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banana split -
A dessert made of a banana cut in half lengthwise and placed in an individual-size bowl (preferably oblong). The banana is topped with three scoops of ice cream (traditionally chocolate, vanilla and strawberry), over which sweet syrups are poured (usually chocolate, butterscotch and marshmallow). The entire concoction is topped with rosettes of whipped cream and a Maraschino cherry.
bananas Foster -
Created at New Orleans`s Brennan`s Restaurant in the 1950s, this dessert consists of lengthwise-sliced bananas quickly sauteed in a mixture of rum, brown sugar and banana liqueur and served with vanilla ice cream. It was named for Richard Foster, a regular Brennan`s customer.
Made of apricots, this Hungarian eau de vie has a distinctive flavor somewhere between apricots and slivovitz.
barm brack; barmbrack -
An Irish bread with raisins or currants and candied fruit peel. It`s generally slathered with butter and served as a tea accompaniment. Literally translated it means "yeast bread," although it`s not always made with yeast.
basmati rice -
Literally translated as "queen of fragrance," basmati has been grown in the foothills of the Himalayas for thousands of years. Its perfumy, nutlike flavor and aroma can be attributed to the fact that the grain is aged to decrease its moisture content. Basmati is a long-grained rice with a fine texture. It can be found in Indian and Middle Eastern markets and some supermarkets.
A mineral essential in building and maintaining bones and teeth, as well as in providing efficient muscle contraction and blood clotting. Calcium is found in dairy products, leafy green vegetables (such as spinach, turnip greens and broccoli), sardines and canned salmon with bones and rhubarb.
Gin fizz is the most popular of this genre of drinks made with liquor, lemon juice, sugar and soda, and served over ice. An egg white is added to some fizzes, in which case a gin fizz becomes a silver fizz.
flank steak -
Long, thin and fibrous, this boneless cut of beef comes from the animal`s lower hindquarters. It`s usually tenderized by marinating, then broiled or grilled whole. In the case of London broil, the flank steak is cut and cooked in large pieces, then thinly sliced across the grain.
flat bread; flatbread; flatbrod -
These traditional Scandinavian crisps are thin, crackerlike breads usually made with rye flour. Many are also based on combinations of flours including wheat, barley or potato. Flat breads (flatbrod in Norwegian) are most often served with soups, salads or cheeses.
floating islands -
1. A light dessert of stiffly beaten, sweetened egg white mounds that have been poached in milk. These puffs are then floated in a thin custard sauce. The dessert is also known as oeufs a la neige, "snow eggs." 2. In France, ile flottante ("floating island") is liqueur-sprinkled sponge cake spread with jam, sprinkled with nuts, topped with whipped cream and surrounded by a pool of custard.
This Italian bread begins by being shaped into a large, flat round that is liberally brushed or drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Slits cut into the dough`s surface may be stuffed with fresh rosemary before the bread is baked. Focaccia can be eaten as a snack, or served as an accompaniment to soups or salads.
Used as both candy and icing, fondant is a simple sugar-water-cream of tartar mixture cooked to the soft-ball stage. After cooling, the mixture is beaten and kneaded until extremely pliable. It can be formed into decorations or candy, which can be dipped in chocolate. Heating fondant makes it soft enough to be used as an icing to coat large and small cakes.
food coloring -
Dyes of various colors (most commonly blue, green, red and yellow) used to tint foods such as frostings and candies. The most familiar form of food coloring is liquid, which comes in little bottles available at any supermarket.
The Italian word for "cheese."
1. Thin, lightly sweet, fan-shaped wafers usually served with ice cream, mousse and other such desserts. When baked on a special gaufrette iron (similar to a waffle iron), the wafer`s surface is waffled. Before cooling and crisping, gaufrettes are sometimes curled to form an ice cream cone. 2. Gaufrettes pommes de terre are crisp, latticed potato wafers.
French for "leg of mutton." The term is also used to refer to a leg of lamb, in which case the French call it gigot d`agneau.
glace de viande -
[glahs duh vee-AHND]
French for "meat glaze," glace de viande is made by boiling meat juices until they are reduced to a thick syrup. It`s used to add flavor and color to sauces.
glycerin; glycerine -
The commercial name for glycerol, a colorless, odorless, syrupy liquid - chemically, an alcohol - obtained from fats and oils and used to retain moisture and add sweetness to foods. It also helps prevent sugar crystallization in foods like candy. Outside the world of food, glycerin is used in cosmetics, inks and certain glues.
The meat of mature goats is extremely tough and strong-flavored. Most goat meat consumed comes from a kid, a baby goat that is usually not more than 6 months old. Kid meat is as tender and delicate as that of young lamb, and it can be prepared in any manner suitable for lamb. It can sometimes be found in specialty meat markets.
hash browns; hash-brown potatoes -
Finely chopped, cooked potatoes that are fried (often in bacon fat) until well browned. The mixture is usually pressed down into a flat cake in the pan and browned on one side, then turned and browned on the other. It`s sometimes only browned on one side. Other ingredients such as chopped onion and green pepper are often added for flavor excitement.
A dark brownish gray cultivated mushroom that resembles a tightly ruffled puff edged in white. The name of this rich-flavored mushroom is said to come from the fact that its shape vaguely resembles the body of a hen.
johnnycake; johnny cake, jonnycake -
Thought to be the precursor of the pancake, the johnnycake dates back to the early 1700s. It`s a rather flat griddlecake made of cornmeal, salt and either boiling water or cold milk; there are strong advocates of both versions. Today`s johnnycakes often have eggs, oil or melted butter and leavening (such as baking powder) added. Some renditions are baked in the oven, more like traditional cornbread. Also called hoe cake or hoecake.
This sweet, mild-flavored dessert is made with milk, sugar, various flavorings and rennin. The rennin coagulates the mixture into a soft puddinglike texture. Junket is served chilled, sometimes accompanied by fruit.
Kale has a mild, cabbagey flavor and comes in many varieties and colors. Most kale is easily identified by its frilly leaves arranged in a loose bouquet formation.
Also called catsup and catchup, this thick, spicy sauce is a traditional American accompaniment for French-fried potatoes, hamburgers and many other foods. Ketchup usually has a tomato foundation, though gourmet markets often carry condiments with similar appellations that might have a base of anything from walnuts to mangoes to mushrooms.
1. A small, mound-shape, baked meringue, which often contains chopped nuts, cherries or coconut. The texture of a kiss is light and chewy. 2. The term also applies to small one-bite candies, usually commercially produced.
Kobe beef -
An exclusive grade of beef from cattle raised in Kobe, Japan. These pampered cattle are massaged with sake and fed a special diet that includes plentiful amounts of beer. This specialized treatment results in beef that is extraordinarily tender and full-flavored.
Popular in India and Pakistan, korma is a spicy curried dish of mutton, lamb or chicken, usually with the addition of onions and sometimes other vegetables.
Food that conforms to strict Jewish biblical laws pertaining not only to the type of food that may be eaten, but to the kinds of food that can be combined at one meal. In order to meet kosher standards and receive the kosher seal, food must be prepared under a rabbi`s supervision. In addition to the kinds of animals considered kosher (pigs and rabbits are among the nonkosher group), the laws also decree that animals be fed organically grown food and killed in the most humane manner possible. The word "kosher" is a derivation of the Hebrew kasher, meaning "proper" or "pure."
Of Jewish origin, these small noodle dumplings are filled with chopped meat or cheese and simmered in broth or as part of a soup. Kreplach resemble the Italian ravioli.
Traditionally served on the Jewish Sabbath, kugel is a baked pudding usually made with potatoes or noodles, though meat, vegetables and other ingredients are sometimes included. It`s generally served as a side dish, though a sweet version with raisins and spices is equally delicious as dessert.
kugelhopf; kugelhupf -
Though generally thought of as Austrian, bakers from Alsace, Germany and Poland also claim credit for this light yeast cake. It`s filled with raisins, candied fruits and nuts, and generally embellished with a simple dusting of confectioners` sugar. It`s traditionally baked in a special fluted kugelhopf ring mold. Also called gugelhopf.
The sediment (dregs) of wine or liquor that occurs during fermentation and aging.
lemon verbena -
Native to South America, the long, slender leaves of this potent herb have an overpowering lemonlike flavor. For that reason, a light touch is necessary when adding lemon verbena (also called simply verbena) to food. It`s available dried and sometimes fresh in specialty produce markets. It`s used to flavor fruit salads and some sweet dishes, and for tea (tisane).
1. This feathery-leaved plant grows wild throughout southern and parts of central Europe. It`s favored for the extract taken from its root - as well as for the root itself when dried - and has long been used to flavor confections and medicine. 2. A candy flavored with licorice extract.
A French aperitif made from a blend of wine, brandy, fruits and herbs. It originated in the French village of Podensac and has been made since the late 1800s. Lillet Blanc is made from white wine and is drier than Lillet Rouge, its red-wine counterpart. Both are classically served over ice with an orange twist.
A sweet alcoholic beverage made from an infusion of flavoring ingredients (such as seeds, fruits, herbs, flowers, nuts or spices) and a spirit (such as brandy, rum or whiskey). Essential oils and extracts are used to flavor many of today`s liqueurs. Artificial flavorings make a lackluster contribution to the less expensive brands. Most commercial liqueurs are made with closely guarded secret formulas. Also called cordials and ratafias, liqueurs are usually high in alcohol and range from 49 proof for cherry heering to 110 proof for green chartreuse.
malt liquor -
A beer that has a relatively high alcohol content by weight - usually from 5 to 8 percent, with several varieties reaching as high as 9 percent.
From the German words mandel ("almond") and brot ("bread"), this Jewish favorite is a crisp almond bread that is eaten as a cookie.
[MARK, Fr. , MAHR ]
1. The residue (skins, pits, seeds, etc.) remaining after the juice has been pressed from a fruit, usually grapes. 2. A potent eau de vie distilled from this mixture. It`s the French counterpart to grappa.
matzo meal -
Ground matzo, generally available in two textures - fine and medium. Matzo meal is used in a variety of foods including gefilte fish, matzo balls and pancakes. It`s also used to thicken soups and for breading foods to be fried. Matzo meal is available in Jewish markets and most supermarkets.
Japanese foods such as fish, meat and vegetables that are simmered in a seasoned broth. The broth may be flavored with various seasonings including dashi, miso, fresh ginger, red chiles or simply salt.
The hard, rough, gray shell contains a meat that can vary in color from creamy beige to pale gray, in flavor from salty to bland and in texture from tender to firm. There are both natural and cultivated oyster beds throughout the world.
To partially cook food by boiling it briefly in water. This timesaving technique is used in particular for dense foods such as carrots. If parboiled, they can be added at the last minute with quick-cooking ingredients (such as bean sprouts and celery) in preparations such as stir-fries.
To remove the thin outer layer of foods like fruits and vegetables with a small, short-bladed knife (called a paring knife) or with a vegetable peeler.
pareve; parve -
A Jewish term describing food made without animal or dairy ingredients. According to kosher dietary laws, animal food cannot be consumed at the same meal with dairy food, but a pareve food may be combined or eaten with either. In order to be pareve, breads and cakes must be made with vegetable oils and not with butter or other animal fat.
A delightful French dessert said to have been created by a pastry chef in honor of a bicycle race between Paris and Brest. It consists of a baked almond-topped choux pastry ring (patterned after a bicycle tire) that is split and filled with a praline-flavored buttercream.
[par-mawn , -TYAY]
A descriptor for a dish garnished or made with potatoes.
Italian for "tiny dough." Culinarily, this term refers to any of various tiny pasta shapes (such as acini de pepe), generally used in soups.
Red Delicious apple -
This large, brilliant red (sometimes streaked with green) apple has an elongated shape with five distinctive knobs at its base. It`s juicy and sweet but lacks any distinguishing tartness. The Red Delicious is in season from September through April. It`s good for eating out of hand but does not cook well.
Culinarily, to boil a liquid (usually stock, wine or a sauce mixture) rapidly until the volume is reduced by evaporation, thereby thickening the consistency and intensifying the flavor. Such a mixture is sometimes referred to as a reduction.
rice flour -
Regular rice flour is a fine, powdery flour made from regular white rice. It`s used mainly for baked goods. Glutinous or sweet rice flour (such as the Japanese mochi) is made from high-starch short-grain rice. It`s widely used in Asian cooking to thicken sauces and for some desserts.
Short, grooved tubes of macaroni.
Italian for foods that are "stuffed," such as peperoni ripieni - "stuffed peppers."
[RIHS-uh-lee, rihs-uh-LAY, ree-saw-LAY]
Food that has been fried until crisp and brown.
A Spanish term referring to a handstrung rope of foods, primarily chiles or heads of garlic. Though ristras are used for decoration, many people let the chiles dry and use them in cooking, pulling them off one-by-one from the bottom. Dried garlic ristras are used strictly for decoration.
French for "rice."
Although sometimes confused with sangria, this Spanish/Mexican drink is not the same at all. There are many variations, but sangrita is typically a blended mixture of tomatoes (or tomato juice), orange juice and lemon or lime juice, with a fiery element added through chiles, chile powder or tabasco sauce. Sangrita is served chilled, usually with a shot of tequila.
Originally derived from the dried roots of tropical smilax vines, this flavor is usually associated with a carbonated drink popular in the mid-1800s. Today`s sarsaparilla products - including the no-longer-popular soft drink - use artificial flavorings.
German for "sour roast," sauerbraten is a German specialty made by marinating a beef roast in a sour-sweet marinade for 2 to 3 days before browning it, then simmering the meat in the marinade for several hours. The result is an extremely tender roast and a delicious sauce. Sauerbraten is traditionally served with dumplings, boiled potatoes or noodles.
[SAV-uh-rihn, sa-va-RAN ]
This variation on the baba is made without raisins and baked in a large ring mold. Named after Brillat-Savarin, a famous 18th-century food writer, this rich yeast cake is soaked with rum-flavored syrup and filled with pastry cream, creme chantilly or fresh fruit.
A British term initially used to describe dishes that were served after dessert to cleanse and refresh the palate. Today it more often refers to tidbits served as appetizers, as well as to more substantial dishes that can be served for lunch, high tea or light supper.
v. A technique by which the scales are removed from the skin of a fish, generally using a dull knife or a special kitchen tool called a fish scaler.
veal Orloff -
This classic presentation begins with a braised loin of veal carved into even horizontal slices. Each slice is spread with a thin layer of pureed sautéed mushrooms and onions. The coated slices are stacked back in place and tied together to reform the loin. Then the layered loin is smothered with additional mushroom-onion puree, topped with bechamel sauce and grated Parmesan cheese and oven-browned for about 10 minutes.
Yeast is a living, microscopic, single-cell organism that, as it grows, converts its food (through a process known as fermentation) into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This trait is what endears yeast to winemakers, brewmasters and breadbakers.
This Japanese confection is made with agar (the jelling agent), sugar and adzuki-bean paste. Other flavorings such as persimmons or chestnuts are also sometimes used. Yokan, which is sold in Asian markets, will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator.
The Italian word for "soup".
[ZWI-bak, ZWI-bahk, SWI-bak, SWI-bahk]
This German word translates to "twice baked" and refers to bread that is baked, cut into slices and then returned to the oven until very crisp and dry. Zwieback, which has a hint of sweetness to it, is popular for its digestibility and is often served to younger children or to people who have digestive problems. It is commercially available in most stores.
A blanc -
[ah BLAN , K]
A French term meaning "in white" and identifying foods, usually meats, that aren`t browned during cooking.
A la king -
[ah lah KING]
A dish of diced food (usually chicken or turkey) in a rich cream sauce containing mushrooms, pimientos, green peppers and sometimes sherry.
Italian for a very young lamb.
Reputed to be an aphrodisiac, absinthe is a potent, bitter liqueur distilled from wormwood and flavored with a variety of herbs. It has a distinct anise flavor and is 68 percent alcohol (136 proof). Absinthe is usually diluted with water, which changes the color of the liqueur from green to milky white. Because it`s considered habit forming and hazardous to health, absinthe is prohibited in many countries and was banned in the United States in the early 1900s.
A tiny tree and the small, deep-red, cherrylike fruit that grows on it, found primarily in and around the West Indies. The fruit, which has a sweet flavor and one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C, is used in desserts and preserves.
Acetic acid -
Acetic acid is formed when common airborne bacteria interact with the alcohol present in fermented solutions such as wine, beer or cider. Acetic acid is the constituent that makes vinegar sour.
An East Indian word referring to pickled and salted relishes. They can be made sweet or hot, depending on the seasoning added.
Achiote seed -
The slightly musky-flavored seed of the annatto tree is available whole or ground in East Indian, Spanish and Latin American markets. Buy whole seeds when they`re a rusty red color; brown seeds are old and flavorless. Achiote seed is also called annatto which, in its paste and powder form, is used in the United States to color butter, margarine, cheese and smoked fish.
The word "acid" comes from the Latin acidus , meaning "sour." All acids are sour to some degree. Sourness (acidity) is found in many natural ingredients such as vinegar (acetic acid), wine (tartaric acid), lemon juice (citric acid), sour-milk products (lactic acid), apples (malic acid) and rhubarb leaves (toxic oxalic acid). When used in a marinade, acids - such as wine and lemon juice - are natural tenderizers because they break down connective tissue and cell walls.
Acidulated water -
Water to which a small amount of vinegar, lemon or lime juice has been added. It`s used as a soak to prevent discoloration of some fruits and vegetables (such as apples and artichokes) that darken quickly when their cut surfaces are exposed to air. It can also be used as a cooking medium.
Acini di peppe -
[ah-CHEE-nee dee PAY-pay]
Italian for "peppercorns", referring culinarily to tiny peppercorn-shaped pasta.
Additives, food -
In the broadest of terms, food additives are substances intentionally added to food either directly or indirectly with one or more of the following purposes: 1. to maintain or improve nutritional quality; 2. to maintain product quality and freshness; 3. to aid in the processing or preparation of food; and 4. to make food more appealing.
A drink, such as lemonade or limeade, made by combining water, sugar and citrus juice.
Ado gado; gado-gado -
This Indonesian favorite consists of a mixture of raw and slightly cooked vegetables served with a spicy peanut sauce made with hot chiles and coconut milk. Some-times the term "gado gado" refers only to the spicy sauce, which is used as a condiment with rice and various vegetable dishes.
1. A Philippine national dish of braised chicken and pork with coconut milk. 2. A Philippine seasoning composed of chiles, herbs and vinegar.
Adobo sauce -
Of Mexican origin, this dark-red, rather piquant sauce (or paste) is made from ground chiles, herbs and vinegar. It`s used as a marinade as well as a serving sauce. Chipotle chiles are often marketed packed in adobo sauce.
Reminiscent of eggnog, this Dutch liqueur is made with brandy, egg yolks and sugar.
Adzuki bean; azuki bean -
A small, dried, russet-colored bean with a sweet flavor. Adzuki beans can be purchased whole or powdered at Asian markets. They are particularly popular in Japanese cooking where they`re used in confections such as the popular yokan, made with adzuki-bean paste and agar.
Japanese term meaning "dressed foods" and referring to saladlike dishes combined with a dressing complimentary to the ingredients. The composition of the dressings varies but is generally based on pureed tofu. Aemono dishes are usually served chilled as appetizers, although Japanese diners sometimes eat them towards the end of a meal prior to the rice.
Agar; agar-agar -
Also called kanten and Japanese gelatin, this tasteless dried seaweed acts as a setting agent and is widely used in Asia. It is marketed in the form of blocks, powder or strands and is available at Asian markets and health-food stores. Agar can be substituted for gelatin but has stronger setting properties so less of it is required.
Also called century plant, this family of succulents grows in the southwestern United States, Mexico and Central America. Though poisonous when raw, agave has a sweet, mild flavor when baked or made into a syrup. Certain varieties are used in making the alcoholic beverages Mescal, Pulque and Tequila.
Aglio e olio -
[AH-lyoh ay AW-lyoh]
Italian for "garlic and oil", referring to a dressing of garlic and hot olive oil used on pasta.
The French word for lamb.
Italian for "priests` caps", describing small, crescent-shaped stuffed pasta.
The Spanish word for avocado.
The Hawaiian name for yellowfin, as well as bigeye tuna.
The French term for the combined flavors of sour (aigre) and sweet (doux). An aigre-doux sauce might contain both vinegar and sugar.
Ajowan; ajwain -
Though it1s related to caraway and cumin, ajowan tastes more like thyme with an astringent edge. This native of southern India can be found in Indian markets in either ground or seed form. The light brown to purple-red seeds resemble celery seeds in size and shape. Ajowan is most commonly added to chutneys, curried dishes, breads and legumes. It`s also called carom.
Hailing from Hawaii, this sweet, juicy berry resembles a very large raspberry. It can range in color from red to almost purple and is good eaten plain or in jams and pies.
Al forno -
Italian for "baked" or "roasted."
Albert sauce -
Usually served with beef, this is a rich horseradish sauce with a base of butter, flour and cream.
The Spanish word for "meatball." Albondigas is the name of a popular Mexican and Spanish dish of spicy meatballs, usually in a tomato sauce. Sopa de albondigas is a beef-broth soup with meatballs and chopped vegetables.
The protein portion of the egg white, comprising about 70 percent of the whole. Albumin is also found in animal blood, milk, plants and seeds.
The only alcohol suitable for drinking is ethyl alcohol, a liquid produced by distilling the fermented juice of fruits or grains. Pure ethyl alcohol is clear, flammable and caustic. Water is therefore added to reduce its potency.
An alcoholic beverage brewed from malt and hops. It`s usually stronger and, because of the hops, more bitter than beer. The color can vary from light to dark amber.
Alginic acid; algin -
A thick, jellylike substance obtained from seaweed. Alginic acid is used as a stabilizer and thickener in a wide variety of commercially processed foods such as ice creams, puddings, flavored milk drinks, pie fillings, soups and syrups.
The Italian word meaning "as done by, in, for or with." Eggplant alla parmigiana refers to eggplant topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
Allemande sauce -
A classic veloute sauce thickened with egg yolks. Also called Parisienne sauce.
B & B -
A combination of half Benedictine and half Brandy; available already mixed and bottled.
Also called baba au rhum, this rich, light currant- or raisin-studded yeast cake is soaked in a rum or kirsch syrup. It`s said to have been invented in the 1600s by Polish King Lesczyinski, who soaked his stale kugelhopf in rum and named the dessert after the storybook hero Ali Baba. The classic baba is baked in a tall, cylindrical mold but the cake can be made in a variety of shapes, including small individual rounds. When the cake is baked in a large ring mold it`s known as a savarin.
Baba ghanoush; baba gannoujh -
A Middle Eastern puree of eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. It`s garnished with pomegranate seeds, chopped mint or minced pistachios and used as a spread or dip for pita or Middle Eastern flat bread.
Hailing from Poland, this rum-scented sweet yeast bread is studded with almonds, raisins and orange peel.
The Spanish term for dried salt cod.
The Italian term for dried salt cod.
Side pork (the side of a pig) that has been cured and smoked. Because fat gives bacon its sweet flavor and tender crispness, its proportion should (ideally) be 1/2 to 2/3 of the total weight.
A doughnut-shaped yeast roll with a dense, chewy texture and shiny crust. Bagels are boiled in water before they`re baked. The water bath reduces starch and creates a chewy crust. The traditional water bagel is made without eggs and, because it doesn`t contain fat, is chewier than an egg bagel. Bagels are the cornerstone of the popular Jewish snack of bagels, lox and cream cheese.
Bagna cauda -
This specialty of Piedmont, Italy, is a sauce made of olive oil, butter, garlic and anchovies. It`s served warm as an appetizer with raw vegetables for dipping. The term comes from bagno caldo, Italian for "hot bath."
A Philippine condiment that`s popular in Hawaii and throughout the Pacific. Bagoong is made from shrimp or small fish that have been salted, cured and fermented for several weeks. The resulting salty liquid (called patis) is drawn off and used separately as a sauce or condiment. In addition to being served as a condiment, bagoong is used as a flavoring in many dishes.
A French bread that`s been formed into a long, narrow cylindrical loaf. It usually has a crisp brown crust and light, chewy interior.
Baguette pan -
A long metal pan shaped like two half-cylinders joined along one long side. Each compartment is about 3 inches wide and 15 inches long. This pan is used to bake French baguettes.
To cook food in an oven, thereby surrounding it with dry heat. It`s imperative to know the accurate temperature of an oven. Because most of them bake either hotter or cooler than their gauges read, an oven thermometer is vital for accurate temperature readings.
Bake blind -
An English term for baking a pastry shell before it is filled. The shell is usually pricked all over with a fork to prevent it from blistering and rising. Sometimes it`s lined with foil or parchment paper, then filled with dried beans or rice, or metal or ceramic pie weights. The French sometimes fill the shell with clean round pebbles. The weights and foil or parchment paper should be removed a few minutes before the baking time is over to allow the crust to brown evenly.
Baked Alaska -
A dessert consisting of a layer of sponge cake topped by a thick slab of ice cream, all of which is blanketed with meringue. This creation is then baked in a very hot oven for about 5 minutes, or until the surface is golden brown. The meringue layer insulates the ice cream and prevents it from melting.
Baking powder -
A leavener containing a combination of baking soda, an acid (such as cream of tartar) and a moisture-absorber (such as cornstarch). When mixed with liquid, baking powder releases carbon dioxide gas bubbles that cause a bread or cake to rise.
Baking sheet -
A flat, rigid sheet of metal on which cookies, breads, biscuits, etc. are baked. It usually has one or more turned-up sides for ease in handling. Shiny, heavy-gauge aluminum baking sheets are good heat conductors and will produce evenly baked and browned goods. Dark sheets absorb heat and should be used only for items on which a dark, crisp exterior is desired.
Baking soda -
Also known as bicarbonate of soda, baking soda is used as a leavener in baked goods. When combined with an acid ingredient such as buttermilk, yogurt or molasses, baking soda produces carbon dioxide gas bubbles, thereby causing a dough or batter to rise. Because it reacts immediately when moistened, it should always be mixed with the other dry ingredients before adding any liquid; the resulting batter should be placed in the oven immediately. At one time, baking soda was used in the cooking water of green vegetables to preserve their color. That practice was discontinued, however, when it was discovered that baking soda destroys the vitamin C content of vegetables.
