If you feel confident with cooking, then you can interpret these recipes any which way you choose, depending on your taste. If you need a little kick in the right direction, below are my suggestions (note: just suggestions, not gospel) for the terms I’ve used.
Balsamic vinegar: Use sparingly. A splash in a dish will cheat slow cooked flavour.
Blanched: Cooked in boiling water for less than 30 seconds
Cream: In relation to baking. Use the back of the spoon to combine the butter and sugar into a smooth paste.
Cubed: Cut into cubes, around twice the size of a ‘diced’
Diced: Cut into small, rough squares.
‘En Papillote’: Baked in a pouch of parchment paper or foil.
Fry: In a frying pan on medium heat with a little oil
Handful: Literally as much as you can fit in one hand. Use man hands for extra portions.
Knub: About the size of the tip of your thumb to the knuckle.
Onions: Fry onions on a medium-low heat in olive oil. When they start to look dry, add a ladle of water and wait until it cooks away. Repeat until the onions are soft and translucent.
Oven temperatures: Oven temperatures are written for standard ovens. For fan ovens reduce by 20 degrees.
Pinch: However much you can pick up between your thumb and two fingers.
Roast: Oven between 180 and 200 degrees, goods coated in oil and seasoning.
Roasted garlic: Roast garlic cloves whole in olive oil. Squeeze out the soft insides and add to pretty much anything (and toast).
Roux: A base useful for thickening sauces. Made from equal parts melted butter and flour (usually about 25g of each).
Scratching (in relation to cheese): Poke the cheese with a sharp knife and twist, creating little nuggets of cheese.
Season: Two parts salt to one part pepper (for tomato based dishes use two parts pepper to one part salt)
Shaving: Use a speed peeler to peel delicate shavings off your chosen cheese/vegetable/food.
Slosh (usually concerning wine): For a one person dish, a third of a glass. For a two person dish, half a glass. For a three/four person dish, a full glass. For this BBC recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon, two bottles.
Spaghetti: 75-100g per person, 100-125g for hungry people/growing boys. Cook in salted water.
Splash: Less than a cap-full.
Sweat: A posh term used for intensifying the sugars in vegetables. Fry in oil over low heat for best results.