Maybe some menus that you have stared, but you don’t know its spelling and the meaning of basic french cooking terms.
Am I right? It often happens for every chef in the kitchen.
From confit to sous vide, many culinary terms are derived from French and have some meaning to those unacquainted the language.
That’s why; in this post; we’ve listed some of the French cooking terms or basic culinary terms and technique with you.
To know and understand the basic terms used in cookery SEE the list of French cooking terms below:
French Cooking Terms
Accompaniments Items offered separately with a dish of food
A la in the style of
A la carte Dishes prepared to order and priced individually
Appetizer It is the first course that gets the appetite. Fruit juices, cocktails, sherry or tidbits could be served
Aromates Vegetables like carrots, onions, leeks, turnips, herbs and spices that provides aroma to the dish they are put in.
Aspic Clear meat or poultry jelly. It is a thin type of gelatin syrupy to decorate dishes in the larder.
Au gratin A type of Food that is covered with a sauce, sprinkled with breadcrumbs, spread with cheese, mixed with butter and baked or gratinated in a salamander.
A la king Foods are served in a white sauce with mushrooms, pimientos and green pepper. Usually makes flavored through sherry.
Anchois French for anchovy.
Bain-marie i A container of water to keep foods hot without fear of burning
ii A shallow container of water for cooking foods in order to prevent them burning
iii A deep, narrow container for storing hot sauces, soups and gravies
Bouquets garnish A faggot of herbs: parsley, thyme and bay leaf usually tied inside pieces of leek and celery.
Brunoise Small dice.
Baking Generally the food is placed in the oven and cooked through dry heat.
Batter Mixture of liquid and flour consistently that can be stirred. Batter can be plain or mixed with eggs. For the beignets and fritters, foods are dipped in the batter and fried.
Béchamel A basic white colored sauce which is prepared with flour, butter and milk.
Baked Alaska Ice-cream on cake completely covered with meringue and delicately browned in a quick oven.
Bavarian A dessert consisting of whipped gelatin and whipped cream folded together. It is placed in a mould and refrigerated until set.
Beat To lift a mixture with a whip for the purpose of injecting air and to make the mixture smooth.
Beef a la Stroganoff Sautéed small thin slices of beef tenderloin, poached in a sour cream sauce.
Bercy A sauce consisting of brown sauce, shallots, lemon juice and white wine. Usually served with meat of fish.
Blend To mix thoroughly two or more ingredients.
Broth A liquid in which meat, fish, poultry or vegetables have been simmered.
Blanching Submerging food items into the boiling water for a little time. Many ways are performed to blanch; tomatoes are placed in boiling water to blanch, i.e. to take the skin away. Cauliflower is submerged in boiling water to white the color. French fried potatoes are dipped in hot fat to let a skin form and to cook them partially.
Broil The ancient term for grilling.
Buffet Display of ready to eat foods. Often self-service from a table of various foods.
Casserole An earthenware fireproof dish with a lid.
Canapé A cushion of bread on which are served various foods, hot and cold.
Chateaubriand Head of the fillet of beef.
Chinois A conical strainer.
Caviar Salted roe or eggs of fish, usually sturgeon, served as a sandwich spread or in plates as appetizers.
Correcting Adjusting the salt and pepper, color and consistency of a dish.
Caper European flower bud seasoning (nasturtium bud) or garnish. The buds are pickled by using vinegar and kept in tiny green bottles.
Champignon French, meaning “mushroom”.
Charlotte A mould lined with ladyfingers, filled with fruit and whipped cream or custard.
Chef Head of the kitchen.
Chop To cut into small pieces using a knife or some type of sharp tool.
Coat To cover the surface of one food with another.
Consommé A clear, strong flavored soup. Consommé is derived from the word consummate, meaning perfect.
Cocotte Porcelain or earthenware fireproof dish.
Concassé Coarsely-chopped, e.g. parsley, tomatoes.
Croutons Cubes of fried bread served with soup, also triangular pieces with spinach and heart-shaped with certain vegetables and entrees.
Croquettes Cooked foods molded cylinder shape, egg and crumbed and deep fried.
Croissant A crescent shaped roll.
Cuisine The art of cookery.
Cube To cut into square pieces.
Curry East Indian stew or dish containing curry powder, a blended spice.
Cutlet A small flattened boneless piece of meat. Usually the term is associate with pork and veal.
Cordon A tread or thin line of sauce.
Dame A slice of fish on the bone (round)
Demi-glace A refined brown sauce
Drain To remove the fluid, generally in a perforated container
Doily A fancy cut round paper
Dish paper An oval cut paper with decorative edge
Egg wash Beaten egg
Escalope A thin slice
Espagnole A basic brown sauce
Farce filling – stuffing – forcemeat
Flan A shallow pastry case filled with various mixtures of food
Glace A concentrated form of various stocks, i.e. glace de viande (meat glaze)
Gratiner To color food golden brown under a salamander or in an oven, after sprinkling with cheese or breadcrumbs (see ‘au gratin’)
Hors d’oeuvre A single or variety of foods, served at the commencement of a meal to stimulate appetite
Julienne Cut into very fine strips
Ju-lie A thickened gravy
Liaison Used to thicken, bind or enrich
Macèdoine Vegetables or fruits cut into dice and mixed
Marinade A mixture of various seasonings, herbs and spices with vinegar/wine/oil/water used to flavor and tenderize
Menu A list of dishes offered
Mirepoix A roughly diced mixture of carrot, onion, celery, used for flavoring
Mise en place Basic preparations for cooking.
Paysanne A thin cut approximately 12 mm in diameter if round or 12 mm x 12 mm across
Printaniere A garnish of spring vegetables
Pulse Any vegetable, grown in a pod or casing in the fried preserved form
Roux A mixture of cooked fat and flour used as a thickening
Sabayon A mixture of yolks of egg and liquid cooked to the smooth texture of cream
Salamander An appliance heated form above; used for cooking and coloring foods
Seasonal flour Flour with the addition of salt
Shred To thinly slice