Last Morsel

Everyday Recipes

Cooking Dictionary

For your convenience, we have compiled a list of useful key terms for the homecook chef!


Key Terms

  • blanch: partially cooking fruits, vegetables, or nuts in boiling water or steam to intensify and set color and flavor; helps loosen skins from tomatoes, peaches, and almonds
  • braise: a cooking method where meat or vegetables are first browned in butter and/or oil, then cooked in a covered pot in a small about of cooking liquid at low heat for a long period of time
  • coat: evenly cover food with crumbs, flour, or a batter
  • carmelize: to brown sugar, whether it is granulated sugar or the naturally occuring sugars in vegetables. Granulated sugar is cooked in a saucepan or skillet over low heat until melted and golden. Vegetables are cooked slowly over low heat in a small amount of fat until browned and smooth.
  • deep fry: cooking food by completely covering with hot fat; usually done at 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • double-boiler: a two-pan arrangement where one pan nests partway inside the other. The lower pot holds simmering water that gently cooks heat-sensitive food in the upper pot.
  • emulsify: combining two liquid or semiliquid ingredients, like oil and vinegar, that don't naturally dissolve into each other. One way to do this is to gradually add one ingredient to the other while whisking rapidly with a fork or wire whisk.
  • stock: broth; a flavorful liquid prepared by simmering meat, poultry, fish or vegetables in water with some added herbs
  • puree: mashing a food until it has a thick, smooth consistency; usually done by a blender or food processor