Amuse bouche:
A single bite-sized hors d'oeuvre. It is usually not ordered, but served free of charge before the appetizer course.

Au Gratin:
Sprinkle the top of a casserole with breadcrumbs and butter, sometimes also cheese and leave it to brown under heat. E.g. Au gratin potatoes.

A classic french white sauce, made with milk, flour and butter. You might want to flavor it with a bay leave and nutmeg. This sauce is used for the European style moussaka or lasagne (while in the US you rather use cottage cheese).

Quickly plunge vegetables or even fruits in boiling water and then in ice water to remove the skin and keep the bright color.

Liquid that is in full motion, with bubbles rapidly rising to the surface. Cooking food at a high temperature. Used to cook pasta or vegetables quickly, so that they don't stick together (pasta) or loose their color and flavor (vegetables).

Meat is first seared at high temperature and then slow cooked in a covered pot in some liquid. Used to tenderize meat. Compared to stewing meat, its mostly used for large meat that is partly covered in liquid (e.g. pot roast).

Cutting the vegetable roughly into big, irregular pieces. Used for rustic dishes, stews, mixtures that will be pureed or with vegetables that are uneven in shape (e.g. olives, parsley). If you need smaller pieces, you dice (evenly cut) or mince (very small cut or grated) the vegetables.

A thick sauce made out of for example one main fruit ingredient, e.g. rasberry coulis.

Cutting techniques:
In the order from big to small (see specific definitions under "chopping", "dice" and "mince"): Coarsly chopped - chop - dice - finely dice - mince/grate

Deep Frying:
Submerging food in hot oil (compare to shallow frying).

When making a gravy with pan drippings, you will need to "deglaze" the pan to get all the drippings and flavor. Therefore, you pour a little bit of water into the pan, stir and heat it up. Then use this to prepare your gravy.

Cut vegetables into even small cubes/squares. This is used for dishes where even cooking is important. This technique is smaller than chopping vegetables but if you need them even smaller, you finely dice them or even mince (grate) them. 

Main course

A cooking method in which alcohol is added to a hot fying pan to burst into flames. By rapidly burning off the alcohol, it can infuse the dish with additional flavor and aroma.

French word for a stock.

Cooking in oil or fat, usally in a frying pan (see also deep frying).

Hors d'Oeuvre:
First course or appetizer.

Cutting a vegetable in small stripes, a standard Julienne cut is 4mm x 4mm x 5cm, or ⅛ x ⅛ x 2 inches but these sizes do vary.

Very finely diced/chopped vegetables, almost like grating them. It is finer than chopping or dicing. 

Moist-Heat cooking techniques:
Boiling, simmering, braising, stewing and poaching, whereas braising and stewing combination-cooking methods are that uses both, dry and moist heat.

Cooking by submerging food into liquid. E.g. poaching an egg.

Cooking food in an oven or over hot fire where dry heat envelopes the food.

Melt butter on slow heat and add flour, stir constantly. The base will turn chocolate brown, it can take up to half an hour for a good roux. It is used as a thickener for sauces or soups, e.g. for a Gumbo. 

Pan Drippings:
Also called pan juices. When making a gravy, you sear the meat and bones. This process leaves "drippings" in the pan that will give your gravy the intense flavor.

This is a baking technique used for bread dough that uses yeast, such as homemade dinner rolls. If you use dry yeast, you need to activate the yeast with warm water or milk and let it sit for a few minutes. Then you knead and fold the dough and let rise in a dark, warm place till it is doubled in size (first proofing - fermentation process). Then you knead the dough again, shape it into its final shape and let rise again in a warm place (second proofing - extension of the fermentation process). This second proofing is shorter than the first one. Proofing is perfect when you gently press your finger in the dough and the inprint vanishes after 2-3 seconds. If it vanishes earlier, it is underproofed, if it doesn't vanishes at all, it is overproofed. 
Why do you need a second proofing? Don't you take all the air out of the bread again by kneading it again? During the first proofing the yeast will work, convert sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This creates a lot of air bubbles in the dough. When you knead the dough again, you do take out some of these air bubbles and therefore you need a second proof to gain some more volume again. However, this second proofing gives it more volume, a more mellow yeast flavor and a finer texture. 

This is a pielike dish with an unsweetened pastry shell. It is filled with an egg/milk custard that usually contains cheese and other savoury ingredients (vegetables, ham, seafood). It is eaten cold. The difference to the tart is that it contains more egg and milk.

Cook food quickly in hot fat. E.g. Onions (they will turn translucent). 

Shallow frying:
Frying food in a pan. The bottom of the pan is just slightly covered with oil (in contrast to deep frying where the food is submerged into hot oil).
Stage when the water is in motion but almost no bubble breaks the surface. Before water starts to boil. Cooks food gently and slowly. Meats that are simmered are usually moist and tender, while boiling meat ends up in dry meat. Simmering is also good for delicate food such as fish to prevent it from falling apart.

Like braising, meat is tenderized by first searing it at high temperature and then slow cooking it in a covered pot. Used for rather small meat cuts that is completely immersed in liquid. 

This is an open pastry shell that can contain either a sweet or savory filling. It is similar to the quiche but the pastry is thinner and flakier as it does not contain eggs. The filling also does use either a very small amount of egg/milk mix or not at all.

A mix (or stable emulsion) of oil and vinegar (usually 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar) with seasonings such as salt, herbs, and spices. Used as a salad dressing or a marinade. You can also subsitute part of the traditional vinegar with balsamic vinegar, rasberry vinegar, or lemon juice and add mustard, garlic, cheese, etc.

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