Cooking Glossary

BASTE - To brush or spoon food as it cooks with melted fat or the cooking juices from the dish. Basting prevents foods from drying out and adds color and flavour.
BLENDTo combine two or more ingredients together with a spoon, beater or blender.  
BOIL - To heat a liquid to its boiling point, until bubbles break the surface
BRUSH - To apply a liquid, like a glaze, to the surface of food using a pastry brush.
CARAMELIZE - To heat sugar until it liquefies and become a clear caramel syrup ranging in color from golden to dark brown. Fruits and vegetables with natural sugars can be caramelized by sauteeing, roasting or grilling, giving them a sweet flavor and golden glaze.
CHOP - To cut food into bite-size pieces using a knife. A food processor may also be used to chop food. 
DICE - To cut food into tiny cubes (about 1/8- to 1/4-inch).
DRAIN - To pour off fat or liquid from food, often using a colander.
FOLD - To combine a light mixture like beaten egg whites with a much heavier mixture like whipped cream. In a large bowl, place the lighter mixture on top of the heavier one. Starting at the back of the bowl, using the edge of a  rubber spatula, cut down through the middle of both mixtures, across the bottom of the bowl and up the near side. Rotate the bowl a quarter turn and repeat. This process gently combines the two mixtures.
FRY - To cook food (non-submerged) in hot fat or oil over moderate to high heat. There is very little difference between frying and SAUTEING although sauteing is often thought of as being faster and using less fat.
GRATE - To reduce a large piece of food to coarse or fine threads by rubbing it against a rough, serrated surface, usually on a grater.
GRILL - To cook food on a grill over hot coals or other heat source. The intense heat creates a crust on the surface of the food which seals in the juices.
KNEAD - To mix and work dough into a smooth, elastic mass. Kneading can be done either manually or by machine.
LINE - To cover the bottom of a dish. In baking this usually means to put baking parchment on the bottom of the tray, dish ect. 
MARINATE - To soak food in a seasoned liquid mixture for a certain length of time. The purpose of marinating is to add flavor and/or tenderize the food. Due to the acidic ingredients in many marinades, foods should be marinated in glass, ceramic or stainless steel containers. Foods should also be covered and refrigerated while they are marinating. When fruits are soaked in this same manner, the process is called macerating.
MASH - To crush a food into smooth and evenly textured state. For potatoes or other root vegetables, use a ricer, masher or food mill.

PARBOIL - To boil food briefly in water, cooking it only partially. Parboiling is used for dense food like carrots and potatoes. After being parboiled, these foods can be added at the last minute to quicker-cooking ingredients. Parboiling insures that all ingredients will finish cooking at the same time. Since foods will continue to cook once they have been removed from the boiling water, they should be shocked in ice water briefly to preserve color and texture. Cooking can then be completed by sauteeing or the parboiled vegetable can be added to simmering soups or stews.
PEEL - To remove the rind or skin from a fruit or vegetable using a knife or vegetable peeler.
REDUCE- To thicken or concentrate a liquid by boiling rapidly. The volume of the liquid is reduced as the water evaporates, thereby thickening the consistency and intensifying the flavor.
ROAST - To oven-cook food in an uncovered pan. The food is exposed to high heat which produces a well-browned surface and seals in the juices. Reasonably tender pieces of meat or poultry should be used for roasting.
SHRED - To cut food into thin strips. This can be done by hand or by using a grater or food processor. Cooked meat can be shredded by pulling it apart with two forks.
SIEVE - To strain liquids or particles of food through a sieve or strainer. Press the solids, using a ladle or wooden spoon, into the strainer to remove as much liquid and flavor as possible. 
SIMMER - To cook food in liquid over gentle heat, just below the boiling point, low enough so that tiny bubbles just begin to break the surface.
SKEWER - To spear small pieces of food on long, thin, pointed rods called skewers.
SKIN - To remove the skin from food before or after cooking. Poultry, fish and game are often skinned for reasons of appearance, taste and diet.
STEAM - To cook food on a rack or in steamer basket over a boiling liquid in a covered pan. Steaming retains flavor, shape, texture, and nutrients better than boiling or poaching.
WHIP - To beat ingredients such as egg whites or cream until light and fluffy. Air is incorporated into the ingredients as they are whipped, increasing their volume until they are light and fluffy.
WHISK - To beat ingredients together until smooth, using a kitchen tool called a whisk
ZEST - To remove the outermost skin layers of citrus fruit using a knife, peeler or zester. When zesting, be careful not to remove the pith, the white layer between the zest and the flesh, which is bitter.