Kitchen Technique: Kitchen Jargon Part I

Tue, May 11, 2010

Cooking, Techniques

Regular cooking terms can be confusing. Isn’t creaming where you put cream in something? What is blanch? Isn’t that a woman’s name? Isn’t a frond some part of a plant? Well today’s technique is to demystify some of the cooking jargon that many may have no idea what it means!

Creaming/to cream
– Yes, the word cream is usually a word meaning a very heavy thick milk with a lot of fat. When you are talking about “creaming” something together, it means to beat an ingredient(s) with a spoon or hand mixer until it become light and fluffy. This is usually in reference to butter, and is most often use in baking recipes.

– A term meaning to partially cook food, most often referring to fruit or vegetables then place it in an ice water bath. This is done by putting the ingredient into boiling water for a few seconds up to a couple minutes (depending on the tenderness of the food). Immediately placing the cooked food into bowl of ice cold water will cause the food to quit cooking and will keep the color vibrant, texture crisp, and makes it easy to remove thin skins off of fruits.

Frond – In cooking terms this is what the brown bits on the bottom of the pan after cooking food is called. It’s not usual to find the term itself defined, but it’s usually used when talking about deglazing a pan.

Deglaze – This is when you add liquid such as wine, water, milk, beer, is added to a pan after cooking food. Scraping the pan with a spatula after the liquid starts to heat up, will remove the flavorful bits back into the liquid and can be then turned into a sauce, gravy or added to flavor the next food cooked in the dish.

-  Grating the outer, colored portion skin of a citrus fruit will produce what is called the Zest. This portion of the fruit is usually more fragrant and has a stronger taste than the juice alone. This makes it easier to use a small bit of zest to bring up the smell and flavor of a dish with out using the whole fruit.

When looking at recipes, notice how often cooking jargon is used. Just learning what few words mean can make things much easier when learning how to cook! If you have a cooking term that you’d like clarified, please feel free to ask and we’ll cover it in the next post on cooking terms!

Photo by  flit

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This post was written by:

Rochelle - who has written 324 posts on Made in Kitchen Blog.

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One Response to “Kitchen Technique: Kitchen Jargon Part I”

  1. Bonnie Says:

    Thank you!!! This is some of the terms that I have wondered about.
    As an amature cook I sometimes have a lot of trouble trying to figure out what people mean. You normally tell me but a lot of cooks do NOT.

    Again THANK YOU

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