Culinary Dictionary - A
à la - [French] in the manner or style of.
à la carte - [French] refers to a list of food items each priced separately. à la creme - [French] served with cream or a cream-based sauce. à la Creole - [French] dishes prepared with tomatoes, green peppers and onions as important ingredients. à la Grecqua - [French] means "in the Greek manner." Term describes vegetables cooked in a mixture of oil and vinegar, or lemon juice, with seasoning added. Serve cold or chilled. à la mode - [French] served with or in the fashion of. Desserts served à la mode are served with ice cream; meats served à la mode are braised with vegetables and served with gravy. à la minute - [French] cooked to order. à l'Anglaise- [French] In the English style; boiled and served without a sauce. Abaisse - A piece of dough rolled to a required size. Abalone - A mollusk, related to a sea snail, similar in flavor to a clam. It may be cooked by various methods and is best suited to very long or very short cooking times. Also called "Awabi" in Japanese cuisine and "Loco" in South American cuisine. It has been overharvested and is very expensive when available. A small amount is being commercial raised. Abattis - Winglets, giblets of poultry. Aboyeur - [French] Expediter or announcer; a station in the brigade system. The aboyeur accepts orders from the dining room, relays them to the appropriate stations of the kitchen, and checks each plate before it leaves the kitchen. Absorbent paper - Paper towel. Aceite de oliva - [Spanish] olive oil. Aceituna - [Spanish] olive. Achar - Very spicy relish from the cuisine of India and the Caribbean Islands. Achar may be made from fruits and vegetables. Achiote - Dried brick red seeds of the annatto tree, used as a seasoning and to give food a deep red color. Achiote is used to add a yellowish-orange color to dishes, especially arroz con pollo. Substitute a little turmeric, paprika or saffron in a recipe if achiote is unavailable. Achiote paste - Ground seeds of the large and shady annatto tree; earthy flavor with a hint of iodine; used as a coloring agent and commercially to color Cheddar cheeses and butter; used in slow-cooked sauces and stews. Acid - A substance having a sour or sharp flavor. Most foods are somewhat acidic. Foods generally referred to as acidic include citrus juice, vinegar, and wine. Degree of acidity is measured on the pH scale; acids have a pH of less than 7. Acidulated water - A mixture of water and a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice, used to purify or prevent discoloration in meats and vegetables. Acitrón - [Spanish] candied biznaga cactus; made by simmering in a sugar syrup. Ackee - A Jamaican fruit with spongy white or yellow flesh. Available fresh or canned. Also called akee. Aclarada - [Spanish] clarified. Acorn - Nut of the oak tree; an Apache cooking staple. Aderezo - [Spanish] dressing. Adobado (adavada) - [Spanish] in Texas, a sour marinade paste made with chiles, herbs and vinegar; in New Mexico and El Paso, a marinade for pork made with red New Mexican chiles, Mexican oregano and garlic. Adobo - [Spanish] piquant sauce or paste used as a seasoning for meats, seafood or
poultry. It includes chiles, tomato, vinegar and spices; adobo may also be used for pickling. Adulterated food - Food that has been contaminated to the point that it is considered unfit for human consumption. Aduski beans - A small (one-quarter inch long or so), oval, brown or reddish-brown dried bean. This is an Asian bean usually made into flour, sprouted or used in desserts. Its slightly sweet flavor makes it an odd choice for a dinner bean. Aerobic Bacteria - Bacteria that requires the presence of oxygen to function. Agar - A vegetable gelatin made from various kinds of algae or seaweed. The algae are collected, bleached and dried. Then the gelatin substance is extracted with water and made into flakes, granules, powder or strips which are brittle when dry. Primarily used as a thickening agent. Agave - Agave americana; botanical name for the maguey cactus from which tequila, mescal and pulque are made. Agnello - [Italian] lamb. Agnolotti - [Italian] small half-moon shaped ravioli. Agrio - [Spanish] sour. Agua - [Spanish] water. Aguacates - Avocados; alligator pear; name comes from the Aztec word "ahuacacuahatle," meaning "testicle tree" (avocados grow in pairs). Aguado - [Spanish] watery. Aguas frescas - [Spanish] fresh fruit drinks. Agujas - [Spanish] in northern Mexico, name given to ribs of beef. Aiguillette - Long, thin slices of poultry breast or some other meats or fish. Ail - [French] garlic. Aioli - [French] a cold egg and oil emulsion with olive oil and garlic. Many variations of this sauce are made. Basically is is a garlic mayonnaise. Airtights - Canned goods; term common used in the old West. Ají dulce - sweet chile pepper. Ajo - [Spanish] garlic. Ajonjolí - [Spanish] sesame. Al Carbon - [Spanish] a dish relating to charcoal grilled or containing meat. Al Dente - [Italian] a term, meaning "to the bite." Literally "to the tooth," used to describe the correct degree of doneness for pasta and vegetables. This is not exactly a procedure, but a sensory evaluation for deciding when the food is finished cooking. Pasta should retain a slight resistance when biting into it, but should not have a hard center. Al Forno - [Italian] a dish baked in the oven. Al Pastor - A term used in Spanish and Italian referring to a dish cooked in the style of shepherd cooking, usually vertically over a grill or spit. Alambres - [Spanish] shish kebabs. Albahaca - [Spanish] basil. Albert - a French hot horseradish sauce. Albimar - [Spanish] candied. Albóndigas - [Spanish] meatballs; made of chicken, shrimp, beef or pork; usually used as a garnish for broth soups or served in tomato sauce as an appetizer or light entrée. Albondiguitas - [Spanish] tiny meatballs. Albumen - the protein of egg whites. Alcachofas - [Spanish] artichokes. Alcaparras - [Spanish] capers. Alcapurrias - [Spanish] croquettes. Alfredo - A pasta sauce originally consisting of butter, cream, and the finest parmesan cheese available. Modern versions add garlic, peas, and less expensive parmesan. All of these will make fine sauces, but nothing can compare to the original version.
Algérienne - [French] a garnish of small tomatoes and sweet potato croquettes. Aliolio - [Spanish] garlic mayonnaise. Alla - [Italian] in the style of Allemande - A rich cream sauce made of Veloute (usually veal), a liaison of egg yolks and lemon juice. Allioli - [Italian] garlic mayonnaise. Allspice - A single spice, rather than a combination of all spices, which is reminiscent of a nutmeg, cloves, juniper berries, pepper, and cinnamon mixture. Allspice is made from the fruit of an evergreen tree found in the Western Hemisphere. Allumettes - [French] Vegetable strips, matchstick-size in length and width. Almandine - [French] made or garnished with almonds. An alternate spelling is Amandine. Almejas - [Spanish] clams. Almíbar - [Spanish] light syrup. Almond extract - An intense flavoring made from bitter-almond oil, usually combined with ethyl alcohol. Keeps indefinitely if stored in a cool dry place. Almond paste - A sweet paste made from finely ground blanched almonds mixed with confectioners' (powdered) sugar and enough glucose or syrup to bind it together. Almuerzo - [Spanish] brunch. Alubias - [Spanish] white navy beans. Amaretti - Italian almond cookies much like a macaroon. Amaretto - A liqueur with a distinct flavor of almonds, though it's often made with apricot pit kernels. The original liqueur, Amaretto di Saronno, is from Saronno, Italy. Many distilleries produce their own amaretto. Usually served straight, on the rocks or used as a mixer. Used often in baked goods. Amarillo - [Spanish] yellow; ripe plantain. Amendra - [Spanish] almond. Américaine - A French sauce or garnish containing lobster meat. Amchoor - Sour, unripe mangoes that are dried and sold in slices and powder. Their primary use is in Indian cooking, giving foods a sweet and sour flavor. Anaheim chiles - New Mexican chiles; very few, if any, Anaheim chiles are grown near Anaheim, California now; mildly hot peppers; slim, ranging between five and eight inches long and sometimes twisted in appearance; not normally stuffed because their flesh is thin; dried and tied in strings (ristras), or ground and blended in commercial chili powder mixtures; may be purchased in cans labeled as mild green chiles. Anaheim pepper, fresh - Slightly hot light-green pepper. Found in most supermarkets. There is also a Red Anaheim pepper. These are usually fond dried. Do not substitute the dried for the fresh. Anasazi beans - Named after the ancient ones, ancestors of the southwestern Native Americans, this is one of the oldest varieties; developed by forebears of the Pueblo Indians in what is now New Mexico, these beans have a variegated cranberry and white coloring that adds color to bean dishes and salads. Ancho chile - Wide, broad; ripened, dried poblano chile; wrinkled and dark reddish brown color, measuring about 5 inches long and 3 inches across the shoulders; most often used in sauces and stews; sometimes ground into a powder for use in chilis and spice rubs; pasilla chiles may be substituted. This relatively mild dried chile pepper is a deep reddish brown in color. In its fresh green state, it is known as a poblano. Anchoiade - A dip made of puréed anchovies mixed with garlic and olive oil. Raw vegetables and bread are served with this dip. Anchovies - Small, silvery fish that are usually cured with salt. Many are then tightly packed with oil in flat two-ounce tins, but salt-cured anchovies are also available. These should be rinsed, and may need to be filleted before using. Anchovy fillets, sweet pickled - Available in Scandinavian markets.
Andouille - A hard, smoked, highly-seasoned pork, Creole-Acadian sausage originating in communities along the lower Mississippi River. Is used regularly in Creole cooking, but it is popular in French cooking as well. The Creole version of this sausage is much spicier than those made in France. Añejo - [Spanish] aged; refers either to certain types of aged liquor or to a cheese which is like a cross between Parmesan and feta. Angelica - Licorice flavored stalks from the Angelica plants are candied and used primarily in pastry making. Angelica is also used to flavor liqueurs. Anglaise - [French] The manner of simple English-style cooking, such as boiling or steaming. Anís - [Spanish] Anise; small, elongated seed from the anise plant that tastes like licorice; the anise plant is a member of the carrot family. Anise - A spice which produces a licorice-like flavor. Purchased ground to a powder or in seed form. Utilized in flavoring cookies, cakes and liqueurs. See Aniseed. Aniseed - Crescent-shaped seeds which are a member of the parsley family; used in both sweet and savory dishes; impart a strong licorice flavor and a lightly sweet tone to food. Annatto Seeds - Small rust-colored seeds used to make Annatto oil. Also called achiote seed. The oil is then used as a yellow food coloring and a spice in cooking from Latin America and Southeast Asia.. Can be found in Hispanic markets. Anna potatoes - The name for a potato pancake made of thin slices of potato which are assembled in concentric circles and cooked with liberal amounts of butter. The cake is then baked until crisp and golden brown. Annatto seeds - Usually made into achiote paste; earthy flavor with a hint of iodine; prized as a coloring agent and is used commercially to color Cheddar cheeses and butter; used in slow-cooked sauces and stews; very slow to dissolve and needs to be ground. Anticuchos - [Spanish] marinated and grilled beef hearts. Antiguo - [Spanish] old; ancient. Antipasto - [Italian] cold appetizer assortment. Antipasto is the Italian word for snacks served before a meal. These are dishes to pique one's appetite, not quench it. This may consist of one or more dishes of all types of food. Common elements of an antipasto table are cured meats and salamis, olives, marinated vegetables and cheese. Antojito - [Spanish] snack or an appetizer, it means little whim. Antojitos mexicanos - [Spanish] snacks; corn- or tortilla-based Mexican foods, including enchiladas, tacos and tamales. Aperitif - A drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite. Apfel - [German] apple. Apio - [Spanish] edible root of a tropical plant. Applejack - A brandy made from apple cider which, in the United States, must spend a minimum of two years in wooden casks before being bottled. It ranges from 80 to 100 proof in strength. Árbol chiles - Similar to cayennes. Arborio rice - A short grain white rice from Northern Italy. The length of the grain is often less than two times its width. Used often in risotto because it absorbs flavor as it cooks, yet remains somewhat firm. Arlésienne - [French] rings or slices of vegetables cooked in oil. Arm steak - A steak cut from the chuck which require rather long slow cooking. Armadillo - A game animal indigenous to the Southwest, it has a flavor comparable to duck. Aromatic - A vegetable, herb, or spice that gives food a lively fragrance and flavor. In classic cooking, a reference to "aromatics" most often means onions, carrot and celery. Arracheras - The word used in Mexico for fajitas, or skirt steak. Arrowroot - A starch similar in appearance and qualities as cornstarch. White, powdery thickening agent ground finer than flour. It is preferable to cornstarch because it provides
a clear finish, rather than a cloudy paste. Arrowroot is extracted from rhizomes and was historically used by American Indians to heal arrow wounds, hence the name. Arroz - [Portuguese] rice. It is not a Spanish term. Arroz con pollo - [Spanish] rice with chicken. Artichoke - A name shared by three unrelated plants - the globe artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke and Chinese (or Japanese) artichoke. Considered the true artichoke, the globe artichoke is cultivated mainly in California's mid-coastal region. It is the bud of a large plant from the thistle family and has tough, petal shaped leaves. The tender base of the leaves and the heart are the edible portions. They are available year-round, with the peak season March through May. Buy deep green, heavy-for-their-size artichokes with a tight leaf formation. Artificial sweeteners - Numerous kinds and brands on the market. Available in liquid, granular, and tablet forms. Follow label instructions carefully. Not a good substitute for sugar in baked recipes. They may be stored indefinitely if kept tightly closed at room temperature. Arugula - Also known as Rocket, Arugula is the most strangely flavored of all greens, possessing a distinctive hot, peppery muddiness that may be an acquired taste. Younger, smaller arugula is milder; old arugula may be far too hot. Asada (Asado) - [Spanish] roasted or broiled. Asadero - Rubbery white cheese originally made only in the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Michoacan, it is now made in the United States; a cooked cheese made from equal portions of fresh and sour milk; frequently sold braided; it melts in gooey strings; also called Chihuahua, Mennonite or Oaxaca cheese; Monterey Jack or Longhorn Cheddar may be substituted. Asador - [Spanish] wire mesh stovetop grill which can be used to roast vegetables over an outdoor fire or on the stovetop. Asafetida - A gummy resin derived from a special plant. Also comes in powder form. Used as a flavoring or spice in Persian and Indian cooking or as a condiment to be sprinkled over food after it has been cooked. It has a bitter taste and a pungent aroma similar to garlic and truffles. Asar - [Spanish] to roast or broil. Ascorbic-acid mixture for fruit - A crystalline or powdered mixture containing vitamin C and sugar. It is used to prevent darkening of fruits and vegetables after peeling. Asiago cheese - Hard Italian cheese with a rich nutty flavor. It is made from whole or part-skim cow's milk, and comes in small wheels. It is among the best substitutes for Parmigiano-Reggiano. This Italian cheese originally came from the Province of Vicenza. Asiago is served in two different forms. The aged cheese (more than one year) is hard and is considered a grating cheese, like Parmesan or Romano. The younger variety, when still soft, is used on cheese trays and antipasto presentations. The hard, aged asiago has a full, rich, almost nutty, flavor. The softer, younger cheese is milder in flavor. In the past asiago was made with ewe's milk. Today, most types are produced using cow's milk. For a refreshing change, substitute grated asiago for Parmesan in your favorite recipe. It enhances salads, pastas, and pizzas. Asopao - [Spanish] soupy stew. Asparagus - A member of the lily family, the earliest stalks are a beautiful apple-green with purple-tinged tips. Asparagus spears poke through the earth in spring. If not picked, these young shoots grow into tall ferny branches with bright red berries. Europeans prefer white asparagus which is grown underground to prevent it from becoming green. White spears are usually thick and are smoother than the green variety. There is also a purple variety called Viola. Aspic - A clear jelly made from stock, fumet, wine or fruit juices used to mold dishes. These preparations are often elaborately decorated for use on buffets. Both savory and sweet foods are set in aspic. Cubes of aspic are a common garnish to fine pâtés and foie
gras. Ates - [Spanish] sweetsop; sweet fruit pastes; an equal amount of fruit pulp and sugar. Atole - Pre-Columbian drink made from corn; corn gruel; made by boiling ground dryroasted corn and water; traditionally served with tamales; may be flavored with chocolate, nuts or cinnamon and other spices and sweetened with sugar for a breakfast drink; sometimes blended with chiles to make a savory dish. Atun - [Spanish] tuna. Au bleu - [French] blue; fish cooked immediately after being caught will turn blue upon preparation. Au gratin - [French] cooked food, covered with a sauce and sprinkled with crumbled or grated cheese, dotted with butter and browned under the grill or broiler. Au jus - [French] served in unthickened natural juices or natural meat drippings. Au lait - [French] with milk. Aubergine - Purple fruit, used as a vegetable. Also known as an eggplant. Another (Indian) word for eggplant or aubergine is brinjal. Aurore - A term associated with a pink cream sauce, colored with paprika or that have tomato purée or concasse added to it. Aux fines herbes - [French] term applied to a dish to which a combination of delicate fresh herbs (usually tarragon, chervil, parsley, and chives) have been added. Avocado - A fruit treated as a vegetable, the avocado is native to Central or South America, but is now widely grown in Florida, California, and many other warm places. It should be quite soft before opening and eating. Fruit with leathery skin and soft, buttery flesh; it yields to light pressure when ripe; the Haas is smaller with pebbly black-brown skin and is darker than the emerald type grown in Florida; always use Haas avocados as they are more flavorful and much less watery than the Florida variety Azúcar - [Spanish] sugar. Azafrán - Used as a substitute for saffron; lacks flavor and is used only for color.
Culinary Dictionary - B
Baba - a French or Italian small sweet cake made from enriched yeast dough, often flavored with candied fruits and soaked with a rum or Kirschwasser syrup after baking. This dough is also used to make the larger savarin. Baba ghanoush - A Middle Eastern specialty that is a mixture of roasted eggplant, tahini (sesame paste), olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Served as either a dip or a spread. Traditionally garnished with pomegranate seeds and mint. Bacalao - [Spanish] salt cod; dried codfish. Bacalaitos fritons - [Spanish] codfish fritters. Baccalá - See "Salt Cod, dried." Backstrap - Tenderloin steak. Bacon (slab) - bacon in a chunk. You must slice it by hand (and may want to remove the rind first). Slab bacon is often the only way to find top-quality bacon. Bacon rashers - Canadian bacon or ham. Baekenhofe - an Alsatian stew made of pork, lamb, and beef layered with potatoes and onions. The meat is first marinated in wine and herbs for a minimum of 24 hours, then assembled and baked in a paste sealed casserole until the meat is buttery tender. The juices are reduced and the top is browned under the broiler. Crisp bacon and fried leeks are used to garnish this dish. Bagel - a hard, glazed, doughnut- shaped roll. Bagna Cauda - Meaning "warm bath", this is a dip made of anchovies, olive oil and garlic. Unlike the French anchoiade, this is served warm and is not emulsified. Bread and raw vegetables are served with this dip. Baguette - A long, narrow loaf of French bread, usually with a crispy brown crust and a soft, but chewy interior. Bain Marie - [French] Simply a water bath. It consists of placing a container of food in a large, shallow pan of warm water, which surrounds the food with gentle heat. The food may be cooked in this manner either in an oven or on top of a range. This technique is designed to cook delicate dishes such as custards, sauces and savory mousses without breaking or curdling them. It can also be used to keep foods warm. Baked Alaska - A dessert comprised of sponge cake topped with ice cream and covered with meringue. The dessert is then placed in a hot oven to brown the meringue before the ice cream can melt. Baking potato - This term refers to Idaho and russet potatoes, the big potatoes with rough, brown skin and numerous eyes. These potatoes are low in moisture and high in starch, which makes them ideal for baking. They also make good mashed potatoes and French fries. Baking powder - A chemical leavener combining an acid with bicarbonate of soda to form the gas which enables baked products to rise. The chemical reaction between the acid and the soda produces carbon dioxide to leaven the product. The most common form of baking powder is the double acting variety, which produces gas upon mixing and again at high temperatures. Always store this tightly covered. Baking soda - Also called bicarbonate of soda and sodium bicarbonate is a leavening agent which is used as an essential ingredient in baking powder. When used alone as a leavener, recipes must include some type of acid to neutralize the resulting sodium carbonate in the finished product. Buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, and citrus juice are adequate acid to use. You may also use baking soda to help neutralize the acid in recipes that call for large amounts of fruit. Baking tray - Cookie sheet. Baklava - [Middle Eastern - Greek] A very sweet dessert made of layers of flaky pastry filled with a mixture of ground nuts (often pistachios) and sugar. The pastry is sliced, baked, and brushed with a honey syrup flavored with lemon or rose water.
Ballottine - A pâté-like dish in which forcemeat is stuffed back into the boneless carcass from which the forcemeat was made. This may include fish, poultry, game birds, or even some cuts of meat. The mixture is wrapped in muslin and poached or braised. These dishes may be served hot or cold. Balsamic vinegar - A wonderfully fragrant vinegar made from the juice of Trebbiano grapes. The juice is then heated and aged in wooden barrels, evaporating and concentrating in flavor. The resulting vinegar is deep rich brown with a sweet and sour flavor. Well aged balsamic vinegars are very costly, some reaching an astronomical $200 an ounce. Most balsamic vinegars found in the US are not "aceto balsamico tradizionale", but an aged balsamic vinegar. These vinegars lack in body and flavor that the well-aged balsamic vinegars possess, yet have a fair sweet and sour balance of flavor not found in any other vinegars. Bamboo leaves - Used in Asian cooking to wrap ingredients for steaming. They need to be reconstituted before use. Bamboo shoots - The young growth of a certain edible bamboo plant. Fresh shoots, tender and ivory-colored occasionally turn up in Asian markets, but rarely. The canned ones are tasteless but provide a decent crunch. found in Asian markets and many supermarkets. Bangers - British colloquial term for sausages. "Bangers and Mash" are sausages and mashed potatoes. Barbacoa - [Spanish] barbecued or pit-cooked meat; often refers to the head of a cow, sheep or goat that has been barbecued or pit-cooked. Barding - The practice of wrapping lean cuts of meat to be with thin slices of back fat. The converse of this is larding, in which long strips of fat are inserted into the cut of meat to keep it moist during cooking. Baron (of beef or lamb) - The two legs and saddle cooked as a unit. Barquette - A small oval shaped pastry shell with either sweet or savory fillings. Basil - Native to India, it has long been a mainstay in Italian cooking. Its leaves have a spicy smell and flavor that work well in everything from seafood cocktails and soups to stews and other meat dishes. Basil also is one of the main ingredients in pesto, a thick paste made by pounding the herb's green leaves with Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses, pine nuts and olive oil. Basquaise - Food prepared in the style of Basque which often includes tomatoes and sweet or hot red peppers. Baste - To moisten with marinade or with pan juices during broiling or roasting. Basting - Preparation method which moistens meat or poultry with pan juices or drippings during roasting by using a spoon or bulb baster as a tool. The bulb on the baster is squeezed while in the liquid, then slowly released to draw the liquid into the tube. Bâtarde - A French butter sauce made with egg yolks. Batter - A flour-liquid mixture that is thin enough to pour. One example is pancake batter. Bavarian cream - A cream made with pastry cream lightened with whipped cream and stabilized with gelatin. This cream may then be poured into molds, or used as a filling for cakes or pastries. Bavarian cream is often flavored with fruit purees or alcohol. Bay leaf - An aromatic leaf that comes from bay laurel. Whole, halved, or ground, it lends a slightly bitter taste. A pungent seasoning to add to soups, stews, and stocks. One of the primary ingredients in a bouquet garni. Bean curd - Cheese-like product made from soybean milk. Buy fresh in cakes in most supermarkets. Can be found in cans also but the flavor is far inferior. Bean sauce - A soybean condiment that is an essential ingredient in stir-fries. It is labeled either "whole bean sauce" or "ground bean sauce," which tends to be saltier.
Available in Asian markets and many supermarkets. Bean sprouts - Edible sprouts which can be produced from a variety of seeds and beans, from the mung and alfalfa to lentil, radish and even broccoli. Sprouts should be kept in the refrigerator in the ventilated container or plastic bag in which they were sold, and used within a few days. Found fresh in most produce sections. Skip using the canned variety if you can avoid it. Bear sign or bear claw - Fried pastry similar to the modern doughnut. Béarnaise - This is the most notable of all the hollandaise sauce variations. It is made with a wine and vinegar reduction, egg yolks, butter and flavored with tarragon or other herbs. This sauce makes a good companion to grilled meats and fish. Beating - Process of mixing food to introduce air and make it lighter or fluffier. Tools utilized to beat an ingredient or mixture include a wooden spoon, hand whisk or electric mixer. Bebidas - [Spanish] drinks. Béchamel sauce - This is a white sauce made with milk or cream and thickened with a roux. Béchamel sauce is generally used as a base for other more complex sauces, though it may be used alone for binding or moistening. Beef fillet (filet mignon) - This tender but expensive boneless cut of meat comes from the small end of the tenderloin. It should be cooked quickly by frilling or sautéing. Not an overly flavorful cut of meat. Beef stock - Real beef stock is superior to any. But consommé or bouillon (mostly salt) may be substituted in a pinch. Beignet - A French or Creole version of doughnuts. Dough or batter is deep fried and dusted with powdered sugar or glazed with a flavored syrup. Belle Helene - Best known as the name of a dessert with poached pears, ice cream, and chocolate sauce. It is also a term used in French cookery as a name for a garnish to grilled meat dishes. Bell peppers - Also known as sweet peppers, bell peppers are "mature" when they turn bright green, but they are not yet ripe; their flavor is sharp, even acrid at this point. If picked after they have changed to red, yellow, or orange their flavor will have mellowed considerably. Benne seeds - [African] sesame seeds. Bercy - A French sauce with white wine and shallots as a base. Bermuda onion - This big, sweet, ivory-colored onion truly does not come from Bermuda. A sweet, crisp topping for sandwiches, this onion is also a good choice for everyday cooking. Bermudas have a shorter shelf life than the basic yellow onion. Also called Spanish onion. Besan - Used in East Indian cooking, besan is a pale yellow flour made from ground, dried chickpeas. This nutritious, high-protein flour is used for myriad preparations including doughs, dumplings, noodles, a thickener for sauces and in batter for deep-fried foods. Besan, also known as gram flour can be found in Indian or Asian markets. Store, wrapped airtight, in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Betabel - [Spanish] beet. Betty - a baked dessert dating to Colonial America, It is a baked pudding made with layers of spiced sweetened fruit (usually apples) and buttered bread crumbs. Apple Brown Betty is made with brown sugar and sliced apples. Beurre Blanc - An emulsified sauce made of a wine or vinegar reduction blended with softened butter. This may be flavored in many ways, for fish, vegetables, and poultry dishes. This is a very tricky sauce and does not hold for long periods of time. Because of this, modern versions add a touch of cream to stabilize the sauce for longer periods of time. Beurre Manié - A mixture of flour and butter worked into a paste, either with your
fingers or a spoon. This is then used in small quantities to adjust the thickness of sauces and stews. The sauce must then be boiled briefly to remove the starchy taste of the flour. For this reason, beurre manie‚ is used in situations where only a small quantity is needed. Beurre Noir - A tart sauce made with browned butter mixed with vinegar. Bigarade - A sauce, usually served with duck, which includes orange juice and orange rind. Binding - A method of preparation that adds eggs, cream, melted fat or roux to a dry mixture in order to hold it together and keep the mixture from separating. Birria - Spanish name given to a dish of seasoned meat, then barbecued or steamed. Biscochitos - Crispy anise-flavored cookies native to New Mexico; cut into stars or other decorative shapes and traditionally served at Christmas. Biscotti - Dry Italian cookies flavored with almonds, chocolate, or anise seed, used for dunking in coffee and sweet dessert wine. Not unlike zwieback. Bison - Called "hunchbacked cows" by Coronado when he saw them in Texas; taste is similar to beef, but slightly sweet. Bisque - A thick, rich creamy soup containing fish or game or pureed vegetables. A rich shellfish soup made with the shells of the animal. The soup is enriched with cream and Cognac and garnished with pieces of the shellfish meat. This name is also used to describe vegetable soups prepared in the same manner as shellfish bisques. Also a frozen creamy dessert. Bisteces - [Spanish] steaks. Bistella - See Pastilla for a definition. Bitok - [Russian] Small meat patty made from raw minced beef and bread, then bound together with an egg. Bitters - A liquid combination of cloves, cinnamon, quinine, nutmeg, rum, dried fruits, and other root and herbal extracts. Primarily used in cocktails. Bittersweet chocolate - Often used in cake and cookie recipes. Bittersweet or semisweet chocolates are often used interchangeably, although bittersweet generally has more chocolate liquor, a paste formed from roasted, ground cocoa beans. Semisweet chocolate contains at least 35% chocolate liquor while finer bittersweet chocolates contain 50% or more chocolate liquor. Both chocolates have a deep, smooth, intense flavor that comes from the blend of cocoa beans to dairy products. Sugar, vanilla extract, and cocoa butter are added to the chocolate liquor to create an even richer chocolate flavor. Black (turtle) bean (frijoles negros) - Native of the Yucatán; satiny black on the exterior, creamy white inside, with a hearty, almost smoky flavor; commonly used in soups and low-fat sauces, side dishes, salads and puréed; cooked beans can be rinsed and added to salsas for visual interest. This multipurpose dried bean is medium-sized (up to one-half inch long), round to almost square, and deep black with a white line and interior. Black beans (frijoles negros) - Small, with a dark blue-purple color; also known as black turtle beans. Black-eyed peas - Small, slightly kidney-shaped beans marked with one black spot or "eye"; introduced into the Southwest by African slaves. Black pepper - Green, white, and black peppercorns all come from the berries of the Piper nigrum plant; black peppercorns are the strongest of the three varieties. Pre-ground black pepper is sold is sold cracked and coarsely or finely ground, but loses its flavor quickly and should be stored in a cool dark place for no more than 3 months. Freshly ground black pepper is far superior. Black rice - Milled rice is white in appearance, but the outer bran layer can be brown, red or black. Raw black rice appears charred and, when cooked, appears
much like the color of blackberries. Blackberries and Raspberries - There are hundreds of types of black and red berries (some are orange, yellow, or almost white), but all are treated basically the same. (Technically, a raspberry leaves its inner core behind when picked; the core comes along when you pick a blackberry). These berries are highly perishable and quite expensive in the market. Blackstrap Molasses - Thick, black syrup, produced from sugar cane. In the UK and Australia, simply known as molasses. It produces a bitter flavor. Blade Steak - See "Arm steak". Blancmange - A simple stove-top pudding made with milk, sugar, and vanilla, thickened with cornstarch. Blanco - [Spanish] white. Blanquette - [French] A white, creamy stew of veal, chicken, rabbit or lamb with small onions and mushrooms. The sauce is thickened with roux and enriched with cream. Blender - Electric liquefier with a glass or plastic container into which ingredients are added. A set of rotary blades is attached to the base of the vessel and rapidly reduces most ingredients to a smooth, or blended, consistency. Blending - Preparation method that combines ingredients with a spoon, beater or liquefier to achieve a uniform mixture. Blind Bake - To bake a pie crust without the filling. Metal weights or dried beans are commonly used to weigh the crust down to prevent it from bubbling. Blini - [Russian] A small unsweetened pancake made of buckwheat flour and often leavened with yeast. These pancakes are often brushed with large amounts of melted butter and served with caviar and sour cream. Other versions may be made of vegetable purees or semolina flour. Blintz - A stuffed crepe or thin pancake. The filling is usually made of a fresh cheese or cottage cheese, and often topped with fresh fruit or fruit preserves. Blue (Bleu) Cheese - A semi-soft, blue-veined cheese produced from cow's milk. It has a very strong, pungent aroma. Similar in flavor to French Roquefort and Italian Gorgonzola. Blue corn - A variety of corn with blue-gray kernels; indigenous to the Southwest and originally grown by Pueblo Indians; dried and ground blue corn is more flavorful than yellow cornmeal. Blueberry - More closely related to the cranberry than to the raspberry, the blueberry (and bilberry, huckleberry, and like berries) is distinctively different from both. Unlike the cranberry, it is sweet enough to eat raw, whole, and out of hand. Unlike the raspberry, it is sturdy enough to store, and it freezes well. With its relatively high sugar and acid content, it's the closest thing to an all-purpose berry. Blue cheese - The blue (or green) veins in blue cheese are created by flavorproducing molds injected (or occurring naturally) during the curing process. Roquefort, blue d'Avergne, Stilton, Gorgonzola, and Maytag blue are some of the best varieties. All blue cheeses smell strong but some varieties actually are quite mild. Boar - Wild pig; served both roasted and smoked. Bocaditos - [Spanish] little bites. Boiling - Preparation method which cooks a liquid at a temperature of 212F or 100C. Bok Choy - A vegetable resembling Swiss Chard in shape, but much lighter in color and flavor. Bok choy has a mild flavor that is great raw in salads. It's also the best cabbage for stir-fries; the stems turn almost creamy after cooking. It can be found fresh in Oriental markets and most supermarkets, year-round. (Also called Chinese Chard)
Bola (bolita) - [Spanish] ball (little ball). Boletus - A family of wild mushrooms known for their rich taste and meaty texture. Porcinis and cepes are two members of this family of mushroom. Bolillos - Mexican hard rolls which are similar to French bread; also a short rolling pin 2 inches in diameter and 8 inches or more long which rolls tortillas to a uniform thickness. Bollito - A boiling bean native to the Southwest; an ancestor of the pinto bean; takes a bit longer to cook; often used in broth-style side dishes of Mexican cuisine. Bollito Misto - An Italian stew consisting of various cuts of meat, including zampone, boiled in a rich broth with vegetables. The whole dish is served with cornichons, pickled onions and a variation of chutney called mostarda di Cremona. These are whole or large pieces of fruit cooked in a spicy mustard flavored syrup. Other common sauces are salsa verde and mayonnaise. Bombay duck - A small dried fish served in curry sauce. Bombe - A rich dessert containing cream or custard mixtures arranged and frozen in a mold. Boniato - Also called batata, this is a popular tuber in both Latin America and Asia. The blotchy skin may be purplish or reddish, and the inside is white or creamy and slightly mealy when cooked. It tastes like a cross between white and sweet potatoes, and can be treated like either. The flavor somewhat suggests roasted chestnuts. Boning - Preparation process which removes bones from meat, poultry, game or fish. Bonito flakes - The dried flakes of a dark, full-flavored fish, used in the Japanese soup stock dashi, which is among the simplest stocks to make. Bonito flakes are available in Asian markets. Bonne femme - Cooked home-style; often with a creamy mushroom sauce. Bordelaise - This is a term primarily used to describe a dark brown sauce that includes shallots and red wine, vegetables, and garlic. Some versions of this sauce include slices of bone marrow added at the end of cooking. Fish dishes with this name will be cooked with white Bordeaux wine. Borracho - [Spanish] drunken; foods containing liquor, beer or wine. Borrego - [Spanish] baby lamb. Borscht - A rich soup from Eastern Europe containing beets or cabbage. Other ingredients may include potatoes, beans, meat or sausage. The best known of these soups is a cold version based on beets and served with sour cream, but hot versions are very common. Boston lettuce - Part of the butterhead family, this simple lettuce sports soft but fairly well-defined heads with lots of loose outer leaves. The bland tenderness mingles nicely with some bitter loose leaf and super-crisp romaine. Botanas - Plugs; stoppers; appetizers served with drinks. Bouchee - [French] A small round puff pastry shell baked blind used for sweet or savory fillings. Boudin - Acadian pork blood sausage, highly seasoned and containing rice. The proportion of blood to rice produces "white" or "red" boudin. It originated among the Bayou communities. Smooth sausages of two types. Boudin blanc contain veal, pork, and chicken. Boudin noir are made with blood and rice or potatoes. The latter type are popular in European and Creole cooking. Bouillabaisse - A rich fish stew from southern France. This was once a poor man's meal made of any fish available. Modern versions include lobster and shrimp. The broth is flavored with garlic, orange peel, fennel, and saffron. Olive oil is added to the stew and rapidly boiled to blend it into the broth. The stew may be served with croutons and rouille, a variation of aioli.
Bouilli - Meat used to prepare soup which is then served as a separate course. Bouillon - A clear, seasoned soup usually made from beef or chicken, vegetables and seasonings; also obtained by dissolving a bouillon cube or envelope in boiling water. Boule - A ball-shaped loaf of bread that's baked without a pan in the oven. Bouquet garni - A French-invented sachet of herbs, traditionally tied together, but now sold in small muslin bags. Usually includes parsley, thyme, a bay leaf and some rosemary, but may also include marjoram, garlic, rosemary, etc. Variations may include fennel, leeks, celery leaves, citrus rinds, garlic and black pepper. Added to stews, soups and sauces for flavoring; the bundle is easily removed when desired. Bourguignon - [French] Foods cooked in the style of Burgundy. This includes red wine, mushrooms, pearl onions, and bacon. Also spelled; Bourgogne or Bourguignonne. Bourrride - Another fish stew from southern France. Here the broth, in which large pieces of fish are poached, is strained and thickened with aioli. The two are then served together in shallow bowls with bread or croutons. Braise - To prepare food by browning, then cooking slowly in a small amount of liquid in the coven or in a covered pan on the stove top. Braising - A cooking method whereby food, typically raw meat, is first browned in oil, then cooked slowly in a liquid of wine, stock or water. Bran - The outer husk of grains such as wheat, containing a high percentage of fiber. White flours have the bran removed. Whole wheat flours may contain all or part of the bran. Brandade - A purée of salt cod mixed with olive oil and potatoes. Another version of brandade is covered with Gruyere cheese and browned in the oven. Both are served with croutons. Breadfruit - The exterior of these melon-sized round fruits is covered with hundreds of scaly bumps. Unripe, they are green and their flesh resembles a potato-hard, white, and starchy. Like plantains, breadfruit is used in savory and sweet dishes according to its ripeness. At the hard stage it is used in savory dishes and cooked like a potato or sweet potato. When slightly ripe, the outside is partly green. Baked at this stage, its flesh is slightly sticky, somewhat fruity, but spongy like bread. When ripe, the exterior is tender and brownish, and the flesh is creamy and sticky but still starchy and rather bland in flavor. Bread crumbs - There are two kinds of bread crumbs - fresh and dry. They should not be used interchangeably. Fresh crumbs can be made in a food processor or blender/ Dried bread crumbs are lightly browned and may be plain or flavored. They can be bought or made from good quality stale bread. Bresaola - A cured and dried beef filet from Italy with a more delicate texture but stronger flavor than that of prosciutto. A Swiss version of this is called bundnerfleisch. This style is pressed into a rectangular shape and has a bit drier texture than bresaola. Both are served thinly sliced with bread and fruit or pickled vegetables. Bretonne - An Espagnole sauce with onions. Brine - Salt and water solution used for pickling and preserving. Brinjal - [India] Eggplant. Brioche - [French] A large light, very rich, yeast roll made with lots of butter and eggs. Brioche is baked in many shapes though the brioche e tete is best known. The dough can be flavored with nuts or candied fruit, as well as herbs and spices. It may also be used to wrap foods like coulibiac. Slices of toasted brioche are the perfect companion to foie gras and gravlax. Brioche is very similar to the Jewish Challah. Brisket - The chest portion of the beef, usually extending some distance back of the forelegs; flavorful but rather tough, thus best used for pot roasts and for braising.
