Instructions: Al dente: Italian term meaning pasta cooked until tender but still firm to the bite.
Au jus: French term meaning served in natural meat juices.
Bake: To cook foods in the oven at a temperature specified in recipe.
Baste: To spread, brush or spoon water, melted fat or other liquid, such as chicken broth, over food to keep the surface moist and add flavor.
Beat: To make a mixture smooth or to introduce air by using a brisk, regular revolving motion that lifts the mixture over and over.
Blanch: To boil in water for a short time and then plunge into cold water, or to pour boiling water over food, then drain it almost immediately.
Often used to preserve color in vegetables or to loosen the skin of tomatoes.
Blend: To combine two or more ingredients by mixing thoroughly.
Boil: To cook in boiling water or other liquid. Liquid is at a "boil" when large bubbles rise continuously to the top.
Bone (as a verb): To remove bones from meat, poultry or fish.
Braise: To brown in fat, then cook covered on top of the stove or in the oven with some added liquid.
Bread (as a verb): To roll or coat with bread crumbs, dry cereal or cracker crumbs.
Broil: To cook by direct heat.
Brush: To spread or brush with melted fat or other liquid to coat.
Butterfly (as a verb): To cut a piece of meat, fish or poultry in half horizontally, leaving one side attached.
Chill: To cool in the refrigerator.
Chop:To cut into small pieces with sharp knife.
Coat the spoon: To cook until mixture sticks to the metal stirring spoon in a thin layer.
Cream (as a verb): To beat one or more foods until mixture is soft and creamy or fluffy. Usually a step at the beginning of baking recipes.
Cube (as a verb): To cut into small squares of equal (or semi-equal) size.
Cut in shortening: To combine shortening (or any other solid fat) with flour and other dry ingredients by chopping it into mixture with a pastry cutter, or two knives or spatulas.
Dice: To cut into small cubes. Size may be specified in recipe, such as " 1/4-inch dice" or " 1/2-inch dice."
Dot: To scatter small pieces of butter or other fat over food before cooking.
Dredge: To coat or sprinkle lightly with flour, sugar, etc., until food is well-covered.
Dust: To sprinkle food lightly with a dry ingredient, such as paprika.
Fold: To combine by using two motions: (1) cutting vertically through the mixture and (2) turning over and over by sliding the implement across the bottom of the mixing bowl with each turn of the bowl. Usually accomplished with a spatula, and usually used to incorporate light mixtures, such as egg whites, into other mixtures, such as cake batter.
Garnish: To decorate foods, usually with other foods.
Glaze: To brush or pour a shiny coating over foods.
Grate: To cut food into very fine particles by rubbing on a grater. Spray a grater with non-stick spray to help in cleanup.
Grease: To rub lightly with shortening or butter. Often, you can squirt pans with non-stick spray instead.
Grind: To cut food into tiny particles by pushing through a food grinder, or by crushing with a mortar and pestle. Also can be accomplished in a food processor.
Knead: To repeatedly fold, turn and press down on dough with the hands until it becomes smooth and elastic. One of the most rewarding physical tasks in cooking.
Marinate: To let foods stand in a liquid mixture. Refrigerate, covered, if marinating more than two hours.
Mince: To cut or chop into very small pieces.
Mix: To combine ingredients in any way that evenly distributes them.
Parboil: To cook in a skillet kept dry by pouring off accumulated fat.
Usually, fattier meats are parboiled.
Pan-fry: To cook in a small amount of fat in a skillet. Usually, leaner meats are pan-fried.
Peel: To strip off the outside covering.
Poach: To cook in water, broth or other liquid that is just below the boiling point.
Preheat: To heat oven to desired temperature before putting food in oven.
Preheat for 20 minutes when baking for a proper rise.
Punch down: To strike down risen dough with the fist to allow gas to escape.
Roast: To cook by dry heat in oven.
Saute: To cook briskly in a small amount of fat, usually in a skillet on top of the stove. Same thing as pan-fry.
Scald: To heat milk to just below the boiling point. Small bubbles will appear around the edges when scalded.
Sear: To brown surfaces quickly over high heat, usually in a hot skillet.
Often an instruction at the beginning of meat preparation.
Shred: To cut into fine pieces with a knife or sharp instruments.
Sift: To put dry ingredients through a sieve or sifter, to lighten and/or incorporate them, or to remove large pieces.
Simmer: To cook in liquid at a low temperature. Be sure the liquid does not boil.
Sliver: To slice into long, thin strips.
Soft peaks: To beat egg whites or whipping cream until peaks are formed.
When beaters are lifted, the tips of peaks will curl over.
Steam (verb form): To cook, covered, over a small amount of boiling liquid so the steam formed in the pan does the cooking.
Steep: Let stand in hot liquid to extract flavor, as in tea, or to hydrate dried vegetables or fruits.
Stew: To cook slowly in liquid.
Stir: To mix foods with a circular motion for the purpose of blending or obtaining uniform consistency.
Thin: To dilute by adding liquid.
Toss: To lightly blend ingredients by lifting them and letting them fall back in the bowl.
Zest: The colored part of citrus rind used as a flavoring.
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