system The peels of fruits and vegetables contain insoluble fiber.

Inspection-A mandated service provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ensure that a product is fit for human consumption.

IQF-Individually Quick Frozen; pieces of fish, shellfish, fruits, vegetables or other foods that are fast-frozen as single units, then glazed, bagged, and boxed.

Julienne-A cut that is 1/8 × 1/8 × 1 to 2 inches (0.3 × 0.3 × 2.5 to 5 cm).

Jus-A sauce made by deglazing the fond and mirepoix with stock or broth, reducing and straining it, and seasoning or flavoring it as desired. Herbs, mushrooms, or other aromatics can be added for additional flavor.

Jus lié-A sauce made by lightly thickening a jus with cornstarch or arrowroot slurry.

Kosher-Prepared in accordance with Jewish dietary laws.

Kosher salt-Pure, refined rock salt that does not contain magnesium carbonate, which results in the salt not clouding liquids.

Lardon-A strip of pork fat used for larding.

Legumes-The dried seeds of pod-bearing plants of the Leguminosae family, such as lentils.

Liaison-A mixture of egg yolk and cream added to finish a sauce or soup by thickening it and, more important, to add additional flavor, a golden color, and a smooth texture to the liquid.

Line cook-A person who works at a station within the kitchen.

Longlines-A fishing method that uses a series of lines with fishhooks extending the entire length; each line is attached to a main line, which is attached to floats. They are used to fish large, open-water fish species.

Macronutrients-Energy-giving nutrients, including protein, carbohydrates and fats, and minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, and sulfur, for which the daily dietary requirement is more than 100 mg.

Maillard reaction-A complex reaction between amino acids and sugars that occurs when proteins are heated, resulting in browning and changes in flavor.

Mandolin-A device used to slice foods by hand.

Marbling-The physical look of fat content in a cut of meat, which helps make the meat tender and juicy when cooked.

Market form-One of the different forms in which meat, poultry, and fish can be bought.

Masalas-Indian cooking spice blends.

Matignon-A combination of diced onions, carrots, celery, and ham that is used to garnish and flavor a dish. It is also called edible mirepoix.

Medallion-A small, round scallop-shaped cut of meat.

Mezze-A Middle Eastern custom that includes a spread of as many as 40 or 50 small, savory dishes.

Microwave cooking-A type of cooking in which electromagnetic radiation is produced by the microwave oven and absorbed by the food. The food molecules are then energized, creating friction and heating the food from within.

Milling-The process of stripping away or scoring the bran of grains that may remove the kernel’s germ, such as is seen in white rice. It may also break the grain into small pieces or grind it into a meal, such as in instant oatmeal.

Mince-To cut food to a fine size, with all pieces being similar.

Mirepoix-A combination of onions, carrots, and celery or other aromatics that provides a distinct aroma to a dish.

Mise en place-Literally, “put in place.” The assembly of ingredients, equipment, utensils, and serving pieces needed for service or to assemble a specific dish.

Miso-A fermented soybean paste used in Japanese cooking.

Mollusks-A type of shellfish that have no backbone, but instead a soft body that is covered with a shell. Examples include clams, oysters, snails, and scallops.

Monosaccharides-Simple carbohydrates, such as fructose and glucose, formed with one sugar molecule.

Monter au beurre-When butter is used to thicken a liquid by swirling or whisking a small amount of butter into a sauce immediately before it is served.

Mousse-A light, airy mixture that can be sweet or savory.

Mousseline forcemeat-Forcemeat that is made by puréeing chicken, veal, fish, or vegetables with egg whites and cream. It is a smooth and light product.

Mouth feel-The experience of food in the mouth, including texture, temperature, flavor, and ability to cling to the palette.

Mycotoxins-Poisonous toxins that some molds produce.

Nappe-To lightly coat food with a sauce, or the ability of a liquid or sauce to coat the back of a spoon.

National cuisine-Foods or cooking methods that are characteristic of a nation.

Navarin-A stew made from lamb or mutton, garnished with onions, peas, potatoes, and turnips.

Neutral-flavored oil-A type of oil used when you do not want the flavor of the oil to clash with the flavors of the dish. These oils include vegetable, peanut, and canola.

Neutral stocks-White or vegetable stocks.

New potatoes-Small potatoes that are harvested before they are completely developed and have a high moisture and low starch content. They are best boiled, steamed, or roasted.

