Cooking and recipe writing have their own distinct language. Before you roast a chicken, for example, you need to know what trussing means. To make a soufflé that rises above the rim of the dish, you need to understand whipping and folding egg whites. This appendix gives you a list of basic terms. Most of them are thoroughly described elsewhere in the book.
al dente: An Italian phrase meaning “to the tooth” that describes the tender but still firm texture of perfectly cooked pasta. (See Chapter 13 for pasta recipes.)
au gratin: A dish, usually topped with buttered breadcrumbs, grated cheese, or both that has been browned in the oven or under the broiler.
bain-marie: A container partially filled with hot water that holds a smaller pan for gentle cooking.
barbecue: Any food cooked on a charcoal or gas grill over an indirect fire (as opposed to grilling, which occurs directly over the fire). Also refers to the process of cooking foods in a pit or on a spit for a long time, or is a descriptive term for the particular spicy tomato-based sauce used to baste grilled meat.
baste: To add flavor and moisture by brushing food with pan drippings, fat, or a seasoned liquid as it cooks.
batter: An uncooked, semiliquid mixture usually containing beaten eggs, flour, liquid, and a leavening ingredient, such as baking soda or baking powder, that makes the batter rise when cooked.
beat: To mix ingredients briskly in a circular motion so they ...