Reading a recipe can sometimes feel like reading a foreign language. Here are some common words in many cookbooks and what they really mean.
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To gently combine ingredients with tongs or two forks and/or spoons in order to distribute the ingredients evenly. You toss salad in a bowl (you don’t stir it).
To combine vigorously with a whisk, fork, or electric mixer, often with the goal of adding air to increase the volume of the ingredients (such as beating butter and sugar together to make cookie dough).
Heat until Shimmering
To heat oil in a pan until it begins to move slightly, which indicates the oil is hot enough for cooking. If the oil starts to smoke, it has been overheated, and you should start over with fresh oil.
To heat liquid until small bubbles gently break the surface at a variable and infrequent rate, as when cooking a soup.
To heat liquid until large bubbles break the surface at a rapid and constant rate, as when cooking pasta.