French Cooking Terms (Glossary)



French Cooking Terms (Glossary)

Agneau: lamb

Aiglefin: haddock

Ail: garlic

Ananas: pineapple

Andouilles: black-skinned sausages, made with tripe, which are sliced and eaten cold

Artichaut: globe artichoke

Baguette: a long, thin loaf of white bread weighing 250g (1/2 lb)

Bain-marie: 1. a deep pan filled with simmering water within which sits a bowl, often on a stand. Its purpose is to cook food as gently as possible, e.g. egg mixtures which might otherwise curdle. 2. a shallow pan filled with hot water in which bowls or saucepans can be stood to keep foods and sauces hot

Ballotine: a galantine: meat or poultry which has been boned, chopped and returned to its skin, which is then tied in the shape of a small balloon and cooked; it is eaten cold and sliced.

Beurre manié: a mixture of butter and flour used to thicken soups and sauces just before serving

Boeuf: beef

Bouillabaisse: a substantial fish soup from Marseilles and Sète, made from Mediterranean fish and shellfish.

bouquet garni: a bunch of herbs - typically, parsley, thyme and bay leaf - used for flavoring savory dishes

Bourride: a Provencal fish soup that is served with a garlic mayonnaise

Brioche: a bun, made with rich dough that includes eggs, often incorporating a savory filling

Canard: duck

Caneton: duckling

Cassoulet: a casserole of beans containing confit d'oie and pork or mutton. A Languedoc dish

Charcuterie: pork butcher's and delicatessen

Charcutier: a pork butcher

Chicorée: endive

Chou: cabbage

chou-fleur: cauliflower

Chou-rouge: red cabbage

Choux de Bruxelles: brussels sprouts

Ciboulette: chives

Confits d'oie: joints of goose cooked and preserved in goose fat

Consommé:  a clear soup with a meat stock base, usually with a vegetable or pasta garnish

Coquilles: scallop shells

Coquilles St Jacques: scallops

Court-bouillon: a stock made with vegetables and often wine or vinegar, for cooking fish

Crème pâtissière: confectioner's custard: custard cream used for French sweet dishes, including pastries and ice creams

Croissant: a crescent-shaped roll of rich, flaky bread

Croûton: a small cube of fried bread used as a garnish for soups and stews

Daube: stew or braise

Déglacer: to clean with a liquid (often wine) a pan in which meat has been cooked; the flavored liquid is used as a sauce or gravy

Déjeuner: lunch; petit dejeuner, breakfast

Dîner: dinner or main meal

Endive: chicory

Estragon: tarragon

Etuver: to stew

Extra vierge: first pressing (of olive oil)

Farci: stuffed

Fines herbes: a mixture of herbs - typically, parsley, chives and tarragon

Graisse d'oie: goose fat

Gratiner: to brown the top of a dish; au gratin, coated in a sauce, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and /or cheese, and browned either under the grill or in the oven.

Gros pain: a long, white French loaf weighing 400g (14oz)

Haute cuisine: the lavish cooking style of the French aristocracy that now survives in specialist restaurants all over the world

Jambon: ham

Lard: bacon

Lard de poitrine: either salted or smoked belly of pork

Lardons: strips of fat for larding lean meat

Laurier (feuilles de): bay (leaves)

Morue: dry salt cod, sometimes called stockfish

Mouli-légumes: a vegetable mill

Mouliner: to muoli, or pass through a vegetable mill

Mouton: mutton

Pain: bread: de campagne, coarse white; complet, wholemeal; de seigle, rye

Pâte: pastry: à choux, choux pastry; à frire, batter for frying; brisée, shortcrust pastry; feuilletée, puff pastry; sablée, sweet biscuit pastry; sucrée, sweetened shortcrust pastry.

Pâté: originally a meat pie, now any meat loaf. Interchangeable with terrine.

Pâtisserie: cake shop; also, food items sold therein.

Petit déjeuner: see déjeuner

Persil: parsley

Poisson: fish

Poivre: pepper

Poivron: pepper or capsicum: rouge, sweet red; vert, green

Pomme: apple

Pomme de terre: potato, sometimes abbreviated to 'pomme', as in pommes frittes

Porc: Pork

Potage: a thick soup, often made with a puree of vegetables.

Poule: boiling fowl

Poulet: chicken (usually roasting)

Poussin: very young chicken, 4-6 weeks old

Quiche: savory tart

Ragoût: stew

Rillettes: a form of shredded meat, usually made from pork. Roux: a blend of melted butter or other fat and flour: the thickening medium for many sauces.

Soupe: thick soup, often a peasant recipe

Souper: suypper

Terrine: originally a form of meat loaf cooked in an earthenware bowl, but now indistinguishable from pâté.

Thym: thyme

Veau: veal

Vinaigrette: an oil and vinegar dressing

Vin: wine; blanc, white, rose, pink (made from special grapes - not a mixture of red and white); rouge, red

Zest: outer (colored) layer of the skin of citrus fruit.


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