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Cheat Sheets > Galley
GALLEY: French-English Cooking Directions Glossary

Shopping in the French supermarkets

The idea for this downloadable Cheat Sheet came from a cruiser in Martinique...

She wrote that she wanted to try some of the sauce mixes that she found in the French supermarkets, but that she couldn’t decipher the French cooking instructions ...

French Cooking Directions Glossary Download
Bilingual example: "Couscous" Package Directions

French Cooking Directions Glossary Download

Click to preview the French Cooking Directions Glossary

(PDF file - 220 K)

Cooking instructions of course have a vocabulary of their own: bring to a boil, simmer, remove from heat, a heaping tablespoon. You’d go crazy thumbing through a dictionary just to make sense of one recipe.

So here’s a two-page Cheat Sheet with 120 of the most common words and phrases that you’ll find on French cooking instructions, plus a conversion table for metric measures.

Now you can try making that easy sauce béchamel, court bouillon, sauce au poivre, or couscous using the packages and mixes in the French grocery stores:

"Court Bouillon" cooking instructions

For extensive lists of foods and ingredients words and shopping phrases, see the Food chapter in FRENCH FOR CRUISERS.





Bilingual example: "Couscous" Package Directions

Here are the cooking instructions from a package of French couscous. We give you the French and English below so you can see how the words are used in a typical recipe.

Download the Cooking Directions Glossary above and use it to translate the instructions for yourself!


Portez à ébullition dans une grande casserole : ¼ de litre d’eau, une cuillère à café d’huile ...

Retirez la casserole du feu. Versez-y 250 g de couscous : mélangez à l’aide d’une spatule en tournant doucement.

Couvrez et laissez gonfler 3 minutes …
Ajoutez 2 à 3 noisettes de beurre.

Remettez à cuire à feu doux 3 à 4 minutes, en remuant avec une fourchette
C’est prêt !
Bon appétit.

Bring to boil in a large sauce pan: ¼ of liter of water, one teaspoon of oil ...


Remove saucepan from heat. Pour in 250 g of couscous : stir slowly with a spatula.

Cover and let rise 3 minutes
Add 2 to 3 knobs of butter.

Cook again at low heat 3 to 4 minutes, stirring with a fork
It’s ready !
Bon appétit.

More Cheat Sheets

THINKING METRIC: English-French Metric Conversions ...

PROVISIONING: English-French Shopping List ...

ASHORE: Drinking and Eating out in French

Cheat Sheets > Galley