Indiana Unversity's "College Cooking 101 Index" provides basic definitions for cooking terminology
- Baste: To spread, brush or spoon water, melted fat or other liquid, such as chicken broth, over food to keep the surface moist and add flavor.
- Blanch: To boil in water for a short time and then plunge into cold water, or to pour boiling water over food, then drain it almost immediately. Often used to preserve color in vegetables or to loosen the skin of tomatoes.
- Boil: To cook in boiling water or other liquid. Liquid is at a boil when large bubbles rise continuously to the top.
- Marinate: To let foods stand in a liquid mixture. Refrigerate, covered, if marinating more than two hours.
- Poach: To cook in water, broth or other liquid that is just below the boiling point.
- Roast: To cook by dry heat in the oven. Sear: To brown surfaces quickly over high heat, usually in a hot skillet. Often an instruction at the beginning of meat preparation.
- Simmer: To cook in liquid at a low temperature. Be sure the liquid does not boil.
- Steam: To cook, covered, over a small amount of boiling liquid so the steam formed in the pan does the cooking.
- Saute: To cook briskly in a small amount of fat, usually in a skillet on top of the stove. Same thing as pan-fry.