Common Cooking Techniques 101

master-of-french-cuisineIf you have been following our blog, you have learned French Food Facts, a bit about French wine, and how to execute the perfect stay at home French Date night.  Now it’s time to really master the art of cooking your own French Cuisine! But first! First for those of you especially those who are not completely comfortable in the kitchen and with cooking terms, we will give you a guide to some of the most widely used terms when it comes to cooking.  Having a bit of knowledge as to what each term actually means will help making french cuisine and cooking for that matter that much easier! Did you know that a lot of the cooking terms that are used daily are actually french derived? Take Cuisine for example, yep you guessed it, it’s a french word!

Widely Used (French) Cooking Terms


  • Mise en Place- “Put In Place”  While this isn’t too commonly used of a cooking term it does help to know it’s meaning especially when cooking French recipes. It’s also a great habit to get into when cooking ANY recipe for that matter.  Look through your recipe and find the measured ingredients and put them in individual bowl, piles, dishes etc. This will help make executing the recipe that much easier. For example when making cookies it calls for X cups of flour sifted.  Having your sifted flour ready to go along with your beaten eggs and the rest will help you to complete the recipe just as its called for and in a simple organized fashion!
  • Blanch- Wondering how restaurants get their veggies so perfectly cooked, with theblanching-veggies right amount of crisp and without losing the nutrients.(Yes, cooking your veggies too long will void them of nutrients!) Introducing “blanching”.  Start with a pot of boiling water, a spoon with slits, and a bowl of ice water. Put your veggies in the boiling water, then using your slotted spoon transfer them to the waiting ice water. Perfectly cooked veggies every time!
  • Julienne- this term refers to a matchstick like knife cut resulting in (veggies usually) cut into dimensions measuring 1/8×1/8 x 2in.  Don’t fret if yours come out a bit thicker, why? A thicker cut means they are “Jardine”
  • saute-french-cookingSaute- A term that is very commonly used is sauteed. This basically, means cooking something over high heat in some type of fat, think butter, olive oil etc. Next you must move the food around at a fast pace in the pan as to evenly coat the ingredients with the fat of your choice as well as to evenly cook the ingredients as well.
  • Deglacer- This is your gateway to delicious sauces.  You will add wine(we know the french love their wine) or another type of stock ingredient to a pan you have cooked something in( maybe the saute pan).  You will being the ingredients to a boil while lightly scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any leftover remnants. Talk about delicious flavor for your sake you will further make!

While there are other cooking terms to master these 5 will surely help you on your way to becoming an at home master in your own kitchen.  Understanding cooking terms even slightly will help make recipes to appear as if they are not entirely speaking in a foreign language you do not quite understand! Good look all you future chefs, you are on your way to making your own great cuisine!