HEALTHY COOKING

Welcome to our Healthy Cooking section, this section provides a wide array of choices to help you with your daily cooking needs, from tips on protecting your food against bacteria to broiling and grilling charts.

FIGHT BAC
A guide featuring simple food safety/cleaning techniques and fighting Bacteria.

COOKING TERMS
A short glossary to some of the most commonly used kitchen terminology.

FOOD SAFETY TIPS
Handy Substitutions, Storage Charts, Cooking Hints & More….

BASIC COOKING CHARTS
Need to know how long to broil or grill food?. Plus emergency substitions, ingrediant equivalents, and weight measurements.

Weights and Measurements

A guide to help you convert your measurements.
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup
5 1/3 tablespoons = 1/3 cup
8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup
10 2/3 tablespoons = 2/3 cup
12 tablespoons = 3/4 cup
16 tablespoons = 1 cup
1 ounce = 28.35 grams
1 pound = 453.59 grams
1 gram = 0.035 ounces
1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds
1 tablespoon = 1/2 fluid ounce
1 cup = 8 fluid ounces
1 cup = 1/2 pint
2 cups = 1 pint
4 cups = 1 quart
2 pints = 1 quart
4 quarts = 1 gallon
8 quarts =1 peck
2 gallons = 1 peck
4 peck = 1 bushel
1 tablespoon = 14.79 milliliters
1 cup = 236.6 milliliters
1 quart = 946.4 milliliters
1 liter = 1.06 quarts

Ingredient Equivalents

Here is a list of substitutions for when you run out of an ingredient in a recipe.
Food Amount Before Preparations Approximate Measure After Preparation
Cereals
Macaroni 1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) 2 1/2 cups cooked
Noodles, medium 3 cups (4 ounces) 3 cups cooked
Spaghetti 8 ounces 4 cups cooked
Long grain rice 1 cup (7 ounces) 3 cups cooked
Quick-cooking rice 1 cup (3 ounces) 2 cups cooked
Popcorn 1/4 cup 5 cups cooked
Crumbs
Bread 1 slice 3/4 cup soft
Bread 1 slice 1/4 cup fine dry crumbs
Saltine crackers 28 squares 1 cup finely crushed
Rich round crackers 24 crackers 1 cup finely crushed
Graham crackers 14 squares 1 cup finely crushed
Gingersnaps 15 cookies 1 cup finely crushed
Vanilla wafers 22 cookies 1 cup finely crushed
Fruits
Apples 1 medium 1 cup sliced
Apricots 1 medium 1/4 cup sliced
Avocados 1 medium 1 1/4 cups sliced
Bananas 1 medium 1/3 cup mashed
Cherries, red 1 pound 2 cups pitted
Lemons 1 medium 3 tbsp juice; 2 tsp shredded peel
Limes 1 medium 2 tbsp juice; 1 tsp shredded peel
Oranges 1 medium 1/4 to 1/3 cup juice; 4 tsp shred. peel
Peaches, Pears 1 medium 1/2 cup sliced
Strawberries 1 cups whole 4 cups sliced
Vegetables
Beans & Peas, dried 1 lb. (about 2 1/2 c.) 6 cups cooked
Cabbage 1 lb. (1 small) 5 cups shredded
Carrots, w/out tops 1 lb. (6 to 8 medium) 3 c. shredded or 2 1/2 c. diced
Celery 1 medium bunch 4 1/2 cups chopped
Corn 1 medium ear 1/2 cup cut from cob
Green beans 1 lb. (3 cups) 2 1/2 cups cooked, cut up
Green onions 1 bunch (7) 1/2 cup sliced
Green peppers 1 large 1 cup diced
Mushrooms 1 lb. (6 cups) 6 c. sliced or 2 c. cooked
Onions 1 medium 1/2 cup chopped
Potatoes 1 medium 2/3 c. cubed or 1/2 c. mashed
Spinach 1 lb. (12 cups) 1 1/2 cups cooked
Tomatoes 1 medium 1/2 cup cooked
Nuts
Almonds 1 pound in shell 1 1/4 cups shelled
Pecans 1 pound in shell 2 cups shelled
Walnuts 1 pound in shell 1 1/2 cups shelled
Miscellaneous
Cheese, Swiss/Amer. 4 ounces 1 cup shredded or cubed
Eggs 1 large 3 tablespoons egg
Egg whites 1 large 2 tablespoons white
Egg yolks 1 large 1 tablespoon yolk
Whipping cream 1 cup 2 cups whipped
Ground beef 1 pound raw 2 3/4 cups cooked
Boneless meat 1 pound raw 2 cups cooked, cubed
Cooked meat 1 pound 3 cups diced

