Here at The Kitchen Hacker we can get a wee bit technical from time to time. We also may use some terminology that might be a bit industry-specific. Because of that we are going to continually update this glossary as we bring more terms into use and hopefully it will be a great companion to the blog.
Look for entries to be in alphabetical order.
Baton – (BAAH-ton) – A knife cut which dimensions are 1/4″ x 1/4″ x 2″ Featured in Types of Cuts
Blanch – The act of partially cooking a food stuff, typically produce, then quickly placing in an Ice Water Bath to halt the cooking process. This results in greener vegetables and a greatly reduced cooking time.
Botulism – (botch-EW-lis-m) – also known as botulinus intoxication is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by botulinum toxin, which is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum under anaerobic conditions.
Bouquet Garnis – (boo-KAY GAR-nee) – A typical mix of herbs used in soups and stocks, usually placed in a sachet and removed after cooking. Consists of Parsley Stem (a few pieces), Celery (1 stalk) Leek Leaves (2-3), a Bay Leaf, and Thyme (a Sprig). Featured in Stocks
Brunoise – (broon-WAH) – A knife cut which dimensions are 1/8″ cubed. Featured in Types of Cuts
Chiffonade – (shiff-OH-nahd) – A knife cut that produces thin ribbons, generally used for garnish. Dimensions are 1/8″ x 2″. Featured in Types of Cuts
Concasse – (kon-CAH-say) – A small dice of tomatoes with the seeds and skin removed. This is done by marking the bottom of a tomato with an X to cut the flesh, place in boiling water for 15 seconds, then remove into an ice bath immediately. Remove the skin and seeds and dice.
Conductivity, Thermal – A materials’ ability to conduct heat. Typically, a key component in choosing the right pan, it can refer to the pan’s ability to transfer heat to the ingredients, or distribute heat evenly throughout the pan.
Consumme – (kon-SOO-may) – A clear soup made with a rich stock, and very little garnish traditionally. See also Raft
Deglaze – (DEE-glaze) – To remove the bits of food and flavor, the fond, that cling to a pan used for cooking, by adding a liquid. The resulting liquid is typically used as the base of a sauce.
Fond – The remains in a pan after an item is cooked that contains intense flavors. Usually removed by a liquid in the act of deglazing.
Honing – (HOE-ning) – To microscopically align the edge of a knife and remove burrs the metal returning it to its sharper state. Featured in The Care of Knives.
Ice Bath – Submerging a pan of warm food into another, larger, pan that is filled with ice and water. Used to rapidly cool the food to a safe temperature. Featured in the Highway to the Danger Zone.
Immersion Blender – A kitchen tool that has a set of blades on the end of a “stick” that you can put directly into a pot or container in order to blend the ingredients. Typically variable speed and sometimes with various attachments like a whip or food processor/chopper. Featured in It’s a Blender, on a Stick!
IQF – Individually Quick Frozen – The act of individually freezing items rapidly so they maintain the peak freshness. Typically happens immediately after harvesting.
Julienne – (jool-LEE-ehn) – A cut whose dimensions are 1/8″ x 1/8″ x 2″ Featured in Types of Cuts
Mandoline – (MAN-doe-linn) – A French cutting tool for the cutting of vegetables in Julienne, Baton, Slices, or Crinkles/waffles. Featured in The Mandoline Demystified
Mirepoix – (meer-eh-PWAH) – A vegetable mix that is commonly used as a core ingredient in French Cooking. All ingredients are the same size and in porportions: Onions 50%, Carrots 25%, Celery 25% Featured in Stocks
Mirepoix, White -A vegetable mix used commonly in Chowders and cooking where carrots are not wanted. All ingredients are the same size and in proportions: 50% Potato, 25% Onion, 25% Celery. Featured in New England Fish Chowder
Mise en Place – (MEEZ-ahn-plass) – The literal translation is “Everything in its Place” and it is both the act of getting everything ready as well as the prepared foods themselves. Featured in Mise en Place
Par-Cooking – A method of cooking a product partially so that it can reduce the cooking time later, typically when combined with other ingredients that may cook quicker than another component.
Raft – In order to clear up a consumme, one whips up egg whites, then whisk into a rich stock, making a hole in the center. Next take a ladle and pull stock from the middle, and gently pour over the raft, causing it to ask like a filter. Featured in Soups-Clear
Roux – (ROO) – A mixture of equal parts flour and butter, used for the thickening of sauces and soups. Featured in Roux, the plot thickens.
Sachet – (SASH-ay) – To wrap something in cheesecloth and to tie the end and use like a tea bag in cooking. Makes it easy to remove contents after flavor is added. Usually filled with Bouquet Garnis.
Sanitizer Solution – A solution used to sanitize surfaces after preparing foods on them. 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 quart of room temperature water is a common dilution.
Santoku – (san-TOE-koo) – A Japanese knife, very thin and light, primarily used for chopping of vegetables. Featured in Knives
Skimming – The act of removing fat from a stock, soup or sauce by dipping a ladle just below the surface, allowing the fats that float on top of the liquid to enter the ladle, while leaving the liquid behind. Featured in Soups-Clear.
Slurry – A mixture of equal parts water and flour, used to thicken soups and sauces. A note: It does not work instantly like a cornstarch slurry, and will need a bit of time to cook out, lest your food tasts like flour. Say 5-10 minutes.
Tang – The metal of the blade of the knife that in a quality knife will travel the full length of the knife handle. Featured in Knives
Temperature Danger Zone – 41° – 145° – The temperatures where Bacterial growth in maximized. The Hyper-Danger Zone, 72°-90°, is the zone where bacteria growth is at its peak. Featured in the Highway to the Danger Zone.
Trichinosis – is a parasitic disease caused by eating raw or undercooked pork or wild gameinfected with the larvae of a species of roundworm Trichinella spiralis, commonly called the trichina worm.