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8 culinary terms you didn’t know

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Add a bit of the gourmet touch to your cooking vocab with these eight culinary terms

Shiny cookbook in hand, you stand looking at all your ingredients. As you read the recipe, you are halted by a few words that seem confusing. We break down a few phrases to put your culinary journey back on track.

1.    Mise en place

Roughly translating to ‘setting in place’ or ‘everything in its place’, it means to get all your ingredients prepped, measured and sorted into different bowls before you start cooking.  

2.    Chiffonade

A slicing technique that has more to do with presentation, chiffonade is where you slice across tightly rolled herbs or greens to get extremely thin strips. This technique is usually used for salads and soup garnishes. 

3.    Confit and barding

Confit is a preparation of meat, usually duck, that has been slow cooked in its own fat. Barding is a technique where you cover the meat with a layer of fat, like strips of bacon, before cooking to keep the meat juicy.

4.    Roux

A roux is a soup or stew thickener made by combining equal parts flour and butter. You must constantly whisk the mixture while cooking over medium heat until it smells ‘toasty’. Depending on cooking time, you get a white, blonde or dark roux. 

5.    Blanch and shock

When you want cooked but crunchy veggies, try this method. First throw the prepped veggies into salted, boiling water for a short time (blanch) and then immediately put them into a bowl of ice and water to stop the cooking (shock). 

6.    Flambé

Add drama to your dish, usually meat, by adding alcohol, like brandy or rum, to a sizzling pan creating a burst of flames. The flavour remains while the alcohol burns off.  

7.    Bain Marie

This is a water bath where you slow cook your dish without it touching the surrounding water hot water. It’s also a great way to melt cooking chocolate.

8.    Broiling

Get the perfect crust on your cheesy casserole with cooking the dish directly under a heat source at high temperatures. So, stick that pan right at the top part of the oven for a golden-brown crust on your meat or pull out kitchen torches and crunch up that sugar layer on your crème brulee.

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