Kate's Cuisine

Jun 21 2009

Cooking Glossary: B

Bain-Marie – This is a shallow dish of hot water that is used to keep other dishes warmed. Once a dish is prepared, it can be placed into the Bain-Mmarie and while it will keep warm, it won’t overcook or boil over. Bain-Maries can also be used to steam or cook other dishes.

Baking Powder – This is used mostly in baking dishes and in things such as different breads and doughs. It’s used to produce carbon dioxide, which causes the dish to rise.

Balsamic Vinegar – This tart vinegar comes from Italy and is very rich and dark in colour. It’s made from the juice of grapes and is aged in wooden casks.

Banger – Another word for sausage.

Basmati Rice – This rice comes from India and has a very distinctive flavour.

Bass – A white fish that can be cooked just about any way you want it mainly because there are 3 different types: sea, silver, and striped.

Baste – Basting is used to keep foods from drying out while they are cooking. To baste, hot fat or liquid is poured over the dish to give it extra moisture.

Bay Leaves – These come from evergreens and are often used dried whole in sauces and soups. Fresh bay leaves and chopped, dried bay leaves can also be used.

Béarnaise Sauce – This sauce is often used in fancy French culinary dishes. Perfecting a Béarnaise sauce is a great feat and one that puts you well on your way to becoming a great chef! To make this deliciously rich sauce, vinegar, white wine, black peppercorns, tarragon, and shallots are used and it’s then finished with egg yolks and butter.

Black Pepper – Whole peppercorns used to season dishes. Although these peppercorns often come in many different colours including green and pink, they are all considered to be black pepper.

Blanch – Blanching is often used for vegetables either to clean them, soften them, or make them easier to peel. To blanch, food is placed in boiling water for only a few minutes.

Bouquet Garni – This is a small bunch of herbs that’s wrapped together and stuffed inside cheesecloth or simply tied together. Used to season a dish, it is removed before serving. A popular garni is parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and marjoram.

Bovril – This is an easy way to make beef stock when you don’t have any on hand. Beef extracts are simply added to boiling water and you have a perfect base for your soup or sauce!

Braise – This is a way to cook meat and vegetables with steam. The food is simply placed in a covered pan and cooked slowly.

Buttermilk – It’s not surprising that this extremely creamy milk is also very rich tasting. It is mildly acidic and is cultured and pasteurized.

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