Simply Humbled Delights

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  1. Simmer: To cook food gently and slowly in liquid just below boiling point. This method is often used to tenderize and infuse flavors into dishes.

  2. Blanch: To briefly cook food (usually vegetables or fruits) in boiling water, then immediately transferring them to ice-cold water to stop the cooking process. Blanching helps retain color, texture, and nutrients.

  3. Sauté: To cook food quickly in a small amount of oil or butter over high heat, using a skillet or pan. This technique is ideal for browning and sealing in flavors.

  4. Marinate: To soak food (meat, poultry, fish, or vegetables) in a seasoned liquid mixture to enhance flavor and tenderness.

  5. Braise: To cook food (usually meat or vegetables) slowly in a covered pot or casserole with a small amount of liquid, typically at a low temperature. This results in tender and flavorful dishes.

  6. Gratin: A dish that is baked with a golden-brown crust, often made with breadcrumbs, cheese, or butter.

  7. Caramelize: To heat sugar until it liquefies and turns golden or amber in color, adding a rich flavor to various dishes.

  8. Fold: A gentle mixing technique used to incorporate delicate ingredients (such as whipped cream or egg whites) into a thicker mixture without deflating the air.

  9. Zest: The outer colored part of citrus fruit (lemon, orange, lime) that is grated or peeled to add flavor to dishes.

  10. Julienne: To cut food (usually vegetables) into long, thin strips.

  11. Deglaze: To add liquid (often wine, stock, or vinegar) to a pan to loosen and dissolve browned bits of food stuck to the bottom, creating a flavorful sauce or base for further cooking.

  12. Sear: To brown the surface of food quickly over high heat to lock in juices and create a crusty texture.

  13. Al Dente: An Italian term used to describe pasta or rice that is cooked so that it is firm to the bite, neither too soft nor too hard.

  14. Emulsify: To combine two liquids that don’t normally mix (like oil and vinegar) into a stable mixture, achieved through whisking or blending.

  15. Reduction: To simmer a liquid to concentrate its flavors by evaporating some of the water content, resulting in a thicker, more intense sauce.

  16. Infuse: To steep an ingredient (like herbs or spices) in a liquid (usually hot) to transfer its flavor into the liquid.

  17. Mince: To finely chop food into tiny pieces, often used with garlic, onions, or herbs.

  18. Parboil: To partially cook food (usually vegetables or potatoes) in boiling water before finishing the cooking process using another method.

  19. Dredge: To coat food, such as meat or fish, with flour or breadcrumbs before cooking.

  20. Braising: A combination cooking method that involves searing food at high heat and then slowly cooking it in liquid (often covered) to achieve tenderness and flavor.

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