Broccoli, Broccoflower, Purple broccoli, Chinese Broccoli - Broccoli is a relative of cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. A head of broccoli is a bouquet of tiny flower buds. Each small green stalk is called a floret and contains hundreds of buds. It has a deep emerald-green color with a purple or blue haze, and comes in tight clusters of tiny buds that sit on stout, edible stems. Purple broccoli or purple cauliflower or broccoflower closely resembles broccoli in shape and flavor. Romanesco is a form of broccoli with a conical head formed of small peaks of buds in a wonderful chartreuse color. Chinese broccoli, also known as Chinese kale. It is closely related to both broccoli and our common kale. Broccoli raab - Broccoli raab, or rape, is more bitter, and has more stems and leaves than head broccoli, which has more florets. It can be found from fall to spring in markets with specialty produce sections, and can be used in any broccoli recipe. Brochette - [French] A skewer. Food cooked "en brochette" is cooked on a skewer. Brodo - [Italian] broth. Broth - Liquid in which meat, poultry or vegetables have been simmered. Closely related to stock. Brown beans - Smaller and rounder than American beans, these are used in Scandinavian dishes. found in specialty stores or Scandinavian markets. Brown sugar - Brown sugar is simply white sugar combined with molasses. Dark brown sugar has lots of molasses; light brown sugar contains less. To recreate brown sugar, add two tablespoons molasses to white sugar. Dark brown sugar contains more molasses than light brown sugar. Browned flour - Wheat flour browned in an oven or skillet; favored by Mexican and pioneer cooks for gravies and stews. Browning - Preparation method, usually in a skillet or pot on the stove top, which sears in the outer surface of meat to seal in the juices. Brulee - [French] Finishing method applied to dishes such as cream custards finished with caramelized sugar glaze. Can be done with a torch or under the broiler. Brunoise - A very fine dice usually applied to vegetables. Bruschetta - Grilled slices of bread brushed with olive oil and fresh garlic. This was the original garlic bread. Brussels sprouts - Brussels sprouts look like miniature cabbages, and that's what they are. Many rows of sprouts grow on a single long stalk. They range from 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter; the smaller sprouts are more tender. Like cabbage, they must not be overcooked, or they become soggy and strong-flavored. Reject sprouts with yellow leaves, loose leaves, or those that are soft or not tightly packed. Generally, Brussels sprouts are a winter vegetable, found from September or October on. Bucatini - Long, narrow tubes of pasta usually served with a hearty meat sauce. Buckwheat - An herb whose seeds impart a distinctive nutty, slightly fermented flavor to pancakes and other baked goods, as well as to noodles and pasta; because of its low gluten content, it is mixed with other flours for baking. Budín - Pudding; usually a soufflé-like dish, made with carrots, spinach or zucchini. Bufálo - [Spanish] buffalo. Buffet - A vast array of hot and cold foods, often elaborately garnished. Bulgur wheat - Processed wheat made from the whole kernel that has been cooked and dried, used a lot in Middle Eastern dishes. Most commonly used in breads and tabbouleh salad. Three grinds; fine, medium, and coarse. Find in fancy supermarkets or gourmet stores. Buñuelos - [Spanish] bungle; mess up; fritters; sweetened fry bread usually sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Burdock - A root that grows more than 3 feet deep but is rarely more than 1/2 inch wide. Like carrots it is a member of the parsley family, and the white flesh is mildly
sweet. Young shoots and large soft leaves are slightly bitter and nice in salads. Japanese cuisine is fond of burdock, and always include it when in season in their mixed vegetable tempuras. Burrito - Flour tortilla folded like an envelope around a filling. Burrito desayuno - [Spanish] breakfast burrito. Burros (Arizona) and burritos (New Mexico and Texas) - Flour tortillas stuffed with meats, beans, cheeses and chile sauces or any combination thereof. Butcher's knots - Butcher's knots are slip knots that make it possible to tighten and loosen string as needed when rolling a boned roast. Butter - a cooking and eating fat that is made from sweet or sour cream and, by federal law, must contain a minimum of 80% milk fat (butterfat). It comes salted and unsalted (sweet); it also comes whipped for greater volume and easier spreading. Butter absorbs odors easily and is highly susceptible to rancidity. To avoid either of these problems, store butter in the refrigerator no longer than 2 weeks. For longer storage, butter may be frozen for up to 9 months without deterioration. Butter, Cultured - Cultured butter is butter churned from cultured cream (cream fraiche). Most butter produced in the U.S. before 1920 was cultured butter, but in the 20's, the U.S. Government guaranteed the sale of every pound of butter produced, so quality became a non-issue and sweet cream butter prevailed. Buttermilk - Originally a by-product of butter making, buttermilk is commercially produced by adding lactic acid culture to skimmed or partially skimmed milk. Liquid left after butter is churned solid. Button mushroom - This is the standard, white, cultivated mushroom. Button mushrooms work well in concert with "wild mushrooms," which are more intensely flavored, but also more expensive.
Culinary Dictionary - C
Cabanossi - A salami-type sausage popular in Southern Europe. Cabra - [Spanish] goat. Cabrito - [Spanish] unweaned goat; suckling goat; kid goat; usually split and spit roasted whole; considered a delicacy in Mexico and the Southwest; a favorite dish in northern Mexico, especially at Easter. Cacahuates - [Spanish] peanuts. Cactus - The pads and fruits of the Opuntia cactus are cooked and eaten. Cactus paddle - In the southwest and Mexico, the large, flat, fleshy, oval green pads of the nopal cactus are prepared as a vegetable. When cooked, pieces have the color and translucence of cooked bell pepper, but they are also viscid, like okra. The flavor is something between a bell pepper and artichoke or asparagus or okra. Café - [Spanish] coffee. Café Brulot - Spices and other ingredients flamed with brandy or some other spirits to which hot coffee is added. Cafe Noir - Black coffee. Caguama - [Spanish] sea turtle. Cajeta - [Spanish] originally a little wooden box made to hold sweets; burned milk; goat's milk caramel; goat's milk that has been mixed with sugar and cooked into a brown paste; dessert, usually of fruit or milk, cooked with sugar until thick. Cake cooler - Wire rack. Cake tin - Baking pan. Cal - dolomitic lime; slaked lime; mineral added to corn when making nixtamal masa to loosen the kernels' skins. Calabacita - [Spanish] squash; zucchini. A variety of summer squash found in Latin American and Mexican cooking. Calabaza - [Spanish] pumpkin. This pumpkin-like winter squash, usually sold in slices or hunks in markets catering to Central and South Americans. Also known as West Indian pumpkin, calabaza is quite frequently better than pumpkin when cooked in the same way. Calamares - [Spanish] squid. Calamari - Italian and [Spanish] squid. Calamata olives - Purple-black Greek olives of generally high quality. Also spelled kalamata olives. Caldero - [Spanish] heavy kettle. Caldillo - [Spanish] little soup; thick stew with beef and chiles; commonly served in El Paso and Juarez. Caldo (caldillo) - [Spanish] broth, stock or clear soup. Caldo de cerdo - [Spanish] pork broth. Caldo Verde - A Portuguese soup made from a sharp flavored cabbage, potatoes, broth, and olive oil. Sausage is then cooked in the soup. Calf fries - [Spanish] ranch treat of quick-fried calf scrotum; also called mountain oysters. Callo de hacha - [Spanish] pinna clam. Calzone - [Italian} "trousers." A half-moon shaped pizza turnover, often served with sauce over the top rather than inside. Camarónes (camarón) - [Spanish] shrimps; shrimp. Camote - [Spanish] yam; sweet potato. Campechana - [Spanish] blend or mixture. Canadian bacon - The large rib-eye muscle of the pork loin, cured and smoked. It is boneless and more lean than streaky bacon, making it a good ham substitute for those watching their fat intake. Canapé - [French] plain or toasted bread or crackers topped with a savory mixture. Usually served as appetizers, with cocktails, snacks or for lunch. They may be served hot or cold, they are often elaborately garnished. Canard - [French] duck. Candied - Cooked in sugar or syrup until transparent and well-coated.
Candied ginger - Found in Asian markets. Candy thermometer - Cooking tool comprised of a large glass mercury thermometer that measures temperatures from about 40F to 400F. A frame or clip allows it to stand or hang in a pan during cooking for accurate temperature measurement. Cane syrup - A sweet, dark brown, very thick sugar cane syrup, tasting something like dark brown sugar. Canela - [Spanish] cinnamon; Ceylon cinnamon; lighter in color and more subtle in flavor than cinnamon sold in the United States; dried inner bark of the "Cinnamomum zeylanicum: tree, which was brought to Mexico from Sri Lanka; canela sticks have a rough, torn appearance, and its soft surface grinds easily in spice mills and blenders. Caneton - [French] duckling. Canned cowboy - Canned milk - a term from the American West. Cannellini beans - [Italian] large, creamy white bean often included in Italian cooking. Also known as Northern beans, this legume makes an excellent vegetarian substitute for both fish and chicken due to its rich texture. Cannelloni - [Italian] large tubular-shaped noodles usually served stuffed. An Italian dish made of sheets or tubes of pasta filled with meat, cheese or fish, sauced and baked au gratin. Variations of this use thin pancakes, called crespelle, which are similar to crepes and are filled and cooked in the same manner as the pasta. Cannoli - [Italian] a crisp pastry tube filled with sweetened ricotta cheese, chocolate chips, and candied fruit. Cinnamon and vanilla are common flavorings for this cheese mixture. Canola oil - This neutral is your best choice for cooking because it is inexpensive, extremely low in saturated fats, has a high burning point, and does not detract from the flavor of food with which it is combined. Cantina - [Spanish] bar. Capeado - [Spanish] covered with batter and fried. Capers - Pickled hyssop buds which is used in sauces and as condiments for smoked fish and nicoise salad. Sold packed in vinegar or in salt. Small pickled flower of a shrub though to have originated in the Sahara Desert or in the Orient; Mexican capers are large; Italian capers may be substituted. Capicolla - A coarse Italian pork sausage. Usually highly seasoned, this sausage is served cold, thinly sliced, as for prosciutto. Capirotada - [Spanish] bread pudding; usually served during Lent and Holy Week (Easter). Capon - A castrated rooster that is savored for its delicate taste and texture. Once castrated, the chicken would become fattened, yielding tender, juicy flesh. This method of raising chickens is not practiced much anymore, since most chickens are butchered at a young age and still very tender. Caponata - [Italian] Best known as a spread or cold salad containing eggplant, celery, tomatoes, raisins, and pine nuts seasoned with vinegar and olive oil. Modern variations will add other vegetables such as zucchini and season it with fresh herbs. Capons - Castrated cocks, weighing 6 to 7 pounds or more, these birds are especially desirable for roasting when a large bird is in order. Capsicum - The family name for sweet and hot peppers. Large pepper with a slightly sweet flavor. Also called a pepper, or sweet pepper. Available in green (most common), red and yellow. Carambola (star fruit) - Originally from Indonesia, this is one of the most recent tropical imports, now grown in Florida and found in most supermarkets. It has yellow, near-translucent skin (which is tough but edible), and slices take the shape of a star. Best eaten raw, but also takes well to grilling. Caramelize - To slowly dissolve sugar (granulated or brown) in water, then heat the resulting syrup until it turns caramel-brown in color. Caramelized sugar is sometimes called burnt sugar. Caraway seed - Curved, anise-like seed popular in German and Austrian cooking. Caraway is a member of the parsley family. Seeds are used as topping on breads and savory pastries, and as accompaniments to cabbage and goulash. Caraway seed is also utilized in preparing some cheeses and liqueurs. Carbón - [Spanish] charcoal. Carbonade - Braised or grilled, or sometimes stewed meat.
Carbonara - An ultra-rich pasta sauce consisting of pancetta, eggs, and parmesan cheese. Actually less of a sauce than a preparation, hot pasta is tossed with the rendered pancetta fat, the eggs, and then the cheese. Crisp pancetta and black pepper are tossed into the pasta just before serving. Cardamom - Aromatic seeds used for baking, flavoring coffee and exotic Scandinavian and Indian dishes. Excellent when freshly ground. Botanical name - Elettaria cardamomum. Cardinal - Fish dishes which have sauces made with lobster fumet and are garnished with lobster meat. Cardoon - Cardoons are the thick, fleshy stalks of a plant in the thistle family very similar to artichokes. It looks like very large, coarse, matte-gray celery. Popular in Italy, France and South America. Cardoons may be eaten raw or cooked and served like any vegetable. Caribe chiles - Flaked red chiles. Carne - In Italian and Spanish meaning meat. Carne adovada - [Spanish] meat cured in red chile sauce; traditional New Mexican dish. Carne asada - [Spanish] marinated, broiled meat; in Sonora, Mexico means a picnic or cookout where meat is broiled. Carne de res - [Spanish] beef. Carne mechada - [Spanish] pot roast. Carne seca - [Spanish] dried beef or jerky; was a trail food utilized on the range. Carnitas - [Spanish] little pieces of meat; small chunks of pork which have been seasoned, slow-cooked, and fried crisp in their own fat; it is a traditional taco and enchilada filling. Carob - The seed from the carob tree which is dried, ground, and used primarily as a substitute for chocolate. Carpaccio - An Italian dish (usually served as an appetizer), made of paper thin slices of beef dressed with olive oil and parmesan cheese. Slices of raw white truffles are an excellent partner to this dish. Cascabel chiles - [Spanish] Little rattler; jingle bells; sleigh bells; small, round, hot chiles that rattle when shaken; measure about 1 1/2 to 2 inches across and have smooth skins; woodsy chile with tones of hazelnut, citrus and tobacco, gives off a wonderful aroma when roasted; great in stews, soups, salsas, salad dressing and vinaigrettes; blend well with apples, pears and other fruits and with spices such as star anise, canela and cinnamon; árbol chiles may be substituted. Casserole - [French] A meat, fish and/or vegetable dish which is cooked and served in the same pot. Cassoulet - A dish from southwest France consisting of white beans and an assortment of meats like confit, lamb, pork, and Toulouse sausage. The dish is enriched with large amounts of duck fat and is baked until the top is brown and crispy. Variations of this dish include seafood and lentils. This dish is very substantial and needs nothing else to be served with it but a bitter green salad to cut through the richness. Castor/Caster sugar - A very fine granulated sugar. Similar to U.S. superfine sugar. Catfish - Popular white-fleshed fish with a medium-firm texture. Farm raised catfish, widely available in supermarkets and fish stores, don't have the muddy taste that distinguish their wild counterparts. Look for fresh catfish with white rather than grayish flesh. Catsup - Tomato ketchup. Caul Fat - The stomach lining of pork which is used in place of back fat for pates and to encase crepinettes. Caviar - These are the eggs of sturgeon that have been salted and cured. Grading for caviar is determined by the size and color of the roe and the species of the sturgeon. Beluga caviar, which is the most expensive of the three types of caviar, are dark gray in color and are the largest eggs. Ossetra caviar are light to medium brown and are smaller grains than beluga. Sevruga caviar are the smallest grains, the firmest in texture and are also gray in color. Pressed caviar is made of softer, lower quality eggs and have a stronger, fishier flavor. The term malossol is used to describe the amount of salt used in the initial curing process. The roe from other fish such as salmon, lumpfish, and whitefish are not considered caviar, regardless of their label. They should be addressed as roe. Caviar should be served as simply as possible. Traditional accompaniments, inspired by the Russians, are sour cream, blinis, and ice cold vodka. Lemon and minced onion are often served with caviar, but their flavors will only detract from the pure delicate flavor of the caviar.
Cayenne - Cayenne pepper is used to describe almost any hot, finely ground red chile pepper, but it was named after several tropical varieties that originated in Cayenne in French Guiana. A dried chile, they is also known as ginnie peppers; 3 to 8 inches long and slender, measuring about 1/2 inch across; fiery chiles that can be used in soups and stews, but are most commonly ground and used as a seasoning; chiles de árbol are closely related and may be substituted. Cazón - [Spanish] dogfish. Cazuelas - glazed or unglazed Mexican casserole-style dishes; ideal for long, slow cooking, either in the oven or on top of the stove; can also be used as serving dishes. Cebada - [Spanish] barley. Cebolla - [Spanish] onion. Cebollitas - [Spanish] scallions; green onions. Cecina - [Spanish] salted, cured or smoked dried meat strips; similar to carne seca. Cena - [Spanish] supper. Celeriac - A European celery with a thick stem base, which can be prepared in the same way beets are. it is also called celery root, celery knob and turnip-rooted celery. This knobby, brown vegetable is the root of a special celery cultivated specifically for its root, with a firm texture and a clean, sweet flavor of celery. Celeriac must be peeled before using. Cellophane Noodles - Noodles made from the mung bean, the same bean from which bean sprouts grow. Find in oriental markets and some supermarkets. Also called glass noodles, sai fun, bean threads and long rice. Cepes - A wild mushroom of the boletus family known for their full flavor and meaty texture. Cerdo - [Spanish] pork. Cerveza - [Spanish] beer. Ceviche - [Spanish] raw seafood combined with lime juice; the juice "cooks" the seafood by combining with its protein and turning it opaque. Chai - The Indian name for tea, often served with milk and sugar. Chalotes - [Spanish] shallots. Chalupa compuesta - [Spanish] adorned little boat; a very popular dish in Arizona. Chalupas - [Spanish] little boats or little canoes; fried corn tortillas in the shape of a boat or basket containing shredded chicken or beans topped with salsa, guacamole or cheese. Champ - a classic Irish dish that combines vegetables with hot mashed potatoes. It is made by mixing either peas, chives or sauteed onions or spinach into hot mashed potatoes, then making a depression in the center of each serving and filling with melted butter. To eat it, you dip each forkful into the butter first. Champignon - [French] mushroom found as the champignon de Paris. Cultivated button-shaped white mushroom. Champurrado - [Spanish] a drink, atole (corn gruel) with chocolate. Chanterelle - A wild mushroom with a golden color and a funnel-shaped cap. The whole mushroom is edible and is savored for its exquisite flavor and firm texture when cooked. Chanterelle - Available both wild and domesticated, this is a good, fleshy mushroom with subtle flavor. Chantilly - [French] This is a name for sweetened whipped cream flavored with vanilla. The term may also be used to describe sauces that have had whipped cream folded into them. This includes both sweet and savory sauces. Chapati - A whole wheat Indian flatbread that can be grilled or fried. Charcuterie - The French word for the variety of pork preparations that are cured, smoked, or processed. This includes sausages, hams, pates, and rillettes. This term may also imply the shop in which these products are sold and the butchers who produce it. Chard - Essentially beets grown for leaves rather than roots, chard has a thick white, pink, or red midrib and leaves that vary from deep green to green with scarlet veins. Chard has a distinctive, acid-sweet flavor. Charlie Taylor - a butter substitute of sorghum and bacon grease. Charlotte - The name for two different desserts. The first preparation is made of slices of bread which are lined in a mold, filled with fruit, and baked until the bread acquires a golden color and crisp texture.
The second version, similar to the first, lines a mold with cake or lady fingers and is filled with a Bavarian cream. These may also be filled with whipped cream or even a fruit mousse. More elaborate versions layer the cake with jam, then slices of this cake is used to line the mold. Charlotte mould - A plain mold for charlottes and other desserts, sometimes used for molded gelatinbased salads. Charmoula - A sauce and marinade used in Middle Eastern cooking made of stewed onions flavored with vinegar, honey and a spice mixture called "rasel hanout". This is a complex spice mixture containing cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, cumin and sometimes paprika and coriander. This sauce is used on meat and fish and can even be adjusted to make a unique vinaigrette. Chasseur - [French] a sauce made with wine, mushrooms and shallots. Chateaubriand Steak - A very fillet of beef, exceedingly tender and juicy, cut laterally from the heart of the tenderloin, grilled or sautéed and simply sauced. Many restaurants claim their chateaubriand to be the head of the tenderloin, cut for two, which is roasted and carved tableside. Chaud-Froid - Meat or fish that has been poached or roasted, chilled and served cold, masked with a thick sauce and glazed with aspic. The whole preparation was once quite popular and used consistently on elaborate buffets. Modern tastes have moved away from this style of food, opting for cleaner, less adulterated flavors. Chauquehue - [Spanish] blue cornmeal mush. Chayote - Also called mirliton, vegetable pear and christophine. A pear shaped, pale or apple green squash (it actually is a form of summer squash), with firm flesh of a paler green. The taste is reminiscent of a cucumber. It is a relative of the gourd. If small, they do not require peeling. They are used in Latin American cooking. Chayote may be eaten raw or cooked as you would any summer squash. Also referred to as the cho-cho. Chayotes should be not just firm, but downright hard and dark green for the best flavor. Stored in the vegetable bin they'll keep for weeks. Cheddar - Cheese which is mild in flavor and melts easily, it is a favorite in many Southwestern dishes; Longhorn cheese is a very good substitute, and it is usually a little less expensive. Cheese - Most cheeses derive from milk (usually cow, sheep or goat), jolted by a "startar" culture, then thickened by the addition of rennet (animal or vegetable) until it separates into curds (semi-solids) and whey (liquid). Artisanal cheese: Made by hand, in small quantities, with respect for cheese-making traditions; frequently farmstead, but sometimes using others' known herds. Blue-veined: Inoculated or sprayed with spores to create veins and pockets of bluish-green mold (stilton, roquefort, gorgonzola, Maytag blue). Cooked, pressed: Curd cooked before pressing (parmigiano reggiano, gouda, gruyere). Farmstead cheese: Made by using only the milk from the cheese-maker's own herds. Fresh: Unripened or slightly ripened curds (ricotta, farmer, cottage, mascarpone). Hard: Cooked, pressed and long-aged (parmigiano reggiano, pecorino) Natural-rind: Self-formed thin rinds, no molds or washing (English stilton, mimolette, tomme de savoie). Processed cheese: Some amount of cheese cooked together with dyes, gums, emulsifiers and stabilizers (American cheese, Laughing Cow, rambol). Raw-milk cheese: Made with unpasteurized milk (parmigiano reggiano, Swiss gruyere, French roquefort, traditional cheddars). Ripened (aged): The drained curds are curedÑby heat, bacteria and soaking. Salt, spices and herbs or natural dyes (certain cheddars) may be added. Aging in a controlled environment begins. Semifirm: Cooked and pressed, but not so long-aged, not crumbly (edam, jarlsberg). Semisoft: Either cooked or uncooked, soft, but sliceable (gouda, tilsit, monterey jack). Soft-ripened (bloomy rind): The surface is exposed to molds, ripening the cheese from the outside in, to form thin, velvety rinds (brie, camembert). Washed-rind: Frequently orange, rinds washed or rubbed with brine, wine, beer or brandy (pont l'eveque, tallegio, Spanish mahon). Uncooked, pressed: Curds not cooked but pressed to obtain a firm texture (Cheddar, morbier, mont asio, manchego).
Cheese (Mexican) - Queso Blanco: This creamy white cheese is made from skimmed cow's milk. When it is heated, it becomes soft and creamy but doesn't melt. It is ideal for stuffing burritos and enchiladas. Queso cotija: Sharp, firm and good for grating. Simply sprinkle it on top of beans, chili or other dishes to enhance their flavor. Queso fresco: Usually made from a combination of cow's milk and goat's milk, it tastes like a mild feta cheese. It crumbles easily and tastes good in salads or with beans. Queso Oaxaca: Also known as quesillo, this soft, mild cheese is perfect for quesadillas. It is similar in texture to string cheese, and should e pulled apart into thin strings before being put on the tortilla. Queso panela: This soft white cheese often is served as part of an appetizer or snack tray. It absorbs other flavors easily. Like queso blanco, it doesn't melt. Cherimoya - Also called the custard apple. A Native American fruit, now grown in California, with a creamy white interior and sweet pineapple flavor, with the consistency of banana; tastes like a cross between banana and pineapple; has a hard brown shell, and the flesh is dotted with black seeds that must be removed before ea ting. Ancient Aztec and Peruvian Indians knew of this fruit. Eat with a spoon. Cherry Tomatoes - Miniature sweet tomatoes available in colors of red, orange and yellow. Store cherry tomatoes in the same way as full-size tomatoes, at room temperature for up to 3 days. Chervil - A mild-flavored member of the parsley family, this aromatic herb has curly, dark green leaves with an elusive anise flavor. Though most chervil is cultivated for its leaves alone, the root is edible and was, in fact, enjoyed by early Greeks and Romans. Today it is available dried but has the best flavor when fresh. Both forms can be found in most supermarkets. It can be used like parsley but its delicate flavor can be diminished when boiled. Chestnut - Mealy, but rich with an earthy taste, a delicious nut, almost always imported and usually found in autumn. Traditionally served as a vegetable. Peeling its hard, dark brown shell and bitter inner skin takes some effort but is worth it. Chestnuts can also be roasted. Chevre - [French] goat, generally referring to goat's milk cheeses. Chiboust - A custard made originally as the filling for the gateaux Saint-Honor, consisting of pastry cream lightened with Italian meringue and stabilized with gelatin. Chícharo - [Spanish] pea. Chicharron - Crispy fried pigskin used in Mexican cooking for salads, fillings and snacks. Chicharrones (chicharron) - [Spanish] pork cracklings; crisp-fried pork rinds. Chicken Maryland - In Australia refers to chicken leg with both thigh and drumstick attached. In the US, refers to any parts of chicken, crumbed, browned in hot fat, baked and served with cream gravy. Chicken, broilers - Also called fryers or broiler-fryers, these are young chickens weighing from 1 1/2 to 4 pounds. They can be broiled, sautéed, fried, roasted, and braised. Chicken, roasters - These are somewhat older and larger chickens (3 to 5 pounds), delicious when roasted, poached, or braised. Chicken, squab - The poussins of France, these are mere babies weighing about a pound and sufficient for one person. They are unusually tender and delicate and are best when roasted whole or split and broiled. Chicken, stewing - Also called mature, old chickens , or hens, these should be poached or simmered. Chicken steak - A small, very tender and flavorful steak cut from the shoulder blade. Chicken stock - A chicken soup or stock made from chicken backs and necks, carrots, yellow onions, celery and salt and pepper and allowed to simmer for at least an hour. Then strained. Chickpeas - Also called garbanzo beans, chickpeas are nutty-tasting, relatively large legumes. Chicories - These are sharp crunchy greens (closely related to endives) that vary wildly in appearance, but much less so in taste and texture. Tight-headed, bright red radicchio; long, green, leafy radicchio; lettuce-looking escarole; and lacy frilly frisée are all crunchy and feature a stark bitterness tamed by cooking or smoothed by olive oil. Chicory - the white root of a variety of perennial herbs (related to radicchio and curly endive) that is dried, roasted and ground, then combined with coffee for a distinctive taste. Caffeine-averse Germans discovered that chicory could be processed into a coffee substitute.
Chicos - [Spanish] corn kernels that are roasted, steamed in a horno, then dried; they are not treated with lime; may be cooked for hours to serve as a vegetable, or ground into harinella, which may be used interchangeably with Masa Harina®. Chiffonade - [French] a very fine julienne of vegetables usually associated with leafy herbs, lettuces, or greens. Chihuahua (queso menonita) - Cheese which is white and creamy; was created by Mennonites in Mexico, and they still produce the finest version, queso menonita; has a slightly spongy texture and a buttery flavor; melts easily; Muenster or a mild white Cheddar can be substituted. Chilaca chile - fresh pasilla chiles; long, thin and dark green. Chilaquiles - [Spanish] broken-up old sombreros, a reference to the appearance of the dish; considered a good way to use up stale tortillas; a family-style casserole of tortilla strips, salsa, meat and/or cheese, most often served for breakfast; it is very difficult to find in restaurants. This is a highly seasoned dish, often served as a brunch or lunch dish with eggs or grilled meats. Chile, hot pepper - The plants or pods of the Capsicum genus. Chile ancho - wide chile pepper; refers to the broad, flat heart-shaped dried pod; in its fresh green form is known as poblano chile. Chile caribe - red chile paste made from crushed or ground red chiles, garlic and water; liquid fire. Chile Colorado - red chile; usually refers to ancho or New Mexico dried chiles or the stew made with them. Chile con queso - [Spanish] cheese and green chile dip. Chile en polvo - [Spanish] powdered chile. Chile pasado - [Spanish] chile of the past; roasted, peeled and sun-dried green chiles. Chile paste - Sometimes labeled "chili-garlic paste." This hot condiment is made with chiles, salt and garlic. it is available in Asian markets and many supermarkets, and will keep almost indefinitely if refrigerated. Chile pequín (chilipiquín; chiltepín; chili tepins) - small, dried, quite hot red chiles; common names are bird pepper, chile bravo and chile mosquito; the size and shape of a cranberry; range in color from immature green to orange to very ripe brick red; grows wild in southerly regions of the Southwest; cayenne powder or hot red chile powder may be substituted. Chile powder - Ground, dried red chiles. Chile seco - [Spanish] fried red serrano chile. Chileatole - [Spanish] masa soup. Chiles ahumados - [Spanish] smoked chiles; now called chipotle. Chiles de árbol - Treelike; chile de árbol; small, thin, 2 to 3 inch long (including the stems), very hot dried chile; usually ground into a powder for use in chile sauces; go well with tomatoes, tomatillos, citrus, and herbs such as rosemary and oregano; common Mexican names are pico de pajaro (bird's beak) and cola de rata (rat's tail). Chiles en polvo - [Spanish] powdered chiles. Chiles rellenos - [Spanish] stuffed chiles which are then battered and deep-fried. Chiles secos - [Spanish] dried chiles. Chilhuacle - a chile found almost exclusively in Oaxaca; one of the main ingredients of Oaxaca's renowned mole negro; the chiles are very expensive. Chili - chile sauce with meat; chili con carne. Chili Colorado - [Spanish] red chili. Chili con carne - [Spanish] "chili with meat," this dish is a mixture of diced or ground beef and chiles or chili powder (or both). It originated in the Lone Star State and Texans, who commonly refer to it as "a bowl of red." They consider it a crime to add beans to the mixture. In many parts of the country, however, beans are used, and the dish is called "chili con carne with beans." Chili powder - Mixture of ground, dried red chiles blended with other spices and herbs. Chili powder may be ground-up chiles, or it is a seasoning mixture of garlic, onion, cumin, oregano, coriander, cloves, and/or other spices. Chili rellenos - A Mexican dish consisting of a batter-fried, cheese stuffed, poblano chili pepper.
Chili sauce - A thick tomato sauce similar to catsup, but spicier; it has bits of whole tomato, onion and other seasonings added. It is used like catsup when a more distinct flavor is desired. Store as you would catsup. Chili verde - [Spanish] green chili. Chilling - Process of cooling prepared or partially prepared food, without freezing it, in a refrigerator. Chilorio - [Spanish] cooked and shredded meat, fried with a paste of ground chiles and other seasoning. Chilpachole - [Spanish] crab soup from Veracruz. Chiltepins (chilipiquíns) - Small, round, wild chile that grows in Arizona; in Texas there is a wild variety called chilipiquín. Chimichanga - [Spanish] stuffed burro fried in deep fat, then topped with cheese, guacamole and chile sauce; found almost exclusively in Arizona. Chimiquito - [Spanish] stuffed and fried flour tortilla; it is rolled like a flauta or taquito rather than being wrapped like a burrito or chimichanga. Chimpachole (chilpachole) - [Spanish] spicy, rich crab stew. Chinese cabbage - These cabbages have oblong heads with thin, juicy, flavorful leaves - as compared to the round-headed common cabbage with thick, mild leaves. The most commonly found Chinese cabbage in the market is Napa cabbage, which is a pale green, romaine-like variety. Mild celery-shaped bok choy is another variety of Chinese cabbage. See Bok choy. Chinese parsley - Also called cilantro and coriander. Chining - Meat carving process whereby the backbone is separated from the ribs in a join to make carving easier. Chinois - [French] Chinese. Also refers to a "China Cap," a very fine mesh, conical strainer. Chip wagon - A wagon which carried campfire "prairie coal." Chipotle chiles - Chiles that take their name from the Aztec words for chile and smoke; a term for any smoked chile; normally a smoked, dried jalapeño with a wrinkled appearance, similar to a dried mushroom; some chipotles are pickled and canned in adobo sauce; go well with orange and other citrus flavors, balsamic and sherry vinegars, and herbs such as cilantro and basil; moritas, smoked serranos, may be substituted. These chiles are extremely hot and caution should be taken when using them in cooking. Chipped beef - Wafer-thin slices of salted and smoked, dried beef; usually packed in small jars and were once an American staple. Chipped beef is also referred to simply as dried beef . SOS is military slang used for creamed chipped beef served on toast. Chiquihuite - [Spanish] woven basket for holding tortillas. Chive - Related to the onion and leek, this fragrant herb has slender, vivid green, hollow stems. Chives have a mild onion flavor and are available fresh year-round. They are a good source of vitamin A and also contain a fair amount of potassium and calcium. Chocolate - A product of cocoa beans in which the chocolate liquor is mixed with cocoa butter in various proportions to produce the different varieties of chocolate. Unsweetened (bitter) chocolate has no additional ingredients added and comes packaged as squares-eight 1 ounce squares to the package. Other varieties of chocolate have additional cocoa butter added, along with sugar, milk, and vanilla. Semisweet chocolate comes in bars or packages of squares, or in bags of pieces. Milk Chocolate is smooth, light and sweet, it primarily an eating chocolate. Chocolate may be stored for about 1 year if wrapped tightly and kept in a cool dry place. If the storage place is too warm or moist a grayish film may develop on the chocolate. This is the fat in the chocolate, which melts and rises to the surface. The film does not harm the flavor but it affects the color and sometimes the texture. Chocolate may also be refrigerated up to 3 months if wrapped tightly, but will become brittle and should be used in melted form. UNSWEETENED (Bitter): Chocolate liquor that has no sugar added to it. It has a cocoa butter content between 50% and 58%. It is usually used for baking. SWEET: Unsweetened chocolate with sugar added. It is often used in dessert recipes. The two most common forms are: SEMI-SWEET (higher sugar content): Contains 15-35% chocolate liquor. BITTERSWEET (lower sugar content): 35% chocolate liquor.
MILK: Sweetened chocolate with milk solids (or cream) added. It's usually eaten as is or used for candy making. WHITE: Not really a chocolate at all because it doesn't contain chocolate liquor. It usually is made from sugar, cocoa butter, milk solids, lecithin, and vanilla. It is used in candy making, baking, and desserts. Chocolate, Mexican - block Mexican chocolate; frequently contains cinnamon, vanilla, clove and ground almonds; Ibarra is one of the best brands. Chocolate sauce - Chocolate syrup to which milk, cream, and/or butter has been added, making it richer and thicker than the syrup. Chocolate syrup - Sweetened liquid chocolate. use as topping for desserts or as an ingredient in beverages. Chongos - [Spanish] a dessert of cooked milk curds. Chorizo - A spicy pork sausage from all Hispanic countries, ranging in seasoning from mild and sweet to fiercely hot. Hotter versions come from areas of Spain and Portugal. Mexican versions contain a large variety of chiles and have a mealier texture and more complex flavor. Some of them even use fresh herbs giving it a green color. Portugal makes a cousin to this sausage called the linguisa, that is smoked and much hotter. Spicy sausage made with pork, garlic and red chile powder, available both in bulks and in links; Mexican chorizo is sold fresh and is often cooked to add to fillings and egg dishes. Choron - A variation of Bearnaise sauce with tomato puree or concasse added. Choucroute - [French] an Alsatian specialty consisting of sauerkraut that is simmered with assorted fresh and smoked meats and sausages. This is a grand dish served on huge platters so that diners may witness all of the components displayed at one time. The kraut is first washed, then seasoned with garlic, caraway seeds, and white wine. The meats are layered in the casserole with the kraut and cooked until all the meat is tender and the flavors have blended together. Pork sausages, smoked pork shanks and shoulders, and fresh pork loin are all used. A variation of this, though not actually called a choucroute, is a whole pheasant cooked in sauerkraut with champagne. There are other recipes that consist of solely fish in with the sauerkraut. This can be quite delicious if properly prepared. Choux pastry - Also called choux paste, pâté à choux or cream puff pastry. Flour, butter and water are cooked on the stove top before the pastry is shaped, baked until fluffy, then filled. Chowder - A thick soup or a stew made of shellfish, fish or vegetables. The term “chowder” comes from the French chaudière, meaning “boiler.” Fishermen cooked their food fresh from the sea in these large kettles. Chuck - A cut of beef from the region of the shoulder, neck, and upper back, slightly tough. Thus best used for braising and stewing, or for grinding into hamburger. Cowboy's word for any food. Chuck wagon - kitchen on wheels used on the range. Chuck wagon chicken - bacon; also called Kansas City fish. Chuleta - [Spanish] chop or cutlet, lamb, pork or veal. Churros - [Spanish] deep-fried cakes named for the shaggy, long-haired Mexican sheep they resemble. Chutney - The name for a large range of sauces, jams or relishes used in East Indian cooking. Fresh chutneys have a bright, clean flavor and are usually thin, smooth sauces. Cilantro, mint, and tamarind are common in fresh chutney. Cooked chutneys have a deeper, broader flavor. Chutney ranges from chunky to smooth and mild to hot. Cider - A drink almost always made from pressed apples. To many people, but not all, it is alcoholic. In the US usage is typically that "cider" is not alcoholic and "hard cider" is. Cilantro - A green herb, similar in appearance to parsley. Also sold dry as seeds, leaves and ground. An essential ingredient to Asian and Mexican dishes. It can be found in Asian as well as Mexican markets and most large supermarkets. Also known as fresh coriander, Mexican parsley and Chinese parsley. It resembles flat-leaf parsley, but the flavor is strong and fresh; the seeds are known as coriander; cilantro is commonly used in salsas and soups; was first introduced to the Mexican Indians by the Spanish. Cinnamon - Known in spanish as canela; the inner back from shoots of a tree called "Cinnamomum zeylanicum"; used in Mexican dishes that are sweet and savory; available in tightly rolled dry quills (sticks) or ground.
