Cooking Glossary


Bake: To cook in oven by dry heat.

Bannocks: Scotch cakes made of barley or oatmeal.

Barbecue: To roast on a rack over heat or on a spit, usually basting with a sauce.

Basil: A pot herb known best for its culinary use, basil has also earned a considerable symbolic and medicinal reputation, particularly in Asia and Europe. In India it is sacred to Vishnu; in Jewish lore the herb provided strength during fasts. For the Greeks basil has symbolized hate, for Italians love and for French royalty.

Baste: To moisten with marinade or with pan juices during broiling or roasting to prevent drying of the surface.

Batter: A flour-liquid mixture that is thin enough to pour.

Bay leaves: Leaves from a species of Laurel.

Beat: To mix with a brisk, regulation motion that lifts mixture over and over, introducing the air and making the mixture smooth.

Beer: An alcoholic beverage made from certain grains, usually barley, by malting the grain, boiling the product with hops, and finally fermenting it with yeast. The hops are usually used to give the beer a desirable flavor. The process of beer production is called brewing. This beverage is characterized by a low percentage of alcohol, containing most of the time only 2 to 5 per cent of alcohol, and consequently is not very intoxicating.

Bermuda onion: A sweet onion also called Spanish onion. 

Biscuits: In the UK, same as US cookies, small sweet cakes usually for dessert.  In the US, a type of non-yeast bread made of flour, milk, and shortening, usually served with breakfast - small, and similar to what much of the world refers to as scones.

Bisque: A thick cream soup usually containing seafood.

Blanch: To immerse food in boiling water for a short time, than drain and rinsing with cold water, generally in order to loosen the skin or set color.

Blend: To thoroughly mix two or more ingredients.

Blind Bake: To bake pastry or pie shell before it's filled.

Body: The degree of fullness on the palate produced by a wine or spirit.

Boil: To cook in steaming liquid in which the bubbles are breaking on the surface (212 degrees F).

Bouquet of herbs: A sprig each of thyme, savory, marjoram and parsley.

Bourbon: A corn whiskey with an American origin.

Braise: To prepare food by browning, then cooking slowly in a small amount of liquid in the coven or in a covered pan on the stove top.

Breaded: Food coated with flour, eggs and crumbs.

Broccolrabe: A green bitter vegetable unless harvested young. Looks like broccoli but has skinnier stalks. The leaves, stems and florets are eaten. Really good sautéed with garlic and olive oil and served over pasta.

Broil: To cook over or under direct heat.

Broth: Liquid in which meat has been simmered.

Brut: The term used for the driest of the champagnes.

Cooking Glossary