More Basic Cooking Terms

This page continues my cooking terms glossary. Rather than have one extra long page I decided to split it up to make things more manageable.

A -G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N - R | S - Z |



A Haggis is a traditional Scots savory dish made from chopped offal, suet, onions, oatmeal and seasonings, stuffed into a sheep's stomach. Traditionally served on Burns night, which is the 25th of January, accompanied by mashed potatoes and turnips. My husband adores haggis, but I haven't personally tried it!

Hot Pot

A slow cooked English stew topped with sliced potatoes. Perhaps the most well known recipe is the Lancashire Hotpot made with lamb and onions.


Removing the stalk end and leaves from strawberries, and other soft fruits, is known as "hulling" them.



Icing is known as frosting in the USA. It is a sweet covering for cakes and biscuits (cookies) made from sugar and water, sugar and egg white, or sugar and butter. It is often flavored and colored.


The definition of infuse is to extract the flavor of a food by pouring on a boiling liquid. The liquid is then used in sauces. Making a cup of tea is another example, you drink the liquid that the tea leaves have infused with flavor.



To julienne vegetables you cut them into short, thin strips. A cooking term often used in relation to carrots. Julienned vegetables can be used to garnish foods such as soups.


The name given to a dessert made from milk, set with rennet and flavored. Can be served with fruit.

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Cubes of food, marinated and grilled (broiled) on a skewer are known as kebabs. Meat, vegetables and fruit can be served this way (although fruit is often left uncooked).


Working a dough with your hands, so that all ingredients are combined and the result has a smooth surface. This process is normally used in bread making.


Food prepared according to the orthodox Jewish law.



A bowl shaped spoon with a long handle, used for serving foods such as soups, stews or cooked fruits.


This cooking term has two definitions. It can be either a noun or a verb.

  • Lard is the fat from the abdomen of a pig that has been rendered (melted) and clarified for use in cooking. It can be used to roast foods in the oven, and also in pastry making.
  • "To lard" means to insert strips of fat or bacon, into meat before roasting in the oven. This helps to prevent the meat from dying out.


This is an Italian pasta dish made from wide strips of pasta, layered with meat (or vegetables), cheese and white sauce, then baked.


In cookery, a liaison refers to to the thickening or binding of a sauce, by using either egg yolks, arrowroot or cornflour (cornstarch).

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This is a term that confuses many new cooks.

A marinade is a seasoned liquid in which meat or other ingredients are soaked to both tenderize and flavour them. A marinade is often made from either oil, wine, vinegar or lemon juice with extra seasonings.

The meat is then marinated in this marinade.


Meringues are made by whisking egg whites, then adding sugar. The mixture is then either piped into individual meringues, made into the Australian classic Pavlova, or used as a topping for desserts, fruit etc. It is then baked at a cool temperature until crisp.


A French cooking term for a mixture of chopped, fried vegetables which are placed under a piece of meat while it is braised.

Mocca or Mocha

A blend of chocolate and coffee flavourings.


A mix of uncooked rolled oats, dried fruits and nuts served with milk, or a milk substitute, for breakfast. Can be purchased ready prepared or you can make your own using your favorite ingredients.


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