B’s of Cooking

Cooking glossary is vast! To understand basic recipes we really need to learn these cooking terms. It makes you accurate and smart in cooking. When you learn ABCD of cooking world, it becomes easy for you to explain a particular recipe and understand difference between few terms in cooking which are often used interchangeably from generations.

  • BAKE: Baking is a method of cooking food that uses prolonged dry heat, normally in an oven, but also in hot ashes, or on hot stones. The most common baked item is bread but many other types of foods are baked.

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  • BARBECUE: Barbecue or barbeque is both a cooking method and an apparatus. Barbecuing is done slowly over low, indirect heat and the food is flavored by the smoking process.

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  • BASTE: Basting is a cooking technique that involves cooking meat with either its own juices or some type of preparation such as a sauce or marinade. The meat is left to cook, and then periodically coated with the juice.

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  • BEAT: To smoothen a mixture by briskly whipping or stirring it with a spoon, fork, wire whisk, rotary beater, or electric mixer.

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  • BATTER: Batter is thin dough that can be easily poured into a pan. Batter is used mainly for pancakes, light cakes, and as a coating for fried foods. The word batter comes from the old French word ‘battre’ which means to beat, as many batters require vigorous beating or whisking in their preparation.

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  • BLEND: The process of combining two or more ingredients together so that they lose their individual characteristics and become smooth and uniform.

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  • BLANCH: To boil briefly to loosen the skin of a fruit or a vegetable. This is an important step in preparing fruits and vegetables for freezing. After 30 seconds in boiling water, the fruit or vegetable should be plunged into ice water to stop the cooking action, and then the skin easily slices off.

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  • BROIL: Broiling, cooking by exposing food to direct radiant heat, either on a grill over live coals or below a gas burner or electric coil. Broiling differs from roasting and baking in that the food is turned during the process so as to cook one side at a time.

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  • BOIL: To cook food in heated water or other liquid that is bubbling vigorously.

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  • BEURRE NOIR: A French term meaning “black butter”, it is made by cooking butter over low heat until dark brown (but not black), then vinegar or lemon juice is added.

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  • BIAS-SLICE: In the most basic sense, when someone cuts something on the bias, they are cutting it at an angle. The most popular angle to cut a piece of food is 45 degrees.

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  • BIND: To thicken a sauce or hot liquid by stirring in ingredients such as eggs, flour, butter, or cream.

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  • BISQUE: A rich thick shellfish soup with cream.

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  • BUTTERCREAM: A frosting made from sugar, sweet butter, milk, egg yolks and flavoring. Confectioner’s or powdered sugar is often used buy not required.

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  • BUTTERFLY: To split food such as shrimp, steak, or pork chop through the middle without completely separating the halves, then spreading the halves to resemble a butterfly. The food cooks more quickly because twice as much surface area is exposed to heat.

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  • BRUSH: To coat food with melted butter, glaze, or other liquid using a pastry brush.

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  • BROWN: A quick sautéing, pan/oven broiling, or grilling method done either at the beginning or end of meal preparation, often to enhance flavor, texture, or eye appeal.

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  • BRAISE: Braising (from the French word, “braiser”) is a combination-cooking method that uses both moist and dry heats: typically, the food is first seared at a high temperature, then finished in a covered pot at a lower temperature while sitting in some (variable) amount of liquid (which may also add flavor).

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  • BROTH: a broth is defined as a soup in which there are solid pieces of meat or fish, along with some vegetables. A broth is usually made with a stock or plain water as its base, with meat or fish added while being brought to a boil, and vegetables added later.

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  • BOUQUET GARNI: a bunch of herbs, typically encased in a cheesecloth bag, used for flavoring a stew or soup.

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  • BLACKENED: A popular Cajun-style cooking method in which seasoned foods are cooked over high heat in a super heated heavy skillet until charred.

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