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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.