Cioppino - A rich fish stew from San Francisco made with shrimp, clams, mussels, crabs, and any available fish. The broth is flavored with tomato, white wine, garlic, and chile flakes. This stew needs no other courses served but a simple green salad and a lot of sourdough bread. Ciruelas - [Spanish] plums. Citric Acid - also known as "sour salt." A white powder extracted from the juice of citrus and other acidic fruits (such as lemons, limes, pineapples and gooseberries). It's also produced by the fermentation of glucose. Citric acid has a strong, tart taste and is used as a flavoring agent. Civet - A French stew usually containing game, though duck and goose are used. The meat is marinated in red wine for long periods of time, then stewed with pearl onions and bacon. The sauce was once thickened with blood, but that is a method not used much anymore. Clabber - Milk which has soured to the point where it is thick and curdy but not separated. Clafouti - A dessert of fruit, originally cherries, covered with a thick batter and baked until puffy. The dessert can be served hot or cold. Clarified butter - The upper portion, clear, liquefied and oil-like, of butter when it has been allowed to melt slowly and stand without heat until the solids have precipitated. In India, it is called ghee. Clarify - To clear fats by heating and filtering; to clear consommes and jellies with beaten egg white. Clava de especia - [Spanish] clove. Claveteado - [Spanish] spiked or studded with cloves. Clavitos - [Spanish] little nails; tiny wild mushrooms. Clavo - [Spanish] clove. Clotted Cream - This specialty of Devonshire, England (which is why it is also known as Devon cream) is made by gently heating rich, unpasteurized milk until a semisolid layer of cream forms on the surface. After cooling the thickened cream is removed. It can be spread on bread or spooned atop fresh fruit or desserts. The traditional English "cream tea" consists of clotted cream and jam served with scones and tea. Clotted cream can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to four days. Cloud Ear/Tree Ear - Thin, brownish-black mushrooms with a subtle, woodsy taste; A good addition to stir-fries. Available in dried form in Asian markets and may supermarkets. They become ear-shaped and five times as big when soaked in warm water. Tree ears are the larger variety; an albino type is called silver ears. May be sold under the name "wood ear mushrooms." Cloves - Brown, hard dried flower buds of an aromatic Southeast Asian evergreen. Cloves are useful in both whole and ground forms. Ground cloves are used in the preparation of many cakes and soups. Whole cloves add wonderful flavor to mulled wines and ciders, and the spice of choice for baking ham. Cloves also have natural preservative qualities in pickling solutions and oils. Club Steak - A rib steak from the top portion of the short loin. The higher the rib, the larger the steak. Size depends on thickness of cut also, and may serve one or two; very tender and juicy. Cocada - [Spanish] coconut dessert. Cochineal - [Spanish] small red bug crushed to make red food coloring. Cochinita - [Spanish] small pig. Cocido - [Spanish] cooked; boiled; meaty beef and vegetable soup. Cocina - [koh-SEE-nah] [Spanish] kitchen. Cock-a-Leekie - A thick Scottish soup made with chicken, leeks, and barley. Modern versions have lightened up this soup by using a chicken broth garnished with leeks and barley. Cockles - [Great Britain] Clams or donax. Any of various bivalve mollusks having a shell closed by two muscles at opposite ends. Coco - [Spanish] coconut. Cocoa powder - The dried powder formed from chocolate liquor after the cocoa butter has been removed. This mixture is then dried and ground into a fine powder. Dutch process cocoa has been treated with alkali to give a darker appearance and less bitter taste. Instant cocoa has sugar, milk solids, and other flavorings and emulsifiers added to it which aides it to dissolve more readily. Coconut - The fruit of the coconut palm has several layers. A deep tan husk encases a hard, dark brown, hairy shell. Beneath the shell is a thin, brown skin, under which lies a layer of creamy coconut meat that surrounds a milky, sweet, opaque juice. Coconut meat is available sweetened or unsweetened, shredded or flaked, moist or frozen. Introduced to Latin America centuries ago.
Coconut milk - Canned or frozen. Do not confuse with cream of coconut. This is not the liquid that is found in the center of coconuts, but a thick liquid made by steeping fresh grated coconut in hot water. The hot water helps to extract the fat from the coconut meat, which carries so much of this flavor. Found in Oriental or fancy supermarkets. Known as narialka ka dooth in India, santen in Indonesia and Malaysia. Best made from fresh coconuts: Grate the flesh of 1 coconut into a bowl, pour on 600 ml/1 pint/2-1/2 cups boiling water, then leave to stand for about 30 minutes. Squeeze the flesh, then strain before using. This quantity will make a thick coconut milk, add more or less water as required. Desiccated (shredded) coconut can be used instead of fresh coconut: Use 350g/12 oz./4 cups to 600 ml/1 pint/2-1/2 cups boiling water. Use freshly made coconut milk within 24 hours. Canned coconut milk is also available. Cocotte - [French] A small, straight sided metal, earthenware or porcelain baking dish with a cover, used for cooking eggs (in a pan of hot water) in the oven. Cod - Most commonly sold as skinless fillets, a mild-tasting, snow-white fish has lean flesh with a big flake. Some substitutes include haddock, hake, and pollock. Note that scrod is a market term for cod, not a separate species. Coddled eggs - Eggs which have been placed in rapidly boiling water and at once allowed to stand undisturbed for 10 to 15 minutes, in the cooling water; results in the whites and the yolks having the same degree of jellied firmness. Coddling - [French] cooking process whereby food is slowly simmered in water. Codorniz - [Spanish] quail. Coeur à la Crème - Coeur e la Crème - Meaning "the heart of the cream", this is a soft cheese dessert where the mixture is drained in a mold to help it set. The cheese is then turned out onto a platter and served with fruit and bread. Alternate versions use mixtures of ricotta and cream cheese and flavored with liquor and citrus juice. This is then molded and served with a berry coulis. Cognac - A fine brandy produced in and around the town of Cognac in western France. Cointreau - a clear, mildly bitter, brandy based liqueur, flavored with the peel of sour and sweet oranges from Curacao and Spain. It is considered to be a high quality Triple Sec. Cojack - American cheese that blends Colby Cheddar and Monterey Jack. Colache - [Spanish] stew made of squash and other vegetables. Colados - [Spanish] strained; sieved. Colander - Cooking utensil comprised of perforated metal or plastic and shaped as a basket. Primarily used for draining away spent or reserved liquids. Collard greens - One of a variety of "greens" with a firm leaf and sharp flavor somewhere between cabbage or kale and turnip greens, fellow members of the mustard family. Depending on their age, they can be mild and sweet or mustardy. Collards do not form a head but grow on stalks that are too tough to eat. Collop - A piece of meat tenderized by beating or slicing thinly. Colombo - A West Indian stew seasoned with a spice mixture of the same name. This is similar to curry powder, containing coriander, chiles, cinnamon, nutmeg, saffron, and garlic. The stew may contain pork, chicken, or fish. Vegetables are cooked in the stew and rice and beans are served on the side. Comal - [Spanish] flat iron griddle for cooking tortillas. Comida - [Spanish] food; main meal of the day. Cómino - [Spanish] cumin; powerful spice used in traditional Southwest cooking; seeds from pods of the indigenous and plentiful Southwestern cumin plant; can be purchased whole or ground; the predominant flavor in dishes such as chili con carne. Compote - [French] Dried and fresh fruit cooked with sugar to a jam like consistency, brief enough to allow the fruit to retain their individual identity. A deep bowl, often stemmed, from which such desserts and other foods are served. Compound butter - Butter creamed with herbs, spices, garlic, wine, or whatever you wish. Perfect for finishing sauces or jazzing up just about any grilled or broiled foods. Con - [Spanish] with. Concasse - [French] term for chopping a vegetable coarsely. This is used most often when referring to chopped tomatoes or other soft foods.
Conch - These "univalve" mollusks (their shells do not open and close) can be as large as a foot long. Also called whelk. The only preparation before cooking is cutting off the operculum, the shell-like covering that protects the meat. Conchas - Mexican sweet-topped buns; named for the seashell design drawn in the topping. Conchiglie - Large shell shaped pasta noodles. These are often stuffed and baked au gratin. Small shells are called conchigliette. Conde - [French] dessert made with rice; pastry biscuits topped with icing and glazed in the oven. Condensed milk - Preserved milk in which much of the water content is evaporated and sugar is added. It is primarily utilized in sweets and confectionery making. Condensed milk is also used in iced drinks because its high sugar content will not readily freeze in the beverage. Condiment(s) - Pickled or spicy food seasonings, often pungent, used to bring out the flavor of foods. Sauces, relishes, etc., to add to food at the table. Confectioners' sugar - This powdered sugar is best in recipes that will not be cooked at all, such as frostings, because it dissolves better than regular granulated sugar; it is also good sprinkled on top of baked goods. It is also known as 10X sugar. Known in Great Britain as "icing sugar." Confit - This is a preparation for meat to preserve it for long periods of time when fresh meat would be scarce. The meat is first salted to remove moisture. It is then cooked at the lowest of simmers, submerged in fat, until the meat is buttery tender. After the meat is cooled, it is stored in crocks and covered with the fat to prevent exposure to air. The whole crock is stored to help age the meat. During this aging period the meat develops a new flavor, completely different from its original state. When ready to eat, the meat is fried in a skillet or grilled until the skin is crisp and the meat is warmed through. Duck confit was once served with potatoes fried in the same duck fat as the confit. This practice is less popular now, but good companions to the confit are lentils or bitter green salads to balance the richness of the meat. Fatty meats such as duck, goose, and pork work best in confit. Confit is an indispensable component in cassoulet. Conserva - [Spanish] conserve; preserves made from fruit and usually includes nuts. Conserve - [French] whole fruit preserved by boiling with sugar and used like jam. Consommé - A very rich meat or chicken stock (bouillon) which has been clarified, usually with egg white; also a clear bouillon which will jell when cold. Coppa - The loin or shoulder of pork that is cured, cooked and dried. It is served thinly sliced for antipasto or on sandwiches or pizza. Coq au Vin - [French] a chicken stew flavored with red wine, bacon, mushrooms, and pearl onions. Coquille - [French] scallop; shell-shaped oven proof dish used to serve fish, shellfish or poultry. Coquilles St. Jacques - [French] scallops. Coquito - tropical eggnog. Cordero - [Spanish] lamb. Cordial- A synonym for liqueur. In Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia, a thick syrup (which may or may not contain real fruit) which is diluted to give a non-alcoholic fruit drink. Cordon Bleu - [French] highly qualified cook. According to legend, King Louis XV of France once awarded a blue ribbon to a female chef who had prepared an outstanding meal; (United States) chicken stuffed with ham and white sauce. Coriander - The small, tan, nutty-tasting seeds (actually the dried, ripe fruit) of the herb cilantro, or Chinese parsley. May be purchased as whole dried seeds or ground; fragrant and aromatic, with hints of caraway, lemon and sage; seeds have been found in Egyptian toms and date back to at least 960 B.C.; commonly used whole in pickling spices or toasted and ground for use in dry rubs, salsas and soups; often paired with ground cumin to create a blend of flavors that adds a distinctive character to AmeriMex recipes. Corn husks - Dried corn husks, softened by soaking, and used to wrap food before it is cooked (such as tamales); will keep indefinitely, but should be used within a day or two of being rehydrated. Corned beef - Brined beef, usually from the brisket; if you have a choice, buy the flank cut rather than the point cut. Cornichon - Crisp little pickles, intensely sour, traditionally paired with pâtés.
Cornmeal or corn meal - Comes white, yellow or blue, either coarsely or finely ground; Usually enriched with thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and iron. never to be used as a replacement for Masa Harina®. Also known as maize. Corn syrup - Dextrose, maltose, or glucose obtained by converting starch with acids. This syrup is used in baking, primarily to prevent the crystallization of sugar. Light corn syrup is clear, colorless and mild in flavor. Dark corn syrup is dark and distinctively flavorful. Cornflour - [Great Britain] Cornstarch. Cornstarch - A white, powdery, thickening agent for sauces, puddings and gravies. One tablespoon is the equivalent of 2 tablespoons of flour in thickening power and makes a clearer sauce. Corunda - [Spanish] small cushion-shaped tamal wrapped in a corn husk. Côte - [French] chop or rib. Cotechino - A fresh pork sausage with a very fine consistency and delicate flavor. It contains a small amount of ground pork rind, coteca in Italian, thus giving it the name. It is a large sausage, about 3 x 9 inches, used in stews and Pasta e Fagioli. Cotija (añejo) - Aged cheese with dry, crumbly texture; has a salty, sharp flavor; does not melt, so it is used mainly for toppings for tacos, beans and enchiladas; is added to the dish just before serving; feta cheese may be substituted, but drain and blot with paper towels before you crumble it. Coulibiac - A Russian pie made with alternating layers of salmon, hard cooked eggs, rice, mushroom duxelle, and vesiga. Vesiga is the spinal marrow of sturgeon and has all but disappeared from commercial markets. The dough used to wrap the pie can be pate brisee, puff pastry, or brioche dough. Crepes are often layered in the bottom of the pie. Coulis - [French] a purée of fruit or vegetables, used as a sauce or flavoring agent to other sauces or soups. As sauces, they are thinned down just enough to reach the proper consistency, but not so much as to alter the intense flavor of the purée. Coupe - [French] a dish of ice cream. Courgette - [French] zucchini. Court Bouillon - A well-seasoned cooking liquor, sometimes made with broth, used to poach fish and shellfish. Court-bouillons mainly consist of wine, water, herbs, and onion. Vinegar is sometimes added to the bouillon to help set the fish and enhance its white color. Truite au bleu is a perfect example of this technique. Court bouillon is also a thick fish stew or soup served over rice in Cajun/Creole cuisine. Couscous - [North African] a fine-grained semolina pasta used primarily in Moroccan cuisine. Made from semolina (which itself is a flour made from Durum wheat). The name couscous also refers to the famous Maghreb dish in which semolina or cracked wheat is steamed in the perforated top part of a special pot called a couscoussiere, while chunks of meat (usually chicken or lamb), various vegetables, chickpeas and raisins simmer in the bottom part. The cooked semolina is heaped onto a large platter, with the meats and vegetables placed on top. Diners use chunks of bread to scoop the couscous from the platter. Cow grease - Cowboy term for real butter. Cracklings (Cracklins) - The crispy residue of skin, usually of pork, remaining after the fat is rendered. Or the rind left when most of the fat of a roast has been melted off. Commonly made from pork, duck, and goose it is used in salads, stuffing, and seasonings. Cranberry - There are several species of cranberry, but we're most accustomed to the large, tart ones that are native to North America. Too hard and tart to eat out of hand, cranberries must be cooked or chopped to make a relish. Fresh they may be stored refrigerated for weeks; or frozen they may be stored for months. Cranberry bean - Known in Italy as borlotti, these cream-colored beans with red streaks turn pinkish brown when cooked. They have a nutty flavor and can be substituted for red or white beans in many recipes. Crawfish (Crayfish) - A small fresh water crustacean related to the lobster. Cream - The fat portion of milk that rises to the top when milk has not been homogenized. Cream is defined by its varying amounts of butterfat content. Half and half cream is a mixture of milk and cream, resulting in a butterfat content of 10 to 12%. Sour cream and light cream have a butterfat content of 1820%. Heavy cream will have no less than 30% butterfat, averages around 36%, and will go as high as 40%.
Cream cheese - This tangy, smooth, spreadable cheese is as delicious in dips, frostings, and all kind of desserts as it is spread on bagels. Lower fat versions are available, but the texture is usually more gummy than creamy. Cream of coconut - thick sweetened "milk" extracted from coconut flesh and used in desserts and drinks such as piña colada; Coco Lopez is the most widely available brand. Cream of tartar - The common name for potassium hydrogen tartrate, an acid salt that has a number of uses in cooking. Its form is a fine white powder. Cream of tartar is obtained when tartaric acid is half neutralized with potassium hydroxide, transforming it into a salt. Grapes are the only significant natural source of tartaric acid, and cream of tartar is a obtained from sediment produced in the process of making wine. Cream of tartar is best known in our kitchens for helping stabilize and give more volume to beaten egg whites. It is the acidic ingredient in some brands of baking powder. It is also used to produce a creamier texture in sugary desserts such as candy and frosting. It is used commercially in some soft drinks, candies, bakery products, gelatin desserts, and photography products. Cream of tartar can also be used to clean brass and copper cookware. If you are beating eggs whites and don't have cream of tartar, you can substitute white vinegar (in the same ratio as cream of tartar, generally 1/8 teaspoon per egg white). If cream of tartar is used along with baking soda in a cake or cookie recipe, omit both and use baking powder instead. If it calls for baking soda and cream of tartar, just use baking powder. Normally, when cream of tartar is used in a cookie, it is used together with baking soda. The two of them combined work like double-acting baking powder. When substituting for cream of tartar, you must also substitute for the baking soda. If your recipe calls for baking soda and cream of tartar, just use baking powder. One teaspoon baking powder is equivalent to 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 5/8 teaspoon cream of tartar. If there is additional baking soda that does not fit into the equation, simply add it to the batter. Crema - [Spanish] cream; thickened and soured cream, the equivalent of crème frâiche; usually a combination of whipping cream and buttermilk; used as a garnish, and it melts easily; sour cream may be substituted, but it is not as rich and is more acidic. Crème - [French] Applied to fresh cream, butter and custard creams, and thick creamy soups. Crème Anglaise - This is a custard made of milk and eggs. It is used both as a sauce for desserts and as a base for mousses. Crème Brulee - [French] cream custard with caramelized topping. Crème Caramel - Like the Spanish flan, this is a baked custard that is flavored with caramel. When the dish is inverted, the caramel creates a sauce for the dessert. Crème Fraîche - A naturally thickened fresh cream that has a sharp, tangy flavor and rich texture. This is an expensive item to buy, but a good substitute can be made by mixing heavy cream with uncultured buttermilk and allowed to stand, well covered, in a tepid place until thickened. Creme Patisserie - This is a thick pastry cream made of milk, eggs, and flour. Other versions of this use all or a portion of cornstarch. Cremini - This domesticated brown mushroom has much better flavor than button mushrooms, but is usually more expensive as a result. Créole - Designating a type of New Orleans cookery; dishes à la Créole are often cooked with tomatoes and okra. Creosote - desert bush used as medicine and for tea. Crepas - [Spanish] crepes. Crepaze - A cake made of crepes layered with vegetables, cheese, or ham. The cake is then baked to blend the flavors and help set it so that it may be cut into wedges. Crêpe - A very thin delicate French pancake used for sweet and savory fillings. Crêpes Suzette - [French] pancakes cooked in orange sauce and flamed in liqueur. Crepinette - A small sausage patty wrapped in caul fat. They are filled with ground pork, veal, or poultry and fried or grilled. Some are shaped into balls. You may also use cooked meat or vegetables to flavor a forcemeat in the crepinette.
Crespelle - An Italian pancake, similar to a crêpe, used in place of pasta in preparations of dishes like manicotti and cannelloni. Crevettes - [French] shrimps. Crimping - Process of making a decorative border on pie crusts; gashing fresh skate, then soaking it in cold water and vinegar before cooking, in order to firm the flesh. Croissant - A rich crescent-shaped flaky roll whose dough includes some puff paste. Croquembouche - Means "crunch in the mouth." A grand dessert made up of cream puffs that are dipped in caramel and assembled into a large pyramid shape. The whole dessert is then brushed with more caramel and elaborately decorated. Nougat cut into decorative shapes adorns the croquembourhe. Guests pluck off the puffs with their fingers. Croque-Monsieur - The French version of a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with Gruyere cheese. Croquette - A mixture of chopped or minced food, shaped as a cone or ball, coated with egg and crumbs and deep-fried. Vegetables, fish, or meat may be used in croquettes. Croustade - A light pastry shell. Crostini - Toasted bread slices which are brushed with olive oil and served with tomatoes, pumate, cheese, chicken liver mousse, bean purée, or tapenade. These are the Italian version of canapés. Croutes - [French] pastry covering meat, fish and vegetables; slices of bread or brioche, spread with butter or sauce, and baked until crisp. Croûton - Bread that is cut into smaller pieces and toasted or fried until crisp. Most often used in soups, salads and hors d'oeuvres. Crown roast - A ring of rib chops, usually lamb or pork, which is roasted in one piece, the center filled with a mixture of chopped meat and vegetables. Crudités - A selection of raw vegetables served with a dip. Crudo - [Spanish] raw. Crullers - Pastry strips or twists, fried in deep fat. Crumpets - Disk-shaped yeast muffins, usually served toasted. Crystallized ginger - Crystallized ginger is candied ginger; it has been cooked in a sugar syrup and coated with a coarse sugar. Available in Asian markets and specialty food shops. Cubanelle chile pepper - A fresh mild and slightly sweet light green to yellow chile, measuring 4 to 5 inches long Very close in flavor to a real Hungarian pepper. Found in good supermarkets or in Caribbean markets. May substitute with fresh green Anaheim pepper, but these are a bit hotter. Good for roasting and cutting into rajas, dicing and using raw in colorful salsas and pickling for escabeches; Anaheims may be substituted if unavailable. Cube steak - A beef cut, usually top round or top sirloin, which is tenderized by a "cubing" process involving a pounding with a special mallet or being run through a "cubing" machine. Cuchara - [Spanish] spoon. Cucharada - [Spanish] tablespoon. Cucharadita - [Spanish] teaspoon. Cuchillo - [Spanish] knife. Cucumbers - These quenching vegetables - about 96% water - are cucurbitas, part of a huge family that includes squashes. Cuisse - [French] thigh or leg. Culatello - The heart of the prosciutto. Cumberland Sauce - An English sauce used for ham, game, and pâtés. The sauce is made of currant jelly mixed with lemon and orange juice and port wine. Cumin - Often labeled under its Spanish name, comino; introduced to the Americas by settlers of Portuguese and Spanish origin; from a plant that is a member of the carrot family; seeds are crescent shaped and resemble fuzzy caraway seeds; cumin pairs wonderfully with dried chiles and the slowcooked flavors of the Southwest; best used toasted and ground as needed; some recipes call for the whole seeds. Cuaresmeño - [Spanish] Lenten; another name for chile jalapeño. Cuarto - [Spanish] quart. Curd - Semi-solid part of milk, produced by souring process.
Curdle - Process which causes fresh milk or a sauce to separate into solids and liquids by overheating or by adding acid; common cooking error whereby the addition of creamed butter and sugar in a cake recipe is separated due to adding eggs too quickly. Cure - Process of preserving fish or meat by drying, salting or smoking. Curing salt - A salt that has nitrates added and is used as a preservative in sausage making. Available in some supermarkets and specialty markets. Currant - Tiny, tart, grape-like berries are red, black, or white when fresh. More frequently recipes call for dried currants - which are not currants at all, but the dried, seedless zante grape. In cooking, dried currants are most often used in baked goods. May substitute with raisins in a pinch. Curry powder - This is a mix of spices that we have come to know of by the Indian variety found in stores. Yet this is a mixture that is unique to everyone's kitchen. They may be mild with spices like cumin, fennel, and coriander; or heated up a bit with chilies and pepper; or fragrant with cinnamon and saffron. All of these are considered curry powders and all of them have distinctly different applications. Curtidas - [Spanish] marinated. Custard - Like pudding, custard is a thick, creamy mixture of milk, sugar, and flavorings. Custard is thickened with eggs, puddings with cornstarch or flour. Cutlet - A tender, thin, boneless cut of meat; it could be part of a chicken or turkey breast, or veal, lamb, or pork, usually taken from the leg. Also used for minced meats shaped like chops. Cuttlefish - A cousin to the squid, that is also prized for its ink sac as well as its flesh. It is rounder, thicker and chewier.
Culinary Dictionary – D
Dacquoise - A cake made of nut meringues layered with whipped cream or buttercream. The nut meringue disks are also referred to as dacquoise. Daikon Radish - From the Japanese words dai (large) and kon (root). A large, long, white tubular radish with a sweet, fresh flavor. Eaten in many Asian cultures. Can be as fat as a football but is usually 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Use raw in salads, shredded as a garnish or cook in a variety of ways including stir-fry. Found in Oriental markets and some supermarkets. Dal - This is the Indian term for all varieties of dried beans, split peas, and lentils. There are many different varieties of dal, all of which have a specific use in Indian cooking. Dampfbraten - [German] beef stew. Dandelion - A strong-tasting green that is among the most vitamin-packed foods on the planet; when young it's relatively mild, but when it matures, it's the most bitter of all greens. Darne - [French] The Larousse Gastronomique describes a 'darne' as a transverse slice of a large raw fish, such as hake, salmon or tuna. Dariole - Small, cup-shaped mold used for making puddings, sweet and savory jellies, and creams Dashi Stock - A broth that is a basic ingredient in Japanese cooking. The stock is made from dried seaweed or from dried tuna shavings. Instant dashi stock is also available. A Japanese fish stock made with dried bonito and kombu seaweed. This is used for soups, sauces, and marinades. Date - The brown, oval shaped staple of the eastern Mediterranean and western Asia. Intensely sweet; Deglet Noor is a good, and common, dried brand. Fresh dates are increasingly available. Dátiles - [Spanish] dates. Daube - A classic French stew or pot roast consisting of a single piece of meat such as a shoulder or joint. The meat is stewed in a rich, wine laden broth with herbs and vegetables. The broth is then thickened, reduced and served with the slices of meat and accompanying vegetables. Dauphine - The name for little puffs made of potato puree, that are mixed with choux paste and deep fried. Dauphinoise - The name of a potato gratin with lots of cream and garlic, all topped with Gruyere cheese. Deba knife - Deba is a Japanese name. The deba knife cuts thinner slices than any other knife. Its super-sharpness makes it ideal for juliennes and for cutting herbs without destroying their fragile membranes. You can find a deba knife wherever gourmet kitchen products are sold. Deep fat - Hot fat or oil which is deep enough to cover food during frying. Ensure that you put oil into a deep enough pot or deep fryer to prevent burning yourself. Deep frying - Method of frying food by immersing it in hot fat or oil. Deglaze - A process of adding liquid to a hot pan in order to collect the bits of food which stick to the pan during cooking. This is most common with saut‚ed and roasted foods. Wine, stock, and vinegar are common deglazing liquids. Delmonico steak - Sometimes called a shell steak; a tender cut from the short loin. Demerara sugar - [Great Britain] Brown sugar. Demi-Glace - [French] a rich brown sauce comprised of espagnole sauce, which is further enriched with veal stock and wine and reduced to proper consistency. This is a very long procedure and requires constant skimming. A quick version of this involves reducing brown veal stock to which has been added mirepoix, tomato paste, wine, and brown roux. The latter recipe saves time, but never reaches the intensity of flavor as does the former method. Due to the quantity and length of time required to prepare it, it is not usually made in the home. However it is available for home gourmands. Demitasse - A small cup ("half cup") of black coffee, usually served after dinner. Dente, al - [Italian] "to the teeth." Not too soft; offering a slight resistance to the teeth. Derretida - [Spanish] melted. Desayuno - [Spanish] breakfast.
Deshebrar - Spanish term meaning "to shred." Dessicated coconut - [Great Britain] Shredded coconut. Deviled - Highly seasoned, often containing mustard; frequently topped with bread crumbs and grilled. Devon Cream - See "Clotted Cream" Diable - A brown sauce with shallots, white wine, vinegar and herbs. Diane - A peppery sauce flavored with game essence, with added butter and cream. Dice - To cut into small cubes (smaller than 1/2 inch). Digestive Biscuits - [Great Britain] Graham crackers. Dijon Mustard - A prepared mustard (originally made in Dijon, France) which may be either mild or highly seasoned. Most recipes when calling for Dijon mustard are referring to the highly seasoned variety. A good American Brand is Grey Poupon®. Dijonnaise - This is a name given to dishes that contain mustard or are served with a sauce that contains mustard. Dim Sum - A selection of small dishes served for snacks and lunch in China. These dishes include a wide selection of fried and steamed dumplings, as well as, various other sweet and savory items. The term for this Chinese style of eating translates as "Heart's Delight." Originally dim sum referred to the Cantonese practice of serving small dishes in the teahouses. The method involved food being brought to the table on a cart or tray. The customer would then select the items they desired. Often their bill would be calculated by counting the number of empty plates each person had in front of them. This was usually a daytime meal service. Sweet and savory dishes were offered. Items such as steamed or fried dumplings, spring rolls, spare ribs, pastries, and steamed buns were commonly presented. Today dim sum is also a term used to describe a Chinese style appetizer or snack served in any manner. Frequently the steamed and fried dumplings are also referred to as dim sum. Ditalini - Diagonally cut thick tubular noodles, 2 to 4 inches long. Short pasta tubes. Dogfish - Also known as cape shark. Fillets are longer, more narrow, and sturdier than those of any other white-fleshed fish. Can be substituted in recipes that call for less tender fillets. This is the fish most frequently used in England's fish and chips. Dolma - A cold hors d oeuvre made of grape leaves stuffed with cooked rice, lamb, and onion. They are marinated with olive oil and lemon. Vegetarian versions of this are also made. Dorado - [Spanish] golden. Double boiler - Cooking utensil much like a bain-marie method of cooking without using direct heat. It usually consists of two saucepans that fit together. The bottom saucepan is filled with water and the top saucepan is filled with a mixture requiring non-direct heat to prepare. It is most often used to prepare custards or melt chocolate. The saucepans can be made from stainless steel, aluminum, or glass. Double cream - [Great Britain] Whipping cream. Dough - Dough is a mixture of four, liquid, and usually a leavening agent (such as eggs or yeast), which is stiff but pliable. The primary difference between dough and batter is the consistency - Dough is thicker and must be molded by hand, while batter is semi-liquid, thus spooned or poured. Dough keg - An old Western term for the wooden barrel which held the sourdough starter. Dredge - To coat a food, as with flour or sugar. Dress - To pluck, draw and truss poultry or game; to arrange or garnish a cooked dish; to prepare cooked shellfish in their shells. Dried fruit - When it is dried, fruit becomes very concentrated in nutrients and fiber, which is why a standard serving is quite small. Just a quarter-cup (a scant handful) of dried fruit counts as a serving, yet it contains the same amount of fiber found in a whole piece of fruit or a half-cup of diced fruit – about two or three grams. Because dried fruit is so portable, it makes an excellent snack. The trick is to watch your portions, because calories are concentrated and they can add up quickly. One serving of most dried fruit contains 50 to 80 calories. That's a great bargain, because it provides more nutrients and will probably satisfy your hunger longer than a cookie with 100 calories or a low-fat granola bar containing 150 calories. Drippings - Fat and juices drawn and left from meat or poultry as it cooks. Dry Aging - A process usually referring to beef. This process not only adds flavor but tenderizes the beef through enzyme action. Maximum flavor and tenderness is achieved in 21 days.
Dry-Curd Cottage Cheese and Farmers Cheese - Cottage cheese with no cream added. Farmer cheese, like cottage cheese, is curdled milk that has been drained of whey. The major difference is that farmer cheese is a smaller curd. Duchess - The name for potato purée that is enriched with cream, then piped into decorative shapes and browned in the oven. They are often piped around the rim of a platter onto which a roast or whole fish may be served. Dulce - [Spanish] sweet; mild (to taste). Dulces - [Spanish] desserts and sweet dishes. Dumplings - A small mound of dough usually pan-fried, deep-fried, or cooked in a liquid mixture, such as broth or stew. Sometimes the dumplings are flat squares or strips. Durazno - [Spanish] peach. Durian - A large fruit from southeast Asia that has a creamy, gelatinous texture and a nauseating smell similar to that of stinky feet. The flesh is savored by many from this area, but outsiders find it a difficult flavor to become accustomed. Dust - To sprinkle lightly, as with sugar, crumbs, flour. Dutch process cocoa powder - Treated with an alkali to neutralize its naturally acidic taste, making it a little more mellow than American cocoa powder; intense flavor. (See Cocoa Powder) Dutch oven - A heavy cooking pot, usually of cast iron or enamel-on-iron, with a heavy cover. Duxelle - Finely chopped mushrooms that are cooked in butter with shallots and wine. When cooked dry, duxelle make a good filling for omelets, fish, and meat. They may also be moistened with wine or broth and served as a sauce. Duxelle are also flavored with fresh herbs and brandy or Madeira.
Culinary Dictionary – E
Eatin' irons - An old Western term for utensils; fork, spoon and knife. Eau-de-vie - [French] "water of life," describes any colorless brandy distilled from fermented fruit juice. Kirsch (cherry) and framboise (raspberry) are two popular varieties. Eccles Cake - a round flat cake made of pastry filled with currants etc. This cake originated in the two of Eccles, Lancashire, England. Eclair - [French] a small finger-shaped bun made of puff paste with a glacé icing, filled with custard or whipped cream. Ecrivisses - [French] crayfish. Effiler - To remove the fibrous string from a string bean; to thinly slice almonds. Egg roll - Usually served as an appetizer, this small, deep-fried Chinese pastry is filled with minced or shredded vegetable and often meat. Egg roll skins are available in Asian markets and most large supermarkets. Egg thread - Lightly beaten eggs that are poured slowly into a hot broth, creating irregular shaped threads used to garnish soups. Egg White Powder - Spray dried egg albumen, which can be used in most recipes requiring egg white. It produces an exceptionally high volume, stable egg white foam for use in angel food cakes, chiffon pies, meringues, and divinity. Use egg white powder for uncooked foods such as marzipan and buttercream icing, or foods which are lightly cooked (pie meringues), without the worries associated with fresh egg white, because it is heat treated to meet USDA standards for being salmonella negative. Eggplant - Eggplants are native to Africa and Asia, and in many parts of those continents, they have come to be regarded as a satisfying substitute for meat. Also known as an aubergine. Ejotes - [Spanish] green beans; string beans. Elephant garlic - Elephant garlic is not true garlic but a form of leek. Its white- or purple-skinned cloves are the size of Brazil nuts, and their flavor mild enough to not require cooking. Peel the cloves as you would an onion and use as you would garlic. Elotes - [Spanish] fresh corn cut from the cob; ear of fresh corn. Emmental cheese - Named for Switzerland's Emmental valley, this mellow, sweet but nutty cheese is the best Swiss cheese you can buy. It has big holes and a natural, light-brown rind. Empanada - A small savory pie from Spain and South America. Fillings may be made of meat, seafood, or vegetables. The fillings can be seasoned in many ways. Those from around Spain are flavored with peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Those from South America have a sweet/sour undertone from the addition of raisins and green olives. Crusts may be made from bread dough or flaky dough like pate brisee and puff pastry. Baked or fried pastry turnovers; stuffed with sweet or savory fillings; a street food eaten throughout Latin America. Empanaditas - Tiny turnovers; traditional New Mexican Christmas food when filled with a Southwestern version of mincemeat. Emulsion - A mixture of two or more liquids that don't easily combine. such as oil and vinegar. En crocite - [French] food encased in pastry. En Papilotte - [French] Food wrapped, cooked and served in oiled or buttered paper or foil. Encebollada - [Spanish] a dish, often meat, covered with cooked onions. Encharito - [Spanish] a huge enchilada made with a flour tortilla; a cross between a burrito and an enchilada. Enchilada - [Spanish] the word comes from the way the dish is made, by drenching or dipping tortillas en chile; rolled or stacked corn tortillas filled with meat or cheese, covered with chile sauce, then baked. Encurtido - [Spanish] pickled; preserved. Endive - Closely related to and often confused with chicory, endive comes in two main varieties Belgian and curly. Belgian endive is creamy white and oblong with pale yellow tips; it's grown completely in the dark to prevent it from turning green. Curly endive has prickly dark green leaves and a pleasantly bitter flavor. Enebro - [Spanish] juniper.
Eneldo - [Spanish] dill. Enfrijolada - [Spanish] a type of enchilada made with corn tortillas, refried beans and cheese. English chop - A double-rib lamb chop. Enoki - A slender Asian mushroom sold in small packages; good raw in salads or cooked as a garnish. To use, just trim off the spongy base and separate the strands. Enriched - Resupplied with vitamins and minerals lost or diminished during processing of food. Ensalada - [Spanish] salad. Entrecôte - A steak cut from the rib section of beef. It is boneless and has a very thin layer of fat. Though steaks cut from the loin ends of the rib are a finer quality steak, the whole rib may be used for entrecete. The term is sometimes used referring to a strip steak. This is not an accurate description. This cut of beef is called the faux-filet or contre-filet. The same as Delmonico steak; a rib chop. Entrée - Originally, a meat of fish served before the main course; also used to designate the main dish of the meal. Envinado/a - [Spanish] wine added. Epazote - Strong, bitter perennial herb used primarily to flavor beans; also known as Mexican tea, stinkweed, pigweed, wormseed or goosefoot; occasionally mistaken for lamb's lettuce; grows wild in the United States and Mexico; flavor is intense, reminiscent of eucalyptus; used for tea, stews, soups, green pipiáns and moles; cooked with all types of beans to reduce their gaseous qualities. Epinards - French - spinach Escabeche - [Spanish] pickled; souse; vegetables, especially chiles, marinated or pickled in vinegar. A highly seasoned marinade used to flavor and preserve food. Fish and chicken are the most common foods used for escabeche. First the meat is fried and placed in a dish large enough to hold all of the food in one layer. Then a marinade made of onions, peppers, vinegar, and spices is poured over the food while hot. The whole dish is then allowed to rest overnight and served cold. Escalope, Escallop - [Italian] a thinly sliced food similar to a scaloppini. This may consist of meat, fish, or vegetables; food baked in layers, covered with sauce and crumbs. Escargot - An edible snail. It is the common name for the land gastropod mollusk. The edible snails of France have a single shell that is tan and white, and 1 to 2 inches diameter. Escarole - See Endive. Espagnole Sauce - This is the foundation of all of the brown sauces. A number of modifications have been made of this sauce since its conception. The sauce is now made of a rich brown veal stock thickened with a brown roux. The sauce is then simmered with a mirepoix, bouquet garni, and wine. The long, slow cooking help to purify and concentrate its flavor. It is finally strained through very fine muslin. Demi-glace and glace de viande are all structured around a fine espagnole sauce. Espinacas - [Spanish] spinach. Espresso - This thick, strong coffee is made from French or Italian roast - beans with a shiny, dark oily surface. Essence - Extract. While the words may be used interchangeably US-Great Britain, all essences are extracts, but extracts are not all essences. A stock is a water extract of food. Other solvents (edible) may be oil, ethyl alcohol, as in wine or whiskey, or water. Wine and beer are vegetable or fruit stocks. A common oil extract is of cayenne pepper, used in Asian cooking (yulada). Oils and water essences are becoming popular as sauce substitutes. A common water essence is vegetable stock. A broth is more concentrated, as in beef broth, or bouillon. Beef tea is shin beef cubes and water sealed in a jar and cooked in a water bath for 12 to 24 hours. Most common are alcohol extracts, like vanilla. Not possible to have a water extract of vanilla (natural bean) but vanillin (chemical synth) is water solution. There are also emulsions lemon pulp and lemon oil and purees (often made with sugar) Oils, such as orange or lemon rind (zest) oil, may be extracted by storing in sugar in seal ed container. Distilled oils are not extracts or essences. Attar of rose (for perfume) is lard extracted rose petal oil. Estilo - [Spanish] "in the style of." Estofado - [Spanish] stew. Estouffade - A beef stew made with red wine. Evaporated milk - Preserved milk that has much of the water content removed through evaporation. Similar to condensed milk, but not nearly as sweet.