Popular in Greece and Turkey, this sweet dessert consists of many layers of butter-drenched phyllo pastry, spices and chopped nuts. A spiced honey-lemon syrup is poured over the warm pastry after it`s baked and allowed to soak into the layers. Before serving, the dessert is cut into triangles and sometimes sprinkled with coarsely ground nuts.
Balachan; blachan -
A popular flavoring in the cuisines of Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Burma and Indonesia. It is made from shrimp, sardines and other small salted fish that have been allowed to ferment in the sun until very pungent and odorous. It`s then mashed and in some cases dried. Balachan is available in paste, powder or cake form in Asian markets.
Baldwin apple -
Hailing from the New York region, this all-purpose red-skinned apple is mottled and streaked with yellow. It has a mildly sweet-tart flavor and fairly crisp texture and is available from October to April.
Ballotine; ballottine -
Meat, fish or fowl that has been boned, stuffed, rolled and tied in the shape of a bundle. It is then braised or roasted and is normally served hot but can be served cold. Often confused with galantine, which is poached and served cold.
Bamboo shoot -
The tender-crisp, ivory-colored shoot of a particular edible species of bamboo plant. Bamboo shoots are cut as soon as they appear above ground while they`re still young and tender. Fresh shoots are sometimes available in Asian markets; canned shoots can be found in the Asian or gourmet section of most supermarkets.
Grown in the warm, humid tropics, bananas are picked and shipped green; contrary to nature`s norm, they are one fruit that develops better flavor when ripened off the bush. Banana bushes mature in about 15 months and produce one 50-pound bunch of bananas apiece. Each bunch includes several "hands" of a dozen or so bananas (fingers). Choose plump, evenly colored yellow bananas flecked with tiny brown specks (a sign of ripeness). Avoid those with blemishes, which usually indicate bruising.
Banbury cake -
Originating in Banbury, Oxfordshire, in England, this oval "cake" is made of a flaky pastry filled with mixed dried fruit.
Baked on a griddle, this traditional Scottish cake is usually made of barley meal and oatmeal. Bannocks are sometimes flavored with almonds and orange peel and are particularly popular at breakfast or high tea.
Banon; le banon -
A French goat`s-milk cheese that is cured in chestnut leaves and sometimes washed in marc or cognac. It has a soft to semisoft texture and a mild lemony flavor, and is best from late spring to early fall.
A soft yeast roll with a characteristic floury finish. Baps are popular in Scotland as hot breakfast rolls.
Bar cookie -
A cookie made by spooning a batter or soft dough into a baking pan. The mixture is baked, cooled in the pan and then cut into bars, squares or diamonds.
Barbecue sauce -
A sauce used to baste barbecued meat; also used as an accompaniment to the meat after it`s cooked. It is traditionally made with tomatoes, onion, mustard, garlic, brown sugar and vinegar; beer and wine are also popular ingredients.
Barbecue; barbeque -
n. 1. Commonly referred to as a grill, a barbecue is generally a brazier fitted with a grill and sometimes a spit. The brazier can range anywhere from a simple firebowl, which uses hot coals as heat, to an elaborate electric barbecue. 2. Food (usually meat) that has been cooked using a barbecue method. 3. A term used in the United States for an informal style of outdoor entertaining where barbecued food is served. barbecue v. A method of cooking by which meat, poultry or fish (either whole or in pieces) or other food is covered and slowly cooked in a pit or on a spit, using hot coals or hardwood as a heat source.
A light, fruity red wine from northern Italy, similar to Valpolicella. Bardolino is best drunk young.
Barley sugar -
A hard, lemon-flavored candy that was originally made from barley water to which sugar had been added. It`s now more often made with plain water, with tartaric acid added to achieve a similar flavor and texture.
From the Piedmont region, this exceptional Italian red wine, made from Nebbiolo grapes, is known for its lush bouquet and robust body.
In England, a large cut of beef (50 to 100 pounds, depending on the size of the animal) usually consisting of a double sirloin. A baron of beef is generally roasted only for traditional or ceremonial occasions. In France, a baron refers to the saddle and two legs of lamb or mutton.
Called the "royal herb" by ancient Greeks, this annual is a member of the mint family. Fresh basil has a pungent flavor that some describe as a cross between licorice and cloves. Basil is a summer herb but can be grown successfully inside during the winter in a sunny window. Choose evenly colored leaves with no sign of wilting. Refrigerate basil, wrapped in barely damp paper towels and then in a plastic bag, for up to 4 days.
Baton; batonnet -
[ba-TAWN , , ba-tawn , -NAY]
1. Culinarily, this French word describes a white loaf of bread that`s somewhat smaller than a baguette. 2. The term can also refer to various small, stick (baton) shaped foods - such as vegetables or pastries - that may or may not have a filling.
An uncooked, semiliquid mixture (thick or thin) that can be spooned or poured, as for cakes, muffins, pancakes or waffles. Batters are usually mixtures based on flour, eggs and milk. They can also be used to coat food before frying, as in batter-fried chicken.
The word cabbage is a derivation of the French word caboche, a colloquial term for "head." The cabbage family - of which Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and kale are all members - is wide and varied. Cabbage itself comes in many forms - the shapes can be flat, conical or round, the heads compact or loose, and the leaves curly or plain. In the United States, the most widely used cabbage comes in compact heads of waxy, tightly wrapped leaves that range in color from almost white to green to red. Savoy cabbage and Chinese cabbage are considered culinarily superior but are less readily available. Choose a cabbage with fresh, crisp-looking leaves that are firmly packed; the head should be heavy for its size. Cabbage may be refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for about a week. It can be cooked in a variety of ways or eaten raw, as in slaw. Cabbage, a cruciferous vegetable, contains a good amount of vitamin C and some vitamin A.
Cabernet Franc -
[KA-behr-nay FRAHN, , FRAN , GK]
Although similar in structure and flavor to Cabernet Sauvignon, this red wine grape is not quite as full-bodied, and has fewer tannins and less acid. It is, however, more aromatic and herbaceous. Unlike Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc grows in cooler climates and ripens early. Therefore, it can be particularly important if weather conditions create a less-than-perfect Cabernet Sauvignon crop. Under such circumstances, the addition of Cabernet Franc might salvage the vintage.
Cabernet Sauvignon -
[ka-behr-NAY soh-vihn-YOHN, soh-vee-NYAWN ]
The most successful and popular of the top-quality red-wine grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon is the basis for most of California`s superb red wines and the primary grape of most of the top vineyards in Bordeaux`s Medoc and Graves districts. In Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon is most often blended with one or more of the following grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot or Malbec. In California, wines are more often made with 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, although some blending is now taking place. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes produce full-bodied, fruity wines that are rich, complex and intensely flavorful. There are a multitude of well-made Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines made throughout the world.
Cabinet pudding -
This classic English dessert is made with layers of bread, cake or ladyfingers (which may be soaked with liqueur), dried fruit and custard. The pudding is baked, unmolded and usually served with creme anglaise. Another version of cabinet pudding uses gelatin and whipped cream; rather than being baked, it's simply chilled until set.
The tropical, evergreen cacao tree is cultivated for its seeds (also called beans), from which cocoa butter, chocolate and cocoa powder are produced.
Italian for "hunter", this American-Italian term refers to food prepared "hunter-style", with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, various herbs and sometimes wine. Chicken cacciatore is the most popular dish prepared in this style.
Caerphilly cheese -
This mild yet tangy cow`s-milk cheese has a moist, semifirm texture and is generally sold in cylinders or blocks. It`s best eaten fresh (the English prefer it only a few weeks old) and is delicious with dark breads and ale. Though now produced in England, Caerphilly gets its name from the village in Wales where it was first made; it was the traditional lunch of Welsh miners.
Caesar salad -
A salad consisting of greens (classically, romaine lettuce) tossed with a garlic vinaigrette dressing (made with worcestershire sauce and lemon juice), grated Parmesan cheese, croutons, a coddled egg and sometimes anchovies. It is said to have been created in 1924 by Italian chef Caesar Cardini, who owned a restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico.
1. The French word for "coffee". 2. A small, unpretentious restaurant.
Cafe au lait -
French for "coffee with milk". It usually consists of equal portions of scalded milk and coffee.
Cafe brulot -
A traditional New Orleans flaming brew consisting of coffee blended with spices, orange and lemon peel and brandy. Cafe brulot is generally made in a flameproof bowl and ladled into cups. In French, brulot means "burnt brandy".
Cafe filtre -
[ka-fay FEEL-tr , ay]
French term meaning "filtered coffee" and referring to coffee made by pouring very hot water through a filter holding ground coffee. It`s traditionally served black, in demitasse cups.
Cafe latte -
Espresso combined with a liberal amount of foamy steamed milk, usually served in a tall glass mug.
Cafe macchiato -
An espresso with a dollop of steamed-milk foam, served in an espresso cup.
Cafe mocha -
Espresso combined with chocolate syrup and a liberal amount of foamy steamed milk. A cafe mocha is usually served in a tall glass mug.
An organic compound found in foods such as chocolate, coffee, cola nuts and tea. Scientific studies have shown that caffeine stimulates the nervous system, kidneys and heart, causes the release of insulin in the body and dilates the blood vessels.
A sweet, baked confection usually containing flour, sugar, flavoring ingredients and eggs or other leavener such as baking powder or baking soda.
The word "cala" comes from an African word for "rice," and refers to a deep-fried pastry made with rice, yeast, sugar and spices. Calas resemble small, round doughnuts without a hole and are usually sprinkled with confectioners` sugar.
1. Italian for "warm" or "hot." 2. The Spanish and Portuguese word meaning "broth" or "soup."
A dry apple brandy made in Calvados, in the Normandy region of northern France. It`s often used for cooking, particularly in chicken, pork and veal dishes.
Originating in Naples, calzone is a stuffed pizza that resembles a large turnover. It is usually made as an individual serving. The fillings can be various meats, vegetables or cheese; mozzarella is the cheese used most frequently. Calzones can be deep-fried or brushed with olive oil and baked.
Cambric tea -
An American term used to describe a hot drink of milk, water, sugar and, if desired, a dash of tea. It was a favorite of children and the elderly in the late 19th and early 20th century. The name is taken from a fabric called cambric, which is white and thin ... just like the "tea."
A popular bitter Italian aperirif, which is often mixed with soda. It`s also consumed without a mixer and used in some COCKTAILS. Regular Campari has an astringent, bittersweet flavor; sweet Campari is also available.
Canadian whisky -
Dropping the "e" from whiskey is traditionally British and is used in the spelling of Canadian whisky. Made only in Canada, this distilled blend of rye, corn, wheat and barley is smoother and lighter than its cousins, rye and bourbon.
Small, decorative pieces of bread (toasted or untoasted) that are topped with a savory garnish such as anchovy, cheese or some type of spread. Crackers or pastry may also be used as a base. Canapes may be simple or elaborate, hot or cold. They`re usually served as an appetizer with cocktails. The word "canape" is French for "couch."
The French word for "duck."
Candied apple; candy apple -
An apple that`s coated with a cinnamon-flavored red sugar syrup. This candy coating can either be crackly-hard or soft and gooey. A candied-apple clone is the caramel apple, which has a thick, soft caramel-flavored coating. Both versions are served on sticks for portable eating.
n. Any of a number of various confections - soft and hard - composed mainly of sugar with the addition of flavoring ingredients and fillings such as chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, nougat, fruits and so on. Sugar syrup is the foundation for most candies. v. To sugar-coat various fruits, flowers and plants such as cherries, pineapple, citrus rinds, angelica, ginger, chestnuts, violets, miniature rose petals and mint leaves.
Cane syrup -
Made from sugar cane, this thick, extremely sweet syrup is used in Caribbean and Creole cookery and is available in shops specializing in those cuisines.
Large pasta tubes (or squares of pasta that have been rolled into tubes) that are boiled, then stuffed with a meat or cheese filling and baked with a sauce.
An Italian dessert consisting of tubular or horn-shaped pastry shells that have been deep-fried, then filled with a sweetened filling of whipped ricotta (and often whipped cream) mixed with bits of chocolate, candied citron and sometimes nuts.
A semifirm cow`s milk cheese from the department of Cantal in south-central France. Cantal has a smooth texture and a mellow, nutty flavor similiar to that of cheddar cheese.
Capelli d`angelo -
Italian for "angel hair" (which this pasta is also called), this term describes a long, delicate, extremely thin noodle. Because they are so fine, capelli d`angelo must be served either in a very light sauce or in a simple broth.
A Sicilian dish that is generally served as a salad, side dish or relish. Caponata is composed of eggplant, onions, tomatoes, anchovies, olives, pine nuts, capers and vinegar, all cooked together in olive oil. It`s most often served at room temperature.
Small, stuffed squares of pasta, similar to ravioli. The stuffing is usually ground meat, but can also be made from cheese or vegetables. The name is taken from the plural of the Italian word cappelletto, which means "little hat."
An Italian coffee made by topping espresso with the creamy foam from steamed milk. Some of the steamed milk is also added to the mix. The foam`s surface may be dusted with sweetened cocoa powder or cinnamon.
A decorative beverage container, usually narrow-necked and fitted with a stopper. Carafes are generally made of glass and used for cold beverages.
A mixture produced when sugar has been cooked (caramelized) until it melts and becomes a thick, clear liquid that can range in color from golden to deep brown (from 320° to 350°F on a candy thermometer). Water can be added to thin the mixture. Caramel is used to flavor soups, stocks and sauces - sweet and savory. It`s also used in desserts.
Caraway seed -
These aromatic seeds come from an herb in the parsley family. They have a nutty, delicate anise flavor and are widely used in German, Austrian and Hungarian cuisine. Caraway seeds flavor many foods including cheese, breads, cakes, stews, meats, vegetables.
A French term for meat cooked over hot coals or directly over flames.
Carbonnade a la flamande -
[kar-boh-NAHD ah-lah flah-MAHND]
Beer, bacon, onions and brown sugar flavor this thick Belgian beef stew from Flanders. Also referred to as carbonnade of beef.
Mexican for "little meats," this dish is simply small bits or shreds of well browned pork. It`s made from an inexpensive cut of pork that's simmered in a small amount of water until tender, then finished by cooking the pieces in pork fat until nicely browned all over.
The principal ingredient in the Jewish dish gefilte fish, carp is a freshwater fish native to Asia but found throughout the world. It ranges in size from 2 to 7 pounds and favors muddy waters, which often give a mossy flavor to the lean, white flesh. This musky nuance is least evident from November to April. Carp is best baked, fried or poached.
Italian in origin, carpaccio consists of thin shavings of raw beef fillet, which may be drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice or served with a mayonnaise or mustard sauce. The dish is often topped with capers and sometimes onions. It`s generally served as an appetizer.
This member of the parsley family has lacy green foliage and long, slender, edible orange roots. Carrots have been renowned for over 2,000 years for their health-giving properties and high vitamin A content. They`re available year-round, making them a highly popular vegetable. If buying carrots with their greenery, make sure the leaves are moist and bright green; the carrots should be firm and smooth.
The prinicipal protein in milk, which coagulates with the addition of rennin and is the foundation for cheese. Casein is also used in the production of nonfood items such as adhesives, paints and plastics.
Cashew nut -
A kidney-shaped nut that grows out from the bottom of the cashew apple. The shell is highly toxic so great care is taken in shelling and cleaning the nut. Cashew nuts have a sweet, buttery flavor and contain about 48 percent fat. Because of their high fat content, they should be stored, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator to retard rancidity.
Used primarily in West Indian cookery, cassareep is a bittersweet condiment made by cooking the juice of bitter cassava with brown sugar and spices until it reduces to a syrup. Bottled cassareep can be found in Caribbean markets.
This term refers to both a baking dish and the ingredients it contains. A "casserole dish" usually refers to a deep, round, ovenproof container with handles and a tight-fitting lid. It can be glass, metal, ceramic or any other heatproof material. A casserole`s ingredients can include meat, vegetables, beans, rice and anything else that might seem appropriate. Often a topping such as cheese or bread crumbs is added for texture and flavor.
Catawba grape -
Grown on the East Coast, this purplish-red grape is medium-size and oval in shape. It has seeds and an intense, sweet flavor. The Catawba grape is available from September to November but is mainly used commercially (for jams, jellies and white wines), and is rarely found in the market.
Cats` tongues -
Also known as langues-de-chat (French for "cats` tongues"), these long, thin cookies resemble their namesakes in shape. They are light, dry and slightly sweet. Cats` tongues may be flavored with citrus zest, chocolate or flavoring extracts. Two are sometimes sandwiched together with jam or another sweet filling; they may also be frosted.
Caudiere; caudree -
A French seafood stew or soup based on mussels and onions.
The name of this elegant member of the cabbage family comes from the Latin caulis ("stalk") and floris ("flower"). Cauliflower comes in three basic colors: white, green and purple. All cauliflower is composed of bunches of tiny florets on clusters of stalks. Some white varieties have a purple or greenish tinge. Choose a firm cauliflower with compact florets; the leaves should be crisp and green with no sign of yellowing. The size of the head doesn`t affect the quality. Refrigerate raw cauliflower, tightly wrapped, for 3 to 5 days.
This elegant and expensive appetizer is simply sieved and lightly salted fish roe (eggs). Sturgeon roe is premium and considered the "true" caviar. The three main types of caviar are beluga, osetra and sevruga. The best (and costliest) is from the beluga sturgeon. Caviar production is a major industry for both countries. Beluga caviar is prized for its soft, extremely large (pea-size) eggs. It can range in color from pale silver-gray to black. Next in quality is the medium-sized, gray to brownish gray osetra, and the smaller, gray sevruga caviar.
Before the sixteenth century, celery was used exclusively as a medicinal herb. Now it`s become one of the most popular vegetables of the Western world. Celery grows in bunches that consist of leaved ribs surrounding the tender, choice heart.
Celery salt -
A seasoning that is a blend of ground celery seed and salt.
Breakfast cereals are processed foods (usually ready-to-eat) made from cereal grains. W. H. Kellogg and C. W. Post were the first to begin mass-producing these foods, which have become a morning meal staple in the United States.
Cereal grains -
Cereal includes any plant from the grass family that yields an edible grain (seed). The most popular grains are barley, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, rice, rye, sorghum, triticale, wheat and wild rice. Because cereals are inexpensive, are a readily available source of protein and have more carbohydrates than any other food, they`re a staple throughout the world.
A style of sausage that combines chopped pork and/or beef with various mixtures of herbs, spices and other flavorings like garlic or mustard. Cervelats are uncooked but perfectly safe to eat without cooking because they have been preserved by curing, drying and smoking.
Ceylon tea -
One of the world`s most popular teas, Ceylon is a black pekoe tea whose leaves have been fermented before drying. A two-temperature drying process seals in essential oils that give this tea its special flavor. This superior tea originated in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), but is now grown in other countries such as India and China.
Challah; hallah; challa -
Served on the Sabbath, holidays, other ceremonial occasions and for everyday consumption, challah is a traditional Jewish yeast bread. It`s rich with eggs and has a light, airy texture. Though it can be formed into many shapes, braided challah is the most classic form.
Spanish for "boat" or "launch," a chalupa is a corn tortilla dough formed into a small boat shape and fried until crisp. It`s then usually filled with shredded beef, pork or chicken, vegetables, cheese or a combination of these, and served as an appetizer.
A traditional Irish dish made by combining mashed potatoes and green onions with plenty of butter.
This most celebrated sparkling wine always seems to signal "special occasion." Though bubbling wines under various appellations abound throughout the world, true champagne comes only from the Champagne region in northeast France. Good champagne is expensive not only because it`s made with premium grapes, but because it`s made by the methode champenoise. This traditional method requires a second fermentation in the bottle as well as some 100 manual operations (some of which are mechanized today). Champagnes can range in color from pale gold to apricot blush. Their flavors can range from toasty to yeasty and from dry (no sugar added) to sweet.
The French word for an edible "mushroom," generally the button variety. The term aux champignons refers to dishes garnished with mushrooms or served with a mushroom sauce.
Any of several varieties of flounder, the dab is a small flatfish with a sweet, lean, firm flesh. It can be prepared in any manner suitable for flounder.
A dessert of disc-shaped, nut-flavored meringues stacked and filled with sweetened whipped cream or buttercream. It`s served chilled, often with fruit.
Dagwood sandwich -
Named after Dagwood Bumstead, a character in the "Blondie" comic strip, this extremely thick sandwich is piled high with a variety of meats, cheeses, condiments and lettuce.
From the Japanese words dai (large) and kon (root), this vegetable is in fact a large Asian radish with a sweet, fresh flavor. The daikon`s flesh is crisp, juicy and white, while the skin can be either creamy white or black. It can range from 6 to 15 inches in length with an average diameter of 2 to 3 inches. Some exceptional daikon are as fat as a football. Choose those that are firm and unwrinkled. Refrigerate, wrapped in a plastic bag, up to a week. Daikon radishes are used raw in salads, shredded as a garnish or cooked in a variety of ways, such as in a stir-fry.
A cocktail made with rum, lime juice and sugar. Some daiquiris are made with fruit, the mixture being pureed in a blender. Frozen daiquiris are made either with crushed ice or frozen fruit chunks, all processed until smooth in a blender.
Japanese term for "dried soybeans".
Dal; dhal, dhall -
A spicy dish made with lentils (or other pulses), tomatoes, onions and various seasonings. Dal is often pureed and served with curried dishes. In India, the term "dal" refers to any of almost 60 varieties of dried pulses, including peas, mung beans and lentils.
Damson plum -
This small, oval-shaped plum has an indigo skin and yellow-green flesh. Because the damson is extremely tart, it makes excellent pies and jams.
Danablu cheese -
Also called Danish blue cheese, this rich cow`s-milk cheese is milder and less complex than Roquefort, but has a zest all its own. Known as one of the world`s best blues, the versatile, semisoft Danablu can be sliced, spread and crumbled with equal ease. It`s excellent with fruit, dark breads and red wines.
Danbo cheese -
A Swiss-style cheese from Denmark with a red or yellow wax rind and pale yellow interior dotted with holes. Danbo has a firm texture and mildly sweet, nutlike flavor. Regular Danbo has about 45 percent milk fat; the lowfat variety contains only 20 percent fat.
Danish pastry -
This butter-rich pastry begins as a yeast dough that is rolled out, dotted with butter, then folded and rolled again several times, as for puff pastry. The dough may be lightly sweetened and is usually flavored with vanilla or cardamom. Baked Danish pastries (often referred to simply as "Danish") contain a variety of fillings including fruit, cream cheese, almond paste and spiced nuts.
A French term referring to a small, cylindrical mold, as well as to the dessert baked in it. Classically, the dessert is made by lining the mold with puff pastry, filling it with an almond cream and baking until golden brown. Today there are also savory darioles, usually made with vegetable custards.
Darjeeling tea -
This strong, full-bodied black tea comes from India`s province of Darjeeling, in the foothills of the Himalayas. Darjeeling tea leaves are grown at about 7,000 feet and are considered one of India`s finest.
A measuring term referring to a very small amount of seasoning added to food with a quick, downward stroke of the hand, such as "a dash of Tabasco". In general, a dash can be considered to be somewhere between 1/16 and a scant 1/8 teaspoon.
Used extensively in Japanese cooking, dashi is a soup stock made with dried bonito tuna flakes (katsuobushi), kombu and water. Dashi-no-moto is this stock in instant form; it comes granulated, powdered and in a concentrate.
Dau miu -
The Cantonese name for "pea shoots", the thin, delicately crisp tendrils (or vines), plus the uppermost leaves, of the green pea plant. Dau miu has a flavor that`s a cross between peas and spinach, with a soupçon of watercress. It`s available in some Chinese markets in the spring. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for no more than a day or two - pea shoots are best used the day of purchase. Wash just before using. Dau miu can be used fresh in salads, or added to a stir-fry at the last minute.
A classic French dish made with beef, red wine, vegetables and seasonings, all slowly braised for several hours. Every region in France has its own version of daube, sometimes made in a special, very deep, covered pottery casserole called a daubiere.
1. Pommes dauphine (dauphine potatoes) are croquettes made by combining potato puree with choux pastry (cream-puff pastry dough) and forming the mixture into balls, which are then rolled in bread crumbs and deep-fried. 2. Sole dauphine is an elaborate preparation of deep-fried sole fillets garnished with mushrooms, crayfish, truffles and quenelles.
To pour a liquid (typically wine) from its bottle to another container, usually a carafe or decanter. This is generally done to separate the wine from any sediment deposited in the bottom of the bottle during the aging process. Decanting is also done to allow a wine to "breathe", which thereby enhances its flavor.
A narrow-necked, stoppered container - usually made of glass - used to hold wine, liqueur or other spirits.
After food (usually meat) has been sauteed and the food and excess fat removed from the pan, deglazing is done by heating a small amount of liquid in the pan and stirring to loosen browned bits of food on the bottom. The liquid used is most often wine or stock. The resultant mixture often becomes a base for a sauce to accompany the food cooked in the pan.
A rich brown sauce that begins with a basic espagnole sauce, which is combined with beef stock and Madeira or Sherry and slowly cooked until it`s reduced by half to a thick glaze that coats a spoon. This intense flavor is used as a base for many other sauces.
Literally French for "half cup," the term "demitasse" can refer to either a tiny coffee cup or the very strong black coffee served in the cup.
Denver sandwich -
Also called a Western sandwich, this classic consists of an egg scrambled with chopped ham, onion and green pepper, sandwiched with two slices of bread and garnished with lettuce.
Dessert wine -
Any of a wide variety of sweet wines - sometimes fortified with brandy, all of which are compatible with dessert. Some of the more popular dessert wines are Late Harvest Riesling, Madeira, Port, Sauternes, Sherry and some sparkling wines, such as Asti Spumante.
To combine a food with various hot or spicy seasonings such as red pepper, mustard or tabasco sauce, thereby creating a "deviled" dish.
Devil`s food -
A dark, dense baked chocolate item (such as a cake or cookie). On the opposite end of the spectrum is the airy, white angel food cake.
Diable sauce; a la diable -
1. A basic brown sauce with the addition of wine, vinegar, shallots and red or black pepper. It`s usually served with broiled meat or poultry. 2. A la diable refers to a French method of preparing poultry by grilling a split bird, which is then sprinkled with bread crumbs and broiled until brown. The bird is served with diable sauce.
