English Cooking Terms and French Equivalents (Glossary)



English Cooking Terms and French Equivalents (Glossary)

Bake blind (cuire à blanc): to pre-cook empty pastry cases, lined with greaseproof paper and dry (baking) beans to hold the pastry in shape.

Baste (arroser): to spoon hot fat or liquid over food, usually meat, while it is cooking, in order to prevent drying out.

Blanch (blanchir): to place vegetables or other foods in boiling water for a short time to remove any strong taste, to soften, to preserve color (before freezing) or to make it easier to remove the skins.

Blend (mélanger): to mix together a dry and a liquid substance.

Charlotte mould (moule à charlotte): a flat-bottomed basin taht can be lined easily with fingers of bread or biscuits.

Clarified butter: butter which has been slowly melted and strained to remove the moisture and impurities. This prevents the butter burning when it is used for frying.

Dice (couper en dès): to cut food into small cubes.

Flights (ailerons): the wing ends on poultry.

Garnish (garnir): to add an edible decoration to a dish just before serving, in order to improve its appearance and/ or flavor.

Glaze (glacer): 1) to paint egg and water over pastry or dough before cooking so that it will shine when cooked; 2) to paint a thin layer of jelly over cooked fruit or meat to make it shine; 3) to dip glace fruits in a thick sugar syrup in order to coat them.

Lard (larder): to thread strips of fat (lardons) through lean meat.

Liaison (liaison): thickening or binding of soup or sauce by the use of 1) egg yolks or 2)starch.

Marinate (mariner): to soak meat or fish in liquid (often wine) and flavorings before cooking in order to tenderize and improve the flavor.

Mouli (mouliner): to put through a vegetable mill or mouli. See mouli-legumes.

Poach (pocher): to cook food in liquid that is barely boiling.

Puree (purée): a smooth pulp obtained by passing food through a sieve, liquidizer or mouli.

Reduce (réduire): to boil a liquid in order to reduce its volume and so increase its flavor.

Refresh (rafraîchir): to dip hot food into cold water to stop the cooking process and cool it quickly.

Sauté (sauter): to brown food quickly in hot fat, either to cook it completely or just to seal it.

Simmer (mijoter): to cook food in a liquid below boiling point on a very low heat, so that the water shimmers but does not bubble.

Vanilla sugar: many recipes for desserts specify vanilla flavored sugar, and vanilla essence is a crude substitute for it. It is possible, though expensive, to buy vanilla sugar, but it is very simple to make at home. A vanilla pod in a tightly lidded jar of castor sugar will last for years. Each time some sugar is taken out it should be replaced with fresh.


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