February 13th, 2014
Have you ever been reading a recipe and realize you have absolutely no idea what it just asked you to do? Think: “whisk in the demi-glace,” or “julienned carrots,” or “fold the egg whites.” We’ve been there, and it can get really confusing. Here are a few of those tricky cooking words and techniques explained.
Au Jus: Served in its own juices.
When you’ll use it: French Dip. A French Dip sandwich is traditionally served with an Au Jus dipping sauce, aka a sauce that was made from the meat in the sandwich!
Broth (the technical definition): A flavorful, aromatic liquid made by simmering water with meat, vegetables and/or spices and herbs. Broth is clear (no bits) and ready to eat.
When you’ll use it: All the time! Use broth as a base for soup or cooking grains. Check out our collection of recipes for more ideas.
Consommé: A broth that has been clarified (bits removed) using a mixture of ground meat, egg whites and other ingredients that trap impurities.
When you’ll use it: You’re feeling under the weather or when you’re fridge is empty and you’ve only got a few odds and ends. We love this recipe from our friend Diane.
Demi-Glace: A stock that has been reduced until very concentrated.
When you’ll use it: Making any kind of rich, velvety sauce. Start with our Simply Stock and add red wine, shallots, herbs, peppercorns. We like this recipe from Le Cordon Bleu.
Fold: Use a spatula to bring mixture from the bottom of the bowl to the top. Repeat while slowly rotating the bowl until the ingredients are blended.
When you’ll use it: When incorporating a delicate ingredient, like whipped cream or beaten egg whites, into another ingredient without releasing air bubbles.
Julienne: To cut vegetables, fruits or cheeses into match-shaped slivers.
When you’ll use it: Any time you want. Julienned veggies are spectacular in a pho soup!
Mirepoix: A mix of vegetables, usually carrot, onion and celery, roughly chopped
When you’ll use it: Making homemade stock, stews, soups, roasts, braises and sauce. We make our Simply Stocks just like you would at home if you had the time. The ingredient list is just water, chicken and mirepoix.
Stock: A thin, unseasoned liquid made by slow-simmering water, roasted bones, meat and mirepoix (carrots, celery, and onions) for hours.
When you’ll use it: Use to add depth and body to your favorite sauces, gravies, braised and marinades.
Did this help? What tricky cooking lingo throws you off course?