I was mostly self taught when it came to cooking and baking and really didn't have a lot of input so there were terms I was totally clueless about. I didn't know what folding meant or basting and so forth so I've put this handy dandy term and technique guide together for anyone just starting out or as a refresher for others.
Baste: To moisten food while cooking with natural food juices, drippings, sauce or juice in order to add flavor and prevent from drying
Blanch: to partially cook in boiling water or steam; also used to loosen skins from tomatoes (handy when canning and making sauces), peaches, and almonds as well.
Braise: to cook meats slowly in a tightly covered pan using a small amount of liquid.
Cube: to cut into exact pieces of 1/2 inch squares
Dash: a unit of measure that is equal to 1/16 of a teaspoon. Make it easy on yourself and find measuring spoons that say dash, pinch etc. I love mine! You can also measure by filling a 1/4 teaspoon one fourth full.
Deglaze: to add liquid like water, wine or broth to a skillet after it's been used to cook meat, used to create a sauce.
Dice: to cut into uniform pieces, normally 1/8 to 1/4 inch.
Fold: to combine a light mixture, such as beaten eggs or egg whites, with a heavy mixture, such as cake batter, without the loss of air. Heavy ingredients are folded directly into the center of the light ingredients with a spatula and pulled toward the edge of the bowl.
Julienne: to cut food into thing, matchstick size strips about 2 inches long.
Mince: to chop food into tiny, irregular pieces. Like minced garlic.
Poach: to cook food by partially or completely submerging it in a boiling liquid like broth.
Puree: to convert a solid into a liquid or heavy paste using a blender or food processor.
Simmer: to cook food in liquid to just below the boiling point.
Until next time, see you 'round the kitchen,