Cooking 101: Do You Know Your Stuff?

By: Becky Stigall
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Some of us can't even boil water, let alone put together a full meal. Whether you're a beginner or downright chef-like, try your hand at this fun quiz!

What bread ingredient feeds on sugars and starches and makes bread rise?

A byproduct of yeast feeding on sugar and starch is carbon dioxide. It is the carbon dioxide gas that causes bread to rise.

What might you add to your pasta water to flavor your pasta?

Adding salt to pasta water can help flavor it and it is said to help the pasta absorb the sauce.

Be careful how you handle chicken; it is a carrier of what bacteria?

Salmonella is a danger of handling any meat. Make sure that you wash your hands and surfaces after handling any meat - especially poultry.

Giving your meat a spa day in a mixture is a ________.

Marinades can be used to flavor and tenderize meat.

Boiling a raw egg for seven to ten minutes will result in what?

Start with cold water to cook hard-boiled eggs. Start with boiling water for soft-boiled eggs.

You should add pasta to what type of water to make sure it cooks properly?

Never add uncooked pasta to cold water. It could turn out gummy.

What have you made if you beat some eggs and cook them in a pan with a filling?

We will forgive you if you said breakfast. Who doesn't love an omelette for breakfast?

The term "au lait" means what?

Cafe au lait describes coffee with milk, especially hot milk. The term is French.

If something is served "au jus," it is served with what?

Au jus describes meat that is served in its own cooked juices.

What term refers to cutting food into small cubes?

This is an easy-to-remember term - the cubes literally look like dice!

When you cook meat and/or veggies and strain all solids from the liquid, you have created what?

The words broth and bouillon are often used interchangeably.

When sugar or the sugar in some foods is cooked, it does what?

Sugar and the sugar in foods (think onions) will caramelize when cooked. Caramelizing adds flavor.

What apparatus gives a convection oven the ability to cook foods more evenly?

Convection ovens use a fan to evenly distribute heat throughout the cooking process.

Most cooks suggest that pasta be cooked to what point?

Al Dente means "to the tooth." Pasta should be cooked so that it's not too hard, but not too soft.

Adding a _____ of pepper to some recipes helps the flavor.

A dash is actually a non-specific measurement that is somewhere between 1/16 and 1/8 teaspoon.

Many people enjoy a ______ of whipped cream on their pumpkin pie.

A dollop is a glob. Dollops are typically something soft.

What are you doing when you drag your chicken through some flour before frying it?

To dredge something is to coat it with something before cooking it.

What would you use to add color and gloss to a pie crust?

Egg wash may be applied to many baked goods before baking. Egg wash is made from eggs beaten with water or milk.

Which of these is a food that has been cooked, then mixed in a blender until it is smooth?

Purees can be used as sauces, soups or even baby food.

What is the term for cooking something quickly in oil over high heat?

The word saute is French. It means "to jump."

When you cook a sauce over heat that is just high enough to make bubbles on the surface, you are doing what?

The actual temperature of a simmer is about 185 degrees.

What type of material perfectly conducts high heat?

Everyone should have a cast iron pan in their kitchen! It is great for cooking steak.

What do you get when you blend together butter and flour over heat?

A roux is the basis of many sauces. It can be used as a thickener.

What have you done to your green beans when you immerse them in boiling water for a minute or two, then give them an ice bath?

Blanching helps preserve the color, flavor and texture of foods.

Cooking a raw egg for three to five minutes will give you what?

Eggs should start out at room temperature for best results.

What is the best way to keep pasta from sticking while cooking?

You actually don't need to add salt or oil to pasta water. Stirring is all you need to do to keep it from sticking.

What should you add to water when you're making poached eggs?

Add just a bit of white or white wine vinegar. It will help hold the egg together.

What have you done if you crack an egg and pass the contents back and forth between the two halves of the shell until the white drains away?

Separating an egg does not require any fancy equipment, but you can buy a separator if you'd like.

What do you do to bread dough to activate the gluten?

Gluten is what makes bread dough stretchy and elastic.

What gives chile peppers their heat?

Chili pepper flesh can be hot, but it's the white membrane that contains the real heat, in the form of capsaicin. Seeds don't have any capsaicin at all.

Browning meat helps to create what?

Brown your meat to create the Maillard effect, which is the flavor that comes from a browned crust. Contrary to popular belief, browning does not seal in juices.

When you mix together oil and vinegar, you get what?

Although the technical term is vinaigrette, we will forgive you if you were looking for salad dressing.

If you combine flour and milk, you get what?

Avoid lumpy batter by using a whisk.

The seed inside of an avocado is often called a _____.

Avocados are high in beneficial fats, and they taste great, too!

Steak should be prepped in what way before you cook it, so it cooks faster and more evenly?

Ideally, remove your steak from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before cooking, so it is room temperature. Also, heat your pan before adding the steak.

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