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Culinary dictionary

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All words: 31

Oeuf - 
[OUF] The French word for "egg".

Oils - 
Oils have been used for cooking since prehistoric times. In general, oils come from vegetable sources - plants, nuts, seeds, etc. An oil is extracted from its source by one of two methods. In the solvent-extraction method, the ground ingredient is soaked in a chemical solvent that is later removed by boiling. The second method produces cold pressed oils, which is somewhat a misnomer because the mixture is heated to temperatures up to 160?F before being pressed to extract the oil. After the oil is extracted, it`s either left in its crude state or refined.

Okara - 
[oh-KAH-rah] The residue that is left after the liquid is drained off when making soybean curd (tofu). This white by-product resembles wet sawdust. Okara, which is high in protein and fiber, is used in Japanese cooking for soups, vegetable dishes and even salads. It can be found in Asian markets that sell fresh tofu.

Okashi - 
[oh-KAH-shee] Japanese for confections, pastries and sweets. Sometimes spelled simply kashi.

Okolehao - 
[oh-koh-leh-HAH-oh] An 80 proof Hawaiian liquor made from a mash of the TI plant. It`s often substituted for rum and, like rum, comes in white (colorless) and golden versions. Okolehao is known on the islands as oke.

Olallieberry; olallie berry - 
[AHL-uh-lee] Grown mainly on the West Coast, this cross between a youngberry and a loganberry has a distinctive, sweet flavor and resembles a large, elongated blackberry. It`s delicious both fresh and cooked and makes excellent jams and jellies.

Old-fashioned - 
Said to have been made initially with a brand of Kentucky bourbon called "Old 1776" in the late 1800s, this drink is made by combining whiskey (usually Bourbon or Rye), a small amount of water, a dash of bitters and a sugar cube (or the equivalent amount of sugar syrup). It`s served over ice in a squat glass - commonly called an old-fashioned glass - and garnished with an orange slice and a Maraschino cherry.

Olivada - 
[oh-lee-VAH-dah] An Italian olive spread, which is generally a simple combination of pureed Italian black olives, olive oil and black pepper.

Olive - 
Olive varieties number in the dozens and vary in size and flavor. All fresh olives are bitter and the final flavor of the fruit greatly depends on how ripe it is when picked and the processing it receives. Underripe olives are always green, whereas ripe olives may be either green or black.

Olive oil - 
Pressing tree-ripened olives extracts a flavorful, monounsaturated oil that is prized throughout the world both for cooking (particularly in Mediterranean countries) and for salads. Today`s marketplace provides a wide selection of domestic olive oil (most of which comes from California) and imported oils from France, Greece, Italy and Spain. The flavor, color and fragrance of olive oils can vary dramatically depending on distinctions such as growing region and the crop`s condition.

Oloroso - 
[oh-loh-ROH-soh] A full-flavored sherry that has a dark, rich color. Olorosos are usually aged longer than most sherries and are therefore also more expensive. They`re often labeled cream or golden sherry.

Olympia oyster - 
[oh-LIHM-pee-uh] Native to the Pacific Coast, the Olympia oyster is found primarily in the Pacific Northwest around Washington's Puget Sound. It`s very small, seldom exceeding 1 1/2 inches. The Olympia has an excellent flavor and is a favorite for eating on the half shell. Because they are so small, it takes a fair number to satisfy most oyster aficionados.

Omelet; omelette - 
[AHM-leht] A mixture of eggs, seasonings and sometimes water or milk, cooked in butter until firm and filled or topped with various fillings such as cheese, ham, mushrooms, onions, peppers, sausage and herbs. Sweet omelets can be filled with jelly, custard or fruit, sprinkled with confectioners` sugar or flamed with various liquors or liqueurs.

On the half shell - 
A phrase commonly used to describe raw oysters served on the bottom shell only, usually on a plate of crushed ice or, in the case of cooked dishes such as oysters rockefeller, on a bed of rock salt.

On the rocks - 
When a beverage (usually liquor) is served over ice without added water or other mixer, it`s usually referred to as "on the rocks".

Onion - 
Related to the lily, this underground bulb is prized around the world for the magic it makes in a multitude of dishes with its pungent flavor and odor. There are two main classifications of onion - green onions (also called scallions) and dry onions, which are simply mature onions with a juicy flesh covered with dry, papery skin. Dry onions come in a wide range of sizes, shapes and flavors.

Opah - 
Also called moonfish ,the opah is a marine fish that can reach up to 200 pounds. The pinkish flesh of this fish is rich, full flavored and fine textured. It`s suitable for baking, poaching and steaming.

