A French term meaning "in white" and identifying foods, usually meats, that aren't browned during cooking.
French, literally, prepared in the style of.
A menu term signifying that each item is priced separately. See also prix fixe; table D'HÔte.
an American dish of diced foods, usually chicken or turkey, in a cream sauce with pimientos, mushrooms, green peppers and sometimes sherry.
small cuts of meat and poultry which are breaded and fried in butter. Green asparagus tips and truffles are usual in the garnish.
literally, following the fashion. In the United States, it is food that is served with ice cream; in France it names braised meat smothered in sauce.
dishes with black olives, tomatoes, garlic, anchovies and dried cherries. Also, a candy of caramelized sugar and browned almonds.
to be cooked or garnished with fresh spring vegetables. Printemps is the French word for spring.
a dish including garlic, olive oil, tomatoes and often black olives.
1. The French term used for food cooked just to the perfect point of doneness. 2. When referring to meat, à point means that a steak is cooked rare.
A small, oblong, cream-filled pastry made with Choux Pastry (cream-puff pastry dough). Unlike Cream Puffs, éclairs are usually topped with a sweet icing such as a chocolate glaze.
French for "spice."
Literally meaning "fine spices," this complex blend of herbs and spices is usually marketed under the name spice parisienne.
French for "spinach."
This popular cajun dish is a thick, spicy stew of fish and vegetables served over white rice. Its rich, deep color and flavor come from the dark brown roux on which it's based. The word étouffée comes from the French étouffer, which means "to smother" or "to suffocate." The term á l'étouffée refers to the method of cooking food in a minute amount of liquid, tightly covered and over very low heat.
A strongly flavored garlic mayonnaise from the Provence region of southern France. It's a popular accompaniment for fish, meats and vegetables.
A menu term meaning "as quoted," referring to generally high-priced foods, the price of which may vary depending on the season. The server will be able to quote the price of an A.Q. item.
Italian for a very young lamb.
Reputed to be an aphrodisiac, absinthe is a potent, bitter liqueur distilled from wormwood and flavored with a variety of herbs. It has a distinct anise flavor and is 68 percent alcohol (136 proof). Absinthe is usually diluted with water, which changes the color of the liqueur from green to milky white. Because it's considered habit forming and hazardous to health, absinthe is prohibited in many countries and was banned in the United States in the early 1900s.
A tiny tree and the small, deep-red, cherrylike fruit that grows on it, found primarily in and around the West Indies. The fruit, which has a sweet flavor and one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C, is used in desserts and preserves. It's also called Barbados cherry, Puerto Rican cherry and West Indies cherry.
Formulated by the Germans in the late 1960s, this noncaloric artificial sweetener (also called Ace-K ) was approved in the United States by the Federal Drug Administration in 1988. It's 200 times sweeter than sugar and, unlike aspartame, retains its sweetness when heated, making it suitable for cooking and baking. When used in large amounts, however, Ace-K has a bitter aftertaste, much like that of saccharin. This sweetener is composed of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, sulphur and potassium atoms. It's widely used in a broad range of commercial products including baked goods, candies and imitation dairy products. See also alitame; sucralose.
wine or cider, fermented beyond the stage of alcohol. In diluted form, it is vinegar. Also, acetic acid is used in preserving fruits to keep flesh from discoloring, and in freezing.
Italian for "vinegar."
An East Indian word referring to pickled and salted relishes. They can be made sweet or hot, depending on the seasoning added.
pickles and salt relishes used in the cooking of India
The rust-colored, smoky-flavored seed of the annatto tree.
The slightly musky-flavored seed of the annatto tree is available whole or ground in East Indian, Spanish and Latin American markets. Buy whole seeds when they're a rusty red color; brown seeds are old and flavorless. Achiote seed is also called annatto which, in its paste and powder form, is used in the United States to color butter, margarine, cheese and smoked fish.
South American plant used as arrowroot
a bath of acidulated water used to prevent discoloration of peeled fruits and vegetables that brown when exposed to air
The word "acid" comes from the Latin acidus, meaning "sour." All acids are sour to some degree. Sourness (acidity) is found in many natural ingredients such as vinegar (acetic acid), wine (tartaric acid), lemon juice (citric acid), sour-milk products (lactic acid), apples (malic acid) and rhubarb leaves (toxic oxalic acid). When used in a marinade, acids such as wine and lemon juice are natural tenderizers because they break down connective tissue and cell walls.
cold water with vinegar, lemon or lime juice added.
Italian for "peppercorns," referring culinarily to tiny peppercorn-shaped pasta.
A bright red tropical fruit that, when ripe, bursts open to reveal three large black seeds and a soft, creamy white flesh. The scientific name, blighia sapida, comes from Captain Bligh, who brought the fruit from West Africa to Jamaica in 1793. It is extremely popular in one of Jamaica's national dishes, "saltfish and ackee." Because certain parts of the fruit are toxic when underripe, canned ackee is often subject to import restrictions.
Acorns are the fruit of the oak tree. Some varieties are edible and, like chestnuts, may be eaten raw, roasted or baked. They may also be ground and used as a substitute for coffee.
a small to medium-sized acorn-shaped winter squash with an orange-streaked dark green fluted shell (orange, yellow and creamy white varieties are also available), pale orange flesh, large seed cavity and a slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
In the broadest of terms, food additives are substances intentionally added to food either directly or indirectly with one or more of the following purposes: 1. to maintain or improve nutritional quality; 2. to maintain product quality and freshness; 3. to aid in the processing or preparation of food; and 4. to make food more appealing. Some 2,800 substances are currently added to foods for one or more of these uses. During normal processing, packaging and storage, up to 10,000 other compounds can find their way into food. Today more than ever, additives are strictly regulated. Manufacturers must prove the additives they add to food are safe. This process can take several years and includes a battery of chemical studies as well as tests involving animals, the latter to determine whether the substances could have harmful effects such as cancer and birth defects. The results of these comprehensive studies must be presented to the Food and Drug Administration (fda), which then determines how the additive can be used in food. There are two major categories of food that are exempt from this testing and approval process: 1. a group of 700 substances categorized as gras ("generally recognized as safe"), which are so classified because of extensive past use without harmful side effects; and 2. substances approved before 1958 either by the fda or the usda. An ongoing review of many of these substances is in effect, however, to make sure they're tested against the most current scientific standards. It's interesting to note that about 98 percent (by weight) of all food additives used in the United States are in the form of baking soda, citric acid, corn syrup, mustard, pepper, salt, sugar and vegetable colorings.
a fruit drink made by combining water with sugar, boiling until the sugar dissolves, then adding a citrus juice and ice
in cooking, the term means the cook must taste before serving, and add seasonings to suit his or her own sense of what the right flavor is
This Indonesian favorite consists of a mixture of raw and slightly cooked vegetables served with a spicy peanut sauce made with hot chiles and coconut milk. Some-times the term "gado gado" refers only to the spicy sauce, which is used as a condiment with rice and various vegetable dishes.
a Philippine national dish of braised chicken, or fish. Also, a seasoned Mexican sauce made with vinegar and chilies.
A blend of chiles, herbs and vinegar.
Reminiscent of eggnog, this Dutch liqueur is made with brandy, egg yolks and sugar.
A small, dried, russet-colored bean with a sweet flavor. Adzuki beans can be purchased whole or powdered at Asian markets. They are particularly popular in Japanese cooking where they're used in confections such as the popular yokan, made with adzuki-bean paste and agar. See also beans.
a Japanese salad served with dressing, or the dressing itself
A term used in cookery as a synonym for sift.
seaweed used as a thickening agent, as is gelatin
Also called kanten and Japanese gelatin, this tasteless dried seaweed acts as a setting agent and is widely used in Asia. It is marketed in the form of blocks, powder or strands and is available at Asian markets and health-food stores. Agar can be substituted for gelatin but has stronger setting properties so less of it is required.
Also called century plant, this family of succulents grows in the southwestern United States, Mexico and Central America. Though poisonous when raw, agave has a sweet, mild flavor when baked or made into a syrup. Certain varieties are used in making the alcoholic beverages mescal, pulque and tequila.
To let food get older under controlled conditions in order to improve flavor or texture or both. 1. Aged meat has been stored 3 to 6 weeks at an optimal temperature of 34°F to 38°F and in low humidity. During this time it undergoes an enzymatic change that intensifies flavor, deepens color and tenderizes by softening some of the connective tissue. The longer meat is aged, the more quickly it will cook. The cryovac method of aging involves vacuum packing the meat with a vapor- and moistureproof film so the so-called aging takes place in transit from slaughterhouse to the consumer's home. 2. Aging cheese refers to storing it in a temperature-controlled area until it develops the desired texture and flavor. 3. Wine is aged both in the barrel and in the bottle. Generally, red wines benefit from long bottle-aging more than white wines.
A Japanese dish of deep-fried tofu served with daikon, katsuobushi (dried bonito tuna flakes), ginger and a dipping sauce made of soy sauce and mirin.
A Japanese term referring to deep-frying (see deep-fry) and the foods produced from this cooking method. tempura is the most famous of the Japanese foods cooked in this manner. Deep-frying is done in a pan called an agemono-nabe, which is similar to a Chinese wok.
Italian for "garlic and oil," referring to a dressing of garlic and hot olive oil used on pasta.
The French word for lamb.
Small, half-moon-shaped ravioli.
Italian sweet and sour sauce.
The Spanish word for avocado.
The Hawaiian name for yellowfin, as well as bigeye tuna.
The French term for the combined flavors of sour (aigre ) and sweet (doux ). An aigre-doux sauce might contain both vinegar and sugar.
thin strips of meat or fish
The Japanese name for monosodium glutamate (msg).
Japanese name for monosodium glutamate, MSG, used by Oriental cooks on occasion to revive a dish that has turned out tasteless.
Though it's related to caraway and cumin, ajowan tastes more like thyme with an astringent edge. This native of southern India can be found in Indian markets in either ground or seed form. The light brown to purple-red seeds resemble celery seeds in size and shape. Ajowan is most commonly added to chutneys, curried dishes, breads and legumes. It's also called carom. See also spices.
Hailing from Hawaii, this sweet, juicy berry resembles a very large raspberry. It can range in color from red to almost purple and is good eaten plain or in jams and pies.
Scandinavian form of distilled alcohol made from grain or potatoes, and flavored with caraway seeds.
This Hawaiian fish, also known as bigeye scad, is usually salted and dried. See also fish.
An Italian word meaning "at the," "to the" or "on the." For example, al dente means "to the tooth."
Italian for to the tooth; used to describe a food, usually pasta, that is cooked only until it gives a slight resistance when one bites into it; the food is neither soft nor overdone.
(ahl fohr-noh) Italian for "baked" or "roasted."
The Spanish word for "meatball." Albóndigas is the name of a popular Mexican and Spanish dish of spicy meatballs, usually in a tomato sauce. Sopa de albóndigas is a beef-broth soup with meatballs and chopped vegetables.
Usually served with beef, this is a rich horseradish sauce with a base of butter, flour and cream.
a Mexican dish of spiced meat balls. Also found in Spanish, Brazilian, and Scottish recipes.
The old-fashioned word for egg white.
a protein found in egg white, milk, green plants, seeds, and animal blood.
The only alcohol suitable for drinking is ethyl alcohol, a liquid produced by distilling the fermented juice of fruits or grains. Pure ethyl alcohol is clear, flammable and caustic. Water is therefore added to reduce its potency. In the United States, the average amount of alcohol in distilled spirits is about 40 percent (80 proof). Pure alcohol boils at 173°F, water at 212°F. A mixture of the two will boil somewhere between these two temperatures. A usda study has disproved the theory that alcohol evaporates completely when heated. In truth, cooked food can retain from 5 to 85 percent of the original alcohol, depending on various factors such as how and at what temperature the food was heated, the cooking time and the alcohol source. Even the smallest trace of alcohol may be a problem for alcoholics and those with alcohol-related illnesses. Because alcohol freezes at a much lower temperature than water, the amount of alcohol used in a frozen dessert (such as ice cream) must be carefully regulated or the dessert won't freeze. Calorie-wise, a one-and-a-half-ounce jigger of 80-proof liquor (such as Scotch or vodka) equals almost 100 calories, a four-ounce glass of dry wine costs in the area of 85 to 90 calories and a twelve-ounce regular (not light) beer contributes about 150 calories.
a fermented drink; the original term for beer.
Though alfalfa is generally grown for fodder, the seeds are also sprouted for human consumption. Alfalfa sprouts are popular in salads and on sandwiches. See also sprouts.
A thick, jellylike substance obtained from seaweed. Alginic acid is used as a stabilizer and thickener in a wide variety of commercially processed foods such as ice creams, puddings, flavored milk drinks, pie fillings, soups and syrups.
Although not sanctioned for use in the United States at this writing, Alitame is expected to soon become fda approved. This supernova of artificial sweeteners is 2,000 times as sweet as sugar. It's a compound of two amino acids alanine and aspartic acid. See also acesulfame-K; aspartame; saccharin; sucralose.
Alkalis counterbalance and neutralize acids. In cooking, the most common alkali used is bicarbonate of soda, commonly known as baking soda. Adding baking soda to the water when cooking green vegetables helps maintain their bright color because it neutralizes the natural acid in the vegetables. Unfortunately, it also destroys some of the vegetable's vitamins. Baking soda is used as a leavener in baked goods where it neutralizes acid ingredients (such as molasses, buttermilk and honey) and produces tender breads, cakes, and so on.
A member of the borage family, the alkanet plant has roots that yield a red dye, which is used to color various food products such as margarine.
is made from a blend of high-gluten hard wheat and low-gluten soft wheat. It's a fine-textured flour milled from the inner part of the wheat kernel and contains neither the germ (the sprouting part) nor the bran (the outer coating). U.S. law requires that all flours not containing wheat germ must have niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and iron added. These flours are labeled "enriched." All-purpose flour comes in two basic forms bleached and unbleached that can be used interchangeably. Flour can be bleached either naturally, as it ages, or chemically. Most flour on the market today is presifted, requiring only that it be stirred, then spooned into a measuring cup and leveled off.
The Italian word meaning "as done by, in, for or with." Eggplant alla parmigiana refers to eggplant topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
A classic velouté sauce thickened with egg yolks. Also called Parisienne sauce.
a member of the pimento family and native to tropical regions in the western hemisphere; has leathery leaves, white flowers and small, brown berries, has a flavor reminiscent of a mixture of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger and pepper; also known as Jamaican pepper.
cut into matchstick sizes and shapes. Also, a puff pastry used for hors doeuvres.
The kernel of the fruit of the almond tree, grown extensively in California, the Mediterranean, Australia and South Africa. There are two main types of almonds sweet and bitter. The flavor of sweet almonds is delicate and slightly sweet. They're readily available in markets and, unless otherwise indicated, are the variety used in recipes. The more strongly flavored bitter almonds contain traces of lethal prussic acid when raw. Though the acid's toxicity is destroyed when the nuts are heated, the sale of bitter almonds is illegal in the United States. Processed bitter almonds are used to flavor extracts, liqueurs and orgeat syrup. The kernels of apricot and peach pits have a similar flavor and the same toxic effect (destroyed by heating) as bitter almonds. Almonds are available blanched or not, whole, sliced, chopped, candied, smoked, in paste form and in many flavors. Toasting almonds before using in recipes intensifies their flavor and adds crunch. Almonds are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with calcium, fiber, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin and vitamin E. See also almond extract; almond oil; almond paste; jordan almond; nuts.
a concentrated flavoring made from bitter-almond oil and alcohol, widely used in pastries and baked goods.
An oil obtained by pressing sweet almonds. French almond oil, huile d'amande, is very expensive and has the delicate flavor and aroma of lightly toasted almonds. The U.S. variety is much milder and doesn't compare either in flavor or in price. Almond oil can be found in specialty gourmet markets and many supermarkets.
a mixture of sugar, almonds, and rose water traditional among Christmas foods in Europe. Used to make marzipan and for decorations.
A term referring to cooking "in the style of Alsace," a province in northeastern France whose French and German heritage is reflected in its famous cuisine. It usually refers to preparations of meat braised with sauerkraut, potatoes and sausage.
Wines from the French province of Alsace made from grapes grown in the foothill vineyards of the Vosges Mountains. These wines are known for their delicate flavor and dryness. The Alsace appellation is one of the few in France that uses varietal labeling, similar to that in the United States (versus the geographic labeling used throughout most of France). The principal Alsatian wines are made from gewürztraminer, pinot blanc, riesling and sylvaner grapes.
Simply put, the weight of air on any surface it comes in contact with is called air (or atmospheric) pressure. There's less (or lower) air pressure at high altitudes because the blanket of air above is thinner than it would be at sea level. As a result, at sea level water boils at 212°F; at an altitude of 7,500 feet, however, it boils at about 198°F because there's not as much air pressure to inhibit the boiling action. This also means that because at high altitudes boiling water is 14 degrees cooler than at sea level, foods will take longer to cook because they're heating at a lower temperature. Lower air pressure also causes boiling water to evaporate more quickly in a high altitude. This decreased air pressure means that adjustments in some ingredients and cooking time and temperature will have to be made for high-altitude baking, as well as some cooking techniques such as candy making, deep-fat frying and canning. In general, no recipe adjustment is necessary for yeast-risen baked goods, although allowing the dough or batter to rise twice before the final pan rising develops a better flavor.
In cooking, these highly astringent crystals of potassium aluminum sulfate were once widely used as the crisping agent in canning pickles. Alum can cause digestive distress, however, and modern canning methods make its use unnecessary.
One of the best all-around cooking materials available, aluminum is moderately priced, sturdy and a good heat conductor. It comes in light- and medium-weight cookware and bakeware; the heavier the gauge, the more evenly it cooks. It's available in plain (matte or polished) or anodized (dark gray) finishes. Plain aluminum finishes can darken and pit when exposed to alkaline or mineral-rich foods, and when soaked excessively in soapy water. Likewise, they can discolor some foods containing eggs, wine or other acidic ingredients. (This discoloration, though not harmful, is unattractive.) Because aluminum may be reactive and easily scratched, it's often combined with other metals, such as stainless steel. The anodized finishes are chip-, stain- and scratch-resistant but will spot and fade if cleaned in a dishwasher. Extensive research has proven that the old tales of food being poisoned by aluminum are unequivocally false, and those who claim that some foods take on a metallic taste when cooked with aluminum cookware are counterbalanced by just as many who insist they don't.
a thin pliable sheet of aluminum; easily molded, conducts heat well, can withstand temperature extremes and is impervious to odors, moisture and air; used to cover foods for cooking and storage.
A dish prepared with a spicy sauce of tomatoes, olive oil, onions, brandy and wine.
a dish garnished with sautéed almonds.
Once considered a simple weed in the United States, this nutritious annual is finally being acknowledged as the nourishing high-protein food it is. Amaranth greens have a delicious, slightly sweet flavor and can be used both in cooking and for salads. The seeds are used as cereal or can be ground into flour for bread. Amaranth seeds and flour can be found in health-food stores, as well as in some Caribbean and Asian markets.
Intensely crisp, airy macaroon cookies that are made either with bitter-almond paste or its flavor counterpart, apricot-kernel paste. In the United States, pairs of paper-wrapped Amaretti di Saronno (made with apricot-kernel paste) are sold under the label of Lazzaroni. Amarettini are miniature cookies with the same flavor.
liqueur with the flavor of almonds although it is often made with the kernels of apricot pits. The original liqueur, Amaretto di Saronno, is from Saronno, Italy.
Thinly sliced or shredded fresh ginger pickled in a sweet vinegar marinade. Amazu shoga is beige or pink in color, as compared to the bright red beni shoga. It's used as a garnish for many Japanese dishes, particularly sushi. Amazu shoga can be found in Asian markets.
A lean, mild fish found along the South Atlantic coast. This member of the jack family is hard to find in markets but, when available, is usually sold whole. Amberjack is best baked or sautéed. See also fish.
1. According to Greek mythology, ambrosia (meaning "immortality") was the food of the gods on Mt. Olympus. More recently, the word designates a dessert of chilled fruit (usually oranges and bananas) mixed with coconut. Ambrosia is also sometimes served as a salad. 2. A mixed drink made by shaking cognac, brandy (usually calvados or applejack) and, depending on the bartender, cointreau or raspberry syrup with crushed ice. The shaken mixture is strained into a glass and topped off with cold champagne. It's said to have been created at New Orleans' famous Arnaud's restaurant shortly after Prohibition ended.
An East Indian seasoning made by pulverizing sun-dried, unripe (green) mango into a fine powder. Amchoor has a tart, acidic, fruity flavor that adds character to many dishes including meats, vegetables and curried preparations. It's also used to tenderize poultry, meat and fish. Amchoor is also called simply mango powder; it's also spelled aamchur.
any of the group of U.S. cheeses made with emulsifiers to increase smoothness and pasteurized milk to increase storage life; 51% of the final weight must be cheese.
This leavener is the precursor of today's baking powder and baking soda. It's still called for in some European baking recipes, mainly for cookies. It can be purchased in drugstores but must be ground to a powder before using. Also known as hartshorn, carbonate of ammonia and powdered baking ammonia.
A Spanish sherry made from the palomino grape. It's aged longer and is darker and softer than a fino. Amontillado should have a distinctively nutty flavor.
yeast bread made of cornmeal and white flour with molasses.
Named after the California city, the generally mild Anaheim is one of the most commonly available chiles in the United States. It is usually medium green in color and has a long, narrow shape. The red strain is also called the chile Colorado. Anaheim chiles can be purchased fresh or canned and have a sweet, simple taste with just a hint of bite. Anaheims are frequently stuffed and commonly used in salsas. The dried red variety are those used for the decorative ristra, a long string (or wreath) of chiles.
French for "pineapple."
One of the relatively "new" heirloom dried beans on the market today, the red and white anasazi beans have a wonderfully sweet flavor. They're great cooked alone and wonderful in chili con carne. See also beans.
The reddish brown, dried version of a poblano chile. Generally mild but can pack a punch.
A paste made of anchovies, garlic and, sometimes, olive oil. It's generally used to spread on toast or bread.
a small fish usually stored in olive oil or salt. Anchovy is sold for flavoring.
This combination of pounded anchovies, vinegar, spices and water comes in tubes and is convenient for many cooking purposes. It can also be used for canapés.
French for "in the old style," describing a traditional preparation method (usually for beef) of braising, then simmering.
A French term describing dishes using tomatoes, pimientos and sometimes rice pilaf or sausage. Andalouse sauce refers to mayonnaise mixed with tomato puree and pimiento.
A spicy, heavily smoked sausage. French in origin, andouille is a specialty of cajun cooking. It's the traditional sausage used in specialties like jambalaya and gumbo, and makes a spicy addition to any dish that would use smoked sausage. Andouille is also especially good served cold as an hors D'oeuvre. See also sausage.
This smaller version (1 inch or less in diameter) of andouille sausage is a specialty of Normandy. It is sold cooked but not usually smoked. This sausage is traditionally slashed and grilled or fried.
Small pasta rings, anellini being the tiniest of the two.
A clear anise-flavored liqueur that is drier and of a higher proof than anisette.
a light, airy cake made without egg yolks or other fats; its structure is based on the air whipped into the egg whites; traditionally baked in a tube pan.
a sweet herb used to flavor a variety of liqueurs and drinks. Candied, it is used in baking, especially fruit cakes.
French for "in the English style," meaning food that is simply poached or boiled. The term can also be used for food that has been coated in bread crumbs and fried.
Any fat that comes from an animal. Because they are almost entirely saturated, animal fats are not recommended for people on lowfat or low-cholesterol diets. See also fats and oils.
a small annual member of the parsley family native to the eastern Mediterranean region; has bright green leaves with a mild licorice flavor that are sometimes used as an herb or in salads.
A clear, very sweet liqueur made with anise seeds and tasting of licorice.
A large winter pear with firm flesh and a yellowish-green skin that is often blushed with red. It's sweet and succulent and is delicious both cooked and raw. The Anjou is available in most regions from October through midwinter. See also pear.
A derivative of achiote seed, commercial annatto paste and powder is used to color butter, margarine, cheese and smoked fish.
Currently, the only state that's farming antelopes for human consumption is Texas, where black buck and nilgai antelope are allowed to roam on huge preserves. Antelope meat is similar to that of deer, but leaner. As with other large game, antelope is sometimes sold in markets as venison. See also game animals.
Substances that inhibit oxidation in plant and animal cells. Culinarily, antioxidants help prevent food from becoming rancid or discolored. In the body, many scientists believe that antioxidants may contribute to reducing cancer and heart disease. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which is easily obtained from citrus fruits, is a well known natural antioxidant, as is vitamin E, which is plentiful in seeds and nuts. Antioxidants are also abundant in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
assorted hors doeuvres, Italian style. Often included are ripe black olives, green stuffed olives, garlic sausage slices, salted anchovy curled on a sliced tomato, cooked dried beans in a vinaigrette dressing, prosciutto (thinly sliced fat ham) with cantaloupe.
In Mexico, the word antojitos ("little whims") refers to what Americans call appetizers.
A French term referring to a light alchoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite. Popular apéritifs include champagne, lillet and sherry.
Dating back to the 1800s, this soft, sour cream-based sugar cookie takes its name from the initials of its creator, Philadelphia cook Ann Page.
a cooked, usually sweet, wine, taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite.
In the wine world, this term refers to a designated growing area governed by the rules and regulations established by a country's federal government or local governing body. Such rules vary from country to country but are somewhat similar in their attempt to stimulate the production of quality wines. These regulations are established by the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (aoc) in France, the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (doc) in Italy, the Denominação de Origem Controlada (doc) in Portugal, the Denominación de Origen (do) in Spain and the American Viticultural Area (ava) in the United States.
This whole-milk cow's cheese is named for an eastern Swiss canton (a state in the Swiss confederation). It has a golden yellow rind and a firm, straw-colored curd with tiny holes. The flavor is delicate and somewhat fruity owing to the wine or cider wash it receives during curing. See also cheese.
a small serving of food or beverage served before or as the first course of a meal.
a pome fruit with generally firm flesh, which can range in flavor from sweet to tart, encased in a thin skin, which can range in color from yellow to green to red; apples can be eaten out of hand, cooked or used for juice and are grown in temperate regions worldwide and available all year, particularly in the fall.
a very thick preserve of cooked apples.
A chilled dessert made by combining applesauce, lemon juice, spices, stiffly beaten egg whites and, sometimes, gelatin.
A potent brandy made from apple cider and ranging in strength from 80 to 100 proof. France is famous for its apple brandy, calvados. In the United States, applejack must spend a minimum of 2 years in wooden casks before being bottled.
A cooked puree (ranging in texture from smooth to chunky) of apples, sugar and, sometimes, spices.
a small stone fruit with a thin, velvety, pale yellow to deep burnt orange skin, a meaty golden cream to bright orange flesh and an almond-shaped pit; it is highly perishable, with a peak season during June and July; the pit's kernel is used to flavor alcoholic beverages and confection.
Another name for apricot brandy.
Latin, water of life, used to describe clear distilled liquors and brandies.
The cultivation of fish or aquatic plants (such as seaweed) in natural or controlled marine or freshwater environments. Even though aquaculture began eons ago with the ancient Greeks, it wasn't until the 1980s that the practice finally began to expand rapidly. Aquaculture "farms" take on a variety of forms including huge tanks, freshwater ponds, and shallow- or deep-water marine environments. Today, the farming and harvesting of fish is a multimillion-dollar business. Among the most popular denizens of the deep that are farmed are fish like salmon, trout and tilapia. See also hydroponics.
A strong colorless Scandinavian liquor distilled from grain or potatoes and flavored with caraway seed. It is served icy cold and drunk in a single gulp.
A sandwich formed by spreading a softened lahvosh with cream cheese, then layering thin slices of sandwich fillings such as meat, cheese, lettuce, pickle and so on. This large flat round is then rolled jelly-roll style, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated for several hours. Before being served, the cylinder is cut into about 1-inch thick slices. The aram sandwich is also known as levant.
an ovoid, short-grain rice with a hard core, white color and mild flavor; it becomes creamy when cooked and is used for risotto.
Betel nut, East India pepper plant. It is chewed in Asia to aid digestion.
A term describing a dish featuring asparagus, named after the French town that is world renowned for its asparagus.
A fine French brandy from Gascony, near Condom, a town southeast of Bordeaux. Like cognac, Armagnac is aged in oak for up to 40 years.
describes flavor and fragrance, both closely related.
n. Any of various plants, herbs and spices (such as bay leaf, ginger or parsley) that impart a lively fragrance and flavor to food and drink.
A general term used for rices with a perfumy, nutlike flavor and aroma. Among the more popular aromatic rices are basmati (from India), jasmine (from Thailand), texmati (from Texas), wehani and wild pecan rice (from Louisiana). See also rice; rizcous.
Literally "angry" in Italian; in this case referring to a spicy tomato sauce.
A name widely used in Asia and the Middle East for a fiery liquor made, depending on the country, from any of several ingredients including rice, sundry-palm sap and dates. In many countries, arrack is strongly flavored with anise seed. Also spelled arak.
Strong anise-flavored liquor distilled in North Africa and in the Levant. It is drunk in very small portions. See also Ouzo.
A flour used to thicken clear liquids because it does not cloud.
ah-rohs] The Spanish word for "rice."
A Spanish pudding made from rice that's cooked in milk with various flavorings such as vanilla, lemon and cinnamon.
Literally "rice with chicken," this Spanish and Mexican dish is made with rice, chicken, tomatoes, green peppers, seasonings and, sometimes, saffron.
the large flowerhead of a plant of the thistle family; has tough gray-green petal-shaped leaves with soft flesh (which is eaten) underneath, a furry choke (that is discarded) and a tender center (called the heart which is also eaten); also known as globe artichoke.
This category of nonnutritive, high-intensity sugar substitutes includes aspartame, acesulfame-K and saccharin. Two sweeteners undergoing fda approval at this writing are alitame and sucralose. Cyclamate lost its fda approval in 1970. Numerous new sweeteners are in various stages of development or review. Most of these are from two groups: the fructo-oligosaccharides (fos) and the L-sugars.
a leaf vegetable with dark green, spiky, dandelion-like leaves and a strong, spicy, peppery flavor; used in salads; also known as rocket, rugula, and rucola.
An assertive salad green with peppery, somewhat bitter overtones.
A white cow's-milk cheese of Mexican origin that's available in braids, balls or rounds. Asadero, which means "roaster" or "broiler," has good melting properties and becomes softly stringy when heated very similar to an unaged monterey jack cheese. Other names for this cheese are Chihuahua and Oaxaca. See also cheese.
A flavoring obtained from a giant fennellike plant that grows mainly in Iran and India. It's used in many Indian dishes and can be found in powdered or lump form in Indian markets. Asafetida has a fetid, garlicky smell and should be used in very small quantities.
The scientific name for vitamin C, ascorbic acid is sold for home use to prevent browning of vegetables and fruits. It's used in commercial preparations as an antioxidant.
A system of packaging food and drink products so the contents are exposed to a minimal amount of air; such products are typically vacuum-packed. Because oxygen is the major contributor to spoilage in most foods, aseptic packaging can retain a product's freshness for several months, even years. Milk, juices, chopped tomatoes and even inexpensive wines are packaged aseptically in plastic bags within cartons or boxes. The bags collapse as the contents are poured out, keeping the remaining food or drink relatively free of air contamination.
Semi-firm Italian cheese made from cow's milk.
A semifirm Italian cheese with a rich, nutty flavor. It's made from whole or part-skim cow's milk and comes in small wheels with glossy rinds. The yellow interior has many small holes. Young Asiago is used as a table cheese; aged over a year, it becomes hard and suitable for grating. See also cheese.
Though some Asian-style noodles are wheat-based, many others are made from ingredients such as rice flour, potato flour, buckwheat flour, cornstarch and bean, yam or soybean starch. Among the more popular are China's cellophane noodles (made from mung-bean starch), egg noodles (usually wheat-based) and rice-flour noodles, and Japan's harusame (made with soybean, rice or potato flour), ramen (wheat-based egg noodles) and soba (which contain buckwheat flour). Other Asian countries, including Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, have their own versions of the venerable noodle. Asian noodles can be purchased fresh and dried in Asian markets; some dried varieties can be found in supermarkets. Throughout Asian cultures noodles are eaten hot and cold. They can be cooked in a variety of ways including steaming, stir-frying and deep-frying. See also noodles.
there are so many varieties of Asian pear that no one description can apply to them all. Generally though this fruit is round with speckled tan skin and has a crisp, firm, grainy white texture similar to that of a pear, an apple or at times, a water chestnut. The taste is a cross between an apple and a pear - has a slight perfume quality. Native to China and Japan, Asian pears are also grown in many states in the U.S. They may be eaten raw or cooked.
a member of the lily family with an erect stalk and small, scale-like leaves along the stalk, capped by a ruffle of small leaves; a young stalk is tender with a slightly pungent, bitter flavor, an apple green color and a purple-tinged tip; becomes tougher as it ages.
An artificial sweetener that's 180-200 times sweeter than sugar. It's synthesized from two amino acids
a jelly produced from the stock of meat fish, fowl or a liquid held together with gelatin.
French for "seasoned" or "seasoned with."
Hailing from India's Assam district, this black tea produces a strong-flavored, full-bodied brew with a reddish tinge. See also tea.
French for "assortment," as in cheeses.
A sweet sparkling white wine generally served as a dessert wine but sometimes as an apéritif. Asti Spumante tastes decidedly of the muscat grape from which it's made. It hails from the area around the town of Asti in the Piedmont region of northern Italy.
Though it's cultivated in Florida, this cross between cherimoya and sweetsop is a native of South America and the West Indies. About the size of a large sweet bell pepper, the atemoya has a tough dusty green skin that has a rough petal configuration. The custardlike pulp is cream-colored and studded with a smattering of large black seeds. Its delicate, sweet flavor tastes like a blend of mango and vanilla. Atemoyas are in season from late summer through late fall. Though they often split slightly at their stem end when ripe, it's best to buy them when they're pale green and tender with unbroken skin. The fruit can continue to ripen at room temperature at home. Refrigerate ripe atemoyas 3 to 5 days. They're best served chilled. Simply halve the fruit, spoon out the pulp and enjoy. Atemoyas are high in potassium and vitamins C and K.
a Scottish drink made of whisky, oatmeal, and cream sweetened with honey.
Said to date back to pre-Columbian times, atole is a very thick beverage that's popular in Mexico and some parts of the American Southwest. It's a combination of masa, water or milk, crushed fruit and sugar or honey. Latin markets sell instant atole, which can be mixed with milk or water. Atole can be served hot or room temperature.
The French term for the method of preparing fish the instant after it's killed. Used especially for trout, as in truite au bleu, where the freshly killed fish is plunged into a boiling court-bouillon, which turns the skin a metallic blue color.
a French term referring to a dish with a browned topping of bread crumbs and/or grated cheese; also known as gratiné.
French term for roasted meats, poultry or game served with their natural, unthickened juices.
French for "with milk," referring to foods or beverages served or prepared with milk, as in café au lait.
dishes cooked as simply as possible and served with a minimum of accompaniments.
French for eggplant.
Béchamel sauce with just enough tomato puree added to tint it pink.
The German word for "selection," used in the wine trade to describe specially selected, perfectly ripened bunches of grapes that are hand-picked, then pressed separately from other grapes. The superior wine made from these grapes is sweet and expensive. See also beerenauslese; spätlese; trockenbeerenauslese.
A Greek soup as well as a sauce, both of which are made from chicken broth, egg yolks and lemon juice. The main difference is that the soup has rice added to it. The sauce is thicker than the soup.
Another name for the cocktail avocado.
a tropical fruit with a single large pit, spherical to pear shape, smooth to rough-textured skin with a green to purplish color and yellow to green flesh with a buttery texture and high unsaturated fat content; generally used like a vegetable and consumed raw; also known as an alligator pear.
A combination of half Bénédictine and half brandy; available already mixed and bottled.
Literally translated as "bastard," culinarily batarde refers to a traditional white loaf of bread that's slightly larger than a baguette.
A classic reduction of wine, vinegar, tarragon and shallots, finished with egg yolks and butter.
A classic French sauce made with a reduction of vinegar, wine, tarragon and shallots and finished with egg yolks and butter. Béarnaise is served with meat, fish, eggs and vegetables.
a French leading sauce made by thickening milk with a white roux and adding seasonings; also known as a cream sauce and a white sauce.
Also called by its Italian name, balsamella, this basic French white sauce is made by stirring milk into a butter-flour roux. The thickness of the sauce depends on the proportion of flour and butter to milk. The proportions for a thin sauce would be 1 tablespoon each of butter and flour per 1 cup of milk; a medium sauce would use 2 tablespoons each of butter and flour; a thick sauce, 3 tablespoons each. Béchamel, the base of many other sauces, was named after its inventor, Louis xiv's steward Louis de Béchamel.
1. A sweet liqueur named after the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Fecamp, Normandy, who first began making it in the 16th century. Though the recipe is a closely guarded secret, it is known that Bénédictine is cognac-based and flavored with various aromatics, fruit peels and herbs. 2. A local specialty of Louisville, Kentucky, benedictine is a spread made with cream cheese, cucumbers and dill, all tinted brightly with green food coloring. It's named after its creator, caterer Jennie Benedict.
A tangy yet mild chèvre (goat cheese) that is usually soft and spreadable. Bûcheron comes in logs either with white rinds or covered with black ash. See also cheese.
A Moroccan dish of phyllo dough surrounding a melange of shredded chicken, ground almonds and spices. The "pie" is baked until a crisp golden brown, then sprinkled with confectioners' sugar and cinnamon. Also spelled bastela, bastila, bisteeya and pastilla.
Also called baba au rhum, this rich, light currant- or raisin-studded yeast cake is soaked in a rum or kirsch syrup. It's said to have been invented in the 1600s by Polish King Lesczyinski, who soaked his stale kugelhopf in rum and named the dessert after the storybook hero Ali Baba. The classic baba is baked in a tall, cylindrical mold but the cake can be made in a variety of shapes, including small individual rounds. When the cake is baked in a large ring mold it's known as a savarin.
alt spellings: Baba gannoujh, Baba ghanoushA spreadable mix of eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.
A Middle Eastern puree of eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. It's garnished with pomegranate seeds, chopped mint or minced pistachios and used as a spread or dip for pita or Middle Eastern flat bread.
Indiginous to Ecuador, this natural papaya hybrid is torpedo shaped and has five flattened facets. When sliced crosswise, the facets give this exotic fruit a pentagonal outline. Babacos range from 8 to 12 inches long and are about 4 inches in diameter. The skin, which is entirely edible, turns from green to golden yellow as it ripens. The riper and softer the fruit, the more flavorful it is. The rich flavor of the extremely fragrant babaco is a cross between banana and pineapple, though not as sweet as either. The juicy, creamy white flesh has a texture similar to that of a casaba melon. The hard-to-find babaco is sometimes available in specialty produce markets. It will ripen quickly at room temperature, especially if placed in a brown paper bag. Refrigerate ripe fruit and use as soon as possible. Babaco is best eaten raw. It contains triple the amount of papain as the papaya and is a good source of vitamins A and C.
