There are many different terms used in the culinary world. The following are the top 25 culinary terms every student should know as they are training to become a chef:
- Bind: Thickening soups, sauces or gravies by adding egg yolks, cream, flour, starch or blood.
- Blanch: Immersing foods in boiling water to part-cook or clean them.
- Braise: Slowly cooking meats or vegetables in a small covered quantity of aromatic liquid.
- Compote: Preparing fruits and/or vegetables by slowly cooking in a light sweet stock.
- Confit: Meats that have been slowly and gently cooked in fat.
- Emulsion: Mixing two incompatible liquids by dropping one slowly into the other in a continuous phase.
- Decoct: Extracting the essence of something by boiling it.
- Deglaze: Dissolving caramelized juice at the bottom of a saucepan by moistening with liquid.
- Dilute: Adding liquid to adjust the consistency of an overly thick sauce or puree.
- Julienne: Very thin strips of vegetables or cooked meat.
- Knead: Pressing, folding and stretching to work dough into a uniform mixture.
- Line: Arranging slices of ingredients on the bottom and sides of a utensil.
- Marinate: Soaking meat, poultry or fish in an acidic liquid to flavor and/or tenderize it.
- Mirepoix: Roughly chopped vegetables added to flavor stock; usually celery, onions and carrots.
- Poach: Simmering in a liquid that is kept just below the boiling point.
- Reduce: Simmering a liquid or sauce down to a concentrated liquid.
- Roux: Combination of flour and butter cooked to white, golden or dark as specified.
- Saute: Frying quickly in a small amount of hot fat or oil.
- Score: Creating small incisions on the skin of meat or fish to help it cook.
- Shrink: Sweating off moisture and juice of ingredients until they contract.
- Simmer: Boiling gently and consistently using low heat.
- Stew: Cooking ingredients in a closed container with almost no liquid, or no liquid at all.
- Sweat: Cooking an ingredient covered and over low heat until it loses its juices.
- Trimmings: Cut-off pieces left over after trimming an ingredient.
- Whisk: Adding volume to substances like egg whites, sauce, cream or hollandaise.
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