To add liquid to food, or an ingredient, such as sugar, that causes liquid to form, in order to soften and enhance flavor after it sets for a given amount of time. Usually used in reference to fresh fruits.


To add liquid or dry ingredients to food that enhance flavor and/or tenderize after it sets for a given amount of time. Usually used in reference to meats and vegetables. Liquid marinades often include an acid, such as vinegar, wine or citrus juice, mixed with herbs, spices and oil. Dry marinades are usually in the form of spice and herb rubs.

Mash To crush a food into smooth and evenly textured state. For potatoes or other root vegetables, use a ricer, masher or food mill. While food processors provide a smooth texture more like a puree or a paste, they should not be used for potatoes.

Meuniere To dredge with flour and saute in butter


To cut into very fine pieces.


To combine ingredients with a spoon or beaters until well incorporated.

Mount To whisk cold butter, piece by piece, into a warm sauce for smooth texture, flavor and sheen. Each piece of butter must be thoroughly incorporated before a new piece is added so that the sauce does not break (or separate into liquid and fat).


Nap To completely coat food with a light, thin, even layer of sauce.



Pan Fry

To brown and cook foods in fat in a shallow pan, where the fat does not completely cover the food.

Pan Broil To cook uncovered in a hot fry pan, pouring off fat as it accumulates.

Par Boil To boil until partially cooked; to blanch. Usually this procedure is followed by final cooking in a seasoned sauce.


To remove the outer skins and peels from fruits or vegetables with a small knife or peeler.


To take the underside of the hand and gently press a food. The purpose might be to pat dry ingredients onto the surface so they will adhere during cooking, or to pat with a towel to remove excess moisture.

Peel To remove the rind or skin from a fruit or vegetable using a knife or vegetable peeler.

Pickle To preserve meats, vegetables, and fruits in brine.

Piping To force a pulp or batter through a piping bag, to give a desired shape

As much of an ingredient that can be held between the thumb and forefinger. A very small, approximate amount.


To remove the seed from a piece of fruit by cutting around the sides of the fruit and pulling the seed away from the flesh.

Plump To soak dried fruits in liquid until they swell


To cook food in gently simmering, never boiling, liquid.

Pot Roast To cook meat slowly by moist heat in a covered pot. The meat is first browned, then braised either on top of the stove or in the oven. Pot roasting is good for tougher cuts of meat which require longer cooking times to break down connective tissue


To heat the oven to the specified temperature before adding the foods. Most recipes require preheating of the oven. Usually it will tell you to place in a cool oven if it should not be preheated.

Pressing This is done to shape foods like cutlets and sometimes as a method of subdivision to separate liquids from solids as for in paneer.

Pressure Cooking By increasing the pressure in an enclosed vessel, the boiling temperature is increased leading to decrease in cooking time.

Prick To make small pointed openings on a food item for the purpose of marination or to let spices penetrate inside.


To activate yeast, or other leavening agent, before using in a recipe. The yeast is normally added to a liquid, possibly mixed with sugar, and allowed to set a given amount of time until it bubbles. If it doesn't bubble, it is old and should be discarded.

Prove To let dough or yeast mixture rise before baking


An action used with processors and blenders. If a recipe tells you to pulse, turn the start button on and off rapidly several times or until the ingredients are appropriately processed.

Punch Down

To deflate a risen dough. With your hand, press on the dough until the gas escapes.


To process foods into a smooth substance of varying degrees of thickness as dictated by the recipe. Usually done with a blender, processor, sieve or food mill.



To mark the surface of grilled or broiled food with a crisscross pattern of lines. The scorings are produced by contact with very hot single grill bars which brown the surface of the food. Very hot skewers may also be used to mark the surface.


To quickly place a heated object in cold water. This is usually done to either stop the cooking process or to separate the skin of an object from the meat.



To restore condensed or concentrated foods to their original strength with the addition of liquid, usually water.


To rapidly boil a liquid until it partially evaporates, leaving a thicker texture and a more intense flavor.


To restore by placing in water. Most commonly used in reference to blanched vegetables that are placed immediately in ice water to stop the cooking, set the color and restore the crispness. Greens and herbs that are still very fresh but have gone limp can be restored to the original state by placing in cold (not ice) water and then patted dry.


To make solid fat into liquid by melting it slowly.


Used in reference to beating a mixture, usually egg yolks and sugar, until it is thick enough to form a ribbon. Lift the beaters out of the bowl and let the excess mixture drip down into the bowl. When it forms a ribbon shape on top of the mixture in the bowl, it is ready.


To push cooked food through a perforated kitchen tool called a ricer. The resulting food looks like rice.


To oven-cook food in an uncovered pan. The food is exposed to high heat which produces a well-browned surface and seals in the juices.