We get lots of questions at MetroKitchen on picking the right product for the right cooking technique. This is the second in a series of MetroKitchen Cooking Terms Glossary. Please let us know if you have other terms or suggestions for us to add. Thanks!
Caramelization – the process of cooking sugars; the browning of sugars enhances the flavor and appearance of foods.
Carryover Cooking – the cooking that occurs after a food is removed from a heat source; it is accomplished by the residual heat remaining in the food.
Clarification – 1) the process of transforming a broth into a clear consommé by trapping impurities with a clearmeat consisting of the egg white protein albumen, ground meat, and acidic product, mirepox, and other ingredients. 2) The clearmeat used to clarify a broth.
Conduction – the transfer of heat from one item to another through direct contact.
Convection – the transfer of heat caused by the natural movement of molecules in a fluid (whether air, water, or fat) from a warmer area to a cooler one. Mechanical convection is the movement of molecules caused by stirring.
Creaming – a mixing method in which softened fat and sugar are vigorously combined to incorporate air.
Curdle – the separation of milk or egg mixtures into solid and liquid components, caused by over cooking, high heat, or the presence of acids.
Deep Frying – a dry-heat cooking method using convection to transfer heat to a food submerged in hot fat; foods to be deep-fried are usually first coated in butter or breading.
Deglaze – to swirl or stir a liquid (usually wine or stock) in a sauté pan or other pan to dissolve cooked food particles remaining on the bottom; the resulting mixture often becomes the base for a sauce.
Demi-glace – a mixture of half brown stock and half brown sauce reduced by half.
Detrempe – a paste made with flour and water during the first stage of preparing pastry dough, especially rolled-in doughs.
Docking – pricking small holes in an unbaked dough or crust to allow steam to escape and prevent the dough from rising when baked.
Dredging – coating of food with flour of finely ground crumbs; usually done prior to sautéing or frying or as the first step of the standardized breading process.
Egg wash – a mixture of beaten eggs and a liquid, usually milk or water, used to coat dough before baking to add sheen
Emulsification – the process by which generally unmixable liquids, such as oil and water, are forced into a uniform distribution.
Espagnole – also known as brown sauce, a leading sauce, or mother sauce, made of brown stock, mirepoix and tomatoes thickened with brown roux. Often used to produce demi-glace.
Flambé – food served flaming; produced by igniting brandy, rum, or other liquor.
Frying – a dry heat cooking method in which foods are cooked in hot fat; includes sautéing and stir-frying, pan-frying, and deep-frying.
Please tell us if you’d like us to add other cooking terms to the MetroKitchen cooking glossary. Next week, we’ll be covering cooking terms from G to P.
IMAGES: Deep Frying