Macerate the sliced strawberries with the chiffonaded basil while you temper the eggs into the custard base.
Now that was a recipe for a crème brulée with a strawberry sauce, but if I didn't know better, I'd think that someone tried to translate some IKEA furniture pictogram directions unsuccessfully into broken English.
Thankfully, not every recipe you will encounter will require you to navigate some fancy dancy Francais cooking terms. That said, there are some more common terms which are useful to know. Here are twelve pieces of culinary vocab to add to your mental dictionary.
Now that you have your knives, it's time to start using them. Here are some common terms you will encounter.
Cube - When cubing, you want to cut your food into "bite sized pieces." Now, If you're like me, anything can be "bite sized" if you try hard enough, but according to rules established under the International Cooking Terminiology Treaty of Geneva 1923*, we mean pieces that are roughly 1 inch in every direction. The shape of the pieces should be (shock) cube like and consistent which ensures even cooking. (*May or may not actually exist)
Chop - Chopping is simply cutting fruits or vegetables into roughly equally sized pieces. While many recipes can vary with what type of chop (large chop, medium chop, small chop, etc), the default size for me is approximately the size of a dime on each side. In general chopping will refer to something being cut into smaller pieces than when cubing. In addition, maintaining the same shape is not as critical. If some pieces of food end up being cubes, some pyramids, and some like those 20-sided die from Dungeons and Dragons, well, that's OK. And if you pull off the last one, that's OK and very impressive. I'd buy you a drink for that.
Dice - Similar to chopping, but typically it refers to food cut into smaller, similarly shaped pieces. To add to the confusion, there are also similar large, small, medium dices just like there are chops. But in general dicing will refer to something being cut into smaller pieces than a chop while maintaining those cube-like or playing dice shaped pieces. Coincidence? I think not.
Mince - When you hear mince, you can be sure that they want whatever you're working with to be very small indeed. Minced foods are broken down into tiny, tiny pieces that are meant to be used typically to flavor a dish rather than be a star player. That is why you often see herbs being called to be minced in recipes. Extra small pieces means you won't get massive hunks of strongly flavored foods when you eat, which if you have ever accidentally gotten a hunk of garlic in your mouth, can be a bit overwhelming.
Need a crash course on the four above? Check out this video below: