Sunday, June 14, 2009

38/101 - Cooking Terms, Tips, and Tools

#38 on my list of 101 Things to do before December 6, 2011 is:

Learn 100 new cooking terms/tips/tools.

I learned a new term/process yesterday. It's a bain-marie. Which I guess can either be a double-boiler-type item, or just a simple process of dumping a container filled with food into water to be boiled and therefore cooking whatever the contents are without actually exposing them to the water.

This is how I heated a package of pre-cooked quinoa, spelt, lentils, and red beans I bought at a health food store by the Hotel de Ville. On the package it said to cook by bain marie, and showed a pot of boiling water with the pouch floating inside.

So. There's one term. Only 99 to go.

So, how about some help. What is your favorite cooking word, helpful tip, or appliance/utensil that you would hate to live without?


Erin said...

I'm really no help here. But I can say that I would not be able to live without my garlic press. I just love it :)

P.S. I was proud of myself because I knew what bain marie meant before you even said it!

Deborah said...

Wow. I have never heard of a bain-marie in conjunction with boiling packets of food. Leave it to the French to make any ordinary process sound sexy!

What I know of a bain-marie is that it is the principle way of baking custards--most famously, a cheesecake. The "water bath" (or Maria's bath...) insulates the food from the direct heat of the oven. When you make cheesecake this way the results are super duper creamy and yummy.

But from now on I am going to use bain-marie as a more general term for immersing packaged food in water--I'll sound so much cooler that way! Ha!

Denise said...

Without a doubt one of my favorite tools is my rasp for grating parmesan cheese, and my good sharp knife. I also like my vegetable peeler. Talk about an old dog and new ricks - I was stunned to see a ward member peel an apple with a "potato peeler".
My all time favorite is my food processor. I can't imagine how I lived without it all these years. I have to wash it six or seven times while making Thanksgiving dinner.