Emergency Substitutions

Here is a list of substitutions for when you run out of an ingredient in a recipe.
Baking Powder – 1 tsp. = 1/4 tsp. baking soda plus 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk (to replace 1/2 cup of the liquid called for)
Broth or Stock – 1 cup = 1 bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
Buttermilk – 1 cup = 1 tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar plus enough whole milk to make 1 cup (let stand 5 minutes before using) or 1 cup whole milk plus 1 3/4 tsp. cream of tartar or 1 cup plain yogurt
Cake Flour – 1 cup = 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Chocolate – 1oz. square (unsweetened) = 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1 tbsp butter or margarine
Cornstarch – 1 tbsp. (for thickening) = 2 tbsp. flour, all-purpose
Corn Syrup – 1 cup = 1 cup granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup liquid
Cracker Crumbs – 3/4 cup = 1 cup dry bread crumbs
Cream – 1 cup (light) = 2 tbsp. butter plus 1 cup minus 2 tbsp. milk
Garlic – 1 clove = 1/8 tsp. garlic powder or minced dried garlic
Herbs – 1 tsp. (dried) = 1 tbsp. fresh herbs
Honey – 1 cup = 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup liquid
Lemon Peel – 1 tsp. (finely shredded) = 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
Milk – 1 cup (whole) = 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water or 1 cup reconstituted nonfat dry milk (plus 2 tsp. butter or margarine, if desired)
Mustard – 1 tsp. (dry)  = 1 tbsp. prepared mustard
Onion – 1 small  = 1 tsp. onion powder or 1 tbsp. minced dried onion, rehydrated
Sour Cream – 1 cup = 1 cup yogurt
Sugar – 1 cup (brown) = 1 cup minus 1 tbsp. white sugar plus 1 1/2 tbsp. molasses
Sugar – 1 cup (granulated) = 1 cup packed brown sugar or 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
Tomatoes – 2 cups (canned) = 2 1/2 cups peeled fresh cooked tomatoes
Tomato Sauce – 2 cups = 3/4 cup tomato paste plus 1 cup water
Tomato Juice – 1 cup = 1/2 cup tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup water
Vanilla Bean – 1 piece = 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Whipping Cream – 1 cup (whipped) = 2 cups whipped dessert topping
Yeast – 1 package (active dry) = 1 cake compressed yeast

Grilling Chart

To estimate temperature of coals, hold hand, palm down, about 4 inches above hot coals. Count seconds you can hold position.

Holding
2 sec.= Hot coals 3 sec. = Med.-hot
4 sec. = Med. 5-6 sec. = Slow

Grilling (Total Time in Minutes)

Ham
Cut or Portion Weight or Thickness Temperature of Coals Comments Medium
Fully cooked slice 1/2 inch Medium-hot 10-15
1 inch Medium 25-30
Canned 5 pounds Medium 1 1/2 to
1 3/4 hrs.
Chicken
Cut or Portion Weight or Thickness Temperature of Coals Comments Medium
Broiler-fryer halves 2 1/2 to 3 pounds Medium-hot 45-50
Roasting chicken, unstuffed 3-4 pounds Medium covered grill 2 to 2 1/2 hrs.
Turkey
Cut or Portion Weight or Thickness Temperature of Coals Comments Medium
Unstuffed 6-8 pounds Medium covered grill 3 to 3 3/4 hrs.
Roasting chicken, unstuffed 12-16 pounds Medium covered grill 3 1/2 to
4 1/2 hrs.
Fish
Cut or Portion Weight or Thickness Temperature of Coals Comments Medium
Salmon or halibut steaks 3/4 inch Medium 17-22
1 to 1 1/2 inch Medium-hot 10-17
Trout, snapper, or whitefish fillets 6-8 oz. each Medium-hot
Medium
10-17
17-20
Seafood
Cut or Portion Weight or Thickness Temperature of Coals Comments Medium
Shrimp (large) 2 pounds Hot 15-18

Broiling Chart

Broil 3/4 to 1 1/2 inch thick steaks and chops so surface of meat is 3 inches from heat. Broil thicker cuts 4 to 5 inches from heat. (Check your range instruction booklet.)

Broil on one side for about half of the time indicated in the chart for desired doneness. Turn with tongs; broil for remaining time.

Broiling (Total Time in Minutes)
Beef Steaks
1-inch
Rare
Medium
Well-done
8-10
12-14
18-20
1 1/2-inch
Rare
Medium
Well-done
14-16
18-20
25-30
2-inch
Rare
Medium
Well-done
20-25
30-35
40-45
Hamburgers
1/2-inch
Rare
Medium
Well-done
8
10
12
1-inch
Rare
Medium
Well-done
15
20
25
Pork Chop
3/4 to 1-inch 20-25
Pork Steaks
1/2 to 3/4-inch 20-22
Ham Center Slice
Fully cooked, bone-in
1/2-inch
1-inch
10-12
16-18
Lamb Chops
3/4-inch
Medium
Well-done
10-12
13-15
1-inch
Medium
Well-done
11-13
16-18
1 1/2-inch
Medium
Well-done
15-18
20-22
Chicken
halved lengthwise or quartered 35-40

Healthy Resources

Food Safety

  • USDA Food Safety Inspection Service
  • Centers for Disease Control
  • National Food Safety Database
  • Alliance for Food and Fiber
  • International Food Safety Council
  • Food Safety Alerts
  • USDA/FDA Foodborne Illness Education Information Center
  • Food Safety Traning & Education Alliance
Nutrition & Health

  • The American Dietetic Association
  • American Heart Association
  • United States Department of Health & Human Services
  • International Food & Nutrition Information Center
  • The National Cancer Institute’s “Eat 5 a Day for Better Health” site
  • The Food and Nutrition Information Center
Produce Related Links

  • About Produce
  • NUTRI-FACTS Update
  • 5 A Day
  • Produce Oasis
Meat Related Links

  • Beef, it’s what’s for dinner
  • Pork, The Other White Meat
  • Pork 4 Kids
Dairy Links

  • I Love Cheese!
  • Got Milk?
Extras

  • Electronic Gourmet Guide
  • LeCarb Frozen Dessert
  • Wine Help
  • Seasonings & Spices
US Federal Government Links

  • U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)
    Up-to-date news and information about the USDA and the services and opportunities it offers.
  • National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) of the USDA
    Harvest statistics at national and state levels. Keep abreast of chemical usage.
  • Economic Research Service (ERS)
    Official source for economic analysis and information on agriculture, food, natural resources, and rural America.
  • National Agricultural Library (NAL)
    Nation’s primary source for agricultural and related information.
  • Federal Trade Commission
    Current news releases about regulatory reform actions.
  • Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
    Remote Sensing & Modeling Lab (RS&ML) applies systems theory to the solution of complex agricultural problems and the development of computer?aided farm decision support systems.
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    Get information about the variety of programs and initiatives the EPA is involved with.
  • Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)
    Export opportunities and the current state of the world market.
  • Dept. of Health & Human Services
    A comprehensive list of Health & Human Services agencies, information on research, DHHS policies and administration, and health care tips.
Consumer Advice

  • Your online resource for governtment recalls
  • Food & Drug
  • U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • Occupational Safety & Health Administration
  • Youth Rules

Vegetarian Links

  • Vegetarian Resource Group
    This web site contains a wealth of information on vegetarian nutrition including nutrients like iron, calcium, protein, and vitamin B12 as well as reprints of nutrition-related articles from Vegetarian Journal.
  • Vegetarian Basics 101
    Provides information on types of vegetarians, getting started in vegetarianism, foods, protein sources, and benefits of vegetarianism.
  • Food Guides
    Vegan and Vegetarian Pyramids, based on the U.S. Food Guide, and the Vegan Rainbow and the Vegetarian Rainbow, based on the Canadian Food Guide.

BASIC COOKING CHARTS

Cooking Basics

You will find some charts and guides to help you along in the kitchen.

  • Broiling Chart – A basic guide for broiling food.
  • Grilling Chart – A basic guide for cooking food on the grill.
  • Emergency Substitutions – A few suggestions for substituting ingredients.
  • Ingredient Equivalents –  A guide to help determine ingredient equivalents and to convert a weight or item into a measured product.

FOOD SAFETY TIPS

1 cup self-rising flour 1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cake flour 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons
1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup cake flour plus 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon soda
1 tablespoon cornstarch 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon tapioca 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large eggs 3 small eggs
1 pound fresh mushrooms 6 ounces canned mushrooms
1 cup commercial sour cream 1 tablespoon lemon juice plus evaporated milk to equal 1 cup; or 3 tablespoons butter plus 7/8 cup sour milk
1 cup yogurt 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1 cup sour milk or buttermilk 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice plus sweet milk to equal 1 cup
1 cup fresh milk 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water; or 3 to 5 tablespoons nonfat dry milk solids in 1 cup water
1 cup honey 1 1/4 cups sugar plus 1/4 cup liquid
1 (1-ounce) square unsweetened chocolate 3 tablespoons cocoa plus 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 tablespoon fresh herbs 1 teaspoon dried herbs or 1/4 teaspoon powdered herbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 1 tablespoon dehydrated parsley
1 teaspoon dry mustard 1 tablespoon prepared mustard

Storage Chart

MEATS
Fresh beef, lamb, pork, and veal
roasts 3 to 5 days
steaks, chops 3 days
ribs 2 days
stew meat 2 days
ground meat 1 to 2 days
Processed meats (after package is opened)
hams, whole and half 7 days
bacon 5 to 7 days
frankfurters 4 to 5 days
luncheon meats, sliced 3 days
Fresh fish 1 to 2 days
Poultry 1 to 2 days
DAIRY
Butter and Margarine 1 month
Buttermilk 1 to 2 weeks
Cheese (opened)
hard cheese: Cheddar, Swiss,
Parmesan (grated)
3 to 4 weeks
1 year
soft cheese: cream, Neufchatel
cottage cheese
2 weeks
5 to 7 days or date on pkg.
Eggs 1 month
Half-and-half 7 to 10 days
Milk, whole and skimmed 1 week
Sour cream 3 to 4 weeks
Whipping cream 7 to 10 days
Yogurt 10 days or date on pkg.
CANNED FOODS (opened)
Fruit 5 to 7 days
Jams and jellies 6 months
Mayonnaise 1 to 2 months
Meats 1 to 2 days
Pickles 2 to 3 months
Vegetables 2 to 3 days
Most fresh fruit is best if used within 3 to 5 days. Apples maintain freshness about three weeks and citrus fruits about 10 days to 2 weeks. Try to use fresh vegetables as soon as possible after purchasing or after picking from the garden. Corn in the husk will only hold up 1 day in the refrigerator. Carrots and radishes will last 2 to 3 weeks, but most other vegetables should be eaten within 3 to 7 days. (Can or freeze vegetables the day they are bought or picked.)
STAPLES
Baking powder 1 year
Baking soda 1 year
Breakfast cereal, ready to eat
uncooked
Check date on package
1 year
Catsup (opened) 1 month
Coffee (opened), (refrigerate after opening) 6 to 8 weeks
Cornmeal, regular and self-rising 10 months
Dried beans and peas 18 months
Flour, all-purpose
-whole wheat (refrigerated)
10 to 15 months
3 months
Grits, regular
-instant, flavored
10 months
9 months
Milk, evaporated and sweetened condensed 1 year
Pasta 10 to 15 months
Peanut butter 6 months
Salt and pepper 18 months
Shortening 8 months
Spices, ground
-whole
(Discard spices if aroma fades)
6 months
1 year
Sugar 18 months
Tea bags 1 year
Vegetable oil 3 months
Worcestershire sauce 2 years
CANNED FOODS
Fruit 1 year
Vegetables 1 year
Soups 1 year
Meat, fish and poultry 1 year
PACKAGED MIXES
Cake mix 1 year
Casserole mix 18 months
Frosting mix 8 months
Pancake mix 6 months
Tips for Pantry Storage: Store food in the coolest area of your kitchen, away from the oven and range. Hot, humid air decreases the storage life of most products. Keep all dry foods in their original containers or in airtight ones. Date your purchases and always use the oldest items first. When selecting canned foods, watch for dents, bulges, or stickiness; these could be signs of contamination.