NSSP-National Shellfish Sanitation Program; it sets standards for waters in which shellfish are grown and requires the water to be tested regularly.

nuoc cham-Vietnamese fish sauce.

Nutrients-Essential elements, including water, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals, that the human body needs to survive and grow.

Oblique-A vegetable cut in which the cut sides are neither parallel nor perpendicular.

Offal-Variety meats, including organs such as the brain, heart, kidneys, sweetbreads, tongue, head meat, tail, and feet.

Oignon brûlée-An onion that is peeled, halved crosswise, and charred on a flat-top or in a skillet.

Oignon piqué-An onion that is peeled and has a bay leaf attached to it with a whole clove; used to flavor béchamel sauce and some soups.

Omelet-An egg dish in which the eggs are beaten and cooked in a pan over medium heat or in an oven into a flat cake that may be rolled. Fillings may also be added to the mixture once the mixture is nearly cooked. French omelets are rolled; frittatas are flat omelets.

Over easy-Describes a fried egg that is turned or flipped so the egg white is fully cooked while the egg yolk is soft and runny.

Over hard-Describes a fried egg that is turned or flipped so both the egg white and yolk are fully cooked.

Over medium-Describes a fried egg that is turned or flipped so the egg white is fully cooked and the egg yolk is soft but not runny.

Paillarde-A lightly pounded and flattened cut of poultry or veal that is grilled quickly over a hot fire.

Panada-Flour, bread, potato, or rice that can be substituted for, or used with, eggs to bind, extend, or lighten the texture of a forcemeat.

Pan-frying-The use of high heat to cook a food item half covered by fat. The outside gets crispy while the inside stays tender and juicy.

Pan gravy-A sauce made by caramelizing the mirepoix and clarifying the pan drippings, adding flour to the mixture to make a roux, then adding stock to the roux. The sauce is simmered, then strained and seasoned as desired.

Parcook-To partially cook an item before finishing by another technique or storing for future use.

Paring knife-A knife used for detailed work such as peeling or shaping vegetables.

Parisienne-A cut using a parisienne scoop or melon baller to make uniform balls of fruits or vegetables.

Pastas-A food prepared from a dough that includes a starchy ingredient, usually flour, and a liquid with additional ingredients added to change the shape, color, texture, and flavor.

Pasteurization-The process of heating milk to 145°F (63°C) or higher for 30 minutes, or to 161°F (72°C) or higher for 15 seconds and then cooling it quickly. This will kill bacteria or other organisms that may cause infection or contamination.

Pastry chef-The chef responsible for making the pastries, breads, and desserts in a restaurant.

Pâté-A food traditionally prepared and served in a crust or mold that is not intended to be eaten but rather to be used as a vessel to hold the forcemeat. It is served hot or warm; the term is used interchangeably with terrine.

Paysanne-A cut that is 1/2 × 1/2 × 1/8 inch (1.2 × 1.2 × 0.3 cm).

Persillade-A mixture of fresh bread crumbs, butter, and herbs used to top or coat a delicate protein to protect it from direct heat while also lightly browning and crisping it.

pH scale-A scale with values from 0 to 14 representing degree of acidity; 7 is neutral, 0 the most acidic, and 14 the most alkaline.

Physical hazards-Dangers to the safety of food caused by particles such as glass chips, metal shavings, bits of wood, or other foreign matter.

Pilaf-A technique for cooking grains in which the grain is sautéed before simmering in stock or water.

Pincé-To caramelize an item by sautéing; usually refers to a tomato product.

Poaching-A method in which an item is cooked in a flavorful liquid at a temperature of 160°F to 180°F (71°C to 82°C) and the item’s natural flavors, textures, colors, and nutritional qualities are preserved.

Polished rice-Any rice that has its outer layers removed.

Portion control (PC) cuts-Individual cuts that are ready to cook and serve.

Poultry-Any domesticated bird kept primarily for meat and eggs. Chicken is the most popular.

Presentation side-The best-looking side of a piece of meat; the side shown to the customer.

Primal cuts-Large sections of meat that are cut from an animal. For beef this includes chuck, brisket and shank, rib, short plate, short loin, sirloin, flank, and round.

Processing-The degree to which certain grains are broken down or milled before they reach the kitchen.

Profiteroles-Small puffs made from pâté à choux; they can be prepared similarly to canapés and filled with flavored spreads and garnishes.