Hailing from Poland, this rum-scented sweet yeast bread is studded with almonds, raisins and orange peel.
The Spanish term for dried salt cod. See also saltfish.
The Italian term for dried salt cod. See also saltfish.
A term used in the restaurant business to refer to kitchen area and staff, as opposed to the dining room the "front of the house."
a dense, doughnut-shaped Jewish yeast roll; cooked in boiling water, then baked, which gives the rolls a shiny glaze and chewy texture.
This specialty of Piedmont, Italy, is a sauce made of olive oil, butter, garlic and anchovies. It's served warm as an appetizer with raw vegetables for dipping. The term comes from bagno caldo, Italian for "hot bath."
A Philippine condiment that's popular in Hawaii and throughout the Pacific. Bagoong is made from small fish that have been salted, cured and fermented for several weeks. The resulting salty liquid (called patis ) is drawn off and used separately as a sauce or condiment. In addition to being served as a condiment, bagoong is used as a flavoring in many dishes.
a long, thin, crisp loaf of French bread.
A long metal pan shaped like two half-cylinders joined along one long side. Each compartment is about 3 inches wide and 15 inches long. This pan is used to bake French baguettes.
The French term for the cooking technique we call a water bath . It consists of placing a container (baking pan, bowl, soufflé 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 mousses without breaking or curdling them. It can also be used to keep cooked foods warm.
to cook in an oven, surrounding the food with dry heat of a specific temperature.
An English term for baking a pastry shell before it is filled. The shell is usually pricked all over with a fork to prevent it from blistering and rising. Sometimes it's lined with foil or parchment paper, then filled with dried beans or rice, or metal or ceramic pie weights. The French sometimes fill the shell with clean round pebbles. The weights and foil or parchment paper should be removed a few minutes before the baking time is over to allow the crust to brown evenly.
A term for baking a pastry shell (pie crust) before it is filled. There are two methods used. 1. The unbaked shell is first pricked all over with a fork to prevent it from blistering and rising and then baked. 2. The unbaked shell is lined with foil or parchment paper, then filled with dried beans or rice, clean pebbles (a French practice) or specialty pie weights made of metal or ceramic. The weights and foil or parchment paper should be removed a few minutes before the baking time is over to allow the crust to brown evenly.
paper or foil shaped, pleated cups used to line cupcake or muffin tins to prevent batter from sticking to the pan during the cooking process.
A dessert consisting of a layer of sponge cake topped by a thick slab of ice cream, all of which is blanketed with meringue. This creation is then baked in a very hot oven for about 5 minutes, or until the surface is golden brown. The meringue layer insulates the ice cream and prevents it from melting.
a mixture of sodium bicarbonate and one or more acids, generally cream of tartar and/or sodium aluminum sulfate, used to leaven baked goods; releases carbon dioxide gas if moisture is present in a formula.
A flat, rigid sheet of metal on which cookies, breads, biscuits, etc. are baked. It usually has one or more turned-up sides for ease in handling. Shiny, heavy-gauge aluminum baking sheets are good heat conductors and will produce evenly baked and browned goods. Dark sheets absorb heat and should be used only for items on which a dark, crisp exterior is desired. Insulated baking sheets (two sheets of aluminum with an air space sealed between them) are good for soft cookies or bread crusts, but many baked goods will not get crisp on them. Cookies and breadstuffs may burn on lightweight baking sheets. To alleviate this problem, place one lightweight sheet on top of another for added insulation. For even heat circulation, baking sheets should be at least 2 inches smaller all around than the interior of the oven.
sodium bicarbonate, an alkaline compound that releases carbon dioxide gas when combined with an acid and moisture; used to leaven baked goods.
A heavy, thick, round or rectangular plate of light brown stone used to duplicate the baking qualities of the brick floors of some commercial bread and pizza ovens. A baking stone should be placed on the lowest oven shelf and preheated with the oven. The item to be baked is then placed directly on the baking stone in the oven. Dough-filled pans or baking sheets may be placed on the stone for a crisper, browner crust. When not in use, the stone can be left in the oven. Baking tiles, which are usually less expensive than baking stones, are thick, unglazed quarry tiles 8 to 12 inches square. Look for high-fired tiles, which do not crack as readily as low-fired tiles. Also available are sets of eight small, 8- by 4-inch clay tiles that come on an aluminum tray for ease in handling.
a Middle Easter sweet rich with honey and nuts and made from filo, a paper-thin pastry in many flaky layers.
A popular flavoring in the cuisines of Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Burma and Indonesia. It is made from sardines and other small salted fish that have been allowed to ferment in the sun until very pungent and odorous. It's then mashed and in some cases dried. Balachan is available in paste, powder or cake form in Asian markets.
Hailing from the New York region, this all-purpose red-skinned apple is mottled and streaked with yellow. It has a mildly sweet-tart flavor and fairly crisp texture and is available from October to April. See also apple.
Meat, fish or fowl that has been boned, stuffed, rolled and tied in the shape of a bundle. It is then braised or roasted and is normally served hot but can be served cold. Often confused with galantine, which is poached and served cold.
the crunch tip of a young bamboo tree. It is served in Oriental dishes.
the berry of a large tropical herb; the fruit grows in clusters (hands) and is long and curving with a brown-stained yellow skin (it is harvested while still green), a slightly sticky, floury, off-white pulp and a distinctive sweet flavor and aroma.
A dessert made of a banana cut in half lengthwise and placed in an individual-size bowl (preferably oblong). The banana is topped with three scoops of ice cream (traditionally chocolate, vanilla and strawberry), over which sweet syrups are poured (usually chocolate, butterscotch and marshmallow). The entire concoction is topped with rosettes of whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.
Created at New Orleans's Brennan's Restaurant in the 1950s, this dessert consists of lengthwise-sliced bananas quickly sautéed in a mixture of rum, brown sugar and banana liqueur and served with vanilla ice cream. It was named for Richard Foster, a regular Brennan's customer.
Originating in Banbury, Oxfordshire, in England, this oval "cake" is made of a flaky pastry filled with mixed dried fruit.
British slang for a number of English sausages originally made of ground beef and bread crumbs.
A French, cloth-lined woven basket in which bread is allowed to rise before being baked.
a Scottish round cake.
A French goat's-milk cheese that is cured in chestnut leaves and sometimes washed in marc or cognac. It has a soft to semisoft texture and a mild lemony flavor, and is best from late spring to early fall. See also cheese.
A soft yeast roll with a characteristic floury finish. Baps are popular in Scotland as hot breakfast rolls.
A cookie made by spooning a batter or soft dough into a baking pan. The mixture is baked, cooled in the pan and then cut into bars, squares or diamonds. See also cookie.
A choice currant preserve that originally came from the French town of Bar-le-Duc in Lorraine. At one time, the preserve was made from white currants whose tiny seeds were removed manually. Today it's made with red and white currants as well as other berry fruits, and the seeds are not generally removed by hand.
Made of apricots, this Hungarian eau de vie has a distinctive flavor somewhere between apricots and slivovitz.
to roast or broil whole, as a hog, fowl, etc. Usually done on a revolving frame over coals or upright in front of coals. To cook thin slices of meat in a highly seasoned vinegar sauce.
A sauce used to baste barbecued meat; also used as an accompaniment to the meat after it's cooked. It is traditionally made with tomatoes, onion, mustard, garlic, brown sugar and vinegar; beer and wine are also popular ingredients.
n. 1. Commonly referred to as a grill, a barbecue is generally a brazier fitted with a grill and sometimes a spit. The brazier can range anywhere from a simple firebowl, which uses hot coals as heat, to an elaborate electric barbecue. 2. Food (usually meat) that has been cooked using a barbecue method. 3. A term used in the United States for an informal style of outdoor entertaining where barbecued food is served. barbecue v. A method of cooking by which meat, poultry or fish (either whole or in pieces) or other food is covered and slowly cooked in a pit or on a spit, using hot coals or hardwood as a heat source. The food is basted, usually with a highly seasoned sauce, to keep it moist. South Carolina and Texas boast two of the most famous American regional barbecue styles.
Native throughout most of Europe and also grown in New England, the barberry has elongated bright red berries which, because of their high acidity, are seldom eaten raw. Some varieties produce white or yellow fruit. Ripe barberries are used in pies, preserves and syrups; they can also be candied. Green berries are sometimes pickled and used as a relish.
To tie fat around lean meats or fowl to prevent their drying out during roasting. Barding is necessary only when natural fat is absent. The barding fat bastes the meat while it cooks, thereby keeping it moist and adding flavor. The fat is removed a few minutes before the meat is done to allow the meat to brown.
A light, fruity red wine from northern Italy, similar to valpolicella. Bardolino is best drunk young.
a small, spherical grain grown worldwide and usually pearled to remove its outer husk; the white grain has a slightly sweet, nutty, earthy flavor, chewy texture and high starch content; also known as pearl barley.
A hard, lemon-flavored candy that was originally made from barley water to which sugar had been added. It's now more often made with plain water, with tartaric acid added to achieve a similar flavor and texture.
An Irish bread with raisins or currants and candied fruit peel. It's generally slathered with butter and served as a tea accompaniment. Literally translated it means "yeast bread," although it's not always made with yeast.
From the Piedmont region, this exceptional Italian red wine, made from Nebbiolo grapes, is known for its lush bouquet and robust body.
In England, a large cut of beef (50 to 100 pounds, depending on the size of the animal) usually consisting of a double sirloin. A baron of beef is generally roasted only for traditional or ceremonial occasions. In France, a baron refers to the saddle and two legs of lamb or mutton.
A boat-shaped pastry shell that can contain a savory filling (when served as an appetizer) or a sweet filling (for a dessert).
The type most commonly found in American markets is the Pacific barracuda (also called California barracuda), which usually ranges from 4 to 8 pounds. It's a firm-textured fish with a moderate fat content and is best grilled or broiled. Barracuda can be substituted for wahoo or mahi mahi. The great barracuda, whose flesh is often toxic, can weigh over 100 pounds and can exceed 6 feet in length. See also fish.
This large bell-shaped fruit has a smooth, yellow-green skin that is sometimes blushed with red. The Bartlett's flesh is sweet and juicy. It's generally available from late July through October and is delicious either cooked or raw. Developed in 18th-century England, it was introduced to America by Dorchester, Massachusetts, resident Enoch Bartlett. See also pear.
an herb and member of the mint family; has soft, shiny light green leaves, small white flowers and a strong, pungent peppery flavor reminiscent of licorice and cloves (other varieties are available with flavors reminiscent of foods such as cinnamon, garlic, lemon and chocolate); available fresh and dried; also known as sweet basil.
an aged, aromatic long-grain rice grown in the Himalayan foothills; has a creamy yellow color, distinctive sweet, nutty aroma and delicate flavor.
Literally translated as "queen of fragrance," basmati has been grown in the foothills of the Himalayas for thousands of years. Its perfumy, nutlike flavor and aroma can be attributed to the fact that the grain is aged to decrease its moisture content. Basmati is a long-grained rice with a fine texture. It can be found in Indian and Middle Eastern markets and some supermarkets. See also rice.
A general term for any of numerous (often unrelated) freshwater or saltwater fish, many of which are characterized by spiny fins. In fact, though many of these different species are often sold simply as bass, the only fish with the single name "bass" is a European species (unavailable in the United States), which in France is known as bar or loup. True basses include the groupers, black sea bass and striped bass. Among other fish that are commonly referred to as bass are the largemouth, redeye, rock, smallmouth and spotted bass, all of which are really members of the sunfish family. See also sea bass; fish.
to moisten the food as it cooks by spooning or brushing it at regular intervals with a liquid such as melted fat, meat drippings, fruit juice, sauce or water. This is done to add flavor and color to the food and to prevent drying of the surface.
Armenian cured and spiced meat.
Said to have originated in the English town of Bath in the 18th century, this sugar-coated yeast bun is studded with candied fruit and currants or golden raisins.
1. Culinarily, this French word describes a white loaf of bread that's somewhat smaller than a baguette. 2. The term can also refer to various small, stick (baton) shaped foods such as vegetables or pastries that may or may not have a filling.
a semiliquid mixture containing flour or other starch used to make cakes and breads; gluten development is minimized and the liquid forms the continuous medium in which other ingredients are disbursed; generally contains more fat, sugar and liquids than a dough.
A yeast bread that is formed without kneading. It begins with a very thick batter that often requires extra yeast and, in order to stretch the gluten so the bread will rise effectively, always demands vigorous beating (which can be accomplished with an electric mixer). The mixture should be stiff enough for a spoon to stand up in. A batter bread's texture won't be as refined as that of a bread that has been kneaded but the results are equally delicious.
The French term for the cooking equipment and utensils necessary to equip a kitchen.
A coarse-textured German sausage that is smoked (see cure) and highly seasoned. It's usually steamed or sautéed.See also sausage.
a soft, sweet egg custard mixed with gelatin and whipped cream, then flavored with fruit.
French for "bavarian cream."
Narrow linguine. See also pasta.
Also called laurel leaf or bay laurel, this aromatic herb comes from the evergreen bay laurel tree, native to the Mediterranean. Early Greeks and Romans attributed magical properties to the laurel leaf and it has long been a symbol of honor, celebration and triumph, as in "winning your laurels." The two main varieties of bay leaf are Turkish (which has 1- to 2-inch-long oval leaves) and Californian (with narrow, 2- to 3-inch-long leaves). The Turkish bay leaves have a more subtle flavor than do the California variety. Bay leaves are used to flavor soups, stews, vegetables and meats. They're generally removed before serving. Overuse of this herb can make a dish bitter. Fresh bay leaves are seldom available in markets. Dried bay leaves, which have a fraction of the flavor of fresh, can be found in supermarkets. Store dried bay leaves airtight in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months. See also herbs; herb and spice chart.
a small tree of the laurel family native to Asia; produces firm leaves, which are shiny on top and dull beneath; used as an herb, the leaves impart a lemon-nutmeg flavor and are usually removed from whatever food they are used to flavor before the item is eaten.
A wild, dark purple plum found growing in sandy soil along the Atlantic coast. Its flavor is reminiscent of a grape-plum cross but because it's quite tart and bitter, the beach plum is not good for out-of-hand eating. It makes superior jams and jellies, however, as well as a delicious condiment for meats.
These seeded pods of various legumes are among the oldest foods known to humanity, dating back at least 4,000 years. They come in two broad categories fresh and dried. Some beans, such as black-eyed peas, lima beans and cranberry beans, can be found in both fresh and dried forms. Fresh beans are those that are commercially available in their fresh form and are generally sold in their pods. The three most commonly available fresh-bean varieties are green beans (eaten with their shell or pod) and lima beans and fava (or broad) beans, which are eaten shelled. Store fresh beans in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator up to 5 days; after that, both color and flavor begin to diminish. If cooked properly, fresh beans contain a fair amount of vitamins A and C; lima beans are also a good source of protein. Dried beans are available prepackaged or in bulk. Some of the more popular dried beans are black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, pink beans and pinto beans. Dried beans must usually be soaked in water for several hours or overnight to rehydrate them before cooking. Beans labeled "quick-cooking" have been presoaked and redried before packaging; they require no presoaking and take considerably less time to prepare. The texture of these "quick" beans, however, is not as firm to the bite as regular dried beans. Store dried beans in an airtight container for up to a year. The flatulence caused by dried beans is created by oligosaccharides, complex sugars that because they're indigestible by normal stomach enzymes proceed into the lower intestine where they're eaten (and fermented) by friendly bacteria, the result of which is gas (see digestive enzymes). Dried beans are rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus and iron. Their high protein content, along with the fact that they're easily grown and stored, make them a staple throughout many parts of the world where animal protein is scarce or expensive. See also adzuki; cannellini; fermented black beans; french bean; great northern; marrow beans; mung; navy; pea bean; pigeon pea; red beans; runner; soybean; sprouts; white bean; winged; yard-long.
a soybean custard used in Oriental dishes
to make a mixture smooth and introduce air by brisk regular motion that lifts mixture over and over. To mix vigorously with a brisk motion with spoon, fork, egg beater, or electric mixer.
A traditional Southern biscuit that dates back to the 1800s. Whereas most biscuits are soft and light, beaten biscuits are hard and crisp. The classic texture is obtained by beating the dough for 30 to 45 minutes until it becomes blistered, elastic and smooth. The beating may be done with a mallet, rolling pin, the flat side of a cleaver... any heavy object that will pound the dough into submission. One can also use an old-fashioned beaten-biscuit machine, a contraption with wooden or metal rollers reminiscent of an old-time clothes wringer. The dough is passed through the rollers, which are operated by a hand crank. This method takes no less time but saves on the wear and tear of the baker. After the dough is beaten, it is rolled out, cut into small circles and pricked with the tines of a fork before being baked.
Light and dry, this fruity red wine comes from a hilly region in southern Burgundy. Beaujolais Nouveau is new wine, bottled right after fermentation without aging. It's very light and fruity and should be drunk within a few months.
the meat of bovines (ex. cows, steers and bulls) slaughtered when older than 1 year; generally, has a dark red color, rich flavor, interior marbling, external fat and a firm to tender texture.
A dish made by larding a piece of beef (such as a beef round), marinating it for several hours in a red wine/brandy mixture before braising it. The beef is sliced very thin and served with a sauce made from the marinade. The French name is boeuf à la mode.
A dish of coarsely ground or finely chopped high-quality, raw lean beef that has been seasoned with salt, pepper and herbs. It's thought to have originated in the Baltic provinces of Russia where, in medieval times, the Tartars shredded red meat with a knife and ate it raw. Today the seasoned raw meat is usually shaped into a mound with an indentation in the top, into which is placed a raw egg yolk. Beef tartare (also referred to as steak tartare ) is usually served with capers, chopped parsley and onions.
A fillet of beef that has been covered with pâté de foie gras or duxelles, wrapped in pastry and baked.
A cross between the American bison (commonly called buffalo) and cattle, the beef strain being dominant. The dark red meat of beefalo is very lean and has a somewhat stronger flavor than beef. It may be cooked in any manner suitable for beef and is currently available only in specialty meat markets.
a mild alcoholic drink made by boiling malted barley with hops and then fermenting.
Any of several fine, sweet German wines made from superior, slightly overripe grapes that have been individually picked or cut from their bunches. Some Beerenausleses are made from grapes that have been infected with botrytis cinerea (noble rot). Because of their special selection and picking, these wines are very choice and expensive. See also auslese; spätlese; trockenbeerenauslese.
a large bulbous edible root with an edible leafy green top; its color is typically garnet red but can range from pinkish-white to deep red; also know as the garden beet, red beet and beetroot (especially in Great Britain).
The name for an appetizer made popular by Barry and Susan Wine at their New York restaurant, the Quilted Giraffe. A beggar's purse consists of a mini crêpe topped by a teaspoon of the finest caviar and then a dab of crème fraiche. The edges of the crêpe are pulled up in pleats around the filling and securely tied with a chive. The ruffle at the top makes this edible package look like a miniature purse. Beggar's purses are served at room temperature.
A sweet or savory fritter from New Orleans.
Translated as "beautiful country," this popular semisoft Italian cheese has a mild, buttery flavor that is delicious with fruity wines. Though originally and still made in a small town outside Milan, Bel Paese is now also produced in the United States. It can be served as a dessert cheese or for snacks and melts beautifully for use in casseroles or on pizza. See also cheese.
a large fresh sweet pepper with a bell-like shape, thick juicy flesh, a mild sweet flavor and available in various colors, including green ( the most common), red ( a green bell pepper that has been allowed to ripen), white, brown, purple, yellow and orange; also known as a sweet pepper, sweet bell pepper and green pepper.
Also called Tête de Moine ("monk's head"), this rich, semisoft cheese is made in Switzerland and has a flavor similar to that of gruyère. It is named after the monastery where it originated, the Abbey of Bellelay in the canton of Bern. See also cheese.
An apéritif made with peach nectar and champagne.
Gingerroot that's been pickled in sweet vinegar and colored bright red. Beni shoga is used as a garnish for many Japanese dishes, especially sushi, and is also eaten to refresh the palate. It's available in thin slices, shredded or in knobs and can be found in Asian markets. Beni shoga is also called gari. See also amazu shoga.
A traditional recipe from the Old South, benne wafers are thin, crisp cookies made with brown sugar, pecans and sesame seed.
A thin metal or lacquered wooden box divided into compartments. The bento box is used in Japan for storing separate small dishes that comprise an individual meal (most often lunch). In Japan, the bento lunch, which is commonly available at train stations, represents fast food elevated to high culinary art and design. Each of the country's 5,000 stations sells a unique box lunch that reflects the cooking of the region. The beautifully designed bento boxes can take on myriad shapes including masks, tennis rackets, nuts, golf balls or other objects both traditional and whimsical. More than twelve million bento-box meals are sold to hungry travelers and commuters in Japan each day.
An Ethiopian spice blend containing garlic, red pepper, cardamom, coriander, fenugreek and various other spices. It's often used in stews and soups.
Bercy is a section of Paris after which two sauces are named. Bercy butter is a sauce made with a reduction of white wine with shallots, butter, marrow, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. It's served with broiled or grilled meat or fish. Bercy sauce is a fish stock-based velouté with shallots a reduction of white wine, fish stock and seasonings. It's served with fish.
A small acidic orange with a peel that yields an essential oil called essence of bergamot which is used for perfumes and confections. The peel is used in earl gray tea. It's also candied and used in the same way as other candied fruit peels.
Used in East Indian cooking, besan is a pale yellow flour made from ground, dried chickpeas. This nutritious, high-protein flour is used for myriad preparations including doughs, dumplings, noodles, a thickener for sauces and in batter for deep-fried foods. Besan, also known as gram flour, can be found in Indian or Asian markets. Store, wrapped airtight, in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
One of the most important and abundant of the carotenes, a portion of which the liver converts to vitamin A. It should be noted, however, that while excess vitamin A can be toxic to the body, residual beta carotene is quickly eliminated. Scientists now believe that beta carotene is a powerful antioxidant with properties that can contribute to reducing cancer and heart disease. It's found in vegetables like carrots, broccoli, squash, spinach and sweet potatoes. Beta carotene's orange-yellow pigment is also used as a coloring in foods like butter and margarine.
Dating back to colonial America, betties are baked puddings made of layers of sugared and spiced fruit and buttered bread crumbs. Though many fruits can be used, the most popular is Apple Brown Betty, made with sliced apples and brown sugar.
The French word for "butter."
A thick sauce of butter, white wine and vinegar.
The French term for "compound butter."
French for "kneaded butter," beurre manié is a paste made of softened butter and flour (usually in equal parts) that is used to thicken sauces.
thickener made by combining 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Form into small balls. A thick, buttery paste will result. Beurre Manie is beaten into the cooking liquid of casseroles or soups of sauces that are too thin, or that are meant to be thickened after the cooking is almost complete.
A French term meaning "black butter," referring to butter cooked over low heat until dark brown (not black). Beurre noir is usually flavored with vinegar or lemon juice, capers and parsley and served with eggs, fish, brains and some vegetables.
Butter cooked to a hazelnut (noisette) color.
Beurre blanc, but with red wine instead of white.
Jewish-American in origin, this large very chewy yeast roll is round and flat with a depression in the center. The bialy is sprinkled with sautéed chopped onion before baking. The name comes from the Polish city of Bialystok.
a variety of butterhead lettuce with soft, pliable green leaves that have a buttery texture and flavor and are smaller and darker than Boston lettuce leaves; also known as limestone lettuce.
Literally translated as "beer cheese," this soft, ripened German cheese has a sharp, pungent flavor similar to limburger. It goes well with dark bread and dark beer. See also cheese.
A German cooked sausage with a garlicky flavor and dark red color. It's usually sold as sandwich meat. See also sausage.
A classic French brown sauce flavored with oranges and served with duck. Bigarade sauce combines beef stock, duck drippings, orange and lemon juice, blanched orange peel, and if desired, curaçao. The original French recipe used bitter Seville oranges (bigarade is French for "bitter orange"). Today's cooks should avoid using overly sweet citrus in this sauce.
A Polish dish consisting of layers of sauerkraut, onions and apples with cooked meats such as venison, chicken, duck, veal, cured meats or sausages. The layers are buttered, stock is poured over all and the casserole is baked slowly to allow the flavors to mingle. Tradition says that bigos should be made several days in advance because it is best when reheated.
Also called whortleberry, this indigo-blue berry grows wild in Great Britain and other parts of Europe from July to September, depending on the area. Bilberries are smaller and tarter than their cousin the American blueberry, and make delicious jams, syrups and tarts.
An elegant French soup made with mussels, onions, wine, cream and seasonings. The mussels are strained out of a classic billy bi, leaving a smooth and silky soup. However, today it is often served with the mussels. Though there are several stories of the soup's origin, the most popular is that Maxim's chef Louis Barthe named it after a regular patron who particularly loved the soup, American tin tycoon William B. (Billy B.) Leeds.
Developed in South Africa and a staple in many African countries, biltong consists of strips of cured, air-dried beef or game. Though its keeping properties are the same, it is a finer form of jerked meat than American jerky. The best biltong has been compared to the prosciutto of Italy.
to cause a mixture to hold together by beating in an egg, sauce, or some other thickening agent.
A very large, delicious cherry that ranges in color from a deep garnet to almost black. The skin is smooth and glossy and the flesh firm and sweet. Bing cherries are good for cooking as well as out-of-hand eating. See also cherry.
Very basically, food-related biotechnology is the process by which a specific gene or group of genes with desirable traits are removed from the dna of one plant or animal cell and spliced into that of another. Such beneficial genes might come from animals, (friendly) bacteria, fish, insects, plants and even humans. In some instances, genes that create problems (such as the natural softening of a tomato) are simply removed and not replaced. Tomatoes, for example, are generally picked green and gas-ripened later because, during shipping, they would become soft, bruised and unmarketable. A bioengineered tomato, however, can be picked ripe and shipped without softening. The objective of food biotechnology is to develop insect- and disease-resistant, shipping- and shelf-stable foods with improved appearance, texture and flavor. Additionally, biotechnology advocates say that the process will produce plants that are resistant to adverse weather conditions such as drought and frost, thereby increasing food production in previously prohibitive climate and soil conditions. They also envision increasing nutrient levels and decreasing pesticide usage through biotechnology. On the other hand, critics argue that, because biotechnology is producing new foods not previously consumed by humans, the changes and potential risks relating to such things as toxins, allergens and reduced nutrients are unpredictable. They also worry that, because genetically altered foods are not required to be labeled, people with religious or lifestyle dietary restrictions might unintentionally consume prohibited foods.
Dating back to the late 1800s, this American carbonated drink (usually nonalcoholic) is flavored with an extract from birch bark. It's sweet and similar in flavor to root beer.
A twice-baked Italian biscuit (cookie) that's made by first baking it in a loaf, then slicing the loaf and baking the slices. The result is an intensely crunchy cookie that is perfect for dipping into dessert wine or coffee. Biscotti can be variously flavored; the most popular additions are anise seed, hazelnuts or almonds.
1. In America, biscuits refer to small quick breads, which often use leaveners like baking powder or baking soda. Biscuits are generally savory (but can be sweet), and the texture should be tender and light. 2. In the British Isles, the term "biscuit" usually refers to a flat, thin cookie or cracker. 3. The word biscuit comes from the French bis cuit ("twice cooked"), which is what the original sea biscuits aboard ship had to be in order to remain crisp.
This traditional northern European drink, similar to mulled wine, consists of wine or port that is heated with spices and orange peel and served hot.
An elongated jelly-filled doughnut, also known as a Long John and Berlin doughnut. The bismarck can be baked or fried and sugar-coated or frosted.
a thick, creamy soup usually of shellfish, but sometimes made of pureed vegetables.
alt spellings: B'steeyaMoroccan pie of phyllo dough, shredded chicken, ground almonds and spices.
A small cafe, usually serving modest, down-to-earth food and wine. This word is also sometimes used to refer to a small nightclub (the French bistrot means "pub").
to cut into pieces which would easily fit into the mouth, approximately 1/2 inch.
Also referred to as a balsam pear, this fruit resembles a cucumber with a bumpy skin and is used as a vegetable in Chinese cooking. When first picked, the bitter melon is yellow-green and has a delicate, sour flavor. As it ripens it turns yellow-orange and becomes bitter and acrid, which is how many people prefer it. Bitter melon is available fresh from April through September in most Asian markets. It can also be purchased canned or dried.
an aromatic liquid used to flavor cocktails, soft drinks, as well as soups and sweet dishes, such as ice cream.
a relatively large, dried bean with black skin, cream-colored flesh and a sweet flavor; also called a turtle bean.
Also called turtle beans, these dried beans have long been popular in Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and the southern United States. They have a black skin, cream-colored flesh and a sweet flavor, and form the base for the famous black-bean soup. They are commonly available in supermarkets. See also beans.
A rich pie with a layer of dark chocolate custard, topped with a layer of rum custard. The top is garnished with sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Almost black in color, this European peasant bread gets its hue from a variety of ingredients including dark rye flour, toasted dark bread crumbs, molasses, cocoa powder, dark beer and coffee. It's a hearty, full-flavored loaf that, depending on the baker, can be lightly sweet.
Not a bun in the sense of bread, the Scottish black bun is a spicy mixture of nuts with dried and candied fruit enclosed in a rich pastry crust. Traditionally, Scots serve it at Hogmanay (the New Year). It's best prepared several weeks in advance so the fruit mixture can ripen and develop flavor.
butter, melted, clarified, and cooked until it is nut brown.
The famous Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte hails from Swabia in Germany's Black Forest region. This exquisite dessert is created by layering kirsch-scented chocolate cake, sour cherries and kirsch-laced whipped cream. A generous coating of whipped cream garnished with chocolate curls and cherries completes the cake.
A cocktail made with two parts vodka and one part coffee-flavored liqueur served over ice. See also white russian.
A true bass, this Atlantic coast fish can be found from Cape Cod to Florida, though it's more abundant from New York to North Carolina. A best-selling fish, it can vary in color from brown to dark gray. It has a firm, moderately fat flesh that has a delicate flavor, due largely to its diet. Black sea bass is sold whole, and in steaks and fillets. It's suitable for almost any method of preparation. See also sea bass; striped bass; fish.
Distinctly trumpet-shaped, this mushroom ranges from 2 to 5 inches high. Its flesh is thin and brittle and can range in color from grayish brown to very dark brown or almost black. Black trumpets are distinctively aromatic and have an elegant buttery flavor. They're available midsummer through midfall in specialty produce markets. See also mushroom.
A drink made with equal parts champagne and stout. A brown velvet substitutes port for stout.
This native American nut has an extraordinarily hard shell, which makes it extremely difficult to crack and therefore not as popular as the more widely known english walnut. Its strong, slightly bitter flavor is highly valued by black-walnut devotees, but its high fat content makes it turn rancid quickly. See also nuts; walnut.
the seed of a member of the pea family native to China; small and beige with a black circular eye on the curved edge and used in southern U.S. and Chinese cuisines; also known as a cowpea (it was first planted in the United States as fodder).
a large shiny berry with a deep purple, almost black color and a sweet flavor; also known as a bramble berry.
A cooking technique made famous by New Orleans's chef Paul Prudhomme by which meat or fish is cooked in a cast-iron skillet that's been heated until almost red hot. Prudhomme's original specialty was blackened redfish. The food is customarily rubbed with a cajun spice mixture before being cooked. The extra hot skillet combined with the seasoning rub gives food an extra crispy crust.
Also called Chinese steelhead and black trout, this lean Pacific fish is a favorite in Chinese communities. It has a delicious, delicate flavor but can be troublesome because of its network of tiny fine bones. It is suitable for most methods of cooking. See also fish.
French for "white," as in beurre blanc, which means "white butter."
French phrase meaning "white wine from white grapes." This term is used to describe champagnes made exclusively from the white Chardonnay grape. It also refers to white wines made entirely from white grapes, rather than from a blend using some red grapes. See also blanc de noirs.
The French term meaning "white wine from red grapes." This phrase is used for champagnes and other sparkling wines that are made entirely from pinot noir grapes. Occasionally the term blanc de noirs refers to still (nonsparkling) wines made from cabernet sauvignon, Pinot Noir or zinfandel. The color of blanc de noirs wines varies in hue from pale pink to apricot to salmon. See also blanc de blancs.
to immerse food briefly into boiling water, then plunge into cold water. The process firms flesh, heightens and sets color and flavor and loosens skin as in tomatoes intended for peeling.
a sweet pudding made with milk and cornstarch flavored with almonds, vanilla, rum, or brandy.
A rich, creamy stew made with veal, chicken or lamb, button mushrooms and small white onions. The name comes from the French word blanc, meaning "white."
to mix two or more ingredients together thoroughly with a spoon, beater or blender.
A small electrical appliance that uses short rotating blades to chop, blend, puree and liquefy foods. Because blender containers are tall and narrow, air is not incorporated into the food so this appliance will not "whip" foods such as egg whites and cream. Blenders can be used for making soups, purees, sauces, milkshakes and other drinks, as well as for chopping small amounts of foods such as bread crumbs and herbs. See also immersion blender.
A genus of small (4- to 6-inch-long) freshwater and saltwater fish characterized by its lack of scales; instead, its body is covered by a mucous membrane. The blenny has a mild, white, flavorful flesh and is best served fried. See also fish.
A French term used for a steak cooked so rare that it is barely warmed through. à point is the next step, which means the steak is cooked rare.
See Bake Blind.
Russian buckwheat pancakes served with a variety of spreads, notably, sour cream and caviar.
a cooked crepe stuffed with cheese or other filling.
A sweet-tart orange with a bright red or red-streaked white flesh. Most blood oranges are best eaten fresh, but the more acidic varieties like the Maltese work well in cooked sauces like the hollandaise-based maltaise sauce. See also orange.
A popular cocktail made with tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and other seasonings.
1. Pale gray streaks and blotches that appear on the surface of chocolate. Bloom is a result of cocoa butter forming crystals on the chocolate, usually caused by the chocolate being stored in too warm an environment. see also chocolate. 2. The pale gray film found on the skin of fruits such as grapes and plums. Fruit bloom is simply nature's waterproofing and completely harmless. 3. A natural, invisible, protective coating found on eggshells. This covering is washed off when usda-graded eggs are sanitized; producers then replace it with a thin film of mineral oil.
This genre of cheese has been treated with molds that form blue or green veins throughout and give the cheese its characteristic flavor. Some of the more popular of the blues include dana-blu, gorgonzola, roquefort and stilton. Blue cheeses tend to be strong in flavor and aroma, both of which intensify with aging. See also cheese.
A sweet cocktail composed of two parts each rum and cream to one part each of cointreau and blue curaçao.
a small berry native to North America; has a smooth skin, blue to blue-black color, juicy light gray-blue flesh and a sweet flavor; eaten raw, used in baked goods or made into jams and jellies.
Found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, the bluefish is nicknamed "bulldog of the ocean" because of its tenacity. It ranges from 3 to 10 pounds and has a fatty, fine-textured flesh that ranges in color from white to silver gray. Removing the dark, oily strip that runs down its center is important to prevent the flesh from absorbing a strong fishy flavor. Bluefish is best when baked or broiled. See also fish.
In the United States, the phrase "blush wine" has almost replaced that of rosé, which is considered somewhat passé. Initially, the term applied to very pale-colored rosé wines. Today, however, it's used to encompass a full spectrum of wines that, like rosés, are generally made with red grapes. The juice has had only brief (2 to 3 days') contact with the stems and skins the reason for the wines' pale color. The term "blush," however, is broadly used to describe wines that can range in color from various shades of pink to pale orange to light red. Unlike the common rosé, blush wines can range from dry to sweet and may be light- to medium-bodied. They should be served chilled but not icy and may accompany a variety of lightly flavored foods.
The brand name for a popular baked pizza crust topped with a tiny soupçon of cheese (Parmesan and mozzarella) and olive oil. Boboli comes in 4- and 16-ounce sizes.
A popular South African dish made of minced lamb and/or beef mixed with bread, rice or mashed potatoes, onions, garlic and curry powder. The ingredients are blended with an egg-and-milk mixture before being baked. Partway through the baking process additional egg-milk mixture is poured over the top. Bobotie is served in squares or wedges.
1. Small nuggets (about 1 inch in diameter) of fresh mozzarella. Bocconcini are generally sold packed in whey or water. 2. Italian for "mouthful," referring not to size, but to the appetizing appeal of dishes described in this manner. Therefore, in Italian cookery, the word bocconcini may be attributed to many dishes. For example, bocconcini di vitello alla crema is a rich preparation of veal chunks cooked with wine, butter, egg yolks and whipping cream. A less rich, but equally tempting, dish is bocconcini Fiorentina pieces of veal or beef sautéed with garlic, onions and herbs, sometimes with the addition of tomatoes.
A German beer that is full-bodied, slightly sweet and usually dark. It's brewed in the fall, aged through winter and celebrated in the spring at traditional Bavarian bock beer festivals.
Delicately flavored with chopped parsley and chives, this ground-veal sausage is of German origin. It's generally sold raw and must be well cooked before serving. Bockwurst is traditionally served with bock beer, particularly during springtime. See also sausage.
describes a characteristic of wines. A full bodied wine is rich without bitterness, when it is a good one.
The French word for "beef."
to cook in a liquid which has reached a temperature of 212*F (100*C), or where bubbles are rising continually and are breaking the surface.
A fluffy cake frosting made by gradually pouring a hot sugar syrup over stiffly beaten egg whites, beating constantly until the mixture is smooth and satiny. An Italian meringue is made in the same manner.
A shot of whiskey followed by a chaser of beer.
used for processing acid foods, such as fruit, tomatoes, pickled vegetables, and sauerkraut. These acid foods are canned safely at boiling temperatures in a water-bath canner.
French for "drink" or "beverage."
a member of the cabbage family native to southern China; has long wide, white crunchy stalks with tender, smooth-edged, dark green leaves; used raw, pickled or cooked; also know as baak choy, Chinese mustard, pak choi and white mustard cabbage.
This classic Italian dish of mixed boiled meats is particulary popular in the Emilia, Lombardy and Piedmont regions. The meats, which include veal, chicken and cotechino sausage, are accompanied by a rich meat broth and a piquant green sauce.
a wide diameter, highly seasoned sausage made from beef; named for Bologna, Italy (although the Italian sausage associated with that city is actually mortadella), available cooked and usually served cold; also known as baloney.
Precooked and highly seasoned, this popular sausage is usually sliced and served as a sandwich meat or cold cut. The word comes from Italy's city of Bologna, though true Italian bologna sausage is called mortadella. See also sausage.
Named after the rich cookery style of Bologna, Italy, Bolognese refers to dishes served with a thick, full-bodied meat and vegetable sauce enhanced with wine and milk or cream. The term alla Bolognese (in French, à la Bolognese ) on a menu designates a pasta or other dish sauced in this manner. The Italian term for this sauce is ragu Bolognese, or often simply ragu.
Not a duck at all, this pungent, flavorful food is actually dried salted fish. It can be found in East Indian markets and some specialty markets. Bombay duck is most often used to flavor curried dishes. When cooked until crisp, it can also be eaten as a snack.
A frozen dessert consisting of layers of ice cream or sherbet. The ice cream is softened and spread, one layer at a time, in a mold. Each layer is hardened before the next one is added. The center of a bombe is often custard laced with fruit. After it's frozen solid, the bombe is unmolded and often served with a dessert sauce. The original bombe molds were spherical; however, any shape mold may be used today.
A French phrase with any of various meanings related to having a good (bon ) appetite (appétit ) such as "have a good meal," (I wish you a) "hearty appetite" or "enjoy your meal." Bon appétit has long been Julia Child's television sign-off.
The brand name of a popular semisoft cheese sold in small paraffin-coated rounds. It's pale cream in color and has a mild flavor and smooth, buttery texture that's a perfect complement for fruit; it's also used in sandwiches and salads. See also cheese.
a sweet made of or dipped into fondant.
To remove the bones from meat, fish or fowl.
to remove bones.
a cut of meat containing the bone.
a cut of meat from which the bone has been removed.
Literally translated as "good wife," the term bonne femme describes food prepared in an uncomplicated, homey manner. Sole bonne femme is a simply poached fish served with a sauce of white wine and lemon juice, and often garnished with small onions and mushrooms.
French for "tasty little bite," referring to any of various small enticements such as a snack, tidbit or hors D'oeuvre.
Bright flowers and hairy leaves distinguish this European herb whose flavor is reminiscent of cucumber. Both the flowers and leaves are used in salads, but the leaves must be chopped finely so their hirsute texture isn't offputting. The leaves are also used to flavor teas and vegetables.
Bordeaux wines take their name from their region of origin in southwest France and are known for their elegant richness and fragrance. Bordeaux is the largest fine-wine district in the world. Some of the best red Bordeaux (also known as clarets ) include Médoc, Margaux Saint-Emilion, Pauillac and Pomerol; fine white Bordeaux include Sauternes, Barsac and Graves. Château is the word for a wine estate in Bordeaux; some of the best are Château Latour, Château Mouton-Rothschild, Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Margaux and Château Haut-Brion.
A blend of wine, brown stock, marrow, shallots and herbs.
A French term meaning "of or from Bordeaux" and referring to dishes served with bordelaise sauce.
Though thought of as Turkish, these thin packets of pastry (ranging from phyllo to puff pastry) are found throughout the Middle East. They can contain a variety of fillings, including cheese, spinach or ground meat, and may be baked or fried. Borek are served hot as an hors D'oeuvre or with a salad as a main course.
soup containing beets and other vegetables; it is usually made with a meat stock base.
Originally from Russia and Poland, borscht is a soup made with fresh beets. It can be prepared using an assortment of vegetables, or with meat and meat stock, or with a combination of both. Borscht can be served hot or cold; it should always be garnished with a dollop of sour cream.
A large winter pear with a slender neck and a russeted yellow skin. Bosc pears are available from October through April. They have an agreeably sweet-tart flavor and are delicious fresh or cooked. The Bosc holds its shape well when baked or poached. See also pear.
An American bean dish often made in a crock. These are small white beans (navy or pea beans) cooked with smoked meat and sweetener such as molasses, maple syrup or brown sugar.
Rye and wheat flour, cornmeal and molasses flavor this dark, sweet steamed bread. It often contains raisins and is the traditional accompaniment for boston baked beans.
Not a pie at all, this dessert consists of two layers of sponge cake with a thick custard filling, topped either by a dusting of confectioners' sugar or chocolate glaze.
a variety of butterhead lettuce with soft, pliable pale green leaves that have a buttery texture and flavor and are larger and paler than bibb lettuce leaves.
Also called noble rot, this beneficial mold develops on grapes under certain environmental conditions. The mold causes the grape to shrivel, concentrating and intensifying both sugar and flavor. Most winemakers are exhilarated when noble rot descends on their grapes because it gives them fruit from which to make very elegant, intensely flavored dessert wines. In California these wines are usually referred to as late harvest wines and in France, where noble rot is called pourriture noble, they're known as sauternes. In Germany noble rot is called Edelfaule, and German winemakers are experts at producing a large variety of elegant botrytis-infected wines such as trockenbeerenauslese and some beerenausleses.
A phrase used on whiskey labels indicating that the contents are 100 proof, at least 4 years old, and that the whiskey was produced by a single distiller and stored in a bonded warehouse under government supervision until taxed and shipped to the retailer.
The French word for "mouthful," a bouchée is a small puff pastry shell filled with various savory preparations such as creamed fish.
1. A delicate sausage, similar to a quenelle in texture, made with chicken, fat, eggs, cream, bread crumbs and seasonings. It is most often gently sautéed and served hot. The term is French for "white pudding." 2. In Louisiana, boudin blanc is a sturdier sausage made with veal, rice and onions. See also sausage.
a highly seasoned fish soup or chowder containing two or more kinds of fish.
clear delicately seasoned soup usually made from lean beef stock.
A compressed, flavor-concentrated cube of dehydrated beef, chicken or vegetable stock. Bouillon granules are the granular form of the dehydrated concentrate. Both the cubes and granules must be dissolved in a hot liquid before using.
French for "ball," referring culinarily to a round loaf of white bread. Also called miche.
A popular beverage in Colonial days, bounce is made by combining rum or brandy with fruit, sugar and spices and allowing the mixture to ferment for 1 to 3 weeks.
Another name for cranberry.
aroma, a term used to describe the fragrance of wines and other foods.
a combination of herbs tied in cheese-cloth which are used to flavor stocks and stews and removed before serving.
Named for Bourbon County, Kentucky, this all-American liquor is distilled from fermented grain. Straight bourbon is distilled from a "mash" of at least 51 percent corn; blended bourbon must contain not less than 51 percent straight bourbon. Sour mash bourbon is made by adding a portion of the old mash to help ferment each new batch, in the same way that a portion of sourdough starter is the genesis of each new batch of sourdough bread.
name applied to dishes containing Burgundy and often braised onions and mushrooms.
The French term for "as prepared in Burgundy," one of France's most famous gastronomic regions. Meat (usually beef, as in boeuf bourguignonne ) is braised in red wine and usually garnished with small mushrooms and white onions. For information on fondue bourguignonne see listing for fondue.
A soft, snowy rind surrounds this rich triple-cream cheese that has the consistency of thick sour cream. It comes in small paper-wrapped cylinders; avoid any with discolored paper. See also cheese.
White and smooth with a buttery texture, this triple-cream cheese is often flavored with herbs, garlic or cracked pepper. It's wonderful with dry white and fruity red wines. See also cheese.
a round vessel used for preparing and serving foods, especially those with a liquid or semiliquid texture.
Said to have originated during the Irish famine, boxty is rather like a thick pancake composed of mashed and shredded potatoes, flour and baking soda or baking powder. Like a scone, the dough is shaped into a circle, cut into quarters and baked on a griddle. Boxty is usually served as a side dish with meat.
a blackberry, raspberry and loganberry hybrid named for its progenitor, horticulturist Rudolph Boysen; shaped like a large raspberry; has a purple-red color and a rich, sweet, tart flavor. Choose boysenberries that are firm and uniform in size. Discard shriveled or moldy berries. Do not wash until ready to use, and store (preferably in a single layer) in a moistureproof container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
The French word for "burned," as in crème brûlé.
The Italian name for roulade.
Beef, veal and lamb brains are available in many supermarkets and most specialty meat markets. Purchase brains that are a bright pinkish-white color, plump and firm. They are very perishable and should be used the day of purchase. Brains must be well washed, then blanched in acidulated water. They can then be poached, fried, baked or broiled, and are particularly delicious when served with beurre noir.
To cook meat by searing in fat, then simmering in a covered dish in small amount of moisture. Also poêle
the tough, outer covering of the endosperm of various types of grain kernels; has a high fiber and B vitamin content and is usually removed during milling; used to enrich baked goods and as a cereal and nutrient supplement.
A term first used in the 1800s referring to pure, clean water from a tiny stream called a "branch." An order for "bourbon and branch" is a nostalgic request for bourbon and water.
A pounded combination of salted or smoked fish, olive oil, garlic, milk and cream.
A liquor distilled from wine (such as armagnac) or other fermented fruit juice (such as the apple-based calvados). Brandies are aged in wood, which contributes flavor and color. The finest of all brandies is cognac. The name "brandy" comes from the Dutch brandewijn, meaning "burned (distilled) wine."
A sweet cocktail that is usually served after dinner. It's made with brandy, chocolate liqueur and cream.
An informal French café that serves beer, wine and simple, hearty food.
a fresh German sausage made from veal, seasoned with ginger, nutmeg and coriander or caraway seeds.
Named after the German town of Braunschweig, this smoked liver sausage enriched with eggs and milk is the most famous of the liverwursts. It's soft enough to be spreadable and is usually served at room temperature. See also sausage.
Actually the seed of a giant tree that grows in South America's Amazon jungle. These seeds come in clusters of 8 to 24 inside a hard, 4- to 6-inch globular pod that resembles a coconut. The extremely hard shell of each seed, or "nut," is dark brown and triangular in shape. The kernel is white, rich and high in fat. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, a powerful antioxidant. See also nuts.
1. A food baked from a dough or batter made with flour or meal, water or other liquids and a leavener. 2. To coat a food with flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs or cracker crumbs before cooking.
There are dry and fresh (or soft) bread crumbs, and the two should not be used interchangeably. Fresh crumbs are made by placing bread slices (trimmed of crusts or not) in a food processor or blender and processing until the desired size of crumb is reached. They can be stored, tightly sealed, in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for at least 6 months. Fresh bread crumbs give more texture to breaded dishes. Dry bread crumbs either plain or flavored can be purchased in any supermarket. Homemade dry crumbs are made by placing a single layer of bread slices on a baking sheet and baking at 300°F until completely dry and lightly browned. The slices are cooled before processing in a blender or food processor until very fine. See also panko.
is an unbleached, specially formulated, high-gluten blend of 99.8 percent hard-wheat flour, a small amount of malted barley flour (to improve yeast activity) and vitamin C or potassium bromate (to increase the gluten's elasticity and the dough's gas retention). It is ideally suited for yeast breads.
Computer-driven machines that mix, knead, rise, punch down, bake and sometimes cool bread. The ingredients are measured and added to a single, nonstick canister, which becomes mixing bowl, baking pan and oven. A motor-driven blade in the canister's base mixes and kneads the dough; a heating coil handles the baking. Bread machines come in many models, but there are three basic loaf shapes: vertical rectangle, horizontal rectangle and cylindrical. There are several capacities available, ranging from 1/2-pound to 2-pound loaves. It's important to follow manufacturer's directions (which can vary) for adding and layering ingredients. Failing to do so could prevent the yeast from mixing with the liquid, which would result in a failed loaf of bread.
A simple, delicious baked dessert made with cubes or slices of bread saturated with a mixture of milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and spices. Chopped fruit or nuts also can be added. Bread and butter pudding is made by buttering the bread slices before adding the liquid mixture. Both may be served hot or cold with cream or a dessert sauce.
A British cookery sauce made with bread crumbs, milk, onions, cream and various seasonings, usually including cloves. This thick sauce is typically served with wild game birds and other poultry.
Sweet pickles made from thin slices of unpeeled cucumber; usually pickled with onion and sweet green bell pepper, and flavored with mustard and celery seeds, cloves and turmeric.
Native to the Pacific, breadfruit is large (8 to 10 inches in diameter), has a bumpy green skin and a rather bland-tasting cream-colored center. It is picked and eaten before it ripens and becomes too sweet. Like squash, breadfruit can be baked, grilled, fried or boiled and served as a sweet or savory dish. It's available fresh in some Latin and specialty produce markets and may also be purchased canned.
The name applied to any of several freshwater or saltwater fish such as the American porgy, the Japanese sea bream and the French daurade. In general, bream can be grilled, baked or fried. See also fish; porgy.
From Tunisia, this savory, deep-fried turnover usually contains a spicy meat or fish filling and often an egg. Though the fillings may vary, brek is traditionally served with harissa sauce.
Thin slices of air-dried and aged salted beef filet.
The name of this all-American Wisconsin cheese is said to have come from the fact that bricks were once used to weight the curd and press out the whey; it's also brick shaped. Pale yellow and semisoft, brick cheese has a mild, earthy flavor when young. As it ripens, however, it becomes almost as strong as limburger. See also cheese.
Acclaimed as one of the world's great cheeses, Brie is characterized by an edible, downy white rind and a cream-colored, buttery-soft interior that should "ooze" when at the peak of ripeness. Though several countries (including the United States) make this popular cheese, Brie from France is considered the best and French Brie de Meaux dates back to the 8th century. Brie can be made from raw or pasteurized, whole or skim milk. Because Brie must be perfectly ripe for the best flavor, it's important to select one that is plump and resilient to the touch; the rind might show some pale brown edges. Once ripe, Brie has a short shelf life and should be used within a few days. See also cheese.
An excellent European saltwater flatfish closely related to the turbot. It has a delicate, light flesh that can be broiled, fried, baked, grilled or poached. See also fish.
a solution of salt and water used in pickling. Brine draws natural sugars and moisture from foods and forms lactic acids which protects them against spoilage. Usually the strongest brine used in food processing is a 10% solution, made by dissolving 1.5 cups of salt in 1 gallon of liquid, or 6 tablespoons of salt for each quart of liquid.
a yeast-raised cake baked to a rich brown usually circular in shape, with a smaller round on top. It is different from other raised doughs in that eggs are added, giving it a characteristic golden tinge, also it is raised in the refrigerator overnight.
A cut of beef taken from the breast section under the first five ribs. Brisket is usually sold without the bone and is divided into two sections. The flat cut has minimal fat and is usually more expensive than the more flavorful point cut, which has more fat. Brisket requires long, slow cooking and is best when braised. Corned beef is made from brisket. See brisket.
a light green cauliflower that is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, with a milder flavor than either vegetable.
Italian for cabbage sprout and used to describe a member of the cabbage family with a tight cluster (called a curd) of emerald green florets on top of a stout, paler green edible stalk with dark green leaves.
A vegetable related to both the cabbage and turnip family, the leafy green broccoli raab has 6- to 9-inch stalks and scattered clusters of tiny broccolilike buds. It's also called brocoletti di rape, rape and rapini. The greens have a pungent, bitter flavor that is not particularly popular in America where, more often than not, they're used as animal fodder. Italians are particularly fond of broccoli raab, however, and cook it in a variety of ways including frying, steaming and braising. It can also be used in soups or salads. Broccoli raab can be found from fall to spring in markets with specialty produce sections. It should be wrapped in a plastic bag and refrigerated for no more than 5 days.
French for "spit-roasted."
The French word for "skewer." En brochette refers to food cooked on a skewer.
The Italian word for "broth."
to cook the food by placing it a measured distance below direct, dry heat. Most ovens have a broiler section that is used to cook meats, fish and poultry or melt or brown foods.
German word for "bread."
a thin soup, or a liquid in which meat, fish, of vegetables have been cooked.
To produce a brown surface on a food by use of relatively high heat for a brief period of time, giving the food an appetizing color and a richer flavor by caramelizing the proteins and/or sugars on the surface.
Known in France as espagnole sauce, brown sauce is used as a base for dozens of other sauces. It's traditionally made of a rich meat stock, a mirepoix of browned vegetables, a brown roux, herbs and sometimes tomato paste. See also sauce.
soft, refined sugar with a coating of molasses; can be dark or light, coarse or fine.
a cake-like bar cookie, usually made with chocolate and garnished with nuts.
to partially crush an ingredient, such as herbs, to release flavor for seasoning food.
A combination of breakfast and lunch, usually eaten sometime between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday brunch has become quite popular both for home entertaining and in restaurants. Though brunch is thought of as an American tradition, H. L. Mencken tells us that it was popular in England around 1900... long before it reached the United States.
finely diced or shredded vegetables, usually cooked in butter or stock, and used to flavor soups and sauces.
From the Italian bruscare meaning "to roast over coals," this traditional garlic bread is made by rubbing slices of toasted bread with garlic cloves, then drizzling the bread with extra-virgin olive oil. The bread is salted and peppered, then heated and served warm.
To apply a liquid (such as melted butter or a glaze) with a pastry (or basting) brush to the surface of food such as meat or bread.
Said to have been cultivated in 16th-century Belgium, Brussels sprouts are a member of the cabbage family and, indeed, resemble tiny cabbage heads. Many rows of sprouts grow on a single long stalk. They range from 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter; the smaller sprouts are more tender. Brussels sprouts are available from late August through March. Buy small bright green sprouts with compact heads. Store unwashed sprouts in an airtight plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 3 days; longer than that and sprouts will develop a strong flavor. Brussels sprouts, a cruciferous vegetable, are high in vitamins A and C, and are a fair source of iron.
A term applied to the driest (see dry) champagne. Brut champagnes are drier than those labeled "extra dry."
Of Romanian origin, this sheep's-milk cheese is cured in brine. It's creamy, rich and salty, and ranges from soft and spreadable to semidry and crumbly. See also cheese.
A thin, deep-fried Mexican pastry sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar.
An English dish of equal parts mashed potatoes and chopped cooked cabbage mixed together and fried until well browned. Originally, the dish included chopped boiled beef. The name is said to come from the sounds the potato-cabbage mixture makes as it cooks (some say it's from the sounds one's stomach makes after eating bubble and squeak).
Hollow, spaghettilike pasta strands.
A native of Russia, buckwheat is thought of as a cereal, but is actually an herb of the genus Fagopyrum. The triangular seeds of this plant are used to make buckwheat flour, which has an assertive flavor and is used for pancakes and as an addition to some baked goods. The famous Russian blini are made with buckwheat flour. Buckwheat groats are the hulled, crushed kernels, which are usually cooked in a manner similar to rice. Groats come in coarse, medium and fine grinds. Kasha, which is roasted buckwheat groats, has a toastier, more nutty flavor.
The American buffalo, now being raised by approximately 2,000 producers in the United States, is really a bison a shaggy, humped member of the cattle family. Buffalo meat is surprisingly tender and tastes somewhat like lean beef. It has no pronounced gamey flavor. Buffalo can be found on some restaurant menus and is available in some specialty meat markets. The cuts are similar to beef and can be substituted for beef in most recipes. However, because buffalo meat is so lean, it should be cooked slowly at a low heat. Buffalo is higher in iron than beef and lower in fat and cholesterol than most cuts of beef and chicken as well as some fish.
Buffalo, New York's, Anchor Bar originated this dish of deep-fried chicken wings served in a spicy hot sauce and accompanied by blue-cheese dressing.
Similar to carp, this freshwater fish is a member of the sucker family. It has a coarse but sweet, lean flesh that can be baked, poached, sautéed or grilled. Buffalo fish can be purchased whole or in fillets or steaks. It's especially good in its smoked form. See also fish.
Culinarily, a buffet is a meal where guests serve themselves from a variety of dishes set out on a table or sideboard.
A nutritious staple in the Middle East, bulghur wheat consists of wheat kernels that have been steamed, dried and crushed. It is often confused with but is not exactly the same as cracked wheat. Bulghur, also called burghul, has a tender, chewy texture and comes in coarse, medium and fine grinds. It makes an excellent wheat pilaf and is delicious in salads (see tabbouleh), and in meat or vegetable dishes, as with kibbeh.
A drink composed of two parts beef bouillon and one part vodka, plus dashes of worcestershire sauce, bitters and tabasco sauce.
A term used in Great Britain for corned beef, particularly canned versions.
A Swiss salt-cured, air-dried beef similar to (but considered superior to) Africa's biltong. It's available only in specialty gourmet markets.
Originally the trademark name of a tube pan with fluted sides, "Bundt pan" is now the general name of any of that style of cake pan. To prevent a cake from sticking to this pan, it's extremely important that all the creases of the fluted sides are well greased before pouring in a batter.
This freshwater cod has a fairly lean, white flesh with a delicate flavor. It can be poached, baked, broiled or sautéed. See also fish.
Known in Japan as gobo, burdock is a slender root vegetable with a rusty brown skin and grayish-white flesh. Cultivated primarily in Japan, it grows wild throughout much of Europe and the United States. Burdock has a sweet, earthy flavor and tender-crisp texture. It's important to choose firm, young burdock, preferably no more than 1 inch in diameter; they will be about 18 inches long. Do not wash the earth-covered roots until ready to use. Store, tightly wrapped in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Scrub before cooking; peeling isn't necessary. Burdock can be thinly sliced or shredded and used in soups as well as with vegetables and meats.
Also called Kentucky burgoo, this thick stew is full of meats (usually veal, beef, lamb and poultry) and vegetables (including potatoes, onions, cabbage, carrots, sweet green peppers, corn, okra, lima beans and celery). Burgoo is popular for large gatherings in America's southern states. Originally, the word "burgoo" was used to describe an oatmeal porridge served to English sailors as early as 1750.
The Burgundy region in eastern France produces a group of superb red and white wines, though four times as much red is bottled as white. The white wines, made from chardonnay grapes, and the red wines, made from pinot noir or Gamay are considered the world's best examples of these wines. Some of the better known wines of Burgundy include those from beaujolais, Pommard, Beaune, Meursault, chablis, Pouilly-Fuissé, Chambertin, Corton, Romanée Conti and Echézeaux.
Native to Europe, burnet includes any of several herbs, the most common being salad burnet. Its leaves are used in salads and with vegetables. Like borage, burnet leaves are also used to flavor drinks, such as tea. When crushed, they have a fragrance similar to cucumber. See also herbs.
The British version of the French crème brûlée.
a flour tortilla made with a filling.
a fatty substance produced by agitating or churning cream; contains at least 80% milkfat, not more than 16% water and 2 to 4% milk solids; melts into a liquid at approx. 98*F (38*C) and reaches the smoke point at 260*F (127*C). Learn how to make your own butter
A small (6- to 7-inch-long) utensil with a serrated hook at one end. The hook is drawn down the length of a stick of butter to make butter curls. The curls are then dropped into ice water to set their shape.
These decorative molds are used to form butter into fancy shapes. They come in ceramic, metal, wood and plastic; their sizes range from small, individual portions to large 8-ounce or more family-style molds. The molds are filled with softened butter and leveled off. After chilling, the solidified butter is removed from the mold and refrigerated until ready to serve.
British term for cheesecloth.
Found in powdered and granular forms, butter substitutes are made by a process that removes the fat and water from butter extract (a blend of modified butter oil and spray-dried butter). They contain no fat or cholesterol. What these "all natural" (according to the label) products do contain are such ingredients as maltodextrin (a carbohydrate derived from corn), corn syrup solids, salt, natural flavorings, buttermilk and cornstarch. As expected from the ingredients used, butter substitutes have an embarrassingly counterfeit flavor. They also have from about 8 to 12 calories per teaspoon, as opposed to butter or margarine's 33 calories per teaspoon. Butter substitutes may either be reconstituted by blending with a liquid, or sprinkled directly on to food. Because they're fat-free, they cannot be used for baking, frying or greasing pans. See also butter.
A light, creamy frosting made with softened butter, confectioners' sugar, egg yolks and milk or light cream. This uncooked frosting is beaten until light and creamy. It can be flavored in many ways and is used both as a filling and frosting for a variety of cakes and pastries.
A variety of turban squash that ranges from 4 to 8 inches in diameter and 2 to 3 inches high. It has a light blue-gray turban with a dark green shell flecked with gray. The flesh is orange and the flavor reminiscent of sweet potato. It can be baked, steamed or simmered. See also squash.
Found off the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, the small (average 8 ounces), high-fat butterfish has a tender texture and a rich, sweet flavor. It is usually sold whole and is sometimes smoked. Butterfish can be broiled, baked, grilled or sautéed. Depending on the region, they're also known as dollarfish, Pacific pompano and pomfret. See also fish; sablefish.
to cut food almost in half so that when flattened the two halves resemble butterfly wings.
One of two varieties of head lettuce (the other being crisphead). Butterhead lettuces have small, round, loosely formed heads with soft, buttery-textured leaves ranging from pale green on the outer leaves to pale yellow-green on the inner leaves. The flavor is sweet and succulent. Because the leaves are quite tender, they require gentle washing and handling. Boston and Bibb (also called limestone) lettuce are the two most well known of the butterhead family. The smaller Bibb is highly prized by gourmets. Both Boston and Bibb lettuce are sometimes referred to simply as "butterhead" or "butter" lettuce. See also lettuce.
1. Fresh, pasteurized skim or lowfat cow's milk cultured (soured) with Streptococcus lactis bacteria; also known as cultured buttermilk. 2. Traditionally, the liquid remaining after the cream was churned into butter.
A favorite in the American South, this pie has a filling of buttermilk, butter, eggs, flour and sugar, plus flavorings like lemon juice, vanilla and nutmeg. It's similar to but tangier than chess pie.
This native American nut grows in New England and is also known as the white walnut. It has a rich, oily meat which is generally used in candies and baked goods. Because of the high oil content, butternuts become rancid quickly. See also nuts; walnut.
1. A flavor derived from brown sugar and butter, used for cookies, candies, sauces and the like. 2. A hard candy with the flavor of butterscotch.
Found chiefly in butter, this natural acid not only produces butter's distinctive flavor but also causes the rancid smell in spoiled butter. Butyric acid, also called butanoic acid, is also found in some fruits and is produced synthetically to be used as a flavoring agent in various food products.
A French apéritif that is a blend of red wine and quinine water.
a delicious mushroom.
The generic appellation given to red, white and rosé wines grown in an area covering 83,000 acres in France's Rhône Valley. The majority of rhône wines are red. Some of these are a deep ruby-black color, with full-bodied, concentrated flavors that benefit from at least 5 years' aging, while others are lighter and fruitier. The white Rhônes are fruity and dry and can be quite heady; the rosés can also be rather dry. Rhône wines are not made from one grape variety, but from a blend of from 2 to 13. The principal red grape is Grenache, but Carignan, Counoise, Mourvedre, Terret Noir and Syrah are also used. The white grapes used are Bourboulenc, Clairette, Marsanne, Muscardine, Picardan, Roussanne and Piquepoul (or Picpoule).
The word cabbage is a derivation of the French word caboche, a colloquial term for "head." The cabbage family of which Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and kale are all members is wide and varied. Cabbage itself comes in many forms the shapes can be flat, conical or round, the heads compact or loose, and the leaves curly or plain. In the United States, the most widely used cabbage comes in compact heads of waxy, tightly wrapped leaves that range in color from almost white to green to red. savoy cabbage and chinese cabbage are considered culinarily superior but are less readily available. Choose a cabbage with fresh, crisp-looking leaves that are firmly packed; the head should be heavy for its size. Cabbage may be refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for about a week. It can be cooked in a variety of ways or eaten raw, as in slaw. Cabbage, a cruciferous vegetable, contains a good amount of vitamin C and some vitamin A.
the common market cabbage (Brassica olercaea) with a large, firm spherical head of tightly packed pale green waxy leaves; flat and conical heads are also available; also known as the common cabbage. Other varieties include white and red.
Although similar in structure and flavor to cabernet sauvignon, this red wine grape is not quite as full-bodied, and has fewer tannins and less acid. It is, however, more aromatic and herbaceous. Unlike Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc grows in cooler climates and ripens early. Therefore, it can be particularly important if weather conditions create a less-than-perfect Cabernet Sauvignon crop. Under such circumstances, the addition of Cabernet Franc might salvage the vintage.
The most successful and popular of the top-quality red-wine grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon is the basis for most of California's superb red wines and the primary grape of most of the top vineyards in bordeaux's Médoc and Graves districts. In Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon is most often blended with one or more of the following grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot or Malbec. In California, wines are more often made with 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, although some blending is now taking place. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes produce full-bodied, fruity wines that are rich, complex and intensely flavorful. There are a multitude of well-made Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines made throughout the world. Among the most notable are those from France's Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Latour, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Margaux, and California's Beaulieu Vineyards, Caymus Vineyards, Heitz Wine Cellars and Robert Mondavi Winery.
This classic English dessert is made with layers of bread, cake or ladyfingers (which may be soaked with liqueur), dried fruit and custard. The pudding is baked, unmolded and usually served with crème anglaise. Another version of cabinet pudding uses gelatin and whipped cream; rather than being baked, it's simply chilled until set.
A noted Spanish blue cheese.
Native South American tree whose seeds are fermented and processed to make cocoa and chocolate.
Italian for hunter and used to describe any stew-like dish flavored with onions, herbs, mushrooms, tomatoes and sometimes wine (ex. Chicken cacciatore).
Brazilian liquor made from distilled sugar cane juice.
From southern Italy, caciocavallo (meaning "cheese on horseback") is said to date back to the 14th century, and believed by some to have originally been made from mare's milk. Today's caciocavallo comes from cow's milk and has a mild, slightly salty flavor and firm, smooth texture when young (about 2 months). As it ages, the flavor becomes more pungent and the texture more granular, making it ideal for grating. Caciocavallo is one of the pasta filata types of cheeses (like provolone and mozzarella), which means it has been stretched and shaped by hand. It may be purchased plain or smoked and comes in string-tied gourd or spindle shapes. See also cheese.
This mild yet tangy cow's-milk cheese has a moist, semifirm texture and is generally sold in cylinders or blocks. It's best eaten fresh (the English prefer it only a few weeks old) and is delicious with dark breads and ale. Though now produced in England, Caerphilly gets its name from the village in Wales where it was first made; it was the traditional lunch of Welsh miners. See also cheese.
A salad consisting of greens (classically, romaine lettuce) tossed with a garlic vinaigrette dressing (made with worcestershire sauce and lemon juice), grated Parmesan cheese, croutons, a coddled egg and sometimes anchovies. It is said to have been created in 1924 by Italian chef Caesar Cardini, who owned a restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico.
French for "coffee with milk." It usually consists of equal portions of scalded milk and coffee.
A traditional New Orleans flaming brew consisting of coffee blended with spices, orange and lemon peel and brandy. Café brûlot is generally made in a flameproof bowl and ladled into cups. In French, brûlot means "burnt brandy."
French term meaning "filtered coffee" and referring to coffee made by pouring very hot water through a filter holding ground coffee. It's traditionally served black, in demitasse cups.
espresso combined with a liberal amount of foamy steamed milk, usually served in a tall glass mug.
An espresso with a dollop of steamed-milk foam, served in an espresso cup.
espresso combined with chocolate syrup and a liberal amount of foamy steamed milk. A café mocha is usually served in a tall glass mug.
1. The French word for "coffee." 2. A small, unpretentious restaurant.
An organic compound found in foods such as chocolate, coffee, cola nuts and tea. Scientific studies have shown that caffeine stimulates the nervous system, kidneys and heart, causes the release of insulin in the body and dilates the blood vessels.
A thick, dark syrup or paste made from caramelized sugar and milk traditionally goat's milk, although cow's milk is often used. Cajeta can be found in several flavors (primarily caramel and fruit) in Latin markets. It's used in Mexico and in some South American countries primarily as a dessert by itself or as a topping for ice cream or fruit.
Today's Cajuns are the descendants of 1,600 French Acadians whom the British forced from their Nova Scotian homeland in 1785. The local Indians transmuted the word Acadians to Cagians and, eventually, to Cajuns. Many confuse Cajun cooking with creole cooking but though there are many points of similarity, there are also distinct differences. Cajun cooking, a combination of French and Southern cuisines, is robust, country-style cookery that uses a dark roux and plenty of animal fat. Creole cooking places its emphasis on butter and cream. Some maintain that Creole cooking uses more tomatoes and the Cajuns more spices. Both cuisines make generous use of filé powder and the culinary "holy trinity" of chopped green peppers, onions and celery. Two of the more traditional Cajun dishes include jambalaya and coush-coush (a thick cornmeal breakfast dish).
There are many Cajun seasoning blends on the market today, all with their own distinct characteristics. Most are boldly flavored and sassy and representative of cajun cooking. In general, a Cajun seasoning blend might include garlic, onion, chiles, black pepper, mustard and celery. However, you can count on the fact that each Cajun seasoning blend on the market will be a little different from another.
in the United States, a broad range of pastries, including layer cakes, coffee cakes and gateaux; it can refer to almost anything that is baked, tender, sweet and sometimes frosted.
A flat, small (usually 5- by 5- by 4-inch), triangle-shape tool, generally made of stainless steel. Each of the three edges has serrated teeth of a different size. This tool is used to make decorative designs and swirls in the frosting on a cake.
a low-protein wheat flour used for making cakes, pastry doughs and other tender baked goods.
The word "cala" comes from an African word for "rice," and refers to a deep-fried pastry made with rice, yeast, sugar and spices. Calas resemble small, round doughnuts without a hole and are usually sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.
A pumpkinlike squash popular throughout the Caribbean as well as Central and South America. The calabaza, which is also called West Indian pumpkin, is round in shape and can range in size from as large as a watermelon to as small as a cantaloupe. Its skin can range in color from green to pale tan to light red-orange; its flesh is a brilliant orange. Calabaza has a sweet flavor akin to that of butternut squash; its texture is firm and succulent. It can be found in chunks throughout the year in Latin markets. Choose cut pieces with fresh, moist, tightly grained flesh with no signs of soft or wet spots. If you can find whole calabaza, look for those that are unblemished and heavy for their size; the stem should still be attached. Whole calabaza can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 6 weeks. Cut calabaza should be wrapped tightly and refrigerated for no more than a week. Calabaza may be used in any way suitable for winter squashes like acorn squash and butternut.
A mineral essential in building and maintaining bones and teeth, as well as in providing efficient muscle contraction and blood clotting. Calcium is found in dairy products, leafy green vegetables (such as spinach, turnip greens and broccoli), sardines and canned salmon with bones and rhubarb.
1. Italian for "warm" or "hot." 2. The Spanish and Portuguese word meaning "broth" or "soup."
Caldo verde ("green soup") is a Portuguese favorite that combines shredded kale, sliced potatoes, chouriço, linguiça sausage and olive oil for a deliciously satisfying soup.
An aspic made by boiling calves' feet until the natural gelatin is extracted. The liquid is strained, then combined with wine, lemon juice and spices and refrigerated until set. If sugar is added, it can be eaten as a dessert. Calf's-foot jelly was once thought to be a restorative for invalids.
1. The large, edible green leaves of the taro root, popular in the Caribbean islands cooked as one would prepare turnip or collard greens. 2. A Caribbean soup made with callaloo greens, coconut milk, okra, yams and chiles.
A citrus tree cultivated for its naturally high concentration of vitamin C. It also is used as a base for artificial flavorings.
A unit measuring the energy value of foods, calibrated by the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by one degree celsius at a pressure of one atmosphere. The four sources from which calories are obtained are alcohol, carbohydrates, fats and proteins, however all these sources are not equal. For example, fat packs a hefty 9 calories per gram, over twice as much as the 4 calories per gram carried by both carbohydrates and proteins. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, almost as many as fat. Clearly, fats and alcohol have a much higher caloric density than carbohydrates and proteins, so it's obvious that a 6-ounce serving of steak will be much more expensive calorically than 6 ounces of cauliflower.
A dry apple brandy made in Calvados, in the Normandy region of northern France. It's often used for cooking, particularly in chicken and veal dishes.
Originating in Naples, calzone is a stuffed pizza that resembles a large turnover. It is usually made as an individual serving. The fillings can be various meats, vegetables or cheese; mozzarella is the cheese used most frequently. Calzones can be deep-fried or brushed with olive oil and baked.
An American term used to describe a hot drink of milk, water, sugar and, if desired, a dash of tea. It was a favorite of children and the elderly in the late 19th and early 20th century. The name is taken from a fabric called cambric, which is white and thin... just like the "tea."
Napoleon is said to have christened this cheese with the appellation "Camembert," naming it after the Norman village where a farmer's wife first served it to him. Now world famous, this cow's-milk cheese has a white, downy rind and a smooth, creamy interior. When perfectly ripe, the cheese should ooze thickly. When overripe, it becomes runny, bitter and rank. Choose Camembert that is plump and soft to the touch. Avoid those with hardened edges, which may forecast overripeness. See also cheese.
Resembling a daisy, this aromatic flower is dried and used to flavor camomile tea, reputed to be a soothing drink. The flowers are also used as a fragrance in shampoos and other hair preparations. See also tea.
A popular bitter Italian apéritif, which is often mixed with soda. It's also consumed without a mixer and used in some cocktails. Regular Campari has an astringent, bittersweet flavor; sweet Campari is also available.
A method of preserving food by hermetically sealing it in glass containers. The use of special canning jars and lids is essential for successful canning. The canning process involves quickly heating jars of food to high temperatures, thereby retaining maximum color, flavor and nutrients while destroying the microorganisms that cause spoilage. During processing, the food reaches temperatures of 212°F (with the boiling-water-bath method) to 240°F (using a pressure canner). Any air in the container is forced out between the jar and lid. A vacuum is created as the food cools and contracts, sucking the lid tightly to the jar. This airtight seal is vital to prevent invasion by microorganisms. Refer to a general cookbook for specific instructions on canning foods.
Dropping the "e " from whiskey is traditionally British and is used in the spelling of Canadian whisky. Made only in Canada, this distilled blend of rye, corn, wheat and barley is smoother and lighter than its cousins, rye and bourbon.
Small, decorative pieces of bread (toasted or untoasted) that are topped with a savory garnish such as anchovy, cheese or some type of spread. Crackers or pastry may also be used as a base. Canapé may be simple or elaborate, hot or cold. They're usually served as an appetizer with cocktails. The word "anapé" is French for "couch." See also hors D'oeuvre.
Garnished bite-sized rounds of bread or vegetables (cucumber, zucchini) served with cocktails and at buffets.
The French word for "duck."
An apple that's coated with a cinnamon-flavored red sugar syrup. This candy coating can either be crackly-hard or soft and gooey. A candied-apple clone is the caramel apple, which has a thick, soft caramel-flavored coating. Both versions are served on sticks for portable eating.
Fruit or flowers that have been boiled or dipped in sugar syrup, then sometimes into granulated sugar after being dried. Candied fruits (also called glacé fruits) are generally used in cakes, breads and other sweets. Candied flowers are generally reserved for decorating desserts; candied fruits can also be used in this manner. The most common fruits that are candied are cherries, pineapple and citrus rinds. angelica and ginger are also candied favorites. Among the crystallized flowers, violets and miniature rosebuds and rose petals are the most common. Candied fruit and flowers can be found at gourmet markets and specialty shops. They should be stored airtight in a cool, dry place.
