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Cooking definitions and terms beginning with


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Shred - to cut into long narrow strips, usually with a grater or sharp knife. Today, shredding is often accomplished with the aid of a food processor.

Shredded - food that has been processed into long, slender pieces, similar to julienne.

Shrub - an alcoholic drink made with rum or brandy and a sweetened fruit syrup.

Sieve - to strain liquid from food through the fine mesh or perforated holes of a strainer or sieve.

Sift - to pass dry ingredients, such as flour and baking powder, through a sieve or sifter to remove lumps and blend and aerate the ingredients.

Simmer - to cook liquid at a temperature just below the boiling point, low enough that tiny bubbles just begin to break beneath the surface around the edge of the pan.

Sirloin - the front part of the loin of beef. This is near the hip, thus a little less tender but still excellent for roasting.

Skewer - a long strong pin of wood or metal used to hold food in shape while cooking.

Skim - to remove anything floating on top of a liquid, either fat or frothy scum. This usually forms in the early stages of boiling meats and vegetables.

Sloe - a wild plum used to flavor sloe gin, a Dutch alcohol. Also, a cultivated plum used for jams and jellies.

Smoke - to preserve meat or fish by slowly drying in the smoke of a fragrant hard-wood fire.

Smorgasbord - a buffet meal with a variety of hot and cold dishes.

Snow Peas - the immature sugar pea which has a tender, edible pod in its early stages. Also called Chinese peas, or pod peas.

Soba - Japanese buckwheat flour noodles.

Soda - bicarbonate of soda; a leavening agent used in early baking recipes, particularly with buttermilk, sour milk, cream, fruits or chocolate. Any of these, when heated with soda give off a gas that causes the dough to rise.

Soda Water - a sparkling water produced by adding carbon dioxide, often in the form of bicarbonate of soda.

Soft Peaks - the term used to describe egg whites beaten to form peaks, but still soft enough so the peaks fold or curl over, not yet at the stage described as “stiff” or “dry”.

Soufflé - a spongy hot dish, made from a sweet or savory mixture (often milk or cheese), lightened by stiffly beaten egg whites or whipped cream.

Soybean Curd - smooth cakes of curds made from the milk-like liquid of cooked soybeans and water.

Soy Sauce - a sauce made from fermented, boiled soybeans and roasted wheat or barley; its color ranges from light to dark brown and its flavor is generally rich and salty (a low-sodium version is available); used extensively in Asian cuisines (especially Chinese and Japanese) as a flavoring, condiment and sometimes a cooking medium.

Spaghetti - Italian for a length of cord or string and used to describe long, thin, solid rods of pasta with a circular cross section.

Spaghetti Carbonara - hot spaghetti noodles tossed with beaten eggs and a mixture of cream, grated cheese, bacon, salt and pepper, which has been slightly thickened by cooking.

Spice - an aromatic plant substance, generally bark or berry, used to flavor foods.

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