Definition for some cooking and baking terms used in this blog.   

Baste: To moisten foods while cooking with pan juice, oil or other liquid.

Bain-Marie: ( Water Bath) is a French term used for a container filled with hot or boiling water for gradual and gentle cooking .

Caramelize: To melt sugar in a saucepan until golden brown, or cooking onions oil or butter until soft and caramel coloured.

Chop: To cut foods into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch pieces.

Coat: To dip or roll foods in flour, bread crumbs, sugar or a sauce until covered.

Cream: To beat using a mixer, softened margarine or butter with sugar until light and fluffy.

Cube: To cut food into 1/2-inch to 1-inch square pieces.

Cut in: To break down and distribute cold butter, margarine or shortening into flour using a pastry blender.

Dash: A less then 1/4 teaspoon that is used for herbs and spices.

Dissolve: To stir a solid food with a liquid until none of the solid particles remained.

Dice: To cut food into 1/4-inch cubes.

Drizzle: To slowly spoon or pour a thin stream of icing or other liquid over food.

Dust: To sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, cocoa or flour.

Egg Wash: Beaten egg, and milk or water that is brushed over baked goods to give them a shiny finish.

Extracts: A substance made by extracting part of a raw material which is then dissolved in alcohol. Common examples are vanilla and almond.

Fillet: A boneless cut of fish.

Flavourings: Chemical compounds that replicate the flavour  of a particular food or plant. Example:  maple, coconut and rum.

Frost: To cover a cake or other baked goods with a spreadable frosting.

Garnish: A decorative addition to give more appeal, such as chocolate shavings on a cake, or basil leaves on a plate of pasta.

Grate: To rub ingredients over a grater to produce smaller particles.

Grease and Flour: To rub the inside of a baking pan or a dish with margarine or shortening and then dust with flour removing the excess.

Grind: To break down solid foods into smaller pieces using a food processor or blender.

Ice: To spread a thin layer of frosting over cakes or cookies.

Marble: To swirl light and dark batters in a cake for a swirling effect.

Marinate: To tenderize meat (or add flavour to foods) by placing them in a mixture of oil, vinegar, lemon juice, herbs and spices.

Mince: To chop foods into very fine pieces no larger than 1/8-inch.

Mix: To stir or beat ingredients together with a fork until well combined.

Moisten: To add enough liquid to dry ingredients while stirring gently to make a wet mixture.

Pan-Fry: To cook meat or other foods in a pan or skillet using oil.

Pinch: A measurement for seasoning or spice that is easily held between the thumb and index finger.

Pipe: To push a soft mixture such as whipping cream or frosting through a pastry bag for a decorative finish.

Preheat: To bring an oven up to the baking temperature before baking.

Prick: To pierce pastry or other baked goods with the tines of a fork or the end of a knife to prevent them from bursting or rising during baking.

Process: To combine, blend, chop or purée foods in a food processor or blender.

Punch Down: To use a fist to deflate risen yeast dough after the first rising.

Roast: To cook meat or vegetables in the oven.

Roux: A French term used for lightly browning flour in oil in order to use for thickening soups and sauces.

Saute: To cook foods in oil until lightly browned and tender.

Separate: To remove the egg whites from the egg yolk.

Shred: To cut foods into long, thin strips using a metal shredder.

Sifting: To pass dry ingredients like flour or powder sugar through a strainer in order to remove lumps, add air or to combine dry ingredients together.

Simmer: To cook soups or other liquid foods just under the boiling point (180 to 200 degrees).

Skim: To remove with a slotted spoon foam that rises on the top of cooking liquid.

Soften: To bring butter, margarine or cream cheese to a soft consistency by placing it at room temperature for a period of time.

Steam: To place vegetables in a steamer basket over boiling water.

Steep: To place tea leaves in hot water to extract flavour.

Stiff  Peaks: The stage of beating egg whites or heavy whipping cream until beaters lifted up, the mixture has peaks that stand straight up.

Stir: To blend ingredients in a circular motion.

Stir-Fry: To quickly sauté meats or vegetables in a wok or skillet while stirring constantly.

Toss: To gently mix ingredients with a spoon of fork.

Whip: To beat rapidly by hand or with an electric mixer to add air and increase volume.

Whisk: A multi-looped, wire mixing utensil with a handle used to whip sauces, eggs, cream, or other foods to a smooth consistency. Also means to whip ingredients together.

Leia’s Culinary Treasures

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