Cooking Terms

Cooking involves many terms that aren’t used in other field and they may be hard to understand at times.  Here are some of the most common terms: 

Al denteAn Italian expression meaning “by the tooth”, describing pasta cooked in a shorter time so that it has a slight resistance when chewed.
Bake     To cook in an oven
BeatTo mix ingredients together using a fast, circular movement using a spoon, fork, whisk or mixer.
BlendTo mix ingredients together gently with a spoon, fork or until combined. 
BoilTo heat so that the liquid gets hot enough for bubbles to rise and break the surface.
BraiseTo cook by sautéing in fat and then simmering slowly in very little liquid. 
BroilTo cook under direct heat.
BrownTo cook over medium or high heat until surface of food browns or darkens
FryTo cook in fat or oil. 
GrateTo grate food against the holes of a grater making thin pieces
GreaseTo lightly coat with oil, butter, margarine, or non-stick spray so food does not stick when cooking or baking
KneadTo press, fold and stretch dough until it is smooth and uniform, usually done by pressing with the heels of the hands
Marinate        To soak food in a liquid to tenderize or add flavor to it ( the liquid is called a “marinade”.
Mash   To squash food with a fork, spoon or masher. 
MinceTo cut into very small pieces, smaller than chopped or diced pieces
MixTo stir ingredients together with a spoon, fork, or electric mixer until well combined
PoachTo cook very gently in hot liquid kept just below the boiling point
Pre-heatTo turn the oven on ahead of time so that it is at the desired temperature when needed (usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes)  
RoastTo cook by dry heat in an oven an open fire, or other heat source.
SauteTo cook quickly in a little oil, butter or margarine
SimmerTo cook in liquid over low heat (low boil) so that bubbles just begin to break the surface. 
SteamTo cook food over steam without putting the food directly in water (usually done with a steamer)
StewTo simmer slowly in a small amount of liquid for a long time. 
Stir fryTo quickly cook small pieces of food over high heat while constantly stirring the 
food until it is crispy tender (usually done with a wok.)


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