Culinary Dictionary – F
Faggot - [French] a stalk of celery tied with parsley, bay leaf and thyme. Used in cooking soups, then discarded; Small savory cake made of pork offal, onion and bread, then baked. Faisán - [Spanish] pheasant; name given to many game birds. Fajitas - [Spanish] little belts; marinated and grilled skirt steak; called arracheras in Mexico; refers to the cut of meat, not the way it is served; a lower-fat substitute is flank steak. Falafel - A Middle Eastern specialty made up of small, deep-fried croquettes or balls made of highly spiced, ground chickpeas (garbanzos). They are generally served inside pita bread, sandwich style, but can also be served as appetizers. A yogurt or tahini-based sauce is often served with falafel. Farce - [French] forcemeat. Farci - [French] stuffed. Farfalle - Bow tie shaped pasta. Farina - [Italian] a fine meal or flour made from wheat, nuts and potatoes. In the United States it is known as cream of wheat. Farmer's cheese - Uncreamed cottage cheese; also called baker's or pot cheese; dry-cured cottage cheese may be substituted. Fava Beans - Broad beans. A Mediterranean bean similar to lima beans. It comes in a large pod which, unless very young, is inedible. Fava beans can be purchased dried, cooked in cans and, infrequently, fresh. If you find fresh fava beans, choose those with pods that are not bulging with beans, which indicates age. Fava beans have a very tough skin, which should be removed by blanching before cooking. They are very popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. They can be cooked in a variety of ways and are often used in soups. Also called faba bean, broad bean and horse bean. Feed bag - Ranch eating place; also mess house or nose bag. Fegato - [Italian] liver Feijoa - Fruit native to Mexico; has a thick green skin, which should always be peeled, and pale yellow flesh; has a subtle flavor, which is as flavorful as pineapple, with a hint of mint; the flesh yields to gentle pressure when ripe and can be used in fruit sauces; pineapple with a touch of lime juice can be substituted. Also a fruit grown in New Zealand with a thin green skin and a flavor reminiscent of strawberry, banana and pineapple. Feijoada - A Brazilian dish very similar to cassoulet, made with black beans. Sausage, bacon, ham, and various cuts of pork cooked in with the beans. The traditional accompaniments are plain white rice, cooked greens, fresh orange slices, and a very hot sauce, similar to pico de gallo, called molho carioca. Toasted cassava flour is used as a condiment, to be added by each diner. Fen Berry - Another name for a small variety of cranberry - also known as cram-berry, crawberry, mossmillions, sow-berry, sour-berry, marsh wort, bog-berry and swamp red-berry. It is found in many English recipes. Fennel - Fennel is a crisp, aromatic vegetable with a licorice flavor and celery-like texture. the bulb is delicious raw in salads (and great cooked as well), and the feathery fronds can be used as seasoning. The rounder bulbs seem to be more tender than those that are really flat. (Some markets label it anise, which it is not.) Fennel seeds - These oval, greenish seeds come from a bulbless variety of fennel. Available whole or ground, they have a slight licorice flavor and aroma. Fenugreek - A very hard seed grown in the Middle East, which is used as a spice. Its dominant flavor and aroma is recognizable in commercial curry powders. Fermented black beans - This pungent Chinese specialty consists of small black soybeans preserved in salt and sold in covered jars or plastic bags. Available in Asian markets, sometimes under the name "salty black beans." They will keep indefinitely. Feta cheese - A classic white Greek cheese, usually made with sheep's milk. It's crumbly, and has a tangy flavor. Fettuccini - Flat narrow pasta egg noodles less than wide and a bit thicker than tagliatelle.
Fiambre - [Spanish] cooked meat and vegetable salad that is usually marinated. Ficelle - [French] string. This term is used in cooking to describe foods that have been tied to a string and cooked in a broth. This was a practice in villages when a communal pot was used to cook food. The string was used in order to allow the owners to identify and recover their piece of meat. This is generally applied to tough cuts of meat that require long periods of cooking. Yet, some restaurants are using the term to describe a more tender cut of meat that is poached in a rich broth. Beef filet and duck breasts are two good choices for this type of preparation. Fiddlehead ferns - A barely emerged, tightly coiled (hence the name) shoot of the ostrich fern. Their flavor is reminiscent of asparagus and artichoke-- some say with a touch of green beans. Available only in spring, and locally - they will not ship. Fideo - [Spanish] vermicelli; nest of thin pasta. Figs - Fresh figs have soft flesh with many tiny, edible seeds, and range from purple to green. Also readily available dried. Filberts - Hazelnuts. Filé powder - A powder made of dried sassafras leaves which has a glutinous quality and gives to certain dishes (as gumbos) a delicate flavor and thickening. Filet, (or fillet) - A piece of meat, fish or poultry which is boneless or has had all the bones removed. Filet mignon - A thick, boneless and extremely tender cut of beef from the tail side of the tenderloin. (Not however the most flavorful of steaks.) Filete - [Spanish] filet. Filete migon - [Spanish] filet mignon. Financier - A small cake or cookie that is made with ground nuts and whipped egg whites. These are soft like sponge cake, and have a rich flavor of nuts. Fines Herbes - A combination of very finely chopped fresh herbs used for seasoning. Traditionally includes chervil, chives, parsley and tarragon, . Dried herbs may also be used, but their delicacy is lost. Fingido - [Spanish] false; ersatz. Finnan Haddie - [Scottish] smoked haddock. Firkin - The sourdough container on a chuck wagon; also dough keg. Fish Cakes, Japanese - Fish paste molded into cakelike shapes and grilled or deep fried. Available frozen in Japanese markets. Fish Sauce - A condiment made from fermented anchovies, salt and water. Common in Cambodian, Vietnamese and Thai cooking. The Cambodian version nam pla, is considered the finest, and has the richest flavor. The Vietnamese variety, nuoc mam, most widely available, is milder. The different varieties are interchangeable. Available in Oriental, Asian and some supermarkets. Five spice powder - A dry spice mix used in Chinese cooking consisting of cinnamon, star anise, Szechuan pepper, clove, and fennel. Flageolet - These immature kidney beans harvested before maturity are medium in size (about one-half inch long), kidney shaped, and a pale green. Quick-cooking and very fresh-tasting, the classic treatment features cream and herbs. Flake - Separate cooked fish into individual flaky slivers; grate chocolate or cheese into small slivers. Flambé - [French] served flaming, accomplished by pouring spirits over food and igniting them. Flameado - [Spanish] flamed; flambé; served flaming. Flameproof - Cookware that can be used directly on a burner or under a broiler without damage. Flan - This is a term that may be used to describe two different preparations. The first use of this word is describes an open top tart that is filled with pastry cream and topped with fruit. Flan is used in Spanish and Mexican cooking to describe an egg custard that is baked in a large shallow dish, and flavored with caramel. The dish is inverted when served and the excess caramel is used as a sauce for the flan. The flan may be flavored with orange, anise, cinnamon, or liqueur. [Spanish] traditional Mexican and Southwestern baked caramel custard dessert; similar to the French "crème caramel" or "crème brûlée." Flan ring - A metal pan for baking tarts, with low sides and a detachable side ring. Flank steak - The triangular-shaped muscle from the underside of a flank of beef; when broiled, served rare and sliced thin, as horizontally as possible, this is tender and juicy, and is called London Broil. Flank steak is also served with a stuffing, rolled and baked.
Flat-Iron Steak - Beef shoulder top blade cut. Flatfish - Includes flounders, flukes, sole, dabs, and plaices. Distinguished by their eyes (on top of their head), and swimming style (on their side). Have thin, fine-grained flesh; all can be used interchangeably. Flautas - [Spanish] flutes; filled, tightly rolled, and deep-fried enchiladas. Fleisch - [German] meat. Fleur de sel - [French] "flower of the salt." A rare sea salt harvested by hand in Brittany, France and available only in limited quantities. Composed of the natural crystal formations found on the surface of a salt marsh. The crystals are sun-dried only, thereby maintaining many of the nutrients not found in typical prepared salts. Fleur de Sel's unrefined nature lends itself to be served as a condiment, rather than a seasoning, adding both texture and flavor to a meal. Fleuron - A small crescent shaped pastry made of puff dough that is used to garnish fish dishes and soups. Flor - [Spanish] flower. Florentine - [French] This is used to describe foods that are cooked in the style of Florence. The word is most commonly associated with dishes containing spinach and sometimes a cream sauce. Steak cooked ala Florentine is a large T-bone steak, rubbed with olive oil and garlic, grilled and served with fresh lemon on the side. Flores - [Spanish] blossoms. Flour - This is the finely ground grain of wheat, corn, rice, oat, rye, or barley. Unless specified, this term refers to wheat flour. Flour is milled from a variety of wheats containing different amounts of protein. The different levels of protein give each flour unique qualities. All-purpose flour sometimes called general-purpose or family flour is the most commonly used, especially by the domestic market. This flour is milled from both hard and soft wheats, giving it the strength needed in bread baking, but leaving it tender enough for cakes and pastries. Bread flour has a higher protein content so that it may withstand the constant expansion of the cell walls during proofing and baking. Cake flour is milled from soft wheat, thus containing a very low protein content and preventing the development of gluten. Pastry flour is of relatively low protein content, containing just enough to help stabilize the products during leavening. Whole-wheat flours also called graham flour or entire wheat flour are milled from the whole kernel, thus giving it a higher fiber content and a substantial protein content. Semolina is milled from hard durum wheat, being used mainly for commercial baking and pasta production. Wheat Flours Cake Flour: A high starch flour made from soft wheat. Ideal for baking. Bread Flour: A high gluten flour made from hard wheat. Perfect for yeast breads. All-Purpose Flour: Half cake flour, half bread flour. Suitable for all applications. Whole Wheat Flour: A high fiber flour that contains the wheat germ. Usually blended with other flours. Self-Rising: A mixture of all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Stone Ground: Wheat that is ground between two slowly moving stones. This process creates less heat than the usual high speed steel grinding. Some cooks believe the stone grinding method produces a better product. Semolina: Coarsely ground, hard flour (usually duram). Used for making pasta. Other flours which are not as common are buckwheat, corn, potato, rice, rye and soy. These are used for special recipes or for special diets and can be found in health food, specialty stores and some supermarkets. Fluff-duff - Ranch term for fancy foods such as cakes or puddings. Flute - To make decorative indentations, as on the rim of a pie crust. Focaccia - An Italian flatbread made with pizza or bread dough, that can be baked plain or topped with onions, zucchini, eggplant, cheese, or whatever you choose. Foie Gras - [French] literally translated, "fat liver"; but the term is used to describe the fattened liver of both duck and geese. The birds are force fed a rich mixture to help expedite this process. The largest production of commercial foie gras is done in France and Israel. The US will only allow this product to be
imported in a cooked stage, either canned, vacuum-sealed, or frozen. These are inferior products and will never highlight the true delicacy of foie gras. Fold - To add one ingredient or mixture to another using a large metal spoon or spatula. Gentle process that often keeps mixed air fluffed throughout a mixture, such as in angel food cakes. Fondant - An icing made of sugar syrup and glucose, which is cooked to a specific temperature and then kneaded to a smooth, soft paste. This paste can then be colored or flavored and used as an icing for cakes and petit fours. Fondue - There are several different types of fondue, the most notable of which is cheese fondue. This is a Swiss specialty in which cheese is melted with wine, eggs, and seasonings and served with bread and fresh vegetables. Fondue Bourguignonne is a pot of hot oil into which the diners will cook strips of meat and dip them into an array of sauces on the table. Similar to this is fondue Chinois where the hot oil is replaced by a rich chicken or meat broth. The meat, and fish too, are then cooked in this stock and dipped in sauces. The Japanese have a dish called shabu shabu, which is similar to this type of fondue. Named for the swishing sound that the meat makes in the broth, this dish is also served with vegetables and noodles in to be eaten along with the meat. A chocolate fondue is a chocolate bath, flavored with liqueur and eaten with bread, cakes and fruit, like fresh berries. Fonduta - An Italian style fondue made of Fontina cheese and served over toast or polenta. Exceptional with truffles. Fool - Cold dessert consisting of fruit puree and whipped cream. Forcemeat - A rich, highly seasoned paste containing meat or fish, herbs and vegetables finely minced and pounded, used as a stuffing or garnish. Formaggio - An Italian cheese. Fortified - Supplied with more vitamins and minerals than were present in the natural state. Fougasse - A flatbread from France that was once served sweetened with sugar and orange water. It is now more commonly seen as a bread eaten with savory dishes. In this case, the dough is brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with herbs or salt before baking. Foyot - This is a variation of a bearnaise sauce with the addition of a well reduced meat glaze. Fraises - [French] strawberries. Framboise - [French] a raspberry-flavored liqueur with a high alcohol content. Frangipane - A candy-like pastry cream made of butter, eggs, flour, and finely ground almonds or macaroons. Modern versions will use a combination of cornstarch and flour. Frappé - Sweetened fruit juices frozen until semi-hard, then chilled. Free-range chicken or turkey - In theory, these birds are much better than the standard. They're fed differently, given fewer drugs, and have more room to roam. However, the quality is inconsistent and the price often outrageously expensive. Freezing - Process whereby food is solidified or preserved through chilling and storing it at 0C or 32F degrees. French chop - A rib lamb chop. French fry - To cook in hot fat which entirely covers the food, often in a special wire basket. Fresas - [Spanish] strawberries. Fresco - [Spanish] fresh. Fresno chile - A fresh chile; similar in size and appearance to a ripe jalapeño; bright red and thickfleshed; great in salsas and ceviches; usually available only in the fall; substitute ripe jalapeños if unavailable. Fricadillee - [French] meat balls, made with minced pork and veal, spices, white bread crumbs, cream and egg, then poached in stock or shallow-fried in a pan. Fricassée - [French] stew made of chicken or veal cut into pieces and cooked in a gravy. Though chicken is the most common form of this type of stew, fish, vegetables, and other meats are prepared in this manner. Frijol blanco - [Spanish] navy bean.
Frijoles - [Spanish] beans; usually refers to stewed pinto beans; varieties are Anasazi, black turtle, bollito, pinto or red (Mexican strawberry). Frijoles refritos - [Spanish] refried beans; a paste of stewed pinto beans fried in fat with onions and garlic and frequently includes chiles. Fritada - [Spanish] stew usually made with goat meat, which always contains some animal blood. Frito - [Spanish] fried. Frittata - An Italian open-faced omelet. Fritter - Food that has been dipped in batter and deep fried or sautéed. These may consist of vegetables, meat, fish, shellfish, or fruit. The food may be dipped in the batter or mixed with the batter and dropped into the hot fat to form little balls. Japanese tempura fried foods are a type of fritter, though this term is not applied to it. Fritto - [Italian] fried Fritto Misto - An Italian mixed fried platter, similar to the Japanese tempura platter. A mixture of vegetables, meat, and fish are dipped in a light batter and quickly deep fried to prevent a saturation of grease into the food. Frituras - [Spanish] fritters. Fromage - A French cheese. Frost - to coat a cake or petit fours with an icing; to dip the rim of a glass in egg white and caster sugar and then chill in a refrigerator until set; to dip the rim of a glass in lemon juice and coat with salt, then chill in the freezer. Fruit paste - A firm, but gelatinous, sweet paste of a fruit such as mango, papaya or guava, eaten for dessert. Fruit pectin - A substance found naturally in fruits such as apples, quince, and all citrus fruits. Pectin's ability to gel liquids makes it a key ingredient in jelly and jam making. Pectin from citrus fruit is refined is refined and bottled or powered. You can purchase pectin in powder or liquid form, or use high pectin fruits in the recipe. Do not substitute one for the other. Fruit Sweetener - If a recipe calls for 1/2 cup fruit sweetener, substitute 1/4 cup concentrated apple juice plus 1/4 cup granulated fructose. Granulated fructose can be found among the dietary foods or sugars in the supermarket. Fry - To cook in fat in a skillet. Food must be turned to brown and fry on all sides. Fry bread - Indian fried bread; flat discs of dough that are deep-fried and topped with honey or refried beans; usually found in Arizona and New Mexico. Fugu - [Japanese] swellfish; globefish; blowfish; ballonfish; puffer. Fugu is caught in winter only, and it is eaten as chiri-nabe (hotpot) or fugu-sashi (raw fugu, sliced paper-thin). Only licensed fugu chefs are allowed to prepare this fish in Japan, since it contains a deadly poison. Ful - An Egyptian dried bean. Available in specialty food shops. The best are the small variety. Fumet - [French] an aromatic broth made for use in soups and sauces. The flavor of a fumet is usually concentrated on one item, though multiple ingredients may be used. The stock is then reduced to concentrate this flavor. Fish and vegetable broths are more commonly called fumets, but meat may also be used. Fundido - [Spanish] fondue. Fungi - Mushrooms. Fusilli - [Italian] spiral shaped pasta. Some versions are shaped like a spring. Other versions are shaped like a twisted spiral.
Culinary Dictionary – G
Galangal - A root spice related to ginger, which has a musky flavor reminiscent of saffron. It is found dried whole or in slices, and also in powder. Galantine - [French] A paté-like dish made of the skin of a small animal, most often chicken or duck, which is stuffed with a forcemeat of this animal. Additional strips of meat, blanched vegetables, and truffles are also layered with the forcemeat. This is then wrapped or tied and poached in broth. Galantine are always served cold with their aspic, whereas ballottines may be hot or cold. These terms are often used interchangeably. Galette - [French] pancake; usually sweet, made of batters, doughs, or potatoes. Brioche-type dough or puff pastry are often used. Small short butter cookies were once also called galettes. The term has now been stretched to include preparations made of vegetables or fish. Different from a croquette, these cakes are not breaded. Gallina - [Italian and Spanish] chicken; hen; fowl. Gandules - [Spanish] pigeon peas. Gans - [German] goose Garam Masala - An Indian spice mixture with a more complex flavor and aroma than curry. The mixture is always made fresh by the Indian cook, never purchased pre-ground. The mixture may include cumin, fennel, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, saffron, pepper, chiles, and caraway. Garam Masala is also used as a condiment, being added to a dish at the end of cooking. Garbanzo beans - Also known as ceci or chickpeas. Very popular legume utilized in Mediterranean and Mexican cuisine. Garbanzo flour - Flour ground from dried garbanzo beans. Also called ceci flour. Found in delicatessens, Italian specialty shops, health food stores and some supermarkets. Garbanzos - Chickpeas; originally from Spain; round, beige beans with a nutty flavor. Garlic - Known as the stinking rose. A member of the onion (and thus of the lily) family is available year round. One of the most important seasonings and a delicious tasting cooked vegetable. Look for hard bulbs that have not sprouted and each clove is firm. Size and color are unimportant. Garlic, Mexican - Mexican garlic has a dark pink-blue hue to the husk and is sharper than white garlic; usually mashed or roasted for Southwestern cooking. Garlic and Red Chili Paste - Very hot Chinese sauce made of red peppers and garlic. Good condiment for other Asian cuisines as well. Found in Oriental markets some finer supermarkets or substitute garlic and Tabasco. Garlic chives - Light green in color, long thin stalks with a small bud on the tip. Find fresh is some Asian markets. Garnacha - [Spanish] round antojito of tortilla dough; tartlets of fried masa filled with black bean paste and ground beef, covered with tomato sauce, and sprinkled with cheese; usually served as an appetizer. Garni - Garnished. Garnish - You can garnish for appearance, flavor, or both. A sprig of parsley next to a sautéed chicken breast does little. A small handful of parsley sprinkled over the same meat adds great flavor and lends color contrast. Garnitures - Garnishes Gâteau - [French] cake Gazpacho - A cold spicy vegetable soup served throughout all of the Spanish countries. The most common version is one made with a coarse purée of fresh tomatoes flavored with vinegar and olive oil, embellished with diced raw vegetables like onions, cucumbers, and peppers. A light gazpacho is made with a purée of cucumber, and served with an array of garnishes for the diner to choose from. Roasted almonds, avocados, and croutons are common garnishes. Geflügel - [German] poultry. Gefüllte - [German] stuffed/ Gehackte - [German] chopped.
Gelati - [Italian] ice cream. Gelatin, gelatine - A protein produced from animals, used to gel liquids. It is odorless, flavorless, and colorless. It is found in granular and sheet form. It is found available also in fruit flavored form. Fruit flavor gelatin has sugar and flavors added. Gelato - An Italian frozen dessert made of whole milk and eggs. This gives richness without flavors becoming masked by the fat from cream. The flavors are very intense and the texture is soft and silky. Gelé - [French] jellied; iced. Gem - A muffin. Gem irons - Cast iron muffin pans. Gem pan - Muffin pan. Gemüse - [German] vegetables. Genevoise - A sauce for fish made from a special white roux. Génoise - A cold mayonnaise sauce made with nuts and cream. Genoise - [French] a very rich sponge cake made with eggs and butter. This may be eaten as is with whipped cream or fruit, but also used as the foundation for many other cake preparations. Ghee - [India] cooking fat. Most commonly used is clarified butter made from the milk of buffalos and yaks. In regions where milk is unobtainable, mustard and sesame oil are used. Gianduia - a classic Italian combination of chocolate and hazelnuts. Giblets - The cleaned gizzard, liver, and heart (sometimes the neck too) of poultry, generally used to flavor gravy. Gill - Liquid measure equal to 1/4 pint. Ginger - A root originally grown in the Asian tropics; Southwestern recipes usually call for ground dried ginger. Glacé - [French] a highly reduced stock used as an essence in flavoring sauces and enriching soups and stews. Veal glace is used for all meat preparations and stands up the best to the long reduction required. Fish and shellfish glacés are used, but their flavor can become dirty tasting and bitter from too long of a reduction. Glacé de Viande - [French] Meat glaze or residue in the bottom of a pan after roasting or frying meat; concentrated meat stock. Glass Noodles - See "Cellophane Noodles" Glaze - To coat with a food with a thin liquid, such as aspic, jelly, egg wash or chocolate topping, that will be smooth and shiny after setting. Glucosa - [Spanish] corn syrup. Gluten - The protein found in wheat flours. Gluten (also called vital gluten) is one of several components of the wheat berry that is milled to make flour. It is high in protein and contributes to a lighter bread, higher rise, and for those at high altitude, an elastic quality that reduces the likelihood of a rising loaf falling. Gluten gives the dough more stretch. Developing the gluten is the result of mixing and kneading that results in the elastic properties described above being developed in dough from gluten in it. By hand kneading, or by kneading in an automatic breadmaker, the elasticity develops only to the extent that gluten is present in the flour. Various flours have more or less gluten present. All flour has some gluten (vital gluten). Bread flour has considerably more gluten than, for example, all-purpose flour. Flour with a more gluten is good for bread making, but should not be used for cake making. Gluten (vital gluten) can be added to all-purpose flour to give it the amount of gluten already in bread flour. All-purpose flour with gluten added is often cheaper than bread flour. It is added to bread flour to give extra rise and consistency (which is why bakers use it). It is added at high altitudes to provide extra elasticity. The chemical reason has to do with reduced density at high elevations which causes the rising bread to fall if the dough lacks extra elasticity. Gluten (vital gluten) is available at health food stores. Many health food stores have it in bulk and in boxes. Gnocchi - [Italian] pronounced "nyo-kee." Soft, delicate Italian dumplings that melt in your mouth. Contrary to what you may often find in the United States, they're not "lead bellies'' and should never be chewy or gummy. Homemade gnocchi are easy to make, and once you get the knack, you can whip up a
batch in no time. Because they freeze well, you can double the recipe and have an extra batch on hand for a quick meal. Traditional gnocchi are made from white potatoes; however, creative cooks use ricotta cheese, spinach, sweet potatoes, chopped herbs, semolina, squash and even polenta instead of potatoes. Once the gnocchi are made they are cooked in boiling water, and then sauced or tossed with melted butter. Experiment with your favorite winter squash or organic sweet potatoes and whole-wheat flour for a perfect, healthy food. Finished with a simple sauce of garlic, herbs and olive oil, these tender morsels are irresistible. Gnocchi is also the name of a pasta with a similar shape. Goat cheese - Also packaged as "chèvre," goat's milk cheese is pure white with a distinctive tart flavor. It can range from creamy and moist to dry and semi-firm, and is packaged in a wide variety of shapes, from cylinders to discs. Golden beets - Yellow ocher-colored beets. Sweeter vegetable than red beet varieties. Golden syrup - [Great Britain] Light Karo syrup is the U.S. equivalent. Gonch - Hook used to lift lids from Dutch ovens. Gorditas - [Spanish] little fat ones; corn flour patties, usually slit, then stuffed; often found unslit, with the filling served on top or between two of them. Gorgonzola - [Italian] cheese made from cow's milk cheese that is white or yellow and streaked with blue. It has a distinct aroma and can have a mellow, strong, or sharp flavor, depending on its degree of maturity. Similar to American blue and French Roquefort cheeses. Gouda cheese - [Dutch] cheese made from cow's milk with a firm, smooth texture similar to cheddar. Available in both young and aged varieties. Gougere - A savory pastry made of choux paste flavored with cheese. This may be made in individual puffs or piped into a ring of puffs, which is served with a pool of sauce in the center of the ring. Goujon - [French] Gudgeons - small fish fried and served as a garnish. Goulash - A Hungarian soup/stew made with beef and liberally seasoned with paprika. Some versions add gremolata at the very end of cooking or sprinkled over the top. Granadilla - [Spanish] passion fruit. Grand Marnier - [French] Orange-flavored, cognac based liqueur produced in France. Grande - [Spanish] large. Granita - [Italian] water ice; a coarse fruit ice similar to sorbet, without the meringue, which is often flavored with liqueurs. Graniti - [French] sorbet, grained and flavored ice. Grano de elote - [Spanish] corn kernel. Granola - A combination of assorted toasted grain (oats), dried fruits and nuts usually served as a breakfast cereal. Some blends are sweetened with honey and/or brown sugar. Granulated sugar - This is the basic, refined "white sugar" for daily use and most baking. Grape Leaves - The leaves of the grapevine, often used in Greek and Middle Eastern recipes to wrap food for cooking. Pickled in jars in brine. Find in finer supermarkets and delicatessens. May use fresh grape leaves, but blanch them first in boiling water for one minute. Gras - [French] fat. Grasa - [Spanish] shortening. Gratin, au - [French] dishes cooked in the oven which form a crust on the surface. This is expedited by placing the dish under the broiler. Bread crumbs and cheese are often sprinkled on top of these dishes to help form the crust. Gratinados - [Spanish] au gratin. Gratinée - Served with a bread crumb or cheese topping. Grav Lax, Gravad Lax - Whole salmon fillets that have been cured with salt, sugar, and pepper, then flavored with dill. The salmon is then sliced paper thin and served with pumpernickel bread, sour cream, capers, onion, and lemon. Other spellings for this are gravadlax and gravlax. Gravy - Gravy is simply a sauce made from meat juices. It's usually diluted with water, milk, wine, or stock, and thickened with flour or cornstarch. Greaseproof paper - wax or waxed paper. Greasy sack outfit - Used packouts on mules instead of a chuck wagon.
Grecque - Foods that are prepared in the style of Greece. This is usually used for dishes with lemon, garlic, and olive oil. But the addition of tomatoes, peppers, and fennel often allows a dish to be called a la grecque. Green and red leaf lettuce - These basic salad greens are distinctive, pleasantly biter loose leaf, bunching, or cutting lettuces. Green beans - These may be one of any number of beans that are eaten fresh, such as string bean, the thin haricot vert, the yard long bean, the wax or yellow bean, and the romano. All can be eaten raw, briefly cooked, so they remain crunchy, or cooked to complete tenderness. Buy beans that snap rather than fold when you bend them. Green onions - Long green herb, like a large chive. Also known commonly in some parts of the world as a scallions. Greens - A variety of vegetables are classified as greens, broccoli raab, kale, mustard or turnip greens, spinach, collards, chard, dandelions, escarole, and so on. Look for bright, crisp, firm leaves with no wilting, dry, or yellowing leaves. Gremolata - A mixture of chopped parsley, garlic, and lemon peel. This is added to stews at the end of their cooking time to add a pungency to the dish. Used in some recipes for osso buco a la Milanese, and Hungarian goulash. Grenadine - Syrup flavored with pomegranates, used as flavoring and sauce. Grenouilles - [French] frogs, frogs' legs. Griddle - A flat metal surface with a handle, for making pancakes, etc. Grill - To broil. Grillade - An individual serving of round steak, usually top round, and usually broiled. Grissini - [Italian] bread sticks. Grits - The dried kernels of white hominy (made from corn); eaten as a cereal that is similar in texture to pudding. Groats - The dried kernels of wheat or oats. Ground beef - Simply beef that has been finely chopped, ground beef is sold fresh or frozen. The USDA recommends cooking to the well done stage (165°F). Ground red chiles - When finely ground from dried red chiles, it is pure chile powder, which is different from blended chili powder. Ground red pepper (cayenne pepper) - made from ground dried cayenne chiles. Grouper - There are hundreds of varieties of this excellent all-purpose fish with delicious, meaty, lobster-like texture. Has white, tender, mildly flavored flesh that pulls off the bones easily. Fillets are great for grilling or deep-frying. Can also be "kababed." Grubpile - A call from the cook to "come 'n' get it." Grunt - Ranch term for dough pudding. Grunt and cluck - In cowboy lingo, ham and eggs. Gruyere - A moderate-fat cow milk cheese with a rich, sweet, nutty flavor that is prized for both out-ofhand eating and cooking. It is usually aged for 10 to 12 months and has a golden brown rind and a firm, pale-yellow interior with well-spaced medium-size holes. Guacamole - [Spanish] a dip made of mashed avocadoes seasoned with onions, tomatoes, garlic, chiles, and cilantro. This is mostly eaten as a dip for fried corn chips, but it is also very good with raw vegetables and as a topping for various dishes.. You may also use it as a filling for burritos and tacos. Guajillo chiles - Also known as chili gauque; fresh guajillo chiles are known as mirasol chiles; mediumhot Mexican orange-red chiles; skinny and about four to six inches long; used in stews, soups, sauces; go well with chicken and pork dishes, blackberry and apple flavors, and grassy herbs such as marjoram and thyme; New Mexico chiles may be substituted. Guajalote - [Spanish] turkey; wild turkey. Guava - A fruit cultivated in Peru and Brazil for over 500 years; it is very sweet but has a strong odor and many abrasive seeds; it is acid when unripe and ripens at room temperature, at which time it has a sweet aroma; bright yellow to hot pink flesh; best in sorbets, beverages and sauces because of the abundance of pithy seeds.
Guayaba - [Spanish] guava; a yellow-green fruit with pale, faintly pink flesh, about the size of a plum; extremely fragrant when ripe; Guava paste is often served with cream cheese as dessert; the fruit is cooked with sugar until thick, then canned or shaped into blocks. Güero chiles - A fresh chile; blond or light skinned; a generic term applied to a variety of yellow chiles; generally refers to long tapered varieties such as banana peppers, Hungarian wax chiles and Santa Fe grandes; mildly sweet to slightly hot, with a waxy but tart texture; used in yellow moles, salads, salsas and escabeches. Gugelhopf - [German] a sweetened yeast coffee cake baked in a fluted ring mold. Guiche - [French] Alsatian open tart with savoury filling on top of cream and eggs. Equivalent to quiche. Guineítos - [Spanish] green bananas. Guiso - [Spanish] stew. Gumbo - A thick Southern style soup/stew made with meat, poultry, fish, shellfish or vegetables. Served over plain white rice. Okra, filé powder, and roux. All methods are acceptable, and all are considered traditional. Gut robber - In Western United States lingo, the cook; also known as bean master or biscuit roller. Gyros - [Grecian] a sandwich; pronounced "YEAR-os." A blend of lamb, beef and seasonings, seared and stuffed in a pita topped with diced tomatoes, onions and tzatziki (pronounced "za-ZEE-kee"), a savory yogurt sauce loaded with garlic and cucumbers.
Culinary Dictionary – H
Haba - [Spanish] large bean. Habanero chile - A dried chile; Havana-like; small orange or red chiles from the Caribbean and Yucatan; originally from Havana, Cuba; they are the hottest peppers in the world, about 40 times hotter than a jalapeño; they are lantern shaped (resembling a tam or bonnet), pungent and fruity, with an apricot-like aroma; has tones of coconut and papaya; other names include Scot's Bonnet or Scotch Bonnet; jalapeños or serranos may be substituted. Habichuelas rositas - [Spanish] red beans. Habichuelas tiernas - [Spanish] string beans. Haggis - [Scottish] a steamed pudding made of finely minced sheep heart, lungs and liver. Halbtrocken - [German] means half-dry in German. Term used in reference to German wines with 9 to 18 grams of residual sugar per liter. Half-and-Half - This combination of equal parts cream and milk cannot be whipped, and has between ten and fifteen percent milk fat. Although it can be substituted for cream in some recipes, it is mostly used on cereal and in coffee. Halvah - Halvah is a unique natural delicacy that "goes with everything" and is at the same time a perfect food supplement. It first appeared in Northern Epirus, during the Byzantine period of Greek history, where renowned halvah-makers used to live, and it soon became a favorite food of the various peoples that lived in the eastern parts of the empire. Today, it is traditionally produced in countries of the Middle East . It is made from only two natural ingredients: up to 50-55% tahini (sesame seed cream) and sweeteners. Tahini is made from sesame seeds, which have a high oil content and are rich in calcium, iron, phosphorous, protein, niacin and lecithin. Halvah contains all three groups from which humans obtain nutrients, i.e. carbohydrates from the sugar, and proteins and vegetable fats from the tahini. It also contains many B complex vitamins. Halvah goes very nicely with breakfast meals. It provides energy and calories, and is on its own - or with fresh bread - a tasty snack. It supplements lunch, especially pulses and green salads. Also, halvah with a little ground cinnamon sprinkled over it is a pleasant way to end one's evening wine. Halvah is also a tasty and healthful mid-morning snack. In reality, it is a daily delicacy made of natural raw materials, without animal fats, and it can even accompany - topped with ground cinnamon, honey, lemon, or chopped walnuts - a glass of wine at a wine bar or pub. Ham hock - Cut from the hog's lower leg, often smoked or cured. Great in bean soups and other slowcooked soups and stews, where they lend rich, smoky flavors. Hamburger - Ground meat, usually beef, shaped into large patties, and sautéed, broiled or grilled. Also the ground meat used loose in other dishes. Hanging - Suspending meat or game in a cool, dry place until it is tender. Hangtown fry - Gold rush-style fried oysters. Hard sauce - A sweet white sauce made with butter, sugar and lemon juice, chilled until thick, served as a dessert topping. Hardtack - hard biscuit or bread made with flour and water only. Haricot - A generic term for all New World beans, which includes almost everything; kidney, pinto, navy, pea, Great Northern, anasazi, cannellini, flageolets, appaloosa, and more. Haricots vert - Very small and slender green bean [syn: haricot vert, French bean] Harina - [Spanish] flour; usually refers to wheat flour. Harina de maíz - [Spanish] flour made from dried corn; cornmeal; Masa Harina is the brand name of the product made by Quaker. Harina de trito - [Spanish] wheat flour. Harina enraizado - [Spanish] flour made from sprouted wheat; also called panocha. Harinilla; harinela - [Spanish] meal made of finely ground chicos; can be used interchangeably with masa harina.
Harissa - [North African] a spice mixture used as both a condiment and a seasoning. Harissa contains chiles which are ground with cumin, garlic, coriander, and olive oil. It becomes a thick paste that is used as is in cooking or diluted with oil or stock to be used as a condiment. Hartshorn - a source of ammonia used in baking cookies or, as "salt of hartshorn," as smelling salts. Once the word meant literally the ground horn of a hart's (male deer's) antlers, but ammonium carbonate was later used as a substitute, which also went by the name of "salt of hartshorn." it is available in American pharmacies. It is also an old-time leavening agent, and is used occasionally in making cookies. It is also the ingredient in some homemade pesticides. Hasenpfeffer - [German]Rabbit stew. Hash - From the French hatcher, which means "to chop," hash is a dish of chopped meat, usually roast beef or corned beef, combined with vegetables and seasonings and sautéed until lightly browned. It is frequently served with a sauce or gravy. Hatch chiles - A fresh chile; close relative of the New Mexico green chile. Haunch - Hindquarters; ham. Hazelnuts - Also called filberts, hazelnuts are rich, sweet nuts that are often ground or roasted in pastries, cookies, and other desserts. Hearts of palm - Tender inner portion of a palm tree; eaten as a vegetable or used as a garnish for salads; available only canned in the United States, but is eaten fresh in Latin America. Helado - [Spanish] ice cream. Herba santa - [Spanish] holy herb; often labeled as hoja santa, it contains licorice and sassafras flavors; has a broad, flat leaf; equal parts fresh basil and tarragon may be substituted using about half as much by volume as hierba santa. Herbaceous - A term used in describing the aroma of herbs in the following wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Cabarnet Sauvignons, and Merlots. Herbs - Culinary herbs, which are available fresh or dried, include basil, bay leaf, chervil, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon and thyme. Used for their aromatic properties, flavor and texture. Hermitage - A French appellation located in northern Rhone. Its highly regarded red wines, made from Syrah grapes, and white wines, made from Marsanne and Rousanne, are the epitome of a world class wine. Hibachi - Small, portable charcoal grill. Hibiscus blossoms - Also called sorrel blossoms, these make a delicious iced tea. Find in Latin and Caribbean markets. Jamaica is the Spanish name; the blossoms of this tropical plant provide a brilliant color and an intense blackberry and dried cherry flavor to cocktails, marinades and vinaigrettes; Jamaica is also a beverage made from this blossom. Hígado - [Spanish] liver. High-altitude baking - At altitudes above 5,000 feet, batters and doughs behave differently from the way they do at sea level. You may compensate for the lower atmospheric pressure in several ways. Increase oven temperature by 25°F. Shorten rising time for yeast doughs, letting your eye or the finger poking method be your guide. In batters containing baking powder, reduce the baking powder by 1/4 teaspoon for every teaspoon called for; do not change the amount of baking soda. In batters containing beaten egg whites, underbeat the egg whites somewhat. For more information about high-altitude cooking, consult the home economics department of your state university. Hijiki - A form of dried seaweed. Found in Japanese markets. Hinojo - [Spanish] fennel. Hock - A joint in the hind leg; British term for Rhine wines derived from the German wine town of Hochhheim. Hoe cakes - Corn cakes cooked on a hoe. Also known as johnny cakes - pancakes made with cornmeal. Hog side - Salt pork used in cooking and some baking; also called Old Ned. Hoisin Sauce - A rich, dark, sweet barbecue sauce made of soy beans and seasonings, used in Chinese cooking for marinades and basting. Hoisin sauce is easily recognizable in Mu Shu pork and Peking duck.