Progressive grinding-Grinding meat more than once, changing the die so that the size moves from large to small.

PUFI-Packaged Under Federal Inspection; a seal and grading stamp that assures the buyer that the product has been inspected by a federal inspector and found to be clean, safe, wholesome, and properly labeled; produced in an acceptable establishment; and of acceptable commercial quality according to standards and specifications.

Pullman loaf-A fine-grain bread baked in the shape of a square to resemble a railway car.

Purée soup-A type of thick soup that is similar to a cream soup, but thickened by puréeing the ingredients. Purée soup may be made with or without dairy products. It is usually not strained after puréeing.

Quenelle-A food shaped into an oval, or light dumplings based on a forcemeat.

Quiche-A savory custard baked in a crust.

Quick-soak method-A method in which whole grains or beans are placed in a pot and covered with water that is then brought to a boil and allowed to simmer for 2 minutes. The pot is then removed from the heat and the grains or beans are allowed to soak, covered, for 1 to 2 hours.

Rack-A piece of equipment that elevates the meat off the bottom of the roasting pan, which allows heat to surround the item on all sides.

Radiation-The transfer of heat directly to food through waves of energy.

Raft-A clearmeat that has risen to the top of a consommé, trapping impurities which assists with clarification, and adding flavor.

Ragout-A hearty or rich stew of meat and/or vegetables.

Ratites-A family of flightless birds with small wings and flat breastbones. This family includes ostriches, emus, and rheas.

Raw bar-A combination of oysters, clams, peeled shrimp, and crab “fingers” or claws that are served with an accompanying sauce, crackers, or lemon wedges.

Ready-to-cook poultry-Poultry that has been dressed and eviscerated, and the head and feet have been removed. It can be sold as whole or in parts.

Recovery time-The time it takes the oil or equipment to return to the correct temperature after a product has been added or cooked. Food absorbs heat, causing the oil temperature to drop. The more food added at one time, the lower the temperature drops and the longer the recovery time.

Red cooking-A popular cooking technique in China in which dark and light soy sauce, star anise or five-spice powder, sugar, and salt are added to a dish, giving it a red color.

Reduction-The process of boiling or simmering a stock to evaporate part of the water and produce a more concentrated flavor.

Refresh-To plunge an item into or under cold water after blanching to prevent further cooking.

Regional cuisine-Foods and preparation methods that cross national borders and are often variations of one another.

Remouillage-literally, “rewetting,” a stock made from bones that have been used once to make a stock.

Render-To melt fat and separate it from other organic materials.

Resinous-Describes an herb that is hardy, with woody stems. Resinous herbs are rarely eaten raw and are often used in small amounts and added earlier in the cooking process. They include rosemary, oregano, marjoram, bay leaf, and thyme.

Rest-A process in which after the meat is cooked to the desired doneness, the meat sits for 5 to 10 minutes so the liquids redistribute throughout the meat before slicing or serving. May also apply to other foods.

Rillettes-A type of meat that is cubed, heavily salted, cured for a number of hours, and then slowly cooked with herbs, aromatics, and fat until very tender. It is then shredded or pounded and then blended with warm cooking fat to form a spreadable paste.

Rind-ripened cheese-A cheese with a soft, velvety skin that has an edible, strong-tasting rind. The cheese is ripest on the outside and least ripe in the center.

Roasting-To cook food in a closed environment with dry air. The hot air cooks the outer layers, while the juices turn into steam and cook the food item from the inside. Or, to cook meat on a spit over a fire.

Rondelle-A horizontal cut made to a cylindrical vegetable, such as carrot coins.

Root vegetables-Plant roots that are used as a vegetable; includes beets, carrots, kohlrabi, parsnips, and turnips. They are rich in sugars, starches, vitamins, and minerals.

Sachet d’épices-Small dry ingredients that are tied together in a cheesecloth bag that is simmered with a dish to enhance the flavors.

Salmonella-Bacteria found in the intestinal tracts of animals, birds, reptiles, insects, and people that are easily spread.

Sashimi-A fresh, uncooked fish that is sliced into bite-sized pieces.

Satay-Marinated, skewered, and grilled meats, with a South- east Asian influence.

Sautéing-A fast cooking method using high heat and a small amount of fat to create color and caramelized flavor on tender proteins.

Savory-Not sweet.

Scald-To heat a liquid, usually milk or cream, to just below the boiling point.

Score-To cut the surface of a food item at regular intervals to allow the item to cook or cure evenly.

