Cooking Lesson 103: Dictionary of Kitchen Terms

Cooking Lesson 103: Dictionary of Kitchen Terms

Au Gratin: A dish topped with cheese or a mixture of breadcrumbs and butter, then heated in the oven or broiler until browned and crispy.

Au Jus: French phrase that describes meat served in its own natural cooking juices.

Au Lait: French, meaning "with milk”.

Baking Powder: A leavener that contains a mixture of baking soda (to help a dough or batter rise or lighten its texture); an acid (such as cream of tartar); and a moisture absorber (such as cornstarch).

Baking Sheet: A flat sheet of metal, usually rectangular, used for baking cookies, biscuits, etc.

Baking Soda: Baking soda is used in baking recipes as a leavener. When combined with an acid like buttermilk, yogurt, or vinegar in a batter, it creates bubbles from the carbon dioxide gas that causes the batter to rise while baking.

Blackened: A method of cooking in which meat or fish, usually rubbed with Cajun spices, is cooked in a very hot cast iron skillet.

Broth: A liquid made by cooking vegetables, poultry, meat or fish. Drain the seasoned liquid after cooking.

Braise: A cooking method in which food is browned in fat, on the stove or in the oven, and then cooked in a small amount of liquid over a low heat for a long time, tightly covered.

Broil: Cook or brown food by placing it under the grill in the oven. The grill is usually on the top of the oven, but older ovens may have a meat drawer underneath. Recipes usually call for food to be placed 4-6 inches away from the grill unit.

Brown: Rapid cooking at high heat, causing the surface of the food to brown while the inside remains moist.

Caramelize: Sugar is heated until it liquefies and turns into a clear syrup that varies in color from golden to dark brown.

Convection Oven: An oven equipped with a fan that provides a continuous circulation of hot air around food.

Cut In: Combine a solid cold fat (like shortening or butter) with the dry ingredients until the mixture forms into small granules. This can be done using a food processor, a handheld tool called a pastry blender, a fork, or two knives.

To Be Continued…

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