Cooking Hints

Baking Unless otherwise specified, always preheat the oven at least 20 minutes before baking
Browning For best results in browning food in a skillet, dry the food first on paper towels.
Measuring Always measure accurately. Level dry ingredients with top of a cup or a knife edge or a spoon handle. Measure liquids in a cup so that the fluid is level with the top of the measuring line. Measure solid shortening by packing it firmly in a graduated measuring cup.
Storing Milk cartons make splendid freezing containers for stocks, soups, etc. They also serve well for freezing fish or shrimp, foods that should be frozen in water.
Baking Powder Always use double-acting baking powder
Breads and Cakes To test for doneness in baking a butter or margarine cake, insert a straw or a wire cake tester into the center of the cake in at least two places. The tester should come out clean if the cake is done. Cake should be lightly browned and beginning to shrink from the pan’s sides. Cake should spring back to touch.
Butter When a recipe says greased pan, grease the pan with solid shortening or oil, unless butter is specified.
Candies The weather is a big factor in candymaking. On a hot humid day, it is adviseable to cook candy 2 degrees higher than in cold dry weather.
Eggs Unused or extra egg whites may be frozen and used as needed. Make meringues or angel pies with the whites later. Egg whites freeze well and do not need to be defrosted. When boiling eggs, add 1 tsp. salt to the water. This prevents a cracked egg from draining into the water.
Fruit A whole lemon heated in hot water for 5 minutes will yield 1 or 2 tablespoons more juice than an unheated lemon.
Sauces When a sauce curdles, remove pan from heat and plunge into a pan of cold water to stop the cooking process. Beat sauce vigorously or pour into a blender and beat. When making a cream or a white sauce, melt butter, add flour, and blend well. Remove from heat before adding warmed milk.
Seafood For improved texture and flavor with canned shrimp, soak shrimp for 1 hour in ice water; drain. One pound of raw shrimp yields about 2 cups cooked and peeled shrimp.

