Chef Tools Login
Not a member? Register now
Featured Recipes

Wonton Soup

I love serving this flavorful soup as a light evening meal.  This recipe is versatile--you can use the wonton recipe to make fried wontons or the filling to make steamed dumplings or potstick

Beef Stroganoff

This is not your parents' Beef Stroganoff. No offense, Mom or Dad. Beef tenderloin is the star of this dish, along with the sauce, of course. Mmm. Melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Beef Stroganoff

Thanksgiving Stuffing

Nothing beats the aroma and taste of homemade stuffing. Yum!   Old-Fashioned Dressing for Stuffing Yield: stuffs a 15-20 lb. turkey 1½ cups finely chopped celery 1 cup finely chopped

Chef Glossary

Aromatic: Fragrant.
Au Sec: Until dry.
Bacon: The back and sides of the pig, salted and dried or smoked, usually sliced thin and fried for food.
Bain-Marie: A container of hot water used to keep foods hot.
Batonnet: Knife cut.  Sticks measuring ¼ x ¼ x 2 ½ - 3 inches.
Bearnaise: A sauce made of butter and egg yolks and flavored with a reduction of vinegar, shallots, tarragon and peppercorns.
Bechamel: A mother sauce made by thickening milk with a white roux.
Beurre: Butter.
Beurre Manie: Butter mixed with an equal part offlour; used to thicken sauces.
Blanch: Cooking foods in boiling water for a brief period of time.  Normally food is then “shocked” with an ice bath to stop the cooking and then drained when cooled. 
Boil: To cook in water or other liquid that is bubbling rapidly, about 212°F (100°C) at sea level and at normal pressure.
Bouquet Garni: A sachet of herbs tied within a leek, containing parsley, thyme, and bay leaf. Variations may include rosemary, marjoram, fennel, leeks, celery leaves, and black pepper.
Broth: Liquid that results from cooking meats, fish or vegetables in water. Can be used in recipes calling for stock or bouillion.
 
