How to Master Cooking Basics
- Al Dente - The point during cooking that food such as rice , veg or pasta is still firm to bite & ready to be removed from the heat.
- Blanch - To partially cook vegetables in hot water or oil to make them softer.
- Bouquet Garni - Fresh herbs tied together so as to be easily removed from stocks. Sometimes the herbs are in a net.
- Garnish - To decorate a plate of food with fresh cut vegetables , herbs or other garnishes. To make the dish look more attractive.
- Infuse - To leave ingredients soaking in a wine or liqueur to season them.
- Marinate - To soak meat or fish in an aromatic blend, to add flavour and tenderise it. Marinades are normally based on olive oil.
- Poach - Most often referred to an egg being cracked into boiling water. But you can also poach fish or meat this way.
- Puree - To turn a mixture of ingredients into a liquid in a food processor.
- Reduce - To heat a sauce or stock long enough for it to reduce and thicken in consistency.
- Season - To enhance the taste of a dish by adding salt & pepper.
- Julienne - To cut vegetables such as carrots into very thin batons. This is often done so that the batons absorb oil and other marinades. Ideal for salad dishes such as coleslaw .