7 cookery terms you might not know of
Cooking is a basic life skill to some, an art to others, and a source of pride and creativity for very few. With more people taking interest in various cooking techniques and cuisines from all over the world, people are more aware of the ingredients and methods used in preparing a dish. Here are a few cookery terms you might not have known.
Al dente means firm to the bite. The term is used to describe pasta or rice that is cooked to be firm. In modern Italian cuisines, al dente is used to describe the ideal consistency for pasta which involves a brief cooking time. Molto al dente meaning very al dente is used when the pasta is supposed to be cooked twice.
Basting is a cooking technique that involves cooking meat with either its own juices or some type of preparation such as a sauce or marinade, butter, or even stock. The meat is left to cook, then periodically coated with the juice. This is done to moisten the surface of roasting meat, poultry, or other foods. Basting adds flavor to the surface of the meat.
Braising is when a tougher cut of meat is cooked gently in liquid until it achieves fall-off-the-bone tenderness. It is a combination-cooking method using wet and dry heat. First, the food is browned at a very high temperature, then it's simmered in a covered pot in liquid, like stew. But braising happens with less liquid and is mostly used for larger chunks of meat.
Flambe means "flamed" in French. It is a cooking method in which alcohol is added to a hot pan to create flames. Alcohols like brandy, cognac, and rum, are preferred for the technique; wine and beer are not used for low-alcohol content. Flambéing is mostly associated with the presentation of the food while being served and is used in both savory and sweet dishes.
Au jus meaning "with juice" is a term used in French cooking. It describes a runny gravy or sauce made of meat juices. Cooking au jus is a natural process to enhance the flavor of meat dishes. It is usually served as an accompaniment to meat. In American cuisine, it's a light sauce. Jus can be made from various types of meat.
Scoring is to cut slits on the surface of a piece of food. The most common uses of scoring include cuts in pieces of raw meat and the deeper cuts that decorate the top of bread loaves. The purpose of scoring is to decorate food, tenderize it to aid in the absorption of flavor when marinating, and allow fat to drain from meats.
Quenelle refers to the technique of scooping out a creamy dish in the form of a Rugby ball. It is mostly used to plate ice cream, mousse, and other such creamy desserts. You can also use it for savory mashed dishes. Quenelling is pretty much a skill that you can master over time to make your desserts look beautiful and pretty on the plate.