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Techniques or definitions that are important around a kitchen.


Deglazing is the act of using a liquid (water, beer, wine, vinegar, etc) as a solvent to help scrape off cooked food from a hot cooking surface, such as the bottom of a pan. The resulting suspension, called fond, can be used as a part of a dish to lend it flavor. It’s also a way to remove food from cookware, making cleanup easier.

double boil

Double boiling is the act of gently heating an ingredient indirectly with boiling water. This technique allows for the the gradual raising of temperature where over-heating would cause problems for the cook. It is most often used for melting chocolate but it has other applications.

Tools needed

  • 3 or 4 quart pot
  • 1 heat-resistant bowl, slightly wider than the rim of the pot
  • 1 oven mit or vice-grip pliers
  • Instant-read or other probe-style thermometer specific temperature is needed.


  1. Fill the pot with 1-2 inches of water then heat on high.
  2. Place chocolate, marscapone, or whatever needs heated into the metal bowl.
  3. If using vice-grips, affix them to the rim of the bowl. Using an oven mit works too but I much prefer the control that the pliers afford. Steam will vent from around the bowl and will quickly burn unprotected skin.
  4. When the water starts boiling, rest the bowl on top of the pot.
  5. Stir gently and test with thermometer as required.
egg white peaks

When beating egg whites, differing levels of stiffness are called for depending on their used. As the mixer is pulled out of the foam it will leave behind peaks. How these peaks maintain their shape indicate how stiff the egg whites are. There are 4 levels:

  • No peaks: the egg white forms a fine, shiny foam that settles back into the mixture when the mixer is removed.

  • Soft peaks: the egg whites start to hold shape when the whisk pulls out. They create mounds that slowly sink back into the mixture

  • Firm peak: the egg white peaks no longer settle back into the body of the mixture. The very end of the peak may curl back on itself

  • Stiff peaks: even firmer, the end of the peaks only partially curl back on themselves, if at all

As with cream, one can mix egg whites too far. After stiff peaks, further mixing causes the protein structure inside the foam to tighten up. When this happens, the foam will start expressing liquid into the bottom of the bowl.


Fond is the flavorful liquid that results in deglazing browned food particles off of a cooking surface. It is meant to be a base that adds a considerable amount of flavor to a sauce, stew, or soup.

mise en place

Mise en place source: Wikipedia

Pronounced “mEEs on plaSS”

French culinary phrase which means “putting in place” or “everything in its place”. It refers to the setup required before cooking, and is often used in professional kitchens to refer to organizing and arranging the ingredients (e.g., cuts of meat, relishes, sauces, par-cooked items, spices, freshly chopped vegetables, and other components)


Cooking in liquid such as wine, water, or milk at a relatively low temperature, below boiling. This technique is used to cook delicate foods such as eggs or fish.

It can also be used on ingredients that are going to be further processed for a final dish. An example of this is is chicken breast for chicken salad. Poaching cooks the chicken without causing undue contraction in the muscle’s protein. This leaves the chicken breast moister than other cooking methods.