FOOD GLOSSARY - Blanch to Boil

BLANCH:  To preheat in boiling water or steam. Used to aid in removal of skins from nuts, fruits, and some vegetables. Also used to inactivate enzymes and shrink food in preparation for canning, freez- ing, and drying. Vegetables are blanched in boiling water or steam; fruits in boiling water, syrup, fruit juice, or steam.

BLANCH-MANGE:  From the French words "blanc," white plus "manger," to eat. A molded pudding, usually thickened with corn, starch.

BLANQUETTE (French):  A stew of white meat (chicken, veal, or lamb) made with white sauce.

BLEND:  To combine (mix) two or more ingredients together to bring about a change of color, texture, or flavor. It's done by stirring or creaming, or by a combination of the two techniques. When you're adding or blending a thin liquid into a thick mixture in an electric mixer, low is not only the best speed but the least likely to be splashy.

BLINIS:  Small pancakes, usually of buckwheat and yeast leavened, often served with caviar, sour cream, or melted butter. A favorite Russian dish.

BLINTZES:  Very thin pancakes filled usually with a cottage cheese mixture (sometimes with blueberries or other berry or fruit), rolled up envelope style to enclose the filling, then browned in butter. Usually served with sour cream. A favorite Jewish dish.

BLOATER:  A specially selected fat herring or mackerel that has been cured (bloated), i. e., salted and smoked.

BOEUF (French):  Beef; boeuf roti: roast beef; boeuf it la mode: well larded, sometimes marinated, beef, braised with vegetables; boeuf sale: corned beef; boeuf braise: braised beef.

BOIL:  To boil means to cook in liquid at boiling temperature (212°F.) at sea level. When this point is reached, adjust heat to maintain it. The term "boiling" is so frequently misunderstood by cooks that it requires elaboration. For example, many a cook mistakenly thinks that the harder a food boils, the quicker it is done. And the term is often incorrectly applied to such foods as "boiled" beef. Actually most foods are simmered, not boiled, as water below the boiling point is kinder to food proteins. Eggs, meat, poultry, fish, are or should be simmered. Jellies and vegetables are boiled. Everyday recipe phrases for boiling. Bring to the Boiling Point or Bring to a Boil: This signifies the step before cooking. You'll know that water or any liquid is reaching that point when bubbles appear at the bot- tom, rise to the top, then break. When a vapor appears and all liquid is in motion, it's come to a boil. Boil Rapidly: This follows boiling. The liquid goes into rapid motion; the surface breaks into small lumpy waves. A rapid boil won't cook food faster, but for some uses it's better; it starts cereals (keep particles separated), to evaporate soup or jam, to concentrate candy.

Full Rolling Boil: This is the point at which the liquid rises in the pan, then tumbles into great waves that can't be stired down. It happens only in heavy sugar mixtures like candy or frosting, and in jelly-making when jelly is about done or when liquid pectin is about to be added. See also: Simmer: Parboil: Scald: Steam: Blanch: Poach: Steep.


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