To cut food into tiny (about 1/8- to 1/4-inch) cubes.
A French term for a spirited drink (such as brandy or cognac) taken after dining as an aid to digestion. The term digestif is now widely used in English parlance as well.
Dijon mustard -
Hailing originally from Dijon, France, this pale, grayish-yellow mustard is known for its clean, sharp flavor, which can range from mild to hot. Dijon mustard is made from brown or black mustard seeds, white wine, unfermented grape juice and various seasonings. The best-known maker of Dijon mustard is the house of Poupon, particularly famous in the United States for their Grey Poupon mustard.
A deep-fried, Greek pastry made from thin strips of sweet dough formed into bows or circles. Diples are usually coated with honey, cinnamon and nuts.
Diplomat pudding -
This cold, molded dessert consists of alternating layers of liqueur-soaked ladyfingers (or sponge cake), jam, chopped candied fruit and custard (sometimes combined with whipped cream). Diplomat pudding is usually garnished with whipped-cream rosettes and candied fruit.
Dirty rice -
A Cajun specialty of cooked rice combined with ground chicken or turkey livers and gizzards, onions, chicken broth, bacon drippings, green pepper and garlic. The name comes from the fact that the ground giblets give the rice a "dirty" look ... but delicious flavor.
To incorporate a dry ingredient (such as sugar, salt, yeast or gelatin) into a liquid so thoroughly that no grains of the dry ingredient are evident, either by touch or sight.
The process of separating the components in a liquid by heating it to the point of vaporization, then cooling the mixture so it condenses into a purified and/or concentrated form. In the making of liquor, this distilled product is called "neutral spirits" because it has little flavor, color or aroma.
Distilled water -
Water from which all minerals and other impurities have been removed by the process of distillation.
A fluffy yet creamy candy made with granulated sugar, corn syrup and stiffly beaten egg whites. Nuts, chocolate, coconut or various other flavorings are often added to the basic mixture. When brown sugar is substituted for granulated sugar, the candy is called seafoam.
Italian for "sweet," referring culinarily to desserts, candy or other sweets.
Dolcelatte cheese -
Also called Gorgonzola dolce, this soft, mild, blue-veined cheese can be served as either an appetizer or dessert. It`s difficult to find but is sometimes available in specialty cheese shops,
A mixture of sugar and spirits (often brandy) that is added to champagne and other sparkling wine immediately prior to final bottling. The percentage of sugar in the syrup determines the degree of sweetness in the final wine.
Earl Grey tea -
This popular black tea was named for Charles Grey, the second earl in his line, who was also prime minister to King William IV in the early 19th century. An amalgamation of Indian and Sri Lankan teas, Earl Grey gets its elusive flavor from oil of bergamot. The Earl is said to have been given the recipe by a Chinese mandarin with whom he was friends.
Early Richmond cherry -
So named because it`s the first sour cherry available in the late spring, the bright red Early Richmond is excellent for cooking purposes.
Clay bakeware that is glazed with a hard, nonporous coating. If high-fired, the earthenware is hard; lowfiring produces soft, fragile ware. Because of its inherent ability to release heat slowly, earthenware is favored for dishes requiring lengthy cooking such as baked beans and stews. Care must be taken to cool earthenware slowly and completely before washing in order to prevent the glaze from cracking. Once the glaze cracks, the exposed surfaces can adversely affect the flavor of foods cooked in the container.
Eau de vie -
[oh deuh VEE]
French for "water of life", this term describes any colorless, potent brandy or other spirit distilled from fermented fruit juice. Kirsch (made from cherries) and framboise (from raspberries) are the two most popular eaux de vie.
Eccles cake -
Named for the Lancashire, England, town of Eccles, this small domed confection has a filling of currants and other dried fruit mixed with sugar and butter and encased in a puff pastry shell.
A small, oblong, cream-filled pastry made with choux pastry (cream-puff pastry dough). Unlike cream puffs, eclairs are usually topped with a sweet icing.
Edam cheese -
Hailing from Holland, this mellow, savory cheese has a pale yellow interior with a red or yellow paraffin coating (the yellow is more common in Holland). It`s made from part-skimmed milk (40 percent milk fat) and comes in spheres that can weigh anywhere from 1 to 4 pounds. Edam is second only to Gouda as Holland`s most exported cheese. It`s a great all-purpose cheese, especially good when served with dark beer.
The Japanese name for fresh soybeans. Edamame, which are usually bright to dark green, are available fresh in Asian markets from late spring to early fall. They`re also available frozen.
Abbreviation for ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, an additive used in some processed foods to eliminate the possibility of rancidity caused by the transfer of trace metals during the manufacturing process. EDTA has a wide variety of nonculinary uses, including the treatment of lead poisoning.
Egg cream -
This favorite New York City soda fountain drink has been popular since the 1930s. Egg creams don`t contain a speck of egg but are so named because of the froth (resembling beaten egg whites) that crowns the drink. They`re made with a mixture of milk and chocolate syrup into which seltzer water is spritzed, causing the mixture to foam enthusiastically.
Egg foo yong -
A Chinese-American dish made by combining eggs with various foods such as bean sprouts, water chestnuts, scallions, ham, chicken or pork. Small, pancake-size portions are poured into a skillet and fried until golden brown. Egg foo yong can also be made in one large round. It is sometimes topped with a sauce of chicken broth, soy sauce and various seasonings.
Egg piercer -
A kitchen tool with a sharp steel pin, usually spring-mounted, which pokes a tiny hole in the large end of an egg. This hole prevents the egg from cracking because the air inside (which expands during boiling) can gradually escape.
Egg ring -
A round, bottomless, stainless steel ring, sometimes with a vertical handle, in which an egg can be poached or fried. The ring keeps the egg perfectly round during cooking. It`s removed before the egg is served.
Egg roll -
A small, stuffed Chinese pastry usually served as an appetizer. Paper-thin pastry wrappers are folded around a savory filling of minced or shredded vegetables and sometimes meat, then folded and rolled before being deep-fried. Egg roll skins (the pastry wrappers) are available in the refrigerator section of Asian markets and most supermarkets. Spring rolls, so named because they`re traditionally served on the first day of the Chinese New Year (in early spring), are smaller, more delicate versions of the egg roll.
Egg scissors -
Used to remove the top of soft-cooked eggs, this circular gadget has a scissors-style handle. It`s positioned over the top of the egg and, when the handle is operated, a ring of "teeth" or a ringed blade clips off the top third of the eggshell.
Egg slicer -
A kitchen tool with a slatted, egg-shaped hollow on the bottom and a hinged top consisting of 10 fine steel wires. When the upper portion is brought down onto a hard-cooked egg sitting in the base, it cuts the egg into even slices.
Egg substitutes -
A liquid sold in cartons, this product is usually a blend of egg whites, food starch, corn oil, skim-milk powder, tofu, artificial coloring and a plethora of additives. It contains no cholesterol but each serving is almost as high in sodium as a real egg. Egg substitutes can be scrambled and also used in many baking and cooking recipes calling for whole eggs.
Egg wash -
Egg yolk or egg white mixed with a small amount of water or milk. It`s brushed over breads, pastry and other baked goods before baking to give them color and gloss.
This chilled Christmas beverage consists of a homogeneous blend of milk or cream, beaten eggs, sugar, nutmeg and usually liquor of some kind. Rum was the spirit noted in early references to the drink, but brandy and whiskey are also common additions. Liquor-free eggnog has long been served to convalescents and growing children. Some eggnogs are made by separating the eggs and stiffly beating the whites before adding them to the milk mixture; this produces an airier brew. Commercial eggnog is sans liquor and must contain 1 percent egg-yolk solids by weight. It`s available in cartons beginning around mid-October. Canned eggnog can be found year-round in some locations, though some think its flavor takes on a metallic quality.
Because the eggplant is a member of the nightshade family, it`s related to the potato and tomato. Though commonly thought of as a vegetable, eggplant is actually a fruit ... specifically a berry. There are many varieties of this delicious food, ranging in color from rich purple to white, in length from 2 to 12 inches and in shape from oblong to round.
Eggplant caviar -
A thick, pureed mixture of roasted eggplant, tomato, onion, olive oil and various seasonings. It`s served cold or at room temperature as a dip or spread.
The most common egg used for food today is the hen`s egg, though those from other fowl - including duck, goose and quail - are sold in many areas. The egg white is an excellent source of protein and riboflavin. Egg yolks contain all of the fat in an egg and are a good source of protein, iron, vitamins A and D, choline and phosphorus. Eggs must always be refrigerated. When stored at room temperature, they lose more quality in 1 day than in a week in the refrigerator. Eggs should be stored in the carton in which they came; transferring them to the egg container in the refrigerator door exposes them to odors and damage. They should always be stored large-end-up and should never be placed near odoriferous foods (such as onions) because they easily absorb odors.
Eggs Benedict -
A breakfast or brunch specialty consisting of two toasted English muffin halves, each topped with a slice of ham or Canadian bacon, a poached egg and a dollop of Hollandaise sauce. The most popular legend of the dish`s origin says that it originated at Manhattan`s famous Delmonico`s Restaurant when regular patrons, Mr. and Mrs. LeGrand Benedict, complained that there was nothing new on the lunch menu. Delmonico`s maitre d` and Mrs. Benedict began discussing possibilities and eggs Benedict was the result.
Eggs Sardou -
Named for Victorien Sardou, a famous French dramatist, this specialty of Antoine`s restaurant in New Orleans consists of poached eggs topped with artichoke hearts, ham, anchovies, truffles and Hollandaise sauce.
Elberta peach -
A large freestone peach with a sweet, succulent flesh and red-blushed, yellow skin. It`s good both for eating out of hand and for cooking.
The purple-black, tart fruit of the elder tree, elderberries can be eaten raw (though they are quite sour) but are better used to make jams, pies and homemade wine. The creamy white elderberry flowers can be added to salads or batter-dipped and fried like fritters.
Emmentaler cheese; Emmental; Emmenthaler -
Switzerland`s oldest and most important cheese, Emmentaler has a distinctively nutty-sweet, mellow flavor that makes it perfect for almost any use - from snacks to an apres-dinner fruit-and-cheese plate. This cow`s-milk cheese is light gold in color, with marble-size holes and a natural light brown rind. It was named for Switzerland`s Emmental valley and is exported in giant wheels weighing from 150 to 220 pounds each.
This Mexican specialty is made by rolling a softened corn tortilla around a meat or cheese filling. It`s served hot, usually topped with a tomato-based salsa and sprinkled with cheese.
English breakfast -
A large, hearty breakfast that can include fruit or juice, eggs, ham or other meat, fish, cereal, baked goods, jam and tea. Compare to continental breakfast.
English breakfast tea -
A hearty blend of several of various black teas (usually assam and ceylon). English breakfast tea is more full-flavored and full-bodied than a single black tea.
English mustard -
An extremely hot powdered mustard containing ground mustard seeds (both black or brown and yellow-white), wheat flour and turmeric. The most well-known brand of powdered mustard today is Colman`s, named for its 19th-century British developer, Jeremiah Colman.
English walnut -
The English walnut has a wrinkled, tan-colored shell that encloses two large, double-lobed halves. Its sweet flavor makes it a delicious choice for out-of-hand eating, as well as a popular addition for all manner of foods sweet and savory. English walnuts are used to produce walnut oil; they also come in candied and pickled forms.
Also spelled oenology, this is the science or study of viniculture (making wines). One who studies the science is called an enologist (or oenologist).
The Spanish word for "salad."
1. In America, the term "entree" refers to the main course of a meal. 2. In parts of Europe, it refers to the dish served between the fish and meat courses during formal dinners.
French for "between dishes," the word entremets on a menu refers to desserts. At one time, this word was used to describe small side dishes served between principal courses or with the main course.
French for "spice."
French for "spinach."
Of Spanish origin, escabeche is a dish of poached or fried fish, covered with a spicy marinade and refrigerated for at least 24 hours. It`s a popular dish in Spain and the Provencal region of France, and is usually served cold as an appetizer. Escovitch is the Jamaican name for this dish.
The French term for a very thin, usually flattened, slice of meat or fish. The tender escalope requires only a few seconds of sautéing on both sides. In the United States, this cut is known as "scallop."
The Italian word for "beans", usually white kidney beans. String beans are called fagiolini.
A temperature scale in which 32° represents freezing and 212° represents the steam point. The scale was devised by Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, an 18th-century German physicist. To convert Fahrenheit temperatures to Celsius, subtract 32 from the Fahrenheit reading, multiply by 5 and divide by 9.
Skirt steak that has been marinated in a mixture of oil, lime juice, red pepper and garlic for at least 24 hours before being grilled. The cooked meat is cut into strips that are then usually wrapped (burrito-style) in warm tortillas, accompanied by a variety of garnishes including grilled onions and sweet peppers, guacamole, refried beans and salsa.
Falafel; felafel -
A Middle Eastern specialty consisting of small, deep-fried croquettes or balls made of highly spiced, ground chickpeas. They`re generally tucked inside pita bread, sandwich-style, but can also be served as appetizers. A yogurt- or tahini-based sauce is often served with falafel.
Farce; farci -
Farce is the French word for "stuffing". Farci means "stuffed".
Farfalle; farfallini; farfallone -
Pasta shaped like small butterflies or bow ties. Farfallini are the smallest butterflies, farfallone the largest.
1. An egg-noodle dough that is grated or minced and used in soups. 2. In Jewish cookery, farfel refers to food - such as dried noodles - broken into small pieces.
Made from cereal grains, farina is a bland-tasting flour or meal that, when cooked in boiling water, makes a hot breakfast cereal. It`s very easily digested and rich in protein.
Farl; farle -
1. A thin Scottish griddle cake made of oatmeal or flour and cut into triangular wedges. Farls, which are similar to scones, take their name from the word fardel meaning "fourth part" and referring to a fourth part or quarter cut of a round cake. 2. The triangular wedge shape of such a cut cake is also referred to as a "farl".
Farmer cheese -
This fresh cheese is a form of cottage cheese from which most of the liquid has been pressed. The very dry farmer cheese is sold in a solid loaf. It has a mild, slightly tangy flavor and is firm enough to slice or crumble. It`s an all-purpose cheese that can be eaten as is or used in cooking.
Fasnacht; fastnacht -
A yeast-raised potato pastry that`s deep-fried like a doughnut. Fasnachts were originally made and served on Shrove Tuesday to use up the fat that was forbidden during Lent. They`re diamond-shaped and often have a slit cut down the center before frying. They first appeared in Pennsylvania, though there is some argument whether the actual origin is German or Dutch.
Often confused with salt pork (which comes from the sides and belly of a pig), fatback is the fresh (unsmoked and unsalted) layer of fat that runs along the animal`s back. It is used to make lard and cracklings and for cooking - especially in many Southern recipes. Salt-cured fatback is also sometimes available. All fatback should be refrigerated: fresh up to a week, cured up to a month.
Fava bean -
This tan, rather flat bean resembles a very large lima bean. It comes in a large pod that, 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 aren`t bulging with beans, which indicates age. Fava beans have a very tough skin, which should be removed by blanching before cooking. They`re very popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, can be cooked in a variety of ways and are often used in soups. Also called faba bean, broad bean and horse bean
Italian for "little faithful ones", referring culinarily to very fine spaghetti.
Brazil`s most famous regional dish, feijoada is an assorted platter of thinly sliced meats (such as sausages, pig`s feet and ears, beef and smoked tongue) accompanied by side dishes of rice, black beans, shredded kale or collard greens, hearts of palm, orange slices and hot peppers.
Native to Asia and southern Europe, this aromatic plant is known for its pleasantly bitter, slightly sweet seeds. Its leaves (not generally available in the United States) can be used in salads. Fenugreek seeds, which come whole and ground, are used to flavor many foods including curry powders, spice blends and teas. Fenugreek seeds should be stored in a cool, dark place for no more than 6 months
A process by which a food goes through a chemical change caused by enzymes produced from bacteria, microorganisms or yeasts. Fermentation alters the appearance and/or flavor of foods and beverages such as beer, buttermilk, cheese, wine, vinegar and yogurt.
Fermented black beans -
Also called Chinese black beans and salty black beans, this Chinese specialty consists of small black soybeans that have been preserved in salt before being packed into cans or plastic bags. They have an extremely pungent, salty flavor and must be soaked in warm water for about 30 minutes before using. Fermented black beans are usually finely chopped before being added to fish or meat dishes as a flavoring. They can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to a year. If the beans begin to dry out, a few drops of peanut oil will refresh them.
Feta cheese -
This classic Greek cheese is traditionally made of sheep`s or goat`s milk, though today large commercial producers often make it with cow`s milk. Because it`s cured and stored in its own salty whey brine, feta is often referred to as pickled cheese. White, crumbly and rindless, feta is usually pressed into square cakes. It has a rich, tangy flavor, contains from 45 to 60 percent milk fat and can range in texture from soft to semidry. Feta makes a zesty addition to salads and many cooked dishes.
Fettucce; fettuccelle -
Both are fettuccine noodles, with fettucce the broadest, at about 1/2 inch wide; the 1/8-inch wide fettuccelle are the narrowest.
Fettuccine Alfredo -
Roman restaurateur Alfredo di Lello is credited with creating this dish in the 1920s. The fettuccine is enrobed in a rich sauce of butter, grated Parmesan cheese, heavy cream and plentiful grindings of black pepper. Other noodles may be substituted for the fettuccine.
Fettuccine; fettuccini -
Egg noodles cut into flat, narrow (about 3/8-inch) strips.
French for "flaky" or "puff pastry". Also called pate feuilletee.
Fiber, dietary -
Also referred to as roughage, dietary fiber is that portion of plant-related foods (such as fruits, legumes, vegetables and whole grains) that cannot be completely digested. Statistics maintain that high-fiber diets reduce cholesterol levels and cancer rates.
Field pea -
A variety of yellow or green pea grown specifically for drying. These peas are dried and usually split along a natural seam, in which case they`re called split peas. Whole and split dried field peas are available packaged in supermarkets and in bulk in health-food stores. Field peas do not usually require presoaking before cooking.
Figaro sauce -
Tomato puree and minced parsley are added to hollandaise sauce for this rich accompaniment to fish or poultry.
A boneless piece of meat or fish. Filet is the French spelling. fillet v. To cut the bones from a piece of meat or fish, thereby creating a meat or fish fillet.
This pale, delicate, very dry Spanish wine is considered by many to be the world`s finest Sherry. Finos are excellent when young, but should not be aged because they don`t improve and may lose some of their vitality. They are often served chilled as an aperitif.
All fish are broken down into two very broad categories - fish and shellfish. In the most basic terms, fish are equipped with fins, backbones and gills, while shellfish have shells of one form or another. Fish without shells are separated into two groups - freshwater fish and saltwater fish. Because salt water provides more buoyancy than fresh water, saltwater fish - such as cod, flounder and tuna - can afford to have thicker bones. Freshwater fish - like catfish, perch and trout - can`t be weighted with a heavy skeletal framework. Instead, their structure is based on hundreds of minuscule bones, a source of frustration to many diners.
adj. A term describing a food, such as pie crust, with a dry texture that easily breaks off into flat, flakelike pieces.
Flamande, a la -
A la flamande is French for "in the Flemish style," indicating a garnish of braised cabbage, carrots, turnips, potatoes and sometimes pork or sausages. It's a classic accompaniment for meat or poultry.
French for "flamed" or "flaming," this dramatic method of food presentation consists of sprinkling certain foods with liquor, which, after warming, is ignited just before serving.
1. A strip of beef from the chuck end of the short ribs. 2. A Jewish dish using this cut of beef, which is boiled and usually served with horseradish.
A species of fish (including flounder, halibut and sole) characterized by a rather flat body, with both eyes located on the upper side. Flatfish swim on one side only; the side facing downwards is always very pale.
A cold drink made with liquor or wine mixed with sugar and egg, then shaken or blended until frothy. Early flips made in England and Colonial America were warmed by plunging a red-hot poker into the brew just before serving.
Though Austrian bakers are credited with inventing these cookies, their name implies an Italian heritage. They`re a mixture of butter, sugar, cream, honey, candied fruit (and sometimes nuts) that is cooked in a saucepan before being dropped into mounds on a cookie sheet and baked. The chewy, candylike florentines often have a chocolate coating on one side.
1. Fondue au fromage is a classic dish of Swiss heritage consisting of cheese melted and combined with white wine, kirsch and seasonings. Bite-size chunks of French bread are dipped into the hot, savory mixture. 2. Fondue bourguignonne is a variation whereby cubes of raw beef are cooked in a pot of hot oil, then dipped into various savory sauces. 3. Chocolate fondue, a combination of melted chocolate, cream and sometimes liqueur into which fruit or cake may be dipped. 4. In French cooking, the term "fondue" refers to finely chopped vegetables that have been reduced to a pulp by lengthy and slow cooking. This mixture is often used as a garnish, usually with meats or fish.
England is the home of this old-fashioned but delicious dessert made of cooked, pureed fruit that is strained, chilled and folded into whipped cream. The fruit mixture may be sweetened or not. Fool is traditionally made from gooseberries, though today any fruit may be substituted.
Formosa Oolong tea -
Hailing from Taiwan (previously known as Formosa), this tea is considered one of the world`s best, which also makes it quite expensive. It creates a pale yellow brew that has a flavor reminiscent of peaches.
Fortified wine -
A wine to which brandy (or other spirit) has been added in order to increase alcoholic content. Such wines include port, sherry and many dessert wines.
French for "whisk."
A classic French dish that resembles a meat-wrapped pate. It`s made from poultry, meat or fish that is boned and stuffed with a forcemeat, which is often studded with flavor- and eye-enhancers such as pistachio nuts, olives and truffles. The stuffed meat roll is formed into a symmetrical loaf, wrapped in cheesecloth and gently cooked in stock. It`s then chilled, glazed with aspic made from its own jellied stock and garnished with items (such as pistachios, olives and truffles) that have been included in the filling. Galantines are normally served cold, cut in slices.
Hailing from France, a galette is a round, rather flat cake made of flaky-pastry dough, yeast dough or sometimes unleavened dough. The term also applies to a variety of tarts, both savory and sweet, and there are as many variations as there are French regions. They may be topped with fruit, jam, nuts, meat, cheese, etc. Galette des Rois, the traditional cake served during Twelfth Night festivities, often contains a bean or other token, which is guaranteed to bring the recipient good luck.
A sweet, anise-flavored, golden yellow liqueur made in Italy.
Culinarily, this word refers to any dish with a hodgepodge of ingredients, such as a stew, ragout or hash.
A rich chocolate icing made of semisweet chocolate and whipping cream that are heated and stirred together until the chocolate has melted. The mixture is cooled until lukewarm and poured over a cake or torte. Ganache souffle is made from the same base but often includes a tablespoon or so of rum or cognac. When cooled to room temperature, the mixture is whipped to approximately twice its original volume. Whereas ganache is used to glaze cakes, pastries and tortes, ganache soufflé is generally used to fill them.
A vegetable or meat soup so thick it could be considered a stew or casserole dish. Garbure has many variations, but most commonly contains cabbage, beans, potatoes and bits of pork, bacon or preserved goose. It`s usually served with toasted or fried bread. Garbure is immensely popular with Basques and the most famous version comes from Bearn, France.
Garde manger -
A French term for the cool, well-ventilated pantry area (usually in hotels and large restaurants) where cold buffet dishes are prepared and other foods are stored in refrigerated units. Some of the items prepared in a garde manger are salads, pates, chaud-froids and other decorative dishes. The person in charge of this area is known as chef garde manger.
Garlic has long been credited with providing and prolonging physical strength and was fed to Egyptian slaves building the giant pyramids. Throughout the centuries, its medicinal claims have included cures for toothaches, consumption, open wounds and evil demons. A member of the lily family, garlic is a cousin to leeks, chives, onions and shallots. The edible bulb or "head" grows beneath the ground. This bulb is made up of sections called cloves, each encased in its own parchmentlike membrane.
Garlic bread -
Said to have been invented during the late 1940s boom of Italian-American restaurants, garlic bread consists of Italian or French bread slices, spread on both sides with garlic butter and heated in the oven. There are many variations, including bread brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with minced garlic and herbs. It can also be broiled or grilled.
Garlic butter -
Softened butter blended with crushed or minced garlic. The intensity of the garlic flavor is governed by the amount of garlic used and the length of time the mixture is allowed to stand. Garlic butter is used on a broad range of foods including garlic bread, escargots, meats, poultry, fish and vegetables.
Garlic press -
A kitchen tool used to press a garlic clove through small holes, thereby extracting both pulp and juice. Leaving the skin on the clove facilitates cleaning, which should be done immediately after pressing, before any garlic left in the press dries. The press can also be set in a cup of warm water until cleaning time. Some presses contain teeth that push garlic fragments back out through the holes, making cleaning much easier. Garlic presses can be made of aluminum, stainless steel and strong plastics.
The French word for "garnish" when used as an adjective describing a food. For example, "steak garni" usually means it`s accompanied by vegetables and potatoes.
n. A decorative, edible accompaniment to finished dishes, from appetizers to desserts. Garnishes can be placed under, around or on food, depending on the dish. They vary from simple sprigs of parsley or exotically carved vegetables on plated food, to croutons in soup, to chocolate leaves on top of chocolate mousse. Garnishes should not only be appealing to the eye, but should also echo or complement the flavor of the dish. garnish v. To decorate or accompany a dish with a garnish.
The French word for "garnish", used as a noun.
The ancient Romans used garum as a flavoring much like salt. This extremely pungent sauce was made by fermenting fish in a brine solution for several days in the sun. The resulting liquid was combined with various other flavorings such as oil, pepper, wine and spices.
Gaspergoo; gaspergou -
A freshwater drum that inhabits deep rivers and lakes throughout the United States. Also known as goo or gou, this fish has a white, lean flesh with a succulently sweet flavor. Gaspergoo is most commonly available in the spring and summer months. It`s suitable for frying, grilling, pan-frying or steaming.
A connoisseur of good food - someone with a refined palate.
The art of fine dining; the science of gourmet food and drink.
Often referred to as a univalve, a gastropod can be any of several mollusks with a single (univalve) shell and single muscle. Among the more common gastropods are the abalone, limpet, periwinkle, snail and whelk. With a few exceptions (such as the abalone), gastropods are not as highly regarded culinarily as bivalve mollusks such as the clam and oyster.
