October 18, 2009

Cooking Glossary

Here are a few terms that might need explaining:

BAIN MARIE
  • Refers to a method of cooking in which food is cooked in a warm water bath. The food is placed in a pan that is then placed in another pan containing warm, simmering water. This is a good method for melting chocolate, cooking custards, and similar dishes that may scorch or burn if placed over direct heat.
BEURRE MANIE
  • A paste made of equal parts butter and flour added to a sauce to thicken it.
BLIND BAKE
  • To pre-bake a tart or pie dough until slightly dried prior to adding a wet filling to maintain crispiness of shell, usually done with a layer of baking beans.
BOUQUET GARNIS
  • A bundle of herbs including bay leaf, parsley stem, peppercorns and thyme used for seasoning.
SCALD
  • To heat a liquid, generally referring to milk, to just below the boiling point. It should be heated just until tiny bubbles begin to form at the very edges.
  • To place fruits or vegetables into boiling water for a short period of time to aid in peeling the skin off.
SOFT PEAKS
  • Egg whites beaten until they are still fairly wet but can hold a peak.
STIFF PEAKS
  • Egg whites beaten past the soft peak point until they are drier in texture and the peak holds without falling.
TEMPER/TEMPERING
  • A process where hot liquid is gradually added to eggs or other foods that needs to be incorporated into a hot sauce or soup without curdling. This slowly raises their temperature and then they can be added into the hot mixture.
  • A melting and cooling process used to stabilize the texture of chocolate.

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