You have heard of both parchment and wax paper, but you have no idea what the difference is.
Parchment paper is oven safe up to 420f. You can line cake pans, cookie sheets or whatever you want to bake with. It is a bit more expensive than waxed paper. Parchment paper can even be used to wrap and bake meats and vegetables, a process commonly called en papillote.
Wax paper must be totally covered with batter before baking. It has a much lower burning point, so if placed in the oven with out anything covering it, it can start to smoke and burn. Wax paper is typically used for lining cake pans only.
To Brown means to cook until surface is brown by baking in the oven, frying in a skillet or broiling.
By browning food the flavor will be enhanced as well as developing wonderful aroma. Method of cooking and item being cooked will determine length of time needed to brown.
The recipe will usually indicate the length of time.
Candied is a process that is done to Nuts, Fruits, or Citrus Peelings. The items are usually dipped or cooked in a sugar syrup and then left to drain and dry. This creates a super sweet version of the items prepared. Typically these items are bought already candied for use in recipes.
If you have a recipe that says you need to brine meat or vegetables, it means that you have to soak the item in a heavily salted liquid thus pickling/curing the product.
The recipe will usually give you the proper proportions to achieve the proper taste.
To bake means to cook a recipe in either a covered (or uncovered) pan or baking sheet in an Oven. You will typically see this term used when preparing Cookies, Cakes, Casseroles, Breads, Pies, as wells as many other recipes.
Don’t forget when baking any recipe to bring the oven to temperature before starting any recipe that is to be cooked right away. My rule of thumb is not to place anything in the oven until at least 5 minutes after the preheat tone has gone off.
Also, do not open the oven door until you are ready to place your item in the oven or take it out.
Every time you open the oven door you can drop the temperature of the oven significantly enough to have to extend the cooking time of your recipe.
Basting is a common kitchen term when roasting meats. To baste means to moisten foods with sauces or fats while they are baking or grilling.
While the food is cooking you can use a kitchen utensil such as a bulb baster, brush or spoon to scoop juices/fat/sauces over the meat.
Remember if you are using a baster or a brush that you must be very careful to keep it clean. If they come in contact with raw meat or juices, wash them immediately in hot soapy water. You may have to wash them several times during the cooking process. Failure to do so, and leaving them sitting on the counter between bastings can promote bacterial growth which can lead to illness.
I found a great silicone baster that is easy to keep clean and quick and easy to wash. You can find these at most grocery or specialty stores.
Breading is usually done to Meat or Vegetables before cooking. Most commonly breading is just that, bread. Bread can be dried or used moist depending on the recipe.
Bread is crumbled into very small pieces and the meat/vegetable is typically coated in a liquid and then rolled in the crumbled breading. The liquid will help the breading to stick better.
The breaded item can then be cooked according to recipe. When it is done it adds a bit of texture and flavor to the item cooked.
To butterfly means to split food, most commonly Pork Chops or Shrimp. When the cut is made to split the food it is typically done lengthwise and not cutting all the way through. Once the cut is made both sides can be separated and laid out flat to resemble a butterfly.
Braising means to place a protein (usually a less tender cut of meat) in a liquid in a tightly covered pan. Braising can be done in the oven, on the grill or on the stove top.
To Broil means to cook food, typically in an oven, and baking with dry heat. Almost all ovens should have a broil function which means the top element is on throughout most or all of the cooking time.
The recipe will usually specify the distance that the rack should be from the element. If you need to, grab a ruler to make sure that the distance is appropriate.