The French word for "cake", which can refer to those both plain and fancy.
A refreshingly cold, summertime soup hailing from the Andalusia region in southern Spain. This uncooked soup is usually made from a pureed mixture of fresh tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, onions, celery, cucumber, bread crumbs, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and sometimes lemon juice. Gazpacho can be a meal in itself, particularly when extra fresh vegetables such as sliced celery, green onion, cucumber and green pepper are added. Popular garnishes include croutons and diced hard-cooked eggs.
An odorless, tasteless and colorless thickening agent, which when dissolved in hot water and then cooled, forms a jelly. It`s useful for many purposes such as jelling molded desserts and salads, thickening cold soups and glazing chaud-froid preparations. Gelatin is pure protein derived from beef and veal bones, cartilage, tendons and other tissue.
The Italian word for "ice cream," gelato doesn`t contain as much air as its American counterpart and therefore has a denser texture. An Italian ice cream parlor is called a gelateria.
Genevoise, sauce -
This classic sauce for fish combines a mirepoix and brown sauce with red wine and fish fumet. The mixture is cooked, reduced and strained, after which anchovy paste, butter and minced mushrooms are added.
German potato salad -
A bacon-studded potato salad made with a dressing of bacon fat, vinegar, seasonings and sometimes sugar. German potato salad can be served hot, cold or at room temperature. Favorite additions include minced onion, celery and green pepper.
The young fruit of a variety of small, dark green cucumbers especially grown to make pickles. Gherkins are usually sold in jars, packed in pickling brine. Cornichons are the French version of this pickle.
Giardiniera, alla -
From the Italian giardiniere ("gardener"), culinarily this term refers to dishes served with mixed sliced vegetables.
A cocktail made with sugar syrup, lime juice, vodka or gin and sometimes soda water. According to the British, the secret of a good gimlet is thorough stirring.
Ginger ale -
A carbonated, ginger-flavored soft drink.
Ginger beer -
Made in both nonalcoholic and alcoholic forms, this carbonated beverage tastes like ginger ale with a stronger ginger flavor. It`s an integral ingredient in the mixed drink, Moscow mule.
A small, very crisp ginger cookie flavored with molasses.
Found in the lower stomach of fowl, this muscular pouch grinds the bird`s food, often with the aid of stones or grit swallowed for this purpose. The portion that actually does the work is in the center of the pouch and is usually removed before the gizzard reaches the market. Gizzards can be very tough unless cooked slowly with moist heat, such as braising.
The French word for "ice cream."
This Scottish liqueur is made with scotch whisky, honey and a well-guarded herbal formula.
Gloucester cheese -
Also called double Gloucester, this dense, satiny, golden yellow cheese is one of England`s finest. It was once made only with the milk from Gloucester cows (now almost extinct) and until the end of World War II single (smaller) Gloucester rounds were also available. The mellow, full-flavored double Gloucester comes in large, flat rounds or tall cylinders - both with a natural rind. It`s a fine, multipurpose cheese equally as good with a meal or after it.
The most common form of this sugar is dextroglucose, a naturally occurring form commonly referred to as dextrose (also called corn sugar and grape sugar ). This form of glucose has many sources including grape juice, certain vegetables and honey. It has about half the sweetening power of regular sugar. Because it doesn`t crystallize easily, it`s used to make commercial candies and frostings, as well as in baked goods, soft drinks and other processed foods. Corn syrup is a form of glucose made from cornstarch.
Italian for "dumplings," gnocchi can be made from potatoes, flour or farina. Eggs or cheese can be added to the dough, and finely chopped spinach is also a popular addition. Gnocchi are generally shaped into little balls, cooked in boiling water and served with butter and Parmesan or a savory sauce.
Japanese cooked white rice that has undergone a precooking process of washing, rinsing and soaking to remove as much starch as possible. This lengthy process can take up to an hour and reduces stickiness in the finished rice.
Also called Danziger Goldwasser, this full-bodied liqueur is flavored with caraway seed, orange peel and spices. Its name, which translates from German as "gold water," comes from the fact that it has minuscule flecks of gold leaf suspended in it. The gold leaf is harmless to drink.
This rich, light cake is made with flour, sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla. It`s similar in texture to a moist sponge cake. It was developed in Genoa, Italy, adapted by the French and is now baked by gourmet cooks throughout Europe and the United States.
Habanero chile -
This distinctively flavored, extremely hot chile is small and lantern-shaped. It`s native to the Caribbean, the Yucatan and the north coast of South America. The habanero ranges from light green to bright orange when ripe. It`s generally used for sauces in both its fresh and dried form.
A saltwater fish that is closely related to but smaller than cod. The lowfat haddock has a firm texture and mild flavor. It can weigh anywhere from 2 to 6 pounds and is available fresh either whole or in fillets and steaks, and frozen in fillets and steaks. Haddock is suitable for any style of preparation including baking, poaching, sautéing and grilling. Smoked haddock is called finnan haddie.
This Scottish specialty is made by stuffing a sheep`s (or other animal's) stomach lining with a minced mixture of the animal`s organs (heart, liver, lungs, and so on), onion, suet, oatmeal and seasonings, then simmering the sausage in water for about 4 hours. Haggamuggie is a simplified version of haggis made with fish liver.
Related to the cod, hake is a saltwater fish that makes its home in the Atlantic and northern Pacific Oceans. It`s low in fat and has white, delicately flavored meat. Ranging in size from 1 to 8 pounds, hake is marketed whole or in fillets and steaks. It comes in fresh, frozen, smoked and salted forms. Hake may be prepared in any way suitable for cod.
Abundant in northern Pacific and Atlantic waters, this large member of the flatfish family can weigh up to half a ton. The norm, however, ranges between 50 and 100 pounds. Considered the finest are the young chicken halibut, which can weigh anywhere from 2 to 10 pounds. Halibut meat is lowfat, white, firm and mild flavored. Fresh halibut is available year-round but most abundant from March to September. Both fresh and frozen halibut is usually marketed in fillets and steaks. It`s suitable for almost any manner of preparation. Halibut cheeks are sometimes available in specialty fish markets.
Hailing from Colombia and Venezuela, hallacas are South America`s version of tamales. They consist of ground beef, pork or chicken mixed with other foods such as cheese, olives or raisins, surrounded by a ground-corn dough, wrapped in banana leaves and gently boiled. Hallacas are served as both an appetizer and main dish.
Halvah; halva -
Hailing from the Middle East, this confection is made from ground sesame seed and honey, sometimes with the addition of chopped dried fruit and pistachio nuts. It`s available in most supermarkets in wrapped bars, and in Jewish delicatessens in long slabs from which individual slices can be cut.
Ham hock -
The hock is the lower portion of a hog`s hind leg, made up of meat, fat, bone, gristle and connective tissue. In the market, ham hocks are often cut into 2- to 3-inch lengths. Most have been cured, smoked or both, but fresh hocks can sometimes also be found. Ham hocks are generally used to flavor dishes such as soups, beans and stews that require lengthy, slow cooking.
These small triangular pastries hold a sweet filling, either of honey-poppy seed, prune or apricot. They`re one of the traditional sweets of Purim, a festive Jewish holiday. Also called Haman`s hats after Haman, the wicked prime minister of Persia who plotted the extermination of Persian Jews. Haman`s plot was foiled at the last minute and the joyous festival of Purim was proclaimed in celebration.
1. Said to have made its first appearance at the St. Louis Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904, the hamburger is one of America`s favorite foods. It consists of a cooked patty of ground beef sandwiched between two bread halves, usually in the form of a hamburger bun. The meat can be mixed with various flavorings including finely chopped onions and herbs, and is sometimes topped with a slice of cheese, in which case it becomes a cheeseburger. It`s also commonly referred to as a burger and hamburger steak. The name "hamburger" comes from the seaport town of Hamburg, Germany, where it is thought that 19th-century sailors brought back the idea of raw shredded beef (known today as beef tartare) after trading with the Baltic provinces of Russia. Some anonymous German chef decided to cook the beef ... and the rest is history. 2. Ground, shred-ded or finely chopped beef.
Hamburger bun -
A soft, round yeast roll 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter, made to fit the size of a hamburger. It may be made with regular or whole-wheat flour and variously topped with flavorings such as sesame seed, poppy seed or toasted chopped onion.
Hamburger press -
A plastic or cast-aluminum utensil that forms perfectly round, flat hamburger patties. It comes in two separate round pieces, the top part having a plunger. The hamburger meat is placed in the bottom half, which is shaped like a disc with 1/2- to 1-inch sides. The top of the utensil is set over the base and, by pushing the plunger, the hamburger meat inside is pressed into a perfect disk.
Hand-formed cookie; hand-shaped cookie -
Also called molded cookie, this style is made by shaping dough by hand into small balls, logs, crescents and other shapes.
Handkase cheese -
The name of this German specialty means "hand cheese", referring to the fact that it`s hand-shaped into irregular rounds, cylinders or other forms. It`s made from skimmed, sour cow`s milk, which gives the cheese a sharp, pungent flavor and very strong (some say overpowering) smell. The rind is gray and the interior off-white and soft. Handkase is usually eaten as a snack.
Hangtown Fry -
This dish is said to have been created during the California Gold Rush in a rowdy burg called Hangtown (now Placerville) because of the town`s frequent hangings. It consists of fried breaded oysters cooked together with eggs and fried bacon, rather like an omelet or scramble.
Hard sauce -
The traditional accompaniment for plum pudding, hard sauce is made by beating butter, sugar and flavoring together until smooth and creamy. The sugar can be confectioners`, granulated or brown. The flavoring is generally brandy, rum or whiskey, though vanilla or other extracts may also be used. This mixture is refrigerated until "hard" (the texture of butter). It`s often spooned into a decorative mold before chilling and unmolded before serving. Hard sauce is known in England as brandy butter.
Also called ship biscuit and sea bread, this large, hard biscuit is made with an unsalted, unleavened flour-and-water dough. After it`s baked, hardtack is dried to lengthen shelf life. It`s been used at least since the 1800s as a staple for sailors on long voyages.
A larger relative of the rabbit, the hare can weigh as much as 12 to 14 pounds, compared to a rabbit at about 5 pounds. Whether wild or domesticated, hares have a darker flesh and earthier flavor than rabbits. Wild hare, also called jackrabbit and snowshoe rabbit, generally needs marinating to tenderize it before cooking. Younger animals (1 year or less) can usually be roasted, whereas older animals are best cooked with moist-heat methods such as stewing or braising. One of the most famous dishes made with this animal is jugged hare. Although plentiful in the United States, hare isn`t as popular here as in European countries.
Haricot vert -
The French term for "green string bean", haricot meaning "bean" and vert translating as "green".
Harissa sauce -
From Tunisia, this fiery-hot sauce is usually made with hot chiles, garlic, cumin, coriander, caraway and olive oil. It`s the traditional accompaniment for couscous but is also used to flavor soups, stews and other dishes. Harissa can be found in cans and jars in Middle Eastern markets.
Translating as "spring rain", harusame are Japanese noodles made from soybean, rice or potato flour. They`re available in Asian markets and many supermarkets. Harusame are also called cellophane noodles and Japanese vermicelli.
Harvard beets -
Sliced beets cooked in a thickened sweet-and-sour sauce composed of vinegar, sugar, water, butter, cornstarch and seasonings. Harvard beets are served hot as a side dish.
Harvey Wallbanger -
A sweet cocktail made of vodka, orange juice and galliano (an anise-flavored liqueur).
n. A dish of finely chopped meat (roast beef and corned beef are the most common), potatoes and seasonings, usually fried together until lightly browned. Other chopped vegetables, such as green pepper, celery and onion, can also be added. Hash is sometimes served with gravy or sauce. hash v. To chop food into small pieces.
Japanese chopsticks, either wood or bamboo, sometimes lacquered and decorated. Also called o-hashi. Long chopsticks used for cooking are called sai-hashi.
Haute cuisine -
[OHT kwih-ZEEN (kwee-ZEEN)]
Food that is prepared in an elegant or elaborate manner; the very finest food, prepared perfectly. The French word haute translates as "high" or "superior," cuisine as "cooking" (in general).
Havarti cheese -
Named after the Danish experimental farm where it was developed, Havarti is often referred to as the Danish tilsit because of its similarity to that cheese. It`s semisoft and pale yellow with small irregular holes. The flavor of young Havarti is mild yet tangy. As the cheese ages, its flavor intensifies and sharpens.
Head cheese; headcheese -
Not a cheese at all, but a sausage made from the meaty bits of the head of a calf or pig (sometimes a sheep or cow) that are seasoned, combined with a gelatinous meat broth and cooked in a mold. When cool, the sausage is unmolded and thinly sliced. It`s usually eaten at room temperature.
Herbes de Provence -
[EHRB duh proh-VAWN , S]
An assortment of dried herbs said to reflect those most commonly used in southern France. The blend can be found packed in tiny clay crocks in the spice section of large supermarkets. The mixture commonly contains basil, fennel seed, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, summer savory and thyme. The blend can be used to season dishes of meat, poultry and vegetables.
Herkimer cheese -
A famous cheddar made in Herkimer County, New York.
An old-fashioned favorite said to have originated in Colonial New England, this spicy, chewy cookie is full of chopped fruits and nuts. It`s usually sweetened with molasses or brown sugar. It`s said that hermits were named for their long keeping qualities - they`re better when hidden away like a hermit for several days.
Hero sandwich -
This huge sandwich goes by many names, depending on where it`s made. Among its aliases are submarine, grinder, hoagie. Generally, the hero sandwich consists of a small loaf of Italian or French bread (or a large oblong roll), the bottom half of which is heaped with layers of any of various thinly sliced meats, cheeses, tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, peppers - anything for which the cook is in the mood.
Herve cheese -
From the Belgian town of the same name, this cow`s-milk, limburger-like cheese is pungent, soft and very strong-smelling. It is sometimes flavored with herbs. Herve has a pale yellow interior with a reddish-brown coating created by the bacteria that grow during its 3-month aging. Because it's so strong, Herve is best eaten with dark breads and beers.
Japanese for "fire bowl," a hibachi is just that - a small (generally cast-iron) container made for holding fuel (usually charcoal). A grill that sits on top of the bowl is used to cook various foods. Hibachis come in square, oblong and round models. Because of their compact size, they`re completely portable.
High tea -
This British tradition is a late-afternoon or early evening meal, usually quite substantial. It originated in the 19th century as a simple, early workingman`s supper. High tea can be served buffet-style or set on a table. It includes a variety of dishes such as cornish pasties, Welsh rabbit, Scotch woodcock and various other meat and fish dishes. Also included are plenty of buns, crumpets, biscuits and jams, as well as an elaborate array of cakes and pastries and, of course, steaming pots of hot tea.
A cocktail served in a tall glass over ice. Usually a simple concoction of whiskey mixed with soda water or plain water.
A type of dried, black seaweed that`s reconstituted in water and used as a vegetable in soups and other dishes. Hijiki`s flavor has a slight anise character.
Thin wheat-flour noodles generally served cold either as part of various Japanese dishes or by themselves with a soy-based dipping sauce. Hiyamugi comes in various colors and can be found dried in Asian markets.
1. The lower portion of an animal`s leg, generally corresponding to the ankle in a human. 2. A term used in England for any Rhine wine.
Hog jowl -
The cheek of a hog, which is usually cut into squares before being cured and smoked. Hog jowl is generally only available in the South. Tightly wrapped, it can be refrigerated for up to a week. It`s fattier than bacon but can be cut into strips and fried in the same manner. It`s also used to flavor stews, bean dishes and the like.
Hog maw -
A pig`s stomach, commonly stuffed with a sausage mixture, simmered until done, then baked until brown. It`s usually available only by special order and should be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 2 days. Before using, the stomach should be cleaned of all membrane, rinsed thoroughly, then patted dry.
Hoisin sauce -
Also called Peking sauce, this thick, reddish-brown sauce is sweet and spicy, and widely used in Chinese cooking. It`s a mixture of soybeans, garlic, chile peppers and various spices. Hoisin sauce is mainly used as a table condiment and as a flavoring agent for many meat, poultry and shellfish dishes. It can be found in Asian markets and many large supermarkets.
Originating in eastern Europe, this Jewish dish consists of cabbage leaves stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, onion, eggs and seasonings. The cabbage rolls are baked and served with a sweet-and-sour sauce. Holishkes are traditional at Sukkot, the fall harvest festival, where they`re considered a symbol of plenty. They`re also called praches.
Hollandaise sauce -
This smooth, rich, creamy sauce is generally used to embellish vegetables, fish and egg dishes, such as the classic eggs Benedict. It`s made with butter, egg yolks and lemon juice, usually in a double boiler to prevent overheating, and served warm.
French for "lobster."
Home-fried potatoes; home fries -
Potatoes that are sliced and fried, often with finely chopped onions or green peppers. The potatoes can either be raw or boiled before slicing. Also called cottage-fried potatoes .
n. Called granite in France and granita in Italy, an ice is a frozen mixture of water, sugar and liquid flavoring such as fruit juice, wine or coffee. The proportion is usually 4 parts liquid to 1 part sugar. During the freezing process, ices are generally stirred frequently to produce a slightly granular final texture. ice v. 1. To chill a food, glass or serving dish in order to get it icy cold and sometimes coated with frost. 2. To spread frosting over the surface of a cake.
Ice cream -
Ice cream is made with a combination of milk products (usually cream combined with fresh, condensed or dry milk), a sweetening agent (sugar, honey, corn syrup or artificial sweetener) and sometimes solid additions such as pieces of chocolate, nuts, fruit and so on.
Ice wine -
A rich, flavorful dessert wine, which is made by picking grapes that are frozen on the vine, then pressing them before they thaw. Because much of the water in the grapes is frozen, the resulting juice is concentrated - rich in flavor and high in sugar and acid. Ice wines are renowned in Germany, where they`re called Eiswein (pronounced ice-vine).
Icing sugar -
The British name for confectioners' sugar.
Idaho potato -
The Idaho is considered by many to be the best variety of America`s most popular potato for baking, the russet. Though some russets grown elsewhere are commonly called Idaho potatoes, many Idaho government officials are pushing to make the name exclusive to spuds grown in local soil.
Immersion blender -
This handheld blender is tall, narrow and has a rotary blade at one end. It has variable speeds, is entirely portable and may be immersed right into a pot of soup (or other mixture) to puree or chop the contents. Many immersion blenders come with a whisk attachment (good for whipping cream), and other accoutrements such as strainers or beakers for mixing individual drinks. Some also come with wall mounts.
Indian pudding -
This hearty, old-fashioned dessert originated in New England. It`s a spicy, cornmeal-molasses baked pudding that can sometimes include sliced apples. Indian pudding is usually served with whipped cream, hard sauce or ice cream.
Indian rice -
Another name for wild rice.
Indienne, a l` -
A French term describing Indian-style dishes flavored with curry and served with rice.
An infusion is the flavor that`s extracted from an ingredient such as tea leaves, herbs or fruit by steeping them in a liquid (usually hot), such as water, for tea. In today`s culinary parlance, sauces that have been variously flavored (as with herbs) are also called infusions.
The Italian word for "salad", with insalata mista being a "mixed salad" and insalata verde referring to a salad of tossed greens.
Irish breakfast tea -
A strong, robust black-tea blend that includes the superior Ceylon tea.
Irish coffee -
Guaranteed to warm the cockles of anyone`s heart, this hot beverage blends strong coffee, Irish whiskey and a small amount of sugar. It`s usually served in a glass mug and topped by a dollop of whipped cream.
Irish mist -
A liqueur made from a blend of Irish whiskey and heather honey.
Irish potato -
A round, white, thin-skinned potato whose origin is actually South America. It`s good for boiling, frying and pan-roasting.
Irish soda bread -
This classic Irish quick bread uses baking soda (as the name implies) as its leavener. It`s usually made with buttermilk and is speckled with currants and caraway seed. Before baking, a cross is slashed in the top of the loaf. The purpose of the cross, legend says, is to scare away the devil.
Irish stew -
A traditional layered dish of equal parts seasoned lamb or mutton chops, potatoes and onions. Water or stock is poured over all, the pot is covered tightly and the stew is cooked slowly for 2 to 3 hours. It`s best made the day before to allow the flavors to blend.
Irish whiskey -
Made in Ireland, this light, dry whiskey is distilled from a mash of fermented barley and other grains.
Pots and pans made from iron or cast iron, both known for excellent heat conductivity. Modern-day ironware is either preseasoned or coated with a thick enamel glaze. The advantage of the enamel coating is the ease with which it cleans. Old-fashioned unseasoned iron pots and pans must be seasoned before using.
Transparent and pure, this form of gelatin comes from the air bladders of certain fish, especially the strugeon. It was popular 100 years ago, particularly for making jellies and to clarify wine. With the convenience of today's modern gelatin, isinglass is rarely used.
Italian bread -
Almost identical to French bread, with the exception of its shape, which is shorter and plumper than the French baguette. The top of Italian bread is sometimes sprinkled with sesame seed.
Italian dandelion -
Although not a true dandelion, this green looks almost identical to its namesake. The main difference is that the jagged-edged leaves are a deeper green and slightly larger. The Italian dandelion has a tangy, slightly bitter flavor. It can be cooked as well as used in salads. Refrigerate, tightly wrapped in a plastic bag, up to 5 days. Wash thoroughly just before using.
Italian dressing -
A salad dressing consisting of olive oil and wine vinegar or lemon juice, seasoned variously with ingredients including garlic, oregano, basil, dill and fennel.
Italian meringue -
A creamy meringue made by slowly beating hot sugar syrup into stiffly beaten egg whites. Because the sugar syrup is cooked to the soft-ball stage, the resulting meringue becomes very dense, glossy and smooth. The same method is used to make boiled icing. Italian meringue is used in souffles, to frost cakes and pastries and to top pies (in the last case it`s usually lightly browned in the oven before serving).
Italian sausage -
This favorite pizza topping is a coarse pork sausage, generally sold in plump links. Italian sausage is usually flavored with garlic and fennel seed or anise seed. It comes in two styles - hot (flavored with hot, red peppers) and sweet (without the added heat). It must be well cooked before serving, and is suitable for frying, grilling or braising.
A fish family of over 200 species, including pompano, amberjack, bar jack , blue runner, crevalle jack, green jack, horse mackerel (not a true mackerel), rainbow runner, rudderfish, trevally, yellow jack and yellowtail. Although some jack species aren`t particularly good to eat, many - particularly pompano - are considered excellent and have a rich, firm, delicately flavored flesh. Jacks are found around the world in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific
This huge relative of the breadfruit and fig can weigh up to 100 pounds. Spiny and oval or oblong-shaped, the tropical jackfruit grows in parts of Africa, Brazil and Southeast Asia. When green, both its flesh and edible seeds are included in curried dishes. Ripe jackfruit has a bland, sweet flavor and is generally used for desserts. In the United States, jackfruit is only available canned.
A 70-proof German liqueur that`s a complex blend of 56 herbs, fruits and spices. Serving Jagermeister (which means "hunt master") icy cold helps tame its assertive herbal flavor.
Jalapeno chile -
Named after Jalapa, the capital of Veracruz, Mexico, these smooth, dark green (scarlet red when ripe) chiles range from hot to very hot. They have a rounded tip and are about 2 inches long and 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter. Besides their flavor, jalapenos are quite popular because they`re so easily seeded (the seeds and veins are extremely hot). They`re available fresh and canned and are used in a variety of sauces, sometimes stuffed with cheese, fish or meat, and in a multitude of dishes. In their dried form, jalapenos are known as chipotles.
[JAL-uh-see, ZHAH-loo-zee, zhah-loo-ZEE]
A small cake made with flaky pastry, filled with a layer of almond paste topped with jam. A latticed pastry topping allows the colorful jam filling to peek through.
A thick mixture of fruit, sugar (and sometimes pectin) that is cooked until the pieces of fruit are very soft and almost formless. It is used as a bread spread, a filling for pastries and cookies and an ingredient for various desserts.
Jamaican hot chile -
As the name indicates, this bright red chile is extremely hot. It`s small (1 to 2 inches in diameter) and has a distorted, irregular shape. Jamaican hots are often used in curried dishes and condiments.
One of creole cookery`s hallmarks, jambalaya is a versatile dish that combines cooked rice with a variety of ingredients including tomatoes, onion, green peppers and almost any kind of meat, poultry or shellfish. The dish varies widely from cook to cook. It`s thought that the name derives from the French jambon, meaning "ham", the main ingredient in many of the first jambalayas.
[zhan , -BAWN ]
French for "ham". Jambon fume is smoked ham, jambon cru is raw ham.
Jambon persille -
[zham , -BAWN pehr-see-YAY]
A molded dish of strips or cubes of cooked ham and chopped parsley held together with a meat-wine gelatin. It is served chilled and, when cut into slices, resembles a colorful red-and-green mosaic.
Jardiniere, a la -
The French term referring to a dish garnished with vegetables, which are served in individual groups arranged around the main dish.
Jarlsberg cheese -
This mild Swiss-style cheese has large irregular holes. It hails from Norway and has a yellow-wax rind and semifirm yellow interior. The texture is buttery rich and the flavor mild and slightly sweet. It`s an all-purpose cheese that`s good both for cooking and for eating as a snack.
Jasmine rice; jasmin rice -
An aromatic rice from Thailand that has a flavor and fragrance comparable to the expensive basmati rice from India, at a fraction of the cost.
To congeal a food substance, often with the aid of gelatin.
1. A clear, bright mixture made from fruit juice, sugar and sometimes pectin. The texture is tender but will be firm enough to hold its shape when turned out of its container. Jelly is used as a bread spread and as a filling for some cakes and cookies. 2. In Britain, jelly is the term used for gelatin dessert
Jelly bean -
This small, brightly colored, egg-shaped candy has a chewy, gelatinous texture and a hard candy coating. Jelly beans come in many flavors including lime, orange, licorice, cherry, chocolate, banana, etc. Jelly Bellies is a brand name that is now used generically to describe a miniature (about 1/2-inch-long) jelly bean. They come in many more exotic flavors such as piña colada, pink lemonade, chocolate fudge-mint, etc.
