If you are new to cooking and you feel a little lost sometimes trying to understand what certain things mean in a recipe, then you need to check out this list. It contains some common phrases used throughout cookbooks and recipes. Make yourself familiar with these terms so that you will more easily understand how to read a recipe!
Terms used for preparing food…
Beat – To use a spoon, a fork, a whisk, or an electric mixer to mix ingredients together, using a fast, circular movement.
Blend – To combine two or more ingredients until the mixture is smooth and uniform in texture, color and flavor
Bread – To coat a food in bread crumbs before frying or baking
Chill – To put the food in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours
Chop – To cut into little pieces
Combine – to put items together or place them in the same bowl
Dice – To Cut into small square pieces
Drain – To remove all the liquid from something – may be done in a colander, strainer or by pressing a plate against the food while tilting the container forward
Fold – To very gently combine a light, delicate substance (such as beaten egg whites) with a heavier mixture, using a light “over and under” motion
Grate – To scrape against the small holes of a grater, making thin little pieces
Grease – To coat a pan with oil or margarine so food does not stick when cooking
Marinate – To soak foods in a flavorful liquid that tenderizes or adds flavor to meat, fish, chicken, veggies or tofu
Mash – To squash food with a fork, spoon or masher
Melt – To use heat to make a solid into a liquid
Mince – To cut into very small pieces, smaller that chopped or diced
Mix – To stir together with a spoon, fork or electric mixer
Peel – To remove the outside of a fruit or vegetable
Pit – To remove the seed
Preheat – To turn on your oven ahead of time so it heats up to the temperature you need it to be before cooking
Shred – To scrape against the large holes on a grater, making long, thin pieces
Stir – To mix with a spoon
Strain – To remove solid bits from liquid
Wash – To clean thoroughly (Fresh fruits that do not have skins to peel and all fresh veggies need to be cleaned with a special brush before using.)
Whisk – To use a whisk to quickly stir to get lumps out
Terms used to cook food…
Bake – To cook in an oven
Boil – To heat on the stove until the liquid gets hot enough for bubbles to rise and break the surface
Broil – To cook by direct heat in the broiler of an electric or gas range oven
Brown – To cook until the color of the food changes to brown
Fry – To cook food in hot fat such as an oil or butter. Deep fry means to put enough fat in the pan to cover the food.
Roast – The same as bake, but this term is used for cooking meat
Sauté – To cook quickly in a little oil, butter or margarine
Scramble – To mix up really well, like, to scramble eggs, stir them while they cook.
Simmer – To cook in liquid over low heat just below the boiling point. Where bubbles form slowly and burst just before they reach the surface.
Steam – Too cook food using the heat from boiling water without putting the food directly in the water. This is usually done with a device called a steamer, a silver bowl with holes that folds to fit many different pans.
Stew – To cook food for a long time in a covered pan with liquid
Stir-fry – To toss and stir cut-up pieces of food in a pan with hot oil, cooking it quickly