COOKING TERMS

Advanced level chef The advanced cook knows the kitchen inside and out and can do virtually anything in it, including producing a complete menu. Recipes are easily executed, and he or she is able to add their own flair to a recipe without compromising its heart.
Adjust To change the seasonings in a dish by adding a spice, herb, and so on, after you have tasted the dish to see if it needs more flavoring.
Al dente An Italian phrase meaning “to the tooth”, used to describe food that is cooked only until it offers a slight resistance when bitten into, but which is not soft or overdone.
Baste To spoon or brush food as it cooks with melted butter or other fat, meat drippings or liquid such as stock.
Beat To make a mixture smooth by adding air with a brisk whipping or stirring motion, using a spoon or an electric mixer.
Blanch To precook in boiling water or steam to prepare foods for canning or freezing, or to loosen their skins.
Blend To process food in an electric blender, or to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients by hand with a stirring motion to make smooth and uniform mixture.
Bone To remove the bones, sinew, and gristle from meat, poultry, game, and fish.
Boil To cook in liquid at boiling temperature (212 degrees F. or 100 degrees C. at sea level) where bubbles rise to the surface and break. For a full rolling boil, bubbles form rapidly throughout the mixture.
Bouillon A clear soup made by cooking meat, usually beef, together with vegetables and seasonings, and then straining the resulting stock. It can also be prepared from bouillon granules or bouillon cubes.
Bouquet garni A combination of several herbs, such as parsley, thyme, and bay leaf, either tied in a bunch or put in a small cheesecloth bag and added to stews, soups, and sauces. It can easily be removed at any stage in the cooking.
Braise To cook slowly with a small amount of liquid in a tightly covered pan on top of the range or in the oven.
Bread To coat with bread crumbs before cooking.
Broil To cook by direct heat under a broiler in an electric or gas range.
Broth Any clear soup usually made with meat or fish stock.
Brown To cook foods quickly over moderately high heat so that they turn a rich golden brown color.
Butterfly To split a food (such as shrimp) down the center, cutting almost but not completely through. The two halves are then opened flat to resemble a butterfly shape.
Can To preserve food by sealing it in airtight containers. The food is processed either in a water bath or pressure canner.
Candy To cook in sugar or syrup, when applied to sweet potatoes and carrots. For fruit or fruit peel, cook in heavy syrup until translucent and well coated.
Caramelize To melt sugar slowly over low heat until it becomes brown in color.
Carve To slice meat or poultry into serving-size pieces.
Chill To refrigerate foods or put them in a bowl filled with ice until they are cold.
Chop Using quick, heavy blows of a knife to cut food into pieces. Chopped food is more coarsely cut than minced food.
Clarify To make liquids clear by filtering, such as stock or broth, or butter.
Coat To evenly cover food with crumbs, flour, or a batter.
Coddle To cook food in water just below the boiling point, as in coddled eggs.
Cool To remove from heat and let stand at room temperature. When a recipe says, “cool quickly,” the food should be chilled or set in a bowl of ice water to quickly reduce its temperature.
Cream To beat a mixture with a spoon or electric mixer until it becomes soft and smooth. When applied to combining shortening and sugar, the mixture is beaten until light and fluffy, depending on the proportion of sugar to shortening.
Crimp To decorate the edges of a pie crust by pinching the top and bottom crusts together with your fingers.
Crisp-tender To cook food to the stage where it is tender but still crisp.
Crown Roast A special occasion roast formed from the rib section of a pork or lamb loin by tying into a circle, ribs up. The roast’s hollow center section is usually filled with mixed vegetables or other stuffing.
Crush To reduce a food to its finest form, such as crumbs, paste or powder. Crushing is often accomplished with a mortar and pestle, or with a rolling pin.
Cube To cut into pieces that are the same size on each side – at least 1/2 inch.
Cut in To mix shortening with dry ingredients using a pastry blender or two knives.
Deglaze Deglazing is done by adding a small amount of liquid (usually wine or an acid) to a pan that food (usually meat) has been sautéed. The liquid will help loosen any browned bits of food that are stuck to the bottom and the resultant mixture often becomes a base for a sauce to accompany the food cooked in the pan.
Degrease To remove the fat from food. Fat rises to the top of food, making it easier to scoop the fat out.
Deseed To remove the inedible or fibrous seeds of fruits and vegetables.
Devein To remove the vein from the back of shrimp or to remove the interior ribs from peppers.
Dice To cut food into tiny cubes.
Dilute To make a food weaker by adding water or other liquid.
Dollop To add a small amount, such as a scoop or spoonful, of a semiliquid food to garnish another food.
Dot To distribute small bits of food over another food, such as dotting an apple pie with butter before baking.
Dredge To lightly coat foods to be fried, as with flour, cornmeal or breadcrumbs.
Drippings The melted fat and juices that gather in the bottom of a pan in which meat or other food is cooked. Drippings are used as a base for gravies and sauces and in which to cook other foods.
Drizzle To coat food lightly with a dry ingredient such as flour, bread crumbs, or sugar.
Dust To sprinkle foods lightly with sugar, flour, etc.
Fillet To cut lean meat or fish into pieces without bones.
Finely shred To rub food across a fine shredding surface to form very narrow strips.
Flake To break food lightly into small pieces.
Flute To make small decorative impressions in food. Pie crusts are fluted by pressing the pastry edge into various shapes.