Jelly roll -
Known since the mid-1800s, jelly rolls are cakes made of a thin sheet of sponge cake, spread with jam or jelly (and sometimes whipped cream or frosting) and rolled up. This type of cake is traditionally sprinkled with confectioners` sugar, rather than being frosted. When cut, jelly rolls have an attractive pinwheel design. The British term for jelly roll is Swiss roll .
Also called jerked meat, jerky is meat (usually beef) that is cut into long, thin strips and dried (traditionally by the sun). Jerky was a popular staple with early trappers, just as it is with today`s backpackers because it keeps almost indefinitely and is light and easy to transport. It`s quite tough and salty but is very flavorful and high in protein.
Found off the coast of Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico, the true jewfish is a member of the grouper family and can weigh up to 750 pounds. (Giant sea bass are also sometimes referred to as jewfish.) Its firm, white meat is usually sold in steaks and fillets. Jewfish can be cooked in any manner suitable for grouper.
1. Also called a shot or shot glass, a jigger is a small drinking glass-shaped container that usually holds about 1 1/2 ounces, but can also be a 1- or 2-ounce size. It`s generally used to measure liquor. 2. The term is also used to describe the quantity of liquid such a measure holds, as in "a jigger of whiskey".
John Dory -
Found in European waters, this incredibly odd-looking fish has an oval, flat body and a large, spiny head. The John Dory`s flesh is delicate and mild and can be cooked in a variety of ways including grilling, sauteing and poaching. It`s rarely exported to the United States, but porgy may be substituted for any recipe calling for John Dory.
Jonathan apple -
The spicy fragrance of this bright red apple is to some just as seductive as its juicy, sweet-tart flavor. The Jonathan is in season from September through February. This all-purpose apple is great for out-of-hand eating, and for pies, applesauce and other cooked dishes. It doesn`t fare well, however, when used as a baking apple.
Jordan almond -
This large, plump almond is imported from Spain and sold plain as well as encased in hard pastel candy coatings of various colors.
A manual or electric kitchen device used to extract the juice from fruit, and with some models, vegetables. Most of those used strictly for juicing citrus fruits have a ridged cone onto which a halved fruit is pressed. An old-fashioned form of this tool is the reamer, a ridged, teardrop-shaped tool with a handle. A reamer is used primarily for citrus fruits.
A tiny fruit-flavored candy with a hard, gelatinous texture.
n. Foods that have been cut into thin, matchstick strips. The food (such as a potato) is first cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices. The slices are stacked, then cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips. The strips may then be cut into whatever length is desired. If the object is round, cut a thin slice from the bottom so it will sit firmly and not roll on the work surface. Julienne is most often used as a garnish. julienne v. To cut food into very thin strips.
Jumble; jumbal -
Dating back to early America, this delicate, crisp, ring-shaped cookie was particularly popular in the 1800s. It`s like a thin, rich sugar cookie, often made with sour cream and, formerly, scented with rose water. Jumbles can also be made with other flavorings such as orange zest or grated coconut.
Juniper berry -
These astringent blue-black berries are native to both Europe and America. Juniper berries are too bitter to eat raw and are usually sold dried and used to flavor meats, sauces, stuffings, etc. They`re generally crushed before use to release their flavor.
The French word for "juice," which can refer to both fruit and vegetable juices, as well as the natural juices exuded from meat. Jus de citron is "orange juice," while jus de viande means "juices from meat." A dish (usually meat) that is served au jus is presented with its own natural juices.
A Dutch specialty that`s a gouda-cheese fondue, served with roasted or boiled potatoes and chunks of rye bread.
A coffee-flavored liqueur made in Mexico.
A loaf or cake of ground or pureed, steamed fish. Kamaboko is available fresh in Asian markets and is generally white but occasionally has food coloring (usually pink or red, sometimes brown, green or yellow) brushed on the surface. It`s used in numerous Japanese preparations including soups, noodles and simmered dishes. Chikuwa is kamaboko shaped into rolls formed around bamboo stick. Ita-kamaboko is shaped into squares or rectangles on wood planks that are usually made of cypress.
Long, beige, ribbonlike strips of gourd that are dried and used as edible ties for various Japanese food packets. Kampyo is also occasionally used as an ingredient in sushi and in simmered dishes. It can be found packaged in cellophane in Asian markets. Kampyo strips must be softened in water several hours before using.
Kara age -
Japanese deep-frying technique whereby the food (meat, fish or vegetables) is lightly dusted with flour, cornstarch or kuzu before frying.
1. In America, this term refers to roasted buckwheat groats, which have a toasty, nutty flavor. 2. In Russia, the word kasha is used in a broader sense for various cooked grains such as buckwheat, millet and oats.
Kasseri cheese -
This Greek cheese is made from sheep`s or goat`s milk. It has a sharp, salty flavor and hard cheddarlike texture that`s perfect for grating. An American version is made with cow`s milk. The creamy gold-colored kasseri has a natural rind and is usually sold in blocks. It`s delicious plain, grated over hot foods or used in cooking. Kasseri is the cheese used in the famous Greek dish saganaki, where it`s sauteed in butter, sprinkled with lemon juice and sometimes flamed with brandy
Kaymak; kaimaki -
The Middle Eastern equivalent of clotted cream, kaymak is made by gently heating milk (usually from water buffaloes or goats) until a rich, semisolid layer of cream forms on the surface. After it`s cooled, the kaymak is typically used as a spread for bread.
Kebab; kabob -
Small chunks of meat, fish or shellfish that are usually marinated before being threaded on a skewer and grilled over coals. Pieces of vegetables can also accompany the meat on the skewer. Also called shish kebab and shashlik.
Kedgeree; kegeree -
A spiced East Indian dish of rice, lentils and onions, Anglicized in the 18th century when the English added flaked smoked fish, hard-cooked eggs and a rich cream sauce. Kedgeree is a popular English breakfast dish.
Originally made from camel`s milk, kefir comes from high in the Caucasus - a 750-mile-long mountain range between the Caspian and Black seas. Today, however, it`s more commonly produced from cow`s milk. It`s a slightly sour brew of fermented milk, most of which contains about 2 1/2 percent alcohol. Kefir is reminiscent in both taste and texture of a liquid yogurt. It`s available in cartons or bottles in health-food stores.
Key lime pie -
A custard pie very similar to a lemon meringue pie, except that it`s made with the yellowish, very tart Key lime from Florida
Similar to the Italian calzone, khachapuri is a yeast-dough "package" filled with cheese and baked until the bread is golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly. This Russian specialty hails from Georgia (formerly of the USSR) and comes in various forms, from round to football-shaped, and from a simple and flat to that of a pleated-turban design. It`s generally served hot or at room temperature.
Kibbeh; kibbi -
Particularly popular in Lebanon and Syria, this Middle Eastern dish has myriad variations but basically combines ground meat (usually lamb), bulghur wheat and various flavorings. The meat may be raw or cooked.
Also called kielbasy or Polish sausage, this smoked sausage is usually made of pork, though beef can also be added. It comes in chunky (about 2 inches in diameter) links and is usually sold precooked, though an occasional butcher will sell it fresh. Kielbasa can be served separately or cut into pieces as part of a dish. Even the precooked kielbasa tastes better when heated.
Kimchee; kimchi -
This spicy-hot, extraordinarily pungent condiment is served at almost every Korean meal. It`s made of fermented vegetables - such as cabbage or turnips - that have been pickled before being stored in tightly sealed pots or jars and buried in the ground. It`s dug up and used as needed. Commercial kimchi can be purchased in Korean markets. It will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator.
King crab -
This delicious giant can measure up to 10 feet, claw to claw, and it isn't unusual for it to weigh 10 to 15 pounds. The delicately flavored meat is snowy white and edged with a beautiful bright red. It`s found in the northern Pacific and because it`s most abundant around Alaska and Japan, it is also referred to as Alaska king crab and Japanese king crab.
King orange -
This large Florida-grown orange has a rather flattened shape and loose rough skin. It has a juicy, sweetly tart flesh and is in season from December to April.
There are two distinct types of fish known as kingfish. The first is actually the regional name for a king mackerel. The name of the second type, found along the Atlantic coast, applies to any of several species of drum.
These young leaves of the prickly ash tree have a fresh, subtle mint flavor and a tender texture. Kinome is used as a garnish for many Japanese dishes. Store the fresh leaves in a plastic bag in your refrigerator`s vegetable drawer. They should be used within 3 to 4 days.
Kipfel; kipferln -
1. A small, crescent-shaped yeast pastry with a filling of chopped nuts and brown sugar. Also known as rugalach. 2. A crescent-shaped, butter-rich cookie with either a jam filling or a filling similar to that of the pastry.
White wine that is flavored with a soupçon of cassis, usually served as an aperitif. When made with champagne, it`s referred to as a kir royale.
Kirsch; kirschwasser -
From the German kirsch ("cherry") and wasser ("water"), this clear brandy is distilled from cherry juice and pits. In cookery, it`s most prominently known as a flavorful addition to fondue and cherries jubilee.
A broad, flat Japanese wheat noodle, which is slightly thicker and wider than the udon noodle. Kishimen noodles are prepared and used in a similar fashion to udon noodles.
Kishke; kishka -
A Jewish-American sausage made with flour, matzo meal, fat, onions and the cook`s choice of ground meat. The mixture is stuffed into a beef casing before being steamed, then roasted.
Next to ice cream, Russians claim kissel as their favorite dessert. It`s a sweetened fruit puree thickened with either cornstarch or potato flour, which gives it a soft-custard texture. Kissel can be served hot or cold, usually topped with cream or a custard sauce.
Hailing from New Zealand, this oval fruit ranges in length from 3 to 5 inches. It has a bright yellow skin studded with stubby "horns," which is why it`s also called a horned melon. The kiwano`s pulp is a pale yellow-green color and jellylike in texture with a sweet-tart flavor evocative of bananas and cucumbers.
Kiwi fruit; kiwifruit -
Also known as the Chinese gooseberry, this odd-looking fruit received its moniker from the flightless bird of the same name from New Zealand. It looks like a large brown egg with a covering of fine downy hair. But this rather unusual exterior hides a beautiful brilliant green flesh, spattered with tiny edible black seeds. The kiwi`s flavor is elusive.
A sharp-edged instrument used for cutting, peeling, slicing, spreading and so on. Most knife blades are made of steel, but a material called ceramic zirconia is now also being used. It reportedly won`t rust, corrode or interact with food and is reputed to be second only to the diamond in hardness. Knife handles can be one of many materials including wood, plastic-impregnated wood, plastic, horn and metal. The blade should be forged carbon or high-carbon stainless steel that resists stains and rust and gives an excellent cutting edge.
A pastry of Jewish origin that consists of a piece of dough (baking powder or yeast) that encloses a filling of mashed potatoes, cheese, ground meat and buckwheat groats. These pastries can be served as a side dish or appetizer.
This vegetable is a member of the turnip family and, for that reason, is also called cabbage turnip. Like the turnip, both its purple-tinged, white bulblike stem and its greens are edible. The kohlrabi bulb tastes like a mild, sweet turnip. Those under 3 inches in diameter are the most tender. Choose a kohlrabi that is heavy for its size with firm, deeply colored green leaves.
Kolacky; kolachke -
Claimed by both Poles and Czechs, these sweet yeast buns are filled with poppy seeds, nuts, jam or a mashed fruit mixture.
These popular melt-in-the-mouth Greek cookies are served on festive occasions such as christenings, weddings and holiday celebrations. They`re buttery-rich and can contain nuts or not, but are always rolled in confectioners` sugar after baking.
A fruit- or cheese-filled yeast-raised cake, usually served for breakfast but also enjoyed as a dessert. It originated in Germany but is now enjoyed in many variations throughout much of Europe and the United States. The word kaffeekuchen is German for "coffee cake."
A tall cylindrical Russian Easter cake that`s traditionally served with paskha (a creamy cheese mold). Kulich is yeast-raised and flavored with raisins, candied fruit and saffron. It`s usually crowned with a white confectioners` sugar icing, sprinkled with chopped candied fruits and almonds and sometimes embellished with a rose.
Kumiss; koumiss -
Thought to have originated with the Mongols, this acrid, slightly alcoholic beverage is made from fermented mare`s or camel`s milk. Like kefir, today`s kumiss is more likely produced from cow`s milk. It`s often used as a digestive aid.
Lactic acid -
A bitter-tasting acid that forms when certain bacteria combine with lactose (milk sugar). Lactic acid is used to impart a tart flavor, as well as in the preservation of some foods. It occurs naturally in the souring of milk and can be found in foods such as cheese and yogurt. It`s also used in the production of acid-fermented foods such as pickles and sauerkraut.
This sugar occurs naturally in milk and is also called milk sugar. It`s the least sweet of all the natural sugars and is used commercially in foods such as baby formulas and candies.
Lady apple -
A tiny apple that can range in color from brilliant red to yellow with generous red blushing. Its flesh is sweet-tart and it can be eaten raw or cooked. Fresh lady apples are available during the winter months. They`re also available canned, and are widely used for garnishing purposes.
A 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, such as charlottes. Ladyfingers can be made at home or purchased in bakeries or supermarkets.
Beer that is stored in its cask or vat until free of sediment and crystal clear. It`s a light, bubbly, golden brew that ranks as America`s most popular.
Lagniappe; lagnappe -
Used primarily in southern Louisiana and southeast Texas, the word lagniappe refers to an "unexpected something extra". It could be an additional doughnut (as in "baker's dozen"), a free "one for the road" drink, an unanticipated tip for someone who provides a special service or possibly a complimentary dessert for a regular customer.
Lahvosh; lavosh -
A round, thin, crisp bread that`s also known as Armenian cracker bread. It comes in a soft version, as well as in various sizes, ranging from about 6 to 14 inches in diameter. Lahvosh is available in Middle Eastern markets and most supermarkets. It`s the bread used to make the popular aram sandwich.
French for "milk", such as in cafe au lait, which is "coffee with milk".
A sheep less than 1 year old, known for its tender meat. Baby lamb and spring lamb are both milk fed. Baby lamb is customarily slaughtered at between 6 and 8 weeks old. Spring lamb is usually 3 to 5 months old; regular lamb is slaughtered under a year of age. Lamb between 12 and 24 months is called yearling; when over 2 years, it`s referred to as mutton and has a much stronger flavor and less tender flesh.
Lambert cherry -
A sweet cherry variety that`s large, round and a deep ruby red. The flesh is sweet, firm and meaty. A superior cherry for out-of-hand eating as well as cooking.
An Italian wine that comes in three versions - red, white and rose. The style best known by Americans is the pale red, semisweet, slightly effervescent Lambrusco. All three variations are made in both semisweet and dry styles, the latter being preferred in Italy. Lambrusco wines are not known for their aging capabilities and should be drunk young.
Lancashire cheese -
Made in Lancashire, England, this white cheese can range from soft to semifirm depending on how long it`s aged. When young, the flavor is mild yet tangy. It becomes stronger and richer in flavor as it matures. Lancashire melts beautifully and is a favorite cheese for Welsh rabbit.
Lane cake -
Particularly popular throughout the South, this white or yellow cake is layered with a mixture of coconut, nuts and dried fruits and covered with a fluffy white frosting. Lane cake is said to have originated in Clayton, Alabama, when its creator, Emma Rylander Lane, won a prize for it in the state fair.
The Spanish word for "prawn".
The French word for "spiny lobster".
The French word for "rabbit".
Lapsang Souchong -
This famous black tea hails from China`s Fukian province and is noted for its distinctive smoky essence.
Lasagna; lasagne -
1. A wide (about 2 inches), flat noodle, sometimes with ruffled edges. The plural form is lasagne. 2. A dish made by layering boiled lasagna noodles with various cheeses (usually including mozzarella) with the cook`s choice of sauce, the most common being tomato, meat or bechamel. This dish is then baked until bubbly and golden brown.
Late harvest -
An American wine term referring to wines made from grapes picked toward the end of the harvest (usually late fall), preferably those with Botrytis cinerea, a fungus that shrivels the grape thereby concentrating its sugar. Late-harvest wines are very sweet and usually have a high alcohol content. The most popular grapes used for these dessert wines are Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon blanc.
Traditionally served at Hanukkah, the latke is a pancake usually made from grated potatoes mixed with eggs, onions, matzo meal and seasonings. It`s fried and served hot as a side dish.
A relative of mint, this aromatic plant has violet flowers and green or pale gray leaves, both of which lend their bitter pungency to salads. The leaves may also be used to make herb tea or, more accurately, tisane.
Lavender gem -
This citrus fruit is a white grapefruit-tangelo cross. The skin and flesh are a pale pink, the flavor sweet. This fruit is usually available only in specialty produce stores. It can be used in any manner appropriate for grapefruit. Lavender gems are also called wekiwas.
This highly nutritious dried seaweed comes in tissue-thin sheets about 7 1/2 inches square. It has a fresh, tangy-sweet flavor and a dark purple color, which is why it`s also called purple laver. The Chinese name for this seaweed is jee choy, which means "purple vegetable". Before using, laver must be soaked in cold water. After an hour of soaking, it doubles in size. Laver is often used in soups. Strips of it can also be deep-fried and served as an appetizer.
To add a leavening agent to a mixture such as a batter or dough in order to make it rise.
Leavener; leavening agent -
Agents that are used to lighten the texture and increase the volume of baked goods such as breads, cakes and cookies. Baking powder, baking soda and yeast are the most common leaveners used today. When mixed with a liquid they form carbon dioxide gas bubbles, which cause a batter or dough to rise during (and sometimes before) the baking process.
This thick, cakelike cookie is a specialty of Nuremberg and one of the most popular in Germany. It`s honey-sweetened, full of spices, citron and almonds and often topped with a hard confectioners` sugar glaze. Lebkuchen has been made for centuries and is often baked in decorative molds to shape the cookie into intricate designs.
The Spanish word for "milk."
A fatty substance obtained from egg yolks and legumes, used to preserve, emulsify and moisturize food. Lecithin-vegetable oil sprays (available in every supermarket) can be used instead of high-calorie oils for greasing pans and sauteing foods.
Leckerle; leckerli -
This popular Swiss cookie comes in two versions - one made with honey, one with ground almonds. Both are chewy and delicious. The dough is traditionally pressed into special wooden molds, which imprint designs on the surface of the cookies.
A thick, soft spread made of fruit (usually prunes or apricots) cooked with sugar. This Hungarian specialty is used to fill a variety of pastries and cookies. Lekvar can be purchased in cans or jars in most supermarkets.
This bright yellow citrus fruit is oval in shape, with a pronounced bulge on the blossom end. The flesh is juicy and acidic. The lemon can range in size from that of a large egg to that of a small grapefruit. Some have thin skins while others have very thick rinds, which are used to make candied lemon peel. Lemons are available year-round with a peak during the summer months.
Lemon balm -
Widely available in Europe, this herb has lemon-scented, mintlike leaves that are often used to brew an aromatic tea (tisane). Its slightly tart flavor is used to flavor salads as well as meats and poultry. Also called simply balm.
Leyden cheese -
Flavored with caraway or cumin seeds, this Dutch cheese is made from a combination of partially skimmed cow`s milk and buttermilk. It`s spicy and semisoft and delicious as a snack, especially when served with dark bread and dark beer.
In cooking, a liaison is a thickening agent for soups, sauces and other mixtures. Beurre manie, roux, egg yolks or starches such as flour, cornstarch and arrowroot are among those agents used for thickening. A liaison is sometimes also referred to as a binder.
This lightly sweet German white wine is made from a blend that often includes Riesling, Silvaner or Muller-Thurgau grapes. Its quality varies greatly depending on the shipper. Liebfraumilch is German for "the milk of our Lady," and was so named because it originally came from the vineyards of a church of the same name, Liebfrauenkirche - "Church of our Lady."
This small, lemon-shaped citrus fruit has a thin green skin and a juicy, pale green pulp. The two main varieties are the Persian lime (the most widely available in the United States) and the Key lime from Florida. The latter is smaller, rounder and has a color more yellow than green. Though Persian limes are available year-round, their peak season is from May through August. Look for brightly colored, smooth-skinned limes that are heavy for their size.
Limpa bread -
Also called Swedish limpa, this moist rye bread is flavored with fennel or anise, cumin and orange peel. The result is an immensely flavorful, fragrant loaf of bread.
Hawaiian word for seaweed, of which there are over two dozen varieties included in the native Hawaiian diet. Among the more popular types are the deep green limu ele`ele, the reddish-brown limu kohu, the pale brown limu lipoa and limu manauea, which ranges in color from yellow ocher to magenta.
Found on the North American Pacific coast, lingcod is not really a cod but a greenling. This fish won`t win any beauty contests, but its mildly sweet flavor and firm, lowfat texture makes up for its appearance. Lingcod ranges from 3 to 20 pounds and is available whole or as steaks or fillets. It can be prepared in almost any manner including baking, broiling, frying or grilling.
Heavily flavored with garlic, this slim (about 1/2 inch in diameter) Portuguese sausage can be found in Latin American markets and many supermarkets. It`s used in many Latin dishes such as Brazil`s feijoada and Portugal`s caldo verde.
Italian for "little tongues," linguine are long, narrow, flat noodles sometimes referred to as "flat spaghetti."
Though it`s now famous around the world, the motherland of this elegant, rich tart is Linz, Austria. Ground almonds, grated lemon rind and spices add their magic to the buttery crust, which is spread with jam (usually raspberry) before being topped with a lattice of crust. After baking, the tart is served at room temperature.
Legend has it that upon being served a dish of this food, an early Italian sovereign exclaimed "Ma caroni!" meaning "how very dear". This semolina-and-water pasta does not traditionally contain eggs. Most macaronis are tube-shape, but there are other forms including shells, twists and ribbons. Among the best-known tube shapes are: elbow (a short, curved tube); ditalini (tiny, very short tubes); mostaccioli (large, 2-inch-long tubes cut on the diagonal, with a ridged or plain surface); penne (large, straight tubes cut on the diagonal); rigatoni (short, grooved tubes); and ziti (long, thin tubes). Most macaronis almost double in size during cooking. The Italian spelling of the word is maccheroni.
A small cookie classically made of almond paste or ground almonds (or both) mixed with sugar and egg whites. Almond macaroons can be chewy, crunchy or a combined texture with the outside crisp and the inside chewy. There is also a coconut macaroon, which substitutes coconut for the almonds. Macaroons can be flavored with various ingredients such as chocolate, maraschino cherries or orange peel.
The Italian word for all types of macaroni, from hollow tubes, to shells, to twists.
A dish of colorful, attractively cut fresh fruits or, less commonly, vegetables, either of which may be raw or cooked. The fruits are customarily either briefly soaked or drizzled with a mixture of sugar syrup and liqueur. A fruit macedoine is served for dessert, either cold or flambeed. For a savory macedoine, each vegetable is cooked separately, then artfully arranged together on a plate and dressed with seasoned melted butter.
To soak a food (usually fruit) in a liquid in order to infuse it with the liquid`s flavor. A spirit such as brandy, rum or a liqueur is usually the macerating liquid.
The king mackerel (also called kingfish) is probably the most well known of this family of fish. The mackerel has a firm, high-fat flesh with a pleasant savory flavor. Mackerel is also available smoked or salted. The latter must be soaked overnight before using to leach excess salt. Mackerel can be cooked in almost any manner including broiling, baking and sauteing
Macoun apple -
This favorite East Coast apple is small to medium-size and wine red in color. It`s crisp, juicy and sweetly tart. The Macoun is considered an all-purpose apple, but is especially good for eating out of hand.
Madagascar bean -
Another name for lima bean.
Named after the Portuguese-owned island where it`s made, Madeira is a distinctive Fortified wine that`s subjected to a lengthy heating process during maturation. It can range in color from pale blond to deep tawny and runs the gamut from quite dry to very sweet.
Madeira cake -
A traditional English favorite that`s like a simple pound cake, the top of which is sprinkled with candied lemon peel halfway through baking. The name comes from the fact that it is usually served with a glass of Madeira. Some cooks also sprinkle the baked cake with Madeira before it cools.
A small, feather-light, spongy cake that is eaten like a cookie, often dipped in coffee or tea. Madeleines are baked in a special pan with scallop-shell indentations; the finished cakes take the form of the shell.
A broad, flat noodle that resembles a narrow, ripple-edged lasagna noodle.
Thought by some to be Spain`s answer to the French madeleine, magdalenas are small sponge cakes made with eggs, flour and olive oil - although many modern versions use sunflower oil instead. Magdalenas have an invitingly tender, moist texture and shiny, golden brown tops. They come in three basic shapes - the classic, high-domed round, a flat-topped round and an oblong shape.
Short, curved tubes of pasta.
Mahi mahi; mahi-mahi -
Also called dolphinfish and dorado, mahi mahi is found in warm waters throughout the world. It`s a moderately fat fish with firm, flavorful flesh. It ranges in weight from 3 to 45 pounds and can be purchased in steaks or fillets. Mahi mahi is best prepared simply, as in grilling or broiling.
Mahleb; mahlab -
Used in the Middle East as a flavoring in baked goods, mahleb is ground black-cherry pits. It can be purchased in Greek or Middle Eastern markets, either prepackaged or ground to order.
Mai tai -
A potent, complex mixed drink made with light and dark rums, orgeat syrup, curacao, orange and lime juices and any other touches the bartender might add. It`s served over ice and garnished with a skewer of fresh fruit.
French for "corn" or "corn on the cob".
Maitre d` butter; maitre d`hotel butter -
[MAY-truh (MAY-tehr) doh-TELL]
A compound butter made by blending together softened butter, lemon juice or vinegar, chopped parsley and seasonings. It is served as an accompaniment to fish, poultry and meat.
Maitre d`hotel; maitre d` -
[MAY-truh (MAY-tehr) doh-TELL, may-truh DEE]
A headwaiter or house steward, sometimes informally referred to simply as maitre d`.
[mah-EES, Sp. , mah-EETH]
The Mexican and Spanish word for "corn".
The European word for corn.
1. A grain (typically barley) that is sprouted, kiln-dried and ground into a mellow, slightly sweet-flavored powder. This powdered malt has many uses including making vinegar, brewing beer, distilling liquor and as a nutritious additive to many foods. 2. A soda-fountain drink, also called malted, that is a thick, rich mixture of malted-milk powder, milk, ice cream and a flavoring such as chocolate or vanilla.