The sauce is made from soybean flour, chiles, red beans, and many other spices. Sold in cans or jars. Store tightly sealed, refrigerated. It is also known as Peking sauce. Hoja santa - [Spanish] large leaf used in cooking in southern Mexico. Hojas - [Spanish] leaves. Hojas de maíz - [Spanish] corn husks. Hojas de platano - [Spanish] banana leaves. Hollandaise Sauce - This is the most basic of the egg and oil emulsified sauces. The only flavoring is fresh lemon juice. This sauce must be kept warm, as excessive heat will cause it to break. Because this is kept warm, it is not safe to keep it for long periods of time and should never be reused from another meal period. "Holy Trinity" of chiles - ancho, mulato and pasilla. Homard - [French] Lobster. Hominy - A traditional Native American food (also known as pozole or posole), hominy is dried yellow or white field corn kernels that have been soaked in slaked lime to remove their husks with the hull and germ removed. When ground, hominy is called grits.; available canned, frozen or dried. Homogenized - With fat broken down into such small particles that it stays suspended in liquid, rather than rising to the top. Honey - The original and all-natural sweetener. Honey is a sweet, thick syrup produced by honey bees. Sold in the comb, as the extracted liquid, and in solid and granular forms. Hongos - [Spanish] mushrooms. Horchata - [Spanish] beverage made with rice or melon. Horn of Plenty Mushroom - This is a wild mushroom with a hollow, funnel-shaped cap and is dark gray or black in color. Because of this, it also has the name etrumpet of deathe. This mushroom is somewhat stringy, but has a robust flavor and may be used to flavor sauces, soups, or any other mushroom preparation. Hornos - [Spanish] outdoor ovens; beehive ovens. Hors d'oeuvres - Savory, usually small, foods served before or as an introduction to the main meal; appetizers. Horseradish - Long, coarse-looking root whose intense heat nearly vanishes during cooking. Fresh horseradish is simply grated; "prepared" horseradish is combined with vinegar and sold in jars (red horseradish is colored with beet juice). Used mostly as a condiment. Hot Cross Buns - Sweet yeast buns with currants, slashed crosswise before baking, then glazed as they come from the oven. Hot Pepper Oil or Chili Oil - May be purchased in Oriental markets and finer supermarkets. Hot-pot - Mutton and vegetable stew. Hotte - Grape picking basket worn on the backs of French grape pickers. It is traditionally made of wood, but today can be found made of metal or plastic. Huachinango - [Spanish] red snapper. Huauzoncle (guauzontle) - [Spanish] wild green with thin serrated leaves. Huevo - [Spanish] egg. Huevos - [Spanish] eggs Huevos con tostaditos - [Spanish] eggs with tortilla chips; migas. Huevos rancheros - [Spanish] ranch-style eggs. A Mexican dish of fried eggs served atop a tortilla and covered with a tomato sauce. Huitlacoche - [Spanish] corn fungus delicacy; sleepy excrement (Aztec); common in central Mexico; during the rainy season, a fungus develops between the husks and the ripe kernels where the kernels will blacken, contort and swell to form this musty fungus; valued for centuries in Mexico; has an earthy and distinct taste finally similar to mushrooms or truffles; lends a black hue and resonant aroma to stuffings for empanadas, tamales and quesadillas; makes distinctive sauces; usually sold cut from the cob and frozen; needs cooking to release flavor and aroma; often sautéed with roasted garlic and onions, and either fresh marjoram, oregano or epazote, then simmered with a little water or stock; harvested during the rainy season, usually late spring to early fall. Huîtres - [French] Oysters
Hull - To remove the outer covering, or pull out the stem (the green calyx) and leafy top portion, of berries, especially strawberries. Hummus - Thick Middle Eastern purée of mashed chickpeas seasoned with tahini (sesame paste), garlic. lemon juice, and other varying spices. Great dip and sandwich spread. Hyssop - Any of various herbs belonging to the mint family with aromatic, dark green leaves that have a slightly bitter, minty flavor. Hyssop adds intrigue to salads, fruit dishes, soups and stews. It is also used to flavor certain liqueurs such as Chartreuse.
Culinary Dictionary – I
Ibarra chocolate - The traditional Mexican chocolate; contains cinnamon, ground almonds and sugar; the modern version of an Aztec chocolate drink that sometimes contained chiles; ideal for making hot chocolate, but should not be substituted for regular chocolate in most other recipes; there are a few dessert recipes which call for Ibarra chocolate; can be purchased in most grocery stores throughout the Southwest. Icing - Sweet coating for cakes and pasties - most often sugar-based and flavored. Imbottito - [Italian] stuffed Indian cress - Nasturtium leaves and flowers, used in salads. Indian meal - Yellow cornmeal. Infusion - The flavor that is extracted from any ingredient such as tea leaves, herbs or fruit by steeping them in a liquid such as water, oil or vinegar. Insalata - [Italian] salad Involtini - Thin slices of meat or fish which are stuffed and rolled. They may then be sautéed, grilled or baked. Iplermagronen - Swiss specialty of macaroni, potatoes, onions, cheese and cream. Iraqi Cuisine - Iraqi food is rich and diverse, incorporating spices typical of Arabic cooking, such as saffron and mint. The preferred meats in Iraq are lamb, beef, goat, mutton and poultry; Muslims do not eat pork or pork products. As in other Middle Eastern countries, Iraqi meat dishes often combine vegetables and rice. Iraqui popular main courses include kebabs, which are skewered chunks of grilled meat; quzi, roasted and stuffed lamb; and kubba, which is minced meat with nuts, raisins and spices. Masgouf is a special dish made from fish that live in the Tigres river. Another popular dish is tripe, a dish made of cow's stomach. Most meals are accompanied by flat rounds of bread (samoons). For dessert, people enjoy some of Iraq's local fruits, rice pudding, Turkish Delight, sesame cookies, or baklava, a pastry made with honey and pistachios layered between filo sheets. The most widely consumed drinks in Iraq are coffee and tea. Arabic coffee is famous for its strong flavor. In Iraq, people brew their coffee thick and bitter, and serve it black. Tea is usually served in small glasses and drunk sweetened, without milk. Fruit juices and soft drinks are also popular. Irish coffee - Coffee flavored with Irish whiskey and topped with thick cream. Irish stew - A stew including mutton and vegetables. Isinglass - Gelatin made from fish viscera. Italian sausage - This pork sausage is available in two forms, hot (spiced with hot red peppers) and sweet, and is usually seasoned with garlic.
Culinary Dictionary – J
Jabalí - [Spanish] wild boar. Jackrabbit - A hare native to North America; originally called "jackass rabbit" because of its long ears; five-pound jackrabbits are about one year old and are best for roasting; the meat is dark, rich and more gamey than rabbit. Jaiba - [Spanish] small, hard-shelled crab. Jalapeño cheese - Asadero cheese blended and molded with jalapeño chiles; jalapeño jack may be substituted. Jalapeño peppers, fresh - The dark green jalapeño is the unripe version of the red which often ships with white veins on the outer skin. This does not affect the flavor or quality. They are about 3 inches long, with a rounded tip. They ripen to red and range from hot to very hot, the smallest being the hottest; they take their name from Jalapa, the capital of Veracruz, Mexico; sold fresh, canned or pickled; when dried and smoked, they are called chipotle peppers. Delicious when roasted, stewed or pickled; both are a delight stuffed with cheese or peanut butter and grilled. Jalapeño Poppers became popular in the 90s. Heat ranges from hot to very hot. Jalapeños en escabeche - [Spanish] pickled jalapeños. Jam - Thick syrupy mixture of fruit and sugar. Jamaica - [Spanish] hibiscus; deep red calyxes that cover the blossoms before the flowers open; used to flavor beverages; commonly labeled sorrel in markets. Jambalaya - The Cajun-Creole version of paella, though more highly spiced. The only consistent ingredients among all of the jambalaya recipes are rice, tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Ingredients used for jambalaya are ham, oysters, chicken, Andouille sausage, duck, shrimp and game birds. Jambon - [French] ham. Jamón - [Spanish] ham. Jarabe - [Spanish] syrup. Jardinière - Garnished or served with diced vegetables. Jarlsberg cheese - [Norwegian] cow's milk cheese that is firm in texture and nutty in flavor. Similar to Swiss cheese. Jarros - [Spanish] pitchers. Jasmine rice - Fragrant long grain rice from Thailand that is distinctly aromatic when cooked. The length of each grain is four to five times its width. Javelina - Collared peccary; small wild pig found in the Southwest. Jengibre - [Spanish] ginger. Jerky - highly seasoned dried meat in strips. Jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke) - Knobby root (tuber) which keeps well under refrigeration; they discolor after peeling, so dip them in lemon water as the flesh is exposed. They have a very firm flesh and a flavor reminiscent of globe artichokes. These are used as a vegetable, in soups, or cooked and served in salads. Jícama - Nicknamed yam bean and Mexican potato; a low-calorie thick brown-skinned root vegetable with white crunchy flesh that tastes like a cross between a water chestnut and a potato; after the fibrous skin has been pared away, jicama flesh will not discolor; primarily used in salads; when eaten raw, it is usually sprinkled with lime juice and chili powder; the smaller jicama are the most sweet and moist. Its flavor is mild and sweet. It is a fair source for vitamin C and potassium. Jitomate - [Spanish] word for the tomato most commonly used in Mexico's interior. Jocoque - [Mexican] sour cream that has equal or less fat content than American sour cream. Also referred to as salted buttermilk, although thicker. Its flavors range from mildly tangy to refreshingly sharp. Johnny cakes - See "Hoe Cakes." Joint - Prime cut of meat for roasting; to divide meat, game or poultry into individual pieces. Jugged - Meat or wild game dishes, such as jugged hare, which is stewed in a covered pot.
Jugo - [Spanish] juice. Julienne - To cut into thin match-like, narrow strips. The term is usually associated with vegetables, but may be applied to cooked meat or fish. Juniper berries - Strong, piney, and slightly sweet berries from an evergreen tree. Most often used in making gin, the berries are good in making marinade for poultry, game and fish, or added to sauerkraut and pâtés. The blue-green berries can be purchased dried. Sold as a bottled spice in most supermarkets. Jus - [French] a rich, lightly reduced stock used as a sauce for roasted meats. Many of these are started by deglazing the roasting pan, then reduced to achieve the rich flavor desired. Jus, au - [French] meat served with its natural juices.
Culinary Dictionary – K
Kaffee - [German] coffee. Kaffeekuchen - [German] coffee cake. Kaffir lime leaves - Dried leaves from the Kaffir lime tree. Pale green in color, resembling a bay leaf. Purchase in packages in Oriental markets. Kahlúa - dark Mexican coffee liqueur. Kalakukko - A Finnish dish of bread filled with fish. Kalamata olives - [Greek] also Calamata. Purplish-black Greek cured in vinegar. Kale - Flavorful, curly-leafed green, widely available. Collards and kale may be substituted for each other. Kampyo - Japanese gourd shavings that are a popular stuffing for sushi. Find in Japanese markets. Kamut - Kamut was cultivated in Egypt more than 4,000 years ago, the name itself comes from the ancient Egyptian word for “wheat.” Kamut does contain gluten, but most people who are allergic or sensitive to wheat can tolerate it. Its grains look something like thick, slightly flattened rice grains, and it has a nutty, almost buttery flavor. Kamut flour can be substituted for wheat flour in most recipes. Combine cooked kamut with dried cranberries and feta cheese for a quick cold salad, or use it as a base for pilafs. Kartofflen - [German] potatoes. Käse - [German] cheese. Kasha - Toasted, hulled and crushed buckwheat groats (seeds) with a mildly nutty taste. Common in Middle Eastern, Russian and Jewish dishes. Find in large Jewish markets. Kebab, kebob - [Turkish] also spelled kabob, these are skewers of meat, fish, or vegetables grilled over a fire. All countries serve some version of this dish. Kedgeree - A British variation of an Indian dish with rice, smoked fish, hard cooked eggs, and bechamel sauce flavored with curry. Finnan Haddie is most often used, but smoked sturgeon or salmon are excellent substitutes. Kefir - pronounced [keff é-er]A fermented milk drink similar to a lassi, flavored with salt or spices. Where available, kefir is made with camel milk. The word "kefir" is derived from the Turkish word keif, which loosely translates to; good-feeling, feeling of well-being or feeling-good. Kefir is a refreshing probiotic cultured-milk beverage, which is believed to originate in the Northern Caucasus Mountains many centuries ago. Kefir has a uniform thick creamy consistency, a slightly sour refreshing taste, with a mild aroma of fresh yeast. Kefir also has a slight naturally carbonated effervescent "zest". To round this all off, kefir may contain between 0.08 to 2 % alcohol. Many aromatic compounds contribute to kefir's unique flavor and distinctive pleasant aroma. Kelp - Dried seaweed used for making dashi stock. Kombu, a dried rolled kelp, is used as a flavoring in Sushi Rice. Found in health food stores, Japanese or Korean markets. Ketchup - Also spelled "catsup." A term derived from Asian cookery, this sauce is known to be a sweet sauce made from tomatoes. Other forms of ketchup are made from walnuts, mushrooms, and grapes. Key limes - Small, yellow-green limes that are tarter in flavor than the more common Persian limes. They are most famous for their role in key lime pie, the tangy custard pie made with a meringue topping. Key limes are often hard to find. Kidney bean - This reddish-brown dried bean is up to an inch long and, naturally kidney shaped. Virtually all-purpose, the are good cooked alone or added into any variety of dishes. "Killing" the Onion - A Turkish technique for taming onions is described as "killing" the onion: soaking it in salted water to draw out some of its harshness. Kimchi (kimchee) - The fiery cabbage-based staple of Korea, heavily seasoned with garlic and chile. King prawns - [Great Britain] Jumbo shrimp. King, à la - Food served in a cream sauce, often on toast. Kipper - Salted, smoked herring.
Kirsch - A clear brandy distilled from cherry juice and pits. In cookery, it is most prominently known as a flavorful addition to fondue and Cherries Jubilee. Kitchen Bouquet - Brand name for a bottled seasoning used to flavor and color gravy. It is also known as "baker's caramel (burnt sugar caramel)" or "blackjack." You can make your own by combining 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved (about 2 minutes). Gradually add 1 cup boiling water; continue cooking until it becomes syrupy (about 15 minutes). Kitchen paper - Paper towel. Kiwi - The kiwi fruit is originally from China, but is now widely grown in all moderate climates. Its stark green color makes it a popular garnish, but it is a pleasant tasting fruit on its own. Knead - To work dough with the hands, folding over, pressing down and turning repeatedly. Knõdel - [German] dumpling. Kohlrabi - A bulbous member of the cabbage family that resembles a turnip in appearance and flavor, and can be treated as such. Kombu (Konbu) - A large edible seaweed used in Japanese cooking. Korean Pickling Salt - A coarse salt used in making Korean delicacies like Kimchee. Substitute kosher salt if necessary. Kosher - Ritually fit for use in accordance with Orthodox Jewish law. Kosher salt - Coarse-grained salt that is easy to handle; keep a container near the stove and use it while you cook. Krusten - [German] pastries. Kuchen - [German] cake, usually yeast cake. Kugelhopf - A yeast cake from Alsace baked in a large crown-like earthenware dish. It is similar to brioche, though less rich, and flavored with currants or golden raisins and almonds. This is mainly eaten for breakfast. Kumquat - A very small citrus-like fruit (it actually isn't one although it looks and acts like one) with the unique quality of having a sweet skin and bitter flesh. These are used in pastry making, preserves and chutneys.
Culinary Dictionary – L
Lachs - [German] salmon Ladyfingers - Known in Italy as "savoiardi." Sweet, light, delicate sponge cake roughly shaped like a rather large, fat finger. It's used as an accompaniment to ice cream, puddings and other desserts. Ladyfingers are also employed as an integral part of some desserts, including Charlottes. Ladyfingers can be made at home or purchased in bakeries or supermarkets." According to the Parisian cooking school, Le Cordon Bleu, leftover sponge cake, brioche, or genoise cake may be used in place of ladyfingers. They advise cooks to be careful, for ladyfinger batter is very fragile. They recommend folding the flour and yolks in very carefully into the meringue so that the whites don't lose their volume. Ladyfingers may be stored up to a week in an airtight container. They may also be frozen to extend their useful life. Lagniappe - An old Creole word for "something extra." Soup meat is the lagniappe from vegetable soup preparation. Lait, au - Food prepared with milk. Lamington tin - [Australia] 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Land cress - Land cress, curly cress, broadleaf cress and upland cress are all quick-growing, delicate textured greens that have the sharp, peppery flavor of watercress. Great in salads and sandwiches or paired with delicate vegetables such as beets or potatoes. Langouste - [French] spiny lobster, differentiating from Maine lobsters in that they have no claws. Langoustes are warm water crustaceans that can be found in the south Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea and off the coasts of South America, Australia and the West Indies. Langoustine - [French] Dublin prawn. These are small pink crustaceans resembling crayfish, with a taste and texture closest to lobster. Their claws are quite long but have no edible meat in them. Like the langouste, these are found in warm waters. Langue - [French] tongue Langue de chat - [French] Flat, finger-shaped, crisp biscuit or cookie served with cold desserts. Lapin - [French] rabbit Lard - The fat separated from the fatty tissue of pork. It has a characteristic nutty flavor, and is usually white in color. Often used in pie crusts, biscuits and other baked goods. The mainstay of AmeriMex cooking. Used in making tamales. Also, to cover with strips of fat, or to insert fat strips into meat with a larding needle. Larding - To introduce fat to lean meat by threading slivers of bacon or salt pork through it. Or to thread vegetables into the meat. Larding with vegetables gives the meat a contrast of color plus the addition of flavor. This practice is not used as often now because of the higher quality of meat available. Lardons - Strips of fat, bacon or salt pork for larding meat; inserted in lean meats to add flavor. Larrup - molasses; also called blackstrap. Lasagna, Lasagne - Sheets of pasta which are layered with sauce and cheese and baked au gratin. Meat, fish, shellfish and vegetables are all used as fillings for this dish. Lassi - [Indian] A frothy yogurt drink, sweet or salty, flavored with pistachios, cardamom, cumin or rose water. Lattice topping - A topping consisting of strips of dough crisscrossed atop a pie. Laurel - Tree on which bay leaves are grown; used as a seasoning in many dishes, the leaves should always be removed before serving. Leavening agent - An ingredient that causes dough or batter to rise, lightening its texture and increasing its volume, such as beaten eggs or egg whites, baking powder, baking soda and yeast. Leber - [German] liver Leche - [Spanish] milk Leche de cabra - [Spanish] goat's milk. Leche de coco - [Spanish] coconut milk.
Leche quemada - [Spanish] burned milk. Lechuga - [Spanish] lettuce. Leeks - Leeks look like very large green onions (scallion) in the produce section. The leek is related to both garlic and the onion even though its flavor and fragrance are milder and more subtle. Because they are so sweet, leeks are often cooked and served as a side vegetable. Wash carefully to remove the dirt between the layers. Look for leeks with lots of white. Lefse - [Norwegian] A thin, flat potato pancake, about the consistency of a tortilla and cooked by similar method. Very mild, starchy, slightly sweet taste. Lefse is enhanced by the addition of peanut butter, brown sugar or lutefisk. Légumes - [French] vegetables; plants with seed pods, such as peas and beans. Seeds of a legume are most often soaked and used in soups, stews and baked dishes. Lemon - The most useful of all fruits in European cooking (the lime being the most useful in Asian and tropical cooking), the lemon adds mild, flavorful acid to dishes. Lemon sole - A small flat fish resembling sole or flounder. Lemon verbena - Fragrant, sweet, lemony herb that makes a good tea and adds delicate flavor to custards and similar desserts. Lemon zest - The outer part of the lemon skin (yellow part of the peel only), grated fine and used as a flavoring agent or garnish. Lemon grass - Pale green stalk about 18 inches long, resembling a scallion or green onion. While not related to a lemon, it imparts a flavor much like the fruit. Found in Asian markets and some supermarkets. Lengua - [Spanish] tongue. Lenteja - [Spanish] lentil. Lentils - Flat and round, lentils are the fastest cooking of all dried beans. The three major varieties are Le Puy, the most intensely flavored lentil; common green or brown lentils; and yellow or red lentils, which are popular in Indian cooking-- particularly Dal. Levadura - [Spanish] yeast. Liaison - The process of thickening a sauce, soup or stew. This includes all rouxs, starch and water mixtures (slurries), beurre marni and egg yolks with or without cream. Egg yolks must be tempered with hot liquid before adding to the liquid in order to prevent curdling. Lick - molasses; also called blackstrap or larrup. Licuadora - [Spanish] electric blender. Lighter Bake - made by Sunsweet - a 100% fat- and cholesterol-free baking ingredient that replaces butter, margarine, oil or shortening in scratch recipes and packaged mixes. Made from a blend of dried plums and apples, this new fat "imposter" creates moist, chewy baked goods that are lower in fat. Lighter Bake is located in the cooking oil or baking ingredients section of supermarkets nationwide. Lightnin' bread - Quick breads leavened with baking soda or baking powder. Lily buds - [Chinese] Also known as tiger lily buds or golden needles. Dried day lily buds that are nutritious and sweet. Lima - [Spanish] lime. Lima agria - [Spanish] Bitter lime used in Yucatán. Lima beans - Flat, green-tinged beans (called butter beans in the South), which can be parboiled and buttered or used in stews and soups. Lime - Stronger and less fragrant than the lemon. Its juice can be used instead of lemon in almost every instance. The zest of the lime is as useful as lemon zest. Limón - [Spanish] Lemon; in Mexico it usually refers to the small tart Mexican lime. Limoncello - [Italian] Lemon liqueur; a digestif made only in Italy along the Amalfi Coast and on the islands of Ischia and Capri. It is pronounced lee-moan-chello. Limones - [Spanish] Limes. Limousin Beef - A breed of cattle which is naturally lower in fat and cholesterol. These cattle were brought to the United States from France around 1930. Linguine - Long, oval-shaped pasta noodles. Hand cut versions of this are very narrow flat noodles.
Linzertorte - An Austrian pastry comprised of a short crust dough flavored with ground almonds and hazelnuts, cinnamon, and lemon zest. This is then spread with raspberry jam and topped with a crosshatch of dough. Almond paste is sometimes layered underneath the raspberry jam. Other versions of this use fresh cranberries or apricots in the filling. Liquados - [Spanish] Fresh fruit drinks. Liqueur - Sweet alcoholic beverages flavored with fruits, herbs or spices, usually served after dinner. Some, such as Amaretto and Grand Marnier, are useful as flavorings in desserts. Liquid Smoke - Find in the condiment section of supermarkets. Littleneck clams - There are essentially two types of clams - the softshell (or steamer) and the hardshell (or quahog). Littlenecks are the smallest of the hardshells. Livornaise - A sauce made with olive oil, egg yolks and anchovy paste. Lobster - Lobster is available in many forms - frozen, canned, and as fresh cooked meat. But for "live lobster" the most crucial part of preparing lobster is in the purchase. Be sure to chose a freshly caught, lively one, that flips its tail and legs about in and out of the water, and one with a rock-hard shell if possible. A 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pound live lobster will serve one person amply and, if prepared with a stuffing or crumb topping, two persons. Lobster mushroom - A wild mushroom that has a firm texture and a red and orange color like lobster shells. Lomo de puerco - [Spanish] pork loin. London broil - See "Flank steak." Longhorn cheese - Mild Cheddar cheese produced in the United States; any mild Cheddar can be substituted. Lop Chong - [Chinese] sweet pork sausage. Find in any Oriental market. Lotus leaves, dried - Very large leaves that, after reconstituting, can be used as wrappers in Asian cuisine. Lox - Smoked, oiled salmon. Lumpia - Very like a large egg roll wrappers. Find frozen in Filipino and Asian markets. Lutefisk - [Norwegian] fish dish of dried cod, cured in lye, then reconstituted by boiling. Traditionally served with clarified butter or in white sauce and served with lefse. In its finest form, lutefis k has a delicately mild buttery flavor and flaky consistency. In its not-so-fine form, it is reminiscent of fishflavored gelatin. Lychee - A small fruit from China and the West Indies, with a hard shell and sweet, juicy flesh. The flesh is white with a gelatinous texture and a musky, perfumed flavor. Lyle's Golden Syrup - [Great Britain] Light Karo syrup is the U.S. equivalent. Lyonnaise - [French] In the Lyons style, traditionally with onions. Lyonnaise Sauce - A classic French sauce preparation made with sautéed onions, white wine and demiglace. The sauce is strained before being served with meats and sometime poultry.
Culinary Dictionary – M
Macadamia nut - Also known as the Queensland nut, it is a fleshy white nut with a coconut-like flavor. In Asia, it is used in savory soups and stews. In the U.S., the macadamia is used mostly in sweets. The nuts have an extremely high fat content. Macaire - A potato pancake made with seasoned potato purée. Macaroni - A general name for the pastas which are made into various shapes and sizes, as spaghetti, linguini, vermicelli, etc.; actually tubular-shaped pasta. Macaroon - A small round cookie that has a crisp crust and a soft interior. Many versions bought commercially have been thoroughly dried. These cookies may be made from almonds, though coconut is common in the US. The may also be flavored with coffee, chocolate, or spices. Amaretti, from Italy, are a type of macaroon. Macarronada - [Spanish] macaroni. Mace - The outer covering of nutmeg, reddish-orange and lacy. Used as nutmeg or cinnamon, with nutmeg flavor. Macédoine - [French] A mixture of fruit or vegetables. Vegetable macédoine are cut into small dice and used as a garnish to meats. Fruit macédoine are cut in larger pieces and often marinated in sugar syrup with liqueur. Macerate - To soak fruit or vegetables in wine, liquor, or syrup so that they may absorb these flavors. Salt and sugar macerations are used to draw excess moisture out of the food for a secondary preparation. This is done for canning, jam and preserve making, and to remove bitter flavors from vegetables. Machaca - [Spanish] from the verb machacar, which means to pound or break something into small pieces; meat that has been stewed, roasted or broiled, then shredded; it is typical of Sonoran cooking. Machacado - [Spanish] mashed; name of a dish of scrambled eggs and shredded dried meat. Mache - A wild lettuce with small round leaves that may be used for salads or cooked and used as you would spinach. The taste is a little less pronounced than spinach. Mache grows wild, and can be found in the fall. It is cultivated in France, Italy, and the US from September to April. It is also known as lamb's lettuce and field salad. Madeleine - A small scalloped or shell shaped cookie or cake made from a rich batter similar to g‚noise. These may be flavored with almonds, lemon, or cinnamon. Madère, au - Made with Madeira wine. Madrilène - A clear chicken consommé flavored with tomato juice. Maggi® Seasoning - Dark brown, bottled sauce that resembles soy sauce; it adds salt and depth of flavor to dishes; do not overdo using this sauce as it will overpower the dish; regular soy sauce may be substituted, if necessary. Magret - The breast meat from a mallard or Barbary duck. These ducks are specially raised for foie gras. Their breasts are large and have a much thinner layer of fat than do the Peking or Long Island duckling. Maguey - Cactus plant (Agave americana) from which tequila, mescal and pulque are made. Mahi-mahi - Contrary to popular belief, mahi-mahi is not a mammalian dolphin. A warm-water fish with dark meat that turns brown after cooking. Mahi-mahi is a great alternative to swordfish. Mais - [French] corn. Maitre d'hôtel butter - This is the most common of all the compound butters. It is flavored with lemon and chopped parsley and used to garnish fish and grilled meats. Garlic may be added, but it would then be called escargot butter. Maíz - [Spanish] maiz; corn. Maíz azul - [Spanish] blue corn. Maizena - [Spanish] cornstarch; a product of Mexico which comes in almond, chocolate, cinnamon, coconut, guava, mango, pineapple and vanilla flavors; commonly used to make Atole.
Mako shark - Fairly inexpensive fish with ivory-pink flesh that resembles swordfish in color and texture (but not in appearance). Other available shark includes dusky, black tip, silky, lemon, bull, tiger, or hammerhead shark. Malanga - A tuber sold in all Latin American markets and some supermarkets; you might find it under the name "yautia." Raw, it has the texture of jimica, but it is not eaten raw. It's best boiled, fried, or included in stews -- in short treated exactly as a potato. Peel and trim before cooking. Manchamantel - [Spanish] "tablecloth stainer." Usually refers to sauces that do not wash out easily. Manchego - [Spanish] an aged sheep's milk cheese that is dry and crumbly; packed in straw and weighted; usually grated for use in quesadillas and empanadas; substitute good Parmesan or aged white Cheddar. Mandel - [German] almond. Mandoline - The original food processor, and still highly useful, the mandoline is the easiest way to cut thin slices of vegetables. Mangos - [Spanish] mangoes; one of the most popular fruits in the Southwest and Mexico; it has a peach-like taste and flowery aroma; the skin is pink, red, gold and green; the flesh is deep yellow and juicy; to slice the fruit, free it from the flat, oval pit in large pieces. There are some two hundred varieties. They are usually eaten ripe, as a fruit or in salsa. Green mangoes make great salads and chutneys. Manicotti - Rolled pancakes (crepes), stuffed with cheese. Pasta tubes may also be used. Manioc - [Spanish] yuca; cassava; see "yuca." Mano - [Spanish] hand; implement used to grind corn and chiles on a metate. Manteca - [Spanish] lard; fat; probably the most frequently used ingredient in traditional Mexican cooking; has approximately half the cholesterol of butter; fresh rendered lard is best; it is usually best to substitute vegetable shortening unless fresh lard is available. Mantequilla - [Spanish] butter. Manzanas - [Spanish] apples. Maple sugar - Made by the evaporation of maple sap or maple syrup. Usually pressed into fancy shapes and sold as a candy. It is not generally used for baking or cooking. Maple syrup - Thick and sweet syrup used on pancakes and waffles or as an ice cream topping. Pure maple syrup is made by the evaporation of the sap from maple trees. Maple-blended syrup is a mixture of maple syrup and cane syrups, resulting in a milder and less costly product. Maquereau - [French] mackerel. Marchand de vin - A dark brown sauce made with meat and wine. Marengo - A chicken stew made with wine, tomatoes, and garlic. The stew is served over toast, garnished with crayfish and fried eggs. The modern versions of this omit the eggs and substitute shrimp for the crayfish. Of course, other liberties have been taken with this recipe to include black olives, peppers, and veal. The dish is rumored to have been named for the dish served to General Bonaparte after his army s defeat of the Austrians in the battle of Marengo. Margarine (oleo, oleomargarine) - Comes in several forms. Regular margarine, with 80% fat is usually interchangeable with butter. Soft margarine is readily spreadable even at refrigerated temperatures. Whipped margarine has air beaten in to increase volume. Imitation or diet margarine has greatly reduced fat content and Half the calories, sometimes less, of regular margarine. Margarine was first invented to replace butter in cooking and baking. It was then made solely of beef fat. Margarine is now made with a variety of fats, alone or with others, along with the addition of water, whey, yellow coloring, and vitamins. Beef fat is still used today, but with a higher consciousness toward a healthier diet, it is very rare. Marguery - A Hollandaise sauce made with shellfish essence and wine. Marinade - A seasoned liquid, often containing vinegar and oil, in which food is soaked to improve flavor. Marinara - A spicy tomato and garlic sauce. Marinate - To soak meat, vegetables or fish in seasoned liquid. Mariné - [French] Pickled, marinated. Mariscos - [Spanish] seafood dishes.
Marjoram - Sometimes called "wild oregano," it is an herb in the mint family and is related to thyme; often confused with and substituted for oregano; grows up to 2 feet high with closely bunched purple and white flowers that resemble knots; used to season game or pork; often labeled as sweet marjoram. Marmalade - A preserve of citrus fruits (most commonly oranges) and sugar. Marmite - [French] a rich meat soup or stock; an earthenware stock pot. Marrons - Chestnuts. Marrons glacés - Chestnuts preserved in syrup or candied. Marrow - Bone substance and gut eaten by Native Americans and pioneers. Marzipan - A sweetened almond paste with the addition of egg whites. This mixture is kneaded into a smooth paste and used to wrap or layer cakes and candies. Marzipan is also shaped into figures of animals, fruits, and vegetables, and sold in pastry or candy shops. Masa - [Spanish] dough; dough of ground dried corn and flour; usually refers to ground nixtamal; instant corn flour tortilla mix; cornmeal dough made from dried corn kernels that have been softened in a lime solution, then ground; fresh frozen masa is available in supermarkets throughout the Southwest; comes finely ground in a dehydrated form and can be used to make tortillas and tamales. Masa is the plain, wet stone ground dough made with a special corn known as Nixtamal. Fresh masa is sold two different ways - prepared and unprepared. Prepared masa is plain masa which has been mixed with lard and salt only. This type of masa yields heavy, greasy, drier dough. Masa Harina® - Instant corn flour, dough flour; a product developed by the Quaker Oats Company at the request of the Mexican government; used to make dough for tamales and corn tortillas; uncooked corn kernels that have been ground into flour. Mascabado - [Spanish] brown sugar. Mascarpone - A rich triple cream, fresh cheese from Italy with a texture resembling that of solidified whipped cream. Mask - To cover completely, as with mayonnaise, jelly, ganache, aspic, etc. Matafan - A thick pancake eaten sweet as a snack, or savory as an accompaniment to cheese. They are also made with bacon, spinach, and potatoes. Matelote - [French] in the sailor's style. A fish stew made with wine. The Alsatian version of this dish is made with freshwater fish, Riesling wine, and thickened with cream and egg yolks. The Normandy version includes seafood and is flavored with cider and Calvados. These stews are normally embellished with pearl onions and mushrooms. Also, asauce made with court bouillon and red wine. Mastic - a resin that gives a sour flavor to dishes. A shrub rarely growing higher than 12 feet, much branched, and found freely scattered over the Mediterranean region, in Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Turkey, the Canary Islands, and Tropical Africa. The best Mastic occurs in roundish tears about the size of a small pea, or in flattened, irregular pear-shape, or oblong pieces covered with a whitish powder. They are pale yellow in color, which darkens with age. The odor is agreeable and the taste mild and resinous, and when chewed it becomes soft, so that it can easily be masticated. This characteristic enables it to be distinguished from a resin called Sanderach, which it resembles, but which when bitten breaks to powder. Matjes herring - A reddish herring that has been skinned and filleted before being cured in a spiced sugar-vinegar brine. Matzo, Matzoth - Thin, unleavened, Jewish flat bread made of flour and water. Mayonnaise - This is the mother of all of the cold egg and oil emulsified sauces. Commercial versions are made with inferior oils and are far to thick for proper utilization. A hand made version has a rich, subtle flavor and silky texture. You should always use a neutral oil or a good olive oil. Avoid using an extra-virgin olive oil, which will offer too strong a flavor for most usage. Meat tenderizer - A food product obtained from the papaya, which works on the fibers of raw meat to make it tender, regardless of kind, grade, or cut. When the meat is cooked all tenderizing action stops. Médallion - [French] the "eye" of a rib lamb chop. Mediano - [Spanish] medium hot (to taste). Mejillones - [Spanish] mussels. Mejorana - [Spanish] marjoram; wild oregano. Mélange - A mixture
Melba - The name of a popular dessert invented by Auguste Escoffier. Poached peach halves are served with vanilla ice cream and topped with fresh raspberry sauce. Melon - There are three kinds of melons (aside from watermelon, a different species entirely). Small melons with ridged skin, such as the charentais, more common in Europe; and those with a meshed rind, such as cantaloupe; and those with a smooth rind, like the honeydew. When looking for ripe melons, an appetizing smell is a good sign. Shake the melon. Loose seeds are a fairly good indication of ripeness. Squeeze the ends, especially the one opposite the stem; it should be fairly tender, almost soft. Melón - [Spanish] cantaloupe. Membrillo - [Spanish] quince. Menta - [Spanish] mint. Menudo - [Spanish] tripe and cow's foot soup or stew; fiery Mexican "hangover cure," traditionally eaten on Saturday and Sunday; traditional dish for New Year's Day; normally served with lime wedges, oregano, red pepper flakes and hot tortillas. Mercados - [Spanish] markets. Merienda - [Spanish] afternoon tea following the daily siesta. Meringue - [French] whipped egg whites to which sugar has been added to form a stiff paste. These are used to lighten mousses, cakes and pastry creams. Unsweetened versions are used to lighten forcemeats. Mesa - [Spanish] table. Mescal - [Spanish] liquor distilled from fermented juice of the maguey cactus. Mesophilic - Cheesemaking term which describes the temperature at which the culture thrives. From the Greek words meso - meaning intermediate - and philic - which means loving. Mesophilic cultures thrive around room temperatures.These terms describes at the temperature the culture thrives at. Mesophilic (from the Greek words meso - meaning intermediate and philic - which means loving) cultures thrive around room temperatures. Mesophilic cultures require a temperature than thermophilic cultures. Mesclun - A word used to describe a mixture of a dozen or more wild and cultivated greens. Often this mix is stretched with herbs or flower sprigs and bitter greens. These greens should be dressed very lightly, with only best oil and vinegar, so that their flavor will not be masked. Mesquite - Hardwood tree, the dry wood of which is used to fuel fires in Southwestern cooking; the beans are a Native American staple. Metate - Old Native American utensil, made of volcanic rock; used for grinding corn, mesquite beans, etc. Meunière à la, Meunière - Fish or seafood sautéed and served in brown butter. Also, with sauce of butter, lemon juice and parsley. Mexican chocolate - A mixture of chocolate, almonds, sugar and sometimes cinnamon and vanilla, ground together and formed into octagonal tablets; Ibarra is the most common brand in the United States; can be used in desserts, chocolate beverages and some mole sauces; the best substitute is to add a dash of cinnamon to bittersweet chocolate. Mexican mint marigold - Also known as "sweet mace"; flavor of the leaves is similar to tarragon with a subtle anise flavor; both the leaves and petals can be used in sauces and relishes and as a garnish. Mexican oregano - Much larger leaves and a different appearance from the oregano most commonly found in the United States; almost always sold dried in the United States; used in many traditional recipes for red sauces, moles and stews; should be toasted slightly before using to enhance the flavor. Mexican strawberries - Cowboy term for red beans. Miel - [French and Italian] honey. Migajas - [Spanish] crumbs. Migajón - [Spanish] soft inside of bread. Migas - [Spanish] leftovers; crumbs; a dish made of eggs scrambled with chorizo, tortilla chips, onions, tomatoes, cheese and chiles, it is normally eaten for breakfast; also called huevos con tostaditos. Mignon, Migonette - This is a term used to describe coarsely ground pepper used for au poivre preparations and in bouquet garni. This is also used to describe small round pieces of meat or poultry. Milanese - [Italian] used to describe foods that are dipped in egg and bread crumbs, sometimes parmesan cheese, and fried in butter.