Opakapaka; opaka-paka - 
[oh-pah-kah-PAH-kah] A deep water marine fish found in the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands. Its sweet, delicate flesh ranges from white to pink in color, however, cooked opakapaka is always white. It can run from lean to fat, depending on the season (they`re fattier in the winter). Opakapaka is suitable for almost any cooking method.

Orange roughy - 
[RUHF-ee] This New Zealand fish (also known as slimehead) is fast becoming popular in the United States. It`s low in fat, has firm white flesh and a mild flavor. Orange roughy is available in specialty fish markets and some supermarkets. It can be poached, baked, broiled or fried.

Orange-flower water - 
A perfumy distillation of bitter-orange blossoms. Orange-flower water is used as a flavoring in baked goods, various sweet and savory dishes and a variety of drinks, such as the Ramos gin fizz cocktail.

Oregano - 
This herb, sometimes called wild marjoram , belongs to the mint family and is related to both marjoram and thyme. Oregano is similar to marjoram but is not as sweet and has a stronger, more pungent flavor and aroma. Choose bright-green, fresh-looking bunches with no sign of wilting or yellowing. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 3 days.

Orzo - 
[OHR-zoh] In Italian this means "barley," but it`s actually a tiny, rice-shaped pasta, slightly smaller than a pine nut. Orzo is ideal for soups and wonderful when served as a substitute for rice.

Osso buco; ossobuco - 
[AW-soh BOO-koh, OH-soh BOO-koh] An Italian dish made of veal shanks braised with olive oil, white wine, stock, onions, tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, carrots, celery and lemon peel. Traditionally, osso buco is garnished with gremolata and served accompanied by risotto.

Ouzo - 
[OO-zoh] From Greece, this clear, sweet anise-flavored liqueur is usually served as an aperitif. It`s generally mixed with water, which turns it whitish and opaque.

Oxtail - 
The oxtail was once really from an ox but nowadays the term generally refers to beef or veal tail. Though it`s quite bony, this cut of meat is very flavorful. Because it can be extremely tough (depending on the age of the animal), oxtail requires long, slow braising. It`s often used for stews or soups such as the hearty English classic oxtail soup, which includes vegetables, barley and herbs and is often flavored with Sherry or Madeira.

Oyster crab - 
A diminutive (less than 1 inch wide) soft-shell crab that makes its home inside an oyster and lives off the food its host eats. Oyster crabs are certainly not found in all oysters, and most oyster processing plants don`t bother to collect them during shucking so the supply is very limited. They`re best prepared simply sauteed in butter. Gourmets consider these pale-pink crustaceans a delicacy.

Oyster mushroom - 
This fan-shaped mushroom grows both wild and cultivated in close clusters, often on rotting tree trunks. They`re also called oyster caps, tree mushrooms, tree oyster mushrooms, summer oyster mushrooms, pleurotte and shimeji. The cap varies in color from pale gray to dark brownish-gray. The stems are grayish-white. The flavor of raw oyster mushrooms is fairly robust and slightly peppery but becomes much milder when cooked.

Oyster sauce - 
A dark-brown sauce consisting of oysters, brine and soy sauce cooked until thick and concentrated. It`s a popular Asian seasoning used to prepare a multitude of dishes (particularly stir-fries) and as a table condiment. Oyster sauce imparts a richness to dishes without overpowering their natural flavor. It`s available in many supermarkets and all Asian markets.

Oysters Bienville - 
A dish named in honor of Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, the founder of New Orleans. Oysters Bienville was created in the late 1930s at one of New Orleans`s most famous restaurants, Antoine`s. It consists of oysters on the half shell topped with a bechamel sauce flavored with Sherry and Cayenne and mixed with sauteed garlic, shallots, mushrooms and minced shrimp. A bread crumb-grated cheese mixture is sprinkled over the top and the oysters are baked on a bed of rock salt until bubbly and browned.

Ozoni - 
[oh-ZOH-nee] A Japanese soup that`s traditionally served at New Year`s festivities, although it`s popular at other times of the year as well. Also called simply zoni, this soup contains pieces of chicken and various other ingredients (depending on the cook) including dashi, daikon and other vegetables. Ozoni is served in deep bowls over rice cakes.

O`Brien potatoes - 
Although the origin of the name is vague, it seems to come from the longtime association between the Irish and potatoes. The dish consists of diced potatoes (sometimes precooked) that are fried with chopped onions and pimientos until the potatoes are crisp and brown. Some variations use sweet red or green peppers instead of pimientos.

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