Glossary

If you know the difference between a roux and a buerre-manié, then this page isn't for you! For the rest of you amateur cooks, like me, I've put together this list of terms that can sometimes be confusing.

Al Dente - cooked until firm but not hard. Vegetables should be crisp but tender.
 

Amuse-Bouche - literally means in French a 'mouth amuser'. A small appetizer served between courses.

Baste - the process of spooning the juices of a roasting meat back over the skin to keep moist.

Caramelise - to heat sugar until it turns brown and sticky.

Clarified Butter - the yellow, clear liquid separated from it's butterfat, by melting and decanting.

Cream - usually refers to 'creaming' butter and caster sugar, by vigorously beating the mixture until the consistency becomes creamy, and the colour lightens.

Deglaze - using alcohol to remove the caramelised bits of food from the pan when making a sauce.

Flambé - adding alcohol to a pan to create a burst of flames. Be very careful!

Fold - usually referred to when mixing flour into a batter with a metal spoon. Literally means to fold the mixture on top of itself to keep the air in.

Knead - use your hands to fold, stretch and press a mixture into a uniform texture.

Medium Rare - when referring to meat, the center should be red and warm.

Par-Boil - the process of boiling food prior to cooking, to soften a little or to remove unwanted flavours.

Quenelle - an oval or egg-shaped way of presenting food, created by turning spoons over each other.

Reduce - heat a liquid without a lid on so that excess water can evaporate, condensing the liquid down.

Sauté - to lightly shallow fry in oil.

Simmer - heat water/sauce so that bubbles rise to the surface, but not to a full rolling boil.