Milch - [German] milk. Mild chiles - New Mexico or Anaheim chiles. Milk chocolate - Most popular form of eating chocolate in the United States due to its mild, mellow flavor. It has only 10% chocolate liquor and usually contains about 12% milk solids. Milk chocolate has a less robust flavor than sweet or semi-sweet chocolates. Mille-feuilles - Small rectangular pastries made of crisp layers of puff pastry and pastry cream. This may also include savory fillings of similar presentation. The word mille-feuille means a thousand leaves. Milnot - Milnot is canned evaporated milk that can be whipped. It is only marketed in a handful of states. Milpa - [Spanish] cornfield. Mince - [Great Britain] Ground beef. Mincemeat - A sweet spicy mixture of candied and fresh fruits, wine, spices, and beef fat. Earlier recipes for this used beef or venison meat and beef fat. It is used primarily as a filling for pies served during the Christmas holiday season. Minestrone - A thick Italian vegetable soup with beans and pasta or rice. This may contain any number of vegetables, but for authenticity, meat is never added. Minute steak - A tender and juicy very thin steak cut from the top round, which can be quickly sautéed, broiled or pan-broiled. Mirabelle - [French] small yellow plum, used as tart filling; a liqueur made from small yellow plums. Mirasol chiles - Mirasol means looking at the sun; also called chile travieso, or naughty chile; the dried pods are used like dried red New Mexican chiles in corn dishes, meat dishes, sauces and stews; when fresh and green, it can be substituted for the serrano chile mochomos - cooked or roasted meat, shredded and fried crisp. Mirepoix - [French] a mixture of chopped onion, carrot, and celery used to flavor stocks and soups. Ham or bacon are sometimes added to a mirepoix, depending on the specific preparation. Mirepoix - Mixed vegetables diced very small and cooked with diced ham, often used as a garnish. Mirin - [Japanese] sweet rice vinegar. May substitute by adding a little sugar to regular rice-wine vinegar. Mirliton (vegetable pear) - A vegetable resembling a pale green squash. Mirlitons are also referred to as vegetable pears or chayote squash. You can find them on vines growing in Louisiana back yards. Their delicate flavor generally absorbs the taste of other foods they come in contact with. They are also used as an ingredient in Caribbean as well as Latin and Southwestern American dishes. Mise en place - [French] mise (to put) en (in) place (place). A French term well-known to any professional cook. It means "putting in place," and refers to the many prepped ingredients that must be on hand in order to be ready for meal service. Miso, light or dark (red) - Fermented soybean paste used as a basic ingredient in many Japanese dishes. Mocha - Flavoring of coffee or made by combining coffee and chocolate. Mochi - Japanese confection; a small, round rice cake which can be eaten with condiments such as kinako (roasted soy bean flour), manju (sweet red bean paste), soy sauce dip, andseaweed. Traditionally, mochi is made by pounding steamed glutinous rice in a large wooden mortar, called the usu, with a wooden mallet called the kine. Mochi-tsuki is the Japanese term for the old-style method of pounding the steamed glutinous rice used to make mochi. Mode, à la - A food which is braised; also, pies and cakes served with a garnish of ice cream. Mojo - [Mexican] A spicy, rich sauce consisting of nuts, seeds, spices, chocolate, and peppers. Mojo de ajo - [Spanish] soaked in garlic. Molasses - This is a syrup resulting from the crystallization of raw sugar from the sap. Additional processing results in darker and stronger tasting molasses called black strap. Molcajete - [Spanish] mortar made from volcanic stone used for grinding chiles. Mole - [Spanish] taken from the Nahuatl word "Molli," meaning concoction; an assortment of thick sauces used in Mexican cooking made of chiles. These sauces are made with one or many chiles, and flavored with cumin, coriander, cinnamon, nuts, seeds, and chocolate. one of the most common ingredients of mole sauce is chocolate; one of the oldest known sauces. Their flavor is rich, smoky, and
very complex. Some recipes are made with fresh herbs and have a green color. Chicken, turkey, and pork are then simmered in this sauce. Mole negro - [Spanish] the best known of Oaxaca's famous "seven moles." Molinillo - [Spanish] a wooden whisk used to whip hot chocolate; the handle is rolled between the palms of the hands, whipping the mixture until it is frothy. Mollejas - [Spanish] sweetbreads. Molletes - [Spanish] yeast rolls flavored with anise; toasted open-faced sandwich filled with refried beans and cheese. Monaco, à la - Served with a green pea and caper sauce. Monkfish - Known as the poor man's lobster, because of its extremely firm, meaty texture. Highly versatile. Remove any membrane that remains on the fillet before cooking. Monosodium Glutamate, MSG - A white, crystalline salt found in wheat, beets, and soy bean products. It is used extensively in Chinese cookery, and thought to help accentuate the flavors of certain foods. Many people suffer serious allergic reactions to this so widespread use has been reduced to the commercial food processing industry. Mont blanc - A rich dessert of chestnut purée and whipped cream. Monterey jack- Mild, buttery-flavor cheese usually sold in blocks; melts easily; also made with jalapeños. Montmorency - A sauce made with cherries; also, a garnish made with artichoke hearts. Mora chiles - A dried chile; a more subtle variety of smoked jalapeño than chipotles, they have a long mesquite flavor with tones of dried fruit; moras grandes are a larger version of the same type of chile, while smaller ones are often labeled "moritas." Use chipotles as a substitute for any of these chiles. Morcilla - [Spanish] pork mixed with pig's blood and spices and steamed within the animal's stomach. Morel mushroom - This is a wild mushroom with a honeycomb cap and hollow stem. These are very dirty mushrooms and must be cleaned carefully. Morels possess a wonderful earthy flavor, making them good candidates for soups, sauces, and fillings. Morels are most readily available dried. Morello cherries - Pie cherries. Mornay Sauce - A sauce similar to bechamel sauce but with Gruyere cheese, sometimes enriched with egg yolks. It is used mainly for fish and vegetable preparations. Mortadella - Large, lightly smoked sausages made of pork, beef, or veal. These are specialties of Bologna, which is where the US version of this sausage gets its name. Mortadella is a very smooth, pink sausage with a subtle creamy texture. They are studded with cubes of pork fat and peppercorns. Mostarda di Cremona - [Spanish] These are fruits cooked and marinated in a spicy, mustard flavored syrup. It is a classic accompaniment to bollito misto. These fruits are also used in sauces for veal, and assorted stuffed pasta fillings. Mostaza - [Spanish] mustard. Mouler - [French] To grind soft food into a puree or dry food into a powder. Moules - [French] mussels. Mountain oysters - Roasted calf testes eaten as a between-meal snack. Moussaka - [Greek] A layered dish of eggplant and lamb with tomatoes and onions. This is all bound with bechamel sauce and cooked au gratin. Mousse - Sweet or savory dishes made of ingredients which are blended and folded together. These mixtures may be hot or cold, and generally contain whipped egg whites to lighten them. Cream is also used to lighten these dishes, though when used in large quantities, these preparations are called mousselines. Mousseline - As described above, these are fine purees or forcemeats that have been lightened with whipped cream. The term is also used to describe a hollandaise sauce which has unsweetened whipped cream folded into it. Mousseron mushroom - A wild mushroom with an off-white to beige color. The flavor is full-bodied and the texture is fleshy like bolets. Moutarde - [French] mustard. Mouton - [French] mutton. Mozzarella - A mild white-yellow cheese which melts easily.
Muesli - [Swiss] Dish of raw rolled oats, coarsely grated apple, nuts and dried fruit served with cream or whole milk. Mulato chile - A dried chile; in Mexican cooking it refers to the chile mulato, a dark black-brown dried chile famous for its use in Mole Poblano; tastes of licorice, chocolate and dried fruit; used in many dark moles; if unavailable, use anchos or pasillas. Mulligatawny - A curried chicken soup adapted by the British from India. Originally the soup was enriched with coconut milk and embellished with almonds and apples. Newer versions make a lighter broth and flavor this with curry and coconut. Mung beans, dried - A versatile tiny (about one-eighth inch in diameter), dried bean is common throughout Asia. The bean or pea is also the source of bean sprouts, also used to make bean-thread noodles. Muscoli - [Italian] mussels. MUSHROOMS Chanterelle - Meaty and fleshy texture; nutty flavor with a hint of apricot. Best sauteed with poulty or fish. Chinese - Find in Oriental markets. Soak in water before cooking. Trim the stems and save for making soup. Crimini - Firm, dense consistency; earthy flavor. Best used stuffed with herbs and nuts. Dried European - Cepe, boletus, or porcini. Keep in a tightly sealed jar in your refrigerator. Will keep about 1 year. Enoki - Crisp texture, like bean sprouts; clean and fruity flavor. Best used raw in salads and sandwiches. Morel - Wild mushroom with a honeycomb cap and hollow stem. These are very dirty mushrooms and must be cleaned carefully. Morels possess a wonderful earthy flavor, making them good candidates for soups, sauces, and fillings. Morels are most readily available dried. Oyster - Tender caps, chewy stems; slight peppery bite. Mix into cream sauces. Porcini - Rich and velvety texture; woodsy flavor which is stronger when dried. Simmer in soups and sauces. Portobello - Thick-fleshed with sanity caps; rich and hearty flavor. Best used for grilling, burger-style. Shiitake - Spongy caps, tough stems; complex and smoky flavor. Best used in polenta or risotto. Wood ear - Crunch and chewy texture; subtle and mild flavor. Best used in spicy soups and stir-fries. Music roots - sweet potatoes; so called because of the gaseous effect. Mussels - Much less expensive than clams. Look for clean, not muddy, mussels. When steaming mussels, add a bit of saffron for additional great flavor. Must - a sweet, viscous liquid that is red-yellow in color. It comes from fresh grape must, known as "stafilopat." In other parts of Greece it is known as "petmezi." Mutton - The flesh of sheep over one year old. Muy sabrosa comida - [Spanish] very delicious food.
Culinary Dictionary – N
Naan - a white flour Indian flat bread. It is one of the most loved Indian breads. A trip to an Indian restaurant usually involves the ordering of some kind of Naan. It is traditionally made in a brick and clay tandoor oven. Traditionally served as an accompaniment with an Indian curry, Naan's can also be used to wrap seasoned grilled meats, seafood, or vegetables. A naan should be served hot and eaten immediately or else it tends to get chewy. Nabo - [Spanish] turnip. Nachos - [Spanish] tortilla chips that are topped with cheese, chiles, etc., then heated until the cheese melts; originated in El Paso, Texas. Nage - An aromatic broth in which crustaceans are cooked. The shellfish is then served with this broth. The most notable of these dishes is lobster la nage. Nam Pla - See "Fish Sauce." Nantua - A name given to dishes containing crayfish. This includes crayfish tails and sauces made with a crayfish fumet. Napa cabbage - Sometimes called Chinese celery cabbage. Found in many supermarkets and Oriental markets. Naranja agria - [Spanish] sour orange. Naranja dulce - [Spanish] sweet orange. Naranjas - [Spanish] oranges. Natilla - [Spanish] custard dessert; similar to floating island, with stiffly beaten egg whites layered on top of an egg custard; often accompanied with fresh or poached fruits. Navarin - French stew made with mutton or lamb and onions, turnips, potatoes, and herbs. Nesselrode - A mixture of candied fruit, nuts and cherries used in desserts. Nasturtium - See "Indian cress." Navarin - A stew of browned lamb. Nectarine - A smooth-skinned variety of the peach family. Negro - [Spanish] black. Neapolitan - [Italian] Ice creams and sweet cakes in layers of different colors and flavors. Nesselrode - A dessert or sauce with rum and fruit flavor, often with chestnuts. Neufchatel - [French] A soft unripened cheese originally from Neufchatel-en-Bray, France. It has a fat content of 44 to 48%. Also available as low-fat cream cheese in the U.S. New Mexican chiles - Formerly known as Anaheim chiles; long green chiles grown in New Mexico; poblanos may be substituted. New Mexico red chiles - A fresh chile; mild to medium hot; keeps its same name in both dried and fresh forms; mild chile with an earthy flavor, slightly tart with a hint of dried cherry; seen often strung in ristras for drying; used in pipiáns, salsas and barbecue sauces. Newburg - Served with a hot cream sauce containing sherry and pieces of lobster. Niçoise, Nigoise - [French] foods cooked in the style of Nice. These dishes may include garlic, Niçoise olives, anchovies, tomatoes, and green beans. Salad Niçoise is the most famous of all these dishes, consisting of potatoes, olives, green beans, and vinaigrette dressing. Also, a garnish of garlic, tomatoes, capers and lemon. Niçoise and Gaeta Olives - Small black olives from the south of France and from Italy. They have a pure olive taste and come packed with their pits. Green Niçoise olives come already pitted. Their flavor is more tart than the black olives. Nixtamál - [Spanish] hominy; lime-slaked corn; used to make posole or ground into masa, or dough, to make tortillas. Noci - [Italian] nuts. Nogada - [Spanish] walnut sauce. Noisette - A small round steak, made of lamb or beef tenderloin.
Noisette Butter - Whole butter which has been cooked until it reaches a rich, nutty brown color and aroma. Noix - [French] nut. Noodles - Flat ribbon pasta made from flour, water and egg, then dried and rehydrated during boiling in water. Noodles - Chinese Cellophane Noodles - Also known as slippery noodles or bean threads, these noodles are made from the starch of mung beans, a.k.a. "sprouts" to most of us. Dried they're translucent, but softened in hot water and cooked they become gelatinous and transparent. Although they don't have much taste on their own they do have a knack for picking up the flavors other ingredients they're mingled amongst. To cook: soften in hot water for 15 minutes, then boil or stir fry for 1 minute. Or deep-fry briefly in hot oil until puffed and lightly golden and use to garnish anything from quirky Asian-inspired appetizers to salads. Egg Noodles - Well-stocked Asian markets usually offer a selection of dried and fresh egg noodles, both thin and thick. Although they are often neon yellow, some of the dried varieties are made without eggs. If you can't find Chinese egg noodles, substitute fresh or dried Italian pasta. To cook egg noodles boil fresh noodles for 2 1/2 to 4 minutes or dried noodles 4 1/2 to 5 minutes. Wheat-Flour Noodles - Made with wheat flour and water, this is the oldest noodle form found in China. Still made by hand in fine restaurants around the world, they are created from a soft dough, resulting in a silky texture. They do vary in thickness and may be round or flat. The thinnest are used in refined soups, whereas the thicker varieties stand up to heartier soups and casseroles. Although these noodles come in shrimp-, chicken- and crab-flavored varieties the quality can vary dramatically along with their flavor. To cook wheat-flour noodles boil fresh noodles for 2 1/2 to 4 minutes or dried ones for 4 1/2 to 5 minutes. Noodles - Korean Buckwheat Noodles - One of the most popular varieties of noodles among the Koreans are the brownish noodles known as "naengmyon" which are sold dried. They are made with buckwheat flour and potato starch and are slightly chewier than soba noodles. To prepare buckwheat noodles boil for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Naengmyon are mostly used in soups. Sweet Potato Noodles - "Tangmyon" or sweet potato noodles are similar to cellophane noodles, and they are often made with mung bean starch. Like cellophane noodles, they become translucent once cooked and will absorb the flavors of the foods they are cooked with. Used in stir fry dishes, to cook simply soften noodles in hot water for 10 minutes then stir-fry for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Noodles - Japanese Soba Noodles - The brownish buckwheat soba noodles from Japan are becoming more popular as their beguiling nutty flavor and nutritional value engage the attention of Western cooks. Rich in protein and fiber, they are most commonly served cold with a dipping sauce or hot in soups. Soba noodles are extraordinarily versatile and lend themselves to salads and stir-fried dishes as well. You can find soba noodles flavored with green tea, lemon zest, or black sesame seeds. For the best-quality check out the Japanese brands. To cook boil fresh noodles 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or dried ones 4 to 4 1/2 minutes.* Udon Noodles - Fat, slippery white noodles found bobbing about in soups or casseroles, udon noodles are made from a wheat-flour-and-water dough and may be round, square, or flat in shape. In most recipes, udon noodles are interchangeable with soba noodles and Chinese wheat-flour-and-water noodles. Boil the fresh variety for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes and the dried anywhere from 4 to 4 1/2 minutes.* Ramen Noodles - Most of us recognize ramen noodle from the dried, curly variety found in those inexpensive instant noodle soup packages. Made with an egg-based dough, ramen are usually served with meat and vegetables in a flavorsome broth. Because fresh ramen is not always easy to find, fresh or dried Chinese egg noodles or Italian pasta make an adequate substitute.* Somen Noodles - The most delicate of all the Japanese noodles, somen are often distinguished by their elegant packaging. Made from a wheat-flour dough with a touch of oil added, like soba noodles they are often served cool with a dipping sauce, but don't forget they also make a light and delicate garnish for hot soups. To cook somen noodles just boil for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.
Nopal (nopales) - [Spanish] paddles (leaves) of the prickly pear (nopal) cactus; they are firm and crunchy; the smaller the paddle, the more tender; nopales have a flavor similar to green beans and can be eaten raw or cooked; sliced green beans can be substituted. Nopalitos - [Spanish] cactus paddles cut into strips or dices; usually refers to the canned and pickled cactus. Nori - Thin dry sheets of seaweed used in Japanese cooking. It is mainly used to wrap sushi and as garnish for other cold presentations. See "Seaweed sheets, dried." Normande - A cream sauce containing fish essence, mushrooms and egg yolks. Norte, norteño - [Spanish] north; of the north. Nougat - A candy made from sugar and honey mixed with nuts. This mixture is then formed into slabs and sliced. Nougatine - A darker candy, made of caramel syrup and nuts. This is rolled into thin sheets and formed into cups or bowls to serve as a vessel for other candy or fruit. Nouilles - [French] noodles. Nudeln - [German] noodles. Nuoc Mam - See "Fish Sauce." Nusskuchen - [German] Nutcake. Nuevo - [Spanish] new. Nuez moscada - [Spanish] nutmeg. Nutella - A commercial brand of gianduja. This is a creamy paste of chocolate and hazelnuts treasured in Italy. This is used in candy making, for flavored milk drinks, and when thinned out, spread on bread as a quick snack. Nutmeg - Oval-shaped, brown, wrinkly seed of the nutmeg tree. In its grated for is primarily utilized in sweet and savory dishes including cakes, custards, soufflés, meatballs and soups.
Culinary Dictionary – O
Oatcake - A flaky, flat Scottish biscuit made with oatmeal. Ocote - [Spanish] small strips of pine used to kindle a fire. Oeuf - [French] egg. Oeuf a la Neige - Sweet meringue puffs that are poached in milk and chilled. When served, these puffs are drizzled with caramel and served with creme anglaise. Offal - Edible internal organs of meat, poultry and game. Oie - [French] goose. Oignon - [French] onion. Okra - Introduced from Africa by slaves; resembles a large green chile with longitudinal ribs outside and many round, slimy, but edible seeds inside; okra should be small, not over two or three inches long. Pods should be firm, undamaged, and not at all mushy. Use small unblemished okra for soups and stews and to thicken gumbos. Olio - [Italian] oil. Olive Oil - Olive oil has a very distinctive flavor, and has become more prominent in American cooking today. Grades of olive oils are determined by the methods of extraction and the acid content of the resulting oil. Virgin oils are those obtained from the first pressing of the olive without further refinement. The finest olive oil is extra virgin, with an acid content of 1%. Following this are superfine at 1.5%, fine at 3%, and virgin at 4%. Pure olive oils are those which have been extracted by heat. These are of 100% olive oil, but their flavor can result in a harsh, bitter aftertaste. Pomace olive oil is refined from the final pressings and under heat and pressure. The taste is inferior to other olive oils and should never be substituted for them. Olive oil becomes rancid very easily, more so when exposed to heat or light. Always store tightly sealed in a cool, dark place. Olives - This is the edible fruit of the olive tree. Found in both green (unripe) and black (ripe) forms, each must undergo a process to remove the bitterness found in them. This curing process is done with brine solutions, salt curing, and drying. Olla - Common Mexican pot which is tall and tapered inward on the top; it is shaped especially for cooking beans; stockpots and saucepans are good substitutes. Olla podrida - [Spanish] stew. Oloroso - [Spanish] a type of sherry. Oloroso means fragrant in Spanish and this sherry has an intense bouquet. Opakapaka - Pink snapper. A Hawaiian favorite, especially around the holidays. Oporto - [Portuguese] sweet dessert port wines named after Oporto, Portugal, on the Douro river. Opuntia - Prickly pear cactus. Orange blossom water (orange water) - Orange blossom extract can be found in fancier food shops. Common in the Middle East. Orange roughy - Ocean perch-like fish from New Zealand. Often substituted for cod. Can be used in any recipe calling for white-fleshed fish. Orégano - Mexican oregano; wild marjoram; also called wild, bastard or dwarf marjoram; used to season many foods, particularly sauces and soups; plants grow wild in the Southwest; best substitute is marjoram or sage. Orehones - [Spanish] dried fruits. Orientale - An Américaine sauce with added cream and curry powder. Ortolans - Tiny game birds (buntings). Orzo - Small rice shaped pasta. Oseille - [French] sorrel. Osso Buco - An Italian dish comprised of crosscut slices of the veal shank braised with vegetables, aromatics and stock. Milanese style is served with saffron risotto and gremolata. Ostiones - [Spanish] oysters.
Ouzo - A clear anise-flavored liqueur from Greece. It is generally mixed with water which turns it whitish and opaque. Oven slide - Cookie sheet. Overland trout - An old Western term for pigs and hogs; sometimes bacon. Oxidized - Wine that has been in contact with air too long, causing it to darken and smell stale. Oyster - Four major species in the United States are - Atlantic, found along the East and Gulf coasts; the European, a flat-shelled, round oyster of the Northwest and Maine; the Olympia, the half-dollar-sized oyster grown in the Northwest; and the fruit-flavored Pacific oyster, known for its wildly scalloped shell. Oyster mushroom - A fan-shaped wild mushroom with a grayish cap, that grows in clusters on the side of trees. It is off-white to grayish in color and has a soft texture. These mushrooms have a very subtle flavor. They are also being cultivated in the US, making them readily available in markets and moderately priced. Oyster plant - An edible root, known also as vegetable oyster, or salsify. It is prepared like parsnips. Oyster sauce - Classic cooking sauce from China. Also used in other Asian cuisines. Originally made from oysters, water and salt only, oyster sauce now contains added cornstarch and caramel color, to improve it's appearance and also to thicken liquids in stir-fries. Surprisingly it has no fishy taste. Found in large supermarkets and Oriental markets. Oyster sauce is a molasses-colored, reddish, dark brown sauce consisting of oysters, brine and soy sauce cooked until thick and concentrated.
Culinary Dictionary – P
Pacanas - [Spanish] pecan nuts. Pachola - [Spanish] thin, half circle-shaped piece of ground meat. Paella - A Spanish rice dish originating in the town of Valencia. There are hundreds of recipes for paella, all claiming to be authentic. The only ingredients that are necessary for paella are rice, tomatoes, and saffron. Other ingredients are chicken, chorizo, mussels, squid, peppers, and beans. More elaborate preparations include shrimp, lobster, and duck. Paillard - A piece of meat or fish that has been pounded very thinly and grilled or sautéed. Pain - [French] bread. Pain Perdu - "Lost bread." French toast. Palillo - [Spanish] toothpick. Palmier - A cookie made of sheets of puff pastry that are rolled in sugar and folded to resemble palm leaves. These cookies are baked until the sugar becomes caramelized. Pámpano - [Spanish] pompano. Pan - [Spanish] bread. Pan dulce - [Spanish] sweet bread. Panaché - [French] mixed. Panada - A thick paste used as a binding agent for forcemeats. Flour panadas are made in a style similar to choux paste. Other types use bread crumbs or potato puree. Panadería - [Spanish] bakery. Pan-bagnat - A sandwich from southern France, consisting of small round loaves of bread which have been hollowed out and filled with onions, anchovies, black olives, and tuna, then drenched in extra virgin olive oil. Pan-broil - To cook quickly in a hot skillet with very little fat or a sprinkling of salt. Pancetta - Cured pork belly that is rolled and tied. Unlike American bacon, this is not smoked. Pancita - [Spanish] stuffed sheep's stomach. Pane - [Italian] bread. Panela - [Spanish] white cheese made with rennet; slightly salty; it holds its shape when melted; normally sold in blocks or rounds; often sliced thick and broiled or baked; Monterey Jack can be substituted. Panetone - An Italian cake made with a dough rich in egg yolks, traditionally served around Christmas time. The dough is studded with raisins, candied fruits and occasionally pistachios. Panforte - A rich dense torte made of candied fruit and nuts. Panino - [talian] sandwich. Panko - Also known as Japanese breadcrumbs; coarse dry white breadcrumbs used for breading rellenos and other fried foods; similar to untoasted coconut in appearance; provides a nuttier, crispier crust than regular breadcrumbs; found in Asian markets and many grocery stores; ordinary breadcrumbs may be substituted if necessary. Panna - [Italian] cream. Panocha - Mexican brown sugar. Panqués - [Spanish] pancakes. Pansit - Wild rice noodles used in Filipino cooking. Soak in warm water for 15 minutes until supple, and drain before using. Panzanella - A salad consisting of toasted cubes of bread tossed with vegetables and vinaigrette. The salad is then marinated for at least one hour. The bread should be very firm so that it will endure the soaking of dressing. Vegetables can include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and onions. Lots of garlic, capers, black olives, and anchovies are added to the salad. Papadum - Flat lentil wafers that puff up when deep-fried. Used in Indian cuisine. Papas - [Spanish] potatoes.
Papaya - Almost oval melon-like fruit with creamy golden yellow skin, orange yellow flesh and many shiny black seeds right in the center; when slightly underripe, the flesh is firm, and at this point it is good for making relishes; it is soft and very juicy when ripe; the skin contains a natural enzyme that tenderizes meat and is frequently included in marinades for that reason. Some weigh up to ten pounds, but most are about the size of a mango. Papaya will ripen at room temperature, so you can buy them firm; but eat when soft. Papel - [Spanish] paper. Papilotte, en - Baked in an oiled paper bag. Pappardelle - Wide flat pasta noodles served with rich, hearty sauces. Paprika - [Hungarian] translated to sweet red pepper. A spicy seasoning ground from a sweet variety of red pepper. It is used to season ragouts, stuffings, and sauces, and as a garnish. Parathas - [Indian] triangular shaped, fried flaky breads. Like chapatis, they are made out of whole wheat flour, but they are prepared using a slightly different method. The dough for parathas is oiled, rolled, and folded several times, giving this bread its distinctive flaky texture. The result is a bread crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Parboil - Boil for a short time to partially cook. Parch - To dry; to cook in dry heat until almost scorched. Parchment paper - A silicon based paper that can withstand high heat. Often used to prepare sugar and chocolate confections because they do not stick to the paper at all. Parchment paper may be reused several times. Parfait - [French] A dessert made of layers of fruit, syrup, ice cream and whipped cream, frozen and served in tall slender glasses. Parfum - [French] flavor. Parisienne - A white sauce with egg yolks. Parmagiano-Reggiano - Cheese developed in northern Italy in the Parma and Reggio Emilia regions, the original Parmagiano-Reggiano reflects 800 years of tradition and is considered one of the great cheeses of the world. This hard cheese, aged 12 to 24 months or longer, is produced by artisans from the raw milk of cattle fed fresh fodder in their spring and summer pasture. Its uniform color ranges from a pale straw yellow to a deep yellow shade, and it is dotted throughout with barely visible holes. It has an exceptionally fine flavor, full but not pungent. Whole Parmesan cheeses are large and drum-shaped and may weigh 40 to 55 pounds (18 to 25 kg). Methods of production vary from one region to another, with different aging times and temperatures. Parmentier - [French] any dish prepared with potatoes. The term is derived from Antoine Parmentier who introduced the potato to France. Parmesan - [Italian] made from cow's milk, this nutty-sweet dry cheese is the best for grating. There is only one true Parmesan and that is Parmigiano-Reggiano. Parmigiana - Prepared with Parmesan cheese. Parrilla - [Spanish] broiler or grill. Parrillada - [Spanish] grilled items. Parsley - Whether curly or flat leafed and indispensable herb in cooking and garnishing. Flat leafed parsley has slightly better flavor. Parsnip - Root vegetable that looks like a white carrot. Great in soups and stews, or puréed. Pasa - [Spanish] raisin. Pasilla chiles - Called a chilaca in its fresh form. The mature chilaca turns from dark green to dark brown. After drying (when it becomes a pasilla) it changes to a blackish-brown. It has a rich hot flavor and is generally ground and used for sauces. Pasilla means little raisin; in some places the Ancho chile is called pasilla chile; long, thin and dry with a dusky flavor; they are hot; thin fleshed, with flavors of dried fruit and licorice; anchoes may be substituted. Passion fruit - Purplish-brown on the outside, filled with (edible) pits and orange flesh inside. Unadulterated, it is tart and hard to take. Passionfruit get its name from its flowers, which Spanish missionaries thought resembled symbols of Christ's Passion, such as the crown of thorns. Pasta - All macaroni products. Any form of spaghetti or noodles.
Angel Hair - In Italian, ,this fine spaghetti is called capelli d'angelo. Goes best with light, delicate sauces. Cooks in six minutes. Campanelle - This fancy-looking pasta with a cone shape and wavy edges traps and holds chunky sauces with meat and vegetables. Cooks in 13 minutes. Castellane - The ridges and conch-shell shape of this pasta help trap hearty sauces. Cooks in 13 minutes. Elbows - Short, curved tubes of pasta are available in different sizes. Most often associated with macaroni and cheese, elbows also can be used with other creamy sauces or with meat sauce. Cooks in seven minutes. Farfalle - Also called bow-ties or butterflies. They come in small, medium and large. Their large, flat surface makes them best for tomato, ,meat and vegetable sauces. Cooks in 11 minutes. Fettuccine - Translates to "little ribbons." This pasta is usually 1/4 inch thick and available straight or in coils. Its thickness makes it perfect for heavier sauces, such as alfredo. Cooks in 12 minutes. Fiori - In Italian, fiori means flower. This pasta has rounded petals that provide extra surface area for chunky tomato-based sauces. Has lots of kid appeal. Cooks in seven minutes. Penne - Diagonally cut smooth tubes are great for trapping sauces. Those with ridged sides are called penne rigate. Cooks in 12 minutes. Rigatoni - Ridged tubes about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. This hearty pasta should be served with hearty, chunky sauces. Cooks in 13 minutes. Rotini - Short, 2-inch-long, corkscrew-shaped pasta that's good with chunky sauces. Cooks in eight minutes. Pasta e Fagioli - A rich bean soup with pasta, in which a large sausage (such as cotechino) has been cooked. The soup is eaten first, followed by the sausage served with mustard and bread. Pastel - [Spanish] cake; pie. Pasteles - [Spanish] envelopes of dough made of plantains filled with tasty ingredients. Pastelón - [Spanish] pie. Pasteurize - [French] to sterilize milk by heating it to 60 to 82C or 140 to 180F degrees to destroy harmful bacteria. The term is derived from Louis Pasteur, who developed the method. Pasticceria - [Italian] pastry. Pasticcio - [Italian] pie. Pastilla (Bistella) - A Moroccan pie made with chicken wrapped in phyllo dough. When finished cooking, the pastilla is dusted with sugar and cinnamon. Pastina - Tiny bits of noodles. Pastrami - Highly, spiced smoked beef, usually prepared from the shoulder cuts. Pastry - Dough made with flour, butter and water and baked or deep-fried until crisp. Pastry cream - A cooked custard thickened with flour. Some versions may use cornstarch or a mixture of the two starches. Pastry wheel - Small, serrated wooden or metal wheel-like utensil for cutting and fluting pastry. Pasty - Small pastry pie with a savory filling of meat, potatoes and onion. Patatas - [Spanish] potatoes. Patate - [Spanish] sweet potato. Pâté - [French] a term referring to many different preparations of meat, fish and vegetable pies. The definitions of which have been altered through the years. Originally pat‚ referred to a filled pastry much like American or English pies. Now the term pâté en croute is used to describe these preparations. Pâté en terrine has been shortened to either pâté or terrine. A terrine is generally a finer forcemeat than that used for pâté, and is always served cold. Pâtés are coarser forcemeats and, as stated before, are often prepared in a pastry crust. We now use these terms interchangeably and inclusive of all styles of forcemeat. Look for definitions under ballottine and galantine. Pâté a Foncer - A shortcrust pastry dough made with butter and strengthened with water. Used as a lining for meat or fish pies. Pâté Brisée - A short crust pastry dough made with butter and eggs.
Pâté Choux - A paste used to make cream puffs, eclairs, and other more elaborate pastries. It is made by adding flour to boiling water or milk, which has been enriched with butter. Eggs are then added into the paste to leaven it. Savory pastries such as gougere may also be made with this paste. Pâté de foi gras - A paste made of finely ground goose livers. Pâté Feuilletae - A dough comprised of many alternating layers of butter and pastry. This is an extremely versatile dough though preparation of it is labor intensive and very difficult. Pâté Sablée - Another type of sweet, short crust dough. Pâté Sucrée - A sweet, short crust dough for tarts and tartlets. Pâtés - [French] pasta. Pâtisserie - [French] pastry. Pato - [Spanish] duck. Patty - Small, flat, round or oval shaped cake of food, such as potato cake or fish cake, which is served hot; small, flat, individual pie, such as a chicken patty, which is served hot or cold; small, round form for meats such as hamburger. Patty cups - Paper cupcake holders. Patty shell - A shell made from puff paste to hold creamed mixtures or fruit. Paupiette - [French] a thin slice of meat, like a scallopine, which is stuffed and rolled. These may also be made of fish or vegetables. Pave - [French] cold savory mousse mixture set in a square mold coated with aspic jelly; square sponge cake, filled with butter cream and coated with icing. Pavo (guajolote) - [Spanish] turkey. Paysanne - A dish prepared country-style. A vegetable garnish. Peanut - Ground nut, eaten plain or roasted - sometimes salted and sometimes not. Used to make peanut butter and oils. Peanut oil - This flavorful oil borders on all-purpose. Its flavor, though distinctive, is not overpowering, and it is a great oil for cooking (especially highly spiced foods and Asian dishes in which olive oil is out of place). Pearl barley - De-husked barley grains, primarily used in soups. Pearl onions - Tiny, marble-size onions that are difficult to peel but make a good side dish or addition to soups and stews. Frozen ones are easier to handle, but less flavorful. Pease pudding - Puree of cooked, dried peas which is made into puddings, boiled and traditionally served with pork. Pecans (Sp: pacanas) - An oil-rich native American nut; probably originated in Texas; grown commercially in Arizona, Georgia, New Mexico and Texas. Pêche - [French] peach. Pêche Melba - Peaches served with a raspberry sauce. Pecorino Romano - Hard grating cheese made from sheep's milk with a nutty, earthy flavor. Pectin - Found naturally in fruits and vegetables, gelatin-like pectin is used as a thickener in jellies and jams. Available in liquid and dry forms. Peel - A large tool, that looks like a shovel, used to slide pizza onto a hot stone. Pemmican - Of Native American origin; dried, pounded meat mixed with fat and berries, pressed into cakes for survival food; was later adapted by the U.S. Army. Penne - Quill-shaped pasta tubes with smooth sides. Those with ridges are called penne rigati. These are also called mostaciolli. Large quill-shaped tubes are called manicotti. Peperoni - Made with peppers. Pepinos - [Spanish] cucumbers. Pepitas - [Spanish] pumpkin seeds with the shells removed. Peppers Anaheim: (ANN-uh-hime) Fresh, six inches long, can be green or red; mildly hot and fleshy, good for stuffing and grilling. Ancho: (AHN-choh) Wrinkled skin, squat, dark red-brown; lots of pulp; sweet and medium hot, lots of flavor; used for making mole.
Arbol: (ARE-bowl) Skinny, small, hot; red or green when fresh; reddish brown dried; adds heat and flavor to tomato and tomatillo salsas. Banana: Fresh, can be mild or slightly hot; roast on the grill to eat or use to season tacos. Cascabel: (KAS-kuh-behl) Dry, smooth skin, brick red, one and one-half inches wide; fairly hot; woodsy, tobacco flavor; great in sauces. Cayenne: (KI-yehn) Red fresh or dry; long, extremely hot; associated with Cajun food. Chipotle: (chih-POHT-lay) Smoked jalapeno; dried, dull brown skin up to three inches long; also sold canned in adobo sauce; widely popular in United States to season simultaneously with heat and smoke. Guajillo: (gwah-HEE-yoh) Dry, smooth skin, orange-brown, four-to-six inches long, medium-hot; used in sauces, menudo and to marinate meat. Habanero: (ah-bah-NEH-roh) When fresh, orange to red; extremely hot and beloved for underlying fruitiness. Jalapeno: (hah-lah-PEH-nyoh) Fresh, favorite supermarket pepper in green and red; medium-hot; thick flesh; roast and use as seasoning; chop for fresh and cooked foods. Mata: (MAH-tah) Small; when fresh, extremely hot; use in fresh sauces or stir-fry into oil before adding vegetables; add to shaker jar with vinegar to make hot sauce. Mora and morita: (MO-ruh and mo-REET-uh) Dried red jalapeno, two or three inches long, red-brown; smoked flavor; medium hot; used in salsas, soups, etc. (Moritas are smaller.) Pasilla: (pah-SEE-yah) Long and narrow; dried, it is nearly black and wrinkled; soak then puree for complex, medium-hot red sauce; used in chili powder and mole; fresh, it is used like poblanos. Peron or Manzana: (pay-RHON or mahn ZAHN-ah) Fresh, thin fleshed, meaty; medium hot to extremely hot; add to sauces or roast and peel for stuffing or rajas. Piquin: (pay-KEEN) Small, dried, red; extremely hot; simmer in cooked sauces, soups, stews. Poblano: (poh-BLAH-noh) Fresh, dark green or red; up to five inches long and three and one-half inches wide; medium-hot; always roasted before using for stuffing or rajas. Pulla: (POO-yah) Dried, up to five inches long, light reddish brown; hot; used like arbol in sauces and for seasoning soups and stews. Serrano: (seh-RRAH-noh) Fresh, two or three inches long in red or green; hot; used to season green sauce and fresh foods such as salsa and guacamole. Pera - [Spanish] pear. Perciatelli - Long macaroni. Percolator - Two-part coffee pot which forces boiling water from lower half up through coffee grains contained in upper half, and finally filtered through a fine sieve. Perdrix - [French] partridge. Perejil - [Spanish] parsley. Périgeux - A brown sauce made with Madeira wine and truffles. Périgourdine - A Périgeux sauce with added goose liver. Perilla - A Japanese herb that has a dark, russet-purple dentate leaf. Persil - [French] parsley. Persillade - A combination of chopped parsley and garlic, usually added to dishes at the end of cooking. nice combined with breadcrumbs as a crust. Persimmon - A brilliant orange, smooth-skinned fruit that is terribly tart when unripe, but very sweet when fully ripe. Unlike most other fruits, there is no such thing as an overripe persimmon. Pescado - [Spanish] fish. Pesce - [Italian] fish. Pesto - [Italian] a delicious sauce used for pastas, grilled meats, and poultry. This is made of fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. Some versions will also add parsley and walnuts or pine nuts. The ingredients are ground into a paste and moistened with the olive oil. Pesto is also used to describe similar sauces that contain other herbs or nuts. Petit Four - Small, decoratively iced, rich cookie or cake served on elaborate buffets or at the end of a multi-course meal. Petit pain - [French] a roll. Petit pois - [French] Tiny young green peas.