Maltaise sauce; Maltese sauce -
Hollandaise sauce blended with orange juice and grated orange rind, used to top cooked vegetables, particularly asparagus and green beans.
Malted milk -
A delicious, nourishing and distinctively flavored beverage made by mixing milk with either plain or chocolate-flavored malted milk powder.
Also called malt sugar, this disaccharide plays an important role in the fermentation of alcohol by converting starch to sugar. It also occurs when enzymes react with starches (such as wheat flour) to produce carbon dioxide gas (which is what makes most bread doughs rise).
Manchego cheese -
Spain`s most famous cheese, so named because it was originally made only from the milk of Manchego sheep that grazed the famous plains of La Mancha. Manchego is a rich, golden, semifirm cheese that has a full, mellow flavor. Manchego is a wonderful snack cheese and melts beautifully in heated dishes.
Mandarin orange -
A loose-skinned orange category that includes several varieties that can be sweet or tart, seedless or not and can range in size from as small as an egg to as large as a medium grapefruit. They all, however, have skins that slip easily off the fruit. Among the more well-known mandarin-orange family members are clementine, dancy, satsuma and tangerine.
Mandarine liqueur -
An orange-flavored liqueur made with cognac and mandarin oranges.
Mangoes grow in a wide variety of shapes (oblong, kidney and round) and sizes (from about 6 ounces to 4 pounds). Their thin, tough skin is green and, as the fruit ripens, becomes yellow with beautiful red mottling. The fragrant flesh is a brilliant golden orange, exceedingly juicy and exotically sweet and tart. Perhaps the only negative to the mango is the huge, flat seed that traverses its length. The fruit must be carefully carved away from the seed with a sharp knife. Mangoes are in season from May to September.
A cocktail made with bourbon or blended whiskey mixed with sweet vermouth. It`s served over ice and garnished with a Maraschino cherry. A perfect Manhattan uses equal parts sweet and dry vermouth, while a dry Manhattan uses all dry vermouth.
Tube-shaped noodles about 4 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. They`re available packaged in supermarkets. Manicotti are boiled, then stuffed with a meat or cheese mixture, covered with a sauce and baked.
A white, crystalline sweetener added to processed foods for the purpose of thickening, stabilizing and sweetening.
A favorite aperitif in its native Spain, manzanilla is a light, extremely dry sherry. It`s served cold, often to accompany seafood, and is commonly used in savory sauces.
Maraschino liqueur -
A bittersweet, cherry-flavored Italian liqueur made from wild marasca cherries (and their crushed pits) grown in the area of Trieste.
Marengo, a la -
A veal or chicken dish in which the meat is sauteed in olive oil, then braised with tomatoes, onions, olives, garlic, white wine or brandy and seasonings. Sometimes scrambled eggs accompany the dish. It`s said to have been created by Napoleon`s chef after the 1800 Battle of Marengo.
A cocktail made with tequila, an orange-flavored liqueur (usually triple sec) and lime juice. The rim of the glass is traditionally dipped in lime juice, then coarse salt. A margarita may be served straight up or on the rocks. It can also be blended with ice into a slushy consistency.
Marguery sauce -
[mahr-guh-R , AY]
A sauce made from a reduced mixture of white wine and fish stock blended with egg yolks and butter. The sauce, which was developed by French chef Nicolas Marguery in the late 1800s, is most often served with mild fish, such as sole.
This bright yellow flower is used culinarily to flavor and add color to salads, soups and other dishes. The petals are sometimes dried, powdered and used as a coloring agent.
A seasoned liquid in which foods such as meat, fish and vegetables are soaked (marinated) in order to absorb flavor and, in some instances, to be tenderized. Most marinades contain an acid (lemon juice, vinegar or wine) and herbs or spices. The acid ingredient is especially important for tough cuts of meat because it serves as a tenderizer.
Marinara sauce -
A highly seasoned Italian tomato sauce made with onions, garlic and oregano. It`s used with pasta and some meats.
1. A la mariniere is a French phrase meaning "mariner`s style." It refers to the preparation of shellfish with white wine and herbs. It can also refer to a fish dish garnished with mussels. 2. Mariniere sauce is a mussel stock-based bercy sauce enriched with butter or egg yolks.
Marlborough pie -
This Massachusetts specialty is a single-crust pie with a custardlike filling of applesauce, eggs, cream and sometimes sherry. Many Massachusetts families serve it as a traditional Thanksgiving dessert.
A preserve containing pieces of fruit rind, especially citrus fruit. The original marmalades were made from quince - the Portuguese word marmelada means "quince jam." Now, however, Seville oranges are the most popular fruit for marmalades.
Marron; marron glace -
Marron is the French word for "chestnut." Marrons glaces are chestnuts that have been preserved in a sweet syrup. They can be found in jars or cans in the gourmet section of most supermarkets and are quite expensive. They`re eaten as a confection, chopped and used to top desserts such as ice cream and mixed fruit or used to make desserts such as the rich mont blanc.
A soft, fatty tissue found in the hollow center of an animal`s leg bones and, though not as plentiful, in the spinal bones. Marrow is extremely light and digestible. It can be cooked in the bone (and removed afterwards) or it may be removed first and cooked separately. The common methods of preparation are baking or poaching, after which the marrow is often spread on toast and served as an appetizer.
A bone, usually from the thigh and upper legs of beef, containing marrow. The long bones are usually cut into 2- to 3-inch lengths.
Imported from Sicily and made from local grapes, Marsala is Italy`s most famous fortified wine. It has a rich, smoky flavor that can range from sweet to dry. Sweet Marsala is used as a dessert wine, as well as to flavor such desserts as the famous zabaglione. Dry Marsala makes an excellent aperitif. There are also special Marsala blends with added ingredients such as cream, eggs and almonds.
Said to have been named after the company of Martini & Rossi (famous for their Vermouth), this cocktail is made with gin and vermouth, garnished with either a green olive or a lemon twist. The less vermouth it contains, the "drier" it is. A martini may be served straight up or on the rocks. It may also be made with vodka, in which case it`s called a vodka martini. A Gibson is a martini garnished with a tiny white onion.
A sweet, pliable mixture of almond paste, sugar and sometimes unbeaten egg whites. It`s often tinted with food coloring and molded into a variety of forms including fruits, animals and holiday shapes. Marzipan is also rolled into thin sheets and used either to cover cakes or to cut into strips to form ribbons, bows and a variety of other shapes.
n. Grain or malt that is ground or crushed before being steeped in hot water. Mash is used in brewing beer and in the fermentation of whiskey. Sour mash is made by adding a portion of the old mash to help ferment each new batch in the same way as a portion of sourdough starter is the genesis of each new batch of sourdough bread. mash v. To crush a food (such as cooked potatoes) into a smooth, evenly textured mixture.
A brilliant green powdered tea served in the Japanese tea ceremony. Matcha, also called hiki-cha, is made from very high quality tea, which is too bitter for most western plates.
Matsutake mushroom -
This dark brown Japanese wild mushroom has a dense, meaty texture and nutty, fragrant flavor. It`s available fresh from late fall to midwinter, usually only in Japanese markets or specialty produce stores.
Matzo ball -
Also called a knaidel (pl. knaidlach), this small, round dumpling is made with matzo meal, eggs, chicken fat and seasonings. Matzo balls are usually cooked and served in chicken soup.
Matzo brei -
A Jewish dish made with pieces of matzo that have been soaked in hot water, squeezed dry, then dipped in beaten egg and fried like french toast. Matzo brei is typically served with cinnamon-sugar, maple syrup or honey.
Matzo; matzoh -
A thin, brittle, unleavened bread traditionally eaten during the Jewish Passover holiday. Tradition states that matzo is made only with water and flour but some modern-day versions include flavorings like onion. Matzo can be found in Jewish markets as well as most supermarkets.
A crisp tortilla chip topped with melted cheese (usually cheddar) and chopped chiles, usually served as an appetizer or snack. Nachos sometimes appear on menus as "Mexican pizza", in which case they generally have additional toppings such as cooked, ground chorizo, onions and sometimes olives.
Nam pla -
Popular in Thailand, nam pla is a salty, fermented fish sauce with an extremely pungent odor. It`s used as a condiment, sauce and seasoning ingredient.
Nam prik -
Thailand`s counterpart to sambal, nam prik is a general term for various condiments and sauces used to accompany a variety of foods including fish, rice and vegetables.
A small Japanese mushroom that ranges in color from orange to amber to gold. The nameko has a soft almost gelatinous texture and a rich, earthy aroma and flavor. It`s highly regarded and used primarily in Japanese soups and one-pot dishes.
Nantua sauce -
A bechamel-based sauce made with cream and crayfish butter and garnished with crayfish tails. Nantua sauce is served with seafood or egg dishes.
To coat food lightly with a sauce so that it completely covers the food with a thin, even layer.
Napoleon cherry -
Another name for the Royal Ann cherry.
Nasi goreng -
The Indonesian term for "fried rice". The rice is cooked with various ingredients including shrimp or other shellfish, meat, chicken, eggs, onions, chiles, garlic, cucumber, peanuts and a wide array of seasonings. If noodles are substituted for rice, the dish is called bahmi goreng.
These steamed, fermented and mashed soybeans have a glutinous texture and strong cheeselike flavor. Natto is particularly popular in Japan, where it`s used as a flavoring and table condiment and is greatly favored served over rice for breakfast.
Navel orange -
The navel is an excellent eating orange. Its name originates from the fact that the blossom end resembles the human navel. This large fruit has a bright-orange skin that`s thick and easy to peel. The pulp is sweet, flavorful and seedless.
Neapolitan ice cream -
Brick-shaped ice cream made up of three differently flavored ice creams (usually vanilla, chocolate and strawberry). It`s normally served in slices, each of which displays the tricolored ice cream. Other desserts (or gelatin salads) made in three distinct layers are also labeled "neapolitan".
1. A term referring to liquor that is drunk undiluted by ice, water or mixers. 2. An old term used mainly in England for a member of the bovine family such as the ox or cow. Neat's foot jelly was what today is called calf`s foot jelly.
Neufchatel cheese -
The French original, hailing from the town of Neufchatel in the region of Normandy, is a soft, white, unripened cheese. When young, its flavor is slightly salty but delicate and mild. After ripening, Neufchatel becomes more pungent. It`s made from cows` milk and the milk fat content varies widely (from 20 to 45 percent).
New England boiled dinner -
Originally made with salted beef, today this East Coast classic more commonly contains corned beef, ham or salt pork. Additional items such as chicken, cabbage, potatoes, parsnips, onions, carrots and seasonings are added at various times and slowly simmered together to create this hearty one-pot meal.
New York steak -
Also known as New York strip steak and shell steak, this cut of meat comes from the most tender section of beef, the short lion. It`s the boneless top loin muscle and is equivalent to a porterhouse steak minus tenderloin and bone.
An extraordinarily rich dish of chopped cooked shellfish (usually lobster, crab and shrimp) in an elegant sauce composed of butter, cream, egg yolks, sherry and seasonings. It`s usually served over buttered toast points. The sauce can be used with other foods, in which case the dish is usually given the appellation "newburg".
Newtown pippin apple -
This all-purpose apple is great for both eating and cooking. The skin is greenish-yellow to yellow, the flesh crisp and juicy and the flavor slightly tart. Also called simply pippin or sometimes yellow pippin, this flavorful apple is available midwinter through midspring.
Niagara grape -
The large, juicy Niagara is in season from September through October. It`s round to oval in shape, pale greenish-white and has a sweet, foxy flavor. A limited number of Niagara grapes are made into wine.
Dried sardines, most often used in Japanese cuisine for creating a stronger-flavored soup stock than the more popular dashi. Niboshi is also eaten as a snack and used as a flavoring ingredient in various dishes.
Nicoise olive -
Hailing from the Provence region of France (but also grown in Italy and Morocco), this small, oval olive ranges in color from purple-brown to brown-black. Nicoise olives are cured in brine and packed in olive oil. Good specimens have a rich, nutty, mellow flavor.
Nicoise, a la -
A French phrase that means "as prepared in Nice", typifying the cuisine found in and around that French Riviera city. This cooking style is identified with hot and cold dishes that include the integral ingredients of tomatoes, black olives, garlic and anchovies.
There are two basic versions of this Austrian dumpling. The heartier, flour-based, savory rendition is served in soups and stews. The sweet version, known as Salzburger nokerl, contains very little flour and is made fluffy by the addition of stiffly beaten egg whites. It`s generally used as an addition to fruit soups or served for dessert accompanied by fruit.
1. A nickname for eggnog. 2. Any beverage made with beaten egg, milk and usually liquor. 3. In certain parts of England the term "nog" refers to strong ale.
1. The French word for "hazelnut." 2. A small, tender, round slice of meat (usually lamb, beef or veal) taken from the rib or loin.
1. A tiny colored-sugar pellet used to decorate cakes, cupcakes, cookies, candy, etc. 2. A confection consisting of a small chocolate disc covered with these colored candy pellets. 3. A French term meaning "without equal," most often used in reference to small pickled capers from the region of Provence in France.
The main difference between noodles and macaroni or spaghetti is that, in addition to flour and water, noodles contain eggs or egg yolks. Noodles can be cut into flat, thick or thin strips of various lengths. They may also be cut into squares. A wide variety of noodles is available in markets, including those enriched with vitamins and minerals, and colored noodles.
Northern Spy apple -
A large, sweet-tart apple with a red skin marked with yellow streaking. This all-purpose apple is available from October through March. It`s also simply called spy apple.
Particularly popular in southern Europe, this confection is made with sugar or honey, roasted nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios or hazelnuts) and sometimes chopped candied fruit. It can be chewy or hard and variously colored.
Nuoc cham -
A Vietnamese condiment that`s based on nuoc nam (fish sauce) combined with various seasonings that can include red chiles, garlic, lime juice, ginger, scallions and sugar.
The French word for "egg".
Oils have been used for cooking since prehistoric times. In general, oils come from vegetable sources - plants, nuts, seeds, etc. An oil is extracted from its source by one of two methods. In the solvent-extraction method, the ground ingredient is soaked in a chemical solvent that is later removed by boiling. The second method produces cold pressed oils, which is somewhat a misnomer because the mixture is heated to temperatures up to 160°F before being pressed to extract the oil. After the oil is extracted, it`s either left in its crude state or refined.
The residue that is left after the liquid is drained off when making soybean curd (tofu). This white by-product resembles wet sawdust. Okara, which is high in protein and fiber, is used in Japanese cooking for soups, vegetable dishes and even salads. It can be found in Asian markets that sell fresh tofu.
Japanese for confections, pastries and sweets. Sometimes spelled simply kashi.
An 80 proof Hawaiian liquor made from a mash of the TI plant. It`s often substituted for rum and, like rum, comes in white (colorless) and golden versions. Okolehao is known on the islands as oke.
Olallieberry; olallie berry -
Grown mainly on the West Coast, this cross between a youngberry and a loganberry has a distinctive, sweet flavor and resembles a large, elongated blackberry. It`s delicious both fresh and cooked and makes excellent jams and jellies.
Said to have been made initially with a brand of Kentucky bourbon called "Old 1776" in the late 1800s, this drink is made by combining whiskey (usually Bourbon or Rye), a small amount of water, a dash of bitters and a sugar cube (or the equivalent amount of sugar syrup). It`s served over ice in a squat glass - commonly called an old-fashioned glass - and garnished with an orange slice and a Maraschino cherry.
An Italian olive spread, which is generally a simple combination of pureed Italian black olives, olive oil and black pepper.
Olive varieties number in the dozens and vary in size and flavor. All fresh olives are bitter and the final flavor of the fruit greatly depends on how ripe it is when picked and the processing it receives. Underripe olives are always green, whereas ripe olives may be either green or black.
Olive oil -
Pressing tree-ripened olives extracts a flavorful, monounsaturated oil that is prized throughout the world both for cooking (particularly in Mediterranean countries) and for salads. Today`s marketplace provides a wide selection of domestic olive oil (most of which comes from California) and imported oils from France, Greece, Italy and Spain. The flavor, color and fragrance of olive oils can vary dramatically depending on distinctions such as growing region and the crop`s condition.
A full-flavored sherry that has a dark, rich color. Olorosos are usually aged longer than most sherries and are therefore also more expensive. They`re often labeled cream or golden sherry.
Olympia oyster -
Native to the Pacific Coast, the Olympia oyster is found primarily in the Pacific Northwest around Washington's Puget Sound. It`s very small, seldom exceeding 1 1/2 inches. The Olympia has an excellent flavor and is a favorite for eating on the half shell. Because they are so small, it takes a fair number to satisfy most oyster aficionados.
Omelet; omelette -
A mixture of eggs, seasonings and sometimes water or milk, cooked in butter until firm and filled or topped with various fillings such as cheese, ham, mushrooms, onions, peppers, sausage and herbs. Sweet omelets can be filled with jelly, custard or fruit, sprinkled with confectioners` sugar or flamed with various liquors or liqueurs.
On the half shell -
A phrase commonly used to describe raw oysters served on the bottom shell only, usually on a plate of crushed ice or, in the case of cooked dishes such as oysters rockefeller, on a bed of rock salt.
On the rocks -
When a beverage (usually liquor) is served over ice without added water or other mixer, it`s usually referred to as "on the rocks".
Related to the lily, this underground bulb is prized around the world for the magic it makes in a multitude of dishes with its pungent flavor and odor. There are two main classifications of onion - green onions (also called scallions) and dry onions, which are simply mature onions with a juicy flesh covered with dry, papery skin. Dry onions come in a wide range of sizes, shapes and flavors.
Also called moonfish ,the opah is a marine fish that can reach up to 200 pounds. The pinkish flesh of this fish is rich, full flavored and fine textured. It`s suitable for baking, poaching and steaming.
Opakapaka; opaka-paka -
A deep water marine fish found in the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands. Its sweet, delicate flesh ranges from white to pink in color, however, cooked opakapaka is always white. It can run from lean to fat, depending on the season (they`re fattier in the winter). Opakapaka is suitable for almost any cooking method.
Orange roughy -
This New Zealand fish (also known as slimehead) is fast becoming popular in the United States. It`s low in fat, has firm white flesh and a mild flavor. Orange roughy is available in specialty fish markets and some supermarkets. It can be poached, baked, broiled or fried.
Orange-flower water -
A perfumy distillation of bitter-orange blossoms. Orange-flower water is used as a flavoring in baked goods, various sweet and savory dishes and a variety of drinks, such as the Ramos gin fizz cocktail.
This herb, sometimes called wild marjoram , belongs to the mint family and is related to both marjoram and thyme. Oregano is similar to marjoram but is not as sweet and has a stronger, more pungent flavor and aroma. Choose bright-green, fresh-looking bunches with no sign of wilting or yellowing. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 3 days.
In Italian this means "barley," but it`s actually a tiny, rice-shaped pasta, slightly smaller than a pine nut. Orzo is ideal for soups and wonderful when served as a substitute for rice.
Osso buco; ossobuco -
[AW-soh BOO-koh, OH-soh BOO-koh]
An Italian dish made of veal shanks braised with olive oil, white wine, stock, onions, tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, carrots, celery and lemon peel. Traditionally, osso buco is garnished with gremolata and served accompanied by risotto.
From Greece, this clear, sweet anise-flavored liqueur is usually served as an aperitif. It`s generally mixed with water, which turns it whitish and opaque.
The oxtail was once really from an ox but nowadays the term generally refers to beef or veal tail. Though it`s quite bony, this cut of meat is very flavorful. Because it can be extremely tough (depending on the age of the animal), oxtail requires long, slow braising. It`s often used for stews or soups such as the hearty English classic oxtail soup, which includes vegetables, barley and herbs and is often flavored with Sherry or Madeira.
Oyster crab -
A diminutive (less than 1 inch wide) soft-shell crab that makes its home inside an oyster and lives off the food its host eats. Oyster crabs are certainly not found in all oysters, and most oyster processing plants don`t bother to collect them during shucking so the supply is very limited. They`re best prepared simply sauteed in butter. Gourmets consider these pale-pink crustaceans a delicacy.
Oyster mushroom -
This fan-shaped mushroom grows both wild and cultivated in close clusters, often on rotting tree trunks. They`re also called oyster caps, tree mushrooms, tree oyster mushrooms, summer oyster mushrooms, pleurotte and shimeji. The cap varies in color from pale gray to dark brownish-gray. The stems are grayish-white. The flavor of raw oyster mushrooms is fairly robust and slightly peppery but becomes much milder when cooked.
Oyster sauce -
A dark-brown sauce consisting of oysters, brine and soy sauce cooked until thick and concentrated. It`s a popular Asian seasoning used to prepare a multitude of dishes (particularly stir-fries) and as a table condiment. Oyster sauce imparts a richness to dishes without overpowering their natural flavor. It`s available in many supermarkets and all Asian markets.
Oysters Bienville -
A dish named in honor of Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, the founder of New Orleans. Oysters Bienville was created in the late 1930s at one of New Orleans`s most famous restaurants, Antoine`s. It consists of oysters on the half shell topped with a bechamel sauce flavored with Sherry and Cayenne and mixed with sauteed garlic, shallots, mushrooms and minced shrimp. A bread crumb-grated cheese mixture is sprinkled over the top and the oysters are baked on a bed of rock salt until bubbly and browned.
A Japanese soup that`s traditionally served at New Year`s festivities, although it`s popular at other times of the year as well. Also called simply zoni, this soup contains pieces of chicken and various other ingredients (depending on the cook) including dashi, daikon and other vegetables. Ozoni is served in deep bowls over rice cakes.
O`Brien potatoes -
Although the origin of the name is vague, it seems to come from the longtime association between the Irish and potatoes. The dish consists of diced potatoes (sometimes precooked) that are fried with chopped onions and pimientos until the potatoes are crisp and brown. Some variations use sweet red or green peppers instead of pimientos.
Pacific oyster -
Also called the Japanese oyster, this species has an elongated fragile shell that can reach up to a foot across. It`s found along the Pacific seaboard. Because of its size, the Pacific oyster is generally cut up and used in soups, stews and other cooked dishes.
Pad thai -
Thailand`s most well known noodle dish, pad thai combines cooked rice noodles, tofu, shrimp, crushed peanuts, nam pla, bean sprouts, garlic, chiles and eggs, all stir-fried together.
A Spanish dish of saffron-flavored rice combined with a variety of meats and shellfish (such as shrimp, lobster, clams, chicken, pork, ham and chorizo), garlic, onions, peas, artichoke hearts and tomatoes. It`s named after the special two-handled pan - also called paella - in which it`s prepared and served. The pan is wide, shallow and 13 to 14 inches in diameter.
A veal scallop or thin slice of beef that is quickly grilled or sauteed.
A deep-fried fritter popular in India. The batter is generally based on besan flour (ground chickpeas) and can contain most anything including vegetables, fruit, rice, fish or meat. Usually small, the crisply fried pakoras are most often served as appetizers or snacks.
Also called palm leaves, this crispy delicacy is puff pastry dough that is sprinkled with granulated sugar, folded and rolled several times, then cut into thin strips. After baking, these golden brown, caramelized pastries are served with coffee or tea or as a dessert accompaniment.
Spanish for "bread". Pan integral is whole wheat bread, pan tostado is toasted bread. A panaderia is a bakery.
Pan bagnat -
Popular in Southern France, both in cafes and for picnics, pan bagnat is a sandwich composed of a large, split loaf or bun, the inside of which is brushed with olive oil, then filled with green pepper slices, black olives, onion slices, anchovies, tomato slices and hard-cooked egg slices - all drizzled with vinaigrette.
Pan-broil; panbroil -
To cook meats or fish quickly in a heavy, ungreased (or lightly greased) frying pan over high heat. Drippings are poured off as they form.
Panada; panade -
[pah-NAH-duh (Sp , ), puh-NAHD (Fr. , )]
1. A thick paste made by mixing bread crumbs, flour, rice, etc. with water, milk, stock, butter or sometimes egg yolks. It`s used to bind meatballs, fish cakes, forcemeats and quenelles. 2. A sweet or savory soup made with bread crumbs and various other ingredients. It may be strained before serving.
As one of humankind`s oldest forms of bread, the versatile pancake has hundreds of variations and is served for breakfast, lunch and dinner and as appetizers, entrees and desserts. Pancakes begin as a batter that is poured into rounds, either on a griddle or in a skillet, and cooked over high heat.
An Italian bacon that is cured with salt and spices but not smoked. Flavorful, slightly salty pancetta comes in a sausagelike roll. It`s used in Italian cooking to flavor sauces, pasta dishes, forcemeats, vegetables and meats.
Also called apple pandowdy, this deep-dish dessert is made of sliced apples, butter, spices, brown sugar or molasses, all topped with a biscuit batter that becomes crisp and crumbly after baking. It can be served hot or at room temperature and is often accompanied by cream or ice cream.
Italian for "bread".
A sweet yeast bread made with raisins, citron, pine nuts and anise and baked in a tall cylindrical shape. It originated in Milan, Italy, and is traditionally served at Christmastime, but also for celebrations such as weddings and christenings. Panettone can be served as a bread, coffeecake or dessert.
Because this confection is a specialty of Siena, Italy, it`s also called Siena cake. This dense, flat cake is rich with honey, hazelnuts, almonds, candied citron, citrus peel, cocoa and spices. It contains only a tiny amount of flour - just enough to hold the fruits and nuts together. After baking, panforte becomes hard and chewy.
Italian for "roll" or "biscuit".
Bread crumbs used in Japanese cooking for coating fried foods. They`re coarser than those normally used in the United States and create a deliciously crunchy crust. Panko is sold in Asian markets.
Panna cotta -
Italian for "cooked cream" panna cotta is a light, silky egg custard, which is often flavored with caramel. It`s served cold, accompanied typically with fruit or chocolate sauce.
Italian for "pot bellied", culinarily describing triangular-shaped stuffed pasta with pinked edges.
An Italian bread salad made with onions, tomatoes, basil, olive oil, vinegar and seasonings and chunks of bread. Some versions also include cucumbers, anchovies and/or peppers. More traditional recipes call for soaking the bread in water and then squeezing the water out.
An enzyme extracted from papaya and employed as a meat tenderizer, and as an agent used to clarify liquids (especially beer).