Fold To add ingredients gently to a mixture. Using a spatula, cut down through the mixture; cut across the bottom of the bowl, and then up and over, close to the surface. Turn the bowl frequently for even distribution.
Freeze To reduce the temperature of foods so that the liquid content becomes solidified.
Fry To cook in hot fat. To pan fry, cook food in a small amount of fat. To deep-fat fry, cook the food immersed in a large amount of fat.
Garnish To decorate the served dish with small pieces of food that have distinctive texture or color, such as parsley.
Glaze To brush a mixture on a food to give it a glossy appearance or a hard finish.
Grate To reduce a large piece of food to small particles or thin shreds by rubbing it against a course, serrated surface, usually on a kitchen utensil called a grater.
Grease To coat a pan with fat to keep foods from sticking.
Grilling To prepare food on a grill over hot coals, or other heat source.
Grind To use a food grinder to cut a food into very fine pieces.
Hull To remove the stem of strawberries by hand or with a special implement called a huller.
Husk To remove the outside leaves from ears of corn.
Intermediate level chef By the time a cook reaches an intermediate level, no supervision will be required in the kitchen. Cooking is understood and can be completed well.
Julienne To cut vegetables, fruits, or meats into match like strips.
Knead To work dough with the heel of your hand in a pressing and folding motion.
Line To cover a pan or cookie sheet with paper to prevent foods from sticking.
Marinate To allow a food to stand in a liquid to add flavor.
Mince To cut food into very small pieces. Minced food is in smaller pieces than chopped food.
Mix To blend ingredients with a stirring motion using a spoon or fork.
Mull To heat beverages such as red wine and cider with spices and sugar.
Novice level chef Novice cooks are true first-timers in the kitchen, learning as they go. They are still learning basic terms and techniques, as well as the proper, safe, and efficient use of kitchen equipment. Once the water is boiling, though, they’re onto the next level!
Panbroil To cook uncovered, removing fat as it accumulates.
Panfry To cook food in a small amount of hot fat.
Parboil To partially cook food in boiling water before completely cooking it by some other process.
Pare To remove the skin from fruits and vegetables (the same as peeling). Use a paring knife or vegetable peeler.
Partially set To chill gelatin mixtures to the point in setting when the consistency resembles raw egg whites.
Peel To remove the outer layer or skin from a fruit or vegetable.
Pickle To preserve or flavor meat, fish, vegetables, etc. in a brine, or a solution made of vinegar, spices, and other seasonings.
Pit To remove the seed from a piece of fruit.
Plump To soak food (such as raisins or dried fruit) to make it soft and tender.
Pound To flatten food, especially meat, to make it thinner and more tender.
Poach To cook food in hot liquid, being careful that the food holds its shape while cooking.
Precook To cook food partially or completely before the final cooking or reheating.
Preheat To set the oven to a desired temperature so it is hot enough to receive food.
Preserve To prepare meat, fruit, vegetables, etc. for future use by salting, boiling in syrup, soakingin a brine, dehydrating, curing, smoking, canning, or freezing.
Prick To pierce food so it won’t explode, rise, expand, or shrink unnecessarily as it cooks.
Puree Any food (usually a fruit or vegetable) that is finely mashed to a smooth thick consistency. Can be used as a garnish or used to thicken soups and sauces.
Reconstitute To rehydrate dried food (such as dried mushrooms or sun-dried tomatoes) by soaking it in water or other liquid.
Reduce To boil a liquid (usually stock, wine, or sauce mixture) rapidly until the volume is reduced by evaporation, thereby thickening the consistency and intensifying the flavor, sometimes referred to as a reduction.
Render To separate solid fat such as suet or lard from meat tissue by melting.
Roast To cook a meat, uncovered, in the oven. Pot-roasting refers to braising a meat roast.
Sauté To cook food in a small amount of oil or other fat in a skillet over direct heat. In French, it literally means to jump.
Scald To bring food to a temperature just below boiling so that tiny bubbles form at the edges of the pan.
Scallop To bake food, usually in a casserole, with a sauce or other liquid.
Score To cut narrow grooves or slits partway through the outer surface of a food.
Sear To brown meat quickly by subjecting it to very high heat either in a skillet or under the broiler in the oven. The object is to seal in the juices.
Season To add flavor to food by adding salt, pepper, herbs, or spices.
Shred To cut food into narrow strips either by hand or by using a grater or food processor. Cooked meat can be shredded by pulling apart with two forks.
Sift To put one or more dry ingredients through a sieve or sifter to incorporate air and break up lumps.
Simmer To cook food gently in a liquid at a temperature of 185 degrees or until tiny bubbles just begin to break the surface.
Slice To cut food into evenly shaped pieces.
Steam To cook food in steam. A small amount of boiling water is used and more water is added during steaming if necessary.
Steep To extract color, flavor, or other qualities from a substance by leaving it in liquid just below the boiling point.
Sterilize To destroy microorganisms by boiling, dry heating, or steaming.
Stew To destroy microorganisms by boiling, dry heating, or steaming.
Stiff peaks To beat egg whites until peaks stand up straight when the beaters are lifted from the mixer bowl, but are still moist and glossy.
Stir To mix ingredients with a spoon in a circular or figure-eight motion until well combined.
Stir-fry To cook food quickly in a small amount of hot fat, stirring constantly.
Strain To separate solid from liquids through a strainer or fine sieve.
Toss To mix ingredients lightly by lifting and dropping them with a spoon or a spoon and fork.
Whip To beat food lightly and rapidly, incorporating air into the mixture to make it light and to increase its volume.
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