Word Power: Test Your Knowledge of Cooking Terms

If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. But don’t shy away from this month’s quiz on the terminology of cooking.

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Cooking terms - shuckPhoto: readersdigest.ca/Shutterstock

Cooking Term #1: Shuck

A: Shake vigorously to mix
B: Remove from an outer covering
C: Slice into thin strips

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Platter of fresh oystersPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Remove from an outer covering

As in, “Shucking oysters may be difficult in the beginning, but you'll be able to master it in no time!"

Find out the proper way to eat tricky foods.

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Cooking terms - MezzalunaPhoto: readersdigest.ca/Shutterstock

Cooking Term #2: Mezzaluna

A: Knife with a curved blade and two handles
B: Medium-spicy sausage
C: Moon-shaped pasta

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Mezzaluna knifePhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—Knife with a curved blade and two handles

As in, “A Mezzaluna allows you to chop a lot of herbs in very little time."

You'll wish you knew these brilliant kitchen hacks sooner!

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Cooking terms - searPhoto: readersdigest.ca/Shutterstock

Cooking Term #3: Sear

A: Soak in brine
B: Heat sugar until it liquifies
C: Cook the surface of something quickly with intense heat

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Ribeye steak being seared in cast-iron panPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: C—Cook the surface of something quickly with intense heat

As in, “My favourite way to cook a steak is the reverse-sear method: slow-roasted in the oven first, then seared in a hot pan on the stovetop for the ultimate crispy crust."

Make sure you're not guilty of these steakhouse etiquette mistakes.

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Cooking terms - dredgePhoto: readersdigest.ca/Shutterstock

Cooking Term #4: Dredge

A: Coat lightly
B: Drain liquid
C: Break apart by hand

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Dredging chicken breastPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—Coat lightly

As in, “Don't forget to dredge the chicken breast in all-purpose flour before frying."

Beware of these cooking mistakes that ruin your food.

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Cooking terms - coulisPhoto: readersdigest.ca/Shutterstock

Cooking Term #5: Coulis

A: Soup served chilled
B: Cucumber salad
C: Sauce made from puréed fruit or vegetables

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Raspberry coulis on cheesecakePhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: C—Sauce made from puréed fruit or vegetables

As in, “Raspberry coulis can be paired with countless desserts!”

These are the popular foods people hated eating 100 years ago.

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Cooking terms - kneadPhoto: readersdigest.ca/Shutterstock

Cooking Term #6: Knead

A: Work moistened flour into dough
B: Grind into fine particles
C: Trim fat

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Kneading doughPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—Work moistened flour into dough

As in, “I tried your no-knead bread recipe the other day, and it turned out fantastic!”

Learn the difference between whole wheat and whole grain bread.

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Cooking terms - infusePhoto: readersdigest.ca/Shutterstock

Cooking Term #7: Infuse

A: Steep in liquid to extract flavour
B: Fill the centre of something
C: Cover with glaze

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Garlic-infused butterPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—Steep in liquid to extract flavour

As in, “This recipe for garlic-infused butter is surprisingly versatile."

Find out the truth about refrigerating butter.

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Cooking terms - liaisonPhoto: readersdigest.ca/Shutterstock

Cooking Term #8: Liaison

A: Sous-chef
B: Thickening agent used in soups and sauces
C: Pleasing blend of two disparate tastes

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Red wine saucePhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Thickening agent used in soups and sauces

As in, “Your wine sauce needs to be a tad thicker—try a liaison.”

Every cook needs to know these genius microwave tricks.

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Cooking terms - mincePhoto: readersdigest.ca/Shutterstock

Cooking Term #9: Mince

A: Stir gently
B: Cut into very small pieces
C: Dehydrate

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Minced garlicPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Cut into very small pieces

As in, “The flavour and fragrance of garlic grows stronger the more you mince it."

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Cooking terms - TajinePhoto: readersdigest.ca/Shutterstock

Cooking Term #10: Tajine

A: Earthenware cooking pot with a conical lid
B: Wide spatula
C: Yellow citrus fruit mainly used in Asian cuisine

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Tajine earthenware potPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—Earthenware cooking pot with a conical lid

As in, “We bought our Tajine while travelling in North Africa two years ago.”

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Cooking terms - smidgenPhoto: readersdigest.ca/Shutterstock

Cooking Term #11: Smidgen

A: Deep-fried onion
B: Square skillet
C: Small amount

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Pour sea salt on caramel cookiesPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: C—Small amount

As in, “I like to add a smidgen of sea salt onto my caramel cookies before serving.”

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Cooking terms - coddlePhoto: readersdigest.ca/Shutterstock

Cooking Term #12: Coddle

A: Cook in liquid just below the boiling point
B: Poke tiny holes in meat to tenderize it
C: Heat fish with its skin on

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Coddled eggsPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—Cook in liquid just below the boiling point

As in, "Coddling is a very gentle cooking method that results in the most tender eggs."

Learn how to correct the mistakes you might be making with eggs.

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Cooking terms - aspicPhoto: readersdigest.ca/Shutterstock

Cooking Term #13: Aspic

A: Paring knife with a pointed blade
B: Savoury meat-stock jelly
C: Snake soup

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Aspic meat jelliesPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Savoury meat-stock jelly

As in, "A lot of the aspic recipes I've come across are from Eastern European countries."

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Cooking terms - confitPhoto: readersdigest.ca/Shutterstock

Cooking Term #14: Confit

A: Cheesecloth used to make yogourt
B: Blend of oats and rice
C: Meat cooked and preserved in its own fat

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Duck confitPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: C—Meat cooked and preserved in its own fat

As in, "If you're interested in mastering old French cooking techniques, start with confit."

You're wasting your money if you throw out these overlooked cuts of meat.

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Cooking terms - MandolinPhoto: readersdigest.ca/Shutterstock

Cooking Term #15: Mandolin

A: Utensil with adjustable blades for slicing
B: Hot fruit salad
C: Needle for trussing poultry

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Mandolin slicerPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—Utensil with adjustable blades for slicing

As in, "Most home cooks are scared of using a Mandolin, but they aren't that much dangerous than a regular knife."

Next, check out these Depression-era cooking tips worth trying!

Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada