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Culinary dictionary

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All words: 23

Waffle - 
[WAHF-fuhl] The honeycombed surface of this crisp, light bread is perfect for holding pockets of syrup. Waffles are made by pouring a light batter onto one side of a waffle iron, a special hinged cooking utensil with two honeycomb patterned griddles. The second side is closed over the batter and the waffle is cooked until browned and crisp.

Wahoo - 
[wah-HOO, WAH-hoo] With a flavor often compared to that of albacore, the wahoo`s moderate- to high-fat flesh is fine, white (with a little red) and slightly sweet. In fact, Hawaiians call this fish ono, which means "sweet". Wahoo are normally caught in the 20- to 40-pound range although they can get much larger. Those that reach the market are usually in the form of chunks or in fillet pieces. Wahoo may be baked, broiled or grilled.

Wakame - 
[wah-KAH-meh] A deep green, edible seaweed popular in Japan and other Asian countries. It`s used like a vegetable in soups and simmered dishes, as well as occasionally in salads. The browner versions are more strongly flavored. Wakame is available both in fresh and dried forms in Asian markets.

Waldorf salad - 
[WAWL-dorf] Created at New York`s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in the 1890s, the original version of this salad contained only apples, celery and mayonnaise. Chopped walnuts later became an integral part of the dish. Waldorf salad is usually served on top of a bed of lettuce.

Walnut oil - 
Its distinctively nutty flavor and fragrance make it obvious that this oil is extracted from walnut meats. Walnut oil is frequently used in salad dressings, often combined with less flavorful oils. It can also be used in sauces, main dishes and baked goods, and for sauteing. The French term for walnut oil is huile de noix.

Wasabi; wasabe - 
[WAH-sah-bee] This Japanese version of horseradish comes from the root of an Asian plant. It`s used to make into a green-colored condiment that has a sharp, pungent, fiery flavor. Some specialty produce markets carry fresh wasabi, which may be grated like horseradish. In Japan, sushi and sashimi are served with a condiment of wasabi mixed with soy sauce.

Wassail - 
[WAHS-uhl, WAHS-ayl] Ves heill, Norse for "be in good health", is an old toast and the origin of this word. Wassail is a drink consisting of ale or wine sweetened with sugar and flavored with spices. This brew is traditionally served in a large "wassail bowl", garnished with small roasted apples and ladled into serving cups.

Water bath - 
The French call this cooking technique bain marie. It consists of placing a container (pan, bowl, souffle dish, etc.) of food in a large, shallow pan of warm water, which surrounds the food with gentle heat. The food may be cooked in this manner either in an oven or on top of a range. This technique is designed to cook delicate dishes such as custards, sauces and savory mousses without breaking or curdling them. It can also be used to keep cooked foods warm.

Water biscuit - 
A bland, crisp cracker that`s often served with cheese and wine. The fact that the cracker is almost flavorless makes it a perfect foil for most foods because it allows their natural flavor to be appreciated.

Water chestnut powder - 
Also called water chestnut flour, this powdered starch is ground from dried water chestnuts. It`s used as a thickener in Asian cooking. Like cornstarch, it`s mixed with a small amount of water before being added to the hot mixture to be thickened. It can also be used to dredge foods before frying. Water chestnut powder is available in Asian markets and in some health-food stores.

Waterzooi - 
[VAH-tuhr-zoh-ee] This classic Belgian dish is a creamy-rich fish stew that can be made with either fresh- or saltwater fish. A chicken rendition is also popular. All versions include a variety of vegetables and herbs, and are enriched with egg yolks, cream and butter.

Wax paper; waxed paper - 
Semitransparent paper with a thin coating of wax on both sides. Because of its moistureproof and nonstick characteristics, wax paper used to play a major role in the kitchen for duties such as covering food and lining baking pans. In recent years, however, wax paper has been replaced in many of its roles by aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

Weakfish - 
A member of the drum fish family but different from the croaker and black and red drums. The weakfish gets its name from the weak flesh around the mouth that tears easily when hooked. It has white, lean, finely textured flesh and is considered an excellent food fish. This species, which is found in the Atlantic and parts of the Pacific along both North and South America, is also called seatrout, spotted sea trout, squeteague, gray trout and corvina (or corbina).

Wehani rice - 
[weh-HAH-nee] Considered an aromatic rice, Wehani is a light clay-colored brown rice that splits slightly when cooked. It resembles cooked wild rice and has a fragrance akin to popcorn. Wehani, which is related to basmati rice, was developed at the famous rice-growing Lundberg Family Farms in Richvale, California.

Weiner dog - 
Another name for a hot dog.

Weisswurst - 
[VICE-voorst, vice-vurscht] German for "white sausage", weisswurst is a delicate sausage made with veal, cream and eggs. It`s traditionally served during Oktoberfest with sweet mustard, rye bread and beer.

Well-and-tree platter - 
A platter with troughs formed into the bottom to resemble bare tree branches attached to a central trunk, at one end of which is a shallow well. Such a configuration allows the juices of meats being cut on the platter to drain.

Welsh rabbit; Welsh rarebit - 
This popular British dish consists of a melted mixture of cheddar cheese, beer (sometimes ALE or milk) and seasonings served over toast. The cheese mixture can also be toasted on the bread. Welsh rabbit is usually served as a main course or for high tea, often accompanied with tomatoes. Welsh rabbit becomes a golden buck when topped with a poached egg.

Wheat beer - 
A beer made from malted wheat, characterized by its pale color and subtle, lager like flavor.

Whey - 
[HWAY, WAY] The watery liquid that separates from the solids (curds) in cheesemaking. Whey is sometimes further processed into whey cheese. It can be separated another step, with butter being made from the fattier share. Whey is also used in processed foods such as crackers. Primarily, however, whey is more often used as livestock feed than it is in the human diet.

Whip - 
n. 1. A gelatin-based dessert that`s airy and light because of the addition of either whipped cream or stiffly beaten egg whites. Such desserts are usually made with fruit puree but can also be flavored with other ingredients such as chocolate or coffee. 2. Another name for a whisk. whip v. To beat ingredients, such as egg whites, cream, etc., thereby incorporating air into them and increasing their volume until they are light and fluffy.

Whisk - 
[HWIHSK, WIHSK] Also called a whip, this kitchen utensil consists of a series of looped wires forming a three-dimensional teardrop shape. The wires are joined and held together with a long handle. Whisks are used for whipping ingredients (such as cream, eggs, sauces, etc.), thereby incorporating air into them. They come in different sizes for different tasks and are most often made of stainless steel or tinned steel.

Whiskey; whisky - 
[HWIHSK-ee, WIHSK-ee] An alcoholic distillate obtained from a fermented mash of grains such as barley, rye or corn. There are many varieties of whiskey - or whisky , as it`s spelled in Scotland and Canada. The final result is affected by many factors including the water, type of grain, how the grain is treated and processed and the aging. Among the more popular whiskies are Bourbon, Canadian whisky, Irish whiskey, Rye and Scotch.

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