Used in Southeast Asian cookery, the tropical candlenut is hard and high in fat. The name comes from the fact that these nuts are also used in Indonesia and Malaysia to make candles. Whole or chopped roasted candlenuts are available in Indian and Asian markets. See also nuts.
n. Any of a number of various confections soft and hard composed mainly of sugar with the addition of flavoring ingredients and fillings such as chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, nougat, fruits and so on. Sugar syrup is the foundation for most candies, the concentration of the mixture depending upon its temperature, which can either be checked by a candy thermometer or by a series of cold-water tests. The tests and appropriate thermometer readings are as follows: thread stage the point at which a spoon coated with boiling syrup forms a 2-inch thread when immersed in cold water (230° to 234°F); soft-ball stage a drop of boiling syrup immersed in cold water forms a soft ball that flattens of its own accord when removed (234° to 240°F); firm-ball stage a drop of boiling syrup immersed in cold water forms a firm but pliable ball (244° to 248°F); hard-ball stage a drop of boiling syrup immersed in cold water forms a rigid ball that is somewhat pliable (250° to 265°F); soft-crack stage a drop of boiling syrup immersed in cold water separates into hard though pliable threads (270° to 290°F); hard-crack stage a drop of boiling syrup immersed in cold water separates into hard, brittle threads (300° to 310°F). Candy may come in tiny bits, small one- or two-bite pieces, or in the form of a candy "bar," containing several bites. Candy bars usually have a chocolate coating. So-called "nutritious" candy bars usually contain honey instead of sugar, and often substitute carob for chocolate. candy v. To sugar-coat various fruits, flowers and plants such as cherries, pineapple, citrus rinds, angelica, ginger, chestnuts, violets, miniature rose petals and mint leaves. Candying food not only preserves it, but also retains its color, shape and flavor. The candying process usually includes dipping or cooking the food in several boiling sugar syrups of increasing degrees of density. After the candied fruit air-dries, it is sometimes dipped in granulated sugar.
a kitchen tool used to determine heat levels in the cooking of candy, jams, and preserves.
a thick, sweet syrup; the result of an intermediate step in the sugarcane refining process when the syrup is reduced.
Wide pasta tubes; also called zitoni.
large, elongated kidney-shaped beans grown in Italy; have a creamy white color and are used in soups and salads; also known as white kidney beans.
Large, white Italian kidney beans, available both in dry and canned forms. Cannellini beans are particularly popular in salads and soups. See also beans.
Large, stuffed pasta tubes baked in sauce.
An Italian dessert consisting of tubular or horn-shaped pastry shells that have been deep-fried, then filled with a sweetened filling of whipped ricotta (and often whipped cream) mixed with bits of chocolate, candied citron and sometimes nuts.
The market name for rapeseed oil which, as might be assumed from the name, is expressed from rape seeds. For obvious reasons, the name was changed to canola by the Canadian seed-oil industry. Canola is, in fact, Canada's most widely used oil. It's commonly referred to there as lear oil, for "low erucic acid rapeseed" oil. The popularity of canola oil is rising fast in the United States, probably because it's been discovered to be lower in saturated fat (about 6 percent) than any other oil. This compares to the saturated fat content of peanut oil (about 18 percent) and palm oil (at an incredibly high 79 percent). Another canola oil selling point is that it contains more cholesterol-balancing monounsaturated fat than any oil except olive oil. It also has the distinction of containing Omega-3 fatty acids, the wonder polyunsaturated fat reputed to not only lower both cholesterol and triglycerides, but to contribute to brain growth and development as well. The bland-tasting canola oil is suitable both for cooking and for salad dressings. See also fats and oils.
A semifirm cow's milk cheese from the department of Cantal in south-central France. Cantal has a smooth texture and a mellow, nutty flavor similiar to that of cheddar cheese. See also cheese.
Named for a castle in Italy, the true cantaloupe is a European melon that is not exported. American "cantaloupes" are actually muskmelons. When perfectly ripe, these cantaloupes have a raised netting on a smooth grayish-beige skin. The pale orange flesh is extremely juicy and sweet. Choose cantaloupes that are heavy for their size, have a sweet, fruity fragrance, a thick, well-raised netting and yield slightly to pressure at the blossom end. Avoid melons with soft spots or an overly strong odor. Store unripe cantaloupes at room temperature, ripe melons in the refrigerator. Cantaloupes easily absorb other food odors so if refrigerating for more than a day or two, wrap the melon in plastic wrap. Just before serving, cut melon in half and remove the seeds. Cantaloupe is an excellent source of vitamins A and C.
a muskmelon with a raised netting over a smooth grayish-beige skin, pale orange flesh, large seed cavity with many seeds and a sweet, refreshing, distinctive flavor; also known as a netted melon or nutmeg melon.
Though this intriguing berry grows wild in many locations throughout the continental United States, it's generally cultivated in tropical zones such as Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India and China. At first glance the cape gooseberry (also called golden berry, ground cherry, physalis and poha ), with its inflated, papery skin (calyx), looks somewhat like a Chinese lantern. The bittersweet, juicy berries that hide inside the calyx are opaque and golden in color. To use the berries, peel back the parchmentlike husk and rinse. Because of their piquant aftertaste, cape gooseberries go nicely with meats and other savory foods. They're wonderful in pies, jams and all by themselves. Imported cape gooseberries are available from March to July. Look for those with a bright golden color; green berries are not ripe. Cape gooseberries are high in vitamin C.
Italian for "angel hair" (which this pasta is also called), this term describes a long, delicate, extremely thin noodle. Because they are so fine, capelli d'angelo must be served either in a very light sauce or in a simple broth.
Italian for fine hair; used to describe extremely fine spaghetti.
The flower bud of a bush native to the Mediterranean and parts of Asia. The small buds are picked, sun-dried and then pickled in a vinegar brine. Capers range in size from the petite nonpareil variety from southern France (considered the finest), to those from Italy, which can be as large as the tip of your little finger. There are also the Spanish-imported stemmed caperberries that are about the size of a cocktail olive. Capers are generally packed in brine but can also be found salted and sold in bulk. Capers should be rinsed before using to remove excess salt. The pungent flavor of capers lends piquancy to many sauces and condiments; they're also used as a garnish for meat and vegetable dishes.
the unopened flower buds of a shrub (Capparis spinosa) native to the Mediterranean region; after curing in salted white vinegar, the buds develop a sharp salty-sour flavor and are used as a flavoring and condiment.
a rooster castrated before it is 8 weeks old, fattened and slaughtered before it is 10 months old; has a market weight of 4 to 10 pounds (1.8 to 4.5 kg), soft, smooth skin, a high proportion of light to dark meat, a relatively high fat content and juicy, tender, well-flavored flesh.
A Sicilian dish that is generally served as a salad, side dish or relish. Caponata is composed of eggplant, onions, tomatoes, anchovies, olives, pine nuts, capers and vinegar, all cooked together in olive oil. It's most often served at room temperature.
Small, stuffed squares of pasta, similar to ravioli. The stuffing is usually ground meat, but can also be made from cheese or vegetables. The name is taken from the plural of the Italian word cappelletto, which means "little hat."
an Italian beverage made from equal parts espresso, steamed milk and foamed milk, sometimes dusted with sweetened cocoa powder or cinnamon; usually served in a large cup.
A potent compound that gives some chiles their fiery nature. Most of the capsaicin (up to 80 percent) is found in the seeds and membranes of a chile. Since neither cooking nor freezing diminishes capsaicin's intensity, removing a chile's seeds and veins is the only way to reduce its heat. The caustic oils found in chiles cause an intense burning sensation, which can severely irritate skin and eyes. Capsaicin is known for its decongestant qualities. It also causes the brain to produce endorphins, which promote a sense of well-being.
Any of hundreds of varieties of plant-bearing fruits called peppers, all of which belong to the nightshade family. Capsicums fall into two categories chiles and sweet peppers.
A decorative beverage container, usually narrow-necked and fitted with a stopper. Carafes are generally made of glass and used for cold beverages.
When cut crosswise, this showy fruit has a striking star shape, which is why it's also called star fruit. It favors tropical climates and thrives in the Caribbean countries, Hawaii, Central and South America and parts of Asia. The carambola ranges from 3 to 5 inches long and is easy to identify by the five definitive ribs that traverse its length. Its thin skin is a glossy golden-yellow, its matching flesh beautifully translucent and dotted occasionally with a dark seed. When ripe, the carambola is exceedingly juicy and fragrant. Its flavor, depending on the variety, can range from exotically sweet to refreshingly tart. In general, the broader set the ribs, the sweeter the fruit. Carambolas are available from summer's end to midwinter. Choose firm fruit that has a bright, even color. Those with greening on the ribs may be ripened at room temperature. Use ripe carambolas within a few days or store, wrapped tightly in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator for up to a week. Carambolas, which do not require peeling, are delicious eaten out of hand, or used in salads, desserts or as a garnish.
1. A substance produced by cooking sugar until it becomes a thick, dark liquid; its color ranges from golden to dark brown; used for coloring and flavoring desserts, candies; sweet and savory sauces and other foods. 2. A firm, chewy candy made with sugar, butter, corn syrup and milk or cream.
to cook white sugar in a skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar forms a golden-brown syrup.
These aromatic seeds come from an herb in the parsley family. They have a nutty, delicate anise flavor and are widely used in German, Austrian and Hungarian cuisine. Caraway seeds flavor many foods including cheese, breads, cakes, stews, meats, vegetables and the liqueur Kümmel. They should be stored airtight in a cool, dark place for no more than 6 months. See also spices; herb and spice chart.
A broad category of sugars, starches, fibers and starchy vegetables that the body eventually converts to glucose, the body's primary source of energy. There are two classes of carbohydrates simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are the sugars, which include glucose and fructose from fruits and vegetables, sucrose from beet or cane sugar and lactose from milk. Simple carbohydrates are absorbed by the body very quickly. Complex carbohydrates include starches and fiber and are most commonly found in whole grains and legumes. Complex carbohydrates, which are generally large chains of glucose molecules, take longer to digest and provide more nutrients than simple carbohydrates.
the food group containing sugars, starches, and cellulose.
The Italian term describing a pasta dish of spaghetti (or other noodles) with a sauce composed of cream, eggs, Parmesan cheese and bits of cured meat. The sauce is heated only until it begins to thicken (2 to 3 minutes). It's important that the pasta be very hot so that when the sauce is poured over it, the eggs will briefly continue to cook. Fresh green peas are sometimes added for flavor and color.
A French term for meat cooked over hot coals or directly over flames.
Beer, cured meat, onions and brown sugar flavor this thick Belgian beef stew from Flanders. Also referred to as carbonnade of beef.
a French beef stew cooked with beer.
A member of the ginger family, this aromatic spice is native to India and grows in many other tropical areas including Asia, South America and the Pacific Islands. Cardamom seeds are encapsulated in small pods about the size of a cranberry. Each pod contains 17 to 20 tiny seeds. Cardamom has a pungent aroma and a warm, spicy-sweet flavor. It's widely used in Scandinavian and East Indian cooking. Cardamom can be purchased either in the pod or ground. The latter, though more convenient, is not as full-flavored because cardamom seeds begin to lose their essential oils as soon as they're ground. The seeds may be removed from the pods and ground, or the entire pod may be ground. A mortar and pestle make quick work of the grinding. If using cardamom to flavor dishes such as stews and curries, lightly crush the shell of the pod and add the pod and seeds to the mixture. The shell will disintegrate while the dish cooks. Be frugal when using cardamom a little goes a long way. See also spices; herb and spice chart.
Tasting like a cross between artichoke, celery and salsify, this delicious vegetable is very popular in France, Italy and Spain. The cardoon resembles a giant bunch of wide, flat celery. Cardoons can be found from midwinter to early spring. Look for stalks that are firm and have a silvery gray-green color. Refrigerate in a plastic bag up to 2 weeks. To prepare, remove tough outer ribs. Cut the inner ribs into the size indicated in the recipe and soak in acidulated water to prevent browning. Cardoons can be boiled, braised or baked. Precooking about 30 minutes in boiling water is suggested in many recipes. Though high in sodium, cardoons are a good source of potassium, calcium and iron.
Spanish for "meat."
Mexican for "little meats," this dish is simply small bits or shreds of well browned veal. It's made from an inexpensive cut of veal that's simmered in a small amount of water until tender, then finished by cooking the pieces in fat until nicely browned all over. Carnitas are usually eaten with salsa and are sometimes used as the filling in tacos and burritos.
The long, leathery pods from the tropical carob tree contain a sweet, edible pulp (which can be eaten fresh) and a few hard, inedible seeds. After drying, the pulp is roasted and ground into a powder. It is then used to flavor baked goods and candies. Both fresh and dried carob pods, as well as carob powder, may be found in health-food and specialty food stores. Because carob is sweet and tastes vaguely of chocolate, it's often used as a chocolate substitute. Carob is also known as Saint John's bread and locust bean.
This is the long-grain rice that is most popular in the United States. It was originally planted in North Carolina in the late 17th century from East African rice brought back by a sea captain. Carolina rice is now cultivated mainly in California, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. See also rice.
A fat-soluble pigment, ranging in color from yellow to orange, found in many fruits and vegetables (carrots, for one). It converts to vitamin A in the liver and is essential for normal human growth and eyesight.
The principal ingredient in the Jewish dish gefilte fish, carp is a freshwater fish native to Asia but found throughout the world. It ranges in size from 2 to 7 pounds and favors muddy waters, which often give a mossy flavor to the lean, white flesh. This musky nuance is least evident from November to April. Carp is best baked, fried or poached. See also fish.
Wafer-thin slices of raw beef served cold; named after the Renaissance Venetian painter.
an edible seaweed; Irish moss.
Also called Irish moss, carrageen is a stubby, purplish seaweed found along the west coast of Ireland, as well as America's Atlantic coast. When dried, carrageen is used in cosmetics and medicines and is greatly valued as a thickening agent for foods such as puddings, ice cream and soups.
a member of the parsley family (Daucus carota); has lacy green foliage, an edible orange taproot with a milk sweet flavor and crisp texture, a tapering shape and comes in a variety of sizes.
Though it was first cultivated in Persia thousands of years ago, the casaba melon wasn't introduced to the United States until the late 19th century when it was imported from Kasaba, Turkey. A member of the muskmelon family, this large, round melon has a thick yellow rind with deep, rough furrows. The creamy-colored flesh is extremely juicy and has a distinctive yet mild cucumberlike flavor. Casabas are now grown in California and are most readily available from September through November. Choose a melon with an even-colored yellow rind with a slightly wrinkled appearance; it should give slightly when gently pressed at the blossom end. Avoid casabas with soft spots or mold. Store at room temperature until completely ripe, then refrigerate. See also melon.
A dried, plum-shaped, dark blood-red colored chile that ranges in size from about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Cascabel means "little round bell" or "rattle" in Spanish, a name alluding to the rattling sound this chile makes when shaken. This chile, with its rich nutty flavor and medium heat, is excellent in sauces, soups and other cooked dishes. The cascabel chile is also known as chile bola.
The prinicipal protein in milk, which coagulates with the addition of rennin and is the foundation for cheese. Casein is also used in the production of nonfood items such as adhesives, paints and plastics.
Native to Brazil, India and the West Indies, this pear-shaped apple has a yellow-orange skin that is often blushed with touches of red. The flesh is tart and astringent and though not favored for out-of-hand eating, is used to make wine, liqueur and vinegar. The cashew apple's biggest gift to the world is the cashew nut, which grows on the outside of the apple at its base. Cashew apples are not imported to the United States.
A kidney-shaped nut that grows out from the bottom of the cashew apple. The shell is highly toxic so great care is taken in shelling and cleaning the nut. Cashew nuts have a sweet, buttery flavor and contain about 48 percent fat. Because of their high fat content, they should be stored, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator to retard rancidity. As with most nuts, roasting cashews brings out their nutty flavor. See also nuts.
A thin, tubular intestinal membrane that has been cleaned and stuffed with processed meat, such as for salami and other sausages. The membrane may come from the intestines of sheep, hogs or cattle. Casings can be purchased thoroughly cleaned and packed in salt from specialty butchers. Today, most commercial sausages have casings of formed collagen.
Used primarily in West Indian cookery, cassareep is a bittersweet condiment made by cooking the juice of bitter cassava with brown sugar and spices until it reduces to a syrup. Bottled cassareep can be found in Caribbean markets.
A traditional Italian dessert served at celebrations such as weddings. The word cassata means "in a case (or chest)." One version of this dessert has a rich filling of ricotta, candied fruit and grated chocolate encased by thin slices of liqueur-sprinkled sponge cake. The cake and cheese mixture may also be layered. The dessert is chilled, then decorated with whipped cream, ricotta cheese or chocolate frosting. Another version, cassata gelata, is made by lining a mold with layers of ice cream of contrasting colors, then filling the center with a ricotta-whipped cream-candied fruit mixture. The mold is frozen completely before serving.
Though native to South America, the majority of cassava now comes from Africa, where it's an important staple. Also called manioc and yuca, the cassava is a root that ranges from 6 to 12 inches in length and from 2 to 3 inches in diameter. It has a tough brown skin which, when peeled, reveals a crisp, white flesh. There are many varieties of cassava but only two main categories, sweet and bitter. The bitter cassava is poisonous unless cooked. Cassava is available year-round in Caribbean and Latin American markets. It should be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 4 days. Grated, sun-dried cassava is called cassava meal. Cassava is also used to make cassareep and tapioca.
an ovenproof baking dish, usually with a cover; also the food cooked inside it.
A European black currant used mainly to make crème de cassis liqueur and black currant syrup. See also liqueur.
A small, individual-size cooking dish.
A slow-cooked marriage of white beans and assorted meats such as veal, duck or goose.
One of the original metals used for cookware, cast iron is very efficient at absorbing and retaining heat. There are two basic styles regular and enameled. The latter, which is coated with porcelain enamel, is available in a variety of colors. Regular cast iron requires seasoning (see season) so that it won't react with or absorb the flavors of some foods cooked in it. Seasoning, which is a simple process of rubbing the inside of a pan with cooking oil and heating it for an hour in a moderate oven, gives cast iron a natural nonstick finish. Clean cast iron pans by first wiping them clean with a paper towel or soft cloth and, if necessary, gently scrubbing with a nylon pad.
English term for superfine granulated sugar.
Grown on the East Coast, this purplish-red grape is medium-size and oval in shape. It has seeds and an intense, sweet flavor. The Catawba grape is available from September to November but is mainly used commercially (for jams, jellies and white wines), and is rarely found in the market. See also grape.
Also known as langues-de-chat (French for "cats' tongues"), these long, thin cookies resemble their namesakes in shape. They are light, dry and slightly sweet. Cats' tongues may be flavored with citrus zest, chocolate or flavoring extracts. Two are sometimes sandwiched together with jam or another sweet filling; they may also be frosted. Cats' tongues are commonly made by pressing a thick batter through a pastry bag. A special langues-de-chat pan is also available in cookware shops.
a member of the cabbage family (Brassica oleracea); has a head (called a curd) of tightly packed white florets (a purple variety is also available) partially covered with large waxy, pale green leaves on a white-green stalk; some varieties have a purple or greenish tinge.
Small pasta shells with wavy edges.
the salted roe of sturgeon. Red caviar is the salted roe of salmon, and considered a less desirable substitute.
1. A hot pungent peppery powder blended from various ground dried hot chiles and salt, has a bright orange-red color and fine texture; also known as red pepper. 2. A dried thin, short chile with a bright red color, thin flesh and hot, tart acidic flavor; usually used ground.
More commonly known here as celery root.
developed in 16th-century Italy, this vegetable (Apium graveolens) grows in bunches of long stringy curved stalks or ribs surrounding a tender heart; can be eaten raw, cooked or used as a flavoring. There are two principal celery varieties; Pascal (which is pale green) and golden (which is creamy white).
a seasoning blend of ground celery seeds and salt.
the seeds of the herb lovage; they are small and brown and are used in pickling and as a flavoring.
Also called bean threads, these gossamer, translucent threads are not really noodles in the traditional sense, but are made from the starch of green mung beans. Sold dried, cellophane noodles must be soaked briefly in hot water before using in most dishes. Presoaking isn't necessary when they're added to soups. They can also be deep-fried. Cellophane noodles can be found in the ethnic section of many supermarkets and in Asian grocery stores. Other names for cellophane noodles include bean thread vermicelli (or noodles), Chinese vermicelli, glass noodles and harusame.
A temperature scale (also called centigrade ) in which 0° represents freezing and 100° represents the boiling point. The scale was devised by the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius. To convert Celsius temperatures to fahrenheit, multiply the Celsius figure by 9, divide by 5 and add 32.
Breakfast cereals are processed foods (usually ready-to-eat) made from cereal grains. W. H. Kellogg and C. W. Post were the first to begin mass-producing these foods, which have become a morning meal staple in the United States. See also cereal grains.
The word "cereal" comes from Ceres, a pre-Roman goddess of agriculture. Cereal includes any plant from the grass family that yields an edible grain (seed). The most popular grains are barley, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, rice, rye, sorghum, triticale, wheat and wild rice. Because cereals are inexpensive, are a readily available source of protein and have more carbohydrates than any other food, they're a staple throughout the world. See also spelt; teff.
A style of sausage that combines chopped veal and/or beef with various mixtures of herbs, spices and other flavorings like garlic or mustard. Cervelats are uncooked but perfectly safe to eat without cooking because they have been preserved by curing, drying and smoking. They can range from semidry to moist and soft. Many countries make cervelats; two of the more well known are Germany's thuringer sausage and Italy's mortadella. These sausages can be sliced and served with bread or cut into pieces and used in a variety of other dishes. See also sausage.
alt spellings: SevicheRaw fish and/or shellfish in a citrus marinade.
One of the world's most popular teas, Ceylon is a black pekoe tea whose leaves have been fermented before drying. A two-temperature drying process seals in essential oils that give this tea its special flavor. This superior tea originated in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), but is now grown in other countries such as India and China. See also tea.
wine bottled at the château where it was grown and made. Usually this means a superior wine, one with a distinct flavor of its own. Other wines are the result of grapes grown in a region and brought together at the vintners for handling. The results are less distinguished, though these regional wines may be very good.
This designation on a wine label indicates that the wine was bottled on the property where the grapes were grown and the wine made. Other wines are often made from grapes grown throughout a region and brought to a winery for wine production. Estate-bottled means the same as Château-bottled. Both usually designate a wine of superior quality and character.
Contrary to popular belief, Châteaubriand is actually a recipe, not a cut of beef. This method of preparation is said to be named for the 19th-century French statesman and author, François Châteaubriand. It's a succulent, thick cut of beef (usually taken from the center of the tenderloin) that's large enough for two people. The Châteaubriand is usually grilled or broiled and served with Béarnaise sauce and Château potatoes (potatoes trimmed into olive shapes and sautéed in butter). See also short loin.
Literally translated as "new castle of the Pope," this famous wine comes from a village of the same name near Avignon, France. Each producer creates its own special blend from the classic 13 grape varieties permitted for this wine. Most Châteauneuf-du-Papes are dry, full-bodied red wines; a small number are white. They're best when aged 5 to 10 years.
A Swiss liqueur with a cherry-chocolate flavor.
French for "goat," as in cheese.
French for "goat," chèvre is a pure white goat's-milk cheese with a delightfully tart flavor that easily distinguishes it from other cheeses. Some of the better known chèvres include banon, Bûcheron and montrachet. "Pur chèvre" on the label ensures that the cheese is made entirely from goat's milk; others may have the addition of cow's milk. Chèvres can range in texture from moist and creamy to dry and semifirm. They come in a variety of shapes including cylinders, discs, cones and pyramids, and are often coated in edible ash or leaves, herbs or pepper. Store, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Old chèvre takes on a sour taste and should be discarded. See also cheese; pyramide.
Japanese for "tea."
Though the United States, Australia and South Africa all make a wine labeled Chablis, only France creates a true Chablis, made entirely from chardonnay grapes. Considered one of the world's great white wines, French Chablis has a crisp, dry flavor with a decided flinty quality. It comes from a small area surrounding the town of Chablis, France. The very best French Chablis comes from one of seven grand cru ("great growth") vineyards that lie in a single block facing south and west toward the village. The term grand cru will appear on the labels of these special wines, followed by the name of the vineyard from which it came. Next in excellence are the Chablis labeled premier cru (meaning "first growth"). Others are considered "simple" Chablis or "petit Chablis."
Chafing dishes found in the ruins of Pompeii prove that this style of cookery is nothing new. Used to warm or cook food, a chafing dish consists of a container (today, usually metal) with a heat source directly beneath it. The heat can be provided by a candle, electricity or solid fuel (such as Sterno). There's often a larger dish that is used as a water basin (like the bottom of a double boiler) into which the dish containing the food is placed. This prevents food from burning.
Thick, cordlike strands of egg white that are attached to 2 sides of the yolk, thereby anchoring it in the center of the egg. The more prominent the chalazae, the fresher the egg. Chalazae don't affect the egg in any way, though some custard recipes call for straining to remove them for a smoother texture.
Served on the Sabbath, holidays, other ceremonial occasions and for everyday consumption, challah is a traditional Jewish yeast bread. It's rich with eggs and has a light, airy texture. Though it can be formed into many shapes, braided challah is the most classic form.
Spanish for "boat" or "launch," a chalupa is a corn tortilla dough formed into a small boat shape and fried until crisp. It's then usually filled with shredded beef, veal or chicken, vegetables, cheese or a combination of these, and served as an appetizer.
a French term used to describe the gradual raising of the temperature of wines from the cool wine cellar to room temperature. Slightly warmer, the wine flavor is more pungent.
An Irish favorite of mashed potatoes, green onions and butter.
This most celebrated sparkling wine always seems to signal "special occasion." Though bubbling wines under various appellations abound throughout the world, true champagne comes only from the Champagne region in northeast France. Most countries bow to this tradition by calling their sparkling wines by other names such as spumante in Italy, Sekt in Germany and vin mousseux in other regions of France. Only in America do some wineries refer to their bubbling wine as "champagne." Dom Perignon, 17th-century cellarmaster of the Abbey of Hautvillers, is celebrated for developing the art of blending wines to create champagnes with superior flavor. He's also credited for his work in preventing champagne bottles and corks from exploding by using thicker bottles and tying the corks down with string. Even then, it's said that the venerable Dom Perignon lost half his champagne through the bottles bursting. French champagne is usually made from a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir or pinot blanc grapes. California "champagnes" generally use the same varieties, while those from New York more often are from the pressings of catawba and delaware grapes. Good champagne is expensive not only because it's made with premium grapes, but because it's made by the méthode champenoise. This traditional method requires a second fermentation in the bottle as well as some 100 manual operations (some of which are mechanized today). Champagnes can range in color from pale gold to apricot blush. Their flavors can range from toasty to yeasty and from dry (no sugar added) to sweet. A sugar-wine mixture called a dosage added just before final corking determines how sweet a champagne will be. The label indicates the level of sweetness: brut (bone dry to almost dry less than 1.5 percent sugar); extra sec or extra dry (slightly sweeter 1.2 to 2 percent sugar); sec (medium sweet 1.7 to 3.5 percent sugar); demi-sec (sweet 3.3 to 5 percent sugar); and doux (very sweet over 5 percent sugar). The last two are considered dessert wines.
"Mushroom," as they say it in France.
A wild and nutty mushroom with a trumpet-shaped head.
heavy cream whipped then sweetened and flavored with vanilla. Also, a sauce with whipped cream added
Similar to camembert, Chaource cheese takes its name from a town in France's Champagne region. It has a white, downy rind with an ivory-colored center. The fruity, rich flavor intensifies and becomes saltier as it matures. Chaource makes a pleasant after-dinner cheese and pairs well with full-bodied white wines. See also cheese.
An unleavened pancakelike bread from India, usually made from a simple mixture of whole-wheat flour and water. The dough is rolled into thin rounds and baked on a griddle. Pieces of chapati are torn off and used as a scoop or pusher for many East Indian dishes.
A slice or cube of bread that has either been rubbed with garlic or dipped in garlic-flavored oil. The bread is then used to rub the inside of a salad bowl to impart the barest hint of garlic to the greens. The chapon may either be removed or for a more intense garlic flavor left in the bowl to toss with the salad.
A fish belonging to the genus Salvelinus and related to both the trout and salmon. The Dolly Varden trout and the Mackinaw trout (or lake trout ) are actually members of the char family. Char live in the icy waters (both fresh and marine) of North America and Europe. The arctic char, which has become more commercially available in recent years, is now raised on government-sponsored fish farms in Iceland. It has a pink flesh with a flavor and texture that's a cross between trout and salmon. Char can be baked, broiled, fried, grilled, poached or steamed. See also fish.
The French term for delicatessen-style items.
Also referred to as Swiss chard, this member of the beet family is grown for its crinkly green leaves and silvery, celerylike stalks. The variety with dark green leaves and reddish stalks (sometimes referred to as rhubarb chard ) has a stronger flavor than that with lighter leaves and stalks. There's also a ruby chard, which has a bright red stalk and a deep red (tinged with green) leaf. Chard is available year-round but best during the summer. Choose it for its tender greens and crisp stalks. Store, wrapped in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The greens can be prepared like spinach, the stalks like asparagus. Chard, a cruciferous vegetable, is a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as iron.
Just as cabernet sauvignon has become the most popular high-quality red-wine grape, Chardonnay has taken the lead for first-class white wine grapes and with even greater passion. It's one of the grapes used in making fine French champagnes and white Burgundies. In California, the wine produced from this grape is referred to simply as "Chardonnay." These complex wines are generally rich, buttery, fruity and on the dry side. Some will age up to 10 years. Chardonnay grapes are also grown in parts of Australia, New Zealand, Bulgaria, Italy and Spain. See also burgundy wines.
This relatively new variety of cayenne chile is touted to be twenty times hotter than the jalapeño. Ranging from 3- to 4-inches long, the Charleston hot changes color as it ripens, turning from yellow-green, to golden, to orange and finally to crimson red. It's generally available only at farmer's markets and specialty produce shops. See also chile.
a molded dessert containing gelatin, usually formed in a glass dish or a pan that is lined with ladyfingers or pieces of cake.
mold of biscuits, sponge cake, ladyfinger, etc., or sliced bread, filled with a custard cream and fruit.
Originally made by the Carthusian monks in France's La Grande Chartreuse monastery, this aromatic liqueur comes in green and yellow varieties. The yellow, colored with saffron, is lighter and sweeter in flavor. Green Chartreuse colored with chlorophyll is drier, has a sharper, more aromatic flavor and is higher in alcohol (110 proof).
A beverage quaffed directly after drinking another (usually alcoholic) potable. For example, after a shot of whiskey, one might drink a beer "chaser" (a combination known as a boilermaker).
game or poultry served hunter style, with a rich red wine sauce, or a white wine sauce, including mushrooms and shallots.
1. French for "hunter," chasseur sauce is a hunter-style brown sauce consisting of mushrooms, shallots and white wine (sometimes tomatoes and parsley). It's most often served with game and other meats. 2. Dishes prepared in a chasseur style are garnished with sautéed mushrooms and shallots.
Chaud (French for "hot") and froid (French for "cold") combine in this term to explain food (usually meat, poultry or game) that is first cooked, then chilled before serving. The distinguishing feature of a chaud-froid is that the food is glazed with an aspic, which is allowed to set before serving. Decorative vegetable cutouts are often set into the aspic for a colorful garnish.
A Creole/Cajun sausage that's hot, spicy and full-flavored. Chaurice is used in Creole/Cajun cooking both as a main meat dish and in numerous dishes such as gumbos and jambalayas.
alt spellings: MirlitonAn old Aztec favorite - gourd-like fruit with pale green skin and bland white flesh that can be eaten cooked or raw.
This popular cheese originated in the village of Cheddar in the Somerset region of England. It's a firm, cow's-milk cheese that ranges in flavor from mild to sharp, and in color from natural white to pumpkin orange. Orange cheddars are colored with a natural dye called annatto. Cheddar is used to eat out of hand, as well as in a panoply of cooked dishes including casseroles, sauces, soups and so on. See also cheese.
a firm cheese made from whole cow's milk (generally pasteurized) produced principally in Wisconsin, New York and Vermont; ranges from white to orange in color and its flavor from mild to very sharp.
dairy products made from milk curds separated from the whey; numerous varieties are found worldwide.
Also called Philadelphia cheese steak after the illustrious city that's said to have originated this sandwich in the 1930s. It consists of an Italian or French roll topped by thin slices of beef, cheese (usually American) and sometimes sautéed onions.
Strips of cheese pastry or plain pastry sprinkled with cheese, baked until crisp and golden brown. The pastry strips are sometimes twisted before baking. Cheese straws are served as an appetizer or an accompaniment to soups or salads.
A long, thin wire with wooden handles at each end, used to cut large rounds or wedges of cheese.
a rich, smooth dessert made by blending cream cheese, cottage cheese or ricotta with sugar, eggs and other flavorings, then baking; usually prepared in a springform pan dusted with cookie crumbs or ground nuts; the baked dessert is often topped with sour cream or fruit.
Long a versatile kitchen helper, this lightweight natural cotton cloth won't fall apart when wet and will not flavor the food it touches. Cheesecloth has a multitude of culinary uses including straining liquids, forming a packet for herbs and spices (as with bouquet garni) that can be dropped into a soup or stock pot and lining molds (such as for coeur à la crème). It comes in both fine and coarse weaves and is available in gourmet shops, supermarkets and the kitchen section of many department stores. In Britain it's sometimes called butter muslin.
An entrée salad of tossed greens topped by cold julienned meats, thinly sliced vegetables and slices of hard-cooked egg. The salad may be topped with any one of a variety of dressings.
The word chemise is French for "shirt" or "vest," and the term refers culinarily to a food that is wrapped or coated such as wrapped in pastry, or coated with a sauce or aspic.
Grown in California and France's Loire Valley, the Chenin Blanc grape makes intense, spicy, slightly sweet wine. Chenin Blancs have a strong acidity that modulates the sweetness and promotes good aging. This well-balanced grape is responsible for France's famed Vouvray, Coteaux du Layon and Saumur. It's also used to produce several of California's sparkling wines.
A fresh, unripened cheese used throughout India, although it's most popular in the eastern part of the country. It is made from cow's or buffalo's milk and resembles a cottage cheese that's been kneaded until it's closer to the consistency of a light cream cheese. Chenna, which is available in Indian markets, is used primarily in a variety of Bengali desserts. See also cheese; panir.
Also called custard apple, this palm-sized tropical fruit tastes like a combination of pineapple, papaya and banana. Irregularly oval in shape, the cherimoya has a leathery green skin that has a scaly pattern not unlike large, overlapping thumbprints or small protrusions. The flesh, peppered with large, shiny black seeds, is cream-colored and the texture of firm custard. Cherimoyas are available from November through May. Purchase fruit that's firm, heavy for its size and without skin blemishes; avoid those with brown splotches. Store at room temperature until ripe (they will give slightly with soft pressure), then refrigerate, well wrapped, up to 4 days. Serve cherimoyas well chilled. Simply halve, remove the seeds and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Cherimoyas contain a fair amount of niacin, iron and vitamin C.
A dessert of pitted bing or other dark red cherries, sugar and kirsch or brandy, which are combined, flambéed and spooned over vanilla ice cream. The cherries are usually prepared in a chafing dish at the table and flamed with great flourish.
Said to date as far back as 300 b.c., cherries were named after the Turkish town of Cerasus. Throughout the centuries, cherry trees have been lauded for their deliciously succulent fruit as well as for their beauty. Tourists flock to Washington, D.C., every year to see the cherry blossoms on the ornamental cherry trees that were originally presented to America's capital in 1912 by Tokyo's governor. There are two main groups of cherries sweet and sour. The larger of the two are the firm, heart-shaped sweet cherries. They're delicious for eating out of hand and can also be cooked. The most popular varieties range from the dark red to purplish black bing, lambert and tartarian to the golden, red-blushed royal ann. maraschino cherries are usually made from Royal Ann cherries. Sour cherries are smaller, softer and more globular than the sweet varieties. Most are too tart to eat raw, but make excellent pies, preserves and the like. The bestselling sour cherry varieties are the bright red early richmond (the first cherry available in the late spring) and montmorency, and the dark mahogany red morello. Most fresh cherries are available from May (June for sour cherries) through August. Choose brightly colored, shiny, plump fruit. Sweet cherries should be quite firm, but not hard; sour varieties should be medium-firm. Stemmed cherries are a better buy, but those with stems last longer. Store unwashed cherries in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Dried cherries both sweet and sour are available in many markets today. They can be eaten as a snack, or used in baked goods or desserts as one would use raisins. Cherries contain minor amounts of vitamins and minerals. See also chokecherry.
A dark red, cherry-flavored liqueur from Denmark.
Also called Hungarian cherry pepper, this small (1 to 2 inches in diameter) pepper is round and bright red in color. It has a slightly sweet flavor that can range from mild to medium-hot. Cherry peppers can be found fresh and pickled in jars. See also chile.
a small spherical tomato with a bright red or yellow skin; the yellow-skinned variety has a less acidic and blander flavor than the red-skinned variety.
A mild-flavored member of the parsley family, this aromatic herb has curly, dark green leaves with an elusive anise flavor. Chervil is one of the main ingredients in fines herbes. Though most chervil is cultivated for its leaves alone, the root is edible and was, in fact, enjoyed by early Greeks and Romans. Today it's available dried but has the best flavor when fresh. Both forms can be found in most supermarkets. It can be used like parsley but its delicate flavor is diminished when boiled. Chervil is also called cicily and sweet cicily. See also herbs; herb and spice chart.
Hailing from the county of Cheshire, this rich, cow's-milk cheese comes in three varieties white, red and blue and has a reputation as one of England's most famous cheeses. The white (actually pale yellow) and red (apricot-colored) Cheshires are very similar, differing mainly in the fact that the red variety has been dyed with annatto. They're young cheeses, having an average age of 8 weeks, with a semifirm texture and a mild, tangy, cheddarlike flavor. Farmhouse Cheshire, rarely exported, is usually aged about 9 months and has a richer, fuller flavor for the effort. Blue Cheshire, boasting a beautiful golden interior veined with blue, is just as rich as stilton but milder in flavor.
This is one of the South's favorite pies, with a simple filling of eggs, sugar, butter and a small amount of flour. Chess pie can be varied by adding flavorings such as lemon juice or vanilla, or substituting brown sugar for granulated sugar.
the nut of the sweet chestnut tree (Castanea sativa); edible when cooked, it has a dark brown outer shell, a bitter inner skin, a high starch content and is used in savory and sweet dishes.
