Cooking Conundrum Friday

Definition edition

(in these segments I will give definitions of words I have come across that I don’t know, or just easily unknown or mistaken words! If you have one that you would like me to define please feel free to contact me!)

Here are some simple definitions for some cooking words that come up a bunch in shows and recipes:

Aoili: A sauce, almost like a mayonnaise, usually made with olive oil, garlic, eggs, sometimes mustard.

Bechamel: A white sauce used in Italian and French cooking cooking. It begins with a roux and is added with milk until it s made think and smooth. It can be combined with cheese  and is used in dishes like lasagna. It is also a staple base for many sauces on fish and other dishes.

Roux: A mixture of butter or oil and flour which is a thickening agent, it is used in Bechamel, gravy, stews, and sauces.

Au Jus: Translated it is “with its own natural cooking juices.” It is the pan drippings from the roasted meat cooked.


Mesculin: “Is a mixture of young, small salad greens. Usually includes arugula, dandelion, frisee, mache, mizuna, radicchio, and sorrel.” – BHG Cookbook

Chiffonade: Thin strips of fresh herbs or lettuce.

Brine: “Heavily salted water used to pickle or cure vegetables, meats, fish, and seafood” – BHG Cookbook

Chutney: “A condiment often used in Indian cuisine that’s made of chopped fruit (mango is a classic), vegetables, and spices enlivened by hot peppers, fresh ginger or vinegar.” – BHG Cookbook


Demi-glace: “A thick, intense meat-flavor gel that’s often used as a foundation for soups and sauces. Demi-glace is available in gourmet shops or through mail-order catalogs.” – BHG Cookbook

Emulsify: When two liquids are combined that will not dissolve together. Usually it is done by gradually adding one into the other and whisking rapidly.

Fold: To gently mix ingredients by putting a spatula down the side of the bowl and gently placing the mixture back into the bowl.


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