You have probably noticed that many recipes given by chefs are full of incomprehensible jargon. This is because chefs have their own "language".
Here is a small glossary of words and expressions that you are likely to find in recipes.
Example: "Add white wine."
Example: "Add red wine to cover."
Example: "Cook spaghettis al dente."
Example: "Arrange salad on a plate."
Example: "Add 20 cl white stock base (fond)."
|ingredient (usually vegetables) into boiling salted water for a very short time (a few seconds), and then into very cold water. |
Example: "Blanch the green beans."
This is ofen done to preserve the couleur of the ingredient in the final dish.
Example: "Unblanched almonds"
|pan of salted water. English way of cooking.|
Example: "Boil broad beans in salted water."
|product, after cutting, which are edible but not very attractive.|
Example: "Save broken mushroom pieces to make stuffing."
|product into very small dice.|
Example: "Add a brunoise (tiny dice) of potatoes."
Example: "Put over low heat and check seasoning"
Example: "Clarify stock by filtering."
|scraps (inedible parts).|
Example: "Peel (or scrape) carrots."
Example: "Cover bowl with plastic film overnight."
Note: See also the page dedicated to films and papers used in cooking.
Example: "Chop (or cut) coriander."
Example: "Deglaze frying pan, where fruits are caramelized, with a little rum."
It make seeds crunchier, very pleasant in the mouth, with an improved flavour.
Example: "Dry roast almonds in the oven"
Note: Dry roasting is not cooking in the classic sense, it's shorter in time, and lower in temperature. This is the method is used to dry coffee beans for example.
Example: "Wrap the fish fillet in puff pastry."
Example: "Reduce white wine and onions, then beat in butter to finish."
Example: "Flour dough before baking."
Example: "Add a little fish fumet."
Example: "Adding two cloves of garlic "en chemise""
|brush) to make it glossy and appetising.|
Example: "Glaze the tart before putting it in a cool place."
Example: "Good cooking starts with good ingredients."
|ingredient into small sticks.|
In French it's also the name of a sea fish (ling).
Example: "Make a julienne of vegetables."
A "lèchefrite" is a large (full-size) oven tray for collecting cooking juices under poultry roasted using a rotisserie (the most usual way to roast poultry in France), but it can also be use as a huge rectangular baking tray.
Example: "Line mould or tin with sweetcrust pastry."
In France, a "Ménagère" it's also a nice set of spoons, forks and knifes presented in a pretty box. A classical wedding gift usually.
Example: "To cook like a housewife."
|product into dice.|
Example: "Add diced turnips (mirepoix)."
Example: "Make a soufflé mixture."
Example: "Place rounds of dough directly on the sole (floor) of oven."
Items are seldom placed directly on it to cook because it's very hot. One notable exception: pizzas.
|sieve", usually with a maryse, thus removing any remaining lumps. The aim is to produce something totally smooth in texture.|
Example: "Passing potato purée through a sieve"
Note: "Passing through a sieve" is not the same as sieving.
Example: "Peel oranges completely."
Example: "Put the dough in a bowl and let rest for pointage 1 hour."
|leaven for certain kinds of bread dough.|
Although it doesn't have the full flavour of a leavened bread, poolish gives a bread with more flavour than one just using yeast.
.[Translator's note: the term poolish is more common in French baking than in English. For more information see the Pre-ferment, article on Wikipedia.].
Example: "Prepare a poolish by mixing the water, flour, yeast and a teaspoon of sugar."
The prepared mixture is covered and left in a warm place to ferment. This produces a rather sticky batter full of bubbles, the poolish, which can then be mixed with flour and water to make bread.
Note: The brush is not absolutely necessary, you can also pour the syrup with a spoon for example, directly on the cake.
Example: "Reduce the red wine by half."
Example: "Ask your fishmonger to fillet the salmon. "
Example: "Put rolled out pastry in fridge to rest."
Example: "Fry sliced onions."
Example: "Set aside grapefruit scraps."
Every loaf is formed with a "top", well rounded, and a "seam" on the underside where all the folds from the kneading process join.
Example: "Keep hot."
Example: "Sieving icing sugar."
Note: "sieving" is not the same as passing through a sieve.
See this page dedicated to slashing.
Example: "Sweat the chopped onions in butter."
The opposite of "simmering" is "rolling boil" (right photo).
Example: "Put scampi in salted simmering water."
Example: "Cook chopped onions without letting them colour."
Frequently refers to cooking onions and shallot in a little butter or oil. The aim is to cook them gently without letting them fry and brown.