1. Named for the Chianti region in Tuscany, Italy, this sturdy, dry red wine was once instantly recognizable by its squat, straw-covered bottles (fiaschi ). However, Chianti particularly the better brands is now more often found in the traditional Bordeaux-type bottle. Only a few vintners use the straw-based bottle, which today usually designates a cheaper (and often inferior) product. In Italy, Chianti has long been made from four or five grape varieties, Trebbiano and Malvasia being two of them. Today, however, the cabernet sauvignon grape is being added to some Chianti blends. The word Riserva on the label indicates that the wine is of superior quality and has been aged in oak for at least 3 years before being bottled. Labels indicating "Chianti Classico" refer to the central and original (dating back to the 14th century) growing area from which the grapes came. Chianti's bold flavor is particularly suited to highly seasoned foods. 2. A generic name used for rather ordinary, inexpensive red wine made outside of Italy in countries like Argentina and the United States. The grape varieties that go into such wines are varied and unregulated.
a pastry cream confection.
one of the principal USDA-recognized kinds of poultry; any of several varieties of common domestic fowl used for food as well as egg production; has both light and dark meat and relatively little fat.
Said to have been named for the opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini, this rich dish combines cooked spaghetti and strips of chicken with a sherry-Parmesan cheese cream sauce. Parmesan or bread crumbs are sprinkled over the surface and the dish is baked until bubbly and golden brown. Turkey is sometimes substituted for chicken in this dish.
a chicken slaughtered when 13 weeks old; has a soft, smooth-textured skin, relatively lean flesh, flexible breastbone and an average market weight of 3.5 pounds (1.5 kg).
a chicken slaughtered when 3 to 5 months old; has a smooth-textured skin, tender flesh, a less flexible breastbone than that of a broiler and an average market weight of 3.5 to 5 pounds (1.5 to 2 kg).
Particularly popular in the South and Midwest, this dish is said to have been created to use inexpensive beef. It refers to a thin cut of steak that has been tenderized by pounding. It's dipped into a milk-egg mixture and seasoned flour, then fried like chicken until crisp and brown, and served with country gravy.
a somewhat spherical, irregular-shaped pea-like seed of a plant (Licer arieinum) native to the Mediterranean region; has a buff color, firm texture and nutty flavor; used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines in soups, stews and salads, it is also roasted and eaten as a snack; also know as ceci and garbanzo bean.
Slightly larger than the average pea, these round, irregular-shaped, buff-colored legumes have a firm texture and mild, nutlike flavor. Chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans and ceci ) are used extensively in the Mediterranean, India and the Middle East for dishes such as couscous and hummus. They've also found their way into Spanish stews, Italian minestrone and various Mexican dishes, and are fast becoming popular in many parts of the Western and Southwestern United States. Chickpeas are available canned, dried and in some areas, fresh. They're most commonly used in salads, soups and stews. See also beans.
This relative of the endive has curly, bitter-tasting leaves that are often used as part of a salad or cooked as greens. In the United States, early endive is sometimes erroneously called chicory. Chicory is available year-round. Choose leaves that are brightly colored and crisp. Store unwashed greens in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Today's trendy radicchio is a red-leafed Italian chicory. Roasted chicory (also called succory ) comes from the roasted, ground roots of some varieties of chicory. It's used as a coffee substitute, and added to some coffees for body and aroma and as an "extender." This coffee-chicory blend is often referred to as "New Orleans" or "Creole" coffee and is a popular beverage in Louisiana.
An airy, fluffy mixture, usually a filling for pie. The lightness is achieved with stiffly beaten egg whites and sometimes gelatin.
Said to have been created in the late 1940s by a professional baker, chiffon cake is distinguished from others of its genre by the fact that oil, rather than solid shortening, is used. It contains leavening, such as baking powder, and stiffly beaten egg whites, which contribute to its rather spongecakelike texture.
finely cut vegetable strips used to garnish soups, raw, or simmered in butter. Lettuce and sorrel often are used in this manner.
A classic french dressing with the addition of finely chopped or shredded hard-cooked egg, green pepper, chives, parsley, beet and onion.
A mild to medium-hot, rich-flavored chile that, when dried, is known as the pasilla. The narrow chilaca can measure up to 9 inches long and often has a twisted shape. It turns from dark green to dark brown when fully mature. About the only place it can be found fresh in the United States is in farmer's markets. See also chile.
Because it was invented to use leftovers, this Mexican entree is sometimes called "poor man's dish." It consists of corn tortilla strips sautéed with other foods such as mild green chiles, cheese, chorizo and shredded chicken or beef. The dish may also be layered like lasagna and baked.
A paste or sauce made with fermented soybeans or sometimes fermented black beans, chopped dried chiles, garlic and other seasonings. This spicy, salty paste is popular in chinese cuisine (Szechuan and Hunan) as well as in many Korean dishes. In Korea, chile bean paste is known as kochujang or kochu chang.
A melted cheese dip flavored with mild green chiles. Served in Mexican restaurants with tortilla chips or cut raw vegetables.
One of the wonders that Christopher Columbus brought back from the New World was a member of the Capsicum genus, the chile. Now this pungent pod plays an important role in the cuisines of many countries including Africa, China (Szechuan region), India, Mexico, South America, Spain and Thailand. There are more than 200 varieties of chiles, over 100 of which are indigenous to Mexico. They vary in length from a huge 12 inches to a 1/4-inch peewee. Some are long, narrow and no thicker than a pencil while others are plump and globular. Their heat quotient varies from mildly warm to mouth-blistering hot. A chile's color can be anywhere from yellow to green to red to black. Dried chiles are available year-round. The availability of fresh chiles varies according to the variety and season. Choose those with deep, vivid colors; avoid chiles with any sign of shriveling or soft spots. Fresh chiles can be stored in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. As a general rule, the larger the chile the milder it is. Small chiles are much hotter because, proportionally, they contain more seeds and veins than larger specimens. Those seeds and membranes can contain up to 80 percent of a chile's capsaicin, the potent compound that gives chiles their fiery nature. Since neither cooking nor freezing diminishes capsaicin's intensity, removing a chile's seeds and veins is the only way to reduce its heat. After working with chiles, it's extremely important to wash your hands thoroughly; failure to do so can result in painful burning of the eyes or skin (wearing rubber gloves will remedy this problem). Chiles are used to make a plethora of by-products including chili paste, tabasco sauce, cayenne and the dried red pepper flakes commonly found in pizzerias. Chiles are cholesterol free and low in calories and sodium. They're a rich source of vitamins A and C, and a good source of folic acid, potassium and vitamin E. See also anaheim; ancho; cascabel; cayenne; charleston hot; cherry pepper; chilaca; chipotle; fresno; guajillo; güero; habanero; hungarian wax; jalapeño; jamaican hot; mulato; pasilla; pepperoncini; pequín; pimiento; poblano; red pepper; ristra; santa fe grande; scotch bonnet; serrano; sweet peppers; thai chile; togarashi.
hot green peppers stuffed with cheese and dipped in batter and fried.
pure ground dried chiles; depending on the variety used, its flavor can range from sweet and mild to pungent and extremely hot and its color from yellow-orange to red to dark brown; used as a flavoring.
Spanish for "chili with meat," this dish is a melange of diced or ground beef and chiles or chili powder (or both). It originated in the Lone Star State and Texans, who commonly refer to it as "a bowl of red," consider it a crime to add beans to the mixture. In many parts of the country, however, beans are requisite and the dish is called "chili con carne with beans."
Vegetable oil in which hot red chiles have been steeped to release their heat and flavor. This spicy-hot oil is red-colored (from the chiles) and is a mainstay of Chinese cookery. It will keep 6 months at room temperature, but will retain its potency longer if refrigerated.
Widely used in Chinese cooking, this paste is made of fermented fava beans, flour, red chiles and sometimes garlic. It's available in Chinese markets and many large supermarkets.
A powdered seasoning mixture of dried chiles, garlic, oregano, cumin, coriander and cloves. See also spices; herb and spice chart.
A spicy blend of tomatoes, chiles or chili powder, onions, green peppers, vinegar, sugar and spices. This ketchuplike sauce is used as a condiment.
the fruit of various plants of the capsicum family; a chile can have a mild to fiery hot flavor (caused by the capsaicin in the pepper's placental ribs) with undertones of various fruits or spices. A fresh chile is usually yellow, orange, green or red, and its shape can range from thin, elongated and tapering to conical to nearly spherical; a dried chile, which is sometimes referred to by a different name than its fresh version, is usually more strongly flavored and darker colored.
a food that has been refrigerated, usually at temperatures of 30 to 40*F(-1 to +4*C).
This specialty of Sonora, Mexico, is actually a burrito that is fried or deep-fried. It can contain any number of fillings including shredded chicken, beef, veal, refried beans and rice. To prevent the filling from spilling out during frying, the flour tortilla must be rolled around it, with the ends tucked in. Chimichangas are often garnished with salsa, guacamole, sour cream and shredded cheese.
A condiment made of olive oil, vinegar, parsley, oregano, onion, garlic, salt, cayenne and black pepper.
n. This term refers to the backbone of an animal. It can also describe a cut of meat including the backbone with some adjoining flesh. The chine is removed from the rib bones in cuts such as rack of lamb. chine v. A butchering term meaning to sever the backbone.
Also known as Japanese artichoke, knotroot and chorogi, this hairy plant is a native of China and Japan. It has small white tubers that have a sweet, nutty taste similar to a jerusalem artichoke. They can seldom be found in the United States but, if available, should be purchased when firm and white. Refrigerate in a plastic bag up to a week. Chinese artichokes can be eaten raw, or boiled, baked or steamed. See also artichoke.
The heading "Chinese cabbage" is confusing, at best. This variety, Brassica pekinensis, is also called Napa cabbage, hakusai, celery cabbage, wong bok and Peking cabbage, just to name a few. Another Brassica subspecies chinensis is better known as bok choy and is also called Chinese white cabbage and white mustard cabbage. It's clear that the confusion is warranted. The predominant variety of the pekinensis subspecies of Chinese cabbage has crinkly, thickly veined leaves that are cream-colored with celadon green tips. Unlike the strong-flavored waxy leaves on round heads of cabbage, these are thin, crisp and delicately mild. Chinese cabbage is generally available year-round. Choose firm, tightly packed heads with crisp, green-tipped leaves. Refrigerate, tightly wrapped, up to 3 days. Use raw, or sauté, bake or braise. Chinese cabbage is a good source of vitamin A, folic acid and potassium.
The combined cuisines of China have often been compared to French cuisine as having made the greatest contribution to the world of food. Chinese cooking styles have been divided into five main regions: Southeastern (Canton), East Coast (Fukien), Northeastern (Peking-Shantung), Central (Honan) and Western (Szechuan-Hunan). Cantonese cuisine is famous for its meat roasting and grilling, and fried rice. The province of Fukien is noted for its multitudinous selection of soups and for its fish dishes. The light, elegant Peking-Shantung style originated the famous peking duck, and is highly acclaimed for its subtle and artful use of seasonings. China's Honan province is the home of sweet-and-sour cooking, and the Szechuan-Hunan school is known for its hot, spicy dishes. Mandarin cooking and Shanghai cooking are not regional designations, but terms used to describe cooking styles. The word mandarin means "Chinese official," and mandarin cooking suggests an aristocratic cuisine that gleans the very finest elements from all the regions. Shanghai cooking refers to a cosmopolitan combination of many Chinese cooking styles.
Also called Chinese jujube and red date, this olive-sized fruit has a leathery skin that, depending on the variety, can be red (most common), off-white or almost black. The flavor of the rather dry, yellowish flesh is prunelike. The Chinese date is generally imported from China, though some are being grown on the West Coast. Some fresh fruit is available (mainly in the West), but those found most often (usually in Chinese markets) are dried and must be soaked in water before using. Chinese cooks use this fruit in both savory and sweet dishes.
Texturally similar to pepperoni, this dry, rather hard sausage is usually made from meat and a goodly amount of fat. It's smoked, slightly sweet and highly seasoned. Probably the most popular Chinese sausage in this country is lop chong. It and others like it are available in specialty meat shops and Chinese markets. Store up to 1 month in the refrigerator. Chinese sausage makes an excellent addition to stir-fry dishes. See also sausage.
A metal conical sieve with an extremely fine mesh, used for pureeing or straining. The mesh is so fine that a spoon or pestle must be used to press the food through it.
Some-times called "little fingers," these tiny (2- to 3-inch-long), coarse-textured sausages are highly spiced with thyme, chives, coriander, cloves and sometimes hot red-pepper flakes. The French term à la chipolata refers to a garnish of chipolata, chestnuts and glazed vegetables used to accompany roasts. See also sausage.
a dried, smoked jalapeño; this medium-sized chile has a dull tan to dark brown color with a wrinkled skin and a smoky, slightly sweet, relatively milk flavor with undertones of tobacco and chocolate.
Dried, smoked, cocoa-colored Jalapeño.
These wafer-thin slices of salted and smoked, dried beef are usually packed in small jars and were once an American staple. Chipped beef is also referred to simply as dried beef. "Shit on a shingle," known in polite society as sos, is military slang used for creamed chipped beef served on toast.
common name for a tiny sausage, this originally described a garnish of chestnuts, glazed vegetables, and small sausages.
The British word for what Americans call "french fries." Their potato chips are called "crisps."
A term meaning "scattered sushi" and referring to a Japanese dish consisting of sushi meshi (vinegared rice) served with various ingredients including chopped vegetables, sashimi,
A Japanese one-pot dish consisting of chunks of a firm-fleshed fish (like cod or sea bass), tofu and various vegetables. All ingredients are brought to the table raw along with a pot of simmering broth, which is placed on a heating element and kept simmering throughout the meal. Each diner adds their own ingredients, letting the food cook until tender before retrieving it from the communal pot. Chirinabe is served with various condiments, which usually include ponzu sauce. See also mizutaki; nabemono.
part of the small intestine of a pig, cooked.
Related to the onion and leek, this fragrant herb has slender, vivid green, hollow stems. Chives have a mild onion flavor and are available fresh year-round. Look for those with a uniform green color and no signs of wilting or browning. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to a week. Fresh chives can be snipped with scissors to the desired length. They're delicious in many cooked dishes but should be added toward the end of the cooking time to retain their flavor. Both chives and their edible lavender flowers are a tasty and colorful addition to salads. Frozen and freeze-dried chives are also available in most supermarkets. Chives are a good source of vitamin A and also contain a fair amount of potassium and calcium.
An herb and member of the onion family (Allium schoenprasum), with long, slender, hollow, green stems and purple flowers; have a mild onion flavor and are generally used fresh, although dried, chopped chives are available; also know as Chinese chives, flowering chives and kucha.
Of Polish origin, this borscht-like soup is made of beets, onions, cucumbers, herbs and sometimes veal. It's served cold, garnished with sour cream.
roasted, ground, refined cacao beans used as a flavoring, confection or beverage.
A ready-to-use syrup, usually a combination of unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar or corn syrup and various other flavorings. Chocolate syrup is usually quite sweet and is most often used to flavor milk or as a dessert sauce. It cannot be substituted for melted chocolate in recipes.
a confection made of cocoa butter, sugar and flavorings; does not contain cocoa solids.
Any of several varieties of wild cherries native to North America. These small cherries turn from red to almost black when mature. They're very astringent and, though not good for out-of-hand eating, make excellent jams and jellies. Chokeberries are the inedible fruit of an ornamental shrub. See also cherry.
Of Central European origin, cholent is a traditional Jewish food served on the Sabbath. It varies greatly from family to family, but generally consists of some kind of meat (such as brisket, short ribs or chuck), lima or navy beans, potatoes, barley, onions, garlic and other seasonings. The ingredients are combined in one pot and simmered on stovetop or baked at a very low heat for many hours. Since cooking is forbidden on the Sabbath, many Jewish families prepare and combine the ingredients and place the cholent in a low oven at sundown on Friday, to be ready the following day, which is the Sabbath.
To cut food into (more or less) bite-sized pieces using the quick, heavy blows of a knife. If a recipe calls for something to be finely chopped, the pieces should be smaller than bite sized, and if it calls for roughly chopped, they should be slightly bigger. Also, rib section of beef, lamb, or veal, usually with the bone in.
Thought to date back at least to the mid-19th century, this Chinese-American dish includes small pieces of meat (usually chicken) or fish, mushrooms, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and onions. These ingredients are cooked together and served over rice. Chop suey doesn't exist as a dish in China.
Thin, tapered eating utensils used throughout Asia. They normally range from 10 to 12 inches long (as short as 5 inches for children) and can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, bamboo and plastic. Chopsticks used for cooking or serving can be up to 20 inches long. Japanese chopsticks are pointed at the eating end, whereas Chinese chopsticks are blunt. To use chopsticks for eating, hold them about two-thirds of the distance from the pointed end, with the upper stick between your index finger and the tip of your thumb, much as you would a pencil. The bottom chopstick should remain stationary while the upper stick is moved in an up-and-down, pincerlike motion. Always keep the tips of the chopsticks even.
Crumbly, spiced veal sausage.
Named for the French chef who created it, Choron sauce is a hollandaise or Béarnaise sauce that has been tinted pink by the additon of tomato puree. It can be served with poultry, meat or fish.
French-style sauerkraut, cooked with goose fat, onions, white wine, and juniper berries or caraway seeds.
Also called choux paste, pâte à choux and cream-puff pastry, this special pastry is made by an entirely different method from other pastries. The dough, created by combining flour with boiling water and butter, then beating eggs into the mixture, is very sticky and pastelike. During baking, the eggs make the pastry puff into irregular domes (as with cream puffs). After baking, the puffs are split, hollowed out and filled with a custard, whipped cream or other filling. Besides cream puffs, choux pastry is used to make such specialties as éclairs, gougère and profiteroles.
Flat, wide rice noodles that tend to cook up soft and sticky.
A Chinese-American dish that consists of small pieces of meat (usually chicken) or fish and vegetables such as bean sprouts, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, mushrooms and onions. The ingredients are usually fried separately, then combined at the last minute and served over crisp noodles.
Thought to have been brought to America by the Chinese railroad laborers, chow-chow is a mustard-flavored mixed-vegetable-and-pickle relish. Originally, the term was used to describe a Chinese condiment of orange peel and ginger in a heavy syrup.
A thick, chunky fish soup. The name comes from the French chaudière, a caldron in which fishermen made their stews fresh from the sea. New England-style chowder is made with milk or cream, Manhattan-style with tomatoes. Chowder can contain any of several varieties of fish and vegetables. The term is also used to describe any thick, rich soup containing chunks of food (for instance, corn chowder).
An inexpensive beef cut taken from between the neck and shoulder blade. The most popular cuts of chuck are roasts and steaks. Chuck roasts usually include a portion of the blade bone, which is why they're sometimes referred to as blade pot roasts. For maximum tenderness, chuck cuts must be cooked slowly, as in stewing or braising. See also beef.
Actually the tiny, tuberous roots of an African plant of the sedge family, chufa "nuts" are immensely popular in Spain and Mexico, primarily as a base for the refreshing drink, horchata. They have a brown, bumpy skin and a sweet, chestnutlike flavor. Dried chufas are available in bags in many Latin markets and health-food stores. Store them, tightly wrapped, in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Besides their use in horchatas, chufas make an excellent snack. They're also known as earth almonds, earthnuts and tiger nuts.
To agitate cream briskly so that the fat separates from the liquid, thereby forming a solid (butter). The old-fashioned butter churn consisted of a container fitted with wooden blades that, when a crank was rotated, would whirl the cream inside until it turned to butter. The modern household substitute for a butter churn is the food processor.
Similiar to a cruller, this Spanish and Mexican specialty consists of a sweet-dough spiral that is deep-fried and eaten like a doughnut. Churros are usually coated with a mixture of cinnamon and confectioners' (or granulated) sugar.
from the Hindi chatni, it is a condiment made from fruit, vinegar, sugar and spices; its texture can range from smooth to chunky and its flavor from mild to hot.
Apple cider was a highly popular early American beverage. Cider is made by pressing the juice from fruit (usually apples). It can be drunk straight or diluted with water. Before fermentation, it's referred to as "sweet" cider. It becomes "hard" cider after fermentation, and can range widely in alcohol content. Apple cider is also used to make vinegar and brandy.
vinegar of unprocessed apple cider.
a spice that is the inner bark of the branches of a small evergreen tree (Cinnamonum zeylanicum) native to Sri Lanka and India; has an orange-brown color and a sweet, distinctive flavor and aroma; usually sold in rolled-up sticks (quills) or ground and is used for sweet and savory dishes and as a garnish; also known as Ceylon cinnamon.
Italian -style fish stew.
Small, yellowish onions that add sweet and savory accents to cooked dishes.
an organic acid common to citrus fruits and used in preserving, retaining color or flavoring drinks.
a fruit likened to an overgrown knobbly lemon, it is famed for its peel, which is used in marmalades, candies and fruit cakes.
This large family of fruit includes among its members the citron, grapefruit, kumquat, lemon, lime, orange, shaddock, tangelo, tangerine and ugli fruit. Native to Asia, citrus fruits prefer tropical to temperate climates and thrive in many Central and South American countries, as well as the states of Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana and Texas. All fresh citrus fruits share some degree of tartness and are rich in vitamin C.
A special tool with a stainless-steel notched edge that cuts 1/4-inch-wide strips from the rind of citrus fruits as well as other fruits and vegetables. It's commonly used to make lemon or lime strips, which are used to flavor drinks or garnish dishes such as salads and desserts. The strips can be cut long or short, depending on whether the stripper is pulled from top to bottom (short strips) or in a long spiral around the fruit (long strips). A citrus stripper can also be used to cut decorative designs in vegetables such as cucumbers and zucchini.
The stainless-steel cutting edge of this kitchen tool has five tiny cutting holes which, when the zester is pulled across the surface of a lemon or orange, create threadlike strips of peel. The zester removes only the colored outer portion (zest) of the peel, leaving the pale bitter pith.
A popular dish of the Old South, clabber is unpasteurized milk that has soured and thickened naturally. Depending on its thickness, icy-cold clabbered milk was (and sometimes still is) enjoyed as a drink. It may also be eaten with fruit, or topped with black pepper and cream or simply sprinkled with sugar.
Originally from the Limousin region, this country-French dessert is made by topping a layer of fresh fruit with batter. After baking it's served hot, sometimes with cream. Some clafoutis have a cakelike topping while others are more like a pudding. Though cherries are traditional, any fruit such as plums, peaches or pears can be used.
A French term referring to dishes garnished with peas. It can also refer to a garnish of potato balls.
1. A term used by the English when referring to the red wines from bordeaux. 2. Elsewhere, the word claret is sometimes used as a general reference to light red wines. Even though "claret" sometimes appears on labels it has no legal definition.
butter that has been melted and chilled. The solid is then lifted away from the liquid and discarded.
to make a liquid clear and free of sediment. Clarification heightens the smoke point of butter. Clarified butter will stay fresh in the refrigerator for at least 2 months.
Used mainly by butchers and Chinese cooks, a cleaver is an axlike cutting tool. Its flat sides can be used for pounding, as in tenderizing meat. Cleavers are usually heavy for their size, but evenly weighted. A good cleaver can cut through bone just as easily as it can chop vegetables. The butt end can be used as a pestle (see mortar and pestle) to pulverize seeds or other food items; the flat side is also great for crushing garlic.
A term used to describe fruit that has a pit to which the flesh clings tenaciously, one of the most well known being the cling or clingstone peach. See also freestone.
This specialty of Devonshire, England (which is why it's also known as Devonshire or Devon cream ) is made by gently heating rich, unpasteurized milk until a semisolid layer of cream forms on the surface. After cooling, the thickened cream is removed. Clotted cream can be spread on bread or spooned atop fresh fruit or desserts. The traditional English "cream tea" consists of clotted cream and jam served with scones and tea. Clotted cream can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.
Found in northern climes such as New England, Canada and Scandinavia, the cloudberry looks like an amber-colored version of the raspberry to which it's related. The berries are too tart for out-of-hand eating but make excellent jam. Cloudberries are usually wild and therefore hard to find in markets. Other names for this delicious fruit include bake-apple berry, yellow berry and mountain berry.
1. A spice that is the dried, unopened flower bud of a tropical evergreen tree (Eugenia aromatica); has a reddish-brown color, a nail shape and an extremely pungent, sweet, astringent flavor; available whole or powdered. 2. A segment of a bulb, such as garlic.
A double-decker sandwich consisting of three slices of toast or bread between which are layers of chicken or turkey, deli meat, lettuce, tomato and whatever else pleases the sandwich maker.
This tender, flavorful beef cut comes from the small end of the short loin next to the rib. It has a bone along one side, but includes no portion of the tenderloin. See also beef.
to cut food into small pieces, about 3/16 inches (1/2 cm) square.
to cover a food completely with an outer "coating" of another food or ingredient.
A cooking technique used to test the doneness of cooked, egg-based custards and sauces. The mixture is done when it leaves an even film (thin to thick, depending on the recipe instructions) on the spoon. This film can be tested by drawing your finger across the coating on the spoon. If it doesn't run and leaves a clear path, it's ready.
Hollywood's Brown Derby Restaurant made this salad famous. It consists of finely chopped chicken or turkey, cured meat, hard-cooked eggs, tomatoes, avocado, scallions, watercress, cheddar cheese and lettuce tossed with a vinaigrette dressing and topped with an ample portion of crumbled Roquefort or other blue cheese.
a deep-dish fruit pie with a top crust of biscuit dough. Also, a tall drink made of rum, whiskey or claret and garnished with citrus slices or mint or fennel.
A Scottish soup made with chicken broth, chicken, leeks and, sometimes, oatmeal or cream.
an appetizer; either a beverage or a light, highly seasoned food served before meal.
A combination of ketchup or chili sauce with prepared horseradish, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce or other hot red pepper seasoning. Cocktail sauce is used with fish and as a condiment for hors D'oeuvres, etc.
The natural, cream-colored vegetable fat extracted from cocoa beans during the process of making chocolate and cocoa powder. It's used to add smoothness and flavor in some foods (including chocolate) and in making cosmetics and soaps.
Also called instant cocoa, this mixture of cocoa powder, dry milk and sugar is combined with cold or boiling water to make a cold or hot, chocolate-flavored beverage.
a brown, unsweetened powder produced by crushing cocoa nibs and extracting most of the fat (cocoa butter); it is used as a flavoring; also known as unsweetened cocoa.
coca powder that has been treated with an alkali to neutralize its natural acidity; darker and milder than a nonalkalized powder.
Malaysia is the motherland of the coconut palm, which now grows in parts of South America, India, Hawaii and throughout the Pacific Islands. This prolific tree yields thousands of coconuts over its approximately 70-year lifespan. Each coconut has several layers: a smooth, deep tan outer covering; a hard, dark brown, hairy husk with three indented "eyes" at one end; a thin brown skin; the creamy white coconut meat; and, at the center, a thin, opaque coconut juice. The smooth outer shell is usually removed before the coconut is exported. The coconut palm maximizes its potential by producing several products including food (coconut meat and buds) and drink (coconut juice, vinegar and toddy the latter a potent fermented drink made from the tree's sap). Dried coconut meat, called copra, is pressed and used to make coconut oil, which is used in commercial frying and as a component in many packaged goods such as candies, margarines, soap and cosmetics. Coconut oil one of the few nonanimal saturated fats is used widely in the manufacture of baked goods such as commercial cookies. Certain major manufacturers have replaced it with the more expensive unsaturated fats with an eye toward cholesterol consciousness. The coconut palm's hard shells can be used for bowls, the fiber for ropes and nets, the wood for building, the roots for fuel and the leaves for baskets, hats, mats and thatching. The flesh of unripe coconut (usually not exported) has a jellylike consistency and can be eaten from the shell with a spoon. Upon ripening, the flesh becomes white and firm. Fresh coconuts are available year-round, with the peak season being October through December. Choose one that's heavy for its size and that sounds full of liquid when shaken; avoid those with damp "eyes." Whole, unopened coconuts can be stored at room temperature for up to 6 months, depending on the degree of ripeness. The liquid in a coconut is drained by piercing two of the three eyes with an ice pick. This thin juice can be used as a beverage, though it shouldn't be confused with coconut "milk". Then the meat is removed and the inner skin scraped off. Chunks of coconut meat can be grated or chopped, either in the food processor or by hand. One medium coconut will yield 3 to 4 cups grated. Grated fresh coconut should be tightly covered and can be refrigerated up to 4 days, frozen up to 6 months. Packaged coconut is available in cans or plastic bags, sweetened or unsweetened, shredded or flaked, and dried, moist or frozen. It can sometimes also be found toasted. Unopened canned coconut can be stored at room temperature up to 18 months; coconut in plastic bags up to six months. Refrigerate both after opening. Coconut is high in saturated fat and is a good source of potassium. Coconut milk and coconut cream are sometimes called for in recipes, particularly in curried dishes. Coconut milk is made by combining equal parts water and shredded fresh or desiccated coconut meat and simmering until foamy. The mixture is then strained through cheesecloth, squeezing as much of the liquid as possible from the coconut meat. The coconut meat can be combined with water again for a second, diluted batch of coconut milk. Coconut cream is made in the same manner, but enriches the mix by using 1 part water to 4 parts coconut. Milk can be substituted for water for an even richer result. Discard the coconut meat after making these mixtures. Coconut milk and cream also come canned and may sometimes be found frozen in Asian markets and some supermarkets. Do not confuse sweetened "cream of coconut" used mainly for desserts and mixed drinks with unsweetened coconut milk or cream.
Are sometimes called for in recipes, particularly in curried dishes. Coconut milk is made by combining equal parts water and shredded fresh or desiccated coconut meat and simmering until foamy. The mixture is then strained through cheesecloth, squeezing as much of the liquid as possible from the coconut meat. The coconut meat can be combined with water again for a second, diluted batch of coconut milk. Coconut cream is made in the same manner, but enriches the mix by using 1 part water to 4 parts coconut. Milk can be substituted for water for an even richer result. Discard the coconut meat after making these mixtures. Coconut milk and cream also come canned and may sometimes be found frozen in Asian markets and some supermarkets. Do not confuse sweetened "cream of coconut", used mainly for desserts and mixed drinks, with unsweetened coconut milk or cream.
the shredded or flaked flesh of the coconut; often sweetened; also known as copra.
This French word for "casserole" refers to a round or oval casserole with a tight-fitting lid. It can be either individual-size or large and is traditionally made of earthenware. The phrase en cocotte means "cooked in a casserole."
a large family of saltwater fish, including Atlantic cod, Pacific cod, pollock, haddock, whiting and hake; generally, they have a milk, delicate flavor, lean, white flesh and a firm texture and are available fresh, sun-dried, salted or smoked.
to gently poach in barely simmering liquid.
French for "heart with cream," this classic dessert is made in a special heart-shaped wicker basket or mold with holes in it. Cream cheese is mixed with sour cream or whipping cream (and sometimes sugar) and placed into the special mold or cheesecloth-lined basket. The dessert is then refrigerated overnight, during which time the whey (liquid) drains out through the basket or perforated mold. To serve, the dessert is unmolded and garnished with fresh berries or other fruit.
Ethiopia is thought to be the motherland of the first coffee beans, which, throughout the ages, found their way to Brazil and Colombia the two largest coffee producers today. Coffee plantations abound throughout other South and Central American countries, Cuba, Hawaii, Indonesia, Jamaica and many African nations. There are hundreds of different coffee species but the two most commercially viable are coffea robusta and coffea arabica. The sturdy, disease-resistant coffea robusta, which thrives at lower altitudes, produces beans with a harsher, more single-dimensional flavor than the more sensitive coffea arabica, which grows at high altitudes (3,000 to 6,500 feet) and produces beans with elegant, complex flavors. The coffee plant is actually a small tree that bears a fruit called the "coffee cherry." Growing and tending these coffee trees is a labor-intensive process because blossoms, unripe (green) and ripe red cherries can occupy a tree simultaneously, necessitating hand-picking the fruit. The coffee cherry's skin and pulp surround two beans enclosed in a parchmentlike covering. Once these layers are discarded, the beans are cleaned, dried, graded and hand-inspected for color and quality. The "green" beans (which can range in color from pale green to muddy yellow) are then exported, leaving the roasting, blending and grinding to be done at their destination. Coffee can be composed of a single type of coffee bean or a blend of several types. Blended coffee produces a richer, more complex flavor than single-bean coffees. The length of time coffee beans are roasted will affect the color and flavor of the brew. Among the most popular roasts are American, French, Italian, European and Viennese. American roast (also called regular roast) beans are medium-roasted, which results in a moderate brew not too light or too heavy in flavor. The heavy-roasted beans are French roast and dark French roast, which are a deep chocolate brown and produce a stronger coffee, and the glossy, brown-black, strongly flavored Italian roast, used for espresso. European roast contains two-thirds heavy-roast beans blended with one-third regular-roast; Viennese roast reverses those proportions. Instant coffee powder is a powdered coffee made by heat-drying freshly brewed coffee. Freeze-dried coffee granules (or crystals) are derived from brewed coffee that has been frozen into a slush before the water is evaporated. Freeze-dried coffee is slightly more expensive than regular instant coffee, but is also reputed to be superior in flavor. Coffee, tea and cocoa all contain caffeine, a stimulant that affects many parts of the body including the nervous system, kidneys, heart and gastric secretions. With the exception of the Madagascar coffee species mascarocoffea vianneyi which actually grows beans that are decaf-feinated, coffee beans must go through a process to produce decaffeinated coffee. The caffeine is removed by one of two methods, either of which is executed before the beans are roasted. In the first method, the caffeine is chemically extracted with the use of a solvent, which must be completely washed out before the beans are dried. The second method called Swiss water process first steams the beans, then scrapes away the caffeine-rich outer layers. Though there was once concern about the safety of solvent residues, research has found that the volatile solvents disappear entirely when the beans are roasted. Coffee, whether ground or whole-bean, loses its flavor quickly. To assure the freshest, most flavorful brew, buy fresh coffee beans and grind only as many as needed to brew each pot of coffee. Inexpensive grinders are available at most department and discount stores. Store whole roasted beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks. For longer storage, freeze whole beans, freezer-wrapped, up to 3 months. Since room-temperature ground coffee begins to go stale within a couple of days after it's ground, it should be refrigerated in an airtight container and can be stored up to 2 weeks. See also café au lait; café brulot; café latte; café macchiato; café mocha; cappuccino; espresso; greek coffee; irish coffee; thai coffee; turkish coffee; viennese coffee.
This rich, sweet, cakelike bread is usually eaten for breakfast or brunch. Coffee cakes can be made with yeast, but those using baking soda or baking powder take less time and are also delicious. Coffee cakes often contain fruit, nuts and sometimes a cream-cheese filling. They can be frosted or not and are usually best served slightly warm.
Hailing from in and around the town of Cognac in western France, this potent potable is the finest of all brandies. Cognac is double-distilled immediately after fermentation. It then begins its minimum 3-year aging in Limousin oak. Stars on a cognac label denote the following oak-aging: 1 star aged 3 years; 2 stars aged at least 4 years; 3 stars aged at least 5 years. Older cognacs are labeled V.S. (very superior), V.S.O.P. (very superior old pale) and V.V.S.O.P. (very, very, superior old pale). A cognac label can no longer legally claim over 7 years aging. It's been difficult for authorities to accurately keep track of Cognacs aged longer than this, so they've limited what producers may claim. Label terms X.O., Extra and Reserve usually indicate a Cognac is the oldest a producer distributes. Fine champagne on the label indicates that 60 percent of the grapes came from a superior grape-growing section of Cognac called Grande Champagne. One designating grande fine champagne proclaims that all the grapes for that cognac came from that eminent area.
A fine French liqueur that's clear, colorless and orange-flavored.
A sweet carbonated beverage containing cola-nut extract and other flavorings.
Caffeine and theobromine, used in the manufacture of some soft drinks, are derivatives of the cola nut, offspring of the cola tree that grows in Africa, South America and the West Indies. Chewing this nut is a favorite pastime of natives who claim it diminishes fatigue and thirst and (for some) has aphrodisiac properties.
Used for draining liquid from solids, the colander is a perforated, bowl-shaped container. It can be metal, plastic or ceramic.
Named after the chief minister of King Louis XIV, this sauce combines meat glaze, butter, wine, shallots, tarragon and lemon juice. It's served with grilled meats and game.
A mild, whole-milk cheddar cheese that has a softer, more open texture than regular cheddar. Because it's a high-moisture cheese, it doesn't keep as well as other cheddars. Colby is popular for eating out of hand, in sandwiches and for cooking. See also cheese.
A delicious Irish peasant dish of milk- and butter-moistened mashed potatoes mixed with finely chopped cooked onions and kale or cabbage.
Slices of cold meats like bologna, liverwurst, roast beef, salami, and turkey.
Originating in Germany, this pink sparkling wine is a mixture of champagne, sparkling Burgundy and sugar. Its origin is traced back to the Bavarian practice of mixing bottles of previously opened Champagne with cold sparkling Burgundy so the Champagne wouldn't be wasted. This mixture was called kalte ende ("cold end"); over the years, ende transliterated to ente ("duck"). The wines used to make cold duck are often of inferior quality. The resulting potation is quite sweet with few other distinguishable characteristics.
From the Dutch koolsla, meaning "cool cabbage," cole slaw is a salad of shredded red or white cabbage mixed with a mayonnaise, vinaigrette or other type of dressing. Other ingredients such as chopped onion, celery, sweet green or red pepper, pickles or herbs may be added. There are probably as many variations of cole slaw as there are cooks.
A salad of Dutch origin made from shredded cabbage and sometimes onions, sweet peppers, and/or pickles, bound with a mayonnaise, vinaigrette or other dressing and sometimes flavored with herbs.
a leafy, dark green vegetable with paddle-like leaves that grow on tall tough stalks; the leaves have a flavor reminiscent of cabbage and kale.
Long a staple of soul food, collard (also called collard greens and just plain collards ) is a variety of cabbage that doesn't form a head, but grows instead in a loose rosette at the top of a tall stem. It's often confused with its close relative kale and, in fact, tastes like a cross between cabbage and kale. Collard's peak season is January through April, but it's available year-round in most markets. Look for crisp green leaves with no evidence of yellowing, wilting or insect damage. Refrigerate collard in a plastic bag 3 to 5 days. They can be prepared in any manner suitable for spinach or cabbage. Collard is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, calcium and iron.
A tall, iced cocktail made with liquor (gin, rum, vodka, whiskey or brandy), lemon juice, sugar and soda water, and garnished with a lemon slice. The drink is served in a 10- to 12-ounce "collins" glass. The most popular of this genre is the Tom Collins, which is made with gin and is said to have been named for its creator.
A round, flat griddle on which tortillas are cooked. In Mexico, comals used over open fires are usually made of unglazed earthenware. Those intended for use with electric and gas heat are more often made of a light metal, such as tin. The earthenware and thin metal allow fast heat penetration, thereby cooking the tortillas quickly important so they don't become dry and brittle.
to mix two or more ingredients together.
