MetroKitchen Glossary: Cooking Terms Part 1

MetroKitchen experts often get questions about the definition of a variety of words or descriptions related to cooking. We thought you might find a glossary of cooking terms to be helpful. Since there are soooo many terms, we’ll do a few blogs to make it easy. ​If we’ve missed a cooking-related word that you’ve always wondered about, please let us know and we’ll add that to our glossary!

Our first in our cooking term series covers A to B. Next week, check out C thru F.

Au gratin – foods with a browned or crusted top: often made by browning a food with a bread crumb, cheese, and/or sauce topping under a broiler or salamander.

Bain MarieBain marie – a hot water bath used to gently cook food or keep cooked food hot; a container for holding food in a hot water bath.

Barding – tying thin slices of fat, such as bacon or pork fatback, over meats or poultry that have little to no natural fat covering in order to protect and moisten them during roasting.

Béarnaise – a sauce made of butter and egg yolks and flavored with a reduction of vinegar, shallots, tarragon and peppercorns.

Béchamel – a leading or mother sauce made by thickening milk with a white roux and adding seasonings.

Blanching – very briefly6 and partially cooking a food in a boiling water or hot fat; usually used to assist preparation (for example, to loosen peels from vegetables), as part of a combination cooking method, to remove undesirable flavors or to prepare a food for freezing.

Bordelaise – a brown sauce flavored with a reduction of red wine, shallots, pepper, and herbs and garnished with marrow.

Braising – a combination cooking method in which foods are first browned in hot fat, then covered and slowly cooked in a small amount of liquid over low heat; braising uses a combination of simmering and steaming to transfer heat from the liquid (conduction) and the air (convection) to the foods

Broiling – a dry-heat cooking method in which foods are cooked by heat radiating from an overhead source

Butter Flying – slicing boneless meat, fish or shrimp nearly in half so that they spread open like a book; used to increase surface area and speed cooking.

Please tell us if you’d like us to add other cooking terms to the MetroKitchen cooking glossary.

Kitchen Knife Guide

Wusthof Knife Block SetWhen it comes to kitchen knives, a few are absolutely essential for meal preparation.  This guide will  help you find the right knives and cutlery for your kitchen.

What are the essential knives for your kitchen?

While there are plenty of different types of kitchen knives for different uses, the most important ones are a chef’s or cook’s knife, a paring knife, a carving or slicing knife, and a bread knife. Also, these aren’t technically knives, but a pair of quality kitchen shears and a sharpening steel are both equally important kitchen tools that are worth considering.

[Read more…]

Dear MetroKitchen: What’s the purpose of John Boos Mystery Oil?

Dear MetroKitchen:

What’s the purpose of John Boos Mystery Oil?  How often and when should I use it?

John Boos Mystery Oil is used to keep wood from drying, cracking and warping.  You may apply Mystery Oil on any wood food preparation surface such as butcher blocks, cutting boards and counter tops.  Mystery Oil is a combination of mineral oil, linseed oil and tung oil so it is not harmful.

[Read more…]

Knife Sharpening and Honing Guide

Knives get dull after use. This is a sad fact that’s true with any knife, including ones from manufacturers like Kyocera that are made from super-hard ceramic. You can preserve the sharp edges of your knives by exercising proper use and care, but eventually they all get dull and will need some sharpening.

Fortunately, home kitchen knife sharpening is quite easy. Although, sharpening a high-quality knife for the first time can be stressful. I remember the first time I sharpened a good knife, I was worried that I was going to do irreparable damage to the edge and that it would never be sharp again. In reality, that was pretty unlikely. Kitchen knife sharpening can seem like a complex task to a first-timer, but it’s actually rather simple. It’s easy to create a smooth, sharp edge with the different tools that manufacturers have made.  Here is some information about kitchen knife sharpening and a few ways you can go about maintaining your knives at home. [Read more…]

Kitchen Knife Care Guide

Previously, we discussed some tips to picking the essential knives for your kitchen.  Today, we’re covering how best to care and protect your knives so that they last a lifetime.

When you buy high quality kitchen cutlery from companies like Wusthof, Zwilling J.A. Henckels, Shun, Kyocera, and Global; you’re making a lifetime investment. These knife manufacturers have been in business for decades and stand behind their knives with lifetime warranties. It’s still important, however, to properly store, use, and care for your kitchen cutlery in order to keep them in the best possible working condition. This guide will help you save time in the future by making good knife care habits.

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What Makes Cookware Induction Compatible?

Viking Induction CooktopI am sure by now most of us have seen the Elektrolux commercial on TV that features an induction cook top. During the entire commercial the intro music from Bewitched is playing so prominently that you cannot ignore it. While they feature other appliances I am certain that it is the induction cook top that led to the choice of the Bewitched music because induction cook tops give a magical element to cooking. It is so efficient you can boil water in 90 seconds! Here are a few other magical things to ponder regarding induction cooking:

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My Stainless Cookware is Discolored or Bluish. What do I do?

Pot and StoveOne of the frequent questions we get here at MetroKitchen customer service is “My stainless steel cookware has become discolored. How can I restore its luminous finish?” Or various iterations of the same question.

Before we get into the solution, let’s talk about some of the reasons your stainless steel cookware may become discolored or end up with a bluish hue:

[Read more…]

Have I ruined my All-Clad pan?

The MetroKitchen customer service department fields this question quite a bit. Even performing a simple Google search of burned all-clad pan yields several results.  Earlier last Summer, we noticed this tweet from Chef Paola Petrella where she was ready to toss out her All-Clad pan after accidentally burning some pasta!

Twitter _ Paola Petrella_ Burnt my pasta to death! m ... - (Build 20090824085414)

It happens even to the most skilled chef like Chef Paola.  But never fear!  There’s a good chance that if you’ve burned some food to your All-Clad pots and  pans, it can be saved. [Read more…]