Kitchen Skills

Make Your Own Compound Butter


~ Al dente
To cook food until just firm, usually referring to pasta, but can include vegetables.
~ Bake
To cook food in an oven using dry heat.
~ Barbeque
Usually used generally to refer to grilling done outdoors or over an open charcoal or wood fire. More specifically, barbecue refers to long, slow direct- heat cooking, including liberal basting with a barbecue sauce.
~ Baste
To moisten food while cooking by spooning, brushing, or squirting a liquid, such as meat drippings to stock, to add flavor and prevent it from drying out.
~ Beat
To stir rapidly in a circular motion to make a smooth mixture, using a whisk, spoon, or mixer.
~ Blanch
To immerse in rapidly boiling water and allow to cook slightly.
~ Braise
To cook first by browning the food in butter or oil, then gently simmering in a small amount of liquid over low heat for a long period of time in a covered pan until tender.
~ Broil
To expose food to direct heat on a rack or spit, often used for melting food like cheese.
~ Brown
To cook over high heat (usually on the stove-top) to brown food.
~ Caramelize
To heat sugar until it liquefies and becomes a syrup.
~ Chop
To cut vegetables into large squares, usually specified by the recipe.
~ Clarify
To separate and remove solids from a liquid, thus making it clear.
~ Cream
To beat ingredients (usually sugar and a fat) until smooth and fluffy.
~ Cube
Like chopping, it is to cut food into small cubes, usually about 1/2 inch.
~ Cure
To preserve meats by drying and salting and/or smoking.
~ Deglaze
To dissolve the thin glaze of juices and brown bits on the surface of a pan in which food has been fried, sautéed or roasted. To do this, add liquid and stir and scrape over high heat, thereby adding flavor to the liquid for use as a sauce.
~ Dash
1/8 teaspoon.
~ Dice
To cut into small pieces, usually 1/4 to 1/8 chunks.
~ Dollop
A spoonful of a semi-solid food, like whipped cream or mashed potatoes, placed on top of another food.
~ Dredge
To lightly coat uncooked food with a dry mixture, usually with flour, cornmeal, or breadcrumbs, to be pan fried or sautéed.
~ Dress
To coat foods with a sauce, such as salad.
~ Drizzle
To pour liquid back and forth over a dish in a fine stream, usually melted butter, oil, syrup, or melted chocolate.
~ Dust
To coat lightly with a powdery ingredients, such as confectioners’ sugar or cocoa.
~ Fillet
To cut the bones from a piece of meat, poultry, or fish.
~ Flambé
To drizzle a flammable spirit over a food while its cooking, to ignite the just before serving.
~ Fold
To combine light ingredients, such as whipped cream or beaten eggs whites, with a heavier mixture, using an over-and-under motion.
~ Glaze
To coat foods with mixtures such as jellies or sauces.
~ Grate
Creates tiny pieces of food, best for things like cheese to melt quickly or a vegetable used in a sauce.
~ Grease
To coat the interior of a pan or dish with shortening, oil, or butter to prevent food from sticking during cooking.
~ Grill
To cook on a grill over intense heat.
~ Julienne
Cutting vegetables until long, thin stripes, approximately 1/4 inch thick and 1 inch long.
~ Knead
The process of mixing dough with the hands or a mixer
~ Marinate
To soak in a sauce or flavored liquid for a long period of time, usually a meat, poultry or fish.
~ Mince
To cut as small as possible, most commonly used with garlic.
~ Pan Fry
Cook larger chunks of food over medium heat, flipping once only.
~ Parboil
To partially cook by boiling, usually to prepare the food for cooking by another method.
~ Poach
To cook gently over very low heat, in barely simmering water just to cover.
~ Pinch
1/16 teaspoon.
~ Purée
To mash or grind food until completely smooth.
~ Roast
Like baking but concerning meat or poultry, it is to cook food in an oven using dry heat.
~ Sauté
To cook small pieces of food over a medium-high heat with oil in a pan, usually to brown food.
~ Scald
To heat liquid almost to a boil until bubbles begin forming just around the edge.
~ Sear
To brown the surface of meat by quick cooking over high heat into order to seal in the meat’s juices.
~ Shred
Done on a grater with larger holes, resulting in long, smooth stripes to cook or melt.
~ Simmer
Bring a pot to a boil, then reduce the heat until there are no bubbles.
~ Skim
To remove fat or foam from the surface a liquid.
~ Slice
To cut vertically down, thickness sometimes specified by the recipe.
~ Smidgen
1/32 teaspoon.
~ Steam
To cook food on a rack or in a steamer set over boiling or simmering water.
~ Steep
To soak a dry ingredient in a liquid just under the boiling point to extract the flavor, such as with tea.
~ Stew
To cook covered over low heat in a liquid for a substantial period of time.
~ Truss
To secure poultry with string or skewers, to hold its shape while cooking.
~ Whip
To beat food with a whisk or mixer to incorporate air and increase volume.
~ Whisk
To beat ingredients with a fork or a whisk.
~ Zest
The outer, colored peel of a citrus fruit.

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