Petite marmite - A rich meat and vegetable soup. Pfeffer - [German] pepper. Pfeffernüsse - [German] Peppernuts; Small spicy cake balls, dusted with confectioners' sugar. Phyllo Dough (Filo) - Paper-thin sheets of pastry dough for Middle Eastern baking. Can be found in most supermarkets frozen in boxes. Used for Greek Baklava and many other baked dishes. Pib, pibil - Yucatecan pit barbecue; barbecued. Picadillo - [Spanish] hash; shredded or ground beef, spices and other ingredients; normally used as a filling. Picante - [Spanish] sharp, hot and spicy (to taste). Piccata - [Italian] chopped meat. Pichón - [Spanish] squab; domesticated pigeons. Pickle - To preserve food in a vinegar or brine mixture. Pickling salt - A fine-grained salt without iodine, used in pickled meat dishes. Found in all supermarkets. Pico de Gallo - [Mexican] "beak of the rooster"; salsa cruda; very hot, raw salsa with tomatoes, onions, cilantro and serrano chiles; called salsa méxicana in Mexico. Picoso - [Spanish] hot (to taste). Pignoli - Pine nuts. Piki - Indian bread baked as thin and crisp as paper. Pilaf, Pilau - An Armenian, Greek or southern Russian rice dish with seasonings, often with meats, vegetables or poultry added. Piloncillo - [Spanish] an unrefined cane sugar that is purchased in molded hard cones; It is beige to brown in color; the deeper the color, the more molasses flavor it has; dark brown sugar may be substituted. Pilze - [German] mushrooms. Pimenton - Mexican paprika; similar in taste to New Mexico ground red mild chile peppers. Pimentos - A name used for roasted red peppers that have been canned or bottled in liquid. Used for stuffing green olives. Pimienta - [Spanish] pepper. Pimiento chile - Meaty and luscious with a tinge of spice; grown in California and southern United States; when dried, is ground into paprika; use fresh red bell peppers if pimientos are unavailable. Pimienta negra - [Spanish] black pepper. Pimientos dulces - [Spanish] sweet peppers. Pin bone steak - A steak cut from the sirloin. Piñas - [Spanish] pineapples; used in salsas, relishes, desserts and cocktails. Pine nuts - Also pignoli nuts, small, pellet-shaped nuts. Expensive (wonderfully sweet and rich) little nuts that come from a large pinecone of Italy. May substitute slivered almonds. The Southwestern Pignons are similar. Piñones - [Spanish] pine nuts, pignolis; seeds of the piñon pine which ripen in the crevices of pine cones throughout the desert Southwest; delicious raw or toasted; store tightly covered and either refrigerate or freeze them, depending on how soon they are to be used. Pintade - [French] Guinea hen. Pinto beans - Name taken from pintar (to paint); reddish-brown speckled beans that turn pink when cooked; used in traditional Mexican cookery; when a recipe title says "frijoles," it is most likely referring to pinto beans. Pinto beans make great refried beans; they are also good for beans and rice, chili, or served as a purée. Pipe - To squeeze a paste-like mixture (usually frosting) through a pastry bag. Pipián - [Spanish] sauce containing ground nuts or seeds and spices; Indian stew or fricassee thickened by its ingredients rather than by flour. Piquant, Piquante - Spicy or sharp in flavor. Piroshki - Small Russian meat pies, like empanadas, eaten for lunch or snacks. Pissaladière - A southern French pizza consisting of a thick bread crust covered with cooked onions flavored with garlic. The pizza is then topped with black olives and anchovies. Pit - (Or "stone.") To remove the pit or seed from a fruit or olive.
Pita bread - Flat round bread made with or without a pocket. Pith - The white cellular lining of the rind covering the flesh of citrus fruits. Pizza - [Italian] Flat baked dough covered with various combinations of tomatoes, olive oil, anchovies, sausage, cheese, etc. Pizzaiola - [French] meat or chicken, cooked in red wine, tomato sauce and flavored with garlic; plat du jour - dish of the day. Plank - An oiled, grooved hard-wood platter, usually oak, on which meat is served and carved. Also, sometimes roasted on. Plantains - Vegetable banana. Resemble bananas in size and shape but are starchier and not sweet. Both green (hard) and brown (ripe) are used in the cuisines of the Caribbean and South America. Ripe plantains can be peeled like bananas but not green ones. Most commonly sliced thin and fried. Found in some larger supermarkets, Hispanic and Caribbean markets. Also known as machos. Plants - Four sacred plants of the Southwest Indians are beans, corn, squash and tobacco. Plátano - [Spanish] banana; coarse-textured banana that cannot be eaten raw. Plátano macho - [Spanish] plantain; a tropical plant resembling the banana; very large with a thick skin; the fruit is deeper yellow than that of the banana; cooked, unripe platana is eaten like a potato; when ripe, the skins are black, and this is when they are sweetest; platanas will ripen after being harvested. Pluck - Offal; to remove the feathers from a domesticated or game bird. Plugra butter - also known as European-style butter, has a higher butterfat and lower moisture content than regular butter, which makes pastries flakier and sauces smoother. Plum sauce - An Asian sweet-and-sour sauce made from plums, apricots, sugar, and other seasonings. Sold in jars or cans, store tightly covered, in the refrigerator. Plum tomatoes - These oval-shaped tomatoes have great flavor. They are the best sauce tomato, because is quite thick in comparison to the round tomato. Poach - To cook food simmered in a liquid, just below the boiling point. Poblano chiles - "People chiles"; in dried form, known as ancho chiles; frequently used for chiles rellenos; dark green, almost black, ranging from mild to hot, they look like deflated bell peppers; normally roasted before using; when dried, it is called the ancho chile; in California it is usually called a pasilla chile; preferred choice for making chiles rellenos. Poire Hélène - Cooked pears with ice cream and chocolate sauce. Poisson - [French] fish. Poivrade - Made with pepper. Polenta -The Italian version of cornmeal mush. Coarsely ground yellow cornmeal is cooked with stock or water and flavored with onions, garlic, and cheese. Polenta may be eaten fresh out of the pot, as a perfect accompaniment to stews. Polenta may also be poured into a greased pan and allowed to set. It is then sliced, sautéed, and topped with cheese or tomato sauce. Pollo - [Spanish] chicken. Pomegranate - A strangely constructed fruit - a labyrinth of seeds wrapped in fruit buried in a mass of inedible flesh surrounded by a tough skin. The pulp and juice surrounding the tiny seeds have a sweettart flavor. Pomegranate juice is used in making Grenadine and pomegranate molasses is available in Middle Eastern stores. Pomegranate molasses - [Middle Eastern] also known as pomegranate syrup. Condiment prepared from yellow sour pomegranates cooked with sugar. Provides fruity and tangy flavor to savory dishes. Pomidoro - [Italian] tomato. Pomme - [French] apple. Pomme de terre - [French] potato. Pone bread - Corn bread. Pooch - Cowboy favorite of stewed tomatoes, sugar and biscuits. Popover - Indian fry bread. Porcini - [Italian] also called cèpes, these meaty, large-topped mushrooms are a treat. Most frequently sold dried but becoming increasingly available fresh.
Porgy - Widely known as sea bream, there are many different varieties of this fish family in the United States and around the world. The most popular United States porgy is the scup, which is found in Atlantic waters. Porgies have a firm, low-fat flesh with a delicate, mild flavor. Although some grow to 20 pounds, most fall into the 1/2- to 3-pound range. They're available fresh and frozen, and are generally sold whole. The porgy is suitable for almost any method of cooking, including baking, grilling and frying. Porridge - Hot cooked (usually oatmeal) cereal. Porter house steak - A steak cut from the thick end of the tenderloin, or short loin, of beef. Portobello mushrooms - Enormous version of cremini with robust flavor. Great when grilled, broiled, or sautéed. Posole, pozole - Corn that has been treated with slaked lime to remove the tough outer husks of the kernels, then dried; thick stew made with hominy as an ingredient; the stew usually includes pork and chiles; also another name for hominy. The base of the soup is water flavored with onions, tomatoes (or tomatillos), and herbs. Hominy is cooked into this broth and condiments include minced onion, avocado, lime wedges, oregano, queso fresco, and fried pork skin. Postre - [Spanish] dessert. Potage - [French] thick soup. Potato starch or flour - Starch made from dried potatoes ground into flour. Find in some Scandinavian shops, delicatessens and health food stores. Pot-au-feu - A combination of stock with meat, bones, and vegetables, cooked together but often served as separate courses. Pot roast - Beef cooked in a manner similar to braising, but on top of the stove. Pothook - Bent iron for hanging a kettle over the fire. Pots de crème - Small custards, variously flavored. Poule - [French] chicken. Poulet - [French] young chicken. Poultry Seasoning - Equal amounts of dried sage, dried thyme and dried marjoram. Prairie coal - Cow or buffalo manure, dried and used in campfires. Prairie strawberries - Red beans; also called Arizona strawberries. Praline - In French cookery this is a powder or paste made of caramelized almonds and/or hazelnuts. American cookery refers to a candy consisting of caramel and pecans. Candy eaten in the Southwest; made from brown sugar and pecans. Prawns - For culinary purposes, the same as shrimp. In the U.S., large shrimp are sometimes called prawns. The true prawn is a small shellfish closely related to shrimp, but it is European. Preserves - Fruits or vegetables, whole or chopped, simmered in a sugary syrup. Prickly pear - Egg-size fruit of the prickly pear cactus; the fruit is referred to as tuna; flesh is garnetcolored. Often made in to prickly pear jelly. Printanier - [French] garnish of spring vegetables. Profiterole - Tiny cream puff, filled with sweet or savory mixtures, served as dessert or hors d'oeuvres. Prosciutto - The Italian word for ham, usually referring to the raw cured hams of Parma. Though once impossible to obtain in the United States due to USDA regulations, fine prosciuttos from Italy and Switzerland are now being imported. These hams are called prosciutto crudo. Cooked hams are called prosciutto cotto. Prosciutto is best when sliced paper thin served with ripe figs or wrapped around grissini. Provençale - [French] in the Provence style; served with a spicy garnish of tomatoes, mushrooms and garlic in oil. Prune - dried plum. Puchero - [Spanish] stew. Pudding - Like custards, thick, creamy mixtures of milk, sugar, and flavorings. Custards are thickened with eggs, puddings with cornstarch or flour. Puerco - [Spanish] pork. Puerro - [Spanish] leek. Puesto - [Spanish] a stand in the market or on the street.
Puff paste, pastry - Layers upon layers of pastry dough, each separated by a film of butter. Timeconsuming but fairly easy to make. Pulp - The succulent flesh of a fruit. Pulque - [Spanish] beer made by fermenting the juice of the maguey cactus (century plant). Pulverize - To break a food down to powder by crushing or grinding. Pumate - [Italian] sun-dried tomatoes. Pumpernickel - A course black bread made with rye flour. Pumpkin seeds - [Sp.] pepitas; husked inner seed of the pumpkin; seeds are roasted and used as a snack or garnish; when seeds are roasted and ground, used as a thickener and flavoring agent. Purée - A thick soup made from a pureed vegetable base. To finely blend and mash food to a smooth, lump-free consistency. You can purée foods in a blender, food processor, or food mill. Purse - [French] sieved raw or cooked food; thick vegetable soup which is passed through a sieve or an electric blender or food processor. Purslane - Pink-stemmed purslane weed used as a vegetable and in salads. Puttanesca - A piquant pasta sauce made of tomatoes, onions, black olives, capers, anchovies, and chile flakes. The hot pasta is tossed in this sauce prior to serving. Some recipes leave the ingredients raw, allowing the heat of the pasta to bring out the flavors. Pyramide Cheese - A truncated pyramid is the shape of this small French chevre that is often coated with dark gray edible ash. The texture can range from soft to slightly crumbly and depending upon it’s age, in flavor from mild to sharp. It is wonderful served with crackers or bread and fruit.
Culinary Dictionary – Q
Quahog - The American Indian name for the East Coast hard shell clam. It is also used to describe the largest of these hard shell clams. Other names used are chowder clam or large clam. Quark - [German] cottage cheese. Soured/curdled milk turned into a very loose cottage cheese-like substance. Quatre-epices - A French spice mixture containing ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and pepper. This mixture is used to season stews and pâtés. Quelitas - [Spanish] lamb's quarters; pigweed; goosefoot; wild spinach; wild greens; bean and spinach dish seasoned with bacon and chile. Quemar, quemado - [Spanish] to burn; burned. Quenches - [French] Light savory dumplings made of meat or fish and used as a garnish or in a delicate sauce. Quenelle - A dumpling made from fish or meat forcemeat then poached. Quesadilla - [Spanish] sandwich; flour tortilla turnover which is usually stuffed with cheese, then toasted, fried or baked. Originally a corn masa empanada filled with meat then deep fried. Modern versions found throughout restaurants in the US are made with flour tortillas that are filled with cheese and perhaps beans, meat, salsa. or vegetables, and folded over when cooked. Usually pan-fried or cooked under a broiler. Queso - [Spanish] cheese. Queso añejo - [Spanish] aged cheese; salty white cheese slightly similar to feta in flavor, but since it is not brined, its flavor is somewhat milder; a good substitute is grated feta cheese. Queso asadero - [Spanish] also known as quesilla de Oaxaca; a rubbery-textured cheese that is pulled and twisted into strands; traditionally used in fillings where it becomes stringy when heated; whole-milk mozzarella, Monterey jack or Muenster may be substituted. Queso blanco - [Spanish] fresh white cheese, often called queso fresco. Queso flameado - [Spanish] flamed cheese; queso fundido (melted cheese); cheese roasted over a flame. Queso fresco - [Spanish] cheese which has a texture similar to farmer's cheese; crumbly white cheese made from partially skimmed milk; lightly tangy and very subtle; usually sold in small round cakes; used for fillings and crumbled into soups and over sauces; often called queso blanco; white Cheddar or a mixture of farmer's and feta cheese are fairly good substitutes. Quiche - [French] a savory, open top pie made of eggs, milk or cream, and anything else within reach. The most famous of these is the quiche Lorraine of Alsace, made with bacon and Gruyere cheese. Quiche Lorraine - [French] A custard pie containing cheese and ham or bacon. Quick rising yeast - Quick rising yeast causes a dough to rise in half the the time. Be sure to follow manufacturer's instructions for best results. Find in any supermarket. Quince - This yellow-skinned fruit looks and tastes like a cross between an apple and a pear. Its texture and flavor make it better cooked than raw. Its high pectin content makes it ideal for use in jams, jellies and preserves. Introduced to Latin America by the Spanish and/or Portuguese; looks like a large pear, but is hard and very sour; usually cooked with sugar, after which it becomes faint pink. Quinoa - Pronounced (KEEN-wah). A natural high-protein whole grain grown in South America. Originally used by the Incas, it can be substituted for rice in most recipes. It is a unique grain in that it serves as a complete protein containing essential amino acids.
Culinary Dictionary – R
Rábanos - [Spanish] radishes. Radicchio - A member of the chicory family with red and white leaves. The different varieties range from mild to extremely bitter. The round Verona variety are the most common in the US. Radicchio is peppery, crunchy, and bitter -- like all members of the chicory clan -- radicchio usually has bright red leaves and a tight head. Used most often in salads, but is quite suitable to cooked preparations. Ragoût - A French term for a well seasoned stew made of meat, fish, or vegetables. Ragu - Meaty, slow-cooked tomato sauce, ideal with lasagne, raviloi, and other fresh pasta. Rajas - [Spanish] strips; usually refers to strips or ribbons of roasted or sautéed green chiles and onion. Ramekins - Individual ovenproof baking dishes made of ceramic, porcelain or glass and used in the preparation of custards and other miniature sweet or savory dishes. Ranchero - [Spanish] country-style. Ras el Hanout - This is a powdered spice mixture, used in Arabic and north African cooking, with a sweet and pungent flavor. See the definition under charmoula for a description of the ingredients and its applications. Ratafia - Flavoring made from bitter almonds; liqueur made from fruit kernels; tiny macaroon. Ratatouille - [French] a vegetable stew consisting of onions, eggplant, sweet peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes flavored with garlic, herbs, and olive oil. Ravigote - A velouté sauce with added onions, herbs, white stock and vinegar; served cold. Ravioli - [Italian] little pasta pillows filled with cheese, meat, vegetable(s), or other fillings served in broth or with sauce. Raw sugar - Sugar that has not been refined. Appears much like coffee crystals. Coarse or raw sugar is more difficult to dissolve. Makes a wonderful garnish. Razor clam - A long, thin, razor-shaped clam, considered one of the most delicious of clams; eaten raw or cooked. Recado - [Spanish] seasoning. Recess cake tin - Sponge flan pan. Receta - [Spanish] recipes. Reconstitute - To bring a dried, dehydrated food back to its original consistency by adding a liquid. Red beans - Sometimes referred to as "the Mexican strawberry" in the Southwest; brighter in color than the pinto bean and lacks the surface streaks of the slightly smaller pinto bean; similar to and interchangeable with pinto beans. Medium-size, dark red beans akin to kidneys and pintos. Red Chili Paste with Garlic - See "Garlic and Red Chili Paste." Red Curry Paste - A spicy condiment used in Thai cooking. Rather hot, with it's main ingredient being red chili peppers. Found in some supermarkets and Oriental markets. Red pepper flakes - The dried flakes of dried ripe red hot chile pepper. Most are quite hot. Reduce - To cook a liquid, usually a sauce or stock, over high heat, thereby decreasing its volume and intensifying its flavor. Reduction sauce - A sauce that uses as its base the pan juices that are created from the stove-top cooking or oven-roasting of meat, fish, poultry, or vegetables. Refrito - [Spanish] refried; usually describes beans that are cooked, mashed, and fried in lard. Reis - [German] rice. Relish - Sharp or spicy sauce made with fruit or vegetables which adds a piquant flavor to other foods. Relleno - [Spanish] stuffed. Rémoulade - This classic French sauce (or salad dressing) is made by combining mayonnaise (usually homemade) with mustard, capers and chopped gherkins, herbs and anchovies. It is served chilled as an accompaniment to cold meat, fish and shellfish. Render - To cook a food over low heat until it releases its fat. Rennet - An extract from the fourth stomach of lambs and calves used in cheese making to coagulate milk or in making junket pudding. There are also rennets obtained from vegetables such as cardoons.
Renuevos de rastrojo - [Spanish] tumbleweed shoots; they have a wild bean flavor and can be used as a vegetable or in salads. Repollo - [Spanish] cabbage. Res - [Spanish] beef. Resquesón - [Spanish] curd cheese; often called queso fresco or queso blanco. Revoltijo de huevos - [Spanish] scrambled eggs. Rhubarb - A celery-like vegetable we treat as a fruit (in fact a court case once decided it was a fruit). Never eat the leaves of a rhubarb, which contain poisonous levels of oxalic acid. Rib steak - A steak cut from the rib portion, that part of the beef from which the standing rib roast or rolled rib roast is also taken; a club steak. Rice - Long-grain rice (including basmati rice) cooks in firm, dry kernels; short-grain or medium-grain, rice cooks up moist and slightly sticky, as its outer outer layer absorbs more liquid than long-grain rice. Rice, Arborio - One of the Italian medium-grain rices used to make risotto. Once grown only in Italy, Arborio has become so popular it is now being cultivated in California and Texas. Rice, Aromatic - A broad term for a group of mostly long-grain rices with a pronounced nutty aroma. Basmati, Texmati, Wild Pecan and Jasmine are all aromatic rices. Rice, Black - Rice with a black-colored bran layer, popular in Asian cuisine, that sometimes lightens to a deep purple when cooked. There are many varieties of black rice from China, Thailand and Indonesia. Rice, Brown - Rice that has not had its bran layer removed and therefore has a slight chewy texture and nutty taste. Long-, medium- and short-grain brown and brown basmati are four popular varieties. Rice, Pearl - A short-grain sticky rice, sometimes called sushi rice. It is grown across Asia, California and Arkansas. Rice, red - Rice with a reddish-brown bran layer, a nutty taste and chewy consistency. Red rice is often marketed as Wehani (also called Russet), Bhutanese red rice and Thai red rice. Rice, Valencia - Valencia rice (sometimes sold as paella rice), is a large white oval grain. Grown in Spain, it is similar to Arborio. It's the rice used for paella, the Spanish dish that pairs rice with seafood, chicken, rabbit or chorizo and vegetables. Rice, Wild - Wild rice looks like rice but is actually an aquatic grass. Native to North America, today most wild rice is cultivated in man-made paddies from the northern Great Lakes to California. Rice noodles - Common in Southeast Asia, we can find these dried in supermarkets and in Asian markets. Can be served after soaking in hot water, but best when soaked and then boiled quickly. Rice paper - [China] an edible paper made from rice and used to wrap dumplings, Vietnamese summer rolls, and other Asian foods; edible, glossy white paper made from the pith of a tree grown in China. Frequently used for macaroon base. Rice sticks - Clear noodles made from ground rice. Available in varying widths. Found in most Asian markets and larger supermarkets. Rice vinegar - Delicately flavored vinegar with lower acidity than many other commercial vinegars, which makes it nice for vinaigrettes. Sold in most supermarkets and all Asian stores. Rice wine - Called shao hsing in Chinese markets. A good dry sherry is a fine substitute. Ricer - A plunger-operated utensil that is the best tool for making mashed potatoes. It also rices potatoes for potato dumplings. Ricotta - [Italian] rich, fresh, moist cheese resembling cottage cheese, that may be made with whole or skim milk. Originally Ricotta was made from sheep's milk. Ricotta Salata - [Italian] a lightly salted cheese produced from sheep milk that has been pressed and dried. Riddling - An important step in removing sediment from Champagne. Bottles are placed in racks and then turned by hand or machine over weeks or months until they are upside down and the sediment has settled on top of the corks, whereby the sediment is readily removed. Rigatoni - [Italian] large pasta tubes with ribbed sides. Rijsttafel - A Dutch word, meaning "rice table." It is a Dutch version of an Indonesian meal consisting of hot rice accompanied by several (sometimes 20 or 40) small, well-seasoned side dishes of seafoods, meats, vegetables, fruits, sauces, condiments, etc.
Rillette - A coarse, highly spiced spread made of meat or poultry and always served cold. This is called potted meat because rillettes are often covered with a layer of lard and stored for a period of time to age the mixture. Rind, rindfleisch - [German] beef. Ring tin - Baking pan Riñones - [Spanish] kidneys. Ris - [French] sweetbreads. Risotto - A classic dish of Northern Italy whose preparation of rice results in a creamy liaison with stock and butter. Usually made with Arborio rice. This may be served as a first course, main course, or side dish and embellished with meat, seafood, cheese, or vegetables. The best known version of this dish is Risotto a la Milanese, with saffron and Parmagiano Reggiano cheese. Rissole - Small pies similar to empanadas and piroshki. They are filled with meat, vegetables, or cheese and deep fried. Ristra - [Spanish] string of red chiles for drying in the sun. Roasting - Cooking method utilizing the oven with radiant heat, or on a spit over or under an open flame. Róbalo - [Spanish] bass. Robert - A spicy brown sauce containing onions and vinegar, served with game and other meats. Rockfish - Firm, white- and sweet -fleshed fish that is the West Coast equivalent of red snapper. Tasty a highly versatile, although not sturdy enough to grill, then can be considered and all-purpose fish. Rockmelon - [Great Britain] Cantaloupe. Roe - A word used to refer to either a female fish's eggs or male fish's milt, or sperm. May come from carp, mackerel, or herring, but Americans seem to focus on the roe of shad. Roe should smell fresh and be firm. Milt of the male fish is called soft roe. Eggs of the female fish are called hard roe. Shellfish roe, called coral, because of its color. Roggenbrot - Rye bread. Rognoni - [Italian] kidneys. Rognons - [French] kidneys. Rojo - [Spanish] red. Romaine (Cos) lettuce - This lettuce has long, narrow leaves, crunchy ribs and a slight tang. Also called Cos lettuce because of its origin on the Aegean island of Cos. Romano - [Italian] prepared in the style of Rome. Romero - [Spanish] rosemary. Rompope - Mexican eggnog. Rosbif - [French] roast beef. Rose water; rosewater - [Middle East] an aromatic liquid made by distilling rose petals. Frequent found in pastries of the Middle East. Rosti - A Swiss potato pancake made from cooked potatoes, sometimes flavored with bacon. Rôti - [French] roast. Rotisserie - [French] rotating spit used for roasting or grilling meat or poultry. Rouille - A thick sauce similar to aioli, made of dried chiles, garlic, and olive oil. Rouille is traditionally served with bouillabaisse and soup de poisson. Other recipes also add saffron and tomatoes. Roulade - [French] rolled meat, chocolate cake, vegetables, etc. Round steak - Meat from the thick central portion of the hind leg. Roux - [French] a mixture of flour and fat used to thicken sauces, soups, and stews. Though usually made with butter, roux is also made with bacon or poultry fats, margarine, and vegetable oil. The mixture is cooked for a brief time to remove the raw taste of the starch from the flour. Longer cooking results in a darker color, which is favorable in Creole cooking where roux are cooked for long periods until they reach a dark brown color with a nut-like flavor and aroma. Russe, à la - Served with sour cream. Russian dressing - Basically a simple mixture of mayo and ketchup. Rutabaga - A root vegetable that is not a turnip, but is treated like one, the rutabaga (also sold under the name "Swede" or Swedish turnip) is larger and somewhat coarser in texture than its cousin.
Culinary Dictionary – S
Sabayon - Also known as zabaglione. A delicious dessert containing egg yolks, wine, cream, and sugar. Can be eaten by itself or served as a sauce for other desserts. Sable - A rich short cookie similar to shortbread. Sabrosas - [Spanish] tasty. Sachertorte - [German] a rich chocolate cake. Saddle - The undivided loins of an animal, roasted as a unit. Saddle blankets - Cowboy name for large pancakes. Saffron - Fragrant, thread-like, hand-picked stigmas of the autumn Crocus sativus plant, originating in the eastern Mediterranean, now grown as well in Spain, France, and South America. It has a characteristic pungent aroma and flavor and bright yellow color. It is also very expensive and used sparingly. It takes only a few threads to achieve the desired flavor and color. Saffron is indispensable in paella and bouillabaisse. A good substitute for the yellow color is turmeric, though nothing can replace its unique flavor. [Sp.] azafrán. Sage - A relative of the mint, it is the predominant spice in American turkey stuffing. Saguaro - Tall cactus found in Arizona; its fruit is made into jams and jellies. Saignant - [French] referring too meat preparation - undone. Sake - Japanese rice wine. Necessary to good Japanese cooking. The term "Ginjo" on the label means "superior." The term "Dai-ginjo" on the label means "superior premium." These indicate the highest grades of both pure rice (from which all sake is derived) and fortified sake. "Futsu-shu" is the lowest grade sake and is used in Japan most often as cooking wine. "Honjozo-shu" is a slightly better grade and is stronger and fuller; it can be served hot or cold. "Junmai-shu" is made from koji rice, yeast and water, and is usually served at room temp. "Kijo-shu" is sweeter and is generally served as an aperitif. And "Nigori," which is cloudy or "impure" and effervescent, is slightly sweet and therefore served at the end of a meal. Found in Japanese markets, larger supermarkets and liquor stores. Sal - [Spanish] salt. Salami - [Italian] spiced pork sausage, prepared fresh or smoked. Salchicha - [Spanish] sausage. Salisbury steak - A restaurant term for quality hamburger, made of chopped sirloin. Salmon - One of the most popular fin fish, rich, oily (beneficial oil). and highly flavorful. Many markets sell "Norwegian" salmon as if it were a distinct species; but it is actually Atlantic salmon (and Atlantic salmon is now grown in the Pacific Northwest, northern Europe, Chile, and any place else there is cold, protected sea water). There are five species of wild Pacific salmon - king (or Chinook) and sockeye, which are leaner than Atlantic salmon; coho (silver); and chum (keta). Salmagundi - A mixture of many foods cut into pieces - meat, chicken, seafood, cheese, vegetables, combined with or without a sauce, served cold. Salmis - A fricassée or stew made from game birds. Salpiçon - [Spanish] shredded or finely cut; Mexican shredded meat salad; hash. Cooked food cut into tiny pieces, usually as a filling for pastry. Salsa - [Spanish and Italian] sauce. Salsa refers to cooked or fresh combinations of fruits and/or vegetables. The most popular is the Latino mixture of tomatoes, onion and chile peppers. Salsa cruda - [Spanish] uncooked sauce. Salsa de rojo - [Spanish] red chili sauce. Salsify - Also called the oyster plant, (See Oyster plant) because it, at least theoretically, tastes like an oyster. Grayish or black (in which case it is called scorzonera) on the outside and pearly white on the inside, this root should be peeled and dropped into acidulated water to prevent discoloration. Salt cod, dried - Codfish that has been cured with salt, common in Mediterranean and Caribbean cooking. Also known as baccalà. Must be soaked in water for at least 18 hours, changing the water several times, before you cook it. Buy in Delicatessens and seafood shops.
Salt hoss - Cowboy term for corned beef. Saltimbocca - An Italian dish comprised of thin slices of veal, rolled around ham and cheese, seasoned with sage and braised in butter until tender. Saltpeter - Potassium Nitrate. A common kitchen chemical used in preservation of meat or preparing corned beef or pork. May be purchased at drugstores. Salvia - [Spanish] sage. Sambuca - An anise-flavored, not-too-sweet Italian liqueur which is usually served with 2 or 3 darkroasted coffee beans floating on top. Samosa - An Indian snack of deep-fried (sometimes baked) dumplings stuffed with curried vegetables meat or both. Most common of the fillings is potatoes or cauliflower with peas. Samovar - [Russian] metal tea urn heated from an inner tube, in which charcoal is burnt. Sandia - [Spanish] watermelon. Sangria = [Spanish] drink made from sweet red wine, pieces of fresh fruit (usually orange and lemon), spices (cinnamon, cloves). Sangrita - [Spanish] tequila and chile cocktail. Sardine - Small, silvery fish with rich, tasty dark flesh. Enormously popular in Europe as an appetizer. Fresh sardines should be iced immediately after catching and are great broiled. Sartén - [Spanish] skillet. Sasafrás - [Spanish] sassafras. Sashimi - A Japanese dish of raw fish, shellfish, and mollusks served with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled vegetables. Sushi is similar but it is served with vinegared rice, and may also include nori seaweed, vegetables, and strips of cooked eggs similar to omelets. A common accompaniment to this is pickled ginger. Satay - Also spelled saté and sateh. These are pieces of meat or fish threaded onto skewers and grilled over a flame. Several variations of these are seen throughout Southeast Asia. A spicy peanut sauce is served with meat satay in Vietnam and Thailand. Saturated fat - Mainly derived from animals, although some vegetables are also highly saturated. A good clue that a fat is saturated is that it is solid at room temperature. Sauté - [French] to prepare food by rapidly friying in shallow, hot fat, and turned until evenly browned. Savarin - [French] a ring-shaped cake made of a rich yeast dough, soaked with a rum syrup, and filled with pastry or whipped cream. Sauce piquante - A thick, sharp-flavored sauce made with roux and tomatoes, highly seasoned with herbs and peppers, simmered for hours. Saucisse - [French] a very small sausage. Saucisson - [French] sausage. Sauerbraten - [German] sweet and sour beef in gravy. Sauerkraut - [German] sour cabbage; shredded and pickled cabbage. Saumon - [French] salmon. Sausage casings - Made from beef or pork products, available by special order from good meat markets or by mail order. Savarin - [French] rich yeast cake, which is baked in a ring mold and soaked in liqueur-flavored syrup. Served cold with cream or cream sauce. Scald - To prepare milk or cream by heating it to just below the boiling point; to prepare fruit or vegetables by plunging into boiling water to remove the skins. Scallion - Actually a green onion, a scallion is an immature onion with a white base (not yet a bulb) and long green leaves. Both parts of the scallion are edible. Scallop - A mollusk with creamy texture and subtle but distinctive flavor. True bay scallops and se scallops are the best. Bake in layers with sauce. If desired top with crumbs. See also Escallop Scaloppini - [Italian] veal slices pounded very thin. Scampi - Another word for langoustine, or shrimp. This word is used in the U.S. as a description of shrimp broiled with butter, lemon, and garlic. Schnecken - [German] round yeast coffee cakes.
Schnitzel - [German] veal cutlets. Schwarzbrot - [German] dark whole grained bread. Schwein - [German] pork. Scones- [Great Britain] Biscuits; a small, lightly sweetened pastry similar to American biscuits, often flavored with currants. Score - To make lengthwise gashes on the surface of food. Scrapple - Meat dish of freshly-butchered pork scraps and cornmeal. Scungille - See "Conch." A shellfish. Sea bass - This small, firm-fleshed species is one of the best fish to cook whole. The black sea bass of the North Atlantic is the most commonly seen species. Look for clean and sweet-smelling fish. Sea plums - Canned oysters. Sea Urchin - A round spiny creature found off the coasts of Europe and America. The only edible portion is the coral, usually eaten raw with fresh lemon juice. Sea vegetables - A rich source of iodine and an important food source in many oriental cultures. Sea vegetables such as dulse, hijiki, and arame can be soaked briefly in water, squeezed dry, and cut up for salad. Laver (nori) is what you use to make sushi. Sear - To prepare meat by browning it rapidly with fierce heat to seal in the juices and flavor of the meat. Season - To add flavor to foods in the form of salt, pepper, herbs, spices, vinegar, etc. so that their taste is improved. Seasoned flour - Flour flavored with salt and pepper and sometimes other seasonings. Seaweed sheets, dried - Also known as nori and laver. Find in Oriental markets and larger supermarkets. Seca (seco) - [Spanish] dried. Secos y asados - [Spanish] dried and roasted. Selle - Saddle (See "Saddle of lamb, veal," etc.) Semifreddo - Meaning "half cold", this is gelato with whipped cream folded into it. Semilla - [Spanish] seed. Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate - often utilized in cake and cookie recipes. Both terms are often used interchangeably, though bittersweet generally has more chocolate liquor (the paste formed from roasted, ground cocoa beans). Semisweet chocolate contains at least 35% chocolate liquor, while some fine bittersweets contain 50% or more. Either chocolate possess a deep, smooth, intense flavor that comes from the blend of cocoa beans used rather than added dairy products. Sugar, vanilla, and cocoa butter must be added to the liquor to enhance the chocolate flavor. Semolina flour - A delicately flavored, coarse flour made from durum wheat, primarily used in making pasta and bread. Sencillo - [Spanish] simple. Serenata - [Spanish] codfish salad. Serrano chiles - Serrano means from the mountains; medium green chile, becoming brilliant red when ripe; extremely hot; usually shorter and thinner than the jalapeño; a basic ingredient for salsas, sauces, marinades and escabeches; jalapeños may be substituted. Serrano seco - [Spanish] dried red serrano chile. Sesame oil - This oil pressed from the sesame sees has a slightly nutty flavor. Used as a flavoring in Oriental cooking, not a cooking oil. Used for flavoring a dish at the last minute. The health food-store version is not made from toasted sesame seed, so the flavor is very bland. Find in Oriental markets and larger supermarkets. Sesame seeds, toasted - Often used as garnish in many cuisines. To make - Toast raw sesame seeds in a frying pan over medium heat until golden brown. Shake and stir the seeds over the burner to get even coloring. Ready for use. Sesos - [Spanish] brains. Seviche - A popular dish in Latin-American cookery, a dish of raw fish, scallops, or shrimp marinated in citrus juices until the flesh becomes "cooked". Onions, peppers, and chiles are then added to finish the dish.
Shallot - A bulbous herb whose flavor resembles an onion. In some areas the term applies to the green tops as well as the bulb. They are called "scallions" or "green onions" elsewhere. Shaslik - Skewered, broiled marinated lamb. Shell steak - The same as Delmonico. (See "Delmonico".) Sherry vinegar - This recent addition to American markets is a good wine vinegar that is better than inexpensive balsamic vinegar. May be used in salads, and also as a marinade for grilled and broiled dishes. Sherbet - A frozen mixture containing fruit juices, water or milk, to which various thickeners are added before freezing, such as egg whites or gelatin. Shirred eggs - Eggs broken into shallow ramekins containing cream or crumbs, then baked or broiled until set. Shish kebab - Cubes of meat cooked on a skewer, often with vegetables. Shirataki Noodles - Thin, long, translucent noodles made from very fine strands of a gelatinous substance called konnyaku, which is taken from the "devil's tongue plant" (Japanese yam). Their texture is slightly rubbery and they do not have any flavor. The noodles will pick up the flavor of the broth or other ingredients in the dish in which they are simmered. They are available dried or packaged in water in a plastic casing that gives it a sausage-like shape. They are also found packaged in cans. Shiitake - The best domesticated mushroom, with a rich, distinctive, smoky flavor. Do not eat the stem, but save it for stocks. Can be found in most Oriental markets dried. Also found fresh or dried in s ome larger supermarkets. Short loin - The tenderloin. Short ribs - The cut off ends of the prime rib, which should be cooked in liquid until quite tender. Short-broiling - The same as parboiling or poaching. Short-grain rice - The most common rice in Japanese cooking. It has a short oval shape compared to long-grain rice. Also known as pearl rice. Shortbread - A butter-rich cookie from Scotland, often seasoned with lemon, cinnamon, ginger, almonds and cumin. Shortening - Although good at holding air, shortening has little flavor. It is just a fat solid. Stick with butter for baking. Short'nin' bread - Sweet, rich quick bread. Shoyu - Japanese for Soy Sauce. Shrimp - America's most popular shellfish, the best shrimp is freshly caught and fairly local. Most shrimp is frozen however. Shrimp powder, dried - Tiny shrimp dried and ground into a fine powder. Found in Oriental markets. Shuck - To peel off or remove the shell of oysters or clams, or the husk from an ear of corn. Sidra - [Spanish] cider. Sieve - A fine, mesh strainer. Sift - To pass flour or sugar through a sieve to remove lumps and add air. Silver dragées - Tiny, ball-shaped, silver-colored candies. Silver foil (Vark) - Edible silver in ultra-thin sheets. Used for fancy garnishing in Indian cooking. Simmer - To cook food in liquid which is heated to just below boiling point. Sincronizada - [Spanish] double-decker quesadilla. Single cream - [Great Britain] Light cream. Sippets - Small pieces of toast, soaked in milk or broth for the sick; bits of biscuit or toast used as a garnish. Sirloin steak - A juicy, flavorful cut of beef from the portion of the animal between the rump and the tenderloin. Skate wings - This is the edible portion of the skate. The flesh, when cooked, separates into little fingers of meat and has a distinctive rich, gelatinous texture. The taste is similar to that of scallops. Never buy skate with the inedible skin on as it is very difficult to remove. Skewers - Long thin metal pins on which food is impaled for grilling or broiling. Skim - To remove cream from the surface of milk, fat from the tops of gravies and sauces or frothy scum from broths or jam and jellies during cooking.
