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Culinary dictionary

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All words: 43

Sabayon - 
[sah-bah-YAWN ] The French word for "zabaglione".

Sablefish - 
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 - 
[SAH-bruh] A chocolate-orange-flavored liqueur made in Israel.

Sachertorte; Sacher torte - 
[SAH-kuhr-tohrt] 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.

Saddle - 
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.

Saganaki - 
[sah-gah-NAH-kee] 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.

Sago - 
[SAY-goh] 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.

Saint-Germain - 
[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.

Sake - 
[SAH-kee, SAH-kay] 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.

Salami - 
[suh-LAH-mee] 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 - 
[SAWLZ-beh-ree] 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.

Salmagundi - 
[sal-muh-GUHN-dee] 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 - 
[SAL-mee] 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.

Salpicon - 
[sal-pee-KON ] 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.

Salsa - 
[SAHL-sah] 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.

Salt - 
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.

Sambuca - 
[sam-BOO-kuh] An anise-flavored, not-too-sweet Italian liqueur that is usually served with 2 or 3 dark-roasted coffee beans floating on top.

Samp - 
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.

Sangria - 
[san-GREE-uh] 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.

Sansho - 
[SAHN-show] 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 - 
[sap-SAY-goh] 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.

Sardine - 
[sahr-DEEN] 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.

Sashimi - 
[sah-SHEE-mee] 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 - 
[sah-TAY] 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.

Sauce - 
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."

Saucisse - 
[soh-SEES] French for "small sausage." Saucisson [soh-see-SAWN] is a large, smoke-cured sausage.

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 - 
[saw-TAY, soh-TAY] 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.

Savory - 
[SAY-vuh-ree] 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.

Sazerac - 
[SAZ-uh-rak] 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 - 
[ZBRIHNZ] 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.

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