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Al Dente
Food that is cooked until it is ‘firm to the bite’. This is most commonly used to describe how pasta should be cooked.

Au gratin
Recipes that are browned in the oven    or under a grill. Often refers to dishes that use a sauce and are topped with breadcrumbs and/or cheese.

Brine
A preserving solution made of water and salt used for meats and fish resulting in a more juicer and flavourful dish

Blanch
To immerse fruit or vegetables in boiling water briefly to stop enzyme action before cooling down and freezing.

Baste
To spoon melted fat or other liquid over meat while it is cooked in the oven to keep it moist.

Beat
To blend a mixture until smooth using a wooden spoon and a rapid circular movement to introduce air.

Binding
Adding liquid like eggs cream or melted butter to dry ingredients to hold ingredients together to form a dough.

Blend
To combine ingredients until smooth either by hand   electric blender or food processor.

Boil
To cook in liquid over a high heat where large bubbles rise to the surface and burst

Braise
To brown onions or any other ingredients in a little oil or butter over moderate heat.

Browning
Is the process of partially cooking the surface of meat to help remove excessive fat and to give the meat a brown color crust.

Bruise
To crush and smash garlic or ginger to release its flavour.

Caramelize
To melt sugar in a heavy-based saucepan stirring constantly to obtain a golden colour.

Chill
To refrigerate until ice cold

Chop
To cut roughly into pieces

Curdle
When fresh milk   cream or yoghurt separates into solids and liquids due to over-heating or when adding eggs to quickly to a mixture.

Cut In
To mix solid shortening with dry ingredients for baking using two knives or a spatula; when making scones and pastries to mix in liquid in the same way.

Deglaze
To add liquid to the cooking juices in a pan after frying roasting or grilling then stirring over heat scraping off bits of meat and fat to prepare a sauce or gravy.

Dropping Consistency
When the consistency of a mixture is neither stiff nor runny; slowly falls from the spoon.

Egg Wash
When a mixture of beaten eggs and/or milk is used to brush the top of pastries scones etc; to give them a glossy shine when baked.

Emulsion
A mixture of oil and liquid (such as vinegar) which does not separate on standing.

Flake
To carefully break up or shred cooked/canned meat fish or chicken into smaller pieces using a fork.

Fold In
To mix ingredients lightly and gradually to incorporate air  using the figure formation (lifting and turning) using a metal spoon or spatula

Freezer Burn
Affects frozen items which are spoiled due to being unprotected for too long

Garnish
Adding herbs or sprinkles to a dish on completion

Ghee
The Indian name for clarified butter; ghee is put butterfat.

Glaze
To brush with syrup or egg before or while baking to give a shine to meat breads or pastries.

Gluten
This is formed from protein in flour when mixed with water.

Gram Flour
This is made from ground chickpeas pale yellow in colour and powdery in texture with an earthy flavour.

Hors d’oeuvre
The appetising first course

Infuse
To gently heat or steep in order to extract flavour (eg. vanilla pod)

Julienne
To cut into fine strips

Knead
To stretch  and fold dough ensuring even mixing of ingredients particularly yeast-based mixtures.

Marinate
To tenderize meat fish or poultry by allowing it to stand in a marinade usually containing oil vinegar lemon juice herbs and spices.

Meringue
Egg whites and sugar whisked together until stiff peaks are formed

Petit Fours
Very small pastries biscuits sweet and sweetmeats

Poach
To cook gently in water or milk just below boiling point.

Prove
To set aside dough in a warm place allowing raising agent (such as yeast) to expand the dough to double its size

Puree
To mash and sieve or liquidize food especially fruit and vegetables    until it has a smooth and thick liquid consistency.

Reduce
To boil vigorously uncovered so that the liquid in a dish becomes concentrated.

Roux
Flour stirred into melted butter used for thickening soups and sauces. It may be white or brown

Rub In
To mix butter/margarine or oil and flour together with the fingertips until the mixture resembles  breadcrumbs.

Saute
To quickly toss ingredients around in a pan with oil

Seal/Sear
To brown the surface of meat quickly over a high heat to seal in the juices.

Season
To add salt and spices to a dish.

Set
To allow to become firm or firmer (eg Jelly)