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French Cooking Terms

Updated on November 11, 2015
Silva Hayes profile image

Silva has a background as a technical writer and in addition to how-to articles she writes about cooking, travel, and personal experiences.

Modern haute cuisine; the art of French cooking: it's a way of life, famous for its rich history and subtle nuances ...


Here's a list of some French cooking terms and ingredients. See the link at the end for lots more information.

Agneau: Lamb

Aspic : Savory jelly for cold dishes

Aubergine : Eggplant

Au gratin : Dishes prepared with sauce and crumbs and baked

Baba : A peculiar, sweet French yeast cake

Bechamel : A rich, white sauce made with stock

Bisque : A white soup made of shellfish

To Blanch : To place any article on the fire till it boils, then plunge it in cold water; to whiten poultry, vegetables, etc. To remove the skin by immersing in boiling water

Boeuf : Beef

Bouchees : Very thin patties or cakes, as name indicates – mouthfuls

Bouillon : A clear soup, stronger than broth; not as strong as consommé

Braise : Meat cooked in a closely covered stew-pan, so that it retains its own flavor and those of the vegetables and flavorings put with it

Brioche : A very rich, unsweetened, French cake made with yeast

Canard : Duck

Cannelon : Stuffed rolled-up meat

Carotte : Carrot

Champignon de Paris : Mushroom

Consomme : Clear soup or bouillon boiled down till very rich

Courgette : Zucchini

Croquettes : A savory mince of fish or fowl, made with sauce into shapes, and fried

Croustades : Fried forms of bread to serve minces, or other meats upon

Dinde : Turkey

Echalotte : Shallot

Entrée : A small dish, usually served between the courses at dinner

Escargot : Snails

Fondue : A light preparation of melted cheese

Fondant : Sugar boiled and beaten to a creamy paste

Haricot Verts : French green bean

Hollandaise Sauce : A rich sauce, something like hot mayonnaise

Hors d'Oeuvre: An appetizer

Matelote : A rich fish stew, with wine

Mayonnaise : A rich salad dressing

Meringue : Sugar and white of egg beaten to sauce

Marmade : A liquor of spices, vinegar, etc. in which fish or meats are steeped before cooking

Miroton : Cold meat warmed in various ways, and dished in circular form

Navet : Turnip

Oie : Goose

Pigeon : Squab

Piquante : A sauce of several flavors, acid predominating

Poireau: Leek

Pomme de Terre : Potato

Porc : Pork

Poulet : Chicken

Poulette sauce : A béchamel sauce, to which white wine and sometimes eggs are added

Purse : This name is given to very thick soups, the ingredients for thickening which have been rubbed through a sieve

Quenelles : Forcemeat with bread, yolk of eggs, highly seasoned, and formed with a spoon to an oval shape; then poached and used either as a dish by themselves, or to garnish

Ragout : A rich, brown stew, with mushrooms, vegetables, etc.

Remoulade : A salad dressing differing from mayonnaise, in that the eggs are hard boiled and rubbed in a mortar with mustard, herbs, etc.

Rissole : Rich mince of meat or fish, rolled in thin pastry and fried

Roux : A cooked mixture of butter and flour, for thickening soups and stews

Salmi : A rich stew of game, cut up and dressed, when half roasted

Sauter : To toss meat, etc. over the fire, in a little fat

Souffle : A very light, much whipped-up pudding or omelette

Timbale : A sort of pie in a mold

Truffe : Truffle

Veau : Veal

Vol au vents : Patties of very light puff paste, made without a dish or mold, and filled with meat or preserves, etc.

Herbs and cream, cheese and wine, layers of flavors, ahhhhh ... French cuisine!

A most comprehensive history of French cooking:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_cuisine


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    • Joe Macho profile image

      Zach 5 years ago from Colorado

      This is a very useful hub for home cooks. It's amazing to see the amount of influence that the French have had on cooking techniques. Voted up and useful.

    • Silva Hayes profile image
      Author

      Silva Hayes 5 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Joe. As you say, it is amazing to see the amount of influence the French have had on cooking techniques. A list like this really highlights that fact.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Nice hub for a quick reference of terms that may be unfamiliar to the household cook. Thanks for sharing.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 4 years ago from New Jersey

      This is a cool, extensive list. I love being able to learn new things quickly. Thanks for sharing these terms.

    • Silva Hayes profile image
      Author

      Silva Hayes 4 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Thanks for the comments, Denise and Stephanie.

    • profile image

      Suresh 2 years ago

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