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.
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
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.