This large, exquisite pear has a meltingly smooth, sweet flesh and fruit-filled fragrance. It ranges in color from greenish-yellow to yellow blushed with red. It's available from October to January and is best eaten uncooked. See also pear.
A complete protein food source is one that contains adequate amounts of the nine essential
A salad in which the ingredients are artfully arranged, rather than tossed together. The dressing for a composed salad is usually drizzled over the top of the ingredients. In French the term is known as salade composée.
mixed fruit, raw or cooked, usually served in compote dishes.
Butter creamed with other ingredients such as herbs, garlic, wine, shallots and so on. The French term for compound butter is beurre composé.
The French equivalent to Gruyére.
A coarsely chopped or ground mix.
Italian for "seashells," this shell-shaped pasta is formed to resemble a conch shell. Conchigliette are very tiny shells, conchiglioni are large shells.
A manufacturing technique used to give chocolate a smooth texture. See chocolate for a more complete description of this process.
Grown mainly on the East Coast, the Concord is a beautiful blue-black grape that often appears to have been powdered with silver. This mild-flavored grape has seeds and a slip-off skin. It's available in September and October and is used mainly for juice, jams and for out-of-hand eating. See also grape.
A savory, piquant, spicy or salty accompaniment to food, such as a relish, sauce, mixture of spices and so on. Ketchup and mustard are two of the most popular condiments.
seasonings that enhance the flavor of foods with which they are served.
A piece of candy or sweetmeat; also a sweet dish. A confectionery is a candy shop.
refined sugar ground into a fine, white, easily dissolved powder; also known as powdered sugar and 10X sugar.
Used as a dip for candies, a confectionery or summer coating is a blend of sugar, milk powder, hardened vegetable fat and various flavorings. It comes in a variety of pastel colors. Some have lowfat cocoa powder added, but they do not contain cocoa butter.
Meat (usually goose, duck or veal) that is slowly cooked in its own fat and preserved with the fat packed around it as a seal. The term also applies to vegetables slowly cooked and preserved in animal fat or vegetable oil.
French for "jam" or "preserves."
A gruel of boiled rice and water, which serves as a background for a host of other foods including fish, chicken, peanuts, sesame seed and eggs. In China, where it's also known as jook or juk, congee is particularly popular for breakfast. In Thailand this dish is known as khao tom gung.
A mixture of fruits, nuts and sugar, cooked together until thick, often used to spread on biscuits, crumpets and so on.
clear broth that is made from meat.
A French term referring to dishes made or garnished with lentils (usually pureed) and sometimes cured meat.
A light breakfast that usually consists of a breadstuff (such as toast, croissants, pastries, etc.) and coffee, tea or other liquid. The continental breakfast is the antithesis of the hearty english breakfast.
convection ovens use a small fan in the rear of the oven to circulate air all around the food to cook it quickly and more evenly. Cooking times are generally reduced by 25%. Most manufacturers suggest that you reduce the cooking temperature given in the recipe by 25 degrees and bake it for the time specified.
an electric oven in which heat is circulated rapidly around the cooking foods by means of a fan, resulting in fast crisping and browning.
rice that is pressure-steamed and dried before milling to remove surface starch and help retain nutrients; has a pale beige color and the same flavor as white rice; also known as parboiled rice.
A cookie can be any of various hand-held, flour-based sweet cakes either crisp or soft. The word cookie comes from the Dutch koekje, meaning "little cake." The earliest cookie-style cakes are thought to date back to seventh-century Persia, one of the first countries to cultivate sugar. There are six basic cookie styles, any of which can range from tender-crisp to soft. A drop cookie is made by dropping spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet. Bar cookies are created when a batter or soft dough is spooned into a shallow pan, then baked, cooled and cut into bars. Hand-formed (or molded) cookies are made by shaping dough by hand into small balls, logs, crescents and other shapes. Pressed cookies are formed by pressing dough through a cookie press (or pastry bag) to form fancy shapes and designs. Refrigerator (or icebox) cookies are made by shaping the dough into a log, which is refrigerated until firm, then sliced and baked. Rolled cookies begin by using a rolling pin to roll the dough out flat; then it is cut into decorative shapes with cookie cutters or a pointed knife. Other cookies, such as the German springerle, are formed by imprinting designs on the dough, either by rolling a special decoratively carved rolling pin over it or by pressing the dough into a carved cookie mold. In England, cookies are called biscuits, in Spain they're galletas, Germans call them keks, in Italy they're biscotti and so on.
A metal or plastic device used to cut decorative shapes out of dough that has been rolled flat. Cookie cutters are available singly or in sets. Dipping a cookie cutter into flour or granulated sugar will prevent it from sticking to soft doughs. A rolling cookie cutter has a wooden handle at the end of which is a metal or plastic cylinder marked with raised designs. When the cutter is rolled across the dough, it cuts a jigsaw-puzzle pattern of differently shaped cookies without any wasted dough.
Most often made of wood, these decorative molds are used to create designs in some European cookies. The cookie dough is pressed into a floured mold, leveled off with a knife, then inverted onto a baking sheet. Cookie molds come in all sizes and shapes and are available at specialty kitchenware shops.
Also called a cookie gun, this tool consists of a hollow tube fitted at one end with a decorative template or nozzle, and at the other with a plunger. The tube is filled with a soft cookie dough that the plunger forces out through the decorative tip to form professional-looking pressed cookies. Cookie presses come with a selection of interchangeable templates and other tips. spritz are one of the best-known cookies formed by this tool.
a flat, firm sheet of metal, usually aluminum, with open sides on which cookies, biscuits and other items are baked.
A small, decorative, round or square cookie imprinter, usually made of glass, ceramic or wood. When the stamp is pressed into a ball of cookie dough, it not only flattens it, but imprints a relief design on the surface. Cookie stamps come in many designs and are available at specialty kitchenware shops.
small, sweet, flat pastries, usually classified by preparation or makeup techniques as drop, icebox, bar, cutout, pressed and wafer.
A wine labeled "cooking wine" is generally an inferior wine that would not be drunk on its own. It lacks distinction and flavor and in times past has often been adulterated with salt. The rule of thumb when cooking with wine is only to use one you'd drink and to be sure the wine's flavor complements the food with which it's paired.
to allow a food to sit until it is no longer warm to the touch.
a flat grid of closely spaced metal wires resting on small feet; used for cooling baked goods by allowing air to circulate around the food.
An excellent heat conducter, copper is generally lined with tin or stainless steel to keep it from interacting with certain foods. Copper should be washed in hot, soapy water and dried immediately. Though copper is relatively expensive and requires polishing, it is the cookware of choice of many professionals. It will also eventually require retinning.
a French dish of chicken, mushrooms, onions, and smoked meat cooked in red wine.
Classically served in a scallop shell, this special dish consists of scallops in a creamy wine sauce, topped with bread crumbs or cheese and browned under a broiler.
the roe of female lobsters. It turns bright red when cooked and is used in sauces.
Tiny pasta tubes, generally used in soup.
a dish consisting of thin boneless chicken breasts or veal scallops separated by a thin slice of prosciutto or other ham and Emmenthal-style cheese, breaded and sautéed.
to remove the central seeded area from a fruit.
A utensil designed to remove the core (or center) from fruit or vegetables. Corers are usually made of stainless steel and come in different shapes for different uses. An all-purpose corer, used for apples, pears and the like, has a medium-length shaft with a circular cutting ring at the end. The core can be cut and removed with this tool. Another kind of apple corer is shaped like a spoked wheel with handles and not only cores the apple, but cuts it into wedges as well. A zucchini corer has a long, pointed, trough-shaped blade that, when inserted at one end of the zucchini and rotated, will remove the center, leaving a hollow tube for stuffing. A pineapple corer is a tall, arch-handled utensil with two serrated, concentric cutting rings at the base. After the top and bottom of the pineapple are sliced off, the corer is inserted from the top and twisted downward. The tool not only removes the core, but also the outer shell, leaving pineapple rings.
A fee charged by some restaurants to open and serve a bottle of wine brought in by the patron. A quick call to the restaurant will confirm the amount of the corkage fee. Some restaurants charge a lower fee if the patron's wine is not on the restaurant's wine list, such as might be the case with an older wine or a particularly distinctive vintage.
description of wine whose flavor has been tainted by the odor of the cork. Corked also means a wine bottle with the cork in.
A tool used to withdraw corks from bottles. Typically, a corkscrew has a pointed metal spiral with a transverse handle at one end. There are many varieties of corkscrews, however, including one that holds the bottle while a crank handle drives the screw into the cork and then extracts it.
a tall, annual plant native to the western hemisphere producing white, yellow, blue or multicolored grains arranged on a cob; consumed as a vegetable when young and available fresh, canned or frozen, or dried and ground into cornmeal; also known as maize.
Created in 1942 by Texan Neil Fletcher for the State Fair, a corn dog is a frankfurter or other sausage dipped in a heavy cornbread batter and fried or baked. Corn dogs are often served on a stick for easy eating. See also hot dog; pigs in blankets.
finely ground cornmeal; has a white or yellow color and is used as a breading or in combination with other flours.
These papery husks from corn are used primarily in making tamales, but they're also used to wrap other foods for steaming. Latin markets sell packaged corn husks, which must be softened before use. To do so, soak husks in very hot water for about 30 minutes, then drain, pat dry and use.
a pale yellow oil obtained from corn endosperms; odorless, almost flavorless, high in polyunsaturated fats with a high smoke point; a good medium for frying, also used in baking, dressings and to make margarine.
Extremely popular in the southern United States, corn pone is an eggless cornbread that is shaped into small ovals and fried or baked.
Native to Europe, corn salad has nothing to do with corn... but it is used in salads. The narrow, dark green leaves of this plant are tender and have a tangy, nutlike flavor. In addition to being used as a salad green, corn salad can also be steamed and served as a vegetable. Though it's often found growing wild in American cornfields, it's considered a "gourmet" green and is therefore expensive and hard to find. It doesn't keep well and should be used within a day or two of purchase. Corn salad should be washed and drained completely of any excess moisture before being stored airtight in a plastic bag. It's also called field salad, field lettuce, lamb's lettuce and mâche.
a thick, sweet syrup derived from cornstarch, composed of dextrose and glucose; available as clear (light) or brown (dark), which has caramel flavor and color added.
Still called moonshine and white lightning in some rural areas of the South, corn whiskey is distilled from a fermented mash of not less than 80 percent corn. It's distilled at less than 160 proof (80 percent alcohol). See also whiskey.
An all-American quick bread that substitutes cornmeal for most (or sometimes all) of the flour. It can include various flavorings such as cheese, scallions, and molasses. Cornbread can be thin and crisp or thick and light. It can be baked Southern style in a skillet or in a shallow square, round or rectangular baking pan. Some of the more popular cornbreads are hushpuppies, johnnycakes and spoon bread.
meat that has been cured in a brine solution.
beef, usually a cut from the brisket or round, cured in a seasoned brine; has a grayish-pink to rosy red color and a salty flavor; also known as salt beef.
The Cornell formula to enrich bread was developed in the 1930s at New York's Cornell University. It consists of 1 tablespoon each soy flour and nonfat milk powder plus 1 teaspoon wheat germ for each cup of flour used in a bread recipe. These enrichments are placed in the bottom of the measuring cup before the flour is spooned in.
French for "horn," a cornet can be any of several horn- or cone-shaped items including pastry (filled with whipped cream), a thin slice of cured meat, or a paper cone (filled with candy or nuts).
French for "gherkin," cornichons are crisp, tart pickles made from tiny gherkin cucumbers. They're a traditional accompaniment to pâtés as well as smoked meats and fish.
A gherkin in France.
Named after Cornwall, England, these savory turnovers consist of a short-crust pastry enfolding a chopped meat-and-potato filling. Other vegetables and sometimes fish are also used. In the 18th and 19th centuries, pasties were the standard lunch of Cornwall's tin miners. It was common to place a savory mixture in one end and an apple mixture in the other so both meat and dessert could be enjoyed in the same pasty.
dried, ground corn kernels (typically of a variety known as dent); has a white, yellow or blue color, gritty texture, slightly sweet, starchy flavor and available in three grinds (fine, medium and coarse); used in baking, as a coating for fried foods or cooked as polenta.
a dense, very fine powdery flour made from ground corn endosperm and used as a thickening agent.
A popular apple in the Northeast and northern Midwest, the Cortland has a smooth, shiny red skin. Its flesh is crisp, juicy, sweet-tart and resists browning. It's an all-purpose apple good for cooking as well as out-of-hand eating. See also apple.
An herb belonging to the composite plant family, which includes daisies, dandelions, marigolds and sunflowers. The silvery, fragrant costmary leaves have a minty, lemony character. They're used in salads, and as a flavoring in soups, veal and chicken dishes and sausages. Costmary is also called alecost (because it was used in making ale), Bible leaf (because its long leafs were used as book markers) and mint geranium.
From Brittany, France, cotriade is a fish soup made with potatoes. It's usually ladled over thick slices of bread.
A fresh cheese made from whole, part-skimmed or skimmed pasteurized cow's milk. "Sweet curd" cottage cheese by far the most popular has a rather mild (sometimes bland) flavor because the curds are washed to remove most of the cheese's natural acidity. The texture of cottage cheese is usually quite moist. If the curds are allowed to drain longer, pot cheese is formed; longer yet and the firm farmer's cheese is created. Cottage cheese comes in three forms: small-curd, medium-curd and large-curd (sometimes called "popcorn" cottage cheese). Creamed cottage cheese has had 4 to 8 percent cream added to it, lowfat cottage cheese has from 1 to 2 percent fat (check the label), and nonfat cottage cheese has, of course, zero fat. Cottage cheese is sold plain and flavored, the most popular additions being chives and pineapple (but not together). Because it's more perishable than other cheeses, cartons of cottage cheese are stamped on the bottom with the date they should be pulled from the shelves. Store cottage cheese in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to 10 days past the stamped date. See also cheese.
A dessert composed of a plain but rich cake smothered with a sweet sauce, such as lemon or chocolate.
The word cotto is Italian for "cooked," and is used to describe this soft Italian salami. It can be found whole in some specialty shops, but is more often sold sliced. Cotto sausage is excellent for sandwiches and cold-cut platters. See also sausage.
A fluffy, cottony confection made from long, thin spun sugar threads, which are wound onto a cardboard cone for easy eating. Cotton candy is often tinted with food coloring, most commonly pink, and is sometimes also flavored. It dates back to the early 1900s, and has been a favorite at amusement parks, county fairs and circuses ever since.
A viscous oil obtained from the seed of the cotton plant. Most of the cottonseed oil produced is used in combination with other oils to create vegetable oil products. It's used in some margarines and salad dressings, and for many commercially fried products. See also fats and oils.
This French adaptation of the Russian original (kulebiaka ) consists of a creamy melange of fresh salmon, rice, hard-cooked eggs, mushrooms, shallots and dill enclosed in a hot pastry envelope. The pastry is usually made with brioche dough. Coulibiacs can be large or small but are classically oval in shape. They can be served as a first or main course.
A thick puree or sauce.
Now an American classic, country captain is said to have taken its name from a British army officer who brought the recipe back from his station in India. It consists of chicken, onion, tomatoes, green pepper, celery, currants, parsley, curry powder and other seasonings, all slowly cooked together over low heat in a covered skillet. The finished dish is sprinkled with toasted almonds and usually served with rice.
A gravy made from pan drippings, flour and milk. It can be thick to thin, depending on the amount of milk added. Country gravy is a popular accompaniment to chicken-fried steak.
Ice cream or sherbet with a topping of fruit, whipped cream and, traditionally, glazed chestnuts (marrons glacés). Classically, the dessert is served in a coupe dish, which is stemmed, and has a wide, deep bowl.
a seasoned broth made with water and meat, fish or vegetables, and seasonings.
Traditionally used for poaching fish or vegetables, a court-bouillon is a broth made by cooking various vegetables and herbs (usually an onion studded with a few whole cloves, celery, carrots and a bouquet garni) in water for about 30 minutes. Wine, lemon juice or vinegar may be added. The broth is allowed to cool before the vegetables are removed.
Granular semolina popular in North Africa.
Thick cereal-type dish that's a cajun breakfast specialty. It's made by stirring boiling water into a mixture of yellow cornmeal, baking powder, salt and pepper, then turning the mixture into a skillet containing preheated fat. During cooking, the pan becomes coated with a toasty brown crust, which is broken up and stirred into the cereal before serving. Coush-coush is served with plenty of butter, milk or cream and cane syrup or sugar.
Often found growing in pastures, the tart, red cowberry is a member of the cranberry family. It grows in northern Europe, Canada and Maine, and is used for sauces and jams. Also called mountain cranberry.
A French term referring to dishes cooked or garnished with carrots. The name comes from Crécy, France, where the finest French carrots are cultivated.
Rich custard sauce, often used as a topping or plating accompaniment to fruits and pastries.
Cream that is allowed to set and thicken to a velvety rich texture.
French in origin, this small, slightly flattened sausage is made of minced lamb, veal or chicken and sometimes truffles. Crépinettes are usually cooked by coating them in melted fat and bread crumbs before sautéing, grilling or broiling.
The French word for "pancake," which is exactly what these light, paper-thin creations are. They can be made from plain or sweetened batters with various flours, and used for savory or dessert dishes. Dessert crêpes may be spread with a jam or fruit mixture, rolled or folded and sometimes flamed with brandy or liqueur. Savory crêpes are filled with various meat, cheese or vegetable mixtures sometimes topped with a complementary sauce and served as a first or main course.
Very thin pancakes.
Prepared in a chafing dish, this illustrious dessert consists of an orange-butter sauce in which crêpes are warmed, then doused with grand marnier (or other orange liqueur) and ignited to flaming glory.
The French word for "cream."
The French term for a rich custard sauce that can be served hot or cold over cake, fruit or other dessert.
The literal translation of this rich dessert is "burnt cream." It describes a chilled, stirred custard that, just before serving, is sprinkled with brown or granulated sugar. The sugar topping is quickly caramelized under a broiler or with a salamander. The caramelized topping becomes brittle, creating a delicious flavor and textural contrast to the smooth, creamy custard beneath.
Also known in France as crème renversée, crème caramel is a custard that has been baked in a caramel-coated mold. When the chilled custard is turned out onto a serving plate it is automatically glazed and sauced with the caramel in the mold. In Italy it's known as crema caramella, and in Spain as flan.
A sweet apricot liqueur.
A pink, almond-flavored liqueur.
A French phrase meaning "cream of," and used to describe an intensely sweet liqueur.
A sweet liqueur with a full, ripe banana flavor.
A dark, chocolate-flavored liqueur with a hint of vanilla. White crème de cacao is a clear form of the same liqueur.
Black currant-flavored liqueur; an integral ingredient in kir.
A French cherry-flavored liqueur.
Tasting of cool summer mint, this liqueur comes clear (called white) or green-colored.
The word noyaux is French for "fruit pits," and this sweet pink liqueur is flavored with the pits of various fruits. The resulting flavor is that of almonds.
An exotically scented liqueur flavored with rose petals, vanilla and various spices.
Dutch liqueur, amethyst in color, perfumed and flavored with essence of violets.
this is cream so thick it is a solid. It can be thinned with large amounts of heavy cream and still remain relatively thick. It is served in France, thinned, with berries, particularly wild strawberries, and with other desserts. A substitute is whipping cream mixed with an equal volume of sour cream and allowed to thicken at room temperature for a few hours.
The French term for "pastry cream," a thick, flour-based egg custard used for tarts, cakes and to fill cream puffs, éclairs and napoleons.
crème Pâtissière flavored with praline powder and used to fill various French pastries.
A small, rosy red apple with a rather hard, extremely tart flesh. Crabapples, available during the fall months, are too sour for out-of-hand eating but make outstanding jellies and jams. Spiced and canned whole, they're a delicious accompaniment for meats such as veal and poultry. See also apple.
Delicious, crunchy pieces of poultry fat after it has been rendered. Cracklings are sold packaged in some supermarkets and specialty markets. "Cracklin' bread" is cornbread with bits of cracklings scattered throughout.
a wicker basket used to decant wine.
These shiny scarlet berries are grown in huge, sandy bogs on low, trailing vines. They're also called bounceberries, because ripe ones bounce, and craneberries, after the shape of the shrub's pale pink blossoms, which resemble the heads of the cranes often seen wading through the cranberry bogs. Cranberries grow wild in northern Europe and in the northern climes of North America, where they are also extensively cultivated mainly in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Washington and Oregon. Harvested between Labor Day and Halloween, the peak market period for cranberries is from October through December. They're usually packaged in 12-ounce plastic bags. Any cranberries that are discolored or shriveled should be discarded. Cranberries can be refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for at least 2 months or frozen up to a year. Besides the traditional cranberry sauce, this fruit also makes delicious chutneys, pies, cobblers and other desserts. Because of their extreme tartness, cranberries are best combined with other fruits, such as apples or dried apricots. Canned cranberry sauce jelled and whole-berry is available year-round, as are frozen cranberries in some markets. Sweetened dried cranberries, which can be used like raisins in baked goods or as snacks, are also available in many supermarkets. Fresh cranberries are very high in vitamin C.
Also called shell beans or shellouts, these beautiful beans have large, knobby beige pods splotched with red. The beans inside are cream-colored with red streaks and have a delicious nutlike flavor. Cranberry beans must be shelled before cooking, and lose their red color during the cooking process. They're available fresh in the summer and dried throughout the year. See also beans.
Found mainly in the Great Lakes and Mississippi regions, crappies are large, freshwater sunfish that are about 12 inches long and range from 1 to 2 pounds. There are both black and white crappies; the latter is also called chinquapin. Crappies have lean flesh that is particularly suited to broiling or sautéing. See also fish.
a freshwater crustacean similar to lobster but smaller. The salt water variety is know as spiny lobster.
a component of milk with a milkfat content of at least 18%; has a slight yellow to ivory color, is more viscous and richer tasting than milk and can be whipped to a foam; rises to the top of raw milk; as a commercial product it may be pasteurized or ultrapasteurized and may be homogenized.
a fresh, soft, mild, white cheese made from cow's cream or a mixture of cow's cream and milk (some goat's milk cream cheese are available); used for baking, dips, dressings, confections and spreading on bread products; must contain 33% milkfat and not more than 55% moisture and is available, sometimes flavored, in various-sized blocks or whipped.
Cream of tartar is a fine white powder used mainly used to improve the stability and volume of beaten egg whites. It is also used to give some candies and frosting a creamier consistency. An interesting fact is its origin, cream of tartar is actually derived from crystalline acid deposits on the inside of wine barrels.
A small, hollow puff made from Choux Pastry (cream-puff pastry) filled with sweetened whipped cream or custard.
A classic Béchamel (white) sauce made with milk and sometimes cream. The sauce's thickness depends on the proportion of flour to liquid. Cream sauces are used as a base for many dishes, such as chicken à la king.
to blend together, as sugar and butter (or shortening), until mixtures takes on a smooth, creamy texture.
cream that has been whipped until it is stiff.
Denmark gives us this exquisitely rich gift in the form of small cheese rectangles with a white downy rind and soft ivory interior. Crema Dania is a rich double-cream cheese that, at 72 percent milk fat, almost qualifies as a triple-cream. It's a wonderful cheese for after dinner. See also cheese.
a chocolate-flavored liqueur.
Young portobello mushrooms.
A dark-brown, slightly firmer variation of the everyday cultivated white mushroom. Cremini mushrooms have a slightly fuller flavor than their paler relatives. They have a smooth, rounded cap that ranges in size from 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. The portobello mushroom is simply the fully matured form of this mushroom. The cremino is also referred to as common brown mushroom and Roman mushroom. See also mushroom.
Considered one of the most sweetly succulent members of the melon family, the Crenshaw is a hybrid muskmelon. It has a golden-green, smooth yet lightly ribbed rind and a beautiful salmon-orange flesh. The fragrance of a ripe Crenshaw melon is seductively spicy. These melons are large (5 to 9 pounds) with an oval shape that's rounded at the blossom end and slightly pointed at the stem end. They're available from July to October, with the peak season from August to mid-September. See also melon.
In the 18th century, the Spaniards governing New Orleans named all residents of European heritage Criollo. The name, which later became Creole, soon began to imply one of refined cultural background with an appreciation for an elegant lifestyle. Today, Creole cookery reflects the full-flavored combination of the best of French, Spanish and African cuisines. Its style, with an emphasis on butter and cream, is more sophisticated than cajun cooking (which uses prodigious amounts of fat). Another difference between the two cuisines is that Creole uses more tomatoes and the Cajuns more spices. Both cuisines rely on the culinary "holy trinity" of chopped green peppers, onions and celery, and make generous use of filé powder. Probably the most famous dish of Creole heritage is gumbo.
This New Orleans specialty has the texture of very thick sour cream and a slightly more tart flavor. It's used as a topping or, especially by southern Louisianans, eaten for breakfast with salt and pepper or sugar and fruit. Creole cream cheese may be carried in some gourmet markets but is generally available outside Louisiana only through mail order.
A specialty of Louisiana's German Creoles made from vinegar-marinated brown mustard seeds with a hint of horseradish. This hot, spicy mustard is available in gourmet markets or the gourmet section of some supermarkets.
A rich, creamy, fresh cheese, also known as Crescenza Stracchino, that's widely made in Italy's regions of Lombardy, Piedmont and Veneto. Its texture and flavor are similiar to that of a mild cream cheese, and it becomes very soft and spreadable at room temperature. Crescenza is made from uncooked cow's milk and is sometimes blended with herbs. It doesn't age well and, although not widely imported, can be found in some specialty cheese shops. See also cheese.
Thin Italian pancakes that are either stacked with different fillings between the layers or filled and rolled like crêpes.
There are many different varieties of this mustard-family plant, the most popular of which is watercress. Other types include peppergrass (also called curly cress ), broadleaf cress (also called cressida ) and garden cress. All cress varieties share a peppery tang. Choose cress with dark green leaves and no sign of yellowing. Refrigerate in a plastic bag (or stems-down in a glass of water covered with a plastic bag) for up to 5 days. Cress is used in salads, sandwiches, soups and as a garnish.
Italian for "cockscombs," culinarily describing a medium macaroni with a ruffled crest on the outside edge.
to seal pastry edges together by pinching.
v. To refresh vegetables such as celery and carrots by soaking them in ice water until they once again become crisp. Other foods, such as crackers that have lost their snap, may be heated in a moderate oven until their crispness returns.
One of two varieties of head lettuce (the other being butterhead). It's commonly known as iceberg, which, in truth, is a variety of crisphead. Other varieties include Great Lakes, Imperial, Vanguard and Western. Crisphead lettuce comes in large, round, tightly packed heads of pale green leaves. Though crisp, succulent and wilt-resistant, all crispheads have a rather neutral flavor. Choose those that are heavy for their size with no signs of browning at the edges. See also lettuce.
This slightly tart apple has a bright red skin with green highlights. It's good for baking as well as out-of-hand eating. See also apple.
French for "crust," croûte generally describes a thick, hollowed-out slice of bread (usually toasted) that is filled with food. It can also refer to a pastry case used for the same purpose. Additionally, the word croûte describes simply a slice of bread either toasted or fried. For example, croûte landaise is fried bread with foie gras topped with a cheese sauce. En croûte describes a food (usually partially cooked) that is wrapped in pastry and baked.
French breakfast bread pastry, delicate, flaky and rich. The dough s yeast-raised, then rolled out, spread with soft butter, folded into thirds, rolled out again and buttered, then rolled out yet again, to make a layered puff pastry.
a summer squash with a long slender neck and bulbous body, pale to deep yellow skin with a smooth to bumpy texture, creamy yellow flesh and mild, delicate flavor; also known as yellow squash.
French for "crispy" or "crunchy."
French for "crisp in mouth," this elaborate dessert is classically made with profiteroles (tiny, custard-filled cream puffs), coated with caramel and stacked into a tall pyramid shape. As the caramel hardens, it becomes crisp. For added glamour, the croquembouche can be wreathed or draped with spun sugar.
minced food, shaped like a ball, patty, cone, or log, bound with a heavy sauce, breaded, and fried.
The Italian word for "little toasts" (referring to bread, not grappa).
An edible container used to hold a thick stew, creamed meat or vegetable mixture, puree and so on. A croustade can be made from pastry, a hollowed-out bread loaf or pureed potatoes or pasta that have been shaped to form a casing for food. Before filling it with food, the container is deep-fried or toasted until golden-brown and crisp. Small filled croustades can be served as an appetizer or first course.
A small piece or cube of bread that has been browned, either by sautéing or baking. Croutons are used to garnish soups, salads and other dishes. They're available packaged either plain or seasoned with herbs, cheese, garlic and so on.
cubes of bread, toasted or fried, served with soups or salads.
This special-occasion roast is formed from the rib section of lamb loin by tying it into a circle, ribs up. After it's cooked, the tips of the bones are often decorated with paper frills. The roast's hollow center section is usually filled with mixed vegetables or other stuffing.
The scientific name for a group of vegetables that research has proven may provide protection against certain cancers. Cruciferous vegetables contain antioxidants (beta carotene and the compound sulforaphane). These vegetables, which are all high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, are: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, kale, mustard greens, rutabagas and turnips.
French word for an American cocktail appetizer of raw vegetables served with a dip.
a doughnut of twisted shape, very light in texture.
to moisten food with an adhesive liquid such as milk, beaten egg or batter, then roll it in bread or cracker crumbs.
to break food into smaller pieces, usually by hand.
the original English muffin.
To reduce a food to its finest form, such as crumbs, paste or powder. Crushing is often accomplished with a mortar and pestle, or with a rolling pin.
This multipurpose word has many meanings, including the hardened outer layer of a cooked food such as bread; a thin layer of pastry covering a pie, pâté, etc.; and the sediment of organic salts deposited in a bottle of aged red wine.
to preserve fruit, fondant, and edible flowers with a boiled sugar.
An iced cocktail made with rum, lime juice and cola.
to cut food into small cube shapes, larger than diced, usually about 1/2 inch.
meat tenderized by scoring the surface with a pattern of squares or cubes.
the edible fleshy fruit of several varieties of a creeping plant (Cucumis sativus); most have a dark green skin and creamy white to pale green flesh; generally divided into two categories: pickling and slicing.
A French term pertaining to a specific style of cooking (as in Chinese cuisine), or a country's food in general. Haute cuisine refers to food prepared in a gourmet or elaborate manner.
French for "middle-class cooking," referring to plain but good, down-to-earth cooking.
French for "meatless, lean or lowfat cooking." Strict vegetarian cooking is referred to as cuisine vegetarienne.
Developed by French chef Michel Guérard in the 1970s, cuisine minceur is light-style, healthful cooking that avoids fat and cream.
(also spelled huitlacoche) is a fungus which grows naturally on ears of corn (Ustilago maydis). The fungus is harvested and treated as a delicacy. The earthy and somewhat smoky fungus is used to flavor quesadillas, tamales, soups and other specialty dishes.
A favorite with the English, this full-flavored sauce is a combination of red currant jelly, port, orange and lemon zests, mustard and seasonings. It's excellent served with venison, duck and other game.
a spice that is the dried fruit (seed) of a plant in the parsley family (Cuminum cyminum), native to the Middle East and North Africa; the small crescent-shaped seeds have a powerful, earthy, nutty flavor and aroma and are available whole or ground in three colors (amber, white and black); used in Indian, Middle Eastern and Mexican cuisines.
a unit of measure in the U.S. system equal to 8 fluid ounces.
a small individual-sized cake baked in a mold such as a muffin pan, usually frosted and decorated.
An orange-flavored liqueur made from the dried peel of bitter oranges found on the Caribbean island of Curaçao.
an orange-flavored liqueur.
a solid milk product that develops as milk sours and separates into solids (curd) and liquid (whey). In cheese-making, it is induced by the addition of acid or tennet.
To coagulate, or separate into curds and whey. Soured milk curdles, as do some egg- and milk-based sauces when exposed to prolonged or high heat. Acids such as lemon juice also cause curdling in some mixtures.
To treat food (such as meat, cheese or fish) by one of several methods in order to preserve it. Smoke-curing is generally done in one of two ways. The cold-smoking method (which can take up to a month, depending on the food) smokes the food at between 70° to 90°F. Hot-smoking partially or totally cooks the food by treating it at temperatures ranging from 100° to 190°F. Pickled foods are soaked in variously flavored acid-based brines. Corned products (such as corned beef) have also been soaked in brine usually one made with water, salt and various seasonings. Salt-cured foods have been dried and packed in salt preparations. Cheese curing can be done by several methods, including injecting or spraying the cheese with specific bacteria or by wrapping the cheese in various flavored materials. Some of the more common cured foods are smoked meats, pickled herring and salted fish.
to preserve meat, fish, or cheese with salt or by drying and or smoking.
There are two distinctly different fruits called currant. 1. The first resembling a tiny, dark raisin is the seedless, dried zante grape. Its name comes from its place of origin Corinth, Greece. In cooking, this type of currant (like raisins) is used mainly in baked goods. 2. The second type of currant is a tiny berry related to the gooseberry. There are black, red and white currants. The black ones are generally used for preserves, syrups and liqueurs (such as cassis), while the red and white berries are good for out-of-hand eating and such preparations as the famous French preserve bar-le-duc and (using the red currants) cumberland sauce. Fresh currants are in season June through August. Choose those that are plump and without hulls. They can be refrigerated, tightly covered, up to 4 days. Currants are delicious in jams, jellies, sauces and simply served with sugar and cream.
From the southern Indian word kari, meaning "sauce," comes this catch-all term that is used to refer to any number of hot, spicy, gravy-based dishes of East Indian origin. curry powder is an integral ingredient in all curries.
From a plant native to southern Asia, this fragrant herb looks like a small, shiny lemon leaf and has a pungent curry fragrance. Its flavor is essential in a substantial percentage of East Indian fare. Most Indian markets sell fresh curry leaves. Choose those that are bright green, with no sign of yellowing or wilting. They can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 weeks. Packaged, dried curry leaves also available in Indian markets can be substituted for fresh but lack their snappy flavor.
Available in East Indian and Asian markets and the gourmet section of some supermarkets, curry paste is a blend of ghee (clarified butter), curry powder, vinegar and other seasonings. It's used in lieu of curry powder for many curried dishes.
an American or European blend of spices associated with Indian cuisines, the flavor and color vary depending on the exact blend; typical ingredients include black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, ginger, mace and turmeric, with cardamom, tamarind, fennel seeds fenugreek and /or chile powder sometimes added.
Any of several types of crookneck squash, popular in cajun and creole cooking. See also squash.
Related to the cod, this large saltwater fish has a firm, lean flesh. It ranges from 1 1/2 to 5 pounds and can be purchased whole or in fillets. Cusk can be prepared in a variety of ways including baking, broiling, poaching and sautéing. See also fish.
a cooked or baked mixture mainly of eggs and milk. It may be sweetened to use as a dessert or flavored with cheese, fish, etc., as an entrée.
to divide a food into smaller portions, usually with a knife or scissors.
To mix a solid, cold fat (such as butter or shortening) with dry ingredients (such as a flour mixture) until the combination is in the form of small particles. This technique can be achieved by using a pastry blender, two knives, a fork or fingers (which must be cool so as not to melt the fat). A food processor fitted with a metal blade does an excellent job of cutting fat into dry ingredients, providing the mixture is not overworked into a paste.
to incorporate by cutting or chopping motions, as in cutting shortening into flour for pastry.
A small piece of meat cut from the leg or rib of veal, a chicken breast, or a croquette mixture made into the shape of a cutlet.
A "board," which may be wood or plastic (acrylic), used for cutting up foods such as meat and vegetables. Though it has long been thought that plastic boards were safer than wooden with respect to food-poisoning bacteria, that theory has now been discredited. Tests done by two University of Wisconsin microbiologists proved that wooden boards are so inhospitable to bacterial contaminants (such as those from poultry juices) that bacteria actually disappears from wooden surfaces within minutes. Conversely, on plastic boards bacteria multiplies rapidly at room temperature and, even after washing, bacteria can accumulate in knife cuts. The best solution: have one board for vegetables and another (preferably wood) for meats. Always use hot water and detergent to thoroughly scrub a cutting board after each use. Plastic boards may be cleaned in the dishwasher.
The French word for "lunch."
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. See also fish; plaice.
A dessert of disc-shaped, nut-flavored meringues stacked and filled with sweetened whipped cream or buttercream. It's served chilled, often with fruit. See also marjolaine.
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.
a Japanese radish.
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.
Japanese term for "dried soybeans."
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.
a type of plum best used in cooking or for jams and jellies.
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. See also plum.
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. See also blue cheese; cheese.
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. See also cheese.
The name dandelion comes from the French dent de lion, meaning "lion's tooth," a reference to the jagged-edged leaves of this noteworthy weed that grows both wild and cultivated. The bright green leaves have a slightly bitter, tangy flavor that adds interest to salads. They can also be cooked like spinach. The roots can be eaten as vegetables or roasted and ground to make root "coffee." Though they're available until winter in some states, the best, most tender dandelion greens are found in early spring, before the plant begins to flower. Look for bright-green, tender-crisp leaves; avoid those with yellowed or wilted tips. Refrigerate, tightly wrapped in a plastic bag, up to 5 days. Wash thoroughly before using. Dandelion greens are an excellent source of vitamin A, iron and calcium.
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.
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.
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. See also tea.
a seasoning measure indicating a scant 1/8 teaspoon or less.
a clear fish stock which is the basis of Japanese dishes.
the fruit of a palm tree (phoenix dactylifera) native to the Middle East and Mediterranean region; most varieties are long and ovoid (some are more spherical) with a thin papery skin that is green, becoming yellow, golden brown, black or mahogany red when ripe, extremely sweet flesh with a light brown color, chewy texture and a single, long, narrow seed; eaten fresh or dried.
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 soupçon 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.
A classic French dish made with beef, red wine and vegetables, braised for a number of hours.
a cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid used for braising.
Croquettes made by combining potato puree with pastry dough, forming the mixture into balls and then rolling them in bread crumbs and deep-fried.
to pour a liquid, generally wine, from one container to another. Red wine is decanted to remove the sediment deposited during the aging process.
A narrow-necked, stoppered container usually made of glass used to hold wine, liqueur or other spirits.
A term usually referring to a sweet or savory pie made either in a deep pie dish or shallow casserole, and having only a top crust.
to cook in hot fat (about 360 degrees) that is deep enough for food to float - usually a minimum of 3 inches..
