cooking terms, cooking tips, kitchen inept


BASIC COOKING TERMS & TIPS

Al Dente
This cooking term actually means “to the tooth” and usually refers to pasta. When cooking something al dente, the finished product should have a little resistance to it instead of a soft consistency when you bite into it. It doesn’t mean to undercook though, so if you test it and there’s still a hard center, keep cooking and check again in a few minutes.

Boiling
When you cook something in a liquid, a recipe might call for you to boil it. To make sure it’s boiling, look for large bubbles that rise to the top and make the surface quiver. Pressed for time? Cooking Tip: Add some salt to the water and it will boil faster.

Blanch
This cooking term refers to dropping food like fruits and vegetables into boiling water for a short period of time, from a few seconds to a few minutes. The food is then immediately placed into a bowl of ice to stop the cooking process.

Braise
You can use this cooking technique on meat or veggies. First, brown your food in pan with butter or oil, then cook it in a covered pot at low heat for the amount of time specified in your recipe.

Broil
To broil, expose food to direct heat by using the broiler (located under a gas or electric range), or by cooking in an electric broiler, or over an open fire.

Chopping
This refers to slicing something into pieces, generally in cubes, with a knife.

Mincing
Nine times out of ten, you will read this word in association with garlic. Mincing means to chop into very small pieces. Feeling lazy? Cooking Tip: Cheat a little and use a garlic press instead.