Scrambled eggs-Beaten eggs cooked in a pan until the eggs take on a creamy texture with small curds.

Searing-Browning the surface of meat quickly by cooking it over high heat before finishing with another cooking method. Searing adds flavor and color.

Seize-The process of cooking a food just long enough to firm the exterior without adding color.

Semisoft cheeses-Cheeses that ripen from the inside out.

Seviche or ceviche-Fish, shellfish, or vegetables marinated in citrus juice for chemical cooking; the fish and shellfish flesh turn opaque and firm.

Shallow poaching-A method in which foods are cooked gently in a shallow covered pan of simmering liquid.

Shirred eggs-Eggs that are baked until the whites are completely set and the yolks begin to thicken but are not hard.

Short-order cook-A person who prepares simple foods that are cooked to order.

Shred-An irregular cut that varies from coarse to fine depending on the intended use.

Simmering-A restrained version of a boil, 185°F to 200°F (85°C to 93°C), in which the bubble clusters are small and there is minimal steam.

Simple carbohydrates-Carbohydrates composed of one or two sugar molecules.

Sizzle platter-A type of equipment that is used to cook and serve broiled foods. The items may not need to be flipped during cooking and will not get crosshatch marks.

Skewers-Metal, wood, plastic, or bamboo sticks that are a cocktail party substitute for a fork.

Slow food-A food movement that encourages using and eating fresh, local, and organically grown ingredients.

Smear-Occurs when the fat begins to melt during grinding because of the friction from the blades forcing the meat through the disks.

Smoke point-The temperature to which oil can be heated to before it begins to smoke and discolor.

Soaking-Covering grains and legumes with water for a period of time to shorten the cooking time. This process does not achieve any culinary advantages.

Soluble fiber-Dietary fiber found in oatmeal, nuts, dried beans, seeds, and some fruit, such as grape, that forms a gel when mixed with liquid in the digestive system.

Soufflé-An egg dish in which the whites and yolks of the eggs are separated, so the whites can be whipped into soft peaks and folded into the blended yolks. The mixture is cooked in a pan on the stovetop until the edges and bottom are set, and then the pan is placed in the oven until fully cooked. Soufflé may be sweet or savory.

Sous chef-The chef who assists the executive chef and is responsible for daily operations of the kitchen staff. Also known as the sous chef de cuisine (underchef of the kitchen).

Sous vide-A method of cooking in vacuum-sealed plastic pouches at low temperatures.

Soy sauce-A fermented sauce made from soybeans.

Spaetzli-A pasta dough that has additional amounts of liquid added and is dropped through a sieve or spaetzle maker into simmering liquid.

Special-fed veal-Calves that are fed a milk supplement rather than being formula-fed, grain-fed, or free range. They account for the majority of veal calves.

Spit roasting-To tie or impale a food item on a long skewer or spit and then rotate it over an open flame.

Standard breading procedure-The procedure of coating a product in flour, eggs, and a breading agent, such as bread crumbs, cornmeal, or corn flakes.

Stewing-The cooking of bite-sized cuts, completely covered in liquid, that are cooked all the way through on the stovetop, uncovered.

Stir-frying-A Chinese cooking technique similar to sautéing, in which a wok is used instead of a sauté pan. Foods are cut into uniform small pieces and stirred or tossed frequently as they cook.

Straight forcemeat-Forcemeat that has a fine, less dense texture. It uses any type of dominant meat as well as pork and pork fat.

Submerged poaching-Cooking a food item by completing immersing it in poaching liquid. Submerged poaching is usually used for larger, thicker, and whole proteins.

Subprimal cuts-Primal cuts that are broken down into smaller cuts.

Sunny side up-Describes a fried egg that has a fully cooked white and a yolk that is bright yellow, soft, and runny. The egg is not turned during cooking.

Sushi-A dish that is made with vinegared rice and is typically hand shaped, rolled into a log shape, and cut into bitesized pieces or rolled in seaweed. It is served with raw fish, pickled vegetables, soy sauce, wasabi paste, and picked ginger (gari).

Sustainable seafood-The practice of allowing depleted or threatened fish to recover to healthy levels and to prevent healthy fish populations from being overfished so these varieties will be available for years to come.

Sweat-To cook ingredients in a pan, usually covered, over low heat until the items soften and release moisture. The items should not brown.

