Reading Recipes: Part 2

The way you cut your ingredients affects how they will cook,, add flavor and present themselves.

The way food is cut and cooked matters.

Reading Recipes: Part 2

When you prepare meat or vegetables for a recipe, it is important to cut them as written in the recipe. The author uses terms like “diced,” “minced,” and “bias cut”  for a reason. One cut may allow more of the flavor to be released, another cut may have to do with cooking time or presentation.

Likewise, the author will tell you how it is cooked. Baked, roasted, grilled and poached all have different effects on how the food turns out and some ingredients cook better with one method.

We have compiled a brief glossary of terms you may find useful. These are two excerpts from our book “$10 Meals for a Family of Six” which is almost ready to publish.

Cooking Terms used in this course.

Grilling add stripes to veggies and removes fat in meats.

Grilling add stripes to veggies and removes fat in meats.

Bake: to cook food slowly in an oven

Barbeque: cook over hot coals or gas flame

Blanch: boil quickly and cool immediately

Blend: chop with a standing or immersion blender

Braise: brown meat in oil then simmer in liquid

Broil: cook directly under the heat source 

Brown: quick sauteing to enhance meat color

Deep-Fry: completely submerge food in hot oil

Grill: cook in a grill pan or directly over a heat source

Juice: press fresh veggies and fruit through a “juicing” appliance to remove pulp

Pan broil: cook food in a skillet and remove fat

Pan fry: cook in a pan with hot oil or sauce

Parboil: partly cook in boiling liquid

Poach: to simmer in liquid

Pressure cook: use a closed pot to raise the temp.

Reduce: cook liquid down so water evaporates

Roast: cook in a shallow pan, uncovered in an oven.

Saute: cook quickly in a small amount of oil

Simmer:  (stew) cook in a slightly bubbling liquid.

Steam: cook suspended over boiling water in a covered pot

Stir-fry: cook rapidly with high heat & little oil

 

cut-s-vegCutting Terms:

Bias-slice: cut at an angle

Chop: cut in irregular pieces

Core: remove the inedible center

Crush: press into smallest pieces

Dice: cut into cubes

Grate: slide food against raised surface

Grind: to mechanically cut hard spices

Julienne: cut into long, narrow strips

Minced: finely chopped or pressed through tiny holes

Pare: peel or trim vegetables

Pull: tear into thin narrow strips

Puree: reduce food to a thick liquid

Ricing: forcing through small holes

Score: make shallow cuts to tenderize meats

Shred: cut or tear into narrow strips

Sift: pass food through fine mesh

Whip: aerate food by beating ‘till fluffy

Whisk: mix or whip by beating with a tool

Zesting: finely grating the outer peel of citrus fruit

Whether you are new to cooking natural foods or a seasoned cook, we hope you found the lists useful. We did not discuss whether cooking and cutting methods influence nutritional value of the final serving. Those topics have been and will be discussed on other posts.