Skirt steak - The diaphragm muscle, a little know but delicious cut of beef, very tender and juicy if broiled quickly and served rare. Skunk egg - Cowboy term for an onion. Slap bread - Hand-shaped bread, slapped thin, such as tortillas and fry bread. Smitane - Wine sauce with sour cream and onions added. Smoking - Method of curing foods, such as bacon or fish, by exposing it to wood smoke for a considerable period of time. Smorgasbord - A Swedish buffet of many dishes served as hors d oeuvres or a full meal. Similar buffets are served throughout Scandinavia, as well as the Soviet Union. Common elements of a smorgasbord are pickled herring, marinated vegetables, smoked and cured salmon and sturgeon, and a selection of canapés. Smother - Cook slowly in covered pot or skillet with a little liquid added to sautéed mixture. Snow peas - Edible-pod peas with soft, green pods and tiny peas. Soba noodle - Buckwheat noodles, brown, flat, resembling spaghetti, used in Japanese cooking. Usually served in broth. Soda bread - Irish bread; a baking powder bread, or one made with sour milk and baking soda. Sofrito - [Spanish] famous seasoning mix which includes cured ham, lard or canola oil, oregano, onion, green pepper, sweet chile peppers, fresh coriander leaves and garlic. Soft grub - Hotel or diner food. Sonorenses - [Spanish] Sonora-style. Sopa - [Spanish] soup, dry or liquid. Sopa seca - [Spanish] dry soup with very little liquid left after cooking. Sopaipillas - [Spanish] sofa pillows; fritters soaked in honey; a puffed, fried bread, served with honey (or a mixture of honey and melted butter) or syrup or slit, then filled with various stuffings. Sopes - [Spanish] little round antojitos of tortilla dough. Sorbet - [French] water, sugar, and flavorings, usually fresh fruit, frozen in an ice-cream machine. Best eaten immediately after making. Sorrel - Somewhere between an herb and a green, sorrel has a sour, lemony flavor. It is used to flavor sauces and is great in soups. Soubise - [French] with a flavoring of puréed onion. Soufflé - From the French for "breath," a fluffy, airy dish that can be sweet or savory. Soufflés rise as they bake, forming a top hat-like shape and most should be served immediately. Sour cream - Cultured cream that gets its tanginess from lactic acid. Note that there is a big difference between sour cream and spoiled cream. Sour oranges - Seville oranges; ornamental oranges. Sourdough - Yeasty fermented bread; the natural starter is kept in a jar or crock. Souse - to pickle food in brine or vinegar; such as soused herrings. Soy bean - Soybean are round, under one-half inch in diameter, and usually yellowish, although the may be other colors. Soy bens are used to make a host of soy products, including tofu. Soy milk - the liquid left after beans have been crushed in hot water and strained. Soy milk is a favorite beverage in the East. In Hong Kong, soy milk is as popular as Coca-Cola is in the United States. Soy sauce, light - To be used when you don't want to color a dish with caramel coloring, which is what dark soy contains. Do not confuse this with "Lite" soy sauce. Soy sauce, lite - Lower in salt and flavor than other soy sauce. Soy sauce, dark - Used in dishes in which you want to color the meat and sweeten the flavor with caramel sugar. Most common soy sauce. Soy sauce, Japanese - Chinese soy is very different from Japanese. Japanese soys contain much more wheat flour and sugar. Buy in larger quantities in a Japanese market. It is cheaper that way and it will keep well if kept sealed. Spaghetti - [Italian] long strands of pasta of various thicknesses and colors. Spaghetti squash - The flesh of this squash resembles a mass of spaghetti-like strands. It is very bland in comparison to other winter squash. Bake or steam it until done (cook whole, piercing skin a few
times). Cut it in half and scrape out the strands, toss with sauce or butter and seasonings, or make into pancakes as you would grated zucchini. Spanish onions - Like Bermuda onions, these are large, relatively mild, easy to handle, and keep well for weeks. Good for baking. Spare ribs - The long cut of meat from the lower breast bone of the hog. Spareribs are best cooked slowly, so that their fat can be rendered and they can become tender. Spaetzle - This is a coarse noodle from Alsace and Germany made of flour, eggs, oil, and water. The soft dough is dropped into boiling water (with a spaetzle press) and poached until cooked through. The noodle is then fried in butter or oil and served as a side dish to meat dishes. Spaetzle may also be flavored with cheese, mushrooms, and herbs. Spatchcocking - A technique whereby poultry shears or a sharp knife is used to split chicken along backbone, leaving breastbone intact. Spatchcocked chicken is generally served with a vinaigrette sauce Speck - Cured and smoked pork flank. Spelt - An often neglected wheat berry, overlooked in favor of those better suited to bread making. Spelt has a magnificent wheaty flavor. A very similar grain is the Italian grain farro. Spiedini - An Italian word for skewers of meat or fish grilled over a flame or under a broiler. Known as Spiedies in the Eastern United States. Spiedino - Fried cheese with anchovy sauce. Spinach - The best spinach is, of course, fresh, and should have crisp, robustly green leaves. Always wash well in several changes of water and remove extra-thick stems. Spit - Revolving skewer or metal rod on which meat, poultry or game is roasted over a fire or under a grill. Process creates high heat and forces fat to spit out of meats. Split peas - Green or yellow, and mealy when cooked. Good soup base. Sponge - The portion of dough in bread-making containing all or part of the yeast, to which are added the remaining ingredients. Spoon bread - A kind of baked cornmeal pudding. Spotted pup - Chuckwagon name for raisin pudding; without the raisins, it was just called "pup." Spring roll - Thin sheets of dough which are filled with meat, seafood, or vegetables and rolled into logs. Spring rolls are most often deep fried, though they may also be steamed. Chinese versions use wheat dough, while the Vietnamese and Thai versions use a rice paper wrapper. Springerle - [German] anise-flavored cookies or pastries. Springform mold - Baking tin with hinged sides, held together by a metal clamp or pin, which is opened to release the cake or pie which was cooked inside. Spumoni - [Italian] Ice cream made with fruit and nuts. Squab - A twelve to fourteen ounce pigeon. Squash blossoms - Blossoms of winter squashes such as zucchini, yellow squash and pumpkin; commonly used in Southwestern cooking; best when used the day they are picked or bought; may be cooked briefly for use in soups or sauces, or stuffed and fried. Squaw bread - Indian bread deep-fried in 6-inch circles; fry bread; popovers. Squawberries - Red-orange berries from thorny desert bushes. Squid - This cephalopod has become popular in the United States, as long as you call it calamari. Fresh squid should be purple to white -- avoid any squid with brown coloring -- and smell sweet and clean. Squid freezes well, and loses little flavor during defrosting and refreezing. Squirrel can - Cowboy term for large can used for after-meal scraps. Sriracha - A hot sauce made from sun-ripened chiles which are ground into a smooth paste along with garlic. It is excellent in soups, sauces, pastas, pizzas, hot dogs, hamburgers, chow mein or on almost anything else to give it a delicious, spicy taste. Star anise - Star-shaped pod has a similar but stronger flavor and more fragrance than the botanicallyunrelated aniseed; most often cooked whole and strained from sauces and marinade, but sometimes ground for spice rubs and pastes. Starch - Carbohydrate obtained from cereals and potatoes or other tubers. Steak Diane - A very thin steak. Steak tartare - Very lean beef, minced and served raw.
Steam - to cook food in the steam created by boiling water. Steep - To soak in liquid until saturated with a soluble ingredient; soak to remove an ingredient, such as to remove salt from smoked ham or salted cod. Sterilize - To destroy germs by exposing food to heat at specific temperatures. Stew - To simmer food slowly in a covered pan or casserole. Stir - To mix with a circular movement, using a spoon or fork or other utensil. Stock - A flavored broth from meats, fish, shellfish, and vegetables. These are the basis of sauce and soup making. Stock cubes - [Great Britain] Bouillon cubes. Stone fruits - Stone fruits are simply fruits with a stone, such as peach or plum. Strain - To separate liquids from solids by passing them through a metal or cloth sieve (such as cheesecloth). Strasbourgeoise - Served with goose livers and truffles. Straw mushrooms, canned - Small button-like mushrooms indigenous to Asia. Fresh ones are so delicate that they aren't usually shipped. Streaker - Usually refers to bean purées or other colorful pastes made from nondairy products and used to decorate plates and finished dishes; may also refer to brightly colored cremas. Streaky Bacon - [Great Britain] American bacon. Striped bass - Firm-textured fish with meaty, pinkish flesh. When wild, striped bass are highly flavorful. Can be substituted in recipes that call for cod or other milder fish, and some stronger fish too. Strudel - [Austrian] thin leaves of pastry dough, filled with fruit, nuts or savory mixtures, which are rolled and baked and finally iced or frosted. Savory versions of this are similar to the Russian coulibiac. Streusel - A delicious topping of sugar, butter, flour, and other spices that adds flavor and crunch to crumb cakes, coffee cakes and some muffins. Stuffing - A well-seasoned mixture of bread or rice, spices, vegetables, and usually meat that is "stuffed" inside the cavity of poultry or meat. Sub gum - A stew of Chinese vegetables. Suchet - With the flavoring of carrot. Suckeyes - Cowboy term for pancakes. Sucre - [French] sugar. Suero de la leche - [Spanish] buttermilk. Suet - The hard fat around the kidneys and loins of beef, mutton or pork. Sugar alcohols - Sugar alcohols like mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol are sweeteners that occur naturally in fruits, and are often added to certain foods. They're called "alcohols" because of their chemical structure, not because they contain the kind of alcohol in drinks like beer, wine and spirits. Because sugar alcohols do not promote tooth decay, they are often used in "sugarless" gum. They are also used to add texture to some foods. Some studies suggest that because sugar alcohols take longer to break down than regular sugar, they may cause a less rapid spike in blood sugar than sugar-sweetened products. But remember that they are not calorie-free, are not likely to help with weight control and, when consumed in excessive amounts, can lead to intestinal gas, cramping or diarrhea. Sugar snaps - Also called snap peas, these flavorful pea-filled pods are newly developed (introduced in 1979). Sugar snaps are crisp, with crunchy pods and sweet peas. Sugar syrup - Differentiating from natural syrups, this term refers to a solution of sugar and water. Simple syrups are made with equal quantities of water and sugar. Heavy syrup is made with twice as much sugar as water. These types of syrups are used in making sorbets, soft drinks, and for soaking cakes. Sukiyaki - Japanese dish of meat, vegetables and seasonings, usually cooked at the table. Sultanas - A type of large raisins, originally Turkish. [Great Britain] Seedless white raisins. Sumac - [Middle East] spice that comes from the grated skin of a dark berry that possesses a a slightly acidic, astringent flavor. Summer squash - These light, fleshy squashes of the late summer are available in many varieties, most notably zucchini and yellow squash. Choose squash that is very firm.
Sunchokes - Also called Jerusalem artichokes, sunchokes are the knobby roots of a perennial sunflower. They resemble ginger in appearance and have a subtle, delicious flavor. Their high sugar content enables them to brown well when fried or roasted. Sun-dried tomatoes - When a tomato is dried in the sun (or more likely the oven) the end result is a shriveled, intensely flavored tomato. They are usually packed in olive oil or packaged dried (when dried soak them in hot water to reconstitute). Sunflower seeds - Seeds of the sunflower, these can be roasted or dried in or out of their shells. They can be added to many sweet and savory dishes, including salads, baked goods, and granola. Sunsweet Lighter Bake - a 100% fat- and cholesterol-free baking ingredient that replaces butter, margarine, oil or shortening in scratch recipes and packaged mixes. Made from a blend of dried plums and apples, this new fat "imposter" creates moist, chewy baked goods that are lower in fat. Lighter Bake is located in the cooking oil or baking ingredients section of supermarkets nationwide. Superfine sugar - Also called caster sugar, this finely granulated sugar is good in meringues and cold drinks; it dissolves quickly and easily. It can be made by blenderizing granulated sugar in the blender until it is powdery. Suppe - [German] soup. Suprême - A rich heavy cream sauce. Suprême de volaille - Breast of chicken. Swamp seed - Rice. Swedes - [Great Britain] Turnips. Sweet Chocolate - Highly like the composition of semisweet chocolate, sweet chocolate has more sugar added and less chocolate liquor. Sweet potato - Contrary to popular belief, the sweet potato is different from the yam. Sweet potatoes are bright with orange flesh, though some varieties have yellow, white, or even purple flesh. Sweetbreads - The culinary term for the thymus gland of an animal. Those of veal and lamb are most commonly eaten. The pancreas is also considered a sweetbread, but its taste and texture is inferior to that of the thymus gland. Sweetened condensed milk - Milk that has been evaporated to about half of its volume and has sugar added. Sticky and sweet. Swiss roll tin - Jellyroll pan. Swiss steak - A steak (usually bottom round, sometimes lean chuck) into which seasoned flour has been pounded before cooking. Swordfish - Highly popular fish, wonderful on the grill. When buying, look for bright flesh with tight swirls; should smell good. Skin is inedible. Syllabub - An English dessert comprised mainly of whipped cream sweetened with sugar and flavored with sherry, brandy, or Cointreau. Lemon zest, fruit preserves or puree may also be swirled into the cream. Syrup - Thick, sweet liquid made by boiling sugar with water or fruit juices.
Culinary Dictionary – T
Tabasco chile - The famous chile from Tabasco, Mexico; seeds were introduced to Louisiana in the 1860s. Tabasco Sauce - A brand-name very hot red sauce made from hot ground peppers, fermented and mixed with vinegar. Tabasco® Pepper Sauce is made on Avery Island in Louisiana, United States. This sauce is commonly used with Creole food, chili con carne and eggs. Tabbouleh - A Lebanese salad made of softened bulgur tossed with vegetables and seasoned with lemon and mint. Table d'hôte - [French] meal of a definite number of courses, selected by the restaurant for a preset price. Taco - [Mexican] wad or mouthful; fried, toasted or baked tortilla with filling rolled or folded inside. It has either a soft or crisp fried shell. Tagine - A Moroccan dish named after the cooking utensil in which it has been cooked. These stews may contain poultry, fish, meat, or vegetables and are highly spiced with sweet overtones common in North African cuisine. Tagliarini - A flat ribbon pasta, narrower than tagliatelle, measuring approximately 3mm across. Tagliatelle - [Italian] a flat ribbon pasta, narrower than fettuccine, measuring approximately 6mm across. Tahini - A light creamy paste made of toasted sesame seeds and sesame oil - almost like peanut butter. Used in many Middle Eastern dishes, it can be found in Middle Eastern delicatessens or larger supermarkets. Tailgate - (United States) outdoor snack, meal or beverages originally served from the back of a pick-up truck at any sporting event. Hot food prepared on the grill at a sporting event. Taleggio - A square creamy cheese from the Lombardy region of Italy, with a fat content of almost 50%. Has a mild, salty-sweet flavor, which can become pungent if left to age for too long. Tallarines - [Spanish] noodles. Tallow biscuits - Hot biscuits spread with fresh tallow. Tamal (tamale) - [Spanish] any filling enclosed in masa, wrapped in a corn husk or parchment paper, and steamed; the plural is tamales. The cornmeal is spread on a corn husk, then filled with chileseasoned mixture of meats and red pepper, rolled, tied and steamed. Tamalero - [Spanish] tamale-making party. Tamarind - This is the very pungent, tart fruit pod of trees originally from Africa, now common in Asia, India, and the West Indies. The taste is bittersweet with citrus overtones. The pulp is very sticky and difficult to work with. Tamarind paste and concentrate, fresh products, are available in the produce sections of many ethnic markets. They keep for 2-3 weeks, refrigerated. Both products made from the pulp of the tamarind pod, need to be reconstituted. Tamarindo - [Spanish] sometimes labeled as Indian dates; a The pod is bout four inches long; they have a brown papery outer skin that covers the sticky pulp, fibers and seeds; it makes a wonderful hot weather drink; also great for sauces and chiles when combined with dried chiles; a primary ingredient in both Worcestershire and Pick-a-Peppa sauces; also sold in dried bricks with its seeds, as frozen pulp and purée, and as canned paste; fresh pods can be purchased from later summer through early spring. Tangerine - A small orange citrus fruit. What the United States calls tangerines are called mandarins elsewhere in the world. They are loose-skinned oranges. The best is the clementine - the small, flattened, seedless fruit that is easier to peel, has less pith, and is sweeter than all other tangerines. Tapenade - A paste made from cured black olives seasoned with olive oil, garlic, anchovies, capers, lemon, and marc or cognac. This is common in Province, where it is served with croutons and raw vegetables to dip. This also makes a good sauce for grilled meats and strong flavored fish. Tapioca - This is a starchy ingredient derived from the cassava root. Tapioca puddings and custards are made with pearl tapioca, which serves as a thickening agent. Tapioca comes in several forms, including granules and flour, as well as the pellets that are called pearl tapioca. Tapioca starch is often used to
make dumpling dough, or as a thickening agent. If necessary, it can be used as a substitute for cornstarch. Store tapioca in a cool dark place. Taquito - [Spanish] little taco; rolled, deep-fried taco. Taramasalata - A Greek dip made of olive oil and fish roe with the consistency similar to that of mayonnaise. American versions commonly use salmon, whitefish or carp roe. This is served with raw vegetables and bread or croutons. Taro - The most flavorful of the "new" tubers sold in many supermarkets and many Latin American and Asian markets. Treat as a potato, but do not overcook or it will become dry. Tart - A sweet- or savory-filled baked pastry with no top crust. Tartare - This is a term which has several meanings. It is often used to describe the preparation of raw beef called steak tartare. Raw beef is chopped finely and served with minced onion, parsley, capers and seasoned with anything from Worcestershire sauce to Tabasco sauce. Tartare sauce describes a mayonnaise based sauce with capers, onion, hard cooked eggs, cornichons and herbs. Tarte Flambé - An Alsatian pizza with a thin crust topped with fresh white cheese, onions, and bacon. This is also called an Alsatian firepie. Tarte Tatin - Upside-down apple tart with sugar-and-butter caramelized topping. Best when served immediately after cooking. Tartufi - [Italian] truffles. Taza - [Spanish] cup. T-bone steak - A cut from the center section of the tenderloin, directly in front of the porterhouse steak. Té - [Spanish] tea; usually an herbal tea. Tea towel - Dish towel. Teff - a tiny, round grain that flourishes in the highlands of Ethiopia. While teff is very nutritious, it contains practically no gluten. This makes teff ill-suited for making raised bread. Teigemüsse - [German] macaroni dishes. Tejano - [Spanish] Texan; often refers to the early Mexican settlers in Texas. Tejolote - [Spanish] pestle used to grind items in a molcajete. Telera - [Spanish] French roll. Tembleque - [Spanish] a coconut dessert; a good commercial product is the Goya brand. Tempura - Japanese dish of batter-dipped, fried seafood or vegetables. Tenderloin - That portion of the beef between the sirloin and the ribs; also known as short loin. Steaks from the tenderloin include the Porterhouse and the T-bone. Tenedor - [Spanish] fork. Tepari - [Spanish] tepary beans. Tepin - [Spanish] a dried chile; chile tepin; wild form of the pequín, it grows along the Mexican and U.S. border; round, measuring about 1/2 inch across; have a searing, dry heat; used in sauces, salsas and stews; Substitute pequíns if these are not available. Tequila - [Spanish] a pale, sharp-tasting liquor distilled from the agave plant (maguey cactus); the stem of the agave, known also as the century plant, is used in making tequila; it is produced near Tequila in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. Terrine - [French] finely ground meats or fish, etc. See "Pâté" for description; an earthenware pot used in cooking and serving pasta. Texas butter - A butter substitute of hot lard, flour and water. Thermophilic - Cheesemaking term which describes the temperature at which the culture thrives. From the Greek words thermo - meaning heat - and philic - which means loving. Thermophilic cultures require a higher temperature than mesophilic cultures. Tierno - [Spanish] tender. Timbale - [French] a molded dish. Also a high-sided pie crust filled with cooked meat, fish or fruit. Tinga - [Spanish] stew. Tipsy cake, tipsy pudding - Sponge cake soaked with sherry and brandy, covered with custard and almonds.
Tiramisu - An Italian dessert which is very popular in the US. Tiramiso consists of sponge cake, soaked with an espresso syrup and layered with a sweetened mascarpone cheese and chocolate sauce. Toad in the Hole - An English dish consisting of pieces of meat or sausages covered with batter and baked in the oven. Toast points - Toast slices, cut in half diagonally. Toasting (nuts) - Using heat to bring the oils closer to the surface of the nut which brings out more flavor. Method is useful in low fat cooking in order to use less nuts. Toasting also makes removing the skins off of nuts easier. Toasting also gives the nuts a much better flavor. Tocino - [Spanish] bacon. Cured ham with added color. Tofu - Also called bean curd, a bland, cheese- or custard-like food made from processed soy beans. It comes in various degrees of firmness and is a very high source of protein. Tomally - The liver of the lobster. Tomate - [Spanish] tomato. Tomate verde - Mexican green tomato. Tomatillos (tomates verdes) - [Spanish] frescadillas; plum-sized, bright green fruit, covered with a light green papery husk; they have a citrus-like, acidic flavor; taste best when they are brilliant green in color; often called green tomatoes, they are more closely related to the kiwi fruit than to tomatoes, and are members of the gooseberry family. Also a member of the nightshade family; originally eaten by the Aztecs; the best substitute is small green tomatoes. If using fresh, remove the papery husks. Canned are a good substitute, but rinse well before using. Tomillo - [Spanish] thyme. Tonno - [Italian] tuna. Toronja - [Spanish] grapefruit. Torrejas - [Spanish] egg fritters. Torrone - Nougat candy. Torta Rustica - A large pie similar to coulibiac, filled with salmon, cabbage or spinach, eggs, and mushrooms. Other versions use meat or sausage in the filling. The crust is usually made of bread dough and sprinkled with salt before using. Torta - [Italian] tart. Torta - [Spanish] hero sandwich; often made with a bolillo; also made with tortillas fried semi-crisp. Torte - Dessert of the cake or meringue type, usually rich in eggs or nuts. Tortellini - A small, stuffed pasta pocket made from little rounds of dough, then twisted to form dumplings. Fillings can be made with anything and are served sauced or in a simple broth. Tortelloni - This is a larger version of the tortellini. Tortilla - [Latin American] a very thin Mexican bread made of corn or wheat flour. They are served both soft and fried. A round, flat unleavened bread made from a dough of wheat flour or corn flour; the staple of all Latin American cookery. Tortilladora - [Spanish] small handcranked machine for making tortillas. Tortillería - [Spanish] establishment where tortillas are made and sold. Tostada - [Spanish] corn tortilla fried crisp and garnished. Tostados - [Spanish] fried corn tortillas with toppings; bowls made by frying corn and flour tortillas in a tostado fryer. Tostones - [Spanish] fried plantain slices. Totopos, tostaditas - [Spanish] southern Mexican term for tortilla chips. Tournedo - A fillet of beef from the heart of the tenderloin, approximately an inch thick. This term is rarely used in America today, being replaced by filet of beef or filet mignon. Tourte - Similar to pâté en croute, these are pies made in a round shape and served cold. They are generally highly seasoned and preparations are indicative to the region they are from. Treacle - [Great Britain] Molasses. Trennette - Flat noodles, wider than fettuccine, that have one flat edge and one scalloped edge. Trigo - [Spanish] wheat. Tripe - linings of the first and second stomach of a cow or ox; it is the main ingredient of traditional menudo.
Truchas - [Spanish] freshwater trout. Truffle - This is a tuber of unusual flavor and aroma. It is savored in Italian and French cookery, and due to its scarcity, draws a very high price. The truffle has yet to be successfully cultivated, though a fine substitute is now being grown in California. The black truffle of Perigord and the white truffle of Piedmont are highly prized for their exceptional flavors. The black truffle requires cooking to allow the flavors to be fully achieved. Conversely, the white truffle is best when shaved directly on the dish before eating. The aroma of truffles is strong enough to permeate egg shells when the two are stored together. Due to their short growing season and large demand, truffles can reach a price of up to $800 per pound. Frozen and canned forms are more accessible, but their taste never reaches that of fresh truffles. Also, a very rich chocolate candy. Truite - French - trout Truss - To tie up, as a bird, so that all parts will remain in place while cooking. Try out - To heat fat slowly until it liquefies and can be drawn off. Tube pan - Ring-shaped tin for baking cakes. Most often used to prepare sponge cakes and angel food cakes. Tuiles - Crisp, paper thin cookies named for their tile-like appearance. They are often flavored with almond slices, lemon, and vanilla. Tumeric - A bright yellow spice used primarily in commercial curry powder. It is also used in sweet pickles and for various dishes requiring a yellow color. This is used as a coloring substitute for saffron. Tuna - An excellent steak fish (and the most popular canned fish), with tender, flaky, and highly flavorful flesh; Look for bluefin but settle for yellowfin if need be. Tunas - [Spanish] prickly pear cactus fruits which turn from green to ruby red; their juice is magentacolored; their exotic flavor is like a blend of pomegranates, cherries and strawberries; the fruit is used in making jelly, candies and syrup. Tunken - [German] sauces. Turducken - A Louisiana specialty - a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey. Turmeric - [Indian] a rhizome that is dried and ground, then utilized to spice and color dishes bright yellow. Primarily used in Indian and Southeast Asian cooking. Turnip - A root vegetable with a sharp flavor that mellows and sweetens when cooked. Turnovers - Pastries filled with a savory or sweet mixture, doubled over to the shape of a semicircle, then baked or deep-fried. Turqué - [Spanish] turkey. Tutti Frutti - [Italian] Dried mixed fruits as added to ice cream. Tzatziki Sauce - Dipping sauce derived from yogurt, garlic, cucumber, olive oil and lemon juice. Served with calamari. Tzimmes - Traditionally served on Rosh Hashana, this sweet Jewish dish consists of various combinations of fruits, meat and vegetables. All are flavored with honey and often with cinnamon as well. The flavors of this casserole-style dish develop by cooking it at a very low temperature for a very long time.
Culinary Dictionary – U
Udon - Thick wheat noodles used in Japanese cooking. Ugli - An irregular-shaped citrus fruit hybrid between a grapefruit and a tangerine native to Jamaica. It is available around the United States from winter to spring. It has an acid-sweet flavor and is an excellent source of vitamin C. Umido - [Italian] stew. Unleavened - Bread made without a raising agent. Baked thin. Unsaturated fats - Mainly come from plants and are liquid (oil) in form. Largely polyunsaturated fats include corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and sesame oil. Largely monounsaturated fats, which may lower blood cholesterol levels, include olive oil, canola oil, and peanut oil. Unsweetened chocolate - Chocolate with no added sugar; generally composed of 55% cocoa butter and 45% chocolate mass from the bean. Produces an intense chocolate flavor that must be tempered by sugar and other ingredients. Upside down cake - A cake made by arranging fruit in the baking pan, over which the batter is poured. When cooled it is inverted so that the fruit is on the top. Uvas - [Spanish] grapes.
Culinary Dictionary – V
Vaca - [Spanish] beef. Vacherin - A crisp, sweet meringue shell used as a serving vessel for fruit and ice cream. A dessert of ice cream and raspberry sherbet. A chestnut dessert. Vainas de maiz seca - [Spanish] dried corn husks. Vainilla - [Spanish] vanilla; it was cultivated by the Aztecs and is native to the New World; the intensely fragrant bean from a variety of orchid native to Mexico; used to flavor desserts, ice cream and beverages; do not purchase the inexpensive imitations which are made from the tonka bean because it may be a carcinogen. Valencienne - A sauce for rice containing tomatoes, mushrooms, meat strips, and grated cheese. Vampiro - [Spanish] drink made with Sangrita and tequila. Vaniglia - [Italian] vanilla. Vanilla - A plant native to Mexico now common in areas throughout the West Indies and Indian Ocean. The pod is used to make extracts which we use in cooking. The whole pod may also be purchased and used as a fragrance or split and scraped to allow the tiny seeds to flavor the dish. The split pods are often placed in granulated sugar to make vanilla sugar. Also comes in a liquid extract form, which is made by processing vanilla beans in an alcohol-water solution. Make sure the extract you buy contains vanilla and alcohol only, and not vanillin, for best flavor. Vanillin, is an artificial ingredient made from wood. Vanilla sugar - Granulated sugar flavored with vanilla by enclosing it with a vanilla pod in an airtight jar. Veal - meat from a calf no older than eight weeks. Veau - [French] veal. Vegetable marrow - A tender egg-shaped gourd, usually served stuffed. Velouté - [French] an extremely smooth creamy sauce of various stock bases thickened with a roux. This is used as a base for other more complex sauces, though it may be used alone. Venado - [Spanish] venison; antelope or deer meat; a lean meat, it needs moist heat to keep it tender. Venison - The flesh of the deer. Verde - [Spanish] green. Verdolagas - [Spanish] purslane (greens). Verdura - [Italian] vegetables. Verduras - [Spanish] vegetables. Vermicelli - [Italian] a very fine round noodle which means "small worms". These are thinner than spaghetti and thicker than capellini. Véronique - [French] containing or garnished with green grapes. Vichyssoise - [French] thick cold smooth soup of potatoes and leeks. Other versions now use zucchini, apples, and carrots. Victual - Food or other provisions. Vigo Coloring - Common substitute for the yellow color of saffron. Can be found in small envelopes in any Latin American, Mexican, or Cuban market. Vinagre - [Spanish] vinegar. Vinagreta - [Spanish] vinaigrette. Vinaigrette - [French] a sauce commonly used to dress salads, comprised of oil and acid, such s vinegar or citrus juice. Emulsified vinaigrettes use egg and/or mustard to stabilize the dressing. Other combinations using acids other than vinegar, such as wine or citrus juice, are also called vinaigrettes. Vinegar - A clear liquid, consisting of chiefly acetic acid, obtained by the fermentation of wine, cider or malt beer. Vital Gluten - See "Gluten." Vitello - [Italian] veal. Vitello Tonnato - Thinly sliced roast or braised veal, served cold with a creamy, piquant tuna sauce. This combination may sound a bit unusual, but is surprisingly delicious.
Vol-au-Vent - [French] a large round pastry case which is filled with a sauced mixture of meat, seafood, or vegetables then topped with a pastry lid. A small puff paste shell with various fillings. Vorspeisen - [German] appetizers.
Culinary Dictionary – W
Waffle - Batter cooked on a hot greased waffle iron. Walnut - Native to Asia and grows on walnut trees inside green pods which turn brown and wood-like when dried. Walnut or hazelnut oil - These highly flavorful oils should (almost) never be used for cooking, but are wonderful in salad dressing and drizzled over cooked foods. Always refrigerate, as nut oils go rancid more quickly than other oils. Wasabi - Japanese green horseradish powder. Turn it into Wasabi Paste by stirring in water, drop by drop and used for dipping sauce with soy sauce when eating sushi and sashimi. Available in Asian markets in both powder and paste form. Water bath - The French call this cooking technique "bain marie." It consists of placing a container of food in a large, shallow pan of warm water, which surrounds the food with gentle heat. The food may be cooked in this manner either in an oven or on top of a range. This technique is designed to cook delicate dishes such as custards, sauces and savory mousses without breaking or curdling them. It can also be used to keep foods warm. Water chestnut - The tuber of a water plant known as the Chinese sedge, which has a crisp, nutty texture. Found sometimes fresh in Asian markets, canned water chestnuts are readily available in most supermarkets. Watercress - A member of the mustard family, this crisp, leafy green has a piquant, peppery flavor. Waterglass - Sodium silicate; used as a preservative for eggs Waterzooi - A rich Flemish stew with chicken or fish and assorted vegetables. The sauce is enriched with a liaison of cream and egg yolks. Waxy red or white potatoes - Sometimes sold as "new" potatoes when they are small, these are lowstarch potatoes with thin red or white skins. Weakfish - Has a mouth that is easily torn by fishing hooks - hence its name. This unusual fish with delicate flesh flakes easily, making it quite difficult to handle. Has a soft white to rosy flesh. Welsh rarebit - Melted cheese, usually mixed with milk, ale, or beer, seasoned with dry mustard, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce and served over toast or crackers. Whelk - A small marine snail. Whelks are poached and served hot or cold. Whey - Liquid which separates from the curd when milk curdles. Used in cheese-making. Whip - To beat rapidly to incorporate air and produce expansion, as in heavy cream or egg whites. White chocolate - White chocolate does not contain any chocolate. It is derived from cocoa butter, which produces a faint chocolate flavor. The cocoa butter is blended with milk and sugar to form the creamy confection, which is used for both eating and cooking. White sauce - A sauce whose base is butter, flour and a liquid such as stock, milk or water. White Truffles - Truffles are quite expensive. Available in most places only in the late fall, they come primarily from France, where they are sniffed out in forests by hunting pigs. But a little goes a long way, so don't be shocked when you hear the price per pound. If you've never tried them, you must. There is no ordinary mushroom that can remotely approximate their flavor and aroma. White truffles are more delicate and are meant to be used right at the table. You can use either a grater or a truffle shaver to introduce their flavor immediately before serving. White truffles are most complementary to foods in butter and cream sauces such as risotto and other pastas. The shavings also work well on warm salads and certain delicate fishes. Whitebait - The young of the herring, very tiny, usually sautéed. Whole wheat flour - White flour has had the germ and bran removed; whole wheat flour contains both. It is nutritionally superior and has a stronger flavor. The ground germ contains oil which can grow rancid and bitter. Store carefully (in the freezer if you have room). Wiener schnitzel - [German] thin breaded veal or pork cutlet fried in butter. Traditional garnishes are lemon butter, anchovies, and capers.
Wiggle - "Wiggle" is applied to a variety of shrimp recipes that feature shrimp in a sauce, served on toast or crackers. Wild rice - A North American grass, cooked like rice and often served with game. Wine vinegar - Wine vinegar can be made from either red or white wine. Winter squash - These long-keeping squashes have much in common with with pumpkin and sweet potato - yellow to orange flesh, usually quite sweet and creamy when cooked. Look for firm squash with no soft spots or obvious damage, and store in a cool, dry place. Won ton - A ravioli-like Chinese dish of noodles folded around a filling of meat, fish or vegetables. They may be boiled, steamed, or deep-fried, and served with dipping sauce. Worcestershire Sauce - A condiment developed and first bottled in Worcestershire, England from flavors discovered in India. It is used as a sauce, a seasoning and a condiment. It is made of a very odd assortment of ingredients including anchovies, tamarind, soy sauce, onions, vinegar, molasses, lime and cloves. It is commonly used to season meat, gravy, soup and the Bloody Mary. Wreck pans - Cowboy term for pans filled with water to accept dirty dishes. Wurst - [German] sausage. Wheat kernels - wheat berries. Wool on a handle - A cowboy term for a lamb chop; generally greatly disliked by cattlemen.
Culinary Dictionary – Y
Yakitori - A Japanese dish of grilled skewered chicken. They may also include vegetables, chicken livers, or ginkgo nuts. They are first marinated in teriyaki sauce, a sweetened version of soy sauce with the addition of sake, honey and ginger. Yam - Sweet root vegetable similar in appearance to the sweet potato, but with pointed ends and a subdued yellow-orange color; a darker variety called yampee or cush-cush grows in the Southern United States and Mexico and produces clusters of smaller, tastier yams; often candied; should be firm, unwithered and unblemished when purchased. The true yam, also called name, is not the same as a sweet potato (although since there are hundreds of species, some are similar). It is very bland and, when cooked, very, very dry. Yautia - [Spanish] sweet potato Yeast - A living organism used in the production of bread and beer. Yeast, in the environment of sugar, produces carbon dioxide and alcohol. This process is called fermentation. Bread yeast comes in dry granulated and fresh cakes. A new form of yeast, called instant yeast, has been developed which allows the user to mix the yeast directly into the flour without dissolving it first in water. Yema - [Spanish] yolk. Yerba - [Spanish] herb. Yerba buena - [Spanish] good herb; wild mint; cilantro is an acceptable substitute. Yogurt - A thick, custard-like, mildly acid preparation. Usually made by fermenting partly skim or skim milk with a special culture. Fruit of other flavorings may be added. In the Middle East it is served as a sauce with meat, fruit and vegetables. Yorkshire pudding - A baked batter of flour, milk and eggs, commonly with the addition of meat juices. Yuca - [Spanish] cassava; manioc; dark-skinned fleshy starchy root of a tropical plant used in many Hispanic dishes; soft white flesh; cooked and mashed for side dishes, sweetened and fried for desserts or cooked into soups and stews to serve as a thickener; can also be thinly sliced and fried into chips; it is the root from which tapioca is made. Yucca - Plant native to Latin America and the Southwest; petals, fruit and root can all be eaten; root is also used as a thickener for soups and stews.
Culinary Dictionary – Z
Zabaglione- An Italian custard made with egg yolks and wine or juices, which are beaten vigorously over hot water to form a rich, creamy dessert. The custard can then be poured into glasses and chilled to be eaten later, or eaten warm with fresh fruit. Marsala is the most common wine used, though any sweet wine such as Madeira, Champagne, or Sauterne may be used. Zakuski- The Russian version of tapas involving a lot of food and vodka. Zampone - A specialty of the town of Modena in northern Italy, this consists of a hollowed and stuffed pig trotter which is poached and served as a part of a traditional Bollito Misto. Zanahoria- [Spanish] carrot. Zartar Blend- From Lebanon. Find in Middle Eastern markets. A blend of zaatar (a marjoramlike herb), sumac bark and chick peas or sesame seeds. Common in foods from the Middle East. Zarzamora- [Spanish] wild blackberry. Zest- Grated rind of a citrus peel, used as a flavoring. Zester - Small tool for scraping off zest. Zingara- A sauce made with white wine, meat glaze, mushrooms, ham and tongue, finely chopped and peppered. Zita- Wide tubular macaroni. Zucca- [Italian] squash Zucchini-The fastest growing of the summer fruits, treated as a vegetable in our kitchens. Look for very firm specimens. Zuccotto - This is an Italian form of Charlotte Royale. In this dessert, triangles of sponge cake are placed in a bowl to form a shell for the filling. The filling consists of stiffly whipped cream which is studded with toasted almonds, hazelnuts, chocolate chips and candied fruit. A final layer of cake is placed over this, and when well set, the dessert is inverted onto a platter to form a large dome, reminiscent of Florence Duomo. Zunge- [German] tongue. Zuppa- [Italian] soup. Zuppa Inglese- A refrigerated dessert similar to the British favorite, trifle (Tipsy cake or Tipsy pudding). It is made with rum sprinkled slices of sponge cake layered with a rich custard or whipped cream (or both) and candied fruit or toasted almonds (or both). Zwieback- A sweet, dry toast - also known as rusks.