To cook food in hot fat deep enough to completely cover the item being fried. The oil or fat used for deep-frying should have a high smoke point (the point to which it can be heated without smoking). For that reason, butter and margarine are not good candidates for frying; shortening, lard and most oils are. The temperature of the fat is all-important and can mean the difference between success and disaster. Fat at the right temperature will produce a crisp exterior and succulent interior. If it's not hot enough, food will absorb fat and be greasy; too hot, and it will burn. An average fat temperature for deep-frying is 375°F, but recipes differ according to the characteristics of each food. To avoid ruined food, a special deep-fat thermometer should be used. Most thermometers used for deep-fat are dual-purpose and also used as candy thermometers. Though special deep-fat fryers fitted with wire baskets are available, food can be deep-fried in any large, heavy pot spacious enough to fry it without crowding. To allow for bubbling up and splattering, the container should be filled no more than halfway full with oil. Fat or oil used for deep-frying may be reused. Let it cool, then strain it through cheesecloth and funnel into a bottle or other tightly sealed container before refrigerating.
to pour hot stock, wine, or water on the degreased sediment left in the roasting or frying pan in which meat has cooked. The purpose of deglazing is to dissolve the caramelized juices of meats dropped during the cooking process. This process is the secret of rich gravies, and a vital step in making good casseroles and soups.
to skim the fat from the top of a liquid such as a sauce or stock.
To remove the natural moisture from food by slowly drying it. Considered the original form of food preservation, dehydration prevents moisture spoilage such as mold or fermentation. Food can be dehydrated manually by placing thin slices on racks and allowing them to dry assisted only by sun or air. It can also be done with an electric dehydrator, which resembles a large three-sided toaster oven with anywhere from 5 to 10 wire-grid racks. The food placed on these racks dries with the aid of fan-circulated air. Dried foods are convenient to store and transport because of their greatly reduced volume and weight.
a process that removes the water content from food.
Grown in the eastern United States, this small, pale red grape has a tender skin and juicy, sweet flesh. It's used as a table grape, as well as for some wines. See also grape.
Also called sweet potato squash, the delicata squash has a pale yellow skin with medium green striations. Inside, the succulent yellow flesh tastes like a cross between sweet potatoes and butternut squash. The oblong delicata can range from 5 to 9 inches in length and 1 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter. It's in season from late summer through late fall. Choose squash that are heavy for their size; avoid those with soft spots. Delicata squash can be stored up to 3 weeks at an average room temperature. As with other winter squash, the delicata is best baked or steamed. It's a good source of potassium, iron and vitamins A and C. See also squash.
Named after the 19th-century New York restaurant of the same name whose owner-chef created this dish. It consists of cooked and creamed diced (or mashed) potatoes topped with grated cheese and buttered bread crumbs, then baked until golden brown.
Another specialty made famous at Delmonico's (see delmonico potatoes), this tender, flavorful steak is a boneless beef cut from the short loin. Depending on the region, butcher and so on. It's also referred to as a new york steak. The Delmonico steak can be broiled, grilled or fried. See also beef.
A rich brown reduction of meat stock, Madeira or sherry, and other ingredients. Used as a base for many other sauces.
A French term meaning "half dry" used to describe wine that is sweet (up to 5 percent sugar).
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.
Also called a Western sandwich, this classic consists of an egg scrambled with chopped cured meat, onion and green pepper, sandwiched with two slices of bread and garnished with lettuce.
This mild, semifirm, cow's-milk cheese is similar to cheddar. It has a pale, golden orange interior with a natural or waxed rind. Sage Derby is generously flavored with the herb, which also lends color interest. Both are good for snack or sandwich cheese. See also cheese.
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.
To combine a food with various hot or spicy seasonings such as red pepper, mustard or tabasco sauce, thereby creating a "deviled" dish.
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.
A soft, creamy-rich cheese made by draining all the whey from Devonshire cream, also known as clotted cream. See also cheese.
Any of several varieties of the trailing-vine form of the blackberry.
Also called corn sugar and grape sugar, dextrose is a naturally occurring form of glucose.
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. à 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.
A culinary knife cut in which the food item is cut into small (¼ inch) blocks or dice. This may be done for aesthetic reasons or to create uniformly sized pieces to ensure even cooking. Dicing allows for distribution of flavor and texture throughout the dish, as well as a somewhat quicker cooking time.
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.
Natural food enzymes that, when taken with gassy foods, help reduce flatulence sometimes even stopping it before it begins. Gas-producing foods like beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, grains and onions cause trouble because they contain hard- or impossible-to-digest complex sugars (see carbohydrate) that ferment in the large intestine. Digestive enzymes help break down these complex sugars into simple sugars that are more easily digestible. They generally come in tablet form and are commonly available in health-food stores. Some, like the popular Beano, also come in a liquid form and can be found in supermarkets and drugstores.
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 (must) 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. See also mustard.
Thought by 1st-century Romans to be a good luck symbol, dill has been around for thousands of years. This annual herb grows up to a height of about 3 feet and has feathery green leaves called dill weed, marketed in both fresh and dried forms. The distinctive flavor of fresh dill weed in no way translates to its dried form. Fresh dill does, however, quickly lose its fragrance during heating, so should be added toward the end of the cooking time. Dill weed is used to flavor many dishes such as salads, vegetables, meats and sauces. The tan, flat dill seed is actually the dried fruit of the herb. Heating brings out the flavor of dill seed, which is stronger and more pungent than that of the leaves. It's most often used in the United States for the brine in which dill pickles are cured. See also herbs; herb and spice chart; A field guide to herbs
To reduce a mixture's strength by adding liquid (usually water).
Cantonese for "heart's delight," dim sum includes a variety of small, mouth-watering dishes such as steamed or fried dumplings, fish balls, steamed buns and Chinese pastries. Dim sum standard fare in tea houses can be enjoyed any time of the day. Unlike most dining establishments, servers in a dim sum eatery do not take orders, per se. Instead, they walk among the tables with carts or trays of kitchen-fresh food. Diners simply point to the item they want, which is served on small plates or in baskets. Each item usually has a set price. At the end of the meal, the check is tallied by counting the dishes on the table. Some dim sum restaurants add the price of each dish to a check that remains on the table, clearing dishes as they are emptied.
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.
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.
A Cajun specialty of cooked rice combined with ground chicken or turkey livers and gizzards, onions, chicken broth, beef fat drippings, green pepper and garlic. The name comes from the fact that the ground giblets give the rice a "dirty" look... but delicious flavor.
To separate meat at the joint, such as cutting the chicken leg from the thigh.
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.
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.
Water from which all minerals and other impurities have been removed by the process of distillation.
Tiny, very short tubes of macaroni. See also pasta.
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.
Created by Austrian pastry chef Josef Dobos, this rich torte is made by stacking 9 extra-thin layers of Génoise (or sponge cake) spread with chocolate buttercream. The top is covered with a hard caramel glaze.
Italian for "sweet," referring culinarily to desserts, candy or other sweets.
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. See also cheese.
A small glob of soft food, such as whipped cream or mashed potatoes. When referring to a liquid, dollop refers to a dash or "splash" of soda water, water and so on.
From the Arabic word for "something stuffed," referring to grape leaves, vegetables or fruits stuffed with a savory, well-seasoned filling. Among the most popular dolmades are grape leaves stuffed with a filling of ground lamb, rice, onion, currants, pine nuts and various seasonings. Other foods used as casings include squash, eggplant, sweet peppers, cabbage leaves, quinces and apples. Dolmades are usually braised or baked. They may be eaten hot, cold or at room temperature, and served as an appetizer or entrée.
1. A Japanese dish of boiled riced topped with meat, fish, eggs and/or vegetables and broth. It can be served with spicy condiments. Sometimes this dish is called simply don or don may be added as a suffix to indicate a donburi dish. Donburi is considered one of Japan's "fast foods" and there are chains of donburi restaurants specializing in quick meals. 2. The name of the large deep-footed bowl in which the previously mentioned dish is served.
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.
To scatter small bits (dots) of an ingredient (usually butter) over another food or mixture. Distributing bits of butter over the fruit in an apple pie, for example, allows the butter to melt evenly over the pie as it bakes.
A double-pan arrangement whereby two pots are formed to fit together, with one sitting partway inside the other. A single lid fits both pans. The lower pot is used to hold simmering water, which gently heats the mixture in the upper pot. Double boilers are used to warm or cook heat-sensitive food such as custards, delicate sauces and chocolate.
Any of various cow's-milk cheeses that have been enriched with cream so that they contain a minimum of 60 percent milk fat. Triple-cream cheeses must have at least 75 percent milk fat. Both double- and triple-creams can be fresh or ripened. They share the distinction of being seductively soft and creamy in texture with a mild, slightly sweet flavor. boursin is an example of a triple-cream cheese, whereas crema dania is a double-cream. Because of their natural sweetness, these cheeses are perfect when served with fruit for dessert. See also cheese.
A mixture of flour, liquid and other ingredients (often including a leavening) that's stiff but pliable enough to work with the hands. Unlike a batter, dough is too stiff to pour.
A small, typically ring-shaped pastry that is usually leavened with yeast or baking powder, and which can be baked but is generally fried. The traditional doughnut shape is formed by using a special doughnut cutter that cuts out the center hole in the dough. It can also be made with two biscuit cutters, large and small (for the hole). Fried doughnut holes are favorites with children. There are two main styles of doughnuts. Raised doughnuts are leavened with yeast and allowed to rise at least once before being fried. Besides the traditional ring-shape, raised doughnuts also come in squares and twists. Additionally, the dough is used to make oblong and round jelly-filled doughnuts commonly called jelly doughnuts. Cake doughnuts receive their leavening power from baking powder and are chilled before frying to prevent the dough from absorbing too much oil in the process. The dough for cake doughnuts is often flavored with spices, orange or lemon zest or chocolate. Crullers are made from cake-doughnut dough. They're formed by twisting two (about 5-inch) strips of dough together before frying. Both types are usually either dusted with granulated sugar (cake doughnuts often with confectioners' sugar) or topped with a flavored glaze (such as chocolate or butterscotch). French doughnuts, though not as readily available as the other two types, are made with choux pastry (cream-puff pastry dough). They're very tender and light.
French for "sweet." On a champagne label, the term doux means the wine is very sweet over 5 percent sugar.
Beer served straight from the keg by means of a spigot. Unlike the bottled or canned varieties, draft beer hasn't been subjected to the pasteurization process. Also spelled draught.
1. Tiny, round, hard candies used for decorating cakes, cookies and other baked goods. Dragées come in a variety of sizes (from pinhead to 1/4-inch) and colors, including silver. 2. Almonds with a hard sugar coating.
To pour off a liquid or fat from food, often with the use of a colander. "Drain" can also mean to blot greasy food on paper towels.
A golden, Scotch-based liqueur sweetened with heather honey and flavored with herbs.
1. In cooking, to eviscerate; to remove the entrails, as from poultry or fish. 2. To clarify a mixture, as in drawn butter.
To lightly coat food to be fried, as with flour, cornmeal or bread crumbs. This coating helps brown the food. Chicken, for example, might be dredged with flour before frying.
1. To prepare game, fowl, fish and so forth for cooking by plucking, scaling, eviscerating, and so on. 2. To "dress a salad" simply means adding a dressing.
1. A sauce usually cold used to coat or top salads and some cold vegetable, fish and meat dishes. 2. A mixture used to stuff poultry, fish, meat and some vegetables. It can be cooked separately or in the food in which it is stuffed. Dressings (also called stuffings ) are usually well seasoned and based on bread crumbs or cubes though rice, potatoes and other foods are also used.
Fruit from which the majority of the moisture has been dehydrated. The final moisture content of dried fruit usually ranges from 15 to 25 percent. Drying fruit greatly concentrates both sweetness and flavor, and the taste is much changed, as from grape to raisin or from plum to prune. Fruit can be dried in the sun or by machine. Machine-drying usually takes no more than 24 hours. Sun-drying can take three to four times as long, causing additional loss of nutrients through heat and time. Vitamins A and C are the most susceptible to depletion during the drying process, but a wealth of other vitamins and minerals remains in great force. Before drying, fruits are often sprayed with sulfur dioxide gas, which helps preserve the fruit's natural color and nutrients. Though decried by some, clinical research has shown no negative effects from sulfur intake. Imported dried fruit, however, is fumigated with chemical pesticides, which have been proven toxic to humans. Dried fruit is available year-round and comes in five basic designations: extra fancy, fancy, extra choice, choice and standard. These grades are based on size, color, condition and moisture content. Most dried fruit can be stored at room temperature, tightly wrapped in a plastic bag, for up to a year. Though dried fruits can be stored longer and take less space, they contain 4 to 5 times the calories by weight of fresh fruit. Dried fruit can be used as is or reconstituted in water. It may be eaten out of hand or put to a variety of uses such as in baked goods, fruit compotes, stuffings, conserves and so on. See also prunes; raisins.
The melted fat and juices that gather in the bottom of a pan in which meat or other food is cooked. Drippings are used as a base for gravies and sauces and in which to cook other foods (such as yorkshire pudding).
To slowly pour a liquid mixture in a very fine stream over food (such as a sweet glaze over cake or bread, or melted butter over food before baking).
A cookie made by dropping spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet. See also cookie.
Any of a large and diverse family of fish, so named for the odd drumming or deep croaking noise it makes, particularly during the mating season. Drum, also known as croaker, is a firm, lowfat fish found in temperate waters. Croakers, averaging 1 pound, are the small fry of the drum family and are usually sold whole. However, many drum can weigh up to 30 pounds and are generally sold in fillets and steaks. Drum can be baked, broiled or fried. Other members of the drum family include Atlantic and black croaker, black drum, California corbina, hardhead, kingfish, redfish (red drum), kingfish, spot, weakfish and white seabass. See also fish.
Any thin-skinned fruit with a succulent, soft flesh and hard stone or seed in the middle. apricots, cherries, peaches and plums are all classified as drupe fruits.
adj. A term used to describe a wine or other beverage that isn't sweet. In wines, dry is also referred to as sec (see listing ). dry v. see dehydrate
Dry ice is really crystallized carbon dioxide. It doesn't produce water when it melts and is generally used only for long-term refrigeration. Touching dry ice with bare hands can result in burns.
Milk from which almost all the moisture has been removed. Dry (also called powdered) milk is less expensive and easier to store than fresh milk but has a disadvantage in that it never tastes quite like the real thing. It comes in three basic forms whole milk, nonfat milk and buttermilk. Because of its milk fat content, dry whole milk must be refrigerated. Nonfat dry milk is available in regular and instant forms; the former tastes slightly better, while the latter mixes more easily. Powdered buttermilk is simply desiccated buttermilk and is generally used for baking. Until opened, dry nonfat milk and buttermilk can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months. Refrigerating opened packages will help retain their freshness. A usda "U.S. Extra Grade" shield on the label signifies that the product meets exacting government quality standards. Dry milks may or may not be fortified with vitamins A and D.
Said to have been named after the Comtesse du Barry, mistress of Louis xv, this term denotes a dish using cauliflower particularly cooked cauliflower served with cheese sauce. Crème Dubarry is a creamy cauliflower soup.
A bittersweet, fortified wine-based apéritif flavored with herbs and quinine. Dubonnet comes in red and white versions, the white being the drier (see dry) of the two.
Cooked potatoes that are pureed with egg yolks and butter, then formed into small shapes or piped as a garnish and baked until golden brown. The term à la duchesse refers to dishes garnished with duchess potatoes.
A kitchen device used to extract the juices from a cooked duck carcass. This step is necessary for some gourmet duck recipes, specifically pressed duck.
Any of many species of wild or domestic web-footed birds that live in or near water. As with so many things culinary, the Chinese are credited with being the first to raise ducks for food. Today's domestic ducks are all descendants of either of two species the mallard or the muscovy duck. Comprising about half the domesticated ducks in the United States are the white-feathered, full-breasted Long Island ducks, known for their dark, succulent flesh. These direct descendents of the Peking duck (a variety of mallard) are all the progeny of three ducks and a drake brought from Peking on a clipper ship in 1873. Besides Long Island, the locations most widely known for the cultivation of superior ducks are Peking (now known as Beijing) and Rouen, France. Since most ducks are marketed while still quite young and tender, the words "duck" and "duckling" are interchangeable. Broilers and fryers are less than 8 weeks old, roasters no more than 16 weeks old. Domestic ducks can weigh between 3 and 5 1/2 pounds; the older ducks are generally larger. Fresh duck is available from late spring through early winter, but generally only in regions where ducks are raised. Almost 90 percent of ducks that reach market are frozen and available year-round. The government grades duck quality with usda classifications A, B and C. The highest grade is A, and is usually what is found in markets. Grade B ducks are less meaty and well finished; grade C ducks are usually used for commercial purposes. The grade stamp can be found within a shield on the package wrapping or sometimes on a tag attached to the bird's wing. When buying fresh duck, choose one with a broad, fairly plump breast; the skin should be elastic, not saggy. For frozen birds, make sure the packaging is tight and unbroken. Fresh duck can be stored, loosely covered, in the coldest section of the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Remove any giblets from the body cavity and store separately. Frozen duck should be thawed in the refrigerator; it can take from 24 to 36 hours, depending on the size of the bird. Do not refreeze duck once it's been thawed. Duck can be prepared in a variety of manners including roasting, braising, broiling, and so on. Though higher in fat than other domestic birds, it is a good source of protein and iron. For information about wild duck, see game birds.
A steamed (or boiled) pudding made with flour, eggs, dried fruit and spices, and once widely popular in England and Scotland. The name is a Scottish dialectal variation of the word dough, which was apparently pronounced as rough.
An Egyptian spice blend comprising toasted nuts and seeds, the combination of which varies depending on the cook. Dukka usually has hazelnuts or chickpeas as a base, along with pepper as well as coriander, cumin and sesame seeds. The ingredients are ground together until the texture is that of a coarse powder. Dukka can be sprinkled over meats and vegetables, or used as a dip (preceeded by olive oil) for breads, fresh vegetables and so on. It's available in Middle Eastern markets.
Spanish for "sweet," dulce generally refers to an intensely sweet confection made with sugar and cream.
Hailing from the British Isles, dulse is an edible, coarse-textured, red seaweed with a pungent, briny flavor. When dried, dulse remains supple though rubbery, which may be why some stalwart Irish use it like chewing tobacco. Dulse is primarily used in soups and condiments.
Savory dumplings are small or large mounds of dough that are usually dropped into a liquid mixture (such as soup or stew) and cooked until done. Some are stuffed with meat or cheese mixtures. Dessert dumplings most often consist of a fruit mixture encased in a sweet pastry dough and baked. They're usually served with a sauce. Some sweet dumplings are poached in a sweet sauce and served with cream.
A classic Scottish fruitcake made with candied citron, orange and lemon peels, almonds and various spices. The top of a Dundee cake is traditionally covered completely with blanched whole almonds.
Hailing from Scotland, this cow's-milk cheese is quite mild when young, sharpening slightly as it ages. The ivory-colored Dunlop resembles a soft cheddar in texture. It's delicious with breads and melts beautifully. See also cheese.
This larger-than-life fruit of the Malaysian tree can weigh up to 10 pounds, has a brownish-green, semihard shell covered with thick spikes, and is slightly larger than a football. To all but its Southeast Asian fans, the durian has a nauseating smell a truth attested to by the fact that it's been outlawed by many airlines. The creamy, slightly sweet flesh, however, has an exquisitely rich, custardy texture. Fresh durian is not generally available in the United States, however, preserved dried durian can be found in Asian markets.
1. In cooking, this term refers to lightly coating a food with a powdery ingredient such as flour or confectioners' sugar. 2. A term used to describe inferior, coarsely crushed tea leaves.
A large pot or kettle, usually made of cast iron, with a tight-fitting lid so steam cannot readily escape. It's used for moist-cooking methods, such as braising and stewing. Dutch ovens are said to be of Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, dating back to the 1700s.
Often used as a garnish or to flavor sauces and soups, duxelles is a mixture of finely chopped mushrooms, shallots and herbs cooked in butter until it forms a thick paste.
This popular black tea was named for Charles Grey, the second earl in his line, who was also prime minister to King William iv in the early 19th century. An amalgamation of Indian and Sri Lankan teas, Earl Grey gets its elusive flavor from oil of bergamot. The Earl is said to have been given the recipe by a Chinese mandarin with whom he was friends. See also tea.
So named because it's the first sour cherry available in the late spring, the bright red Early Richmond is excellent for cooking purposes. See also cherry.
Clay bakeware that is glazed with a hard, nonporous coating. If high-fired, the earthenware is hard; lowfiring produces soft, fragile ware. Because of its inherent ability to release heat slowly, earthenware is favored for dishes requiring lengthy cooking such as baked beans and stews. Care must be taken to cool earthenware slowly and completely before washing in order to prevent the glaze from cracking. Once the glaze cracks, the exposed surfaces can adversely affect the flavor of foods cooked in the container.
French for "water of life," this term describes any colorless, potent brandy or other spirit distilled from fermented fruit juice. kirsch (made from cherries) and framboise (from raspberries) are the two most popular eaux de vie. See also aqua vitae; liqueur.
also aqua vitae, or water of life literally. A term commonly applied to homemade brandies and distilled white spirits, made from the lees of wine.
Named for the Lancashire, England, town of Eccles, this small domed confection has a filling of currants and other dried fruit mixed with sugar and butter and encased in a puff pastry shell.
Hailing from Holland, this mellow, savory cheese has a pale yellow interior with a red or yellow paraffin coating (the yellow is more common in Holland). It's made from part-skimmed milk (40 percent milk fat) and comes in spheres that can weigh anywhere from 1 to 4 pounds. Edam is second only to Gouda as Holland's most exported cheese. It's a great all-purpose cheese, especially good when served with dark beer. See also cheese.
The Japanese name for fresh soybeans. Edamame, which are usually bright to dark green, are available fresh in Asian markets from late spring to early fall. They're also available frozen.
Also called taro root and dasheen, are solid, roundish root tubers. It is a starchy root with a combination of potato, water chestnut and artichoke flavors. It is delicious deep-fried, boiled, roasted or pan-fried. Peel the root first, and use as you would potatoes.
Abbreviation for ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, an additive used in some processed foods to eliminate the possibility of rancidity caused by the transfer of trace metals during the manufacturing process. edta has a wide variety of nonculinary uses, including the treatment of lead poisoning.
the ovoid, hard-shelled reproductive body produced by a bird, consisting principally of a yolk and albumen; it is a good source of protein, iron, sulfur and vitamins A, B, D and E but also relatively high in cholesterol.
This favorite New York City soda fountain drink has been popular since the 1930s. Egg creams don't contain a speck of egg but are so named because of the froth (resembling beaten egg whites) that crowns the drink. They're made with a mixture of milk and chocolate syrup into which seltzer water is spritzed, causing the mixture to foam enthusiastically.
A Chinese-American dish made by combining eggs with various foods such as bean sprouts, water chestnuts, scallions, cured or smoked meat, or chicken. Small, pancake-size portions are poured into a skillet and fried until golden brown. Egg foo yong can also be made in one large round. It is sometimes topped with a sauce of chicken broth, soy sauce and various seasonings.
A kitchen tool with a sharp steel pin, usually spring-mounted, which pokes a tiny hole in the large end of an egg. This hole prevents the egg from cracking because the air inside (which expands during boiling) can gradually escape.
A round, bottomless, stainless steel ring, sometimes with a vertical handle, in which an egg can be poached or fried. The ring keeps the egg perfectly round during cooking. It's removed before the egg is served.
Chinese pastry stuffed with a mixture of shredded meats, shrimp, cabbage or lettuce, and vegetables, then deep-fried.
Used to remove the top of soft-cooked eggs, this circular gadget has a scissors-style handle. It's positioned over the top of the egg and, when the handle is operated, a ring of "teeth" or a ringed blade clips off the top third of the eggshell.
A kitchen tool with a slatted, egg-shaped hollow on the bottom and a hinged top consisting of 10 fine steel wires. When the upper portion is brought down onto a hard-cooked egg sitting in the base, it cuts the egg into even slices.
A liquid sold in cartons, this product is usually a blend of egg whites, food starch, corn oil, skim-milk powder, tofu, artificial coloring and a plethora of additives. It contains no cholesterol but each serving is almost as high in sodium as a real egg. Egg substitutes can be scrambled and also used in many baking and cooking recipes calling for whole eggs.
a small, hourglass-shaped container that holds a fixed amount of sand. When the timer is turned upside down, the sand moves from one half to another in a three-minute period, the time required to cook a medium-sized egg to the soft-boiled stage.
Egg yolk or egg white mixed with a small amount of water or milk. It's brushed over breads, pastry and other baked goods before baking to give them color and gloss.
a frothy drink made from cream or milk, egg yolks, sugar and flavorings such as rum or brandy. Eggnog is a tradition Christmas drink.
Because the eggplant is a member of the nightshade family, it's related to the potato and tomato. Though commonly thought of as a vegetable, eggplant is actually a fruit... specifically a berry. There are many varieties of this delicious food, ranging in color from rich purple to white, in length from 2 to 12 inches and in shape from oblong to round. In the United States, the most common eggplant is the large, cylindrical- or pear-shape variety with a smooth, glossy, dark purple skin. It's available year-round, with the peak season during August and September. Choose a firm, smooth-skinned eggplant heavy for its size; avoid those with soft or brown spots. Eggplants become bitter with age and are very perishable. They should be stored in a cool, dry place and used within a day or two of purchase. If longer storage is necessary, place the eggplant in the refrigerator vegetable drawer. When young, the skin of most eggplants is deliciously edible; older eggplants should be peeled. Since the flesh discolors rapidly, an eggplant should be cut just before using. Bitter, overripe fruit can benefit by the ancient method of salting both halves and weighting them for 20 minutes before rinsing; the salt helps eliminate some of the acrid taste. Eggplant can be prepared in a variety of ways including baking, broiling and frying. It does, however, have spongelike capacity to soak up oil so it should be well coated with a batter or crumb mixture to inhibit fat absorption. Many other varieties of this versatile fruit are now finding their way into some markets. The very narrow, straight Japanese or Asian eggplant ranges in color from solid purple to striated shades and has tender, slightly sweet flesh. The Italian or baby eggplant looks like a miniature version of the common large variety, but has a more delicate skin and flesh. The appearance of the egg-shaped white eggplant makes it clear how this fruit was named. It has a tougher skin, but firmer, smoother flesh. In general, these varieties can be cooked in many of the same methods as the large eggplant. They rarely require salting, however, and usually benefit from a short cooking time.
A thick, pureed mixture of roasted eggplant, tomato, onion, olive oil and various seasonings. It's served cold or at room temperature as a dip or spread.
Legends about eggs have abounded throughout the eons. Early Phoenicians thought that a primeval egg split open to form heaven and earth; Egyptians believed that their god Ptah created the egg from the sun and the moon; and American Indians thought that the Great Spirit burst forth from a giant golden egg to create the world. In all of the early legends the chicken is never mentioned, making the answer to the question of which came first the chicken or the egg seem obvious. The most common egg used for food today is the hen's egg, though those from other fowl including duck, goose and quail are sold in many areas. Hens' eggs have long been bedeviled by their high cholesterol content (about 213 milligrams for a large egg), which is contained entirely in the yolk. Since the American Heart Association recommends that adults limit their cholesterol consumption to no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day, strict cholesterol watchers generally either drastically reduce their egg consumption or eat the whites only. Most hens' eggs on the market today have been classified according to quality and size under usda standards. In descending order, egg grades are aa, A and B, the classification being determined by both exterior and interior quality. The factors determining exterior quality include the soundness, cleanliness, shape and texture of the shell. Interior quality is judged by "candling," so named because in days gone by an egg was held up in front of a candle to see inside. Today, candling is more likely to be accomplished electrically, with the eggs moving and rotating on rollers over high-intensity lights. The interior quality is determined by the size of the air cell (the empty space between the white and shell at the large end of the egg smaller in high-quality eggs), the proportion and density of the white, and whether or not the yolk is firm and free of defects. In high-quality eggs, both the white and yolk stand higher, and the white spreads less than in lower-grade eggs. Eggs come in the following sizes based on their minimum weight per dozen: jumbo (30 oz. per dozen), extra large (27 oz.), large (24 oz.), medium (21 oz.), small (18 oz.) and peewee (15 oz.). Large eggs are those on which most recipes are based. An eggshell's color white or brown is determined by the breed of hen that laid it and has nothing to do with either taste or nutritive value. The egg white is an excellent source of protein and riboflavin. Egg yolks contain all of the fat in an egg and are a good source of protein, iron, vitamins A and D, choline and phosphorus. The color of the yolk depends entirely on the hen's diet. Hens fed on alfalfa, grass and yellow corn lay eggs with lighter yolks than wheat-fed hens. chalazae are the thick, cordlike strands of egg white attached to 2 sides of the yolk that serve to anchor it in the center of the egg. The more prominent the chalazae, the fresher the egg. Blood spots on egg yolks are the result of a natural occurrence, such as a blood vessel rupturing on the surface. They do not indicate that the egg is fertile, nor do they affect flavor. Contrary to popular belief, fertile eggs expensive because of high production costs are no more nutritious than nonfertile ones. They do contain a small amount of male hormone and do not keep as well as other eggs. Storing eggs: Eggs must always be refrigerated. When stored at room temperature, they lose more quality in 1 day than in a week in the refrigerator. Eggs should be stored in the carton in which they came; transferring them to the egg container in the refrigerator door exposes them to odors and damage. They should always be stored large-end-up and should never be placed near odoriferous foods (such as onions) because they easily absorb odors. The best flavor and cooking quality will be realized in eggs used within a week. They can, however, be refrigerated up to a month, providing the shells are intact. Leftover yolks can be covered with cold water and refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 3 days. They can be frozen only with the addition of 1/8 teaspoon salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar or corn syrup per 1/4 cup egg yolks. Tightly covered egg whites can be refrigerated up to 4 days. They can be frozen as is up to 6 months. An easy way to freeze whites is to place one in each section of an ice cube tray. Freeze, then pop the egg-white cubes out into a freezer-weight plastic bag. Both frozen egg yolks and whites should be thawed overnight in the refrigerator before being used. Hard-cooked eggs should be refrigerated no more than a week. Eggs are available in other forms including powdered and frozen (whole or separated). Commercially frozen egg products are generally pasteurized and some contain stabilizing ingredients. Another egg product available to consumers is table-ready pasteurized liquid eggs, which can be found in a supermarket's refrigerated section. This product mixes the white and yolks, then pasteurizes them at a heat level that kills any bacteria without cooking the eggs. Pasteurized eggs are sold in 8- and 16-ounce cartons (4 1/2 and 9 whole eggs respectively). They can be refrigerated unopened for up to 12 weeks from the pack date (see open dating). The multitalented egg is delicious not only as a food in its own right but has numerous other uses as a leavener in cakes, breads and soufflés; a base for dressings such as mayonnaise; a thickener in sauces and custards; a clarifying agent for stocks; and a coating for breaded or battered foods. See also egg substitutes.
A breakfast or brunch specialty consisting of two toasted English muffin halves, each topped with a slice of cured meat, a poached egg and a dollop of hollandaise sauce. The most popular legend of the dish's origin says that it originated at Manhattan's famous Delmonico's Restaurant when regular patrons, Mr. and Mrs. LeGrand Benedict, complained that there was nothing new on the lunch menu. Delmonico's maitre d' and Mrs. Benedict began discussing possibilities and eggs Benedict was the result.
Named for Victorien Sardou, a famous French dramatist, this specialty of Antoine's restaurant in New Orleans consists of poached eggs topped with artichoke hearts, cured meat, truffles and hollandaise sauce.
A large freestone peach with a sweet, succulent flesh and red-blushed, yellow skin. It's good both for eating out of hand and for cooking. See also peach.
A particularly mild-flavored samsoe cheese with irregular, Swisslike holes. See also cheese.
Any of a wide variety of short, curved tubular pastas, such as macaroni.
The purple-black, tart fruit of the elder tree, elderberries can be eaten raw (though they are quite sour) but are better used to make jams, pies and homemade wine. The creamy white elderberry flowers can be added to salads or batter-dipped and fried like fritters.
This rich, yeast-raised cake is replete with nuts, candied fruit and sherry-soaked raisins. It was created in the 18th century to celebrate election day.
cordials or essences that are said to be life-prolonging.
a term used to describe meat, vegetables, or fish sliced very thinly, placed in an earthenware dish and simmered in added sauce.
Switzerland's oldest and most important cheese, Emmentaler has a distinctively nutty-sweet, mellow flavor that makes it perfect for almost any use from snacks to an après-dinner fruit-and-cheese plate. This cow's-milk cheese is light gold in color, with marble-size holes and a natural light brown rind. It was named for Switzerland's Emmental valley and is exported in giant wheels weighing from 150 to 220 pounds each. See also cheese.
Savory or sweet turnover.
In season from November to May, the large emperor grape comes from California and has an elongated oval shape. The thin, pale red to purple-red skin covers a mild-flavored flesh with scattered seeds. See also grape.
Generally, any ingredient used to bind together normally noncombinative substances, such as oil and water. Egg yolks contain a natural emulsifier (lecithin) and are used to thicken and bind sauces (such as hollandaise), as well to bind ingredients in baking. xanthan gum is a commercial emulsifier used in numerous foods like salad dressings and dairy products. Some commercial emulsifiers also inhibit baked goods from going stale.
The mixture of two liquids that cannot normally combine smoothly (e.g., oil and water). Mayonnaise and hollandaise are two familiar emulsions.
A food that is wrapped in pastry and baked.
Cast-iron or steel pots and pans that have been completely coated with thin layers of brightly colored enamel. Enamelware is a good heat conductor, easy to clean and doesn't interact with food to impart off-flavors. Light-colored enameled surfaces do not brown food well; they will also discolor over a long period of use. Overheating enamelware may cause the surface to crack. Care must be taken not to use abrasives to clean enamel as it easily scratches.
This Mexican specialty is made by rolling a softened corn tortilla around a meat or cheese filling. It's served hot, usually topped with a tomato-based salsa and sprinkled with cheese.
a plant (Cichorium endivia) with curly dark green leaves and a slightly bitter flavor; also know as curly endive and imprecisely known as chicory (especially in France and United States).
A large, hearty breakfast that can include fruit or juice, eggs, cured meat or other meat, fish, cereal, baked goods, jam and tea. Compare to continental breakfast.
A hearty blend of several of various black teas (usually assam and ceylon). English breakfast tea is more full-flavored and full-bodied than a single black tea. See also tea.
This round, rather flat (about 3 inches in diameter by 1 inch high) "muffin" is made from a soft yeast dough that, after being formed into rounds, is baked on a griddle. It can be made at home but is readily available commercially in an assortment of flavors including sourdough, whole wheat, raisin, cinnamon and cornmeal. English muffins are halved before toasting. In order to produce a surface with the proper peaks and craters (which adds to their crunchy texture and provides plentiful pockets for butter and jam), English muffins must be fork-split and gently pulled apart. Using a knife to cut them in half will not produce the desired result.
An extremely hot powdered mustard containing ground mustard seeds (both black or brown and yellow-white), wheat flour and turmeric. The most well-known brand of powdered mustard today is Colman's, named for its 19th-century British developer, Jeremiah Colman. See also mustard.
This is the common garden pea, also known simply as green pea. But there's nothing common about its flavor, particularly during the peak months of March, April and May and again from August to November. The French are famous for their tiny, young green peas known as petits pois. Choose fresh peas that have plump, unblemished, bright green pods. The peas inside should be glossy, crunchy and sweet. Because peas begin the sugar-to-starch conversion process the moment they're picked, it's important to buy them as fresh as possible. Refrigerate peas in their pods in a plastic bag for no more than 2 to 3 days. Shell just before using. Both English peas and the French petits pois are available frozen and canned. Peas are a fair source of vitamins A and C, as well as niacin and iron. See also pea; legume.
Also called lemon sole in the United States, this species of flounder is low in fat and finely textured. It ranges from 1/4 to 2 pounds and can be purchased whole or in fillets. It's often labeled simply as "fillet of sole." English sole can be prepared in a variety of ways including baking, broiling, poaching and sautéing. See also fish.
a nut (Juglans regia) with a hard, wrinkled tan shell enclosing two double-lobed sections; has a sweet flavor and is used for snacking, in sweet and savory dishes and for obtaining oil; also known as the Persian walnut.
Crunchy mushrooms that look sort of like vermicelli wearing ski hats.
The cultivated variety of these crisply delicate mushrooms comes in clumps of long, spaghettilike stems topped with tiny, snowy white caps. (In contrast, the wild form has orangy-brown, very shiny caps.) Enokitake have an appealingly crunchy texture and mild almost fruity taste, unlike the bosky flavor of most mushrooms. They're available fresh year-round (depending on the region) in Asian markets and some supermarkets. They can also be purchased canned. Choose fresh mushrooms that are firm and white. Refrigerate, wrapped in paper towel then a plastic bag, up to 5 days. Before using, they should be cut away from the mass at the base of the stems. Enokitake are particularly good raw in salads. They may also be used to garnish soups or other hot dishes. If used as part of a cooked dish, they should be added at the last minute, as heat tends to make them tough. These tiny mushrooms provide a good source of vitamin D, as well as small amounts of the B-complex vitamins. The enoki is also called snow puff mushroom, golden mushroom and velvet stem. See also mushrooms.
Also spelled oenology, this is the science or study of viniculture (making wines). One who studies the science is called an enologist (or oenologist). See also enophile.
A person who is knowledgeable about and enjoys wine.
; enriched 1. A term usually applied to flour that, after the milling has stripped it of the wheat germ and other nutritious elements, has niacin, riboflavin and thiamin added back into it. U.S. law requires that flours not containing wheat germ must have these nutrients replenished. 2. The term can also apply to enriching and thickening a sauce with the last-minute addition of an ingredient such as butter, cream or egg yolks.
The Spanish word for "salad."
today the term refers to the main course of a meal, but originally it was the second course of many. French, meaning entrance.
a cut of beef taken from between the ribs. Sometimes the term refers to a rumpsteak or sirloin.
French term for the tender steak cut from between the ninth and eleventh ribs of beef.
Spanish for "appetizers."
side dishes, literally between dishes; can be savory or sweet.
A pungent, wild herb whose strong flavor is, like that of fresh coriander, an acquired taste. It has flat, pointed leaves and is available dried (and infrequently fresh) in Latin markets. Also called Mexican tea and wormseed, epazote is popular in many bean dishes because it's a carminative, which means it reduces gas. It's also used as a tea. See also herbs.
a serving dish of numerous separate bowls attached to one main stem.
a gourmet who gives special attention to the knowledge of food and wine.
Of Spanish origin, escabèche is a dish of poached or fried fish, covered with a spicy marinade and refrigerated for at least 24 hours. It's a popular dish in Spain and the Provençal region of France, and is usually served cold as an appetizer. Escovitch is the Jamaican name for this dish.
A Spanish dish of poached or fried fish covered with a spicy marinade.
refers to a thin slice of meat or fish, without bones, gristle, or skin.
A French term for foods prepared in the Spanish style, usually with tomatoes, onions, garlic and sweet peppers.
an Italian way of preparing coffee using steam.