Sweetbreads-The thymus glands of young animals, usually calves or lamb.

Tapas-A Spanish custom that involves anything being served in small portions. The food is often served on a toothpick or on a small piece of bread.

TCM-Tinted cure mix; a formula of 93.75 percent salt and 6.25 percent nitrite that is used to commercially cure ham, bacon, frankfurters, luncheon meats, and smoked fish to preserve their natural pink color.

Temperate-grown-Describes a food item that grows and thrives in a moderate climate that lacks extreme temperatures.

Tempering-The process of adding a liaison to a hot liquid by adding a portion of the hot liquid to the liaison to raise its temperature to equal that of the liquid. This helps to prevent burning, scorching, and separation. The hot liaison is slowly added to the mixture and cooked until reaching a simmer.

Temporary emulsion-A mixture that stays blended for only a short period of time, such as a vinaigrette dressing.

Thick soup-A soup made with veal, chicken, fish, or vegetable stock and additional ingredients that add flavor and create a heavier consistency.

Tofu-A soybean product shaped into a cake with a bland taste. Tofu is available in different textures, including silken and firm.

Tomato concassée-A preparation of tomatoes that have been peeled, seeded, and chopped.

Total utilization-The concept of using as much of a product as possible in order to reduce waste and increase profits.

Tourné-A series of cuts that simultaneously trim and shape the vegetable so that the final shape is similar to a seven-sided barrel or football.

Trace minerals-Minerals such as iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride, and selenium, for which the daily dietary requirement is less than 100 mg.

Trans fats-Semisolid fats used in many commercially baked products and in margarines; their use is being phased out because of health concerns.

Transfer of flavors-The transmission of flavors from one food item to another item that is cooked in the same frying fat.

Tripe-The edible stomach lining of a cow or other ruminant. Honeycomb tripe comes from the second stomach.

Trolling-A fishing method in which baited hooks or lures are towed through the water. This method targets fast-moving, surface-swimming fish.

Tropical-Fruit that is native to the tropics, the area centered on the equator and limited in the north by the Tropic of Cancer and in the south by the Tropic of Capricorn.

Truss-To tie up meat or poultry before cooking, which enhances appearance and helps with even cooking.

Tubers-A vegetable connected to the root system but not directly connected to the stem and leaf systems of the plant. They include potatoes, sweet potatoes, ginger, yams, and jicama.

Umami-The taste of richness, savoriness, or meatiness, such as that found in beef or mushrooms; known as the fifth taste.

Vegetable salad-A salad with greens and vegetables or marinated vegetables. It can include cooked, raw, or a combination of both types of vegetables.

Vegetable soup-A soup made from a single vegetable or a soup that includes meats, grains, pasta, and an assortment of vegetables to add body and flavor.

Velouté-A grand sauce made from a white stock that is thickened with a pale roux and flavored with a sachet d’épices or a white mirepoix.

Velouté soup-A soup that consists of vélouté sauce, the main flavoring ingredient, white stock to dilute if necessary, and a liaison (egg yolk and cream) to thicken the soup.

Vinaigrette-An oil-and-vinegar mixture in a temporary emulsion. The standard proportion is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.

Water activity-The amount of moisture not bound to a food that is available to support bacterial growth. It is measured on a scale from 0.0 to 1.0.

Water-soluble vitamins-Vitamins that dissolve in water and are excreted by the body.

White cooking-A Cantonese technique in which a whole fowl or fish is immersed in a pot of boiling water. The heat is then turned off and the pot is covered until the food is cooked.

White mirepoix-Mirepoix that does not include carrots; it may include mushrooms and parsnips.

White stock-A stock made from simmering chicken, veal, and/or beef bones that have not been browned in liquid with vegetables and seasonings.

Whole fish-A fully intact fish, as it was caught. Also called round fish.

Yeasts-Single-celled organisms that convert their food, through fermentation, into alcohol and carbon dioxide, used in baking and wine and beer production.

Yield grade-A measure of the edible meat yielded from the animal, which in the United States is ranked on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the highest.

Zakuski-A Russian custom of serving small plates of rich and salty foods, such as smoked fishes, caviar, small dumplings, cold salads, and cheeses, often with vodka.

Zest-The thin, bright-colored outer part of citrus rind, which contains volatile oil (flavor).

Nenes, Michael. The Foundations of Professional Cooking: A Global Approach. Pearson Learning Solutions, 2012.         VitalBook file.


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