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Culinary dictionary

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All words: 29

Nacho - 
[NAH-choh] 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 - 
[nahm PLAH] 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 - 
[nahm PRIHK] 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.

Nameko - 
[NAH-meh-koh] 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 - 
[nan-TOO-uh] A bechamel-based sauce made with cream and crayfish butter and garnished with crayfish tails. Nantua sauce is served with seafood or egg dishes.

Nap - 
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 - 
[nahg-SEE goh-REHNG] 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.

Natto - 
[NAH-toh] 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 - 
[nee-uh-PAHL-uh-tuhn] 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".

Neat - 
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 - 
[noo-shuh-TELL, NOO-shuh-tell] 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.

Newburg - 
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.

Niboshi - 
[nee-BOH-shee] 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 - 
[nee-SWAHZ] 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 - 
[nee-SWAHZ] 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.

Nockerl - 
[NOK-uhrl] 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.

Nog - 
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.

Noisette - 
[nwah-ZEHT] 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.

Nonpareil - 
[non-puh-REHL] 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.

Noodles - 
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.

Nougat - 
[NOO-guht] 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 - 
[noo-ahk CHAHM] 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.

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