A wide variety of cooking techniques are used by chefs on a daily basis to produce high-quality, gourmet meals. Today, we're taking a look at some sauces, herbs and fun kitchen facts that will teach you some basics of cuisines and cooking!
Let's take a look at some glossary terms. Before any chef begins to cook, he or she will have everything prepped, set up and ready to go. There's a fancy term for this. A chef will also use a mixture of vegetables and seasonings to whip up a strong base for flavoring soups and stews. These include a mirepoix and the "holy trinity." The "holy trinity" refers to specific ingredients and is popular in a variety of Southern recipes.
You might also be familiar with some types of sauces, like tomato sauce, pesto sauce and Hollandaise sauce. Do you know the ingredients used to create these sauces, and do you know which classic dishes they enhance?
Do you think you love cooking enough to take this 35-question quiz? If you ever get stuck, feel free to utilize the attached hint for each question, which will guide you to the correct answer! Don't let the kitchen heat get to you - take this quiz now to see how much you know!
When you cook pasta until it's al dente, you're cooking it until it has a slight bite to it. If you cook the pasta past the al dente stage, you might overcook it!
You'll often hear about cooks basting a turkey or another type of roast. This just means that they're pouring a sauce or the drippings from the roasting pan over the roast throughout the cooking process.
When you cut vegetables into thin strips, you're cutting them into "julienne" strips. This is great for carrots and bell peppers.
Poaching an egg refers to submerging a cracked egg into simmering water. Some chefs add a small amount of vinegar to the water to help "set" the egg whites.
You'll typically see cooks and chefs cooking a soft-boiled egg in boiling water for just a few minutes. This is so the egg is mostly cooked, but the white is soft and the yolk is soft and runny.
When you cook flour together with a type of fat, like oil or butter, you'll create something called a roux, which is typically a nutty brown color. A roux is used to thicken a sauce or soup, such as gumbo.
Onions, bell peppers and celery make up something called "the holy trinity" of cooking. This is used quite frequently as the base for some classic Southern dishes.
A mirepoix consists of onions, celery and carrots. This is great as a base for many homestyle recipes, such as chicken noodle soup.
Mise en place refers to having all of your ingredients prepped, measured out and set up nearby so they're ready for use. This allows for organization throughout the cooking process, without scrambling to find ingredients as you cook.
A "bouquet garni" refers to herbs that are bundled together and floated in a liquid during cooking. These herbs are easily removed before serving. A bouquet garni is often used to enhance the flavor of soups, stocks and stews.
If you're making bread from scratch, you'll need water, flour, salt and, most importantly, yeast. This allows the bread dough to increase in size, or rise.
Butter is not an herb, but the rest of the options in the list are! Other types of herbs include thyme, cilantro, mint and parsley.
Compound butter involves mixing butter and other flavorful ingredients, such as herbs, garlic and peppers. This enhances the base flavor of the butter and is great for soups and steaks.
To pare an apple, or another type of vegetable or fruit, means to cut off the skin or outer layer. This is often done with a paring knife.
Olive oil has a very low smoke point and should not be used for deep frying foods. If an oil has a low smoke point, that means it will start to break down and smoke at a lower temperature, adding an unpleasant taste to foods.
Brining is a technique that involves soaking food in a salty solution. Meats are sometimes brined before they're cooked. For vegetables and fruits, brining is related to pickling.
You should never eat chicken that has not been cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature, to ensure that no bacteria remain. Of course, it's okay to then refrigerate your cooked chicken and eat it cold!
Popular in French cooking, a demi-glace is used to enhance the richness of steaks and roasts. It should be rich brown in color, akin to melted milk chocolate.
A confit is a piece of protein, often duck or chicken, that is slowly cooked in its own fat. You can also confit vegetables, like onions or garlic, in a flavorful oil such as olive oil or clarified butter.
A traditional Mediterranean aioli is often white or yellow in color, and is made up of garlic and olive oil. It's also similar to mayonnaise, albeit a little bit thinner. These days, an aioli can refer to any elevated mayonnaise-based sauce
A remoulade sauce has French origins and is considered to be a "spruced up" version of aioli or mayonnaise. It's often enhanced with spices, herbs and seasonings, and may be used as a salad dressing.
You'll often see chefs butterfly a chicken to create an even layer of thickness. This allows for the chicken to be cooked more evenly when baking or grilling.
You've probably heard of capers, which are edible flower buds of the Flinders rose plant. Capers are great for fish dishes, in a sauce of lemon and cream.
There are five mother sauces in French cooking, which are considered to be classic bases of great French recipes. The five mother sauces are: tomato sauce, Hollandaise sauce, Espagnole sauce, béchamel sauce and velouté sauce.
Hollandaise sauce is a component of the classic eggs Benedict and is made up of egg yolks, butter, and frequently lemon juice. It's rich and creamy in texture.
"Pittsburgh-style" refers to charring a steak on the outside and leaving the center very rare. This is also called a "black and blue" steak.
A rare steak has an internal temperature of between 115 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit. A rare steak should have a bright red center and runny juices.
A velouté sauce is a combination of a roux and a stock, such as chicken stock or fish stock. A roux is a cooked mixture of flour and a type of fat, such as oil or butter.
Egg yolks are a key component in a classic béarnaise sauce, which may also be enhanced with shallots, lemon juice and herbs. This type of sauce is great on steaks and fish.
You've probably heard of trussing a chicken or a turkey with butcher's twine. This just means that parts of the protein are held together during the cooking process, often to ensure even cooking or to hold a filling inside.
A chimichurri sauce is great on steak. It is made up of herbs, oil, parsley, vinegar and garlic. This is often a vibrant green color.
Pesto is bright green in color and actually originates from Italy. The sauce is typically made up of pine nuts, cheese, olive oil, garlic and herbs.
Cream of tartar is used in a variety of baked items, including meringue and angel food cake. It is a byproduct of the winemaking process, and it's powdery, not creamy.
Herbes de Provence is actually a mixture of all different kinds of dried herbs. While it can vary, standard Herbes de Provence typically includes marjoram, fennel, rosemary, thyme and basil. Some blends may include tarragon, savory, sage or lavender.
A tapenade is a smooth paste of olives and oil, along with capers, anchovies and herbs. This is great for spreading on toast or as a dip for veggies.