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Definition of the cooking terms:

Au gratin: food that has been coated with sauce and sprinkled with breadcrumbs before browning in the oven or under the grill. Cheese is frequently substituted for the breadcrumbs. This dish is served in the vessel in which it has been cooked.

To baste: to moisten with a hot gravy or fat. Fruit, such as baked apple, is basted with hot syrup.

To bind a Mixture: to add sufficient liquid, either water, egg, sauce, milk or fat, to hold together the dry ingredients of a recipe.

To blanch: to cleanse, whiten, soften, remove strong odours and flavours or to clear vegetables and nuts of skin, by steeping in cold water or plunging in boiling water.

To blend: to mix flour or other dry farinaceous food with a small proportion of cold liquid, adding it very gradually, stirring all the time to keep it smooth and creamy.

To cream: to beat a mixture with a wooden spoon (usually fat, sometimes with sugar) until it is soft, white and fluffy.

To dice: to cut food into small cubes.

To fold: to add a light mixture to a heavy one.

To marinade: to stand the food in a flavouring “pickle” before cooking. this is usually made of herbs, oil and vinegar.

To mask: to cover food with a coating of sauce.

To poach: to simmer in a small quantity of water, milk, syrup or other liquid until cooked.

Raspings: grated, toasted breadcrumbs.

To reduce: to boil quickly and drive off some of the water, thus giving a denser consistency or more concentrated flavour.

Roux: the basis of good sauces and soup. Flour and fat are cooked together and then liquid added, till the mixture is of the desire thickness.

To saute: to toss a food in a little hot fat till the fat is absorbed. To cook by this method at low temperature and without colouring the food.

To score: to make light cuts in the surface of the food.

To sear: to brown rapidly at a high temperature.

To shred: to cut up finely with a sharp knife.


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