Both the papaya and the papaw are sometimes referred to as pawpaw, which is thoroughly confusing because they`re entirely different fruits. The papaw is a North American native that`s a member of the cherimoya family. It can range from 2 to 6 inches long and looks like a fat, dark-brown banana. The aromatic flesh is pale yellow and peppered with a profusion of seeds. It has a custardlike texture and a sweet flavor reminiscent of bananas and pears.
Like the PAPAW, the papaya is native to North America (and in some regions, also called pawpaw). It`s large (about 6 inches long and 1 to 2 pounds in weight) and pear shaped; when ripe, it has a vivid golden-yellow skin. The similarly colored flesh is juicy and silky smooth, with an exotic sweet-tart flavor. The rather large center cavity is packed with shiny, grayish-black seeds.
1. The French word for a paper frill used to decorate the tips of rib bones, such as those on crown roasts. 2. En papillote refers to food baked inside a wrapping of greased parchment paper. As the food bakes and lets off steam, the parchment puffs up into a dome shape. At the table, the paper is slit and peeled back to reveal the food.
Used as a seasoning and garnish for a plethora of savory dishes, paprika is a powder made by grinding aromatic sweet red pepper pods. The pods are quite tough, so several grindings are necessary to produce the proper texture. The flavor of paprika can range from mild to pungent and hot, the color from bright orange-red to deep blood-red.
Paprikas csirke -
Also called chicken paprikash, this Hungarian dish consists of chicken and onions browned in bacon drippings, then braised with chicken stock, paprika and other seasonings. A sauce is made from the braising liquid mixed with sour cream. Although chicken is traditionally used, versions of this dish are also made with meat and fish.
Parch, to -
To dry grains or starchy vegetables like corn, peas and beans by roasting slightly without burning.
Parchment paper -
A heavy, grease- and moisture-resistant paper with a number of culinary uses including lining baking pans, wrapping foods that are to be baked en papillote and to make disposable pastry bags. Parchment paper is available in gourmet kitchenware stores and many supermarkets.
Parisienne sauce -
1. A creamy sauce, classically used to top cold asparagus, made by blending cream cheese, oil, lemon juice, chervil and sometimes paprika. 2. Another name for allemande sauce.
Parmesan cheese -
This hard, dry cheese is made from skimmed or partially skimmed cow`s milk. It has a hard, pale-golden rind and a straw-colored interior with a rich, sharp flavor. There are Parmesan cheeses made in Argentina, Australia and the United States, but none compares with Italy`s preeminent Parmigiano-Reggiano, with its granular texture that melts in the mouth.
Parmigiana, alla -
A term describing food that is made or cooked with Parmesan cheese. For instance, veal parmigiana is a pounded veal cutlet dipped in an egg-milk solution and then into a mixture of bread crumbs, grated Paremesan cheese and seasonings. The cutlet is then sautéed and covered with a tomato sauce.
Today, this slightly peppery, fresh-flavored herb is more commonly used as a flavoring and garnish. Though there are more than 30 varieties of this herb, the most popular are curly-leaf parsley and the more strongly flavored Italian or flat-leaf parsley. Parsley is sold in bunches and should be chosen for its bright-green leaves that show no sign of wilting. Wash fresh parsley, shaking off excess moisture, and wrap first in paper towels, then in a plastic bag. Refrigerate for up to a week.
Parsley root -
Also called Hamburg parsley and turnip-rooted parsley, this parsley subspecies is grown for its beige, carrotlike root, which tastes like a carrot-celery cross. It`s used in parts of Europe in soups, stews and simply as a vegetable. Choose firm roots with feathery, bright-green leaves. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to a week.
Pasilla chile -
In its fresh form this chile is called a chilaca. It`s generally 6 to 8 inches long and 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. The rich-flavored, medium-hot pasilla is a blackish-brown color, which is why it`s also called chile negro. This chile is sold whole, and powdered. It`s particularly good for use in sauces.
A Russian sweet cheese mold traditionally served at Easter. It consists of a combination of sweetened pot cheese (or cottage cheese), nuts (usually almonds) and candied or dried fruit. Classically, this mixture is molded into the shape of a four-sided pyramid. The paskha is decorated with nuts or candy to form the letters XB, which stands for "Christ is risen." Paskha is the traditional accompaniment for the sweet yeast bread kulich.
A small, round, hard confection made of sugar, water and various flavorings. In the United States pastilles are usually referred to as drops, as in lemon drops.
1. Similar to Pernod, this clear, strong (90 proof), licorice-flavored aperitif is very popular in the south of France. It`s usually mixed with water, which turns it whitish and cloudy. 2. Any of various yeast-leavened pastries of southwestern France such as pastis Beranais, which is flavored with brandy and orange-flower water.
A well-known baked Greek casserole dish consisting of pasta (spaghetti or macaroni), ground beef or lamb, grated cheese, tomatoes, seasonings (including cinnamon) and a white (bechamel) sauce.
A highly seasoned beef made from a cut of plate, brisket or round. After the fat is trimmed, the meat`s surface is rubbed with salt and a seasoning paste that can include garlic, ground peppercorns, cinnamon, red pepper, cloves, allspice and coriander seeds. The meat is dry-cured, smoked and cooked. Pastrami can be served hot or cold, usually as a sandwich on rye bread. It`s widely available in chunks or presliced in most supermarkets.
1. Any of various unleavened doughs, the basics of which include butter (or other fat), flour and water. Examples include puff pastry, pate brisee (pie pastry) and pate sucree (sweet short pastry). 2. A general term for sweet baked goods such as Danish pastries and napoleons.
Pastry blender -
A kitchen implement consisting of 5 or 6 parallel U-shaped, sturdy steel wires, both ends of which are attached to a wooden handle. It`s used in making pastry dough to cut cold fat (usually butter) into a flour mixture, evenly distributing the tiny pieces of fat without warming them.
Small flat squares of pasta.
The American Indian name for the East Coast hard-shell clam. The term "quahog" is also sometimes used to describe the largest of these hard-shell clams. Also known as chowder (or large) clam.
A soft, unripened cheese with the texture and flavor of sour cream, Quark comes in two versions - lowfat and nonfat. Though the calories are the same (35 per ounce), the texture of lowfat Quark is richer than that of lowfat sour cream. It has a milder flavor and richer texture than lowfat yogurt. Quark can be used as a sour cream substitute to top baked potatoes, and as an ingredient in a variety of dishes including cheesecakes, dips, salads and sauces.
Quatre epices -
A French phrase meaning "four spices", referring to any of several finely ground spice mixtures. Though there`s no standard mixture for quatre epices, the blend is usually mixed from the following selection: pepper (usually white), nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon or cloves. Quatre epices is used to flavor soups, stews and vegetables.
A light, delicate dumpling made of seasoned, minced or ground fish, meat or vegetables bound with eggs or panada. This mixture is formed into small ovals and gently poached in stock. Quenelles are usually served with a rich sauce and can be used as a first course, main course or garnish.
A flour tortilla filled with a savory mixture, then folded in half to form a turnover shape. The filling can include shredded cheese, cooked meat, refried beans or a combination of items. After the tortilla is filled and folded, it`s toasted under a broiler or fried. Quesadillas are usually cut into strips before being served, often as an appetizer.
The Spanish word for "cheese".
Queso fresco -
A white, slightly salty, fresh Mexican cheese with a texture similar to that of farmer cheese. Queso fresco is available in cottage cheese-style tubs in Latin markets and many supermarkets. Also called queso blanco.
Queso fundido -
Spanish for "melted cheese", referring to a dish (which is usually served as an appetizer) of just that - melted cheese. Additions are varied and may include jalapenos or bits of cooked pork, beef or chicken.
A variety of plum used primarily to make an Alsatian eau de vie of the same name. This plum is also used in desserts and liqueurs.
This dish originated in northeastern France in the region of Alsace-Lorraine. It consists of a pastry shell filled with a savory custard made of eggs, cream, seasonings and various other ingredients such as onions, mushrooms, ham, shellfish or herbs.
Quick bread -
Bread that is quick to make because it doesn`t require kneading or rising time. That`s because the leavener in such a bread is usually baking powder or baking soda, which, when combined with moisture, starts the rising process immediately. In the case of double-acting baking powder, oven heat causes a second burst of rising power. Eggs can also be used to leaven quick breads. This genre includes most biscuits, muffins, popovers and a wide variety of sweet and savory loaf breads.
Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain. It`s considered a complete protein because it contains all eight essential amino acids. Quinoa is also higher in unsaturated fats and lower in carbohydrates than most grains, and it provides a rich and balanced source of vital nutrients. Tiny and bead-shaped, the ivory-colored quinoa cooks like rice (taking half the time of regular rice) and expands to four times its original volume. Its flavor is delicate, almost bland.
The domesticated members of the rabbit family (a rodent relation) have fine-textured flesh that is almost totally white meat. They`re plumper and less strongly flavored than their wild counterparts. The best will be young and weigh between 2 and 2 1/2 pounds, and should have light-colored flesh. These are the most tender and mild-flavored and can be prepared in any manner suitable for young chicken (such as frying, grilling or roasting).
Rack of lamb -
A portion of the rib section of a lamb, usually containing eight ribs. A rack of lamb can be cut into chops or served in one piece - either as a rack or formed into a crown roast.
Italian for "little radiators" referring culinarily to short, chunky pasta shapes (about 1 inch long and 1/2 inch in diameter) that resemble tiny radiators with rippled edges.
From the Latin radix , meaning "root", the radish is in fact the root of a plant in the mustard family. Its skin can vary in color from white to red to purple to black (and many shades in between). In shape and size, the radish can be round, oval or elongated and can run the gamut from globes 1/2 inch in diameter to carrotlike giants (such as the daikon) 1 1/2 feet in length.
A derivative of the French verb ragouter, meaning "to stimulate the appetite", ragout is a thick, rich, well-seasoned stew of meat, poultry or fish that can be made with or without vegetables.
A staple of northern Italy`s Bologna, ragu is a meat sauce that is typically served with pasta. Though different than the French ragout, both are derived from the verb ragouter, which means "to stimulate the appetite". Ragu usually contains ground beef, tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots, white wine and seasonings.
A raisin is simply a dried grape. The most common grapes used for raisins are thompson seedless, zante and muscar. Grapes are either sun-dried or dehydrated mechanically. All raisins can be stored tightly wrapped at room temperature for several months. For prolonged storage (up to a year), they should be refrigerated in a tightly sealed plastic bag. Raisins can be eaten out of hand, as well as used in a variety of baked goods and in cooked and raw dishes. They have a high natural sugar content, contain a variety of vitamins and minerals and are especially rich in iron.
Yogurt salads popular in India, raitas are a combination of thick, whole-milk yogurt and various chopped vegetables like cucumbers, eggplant, potatoes or spinach, or fruits such as bananas or tomatoes. These salads are variously seasoned with black mustard seeds, garam masala and herbs such as chervil, coriander, cumin, dill, mint, parsley or tarragon. Raitas are designed to be a cooling counterbalance for many spicy Indian dishes.
Rakkyo; rakyo -
A type of Japanese shallot, which is usually uncooked and pickled in light vinegar. Most often used as a garnish with grilled fish and meat. Rakkyo can be found in Asian markets.
1. An individual baking dish (3 to 4 inches in diameter) that resembles a miniature souffle dish. Ramekins are usually made of porcelain or earthenware and can be used for both sweet and savory dishes - either baked or chilled. 2. A tiny baked pastry filled with a creamy cheese custard.
1. Asian instant-style deep-fried noodles that are usually sold in cellophane packages, sometimes with bits of dehydrated vegetables and broth mix. 2. A Japanese dish of noodles, small pieces of meat and vegetables and broth.
Also known as wild leek, ramp has an assertive, garlicky-onion flavor. Choose those that are firm with bright-colored greenery. Wrap tightly in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to a week. Trim the root ends just before using.
Ranchero sauce -
A picant tomato-based sauce that includes onions, green chiles such as serranos or jalapenos and seasonings. This Mexican salsa is most often associated with the dish, huevos rancheros.
1. Another name for broccoli raab. 2. The residue of grape stalks, stems and skins after the juice has been extracted for winemaking.
Rapeseed oil -
Rapeseed oil, expressed from rape seeds, is commonly marketed under the name canola oil. Once used only in parts of Europe and the Middle East, rapeseed oil has been discovered to have more cholesterol-balancing monounsaturated fat than any other oil except olive oil.
Another name for brocoli raab.
Ras el hanout -
An exotic and complex Moroccan spice blend that, depending on the preparer, can contain up to 50 ingredients. Ras el hanout means "head of the shop", purportedly because shop owners create their own unique blend, which can include ginger, anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, dried flowers (such as lavender and rose), nigella, mace, galangal and turmeric.
This firm, white-fleshed member of the scorpion fish family is abundant in the Mediterranean. The French red rascasse has been made famous as an indispensable ingredient in bouillabaisse.
1. A strip or slice of meat such as bacon or ham. 2. A serving of two to three thin pieces of such meat.
Considered by many the most intensely flavored member of the berry family, the raspberry is composed of many connecting drupelets (individual sections of fruit, each with its own seed) surrounding a central core. There are three main varieties - black, golden and red, the latter being the most widely available.
A popular dish from the French region of Provence that combines eggplant, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, garlic and herbs - all simmered in olive oil. The vegetables can be cooked together, or cooked separately and then combined and heated briefly together. Ratatouille can be served hot, cold or at room temperature, either as a side dish or as an appetizer with bread or crackers.
An Italian specialty of little square or round pillows of noodle dough filled with any of various mixtures such as cheese, meat or vegetables. Ravioli are boiled, then usually baked with a cream, cheese or tomato sauce. Chinese-style ravioli are called won tons; Jewish-style are known as kreplach.
Razor clam -
The most famous West Coast soft-shell clam, the razor clam is so-named because its shell resembles a folded, old-fashioned straight razor. It`s best when steamed.
Reblochon cheese -
This uncooked French cows` milk cheese has a creamy-soft texture and a delicate flavor when perfectly ripe. It becomes bitter, however, when overripe. Reblochon has a dark golden rind and is sold in small discs.
Culinarily, the term means to return a dehydrated food (such as dried milk) to its original consistency by adding a liquid, usually water.
Red cooking -
A Chinese cooking method whereby food (such as chicken) is browned in soy sauce, thereby changing the color to a deep, dark red.
Red flannel hash -
A New England specialty made by frying chopped cooked beets, potatoes, onions and crisp bacon together until crusty and brown. Traditional recipes state that about 85 percent of the volume should be beets. Red flannel hash is usually served with cornbread.
Red mullet -
This reddish-pink marine fish is not really a true mullet but a Mediterranean member of the goatfish family. The red mullet ranges in size from 1/2 to 2 pounds and has very firm, lean flesh. It`s found on menus all over Europe but is rarely available in the United States.
Red pepper; red pepper flakes -
A generic term applied to any of several varieties of hot, red chili peppers. The most commonly available forms are ground red pepper and red pepper flakes.
Refried beans; frijoles refritos; refritos -
This popular Mexican specialty consists of cooked red beans or pinto beans that are mashed, then fried, often in melted lard. Refried beans are sold canned in most supermarkets. The term frijoles refritos translates as "refried beans."
Refrigerator cookie -
Also called icebox cookie, this style of cookie is made by forming the dough into a log, wrapping in plastic wrap or waxed paper and chilling until firm. The dough is then sliced into rounds and baked.
This classic French sauce is made by combining mayonnaise (usually homemade) with mustard, capers and chopped gherkins, herbs and anchovies. It`s served chilled as an accompaniment to cold meat, fish and shellfish.
A coagulating enzyme obtained from a young animal`s (usually a calf`s) stomach, rennin is used to curdle milk in foods such as cheese and junket. It`s available in most supermarkets in tablet or powdered form.
Made for more than 3,000 years, this traditional Greek wine has been resinated - treated with pine-tree resin. The resin gives the wine a distinctively sappy, turpentinelike flavor that, according to most non-Greeks, is an acquired taste. Retsinas are either white or rosé and should be served very cold.
The thick, celerylike stalks of this buckwheat-family member can reach up to 2 feet long. They`re the only edible portion of the plant - the leaves contain oxalic acid and can therefore be toxic. Though rhubarb is generally eaten as a fruit, it`s botanically a vegetable. There are many varieties of this extremely tart food, most of which fall into two basic types - hothouse and field grown.
1. The meat cut (beef, lamb or veal) from between the short loin and the chuck. Chops, steaks and roasts (depending on the animal) are cut from the rib section, which is very tender. 2. A single stalk of a celery bunch, though some cooks refer to the entire bunch as a rib. In general, the words rib and stalk describe the same thing.
Rib steak -
This tender, flavorful beef steak is a boneless cut from the rib section (between the short loin and the chuck). If the bones are removed the result is the extremely tender rib-eye steak. Both should be quickly cooked by grilling, broiling or frying.
A cooking term describing the texture of an egg-and-sugar mixture that has been beaten until pale and extremely thick. When the beater or whisk is lifted, the batter falls slowly back onto the surface of the mixture, forming a ribbonlike pattern that, after a few seconds, sinks back into the batter.
This ancient and venerable grain has been cultivated since at least 5000 b.c., and archaeological explorations in China have uncovered sealed pots of rice that are almost 8,000 years old. Today, rice is a staple for almost half the world`s population. The 7,000-plus varieties of rice are grown in one of two ways. Aquatic rice (paddy-grown) is cultivated in flooded fields. The lower-yielding, lower-quality hill-grown rice can be grown on almost any tropical or subtropical terrain. Rice is commercially classified by its size - long-, medium- or short-grain.
Rice vinegar -
There are Japanese as well as Chinese rice vinegars, both made from fermented rice, and both slightly milder than most Western vinegars. Chinese rice vinegar comes in three types: white (clear or pale amber), red, a popular accompaniment for boiled or steamed crab; and black, used mainly as a table condiment. The almost colorless Japanese rice vinegar is used in a variety of Japanese preparations, including sushi rice and sunomono (vinegared salads).
Rice wine -
A sweet, golden wine made from fermenting freshly steamed glutinous rice. Most rice wines are low in alcohol. The most well-known Japanese rice wines are sake and mirin, while Chinese renditions include Chia Fan, Hsiang Hsueh, Shan Niang and Yen Hung.
A drink made with lime (sometimes lemon) juice, soda water and liquor, usually gin or whiskey. If sugar is added, the drink becomes a Tom Collins. A nonalcoholic rickey always has sugar or sugar syrup added to it.
Riesling is considered one of the world`s great white wine grapes and produces some of the very best white wines. It`s a native of Germany, where it`s believed to have been cultivated for at least 500 - and possibly as long as 2,000 - years. Riesling wines are delicate but complex, and characterized by a spicy, fruity flavor, flower-scented bouquet and long finish. Riesling is vinified in a variety of styles ranging from dry to very sweet.
Dutch for "rice table," rijst-tafel is the Dutch version of an Indonesian meal consisting of hot rice accompanied by a profusion of small, well-seasoned side dishes such as steamed or fried seafoods and meats, vegetables, fruits, sauces, condiments, etc. The Dutch adopted this style of dining during their occupation of Indonesia in the 18th and 19th centuries.
French for "sweetbreads." Ris de veau are from a calf, ris d`agneau from a lamb.
Rice-shape pasta, similar to orzo.
1. Sweet- or savory-filled pastry (often shaped like a turnover) that is fried or baked and served as an appetizer, side dish or dessert (depending on the size and filling). 2. Small, partially cooked potato balls that are browned in butter until crisp.
Produced in California, Rizcous is a product composed of broken brown rice grains. In its cooked form, it resembles its namesake, couscous.
n. 1. A piece of meat - such as a rib roast - that`s large enough to serve more than one person. Such a meat cut is usually cooked by the roasting method. 2. Food, usually meat, that has been prepared by roasting. roast v. To oven-cook food in an uncovered pan, a method that usually produces a well-browned exterior and ideally a moist interior. Roasting requires reasonably tender pieces of meat or poultry. Tougher pieces of meat need moist cooking methods such as braising.
Roasting rack -
A slightly raised rack - usually made of stainless steel - that elevates meat above the pan in which it`s roasting. This prevents the meat from cooking in any drippings and allows adequate air circulation for even cooking and browning. Roasting racks can be flat, V-shaped or adjustable so they can be used either way.
Rob Roy -
A cocktail made with Scotch, sweet Vermouth and bitters. It`s sometimes called a Scotch Manhattan because it substitutes scotch for the bourbon used in the standard Manhattan recipe.
Also called sand leek and giant garlic, rocambole has leeklike bulbs that taste like mild garlic. It grows wild (and is sometimes cultivated) throughout Europe and may be used in any way suitable for garlic.
Rock and rye -
An American rye whiskey-based liqueur flavored with lemon or orange essence and distinguished by a chunk of rock candy in the bottom of each bottle.
Rock bun -
Also called rock cake, this spicy British cross between a cookie and a small cake is full of coarsely chopped dried fruit. It`s baked in small mounds, which, after baking, take on a rocklike appearance.
The French word for "zabaglione".
Also known as Alaska cod, black cod and butterfish. It ranges in size from 1 to 10 pounds. The white flesh of the sablefish is soft-textured and mild-flavored. Its high fat content makes it an excellent fish for smoking and it`s commonly marketed as smoked black cod.
Sabra liqueur -
A chocolate-orange-flavored liqueur made in Israel.
Sachertorte; Sacher torte -
An extremely rich Viennese classic made with layers (usually three) of chocolate cake filled with apricot jam and enrobed in a creamy-rich chocolate glaze. Sachertorte is traditionally served with billows of whipped cream. It was created in 1832 by Franz Sacher, of the famous family of Viennese hoteliers and restaurateurs.
A cut of meat (most often lamb, mutton, veal or venison) that is the unseparated loin (from rib to leg) from both sides of the animal. The saddle is a very tender cut and makes an elegant (but expensive) roast.
Safflower oil -
This flavorless, colorless oil is expressed from the seeds of the safflower, also called saffron thistle or bastard saffron. It contains more polyunsaturates than any other oil, has a high smoke point (which makes it good for deep-frying) and is favored for salad dressings because it doesn`t solidify when chilled.
Saga blue -
Hailing from Denmark, this soft, double-cream cheese can sometimes reach almost triple-cream status in richness. It has delicate blue veins and an elegant, mellow flavor. Saga blue has a tender, white, edible rind. It can be found in specialty cheese shops and many upscale supermarkets.
A popular Greek appetizer in which 1/2-inch-thick slices of kasseri cheese are fried in butter or olive oil. Saganaki is sprinkled with lemon juice (and sometimes fresh oregano) and served with pita bread.
A starch extracted from the sago (and other tropical) palms that is processed into flour, meal and pearl sago, which is similar to tapioca. South Pacific cooks frequently use sago for baking and for thickening soups, puddings and other desserts.
Saint Andre -
[san , -tohn-DRAY]
An extravagantly rich triple-cream cheese with a mild, mellow flavor.
[san , -zhehr-MAHN ]
A French term describing various dishes garnished or made with fresh green peas or pea puree. Potage Saint-Germain is a thick pea soup enriched with butter.
This Japanese wine, the national alcoholic drink of Japan, is traditionally served warm in small porcelain cups. The yellowish, slightly sweet sake is made from fermented rice and doesn`t require aging. It has a relatively low alcohol content of 12 to 16 percent. Sake is used in Japanese cooking, particularly in sauces and marinades.
Salad spinner -
A kitchen utensil that uses centrifugal force to dry freshly washed salad greens, herbs, etc. Wet ingredients are placed in an inner basket. The basket is set into an outer container fitted with a lid with a gear-operated handle or pull-cord. As the handle is turned (or cord pulled), the perforated inner container spins rapidly, forcing moisture off the food out through the perforations and into the outer container.
The name applied to a family of sausages similar to cervelats. Both styles are uncooked but safe to eat without heating because they`ve been preserved by curing. Salamis, however, tend to be more boldly seasoned (particularly with garlic), coarser, drier and, unlike cervelats, rarely smoked. Salamis are usually air-dried and vary in size, shape, seasoning and curing process.
Salisbury steak -
Essentially a ground-beef patty that has been flavored with minced onion and seasonings before being fried or broiled. It was named after a 19th-century English physician, Dr. J.H. Salisbury, who recommended that his patients eat plenty of beef for all manner of ailments. Salisbury steak is often served with gravy made from pan drippings.
Sally Lunn -
This rich, slightly sweet yeast bread was brought to the Colonies from England and subsequently became a favorite in the South. Sally Lunn, an 18th-century woman from Bath, England, created this delicate cakelike bread in her tiny bakery for her prominent patrons` tea parties. Those original Sally Lunns were baked as large buns, split horizontally and slathered with thick clotted cream.
1. A composed salad including greens, chopped cooked meats and vegetables (the latter sometimes pickled), anchovies, hard-cooked eggs and pickles. The ingredients are artfully arranged on a platter and drizzled with dressing. 2. A general term for a stew or other multi-ingredient dish.
Salmi; salmis -
A highly seasoned, wine-based ragout made with minced, partially roasted game birds, mushrooms and, sometimes, truffles. Other game, such as rabbit, is sometimes used. A salmi is generally used as a sauce for pasta and other dishes.
A French term describing cooked, diced ingredients bound with a sauce (for savory ingredients), or syrup or cream (for fruit mixtures) and used for fillings or garnishes.
The Mexican word for "sauce", which can signify cooked or fresh mixtures. Salsa cruda is "uncooked salsa"; salsa verde is "green salsa", which is typically based on tomatillos, green chiles and cilantro.
Today salt is inexpensive and universally available, but that wasn`t always the case. Because of its importance in food preservation and the fact that the human body requires it (for the regulation of fluid balance), salt has been an extremely valuable commodity throughout the ages. Salt (sodium chloride) comes either from salt mines or from the sea. Table salt, a fine-grained refined salt with additives that make it free-flowing, is mainly used in cooking and as a table condiment.
Salt-rising bread -
A bread popular in the 1800s, before yeast leavening was readily available. It relies on a fermented mixture of warm milk or water, flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt to give it rising power. Salt-rising bread has a very smooth texture with a tangy flavor and aroma.
An anise-flavored, not-too-sweet Italian liqueur that is usually served with 2 or 3 dark-roasted coffee beans floating on top.
Broken or coarsely ground hominy.
