Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 25th 2015 Contents 14 | WOW MAGAZINE
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt October 25, 2015
HAVE YOU EVER tried a new recipe, only to be stumped by an instruction you just don't understand? Or is there a term you
thought you understood, but discovered that you were way off, and that's why your recipe wasn't coming out right?
For the next few weeks, let's spend a little time getting to know some popular cooking terms, shall we?
To taste or test before serving, adding
seasoning if necessary.
Often used in baking, when sifting is used
to incorporate air into the dry ingredients.
Italian term meaning "to the bite," or "to
the tooth." Applies to foods cooked just
enough to offer slight resistance when
bitten into; firm but not hard. Commonly
used to describe the ideal cooking point
Italian term for "baked" or "roasted."
Also known as a "water bath," refers to
placing a container of food in a large,
shallow pan of warm water, to surround
the food with gentle, indirect heat. Can
be used in the oven or on the stove for
delicate dishes like sauces, custards, or
mousses, or for melting chocolate. Can
also be used to keep food warm without
overcooking or drying it out.
To spoon or brush food as it cooks with
oil or fats, or with liquids such as veg-
etable stock, marinade, or wine. Adds
flavour and prevents foods from drying
out. Baste periodically throughout the
cooking process. If roasting in the oven,
make sure not to open and close the
door too often or the oven may lose too
To briefly cook food, typically vegetables
and some fruit, at a rolling boil. Once the
food has boiled for a few minutes, it is
plunged into cold water to stop the
cooking process. Used to partially cook
vegetables and some fruits before
freezing, to loosen their skins (peaches,
tomatoes), or to brighten their colour for
use in side dishes and cooked salads.
Blanching for 3 minutes will kill un-
wanted organisms on the food's surface,
and helps retain vitamins, important if
you are going through chemo. Blanching
time depends on the vegetable and its
size, starting at 3 minutes for small
cubed pieces of most vegetables, for
broccoli flowerets or smaller vegetables
like Brussels sprouts. Larger vegetables,
like whole carrots or potatoes, can be
blanched for 5 minutes or longer, de-
pending on their size.
To cook in a small amount of liquid (also
referred to as stewing or pot roasting.)
Food is browned in fat, then cooked
tightly covered, in a small amount of liq-
uid for a long time. The long and slow
cooking technique is great for flavour
and tenderizing foods. To maintain mois-
ture, make sure the lid is tight-fitting.
To cook food under or above a direct
heat source, such as a gas flame or
A technique in which meat is browned
quickly in a skillet over high heat or
under a broiler in the oven. Also known
as searing or sealing, browning locks in
moisture by quickly cooking the out-
To slice through a piece of meat or
seafood from edge to edge and open it
out like the wings of a butterfly. Do not
cut the food all the way through when
butterflying. Used for faster, more even
cooking of large pieces of meat or fish.
A gentle browning that brings out the nat-
ural sweetness of fruits, vegetables, and
nuts by caramelizing their natural sugars.
Often used with onions, caramelizing is
one of the easiest ways to enhance natu-
ral flavour. Heat olive oil or butter in a fry-
ing pan over medium flame and gently
cook the food until it starts browning and
lightly sticking to the bottom of the pan,
about 8 minutes. Take care not to cook
the food too fast, or it may burn. The
caramelized food is ready when it is a light
to medium rich golden brown colour.
This term, translated from French, means
"made of rags or shreds." It refers to a
technique in which herbs or leafy green
vegetables are cut into long, thin strips.
You can do this by stacking leaves, rolling
them tightly into a cigar shape, and then
cutting across the rolls into a 1/16- to 1/8-
inch wide ribbons.
A quick cutting technique in which a knife
or cleaver is used to cut food into bite-
sized or smaller pieces, larger than minced
or diced food. A food processor may also
To clear a cloudy liquid by removing the
sediment. Melting butter and letting it sit
will allow the white fats to rise to the top
to be skimmed off. Clarified butter is usu-
ally called by the Indian term "ghee." An-
other common method of clarification is
to add egg whites to a liquid, like a stock,
and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. The egg
whites will act as a magnet, attracting any
particles in the liquid. After cooling, the liq-
uid is poured through a sieve.
Coat a Spoon
Used to test the doneness of egg-based
sauces and custards. If the mixture leaves
an even coating of residue on the spoon, it
is done. Run your finger along the spoon
and make sure that your finger leaves a
clear path in the custard or sauce.
To treat a food, typically meat or fish, with
an ingredient, usually salt or sugar. Origi-
nally used to protect foods from mould,
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