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Culinary dictionary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
  
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All words: 56

Macaroni - 
[mak-uh-ROH-nee] 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.

Macaroon - 
[mak-uh-ROON] 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.

Maccheroni - 
[mahk-kay-ROH-nee] The Italian word for all types of macaroni, from hollow tubes, to shells, to twists.

Macedoine - 
[mas-eh-DWAHN] 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.

Macerate - 
[MAS-uh-rayt] 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.

Mackerel - 
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 - 
[muh-KOON] 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 - 
[mad-uh-GAS-cahr] Another name for lima bean.

Madeira - 
[muh-DEER-uh] 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.

Madeleine - 
[MAD-l-ihn, mad-LEHN] 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.

Mafalda - 
[mahl-FAHL-duh] A broad, flat noodle that resembles a narrow, ripple-edged lasagna noodle.

Magdalena - 
[mahg-dah-LAY-nah] 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.

Magliette - 
[mah-LYAY-tay] 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 - 
[MAH-lehb] 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 - 
[MI-ti] 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.

Mais - 
[mah-EESS] 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`.

Maiz - 
[mah-EES, Sp. , mah-EETH] The Mexican and Spanish word for "corn".

Maize - 
[MAYZ] The European word for corn.

Malt - 
[MAWLT] 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 - 
[mahl-TEHZ, mahl-TEEZ] 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.

Maltose - 
[MAHL-tohs] 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 - 
[mahn-CHAY-goh] 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 - 
[MAN-duh-rihn] 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 - 
[man-duh-RIHN] An orange-flavored liqueur made with cognac and mandarin oranges.

Mango - 
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.

Manhattan - 
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.

Manicotti - 
[man-uh-KOT-tee] 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.

Mannitol - 
[MAN-ih-tahl] A white, crystalline sweetener added to processed foods for the purpose of thickening, stabilizing and sweetening.

Manzanilla - 
[mahn-zuh-NEE-yuh, mahn-suh-NEEL-yuh] 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 - 
[mar-uh-SKEE-noh, mar-uh-SHEE-noh] A bittersweet, cherry-flavored Italian liqueur made from wild marasca cherries (and their crushed pits) grown in the area of Trieste.

Marengo, a la - 
[muh-RENG-goh] 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.

Margarita - 
[mahr-gah-REE-tah] 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.

Marigold - 
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.

Marinade - 
[MEHR-ih-nayd] 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 - 
[mah-ree-NAHR-uh] A highly seasoned Italian tomato sauce made with onions, garlic and oregano. It`s used with pasta and some meats.

Mariniere - 
[mah-reen-YEHR] 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 - 
[MARHL-bur-oh] 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.

Marmalade - 
[MAHR-muh-layd] 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 - 
[ma-ROHN glah-SAY] 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.

Marrow - 
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.

Marrowbone - 
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.

Marsala - 
[mahr-SAH-lah] 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.

Martini - 
[mahr-TEE-nee] 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.

Marzipan - 
[MAHR-zih-pan] 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.

Mash - 
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.

Matcha - 
[MAH-tchah] 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 - 
[maht-soo-TAH-kay, maht-soo-TAH-kee] 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 - 
[MAHT-suh bri] 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 - 
[MAHT-suh] 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.

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