Samsoe cheese -
Named for the island where it originated, this national cheese of Denmark is made from cow`s milk and contains about 45 percent milk fat. It`s a Swiss-style cheese with a yellow interior accented with small irregular holes. Samsoe has a distinctive, mild, nutlike flavor that`s suitable for almost any use from cooked dishes to salads and sandwiches.
Sand dab -
A small flatfish found in Pacific waters from Southern California to Alaska. It has a sweet, delicately moist flesh that`s quite low in fat. Sand dabs are marketed whole and usually range from 4 to 12 ounces. They can be prepared by almost any cooking method including baking, broiling, poaching and sauteing.
The blood-red color of this beverage inspired its name, which is derived from the Spanish word for "blood." Sangria is made with red wine, fruit juices, soda water, fruit and sometimes liqueurs and brandy or cognac. Sangria blanco (white sangria) is made with white wine. Both are served cold over ice and make a refreshing cooler on a hot summer day.
A mildly hot Japanese seasoning made from the aromatic berries of the prickly ash tree, which are dried and ground into a powder. It`s the same spice that the Chinese call szechuan pepper.
Santa Fe Grande chile -
These small, tapered, conical peppers are generally marketed when yellow, though if allowed to mature longer, they turn orange or red. Santa Fe Grandes have a slightly sweet taste and are medium-hot to hot in spiciness. They may be used in both cooked and raw dishes.
Sapsago cheese -
Also known as Schbzieger, sapsago is a hard cone-shaped cheese from Switzerland. It`s made from skimmed cows` milk and contains less than 10 percent fat. It has a light green color and pungent herbal flavor that come from the addition of blue melilot, a special variety of clover. Sapsago is used primarily for grating and adds interest to everything from salads to pasta.
A generic term applied broadly to any of various small, soft-boned, saltwater fish such as sprat and young pilchard and herring. Fresh sardines are available on a limited basis during the summer months, usually only along the coast where they`re caught. In general, their fatty flesh is best when grilled, broiled or fried.
Sliced raw fish that is served with condiments such as shredded daikon radish or gingerroot, wasabi and soy sauce. Because it`s served raw, only the freshest and highest-quality fish should be used for sashimi. Sashimi is usually the first course in the Japanese meal.
Sate; satay -
An Indonesian favorite consisting of small marinated cubes of meat, fish or poultry threaded on skewers and grilled or broiled. Sate is usually served with a spicy peanut sauce. It`s a favorite snack food but is also often served for an appetizer and sometimes as a main dish.
v. To cover or mix a food with a sauce. sauce n. In the most basic terms, a sauce is a thickened, flavored liquid designed to accompany food in order to enhance and bring out its flavor. The French are credited with refining the sophisticated art of sauce-making. It was the 19th-century French chef Antonin Careme who evolved an intricate methodology by which hundreds of sauces were classified under one of five "mother sauces."
French for "small sausage." Saucisson [soh-see-SAWN] is a large, smoke-cured sausage.
Sausage is ground meat mixed with fat, salt and other seasonings, preservatives and sometimes fillers. Such a mixture is usually packed into a casing. Sausages can differ dramatically depending on their ingredients, additives, shape, curing technique, level of dryness and whether fresh or cooked. Most sausages are made with pork or pork combined with other meat, but there are also those made almost entirely from beef, veal, lamb, chicken or game animals.
Saute pan -
A wide pan with straight or slightly curved sides that are generally a little higher than those of a frying pan. It has a long handle on one side; heavy saute pans usually have a loop handle on the other side so the pan can be easily lifted. Saute pans are most often made of stainless steel, enameled cast iron, aluminum, anodized aluminum or copper. As the name suggests, a saute pan efficiently browns and cooks meats and a variety of other foods.
Saute; sauteed; sauteing -
To cook food quickly in a small amount of oil in a skillet or saute pan over direct heat.
Sauvignon Blanc -
[SOH-vihn-yohn , BLAHN, , SOH-vee-nyawn , BLAHN , GK]
Widely cultivated in France and California (and also grown in Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Chile), the Sauvignon Blanc grape imparts a grassy, herbaceous flavor to wine. It`s one of the main grapes used to produce the elegant dry wines from Bordeaux (Graves) and the Loire Valley (Pouilly-Fume), as well as the seductively sweet Sauternes.
n. An herb of which there are two types, summer and winter, both closely related to the mint family. Savory has an aroma and flavor reminiscent of a cross between thyme and mint. Savory adds a piquant flavor to many foods including pates, soups, meat, fish and bean dishes. savory adj. A term describing food that is not sweet but rather piquant and full-flavored.
Savoy cabbage -
This mellow-flavored cabbage is considered by many to be one of the best of its genre for cooking. Savoy has a loose, full head of crinkled leaves varying from dark to pale green. Choose a head that`s heavy for its size. The leaves should be crisp, not limp, and there should be no sign of browning.
A cocktail consisting of whiskey, sugar syrup and a dash each of bitters and pernod. Its name comes from the fact that it was originally served at the Sazerac Coffee House in New Orleans. The first of these potent drinks is said to have been made with Sazerac-du-Forge, a French brandy.
Sbrinz cheese -
A hard grating cheese that originated in the central mountains of Switzerland. It`s made from whole cow`s milk and contains 45 to 50 percent milk fat. Aged from 2 to 3 years, Sbrinz has a dark yellow interior with a brownish-yellow rind. If aged less than this, it is called Spalen. The rich mellow flavor of Sbrinz makes it ideal for both cooking and as a table cheese.
A Middle Eastern dish of bulghur wheat mixed with chopped tomatoes, onions, parsley, mint, olive oil and lemon juice. It`s served cold, often with a crisp bread such as lavosh.
Table d`hote -
This French term literally means "the table of the host". On restaurant menus, however, table d`hote refers to a complete meal of several courses for the price of the entree.
A Mexican-style "sandwich" consisting of a folded corn tortilla filled with various ingredients such as beef, pork, chicken, chorizo sausage, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, onion, guacamole, refried beans and salsa.
Tagine; tajine -
Any of various Moroccan stews featuring meat or poultry gently simmered with vegetables, olives, preserved lemons, garlic and spices like cumin, ginger, pepper, saffron and turmeric. Tagines are often served with couscous.
Long, paper-thin ribbon noodles, usually less than 1/8 inch wide.
Long, thin, flat strips of pasta about 1/4 inch wide. "Tagliatelle" is the name used in northern Italy for fetticcine.
Used in Middle Eastern cooking, tahini is a thick paste made of ground sesame seed. It`s used to flavor various dishes such as hummus and baba ghanoush.
From the Nahuatl word (tamalii), the tamale is a popular Mexican dish that consists of various fillings (such as finely chopped meat and vegetables) coated with a masa dough and wrapped in a softened corn husk. This package is then tied and steamed until the dough is cooked through. The corn husk is peeled back before the tamale is eaten.
Tamale pie -
A dish made with the ingredients of a regular tamale (cornmeal batter, ground meat, cheese and seasonings), except the ingredients are layered and baked in a dish instead of wrapped in a corn husk.
Similar to but thicker than soy sauce, tamari is also a dark sauce made from soybeans. It has a distinctively mellow flavor and is used primarily as a table condiment, as a dipping sauce or for basting.
[TAM-ee, tam-EE, TAM-ihs]
Also called tammycloth, a tamis is a worsted-cloth strainer used to strain liquid mixtures such as sauces.
Tandoori coloring; tandoori paste -
Available in Indian markets, this coloring is used to give foods the traditional red-orange tint of tandoor oven cooking. Tandoori paste can be rubbed directly onto the surface of meats; the powder is generally stirred into a marinade.
A juicy, sweetly tart citrus fruit with few seeds that takes its name from the fact that it`s a cross between the tangerine and the pomelo. There are many hybrids of this loose-skinned fruit, ranging in size from that of a tiny orange to that of a small grapefruit.
An astringent substance found in the seeds and stems of grapes, the bark of some trees and in tea. Tannin is important in the making of good red wines, aiding them in long and graceful aging. When such wines are young, the tannin often gives them a noticeable astringency - a quality that diminishes as the wine ages, mellows and develops character.
Popular throughout Spain in bars and restaurants, tapas are appetizers that usually accompany sherry or other aperitifs or cocktails.
Hailing from France`s Provence region, tapenade is a thick paste made from capers, anchovies, ripe olives, olive oil, lemon juice, seasonings and sometimes small pieces of tuna. It`s used as a condiment and served with crudites, fish, meat, etc.
This Greek specialty is a thick, creamy mixture made with tarama (pale orange carp roe), lemon juice, milk-soaked bread crumbs, olive oil and seasonings. Taramasalata is usually served with bread or crackers as an hors d`oeuvre. It may also be used as a dip for crudites.
Narrow, pointed, dark green leaves distinguish this perennial aromatic herb known for its distinctive aniselike flavor. Tarragon is widely used in classic French cooking for a variety of dishes including chicken, fish and vegetables, as well as many sauces.
Tartar sauce; tartare sauce -
Based on mayonnaise, tartar sauce is a mixture of minced capers, dill pickles, onions or shallots, olives, lemon juice or vinegar and seasonings. It`s traditionally served with fried fish, but can also be used with vegetables.
Tartarian cherry; black Tartarian cherry -
Large and heart-shaped, the Tartarian cherry has a dark purple, almost black, skin and flesh. Inside the thin skin the flesh is sweet, juicy and extremely flavorful. The Tartarian cherry is available from May to September.
Tarte Tatin -
[tart tah-TAN ]
A famous French upside-down apple tart made by covering the bottom of a shallow baking dish with butter and sugar, then apples and finally a pastry crust. While baking, the sugar and butter create a delicious caramel that becomes the topping when the tart is inverted onto a serving plate.
[taht-VAHN , , tahst-VAHN ]
A wine-tasting cup, usually worn on a chain or ribbon around the neck of a sommelier.
A Japanese vegetable that belongs to the ginseng family. Its tender stalks resemble asparagus but have a light fennel flavor. Udo is used raw in salads or lightly cooked in soups and other dishes.
A thick Japanese noodle similiar to spaghetti. It can be round or squared and can be made from wheat or corn flour. Udon is available in Asian markets in both fresh and dried forms.
Pickled Japanese plums that are picked before they`re ripe, then soaked in brine and red shiso leaves, the latter of which adds flavor and a pink coloring. This Japanese condiment is very salty and tart and is a popular adjunct to most Japanese meals, including breakfast. Pureed umeboshi, called bainiku, is used as a seasoning. Umeboshi can be found in jars and cans in Asian markets and in some gourmet markets.
A word describing baked goods (breads, cakes, etc.) that contain no leavener, such as baking powder, baking soda or yeast. Among the most popular unleavened breads are lahvosh.
To remove molded food from the container (usually a decorative mold) in which it was made. The process generally requires inverting the container over a serving plate.
Upside-down cake -
Of this genre, the most popular is undoubtedly the traditional pineapple upside-down cake. Any fruit can be used, however, and this dessert is made by covering the bottom of a cake pan with butter and sugar topped with decoratively arranged fruit, then cake batter.
A dessert consisting of several crisp meringue rings stacked on top of each other and placed on a meringue or pastry base. Alternatively, the rings may be made with almond paste. This "container" may be filled with ice cream or creme chantilly and/or various fruits.
Valencia orange -
[vuh-LEHN-she-uh, vuh-LEHN-shuh, vuh-LEHN-see-uh]
Grown in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, the Valencia orange has a thin, deep golden skin that`s difficult to peel. Its flesh is sweet, juicy and contains few seeds. The Valencia is good both as a juice fruit and for eating out of hand. It`s in season from January to November.
Produced in northern Italy, this dry red wine is light-bodied and has a fragrant bouquet and fruity flavor. It`s best served young and is sometimes viewed as Italy`s version of a French beaujolais.
Varietal wine -
A term describing wines made chiefly from one variety of grape. Such wines portray the dominant characteristics of the primary grape used.
Variety meats -
Called offal in Great Britain, variety meats are animal innards and extremities that can be used in cooking. They include brains, feet and ankles, heart, kidneys, liver, sweetbreads, tongue and tripe. Some of the more obscure variety-meat trimmings are used for sausage.
Veal Oscar; veal Oskar -
Said to have been named in honor of Sweden`s King Oscar II, who was especially partial to its ingredients, this dish consists of sautéed veal cutlets topped with crab or crayfish meat and bearnaise sauce. Veal Oscar is finished with a garnish of asparagus spears.
Veal piccata -
Hailing from Italy, this classic dish consists of a seasoned and floured veal escalope that is quickly sauteed and served with a sauce made from the pan drippings, lemon juice and chopped parsley. Chicken is also sometimes prepared in this manner.
Veal piccata -
Hailing from Italy, this classic dish consists of a seasoned and floured veal escalope that is quickly sautéed and served with a sauce made from the pan drippings, lemon juice and chopped parsley. Chicken is also sometimes prepared in this manner.
French for "veal".
Vegetable oils -
Any of various edible oils made from a plant source, such as vegetables, nuts or seeds.
Vegetable shortening -
A solid fat made from vegetable oils. Although made from oil, shortening has been chemically transformed into a solid state through hydrogenation, a process that creates trans fatty acids and converts the mixture into a saturated fat, thereby destroying any polyunsaturate benefits. Vegetable shortening is virtually flavorless and may be substituted for other fats in baking and cooking. It can be stored at room temperature for up to a year.
Very simply, a vegetarian is one who eschews the consumption of meat or other animal foods. However, vegetarianism, which has been practiced since ancient times, is certainly not one-faceted. The wide-ranging custom of vegetarianism may be based on a variety of personal principles including religious (certain Hindu and Buddhist sects), ethical (cruelty to animals and more efficient use of world food resources), nutritional (the healthy benefits of reducing fat and cholesterol) and economic (nonmeat products are, on the average, less expensive).
Veloute sauce -
One of the five "mother sauces", veloute is a stock-based white sauce. It can be made from chicken or veal stock or fish fumet thickened with white roux. Enrichments such as egg yolks or cream are sometimes also added. Veloute sauce is the base for a number of other sauces.
Velvet hammer -
A rich, creamy cocktail made with cointreau or triple sec, tia maria, heavy cream and sometimes brandy. The mixture is shaken with ice and strained into a cocktail glass. The result is smooth but potent.
[VER-joos, Fr , . vehr-ZHOO]
An acidic, sour liquid made from unripe fruit, primarily grapes. Verjuice is used in preparations like sauces and mustards to heighten flavor, much as lemon juice or vinegar would be employed. It is occasionally available in specialty gourmet shops.
Italian for "little worms", culinarily the term refers to pasta shaped into very thin strands. Vermicelli is much thinner than regular spaghetti.
White wine that has been fortified and flavored with various herbs and spices. The name "vermouth" comes from the German wermut ("wormwood") which, before it was declared poisonous, was once the principal flavoring ingredient.
A term describing dishes garnished with seedless white grapes. One of the most popular of these dishes is sole Veronique - fillet of sole poached in white wine, covered with a white sauce and garnished with white grapes.
Verte, sauce -
French for "green sauce", sauce verte is simply green-colored mayonnaise. To obtain the color, a green ingredient (such as parsley, spinach or watercress) is blanched, pureed, then placed in the middle of a kitchen towel and squeezed tightly. The extracted juice is mixed with mayonnaise, resulting in a green-colored mixture that simply tastes like mayonnaise. Sauce verte is typically served with cold fish dishes.
The French word for "meat".
Vichy carrots -
A dish of thinly sliced carrots that are combined with a small amount of water (to be authentic it must be vichy water), butter and sugar, then covered and cooked over low heat until tender. Vichy carrots (also called carrots a la Vichy) are garnished with minced parsley.
The honeycombed surface of this crisp, light bread is perfect for holding pockets of syrup. Waffles are made by pouring a light batter onto one side of a waffle iron, a special hinged cooking utensil with two honeycomb patterned griddles. The second side is closed over the batter and the waffle is cooked until browned and crisp.
With a flavor often compared to that of albacore, the wahoo`s moderate- to high-fat flesh is fine, white (with a little red) and slightly sweet. In fact, Hawaiians call this fish ono, which means "sweet". Wahoo are normally caught in the 20- to 40-pound range although they can get much larger. Those that reach the market are usually in the form of chunks or in fillet pieces. Wahoo may be baked, broiled or grilled.
A deep green, edible seaweed popular in Japan and other Asian countries. It`s used like a vegetable in soups and simmered dishes, as well as occasionally in salads. The browner versions are more strongly flavored. Wakame is available both in fresh and dried forms in Asian markets.
Waldorf salad -
Created at New York`s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in the 1890s, the original version of this salad contained only apples, celery and mayonnaise. Chopped walnuts later became an integral part of the dish. Waldorf salad is usually served on top of a bed of lettuce.
Walnut oil -
Its distinctively nutty flavor and fragrance make it obvious that this oil is extracted from walnut meats. Walnut oil is frequently used in salad dressings, often combined with less flavorful oils. It can also be used in sauces, main dishes and baked goods, and for sauteing. The French term for walnut oil is huile de noix.
Wasabi; wasabe -
This Japanese version of horseradish comes from the root of an Asian plant. It`s used to make into a green-colored condiment that has a sharp, pungent, fiery flavor. Some specialty produce markets carry fresh wasabi, which may be grated like horseradish. In Japan, sushi and sashimi are served with a condiment of wasabi mixed with soy sauce.
Ves heill, Norse for "be in good health", is an old toast and the origin of this word. Wassail is a drink consisting of ale or wine sweetened with sugar and flavored with spices. This brew is traditionally served in a large "wassail bowl", garnished with small roasted apples and ladled into serving cups.
Water bath -
The French call this cooking technique bain marie. It consists of placing a container (pan, bowl, souffle dish, etc.) 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 cooked foods warm.
Water biscuit -
A bland, crisp cracker that`s often served with cheese and wine. The fact that the cracker is almost flavorless makes it a perfect foil for most foods because it allows their natural flavor to be appreciated.
Water chestnut powder -
Also called water chestnut flour, this powdered starch is ground from dried water chestnuts. It`s used as a thickener in Asian cooking. Like cornstarch, it`s mixed with a small amount of water before being added to the hot mixture to be thickened. It can also be used to dredge foods before frying. Water chestnut powder is available in Asian markets and in some health-food stores.
This classic Belgian dish is a creamy-rich fish stew that can be made with either fresh- or saltwater fish. A chicken rendition is also popular. All versions include a variety of vegetables and herbs, and are enriched with egg yolks, cream and butter.
Wax paper; waxed paper -
Semitransparent paper with a thin coating of wax on both sides. Because of its moistureproof and nonstick characteristics, wax paper used to play a major role in the kitchen for duties such as covering food and lining baking pans. In recent years, however, wax paper has been replaced in many of its roles by aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
A member of the drum fish family but different from the croaker and black and red drums. The weakfish gets its name from the weak flesh around the mouth that tears easily when hooked. It has white, lean, finely textured flesh and is considered an excellent food fish. This species, which is found in the Atlantic and parts of the Pacific along both North and South America, is also called seatrout, spotted sea trout, squeteague, gray trout and corvina (or corbina).
Wehani rice -
Considered an aromatic rice, Wehani is a light clay-colored brown rice that splits slightly when cooked. It resembles cooked wild rice and has a fragrance akin to popcorn. Wehani, which is related to basmati rice, was developed at the famous rice-growing Lundberg Family Farms in Richvale, California.
Weiner dog -
Another name for a hot dog.
German for "white sausage", weisswurst is a delicate sausage made with veal, cream and eggs. It`s traditionally served during Oktoberfest with sweet mustard, rye bread and beer.
Well-and-tree platter -
A platter with troughs formed into the bottom to resemble bare tree branches attached to a central trunk, at one end of which is a shallow well. Such a configuration allows the juices of meats being cut on the platter to drain.
Welsh rabbit; Welsh rarebit -
This popular British dish consists of a melted mixture of cheddar cheese, beer (sometimes ALE or milk) and seasonings served over toast. The cheese mixture can also be toasted on the bread. Welsh rabbit is usually served as a main course or for high tea, often accompanied with tomatoes. Welsh rabbit becomes a golden buck when topped with a poached egg.
Wheat beer -
A beer made from malted wheat, characterized by its pale color and subtle, lager like flavor.
The watery liquid that separates from the solids (curds) in cheesemaking. Whey is sometimes further processed into whey cheese. It can be separated another step, with butter being made from the fattier share. Whey is also used in processed foods such as crackers. Primarily, however, whey is more often used as livestock feed than it is in the human diet.
n. 1. A gelatin-based dessert that`s airy and light because of the addition of either whipped cream or stiffly beaten egg whites. Such desserts are usually made with fruit puree but can also be flavored with other ingredients such as chocolate or coffee. 2. Another name for a whisk. whip v. To beat ingredients, such as egg whites, cream, etc., thereby incorporating air into them and increasing their volume until they are light and fluffy.
Also called a whip, this kitchen utensil consists of a series of looped wires forming a three-dimensional teardrop shape. The wires are joined and held together with a long handle. Whisks are used for whipping ingredients (such as cream, eggs, sauces, etc.), thereby incorporating air into them. They come in different sizes for different tasks and are most often made of stainless steel or tinned steel.
Whiskey; whisky -
An alcoholic distillate obtained from a fermented mash of grains such as barley, rye or corn. There are many varieties of whiskey - or whisky , as it`s spelled in Scotland and Canada. The final result is affected by many factors including the water, type of grain, how the grain is treated and processed and the aging. Among the more popular whiskies are Bourbon, Canadian whisky, Irish whiskey, Rye and Scotch.
Xanthan gum -
Produced from the fermentation of corn sugar, xanthan gum is used as a thickener, emulsifier and stabilizer in foods such as dairy products and salad dressings.
XXX; XXXX -
Label symbols used for confectioners` sugar.
The Japanese term for foods (usually meat) that are grilled, broiled or pan-fried. The ingredients are generally either marinated in sauce or salted. They`re then skewered so they retain their shape and grilled over a hot fire so the skin (if any) is very crisp while the meat stays tender and juicy.
A Japanese term meaning "grilled" (yaki) "fowl" (tori), usually referring to small pieces of marinated chicken that are skewered and grilled.
Any of several very pungent, aromatic herbs found in Europe and North America. Known as milfoil in Europe, yarrow has a very strong aroma and flavor and is therefore used sparingly to flavor salads, soups and occasionally egg dishes. It may also be used to brew a tisane (herb tea).
Yeast bread -
Any bread that uses yeast as the leavening agent. As the yeast ferments, it converts the flour`s starchy nutrients into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. The gas bubbles trapped in the elastic gluten mesh of the dough are what make it rise. Oven heat kills the yeast and evaporates the alcohol. The gas expands in a final burst of energy and causes the bread to rise.
1. This large (up to 100 pounds) game fish is found off the coast of Southern California and further south into Mexican waters. It`s a member of the jack family - related to pompano - with a flavor and texture similar to tuna. Yellowtail is only occasionally available commercially. It may be prepared in any way suitable for tuna. 2. A variety of snapper.
Yogurt; yoghurt -
A dairy product that`s the result of milk that has fermented and coagulated because it`s been invaded by friendly bacteria. This can be accomplished naturally by keeping the milk at about 110°F for several hours. The end result is a creamy-textured yogurt with an astringent, slightly tart taste.
York Imperial apple -
A medium to large apple with firm flesh that`s tartly sweet. The York Imperial`s skin is red with yellowish streaks and the flesh is off-white. It`s an excellent cooking apple and is a favorite for baked apples because it keeps its shape during cooking. This apple is available October through April.
Yorkshire pudding -
British roast beef wouldn`t be complete without Yorkshire pudding, which is like a cross between a popover and a souffle and not at all like a pudding. It`s made with a batter of eggs, milk and flour, baked in beef drippings until puffy, crisp and golden brown. It may be prepared in a shallow baking dish, muffin tins or other small containers, or in the same pan as the roast. Like a hot souffle, Yorkshire pudding will deflate shortly after it`s removed from the oven. This specialty takes its name from England`s northern county of Yorkshire.
A type of nabemono (one-pot meal) consisting of chicken, seafood and vegetables all combined in a single pot of seasoned broth - kind of a Japanese bouillabaise.
A hybrid blackberry variety with dark red color and sweet, juicy flesh.
Popular throughout Turkey and North Africa, zahtar is a spice blend comprised of sesame seeds mixed with powdered sumac and dried thyme. It`s sprinkled over meats and vegetables, or mixed with oil as a spread for bread. Zahtar can be found in Middle Eastern markets.
A Russian hors d`oeuvre, which could include any of a variety of foods such as anchovies, blinis, cavisr, cheeses, fish, oysters and fish- or meat-filled pastries. A zakuska assortment is generally served with bottles of ice-cold vodka.
The perfumy outermost skin layer of citrus fruit (usually oranges or lemons), which is removed with the aid of a citrus zester, paring knife or vegetable peeler. Only the colored portion of the skin (and not the white pith) is considered the zest. The aromatic oils in citrus zest are what add so much flavor to food. Zest can be used to flavor raw or cooked and sweet or savory dishes.
Zingara, à la -
This French phrase translates to "gypsy style" and refers to a garnish consisting of chopped ham, tongue, mushrooms and truffles combined with tomato sauce, tarragon and sometimes madeira. This garnish is served with meat, poultry and sometimes eggs.
Long, thin tubes of macaroni.
Extraordinarily potent, this cocktail is made with at least two types each of rum and liqueur plus two or three fruit juices such as pineapple, orange and lime. It`s usually served in a large goblet over crushed ice, garnished with slices of pineapple and orange and a maraschino cherry. The origin of the name is unknown, but it`s been said that one or two of these drinks can make one feel numb ... rather like a zombie.
Thought to have been inspired by the cupola of Florence, Italy`s, Duomo (the city`s main cathedral), this dome-shaped dessert begins with a bowl lined with liqueur-moistened cake (usually pound cake) slices. The bowl is then filled with a mixture of sweetened whipped cream, chopped or grated chocolate and various chopped nuts before being topped with additional cake slices. The zuccotto is refrigerated at least a day so the filling can set. It`s inverted onto a plate before being served.
A variety of German blood sausage that contains chunks of pickled tongue. This dried sausage can be eaten raw, although it`s more commonly sliced and browned in butter or bacon fat.
Zuppa inglese -
Literally translated as "English soup", this Italian dish is, in fact, a refrigerated dessert similar to the British favorite, trifle. It`s 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).