New to the Kitchen? Memorize These Basic Cooking Terms

February 24, 2015 | trioonline

When you’re about to make a new dish, it helps to know exactly how to interpret each term in the recipe. More than just abbreviations like "tsp." or "oz.," recipes often include phrases like "blanch," "caramelize," and "pickle," making it a little more challenging to know if you're making it correctly. Here are four kitchen terms that you should keep in your arsenal in order to follow a recipe.

  1. Blanch (or blanche). This is a term that refers to the process of boiling vegetables or nuts to remove their skins and seal in their flavor. It's often done before canning or freezing.
  2. Caramelize. When sugar is heated to higher than 300 degrees, it turns brown and takes on a unique taste—that is, it caramelizes.
  3. Pickle. This is a type of fermentation that occurs when vegetables or meats are preserved in brine.
  4. Reduce. When a recipe calls for liquid to be reduced, it means to bring it to a rapid boil causing evaporation. This allows it the liquid or sauce to thicken, increasing its volume and flavor.

The Basic Kitchen: Glossary of Cooking Terms [Le Petites Gourmettes]
Glossary of Cooking Terms [Better Homes and Gardens]
Cooking Terms [Recipe Goldmine]
Glossary of Cooking Terms [Cookery]
Culinary Terms: Food Dictionary and Glossary of Cooking Terms [Culinary Arts at About.com]

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