Food Dictionary - Glossary of Cooking Terminology
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Al dente - Meaning "to the tooth" in Italian, al dente is texture of pasta when cooked to the point of soft but firm on the inside.

Allspice - A Jamaican spice that resembles cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and pepper in taste.

Bain-marie - A tray or sauce pan that is filled with water to cook food contained within another dish placed inside.

Baking powder - A leavening agent used in cakes and breads.

Baste / Basting - To occasionally coat meat or vegetables while cooking in order to retain moisture and tenderness.

Blanch - To briefly boil a food item.

Braise - To cook meat and/or vegetables in a pan with liquids in order for the liquids to slowly evaporate.

Broil - To cook meats and vegetables over or under a direct heat source.

Caramelise - To cook and glaze foods so that the ingredients have a sugary caramel coating.

Deglaze - To dissolve the remenants of what is left in a pan after meats or vegetables are cooked in order to make a sauce. Usually wine or stock in used for this process.

Emulsify - To blend oils and fats with other liquids in order to create a smooth sauce.

Five spice powder - A popular Chinese spice mixture of star anise, fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon and Szechuan peppercorns.

Heavy cream - Cream with a near 50% fat content.

Julienne - To cut vegetables and fruits into thin strips.

Knead - To pound, fold, and stretch dough in order to improve the texture and elasticity

Marinate - To soak meats and vegetables in a liquid in order to improve flavor and tenderness.

Poach - To cook foods in simmering liquids

Purée - To blend ingredients into a fine paste.

Saute - To cook foods in a pan over a direct low heat source in oil or butter.

 

 

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