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Kitchen Dictionary

Acidulated Water
Water with added acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, which prevents discoloration of ingredients, particularly fruit or vegetables. The proportion of acid to water is 1 teaspoon per 300 ml.

Al Dente
Italian coking term for ingredients that are cooked until tender but still firm to the bite, usually applied to pasta.

Method of serving seafood – usually lobster and monkfish – in a sauce flavoured with olive oil, aromatic herbs, tomatoes, fish stock, brandy and tarragon.

Cooking style for simple cooked dishes such as boiled vegetables. Assiette anglaise is a plate of cold cooked meats.

Italian for “before the meal”, it denotes an assortment of cold meat, vegetables and cheeses, often marinated, served as an hors d’oeuvre. A typical antipasto might include salami, prosciutto, marinated artichoke hearts, anchovy fillets, olives, tuna fish and provolone cheese.

Au Gratin
food sprinkled with breadcrumbs, often covered with cheese sauce and browned until a crisp coating forms.

Balsamic Vinegar
A mild, extremely fragrant, wine-based vinegar made in northern Italy. Traditionally, the vinegar is aged for at least 7 years in a series of casks made of various woods.

To moisten food while it is cooking by spooning or brushing on liquid or fat.

To melt butter and drain the oil off the sediment.

To cover with a thin layer of flour, sugar, nuts, crumbs, poppy or sesame seeds, cinnamon sugar or a few of the ground spices.

to cut into small cubes

to sprinkle or coat lightly with flour or icing sugar.

A thin coating of beaten egg, syrup or aspic which is brushed oven pastry, fruits or cooked meats.

A protein in flour that is developed when dough is kneaded, making it elastic.

To let food stand in a marinade to season and tenderize.

Olive Oil
various grades of oil extract from olives. Extra virgin olive oil has a full, fruity flavour and the lowest acidity. Virgin olive oilis slightly higher in acidity and lighter in flavour. Pure olive oil is a processed blend of olive oils and has the highest acidity and lightest taste.

to gently mix ingredients with two forks or fork and spoon.


A tangy, low-fat cultured milk product whose slight acidity makes it an ideal marinade base for poultry.


To cook food gently in liquid that bubbles steadily just below boiling point so that the food cooks in even heat without breaking up.


A cook thin slices of meat and vegetable over a high heat in a small amount of oil, stirring constantly to even cooking in a short time. Traditionally cooked in a wok, however a heavy based frying pan maybe used.

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