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Culinary Cooking-Catering Culinary Terms Used In

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Over the years, as a culinary chef and always been involved with culinary cooking, I have always had people question me on what certain terms, methods and processes meant. So I have devised a list below for all you budding culinary chefs to see. I hope you can all have as much fun as i did trying to learn them all. I remember having a few pans thrown in my direction by my Head Chef for misunderstanding something he asked for. Enjoy!!

Accompaniments: Items offered separately with a dish of food.

Acidulate: To make a liquid acidic by the addition of lemon juice or vinegar.

Agar-agar: A substitute for gelatine derived from seaweed. Mostly used in vegetarian dishes.

Al dente: An Italian term which describes the consistency of pasta when cooked correctly. Literally, it means “to the tooth” i.e. the pasta should be slightly firm to the bite.

Anglaise: Usually means plain style. When applied to fish it means flour, egg washed, breadcrumbed and deep fried. In the case of vegetables it generally means boiled.

Aromates: Herbs and spices used for flavouring.

Aspic: A savoury jelly mainly used for decorative larder work.

Au four: Baked in the oven.

Au gratin: Sprinkled with cheese or breadcrumbs and browned.

Au vin blanc: With white wine.

Bain marie: A utensil which is partly filled with water and kept below boiling point. It is used either to keep foods warm or for cooking egg custards.

Bard: To cover the breast of a bird with thin slices of back fat prior to roasting.

Barquette: A boat shaped pastry case.

Basting: Spooning the melted fat over foods being roasted or

grilled during the cooking process to prevent the surface becoming dry.

Back Fat: Slices of fat usually cut from the loin. Used as an aid when roasting the drier meats and game to impart additional moisture and flavour.

Beard:The action of removing the beard from shell fish (mussels, oysters).

Bed of Roots: Slices of onion and carrot, browned and used as a bed for a braising joint.

Beef Marrow: Nutritious fatty substances in beef bones.

Beurre Marie: Equal quantities of flour and butter used for thickening sauces.

Bind : To add sauces or egg to a mixture of fish or chicken or meat or other ingredients to hold them together.

Blanc: A cooking liquor of water, salt and lemon juice, slightly thickened with flour, used for cooking offals and certain vegetables.

Blanch: a. To put meat or root vegetables in cold water or green vegetables into boiling hot water, bring to the boil then drain off and plunge into cold water. b. To cook potatoes in fat or oil without taking colour. c. To plunge into boiling hot water in order to remove the skin, eg tomatoes, citrus fruits.

Blanquette: A white stew cooked in a stock from which the sauce is made.

Bombe: An iced cream made in a dome shaped mould.

Bouchees: Small puff pastry cases.

Bouquet Garni: A bunch of herbs; parsley, thyme and bay leaf usually tied inside pieces of leek or celery to facilitate their removal after use. Known also as a faggot.

Brunoise: Small neat dice.

Canape: A small cushion of brad toasted or fried on which areserved various savoury foods.

Cartouche: A round greaseproof paper cut to the size of a pan which helps to prevent a skin forming on the surface of the contents. A small hole is cut into the middle to allow heat to escape. This is particulary important when the sauce needs to be rapidly cooled.

Chantilly: Sweetened whipped vanilla flavoured cream.

Chemise: To line a mould usually with a savoury jelly or fruit ice cream.

Chiffonade: Term denoting coarsely shredded lettuce, spinach or other sald vegetables.

Chine: To remove the spine bone from the meat around it; normally associated with the best end of lamb.

Clarify: To clear stocks, soups, cooking fat etc.

Cocotte: A small earthenware dish for cooking and serving one portion.

Compote: A term usually applied to fresh or dry fruit cooked in light syrup.

Concasse: A term used to describe food that is roughly chopped. Usually applied to tomatoes which have been skinned, the seeds have been removed and the flesh cut into dice.

Condiments: Items such as salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar and all spices.

Cordon: A thread or thin line of sauce.

Coupe: A combination of ice cream or different ices, fruit, liqueur, cream, whipped cream or other ingredients served in a glass or silver cup or goblet to which the term coupe also applies.

Court Bouillon: A well flavoured cooking liquor containing carrots, onions, vinegar or wine, bouquet garni and peppercorns. Used mainly for cooking fish.

Creaming: To beat butter, margarine or other fats with sugar to the consistency of whipped cream.

