Culinary Terminology - B

Bâtonnet: 1/4 by 1/4 by 2 inches cut food, usually carrots. More on bâtonnets, allumettes and julienne? Here you go:

Bain-marie: nope, not Mary's bath tub, although there is a resemblance. A double boiler in which the water in the bottom pot provides indirect heat for the top one. It allows for slow warming up, or keeping foods warm.

Béchamel: a basic white sauce, made by adding hot milk to a roux of butter and flour. Along with mayonnaise, this is one of the oldest sauces in culinary history, or so I'm told. Either way, they're both brilliant so kudos for whomever invented them!

Beurre: French for butter. Easy, huh!

Beurre blanc: You guessed it: white butter. BB is a white butter sauce, with shallots, white wine and butter as key ingredients. For a step by step preparation, click here:

Beurre noir: French for black butter. Butter is melted over low heat and cooked until the milk solids turn a very dark brown. A type of acid, such as lemon juice or balsamic vinegar is then added. Black butter is often used for vegetables and fish.

Beurre noisette: literally meaning hazelnut butter (are you thinking Nutella too!?), it is known to us as brown butter. Easily made by melting unsalted butter and allowing the milk solids to achieve a brown, nutty flavor, it provides a great base for sauces, baked goods or, in its clarified form, a cooking fat.

Blanquette: a white stew made of white sauce and meat or poultry. The whiteness is achieved by avoiding browning of the foods. For its history and recipes:

Boeuf: Beef. It's what's for dinner!

Bouchées: Small pastry shells or cases filled with creamed meat or game. Bouche means "mouth" in French, so bouchées could loosely be translated as morsels, bites or "cut to fit in the mouth".

Boulanger: A baker, specialized in baking breads and its derivatives. Here's a picture of one:

Bouquet Garni: A bundle of fresh vegetables and herbs to flavor soups, sauces, stocks and stews.,13803,235086-235083,00.html

Brunoise: A cube-shaped cut 1/8 of an inch in size, or dishes garnished with vegetables cut in this size. Take this food quiz at the World Culinary Institute and see how you do!