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Culinary dictionary

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All words: 41

Dab - 
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.

Dacquoise - 
[da-KWAHZ] 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.

Daikon - 
[DI-kuhn, DI-kon] 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.

Daiquiri - 
[DAK-uh-ree] 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.

Daizu - 
[DI-zoo] Japanese term for "dried soybeans".

Dal; dhal, dhall - 
[DAHL] 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 - 
[DAN-uh-bloo] 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 - 
[DAN-boh] 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.

Dariole - 
[DEHR-ee-ohl, dah-ree-OHL] 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 - 
[dahr-JEE-ling] 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.

Dash - 
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.

Dashi - 
[DA-shee] 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 - 
[dow MEW] 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 soupon 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.

Daube - 
[DOHB] 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.

Dauphine - 
[doh-FEEN] 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.

Decant - 
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.

Decanter - 
A narrow-necked, stoppered container - usually made of glass - used to hold wine, liqueur or other spirits.

Deglaze - 
[dee-GLAYZ] 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.

Demi-glace - 
[DEHM-ee glahs] 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.

Demitasse - 
[DEHM-ee-tahss, DEHM-ee-tass] 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.

Devil - 
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 - 
[dee-AH-bl] 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.

Dice - 
To cut food into tiny (about 1/8- to 1/4-inch) cubes.

Digestif - 
[dee-zheh-STEEF] 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 - 
[dee-ZHOHN] 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.

Diples - 
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.

Dissolve - 
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.

Distillation - 
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.

Divinity - 
[dih-VIHN-ih-tee] 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.

Dolce - 
[DOHL-chay, DOHL-chee] Italian for "sweet," referring culinarily to desserts, candy or other sweets.

Dolcelatte cheese - 
[dol-chay-LAHT-tay] 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,

Dosage - 
[doh-SAHJ] 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.

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