Brunoise: Knife cut.  Measurements are 1/8 x 1/8 x 1/8.
Caramelization: The browning of surface sugars, caused by heat.
Carbonara: An ultra-rich pasta sauce consisting of pancetta, eggs, and parmesan cheese. 
Cartilage: A firm, elastic type of connective tissue of a translucent whitish or yellowish color; gristle.
Chanterelle: A wild mushroom with a golden color and a funnel-shaped cap. The whole mushroom is edible and is savored for its flavor and firm texture when cooked. 
Chayote: A pear shaped squash, used in Latin American cooking, with a taste of zucchini.
Chinois: China cap sieve; a fine conical strainer.
Chocolate: A product of cocoa beans in which the chocolate liquor is mixed with cocoa butter in various proportions to produce the different varieties of chocolate. Bitter chocolate has no additional ingredients added. Other varieties of chocolate have additional cocoa butter added, along with sugar, milk, and vanilla.
Choron: A variation of Bearnaise sauce with tomato puree or concasse added.
Chowder: Hearty American soup made from fish, shellfish and/or vegetables, usually containing milk and potatoes.
Clarify: Purify.
Clarified Butter: Also called Drawn Butter.  Butter that is slowly melted, and  separates the foamed milk solids from the gold liquid. Foam is 
Coagulation: The process in which protein, when heated, opens up, denaturing and recombining into a tighter mass, becoming more dry and tighter as it cooks.
Collagen: Type of connective tissue in meats that dissolves when cooked with moisture.
Compote: Dried and fresh fruit cooked with sugar to a jam like consistency, brief enough to allow the fruit to retain their individual identity.
Concasse’: The term for chopping a vegetable coarsely. 
Condiments: Product that is used to add flavor to food.
Confit: A food that is saturated with one of the following: vinegar(for vegetables); sugar (for fruit); alcohol (for fruit); fat (for poultry).
Connective tissues: A tissue that connects or supports another tissue, organ ,etc.
Consomme: Clear bouillon made from meat, fish or vegetables; served hot or cold.
Coriander: Cilantro.
Crouton: A slice or piece of toasted bread.
Custard: A liquid that is thickened or set firm by the coagulation of egg protein.
Deglaze: To swirl a liquid in a pan to dissolve cooked particles or food remaining on the bottom.
Denature: To treat a protein by chemical or physical means so as to alter its original state.
Emincer: To mince.
Emonder: To skin; to remove skin from fruits and vegetables by heating.
Epepine:  To seed.
Fat Back: Back of the pig.  Meat is usually added to food product to give flavor.
Flash Point: The point at which oil ignites.
Flavoring: Adding a new flavor to a food, thus changing the original flavor.  
Foam: A thick frothy substance.
Fond Lie: A sauce made by thickening brown stock with cornstarch or a similar starch.
Fortify: To give more flavor or body.
Garnish:   Decorative edible item used to ornament or enhance the eye appeal of another food item.
Gelatin: A protein produced from animals, used to gel liquids. 
Gelatinization: When starch molecules are heated in a liquid they begin to take on that liquid and swell.
Gluten: A substance, made of proteins present in wheat flour, that gives structure and strength to baked goods.
Grains: The edible seeds of grasses.
Gratin: Dishes cooked in the oven which form a crust on the surface. This is expedited by placing the dish under the broiler. Bread crumbs and cheese are often sprinkled on top of these dishes to help form the crust.
Gratinee: To brown under the grill or salamander.  To glaze.
Gremolata: A mixture of chopped parsley, garlic, and lemon peel. This is added to stews at the end of their cooking time to add a pungency to the dish. Used in some recipes for osso buco a la Milanese, and Hungarian goulash.
Gruyere:  A moderate-fat cow milk cheese with a rich, sweet, nutty flavor that is prized for both out-of-hand eating and cooking. It is usually aged for 10 to 12 months and has a golden brown rind and a firm, pale-yellow interior with well-spaced medium-size holes.
Herb: Leaves of certain plants that usually grow in temperate climates.
Infusion/Infuse: The flavor that is extracted from any ingredient such as tea leaves, herbs or fruit by steeping them in a liquid such as water, oil or vinegar.
Interpretation: An explanation of the meaning of another's artistic or creative work.
Leavening: Production or incorporation of gases in a baked product to increase volume and produce shape and texture.
Legumes: Certain type of bean.
Liaison: A binding agent, usually made of cream and egg yolks, used to thicken sauces and soups.
Look vs. see: Look - To turn the eyes toward something.  See – To perceive with the eyes.
Lyonnaise: (Lee oh nez) Containing or garnished with onions.
Macedoine: Knife cut.  Measurements are ¼ x ¼ x ¼ inch.
Mirepoix: A mixture of rough-cut or diced vegetables, herbs, and spices, used for flavoring.   Usually the ratio is 50% Onion; 25% Carrot; 25% Celery. 
Neutral: Without distinctive qualities.
Nicoise: Prepared in the style of Nice, France.  Garnished with or containing tomato concassé cooked with garlic.
Observation: Attentive watching of somebody or something.
Pancetta: Italian bacon.
Parmentier:  Knife cut.  Measuring ½ x ½ x ½ inch.  Also can mean garnished with or containing potatoes.
Pigment: Any substance that gives color to an item.
Pilaf: Method of cooking grain where the product is first cooked in fat, then simmered in stock or other liquid, usually with onions, seasonings and other ingredients.
Pincer: To pinch.  Term used when adding acid to food in order to 
Pluche: Sprig; small leaves picked of stems.  Example: sprig of chervil.
Poach: To cook gently in water or another liquid that is hot but not actually bubbling, about 160 – 180 degrees F.
Potage: A general term for soup in French, but more commonly associated with certain thick hearty soups.
Prix Fixe: French term meaning “fixed price”, referring to a menu offering a complete meal, with a choice of courses for one given price.
Protein: A major component of meats, poultry, fish, eggs, milk and milk products.  Also present in smaller amounts in nuts, beans and grains.
Provencale: Garnished with or containing tomatoes, garlic, parsley and sometimes mushrooms and olives.
Puree: A food product that has been mashed or strained to a smooth pulp.  Also means to make such a pulp by mashing or straining food.
Raft: The coagulated clearmeat that forms when stock is clarified.
Ragout: Stew.
Ragu: Stew.
Rechauffer: To reheat.
Reduction: A liquid concentrated by cooking it to evaporate part of the water.  Also means the process of making such a liquid.
Remouillage: To remoisten stock pot, second boiled stock.
Risotto: A moist Italian dish of rice (or other grain) cooked in butter and stock. 
Roux: A cooked mixture of equal amounts of flour and butter.  The three types of roux, white, blond and brown, vary in color, depending on how long they cook.
Sachet: A mixture of herbs tied within a cheesecloth, containing parsley stems, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns. Optional ingredients include garlic, cloves.
Salt Pork: Meat from the fatback and clear plate of a pig.
Saute’: Literally means “to jump” in French.  Cooking foods quickly in fat over high heat, ensuring to keep it moving.
Seasoning: Enhancing the natural flavor of food without significantly changing its flavor.  Salt is the most important seasoning ingredient.
Simmer: To cook in water or other liquid that is bubbling gently, about 185-200 degrees F.
Simple Syrup: A mixture of water and sugar made into a light syrup.  Used as a sweetener.
Singe’: Adding flour to food product in order to thicken sauce.
Slurry: A mixture of raw starch and cold liquid, used for thickening.
Small Sauce: A sauce made by adding one or more ingredients to a leading or mother sauce.
Smoke Point: Heating on high flame until smoking hot.
Solanine: A poisonous substance found in potatoes that have turned green.
Spice: Any part of a plant, other than the leaves, used in flavoring foods.
Steam:   To cook by direct contact with steam.
Stock: A clear, thin liquid flavored with soluble substances extracted from meat, poultry and fish, and their bones, and from vegetables and seasonings. Can be used in recipes calling for broth.
Supreme Sauce: A sauce made of veloute and heavy cream.
Sweating: Cooking in a small amount of fat over low heat, sometimes covered.
Tempering: Raising the temperature of a cold liquid by gradually stirring in a hot liquid.
Tourne’: Knife cut.  Measuring 2 inched long and having 7 sides.
Veloute’: A mother sauce made by thickening stock with a white roux.
Volatile: Evaporating quickly when heated.
Zest: The colored part of the peel of citrus fruits.