Cooking Terms (A-L)


Age/Aged: to allow food to get old under controlled conditions in order to improve taste, texture or both.

Al Dente: Italian phrase meaning “to the tooth”. Cooked to be not too soft; firm to the bite. Used commonly to describe pasta or rice.


Basteto moisten food while cooking with drippings, sauce or juice in order to add flavor and prevent dryness.

Blanch: to partially cook in boiling water or steam; also used to loosen skins from tomatoes, peaches, etc.

Braise: to cook meat slowly in a tightly covered pan using a small amount of liquid


Crimpto create a decorative impression around the raised edge of pie dough (See Flute or Scallop).

Cube: to cut uniform 1/2 inch squares


Dash: a unit of measurement equal to 1/16 teaspoon.

Deglaze: to add liquid such as water or wine or broth to a skillet after it has been used to cook meat.

Dice: to cut into uniform pieces, usually 1/8 to 1/4 inch.


Egg Wash: egg yolks or whites mixed together with a small amount of water or milk — used to brush over pastries/breads to give it a gloss once cooked or to help bread crumbs stick to the surface of food more efficiently during the cooking process.

Emulsifier: and ingredient used to bind other ingredients together that otherwise would not be able to be blended.


Flute: to create a decorative impression around the raised edge of pie dough (See Crimp or Scallop).

Fold: to combined a light mixture with a heavy one; heavy mixtures are folded directly into the center of the light ingredients. Example of a light ingredient: egg whites — Example of a heavy ingredient: cake batter


Garnish: a decorative, edible addition used to top off a dish for a better presentation.

Glaze: 1. n. a liquid mixture creating a glossy finish on a dish. 2. v. to cover a dish in a glossy coating


Homogenize: To reduce particles and disperse throughout a fluid using the process of emulsion (see definition above); to break down fat globules in milks or creams in order for them to be distributed evenly.


Infusion: flavor that is extracted from foods and herbs through the process of steeping.


Julienne: to slice food into thin, match stick size strips about 2 inches long.


Kabob/Kebab: marinated chunks of meat, fish or vegetables that are fix on a skewer and grilled.

Knead: a method used to mix dough into a cohesive, workable mass.

Kosher: food that is accepted under strict Jewish biblical law referring to what can be eaten and combined in one meal.  Kosher food must be prepared under a rabbis supervision.


Leavener/Leavening Agent: an ingredient added to help baked goods rise or expand in volume.


One comment on “Cooking Terms (A-L)

  1. Pingback: Recipe of the Week — Tomato Eggplant Cream Sauce over Fettuccine « Afford To Eat!

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