French Cooking Terms

French Cooking Terms



(baton nay)

Translated, bâtonnets means “little or short sticks but is also a culinary cutting technique that measures approximately 1/4 inch × 1/4 inch × 2–2.5 inches (6mm × 6mm × 5–6 cm). The bâtonnets cut is also the starting point for the small dice. Get a Recipe Idea.


(bear nays)  

Béarnaise is a sauce made of clarified butter emulsified in egg yolks, white wine vinegar and flavored with tarragon.


(besh a mell) 

One of the basic “mother” sauces of French cuisine, Béchamel sauce, also known as white sauce, is made from a white roux and milk. Get the Recipe!

Beurre Clarifié

(burr clarif e-ay)

Clarified butter is milk fat rendered from butter to separate the milk solids and water from the butterfat. Typically, it is produced by melting butter and allowing the components to separate by density.

Beurre Manié 

(burr mah ne yay)

Butter and flour mixed together in equal parts and used to thicken stews, soups, and casseroles.


(blan sheer)

To boil in the water or dip the food quickly, for a few minutes only.


(brun waz)

Vegetables cut into very small diced pieces, based on a julienne cut, but turned 90 degrees and diced.


(sheen wah)

A conical shaped strainer with an extremely fine mesh.



To finely cut onions and shallots or fresh herbs. Get a Recipe Idea!


(citro nay)

To rub a half lemon or pour freshly squeezed lemon juice over certain vegetables or chicken.


(coo lee)

A thick sauce usually made from one main ingredient, such as tomato or raspberry coulis.


(day glass ay)

To deglaze, or loosen the browned juices and fats from the bottom of a frying pan or saucepan by adding liquid, then bringing to a boil and stirring. The liquid is usually water, wine or stock.


(day poo yay)

To skim off the skin that accumulates at the top of a stock or sauce.


(far sear)



(free kah say)

A stew made from poultry, meat or rabbit that has a white sauce.


(gra tee nay)

Referring to a recipe or dish that is topped with breadcrumbs and cheese, then baked or finished under a broiler to form a golden, cheesy crust. Get a Recipe Idea!


(ju lee en)

A standard culinary cutting technique of  x x 2 inches, but these sizes do vary.


(mir pwa)

A mixture of diced vegetables, usually celery, carrots and onions, cooked for a long period over a low and gentle heat to sweeten rather than caramelize.


(moo yay)

To use a sprinkling of liquid such as water, broth or wine to soften during the cooking process.


(par rez e n)

Refers to potatoes molded into balls with a melon scoop and fried or roasted.



A basic mixture or paste. Often refers to uncooked dough or pastry consisting of dough made from durum wheat and water.



Melted butter to which flour has been added. Used as a base or thickener for sauces, such as Béchamel or soups. 


(sa bay yon)

 Dessert or sweet sauce made with egg yolks, sugar, and wine beaten together over heat till thickened.  This sauce can be served either hot or cold. Get a Recipe Idea!


(saw tay)

To cook a food quickly in a hot fat, flipping on both sides. Get a Recipe Idea!


(ter reen)

Pâté or mixture of minced ingredients, baked or steamed in a loaf shaped container.


(vel oo tay)

A type of sauce made from butter, flour, cream and stock.



The grated rind or outer colored portion from citrus fruits.



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