Croquettes: Cooked foods moulded into a cylinder shape, coated in egg and breadcrumbs and deep fried.

Croute: A cushion of fried or toasted bread on which are served various hot foods eg savouries, game stuffing etc. Also a pastry crust.

Darne: A cut of round fish across the bone.

Deglacer: To swill out the pan (in which food has been fried) with wine, stock or water in order to use the sediment in a sauce or gravy.

Devilled: The addition to a dish usually fish or meat of very hot condiments and sometimes a highly seasoned spiced sauce.

Dress: To pare, scale, clean and trim. To present a dish attractively.

Duxelles: Finely chopped muschrooms cooked with chopped shallots.

Escalope: A thin slice of meat or fish.

Fillet: The undercut from a joint of beef, lamb, veal or pork. Boned breast of poultry or game birds and a slice of boned fat.

Flambe: Food covered with a spirit and set alight.

Flan: An open tart.

Fleuron: A small crescent of puff pastry used as a garnish for fish and vegetable dishes.

Game: Wild birds and animals which are hunted for food. Game eats food not available to domesticated animals which gives it a distinctive flabour.

Garnish: To decorate a dish for the table.

Glaze: a. To colour a sauce or sugar coated dish under a grill or in an oven. b. To coat with jelly or mask with melted butter.

Lard: To insert small strips of fat or bacon with the aid of a larding needle through or in a piece of lean meat, game or poultry.

Liaison: A combination of yolks of egg and cream used as a thickening agent.

Macerate: To sprinkle fruits with wine or liqueur and leave for a period of time in order to impart a flavour.

Mask: To cover or coat an item with sauce.

Medallion: Foodstuffs prepared in round flat medallion shapes.

Mousse: A dish of light consistency which may be sweet or savoury, served hot or cold.

Navarin: Brown lamb stew.

Pane: Pass through seasoned flour, beaten egg and white breadcrumbs.

Pass: To push through a sieve or strainer.

Pates: Savoury mixtures made principally from either chicken, calves or pigs liver with the addition of other meat, poultry or game. They can be smooth or coarse in texture.

Pipe: To use a piping bag or paper cornet for ornamental decoration of food.

Piquant: A sharp spicy flabour.

Poultry: Domestic fowls reared for the table. It includes chickens, ducks, geese, pigeons and turkeys. Guinea fowl which used to be classed as game is now raised on farms and is classed as poultry.

Profiteroles: Small balls of choux pastry for garnishing soups or as a sweet course with cream and chocolate.

Prove: To put a yeast dough to rest in a warm place allowing it to rise and expand.

Puree: A smooth mixture obtained by passing food through a sieve.

Quenelle: Poultry, fish, game or meat pounded, sieved and shaped then usually poached.

Quorn: A vegetarian meat substitute developed from fungus.

Ramekins: Small porcelain or earthenware moulds.

Reconstitute: The replacing of the moisture content in dehydrated foods.

Reduce: To concentrate a liquid by boiling.

Refresh: To plunge hot food into cold water to prevent further cooking and retain flavour.

Render: Heating raw fats to extract the dripping.

Roux: A thickening of cooked flour and fat.

Sabayon: Yolks of eggs and a little water cooked till creamy. Can also be used as a sweet sauce.

Saute: To cook quickly in a shallow pan with a little fat. Literally the action of tossing the food in hot fat.

Score: Incisions made through meat or fish and some vegetables to assist the cooking process.

Seal: To close the pores of meat or vegetables by the application of intense heat.

Season: To add condiments to food to enhance its flavour.

Shred: To cut into thin strips eg lettuce, sorrel, onion.

Simmer: To keep a liquid just at boiling point. Simmering is a method used for dishes which need long slow cooking.

Singe: To burn off the down of a plucked bird by passing over a flame.

Skim: To remove the scum or fat from the surface of a liquid.

Souffle: A very light dish either sweet or savoury, hot or cold.

Troncon: A cut of flat fish across the bone.

Truss: To tie poultry or game with string to retain its shape while cooking.

Turn: To cut potatoes or vegetables into barrel or olive shapes. To groove or channel mushrooms.

Zest: The outer part of lemon and orange rind which contains the essential oils.

I hope this list helps to explain more clearly what certain terms,methods and practices are within the Catering enviroment. If you find this hub helpful click  to view my other hub on French Culinary-Terms Explained.

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