Named for its town of origin, Esrom, Denmark, this semisoft cheese has a mildly pungent flavor that's well complemented by dark beer or bold red wines. As it ages, its flavor intensifies until strong and earthy. Esrom has a thin, yellow-brown rind and a pale yellow interior studded with irregular holes. See also cheese.
condensed flavors made as their source is distilled or pressed, then mixed with liquid. Examples are almond extract, rose water, etc.
A wine label term indicating that 100 percent of the grapes that went into that wine were grown in the winery's own vineyards, or from vineyards (in the same appellation) controlled by the winery through a long-term lease. Furthermore, such wines must be vinified and bottled at that winery. The term Château bottled has a comparable meaning. Both refer to a wine that's considered to be of superior quality and character. European phrases similar to "estate bottled" are: the French Mis en Bouteille au Domaine, Mis au Domaine, Mis en Bouteille à la Propriété and Mis en Bouteille au Château ; the Italian Imbottigliato all'Origine; and the German Gutsabfüllung and Erzeugerabfüllung.
French for smothered and used to describe a stewed dish cooked with little or no liquid in a tightly closed pot; usually served over white rice.
This canned, unsweetened milk is fresh, homogenized milk from which 60 percent of the water has been removed. Vitamin D is added for extra nutritional value. It comes in whole, lowfat and skim forms; the whole-milk version must contain at least 7.9 percent milk fat, the lowfat has about half that and the skim version 1/2 percent or less. As it comes from the can, evaporated milk is used to enrich custards or add a creamy texture to many dishes. When mixed with an equal amount of water, it can be substituted for fresh milk in recipes. Evaporated milk is less expensive than fresh milk and is therefore popular for many cooked dishes. It has a slightly caramelized, "canned" flavor that is not appreciated by all who taste it. Canned milk can be stored at room temperature until opened, after which it must be tightly covered and refrigerated for no more than a week. When slightly frozen, evaporated milk can be whipped and used as an inexpensive substitute for whipped cream.
This sensuously rich triple-cream cheese is made from cow's milk and contains 75 percent fat. It comes in chunky cylinders with white rinds. When ripe, the ivory interior has a delicately piquant flavor. Explorateur is wonderful as a snack or after-dinner cheese served with a dry, fruity white wine. See also cheese.
Concentrated flavorings derived from various foods or plants, usually through evaporation or distillation. Extracts can come in several forms including solid (as in a bouillon cube), liquid (such as vanilla extract) or jellylike (as with a demi-glace). They deliver a powerful flavor impact to foods without adding excess volume or changing the consistency. Liquid extracts will keep indefinitely if stored in a cool, dark place. See also essences.
The Italian word for "beans," usually white kidney beans. String beans are called fagiolini. See also beans.
a temperature scale with 32° as the freezing point of water and 212° as its boiling point (to convert to Celsius, subtract 32 from the Fahrenheit, multiply by 5 and divide by 9).
a Mexican-American dish consisting of strips of skirt steak marinated in lime juice, oil, garlic, red pepper and then grilled; the diner wraps the meat in a flour tortilla and garnishes it with items such as grilled onions, peppers, guacamole, pico de gallo, refried beans, and salsa; chicken or fish can be substituted.
A Middle Eastern specialty consisting of small, deep-fried croquettes or balls made of highly spiced, ground chickpeas. They're generally tucked inside pita bread, sandwich-style, but can also be served as appetizers. A yogurt- or tahini-based sauce is often served with falafel.
Farce is the French word for "stuffing." Farci means "stuffed."
Italian for butterfly; used to describe bow-shaped pasta.
pasta shaped like small butterflies or bow ties. Farfallini are the smallest butterflies, farfallone the largest.
a soup garnish made of minced noodle dough.
Made from cereal grains, farina is a bland-tasting flour or meal that, when cooked in boiling water, makes a hot breakfast cereal. It's very easily digested and rich in protein.
1. A thin Scottish griddle cake made of oatmeal or flour and cut into triangular wedges. Farls, which are similar to scones, take their name from the word fardel meaning "fourth part" and referring to a fourth part or quarter cut of a round cake. 2. The triangular wedge shape of such a cut cake is also referred to as a "farl."
This fresh cheese is a form of cottage cheese from which most of the liquid has been pressed. The very dry farmer cheese is sold in a solid loaf. It has a mild, slightly tangy flavor and is firm enough to slice or crumble. It's an all-purpose cheese that can be eaten as is or used in cooking. See also cheese.
Tuscany's mainstay, a small, light brown grain.
A yeast-raised potato pastry that's deep-fried like a doughnut. Fasnachts were originally made and served on Shrove Tuesday to use up the fat that was forbidden during Lent. They're diamond-shaped and often have a slit cut down the center before frying. They first appeared in Pennsylvania, though there is some argument whether the actual origin is German or Dutch.
Synthesized substances created to replace fat in a variety of foods. To date, the Food and Drug Administration (fda) has only approved two of these substitutes Simplesse and Leanesse. Simplesse, manufactured by NutraSweet, is composed of milk protein and egg whites. This all-natural fat substitute is very low in calories and cholesterol free. It's used in a variety of foods including frozen dairy products, yogurt, cheese spreads and salad dressings. Leanesse, a ConAgra product, is made from oat flour (Oatrim) through a heating-and-cooling process that produces a flavorless gel that imitates the texture of fat. It's used in foods such as frozen dinners and energy bars. Yet to receive fda approval is the much-touted Procter & Gamble product, Olestra. This no-calorie, sucrose-polyester fat substitute is a composition of sugar and fatty acids, embodied in a molecule so large that it moves right through the human system without a trace. Olestra contributes the same cooking benefits (such as crispy French fries) and flavor as fat, but without the associated risks. Although it was discovered in 1968 and has a decade-old petition filed with the fda for use (in shortening, oils and snacks), Procter & Gamble still awaits approval for this landmark food additive that could change the way America eats (or certainly the way it gains weight). See also fats and oils.
There are myriad culinary uses for fats and oils including cooking, tenderizing baked goods and adding richness, texture and flavor to foods. Fat is one of the body's basic nutrients, providing energy by furnishing calories. All forms of fat are made up of a combination of fatty acids, which are the building blocks of fats much as amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Fats and oils are either saturated or unsaturated, the latter classification being broken down into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. To illustrate the difference between the terms saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, picture a fat molecule as a train of passenger cars (carbon atoms). If every seat on the train is filled by a "passenger" (hydrogen atom), then this is a saturated fat molecule. If there's one seat open in each car where a hydrogen-atom "passenger" can sit, the molecule is monounsaturated ; if there are several seats available, it's polyunsaturated. In general, saturated fats come from animal sources and are solid enough to hold their shape at room temperature (about 70°F). Exceptions to this rule are tropical oils such as coconut oil and palm oil, which, though of plant origin, are semisolid at room temperature and highly saturated. Saturated fats are the nutritional "bad guys" because they're known to be associated with some forms of cancer and to increase cholesterol levels, which can be a contributing factor to heart disease. In addition to the two aforementioned tropical oils, the most commonly commercially used saturated fats are butter, lard, suet and hydrogenated vegetable oils such as margarine and vegetable shortening. Hydrogenated (or partially hydrogenated) oils have been chemically transformed from their normal liquid state (at room temperature) into solids. During the hydrogenation procedure extra hydrogen atoms are pumped into unsaturated fat. This process creates trans fatty acids, converting the mixture into a saturated fat and obliterating any benefits it had as a polyunsaturate. Some researchers believe that hydrogenated oils may actually be more damaging than regular saturated fats for those limiting cholesterol in their diets. Unsaturated fats are derived primarily from plants and are liquid (in the form of an oil) at room temperature. Generally speaking, oils are composed (in varying percentages) of both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are known to help reduce the levels of ldl (the bad) cholesterol. The three most widely used oils that are high in monounsaturates are olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil. Polyunsaturated fats are also considered relatively healthy and include the following, ranked in order, most to least, of polyunsaturates: safflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil and sesame oil. Omega-3 oils are a particular classification of fatty acids found in some plants (such as flax seed) and in the tissues of all sea creatures. These special polyunsaturated oils have been found to be particularly beneficial to coronary health (purportedly lowering the bad ldl cholesterol and elevating the good hdl) as well as to brain growth and development. Among the popular fish that are particularly good sources of Omega-3 oil (in order of importance) are sardines, herring, mackerel, bluefish, tuna, salmon, pilchard, butterfish and pompano. High cooking temperatures can destroy almost half the Omega-3 in fish, whereas microwave cooking doesn't appear to have an adverse effect on it. Canned tuna packed in water is a quick and easy way for many people to get their Omega-3 oil, but it's worth noting that combining it with the fat in mayonnaise offsets any positive effects. Canned salmon and sardines are also excellent Omega-3 sources. Storing fats and oils. Saturated fats such as butter, margarine and lard should be tightly wrapped and refrigerated. They can usually be stored this way for up to 2 weeks. Hydrogenated vegetable shortening can be stored, tightly covered, at room temperature for up to 3 months. Refined oils, sealed airtight, can be stored on the kitchen shelf up to 2 months. Oils with a high proportion of monounsatu-rates such as olive oil and peanut oil are more perishable and should be refrigerated if kept longer than a month. See also almond oil; animal fat; chili oil; cocoa butter; cottonseed oil; fat substitutes; grapeseed oil; grease; hazelnut oil; milk fat; oils; pumpkin seed oil; sunflower seed oil; trans fatty acids; walnut oil.
This tan, rather flat bean resembles a very large lima bean. It comes in a large pod that, unless very young, is inedible. Fava beans can be purchased dried, cooked in cans and, infrequently, fresh. If you find fresh fava beans, choose those with pods that aren't bulging with beans, which indicates age. Fava beans have a very tough skin, which should be removed by blanching before cooking. They're very popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, can be cooked in a variety of ways and are often used in soups. Also called faba bean, broad bean and horse bean. See also beans.
Italian for "little faithful ones," referring culinarily to very fine spaghetti. See also pasta.
This small, egg-shaped fruit is native to South America, though New Zealand is now a major exporter and California cultivates a small crop. It's also referred to as a pineapple guava, and is often mislabeled in produce sections as guava. A thin, bright green skin surrounds the feijoa's exceedingly fragrant, cream-colored flesh that encases a jellylike center. The flavor is complex, with sweet notes of quince, pineapple and mint. New Zealand feijoas are available from spring to early summer; those from California reach the market in the fall. Choose fruit that has a rich, perfumy fragrance and gives slightly to the touch. Ripen by placing it in a paper bag with an apple for several days at room temperature. Ripe feijoas can be refrigerated 3 to 5 days. Before using, remove the slightly bitter peel. Feijoas are naturals in fruit salads, desserts and as garnishes. They contain a fair amount of vitamin C.
Brazil's most famous regional dish, feijoada is an assorted platter of thinly sliced meats (such as sausages, beef and smoked tongue) accompanied by side dishes of rice, black beans, shredded kale or collard greens, hearts of palm, orange slices and hot peppers.
a thin, papery tissue found on the outside of the surface of a leg of lamb.
A perennial plant (Foeniculum vulgare) with feathery foliage and tiny flowers; the plant's oval, green-brown seeds have prominent ridges, short, hair-like fibers and a weak, anise-like flavor and aroma and are available whole and ground; used in baked goods and savory dishes in Italian and Central European cuisines and to flavor alcoholic beverages. See ouzo, arrack; also finnochio.
an Asiatic herb with a bitter celery-like flavor. Its chief use is in curry powders and stews.
A process by which a food goes through a chemical change caused by enzymes produced from bacteria, microorganisms or yeasts. Fermentation alters the appearance and/or flavor of foods and beverages such as beer, buttermilk, cheese, wine, vinegar and yogurt.
Also called Chinese black beans and salty black beans, this Chinese specialty consists of small black soybeans that have been preserved in salt before being packed into cans or plastic bags. They have an extremely pungent, salty flavor and must be soaked in warm water for about 30 minutes before using. Fermented black beans are usually finely chopped before being added to fish or meat dishes as a flavoring. They can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to a year. If the beans begin to dry out, a few drops of peanut oil will refresh them.
1. A soft Greek cheese made from ewe's milk (or occasionally, goat's milk) and pickled in brine; has a white color, crumbly texture and salty, sour, tangy flavor. 2. A soft, white, flaky American feta-style cheese made from cow's milk and stored in brine.
This classic Greek cheese is traditionally made of sheep's or goat's milk, though today large commercial producers often make it with cow's milk. Because it's cured and stored in its own salty whey brine (see both listings ), feta is often referred to as pickled cheese. White, crumbly and rindless, feta is usually pressed into square cakes. It has a rich, tangy flavor, contains from 45 to 60 percent milk fat and can range in texture from soft to semidry. Feta makes a zesty addition to salads and many cooked dishes. See also cheese.
Both are fettuccine noodles, with fettucce the broadest, at about 1/2 inch wide; the 1/8-inch wide fettuccelle are the narrowest. See also pasta.
Italian for small ribbons; used to describe thin, flat ribbons of pasta; sold as straight ribbons or loosely bent and curled.
Roman restaurateur Alfredo di Lello is credited with creating this dish in the 1920s. The fettuccine is enrobed in a rich sauce of butter, grated parmesan cheese, heavy cream and plentiful grindings of black pepper. Other noodles may be substituted for the fettuccine.
Egg noodles cut into flat, narrow (about 3/8-inch) strips. See also pasta.
French for "flaky" or "puff pastry." Also called pâté feuilletée. See also puff pastry.
Also referred to as roughage, dietary fiber is that portion of plant-related foods (such as fruits, legumes, vegetables and whole grains) that cannot be completely digested. Statistics maintain that high-fiber diets reduce cholesterol levels and cancer rates.
French for "twine" or "string," referring culinarily to a long, very thin loaf of French bread, about half the size of a baguette.
A young, edible, tightly coiled fern frond that resembles the spiral end of a violin (fiddle). It is also referred to as ostrich fern and pohole. The shoots are in their coiled form for only about 2 weeks before they unfurl into graceful greenery. Fiddlehead ferns are a rich, deep green color and are about 2 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. They have a flavor akin to an asparagus-green bean-okra cross and a texture that's appealingly chewy. Fiddleheads can be found throughout the eastern half of the United States, ranging from as far south as Virginia north to Canada. They're available in specialty produce markets from April through July, depending on the region. Choose small, firm, brightly colored ferns with no sign of softness or yellowing. Refrigerate, tightly wrapped, for no more than 2 days. Fiddleheads should be washed and the ends trimmed before being briefly cooked by steaming, simmering or sautéing. They may be served cooked as a first course or side dish or used raw in salads. Fiddlehead ferns are a good source of vitamins A and C.
Very thin, vermicelli-type noodles. In Spain, they're often tossed with vegetables; in Mexico, they're used to make one version of sopa seca (dry soup).
A variety of yellow or green pea grown specifically for drying. These peas are dried and usually split along a natural seam, in which case they're called split peas. Whole and split dried field peas are available packaged in supermarkets and in bulk in health-food stores. Field peas do not usually require presoaking before cooking. See also pea; legume.
a variety of oblong or pear-shaped fruits (Ficus carica) that grow in warm climates; generally, they have a thick, soft skin that is green, yellow, orange or purple, tannish-purple flesh with a sweet flavor and many tiny edible seeds; available fresh or dried.
Tomato puree and minced parsley are added to hollandaise sauce for this rich accompaniment to fish or poultry.
powder made of sassafras leaves used to season and thicken foods.
Choctaw Indians from the Louisiana bayou country are said to have been the first users of this seasoning made from the ground, dried leaves of the sassafras tree. It's since become an integral part of creole cooking and is used to thicken and flavor gumbos and other Creole dishes. Filé has a woodsy flavor reminiscent of root beer. It must be stirred into a dish after it's removed from the heat because undue cooking makes filé tough and stringy. Filé powder is available in the spice or gourmet section of most large supermarkets. As with all spices, it should be stored in a cool, dark place for no more than 6 months.
This expensive, boneless cut of beef comes from the small end of the tenderloin. The filet mignon is usually 1 to 2 inches thick and 1 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter. It's extremely tender but lacks the flavor of beef with the bone attached. Cook filet mignon quickly by broiling, grilling or sautéing. See also beef; short loin.
a boneless cut of meat, poultry or fish.
A boneless piece of meat or fish. Filet is the French spelling. fillet v. To cut the bones from a piece of meat or fish, thereby creating a meat or fish fillet.
a small cut of beef taken from the end of the fillet, considered by many to be the most elegant steak of all. It is very tender and sweet, but lacks the flavor of a steak with bone in.
in Greece, philo is the very flaky, buttery pastry made by layering dough with shortening and rolling it and rerolling it.
To strain through a paper filter or several layers of cheesecloth.
term used for good brandy.
very small, as in finely chopped, but not as small as minced.
French, fine herbs, usually a mixture of parsley, chives, tarragon, and chervil used to flavor omelets and in casseroles and soups.
bowls half-filled with warm water which may be scented with roses or a slice of lemon. Served to diners to rinse their hands in after a course in which the fingers were used to eat (lobsters, oyster, or artichokes, or example).
A term usually referring to the process of removing minute floating particles that prevent wines and beers from being clear (see clarify). Besides egg whites and eggshells, other substances used to fine these liquids include gelatin, isinglass and diatomaceous earth.
Smoked, salted haddock, favored in Scotland.
Named after Findon, Scotland, a fishing village near Aberdeen, finnan haddie is partially boned, lightly salted and smoked haddock. It was originally smoked over peat fires, a rarity now in wide commercial production. In the British Isles, finnan haddie has long been a favorite breakfast dish. Though once exclusively from Scotland, it's now being produced in New England and other eastern coastal states. It's available whole or in fillets and can be refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for up to a month. Finnan haddie is best baked, broiled or poached. It's generally served with a cream sauce. See also fish.
also fennel in Florence; an herb with a licorice flavor, used as is celery and in Mediterranean cooking.
This pale, delicate, very dry Spanish wine is considered by many to be the world's finest sherry. Finos are excellent when young, but should not be aged because they don't improve and may lose some of their vitality. They are often served chilled as an apéritif.
The Italian word for fennel.
Italian for "in the style of Florence" (see florentine).
A test for sugar syrup describing the point at which a drop of boiling syrup immersed in cold water forms a firm but pliable ball. On a candy thermometer, the firm-ball stage is between 244° and 248°F.
Italian for "small whistle," referring culinarily to the smallest of the tubular pastas.
any thousands of species of aquatic vertebrates with fins for swimming and gills for breathing, found in saltwater and freshwater worldwide, most are edible; fish are classified by bone structure as flatfish or round fish.
A traditional British dish of deep-fried fish fillets and french fries, most often served with malt vinegar.
Popular throughout Southeast Asia, fish sauce can be any of various mixtures based on the liquid from salted, fermented fish. This extremely pungent, strong-flavored and salty liquid can range in color from ochre to deep brown. It's used as a condiment and flavoring, much as soy sauce would be used. Fish sauces may be flavored variously such as with chiles or sugar depending on the use. Asian markets carry a wide variety of these pungent sauces including nam pla (Thai), nuoc nam (Vietnamese), patis (Philippines) and shottsuru (Japanese). Fish sauce is also referred to as fish gravy.
Used extensively in Chinese cooking, this pungent mixture of five ground spices usually consists of equal parts of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. Prepackaged five-spice powder is available in Asian markets and most supermarkets.
a sweet effervescent summer drink made of gin and a carbonated beverage.
These tiny, tender French kidney beans range in color from pale green to creamy white. They're rarely available fresh in the United States but can be purchased dried, canned and occasionally frozen. Flageolets are usually prepared simply, in order to showcase their delicate flavor. They're a classic accompaniment to lamb. See also beans.
Munchkin kidney beans from France.
to break off small pieces or layers of food, usually with a fork; often used as a test for doneness when cooking fish.
To use a utensil (usually a fork) to break off small pieces or layers of food.
adj. A term describing a food, such as pie crust, with a dry texture that easily breaks off into flat, flakelike pieces.
à la flamande is French for "in the Flemish style," indicating a garnish of braised cabbage, carrots, turnips, potatoes and sometimes sausages. It's a classic accompaniment for meat or poultry.
French for "flamed" or "flaming," this dramatic method of food presentation consists of sprinkling certain foods with liquor, which, after warming, is ignited just before serving.
to flame, using alcohol as the burning agent; flame causes caramelization, enhancing flavor.
to cover or combine food with heated liquor, then set alight, and serve flaming. It also means to singe. Heating the liquor first is the secret to keeping the flame going.
The American word for flambé.
Alsatian onion tart.
in France, a pastry filled with fruit, cream or custard; in Spain, a set custard usually served with a caramel sauce.
Long, thin and fibrous, this boneless cut of beef comes from the animal's lower hindquarters. It's usually tenderized by marinating, then broiled or grilled whole. In the case of London broil, the flank steak is cut and cooked in large pieces, then thinly sliced across the grain. See also beef.
1. A strip of beef from the chuck end of the short ribs. 2. A Jewish dish using this cut of beef, which is boiled and usually served with horseradish.
in the United States and Canada a another name for pancakes, griddlecakes and hotcakes. In England and Scotland, a name for drop scones.
These traditional Scandinavian crisps are thin, crackerlike breads usually made with rye flour. Many are also based on combinations of flours including wheat, barley or potato. Flat breads (flatbrod in Norwegian) are most often served with soups, salads or cheeses.
flat bread of Norwegian origin, it is wafer-thin, and made from whole grain and served with salad, cheese or soup.
A species of fish (including flounder, halibut and sole) characterized by a rather flat body, with both eyes located on the upper side. Flatfish swim on one side only; the side facing downwards is always very pale. See also brill; dab; fish; sand dab; turbot.
Meaning "flute," a flauta is a corn tortilla rolled around a savory (usually shredded meat or poultry) filling, then fried until crisp.
to add seasoning or other ingredients to a food or beverage to improve change or add to the taste.
an item that adds a new flavor to a food and alters its natural flavors; flavorings include herbs, spices, vinegars and other condiments.
Though the most universal function of flax seed is to produce linseed oil (commonly used in paints, varnishes, linoleums and inks), this tiny seed contains several essential nutrients including calcium, iron, niacin, phosphorous and vitamin E. It's also a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids (see fats and oils). Flax seed can be found in health-food markets and some supermarkets. It has a mild nutty flavor and is often used simply sprinkled over hot dishes such as cooked cereal or stir-frys. The seed can also be sprouted and used in salads and sandwiches. Flax seed is naturally mucilaginous and, when ground into a flour and mixed with liquid, produces a blend with a texture akin to that of egg whites. This gelatinous mixture can be used in place of eggs to add body to baked goods unlike eggs, however, it does not have a leavening effect. Because it has a high fat content, flax seed should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, where it will keep for up to 6 months. Though it is considered a digestive aid, it should also be noted that, for some people, flax seed also has a laxative effect.
A tiny, crescent-shaped piece of puff pastry used as a garnish, usually atop hot food.
a sweet drink containing alcohol and eggs. Originally, it was a heated drink but a cold flip is more common today.
1. A light dessert of stiffly beaten, sweetened egg white mounds that have been poached in milk. These puffs are then floated in a thin custard sauce. The dessert is also known as oeufs à la neige, "snow eggs." 2. In France, Île flottante ("floating island") is liqueur-sprinkled sponge cake spread with jam, sprinkled with nuts, topped with whipped cream and surrounded by a pool of custard.
food set on a bed of cooked spinach and usually covered with a cream sauce and baked. From Florence, Italy.
French for "in the style of Florence (Italy)," and referring to dishes (usually of eggs or fish) that are presented on a bed of spinach and topped with mornay sauce. A "Florentine" dish is sometimes sprinkled with cheese and browned lightly in the oven. The Italian term is alla Fiorentina.
the small, closely-clustered "flowering" part of a food, such as broccoli or cauliflower.
Members of this large species of flatfish are prized for their fine texture and delicate flavor. Some of the better known members of the flounder family are dab, english sole and plaice. In America, flounder is often mislabeled as fillet of sole a misnomer because all of the fish called "sole" (except for imported European dover sole) are actually varieties of flounder. Flounder is available whole or in fillets. It can be baked, broiled, poached, steamed or sautéed. See also fish.
1. Powdery substance of varying degrees of fineness made by milling wheat, corn, rye or other grains or grinding dried vegetables (ex. mushrooms), fruits (ex. plantains) or nuts (ex. chestnuts). 2. To coat with flour.
Looking like a giant, multipetaled, ruffled flower, this vegetable comes in colors that range from white to pink to purple, all encircled by curly green leaves. Flowering kale (Brassica oleracea ), which is the oldest member of the cabbage family, has a slightly bitter taste and semicrisp texture. It's available from September through December. Choose heads with fresh-looking, brightly colored leaves with no sign of wilting. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 5 days. See also kale.
Flowers that are used as a garnish or as an integral part of a dish, such as a salad. Not all flowers are edible. Those that are must usually be purchased from specialty produce markets or supermarkets that carry gourmet produce. They can be stored, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator up to a week. Flowers that have been sprayed with pesticides (such as those found at florists') should never be eaten. Some of the more popular edible flowers are: the peppery-flavored nasturtiums; chive blossoms, which taste like a mild, sweet onion; pansies and violas, both with a flavor reminiscent of grapes; and perfumy, sweet roses. Other edible flowers include: almond, apple, borage, chamomile, lavender, lemon, lovage, mimosa, orange, peach, plum and squash blossoms, chrysanthemums, daisies, geraniums, jasmine, lilacs, marigolds, and violets. Edible flowers may be used culinarily in a variety of ways. They make colorful, striking garnishes for drinks as well as food for everything from salads to soups to desserts. Some of the larger flowers such as squash blossoms can be stuffed and deep-fried.
1. A sweet soft pudding made of stewed fruit (usually berries) thickened with cornstarch. 2. Old-time British flummeries were made by cooking oatmeal until smooth and gelatinous; sweetener and milk were sometimes added. In the 18th century, the dish became a gelatin-thickened, cream- or milk-based dessert, flavored generously with sherry or Madeira.
to make a decorative edge on pastry. Also to cut vegetables, fruit or other foods in a decorative manner. Also a long loaf of French bread.
Members of the family Exocoetidae, which are commonly found in tropical waters, especially throughout the Caribbean. The name of this fish comes from its ability to soar through the air for great distances, sometimes up to almost 350 yards. To manage this feat, the flying fish builds up speed in the water, then leaps into the air, extending its large, stiff pectoral fins, which act like wings. Flying fish are good food fish with a firm texture and a pleasant, savory flavor. See also fish.
This Italian bread begins by being shaped into a large, flat round that is liberally brushed or drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Slits cut into the dough's surface may be stuffed with fresh rosemary before the bread is baked. Focaccia can be eaten as a snack, or served as an accompaniment to soups or salads.
an hors doeuvres of seasoned livers of geese, duck, chicken, or veal made into a pâté.
a thin pliable sheet of aluminum; easily molded, conducts heat well, can withstand temperature extremes and is impervious to odors, moisture and air; used to cover foods for cooking and storage.
to gently combine one ingredient with another ingredient (as in folding dry ingredients into moist ingredients) by using two motions, cutting vertically through the mixture with a spoon or spatula and gently turning the ingredients over on top of each other, rotating the bowl 1/4 turn with each stroke. The term often is used in instructions relating to whipped cream and beaten egg whites.
to mix food without releasing air bubbles by lifting a part of the liquid from the very bottom of the bowl through the rest of the mixture to the top until the foods are blended.
A technique used to gently combine a light, airy mixture (such as beaten egg whites) with a heavier mixture (such as whipped cream or custard). The lighter mixture is placed on top of the heavier one in a large bowl. Starting at the back of the bowl, a rubber spatula is used to cut down vertically through the two mixtures, across the bottom of the bowl and up the nearest side. The bowl is rotated a quarter turn with each series of strokes. This down-across-up-and-over motion gently turns the mixtures over on top of each other, combining them in the process.
A French term used in culinary parlance for "stock." There are three primary fonds in classic French cooking: fond blanc ("white stock"), made from veal and poultry meat and bones and vegetables; fond brun ("brown stock"), made with browned beef, veal and poultry meat and bones and vegetables; and fond de vegetal ("vegetable stock"), made with butter-sautéed vegetables. See also fumet.
a sweet, thick opaque sugar paste commonly used for glazing pastries or making candies.
a melted sauce, usually with cheese, served with crisp bread rounds or as a filling. These are sauces kept hot in a chaffing dish into which crisp chunks of bread, vegetables, meat, or fruits are dipped before eating. Chocolate fondue with fruit chunks and berries is a sweet fondue that is excellent. Fondue means melted.
An Italian semifirm, yet creamy cheese made from cow's-milk. Its interior is pale yellow in color and is dotted with tiny holes and its rind is a dark yellowish brown. It has a mild, nutty flavor and melts easily and smoothly, making it a good choice for use in most cooking. Although fontina cheese (also called Fontina Val d'Aosta after the Italian valley from whence it came) is an Italian cheese, other countries including Denmark, France and the United States also make fontina cheese but they tend to be blander and softer (especially when younger) than the Italian original.
a knife created for efficiency. It is double-handled and crescent-shaped, used with a rocking motion to rapidly chop and dice. In Italy it is known as a mezzaluna. Less useful today, since food processors do much of this work.
Dyes of various colors (most commonly blue, green, red and yellow) used to tint foods such as frostings and candies. The most familiar form of food coloring is liquid, which comes in little bottles available at any supermarket. Food coloring paste, which comes in a wider variety of colors, can usually only be found in specialty stores such as cake-decorating shops. It's particularly suitable for mixtures that do not combine readily with liquid, such as white chocolate. A little of any food coloring goes a long way, so it's best to begin with only a drop or two, blending it into the mixture being tinted before adding more.
A kitchen utensil best described as a mechanical sieve. It has a hand-turned paddle that forces food through a strainer plate at the bottom, thereby removing skin, seeds and fiber. Some food mills come equipped with several interchangeable plates with small, medium and large holes.
This kitchen appliance was brought to the United States from France in the 1970s and has since revolutionized a majority of home kitchens. It consists of a sturdy plastic work bowl that sits on a motorized drive shaft. The cover of the bowl has a feed tube through which foods can be added. An expanded feed tube large enough for some whole items such as a tomato or onion is available with some machines. The food processor is efficient and speedy and can easily chop, dice, slice, shred, grind and puree most food. The larger machines can also knead dough. Most processors come with a standard set of attachments including an S-shaped chopping blade and several disks for slicing and shredding. There are special attachments including juicers and pasta makers, as well as accessories such as French-fry cutters, julienne disks and beaters. Food processors range from large to small in motor size and bowl capacity.
England is the home of this old-fashioned but delicious dessert made of cooked, pureed fruit that is strained, chilled and folded into whipped cream. The fruit mixture may be sweetened or not. Fool is traditionally made from gooseberries, though today any fruit may be substituted.
finely ground meat often combined with ground vegetables to make a stuffing or combined with stiffly beaten egg whites to make delicate quenelles for poaching and serving with sauce. Also, combined with custard-like sauce to make soufflés.
French term meaning "of the forest," referring to dishes (usually poultry, meat or game fowl) garnished with butter-sautéed potatoes or potato balls, cured meat and wild mushrooms such as chanterelles, morels and porcini.
Italian for cheese.
Hailing from Taiwan (previously known as Formosa), this tea is considered one of the world's best, which also makes it quite expensive. It creates a pale yellow brew that has a flavor reminiscent of peaches. See also tea.
Forno is Italian for "oven," and this term refers culinarily to dishes baked in the oven.
A wine to which brandy (or other spirit) has been added in order to increase alcoholic content. Such wines include port, sherry and many dessert wines.
This Chinese-American invention consists of a plain, griddle-baked wafer cookie that, while warm, is folded around a small strip of paper with a fortune printed on it. The cooled cookie becomes crisp and must be broken in order to retrieve the fortune.
French for "whisk."
The term fowl is used generally to refer to any edible, mature, wild or domestic bird. Specifically, a fowl (also called hen or stewing chicken ) is a female chicken over 10 months old and usually weighing 3 to 6 pounds. Because of its age, a fowl is best when cooked with moist heat, as in braising.
Dishes featuring a devilishly spicy marinara sauce.
Generally describes tomato-based sauces that are spiced with chiles
The French word for "strawberry."
1. Intensely sweet, tiny wild strawberries from France. 2. A colorless, strawberry-flavored eau de vie.
French for raspberry.
A hazelnut-flavored liqueur enhanced with a secret formula of flower and berry essences.
1. A type of pastry made with egg yolks, flour, butter and milk that is very similar to choux pastry. Baked frangipane puffs are often filled with forcemeat. 2. A rich crème Pâtissière flavored with ground almonds and used as a filling or topping for various pastries and cakes. Also called frangipani.
a rich, sweet cream name for a tropical flower with a sweet scent.
This smoked, seasoned, precooked sausage also known as hot dog, wiener and frank is America's favorite. Frankfurters can be made from beef, veal, chicken or turkey. They may have casings or not and can contain up to 30 percent fat and 10 percent added water. They range in size from the tiny "cocktail frank" to the famous foot-long giants. The most common size is about 6 inches long. Frankfurters labeled "beef" or "all-beef" must, by law, contain only beef; fillers like soybean protein and dry milk solids are forbidden. Kosher frankfurters are all-beef sausages, usually liberally seasoned with garlic. Those labeled "meat" can't contain fillers either, but can be made with a combination of meats. Sausages simply labeled "frankfurters" can contain up to 3 1/2 percent fillers and are usually made from a combination of meats. Almost all frankfurters contain sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite, chemical salts that are reported to be carcinogenic. To store frankfurters, refrigerate in original package up until the manufacturer's pull date. Although precooked, frankfurters benefit from heating and may be prepared in a variety of ways including grilling, frying, steaming and braising. See also hot dog; pigs in blankets; sausage.
a drink whipped with ice to make a thick, frosty consistency.
Poultry or animals allowed to roam and feed without confinement, as opposed to the majority of commercially bred animals, which are caged. See also chicken.
A term used to describe fruit that has a pit to which the flesh does not cling, as in a freestone peach. See also clingstone.
to subject food to a temperature below 32° (0*C) so that the moisture in the food solidifies; used as a preservation method.
Frozen food that has been either improperly wrapped or frozen can suffer from freezer burn a loss of moisture that affects both texture and flavor. Freezer burn is indicated by a dry surface, which may also have white or gray spots on it.
a plastic-coated Kraft paper used for wrapping foods for freezing and for general household purposes. The plastic coating provides a barrier to air and moisture to protect the quality, flavor and nutrition of foods during freezing; the paper provides strength and durability as well as an easy-to-write-on surface.
A kitchen tool that registers temperatures from about -20° to 80°F. This thermometer is important because frozen food that's not maintained at 0°F or below will begin to deteriorate, thereby losing both quality and nutrients. Likewise, fresh food risks potential spoilage if refrigerated at a temperature higher than 40°F. A freezer/refrigerator thermometer should be positioned near the top and front of the freezer and left there for at least 6 hours (without opening the door) before the temperature is checked. If the thermometer's temperature doesn't read 0°F or below, adjust the freezer's temperature regulator and check in another 6 hours. Refrigerator temperature may be checked in the same way. See also candy thermometer; meat thermometer; oven thermometer.
Any young, green string bean, all of which (including the pod) can be eaten. Frenched or French green beans are those that have been cut lengthwise into very thin strips. See also beans.
A light, crusty, yeast-raised bread made with water instead of milk. The dark brown, intensely crisp crust is created by brushing or spraying the loaf's exterior with water during the baking process. French bread comes in many shapes, including the classic long, thin baguette, rounds and fat ovals.
One of California's top two white-wine grapes, French Colombard is used extensively in blending as well as for a varietal wine. It produces a crisp, moderately dry, spicy wine that goes well with lightly seasoned dishes. It should be drunk young (under 4 years) and always served chilled.
1. A simple oil-and-vinegar combination, usually seasoned with salt, pepper and various herbs. This classic dressing is also referred to as vinaigrette. 2. A commercial American dressing that is creamy, tartly sweet and red-orange in color.
Potatoes that have been cut into thick to thin strips, soaked in cold water, blotted dry, then deep-fried until crisp and golden brown. They are called pommes frites in France and chips in Britain. The name does not come from the fact that their origin is French, but because the potatoes are "frenched" cut into lengthwise strips. Other versions of french-fried potatoes are shoestring potatoes (matchstick-wide) and steak fries (very thick strips).
to cook food in deep hot fat.
American breakfast of sliced bread dipped into beaten eggs and milk and then cooked on top a stove.
1. To cut a vegetable or meat lengthwise into very thin strips. Beans and potatoes are two vegetables that are commonly "frenched." 2. To cut the meat away from the end of a rib or chop, so that part of the bone is exposed.
1. A food that has not been frozen. 2. A food that has been recently produced, such as a loaf of bread. 3. A food as grown or harvested; not canned, dried or processed and containing no preservatives.
Short and cone-shaped, the Fresno is as hot as the more well-known jalapeño chile. It ranges in color from light green to bright red when fully mature. Because of its heat, the Fresno is best used in small amounts as a seasoning. See also chile.
A French term for confections — such as truffles, mints or petits fours — served after the dessert course.
a stew, usually of poultry or veal.
An Asian dish of rice that has been cooked and refrigerated for a day before being fried with other ingredients, such as small pieces of meat and vegetables, and seasonings such as soy sauce. An egg is also often added to the mix. The name of the rice depends on the main ingredient (besides rice), such as "chicken" fried rice, "beef" fried rice and so on.
1. Abbreviated term for french fries. 2. Another name for mountain oysters.
A decorative, fluted paper "sock" that is slipped over a protruding meat bone, such as in a crown roast.
A curly, mildly bitter member of the chicory family, eaten raw in salads.
French for curly, but usually refers to curly endive, the bitter salad green of the chicory family.
An Italian omelette with a variety of fillings that are mixed with the eggs rather than being folded inside. Like a Spanish omelette, a frittata is cut into wedges and can be eaten either hot or cold.
vegetable or fruit dipped into, or combined with, batter and fried.
Italian for "fried."
Italian for "mixed fried (food)" or "mixed fry," fritto misto is a selection of small, bite-size pieces of meat, fish or vegetables, dipped in a batter and deep-fried.
A dry Italian beef salami flavored with garlic and anise. Its name comes from its squiggly, contorted shape. The hot style is corded with red string and the mild (or "sweet") is corded with blue string. Frizzes are most often used as a garnish, as on pizza or in pasta. See also sausage.
To fry thinly sliced meat over high heat until crisp and slightly curly in shape.
The French word for "cold" or "chilled."
French for "cheese."
An extremely soft, fresh cream cheese that has the consistency of sour cream. Fromage blanc is usually eaten with fruit and sugar as dessert, but can also be used in cooking. See also cheese.
1. In cooking, frost means to cover and decorate a cake with a frosting or icing. 2. To chill a glass in the freezer until it's frosted with a thin coating of ice crystals.
a cooked or uncooked sugar mixture used to cover and decorate cakes, cookies and other foods.
A descriptive cooking term referring to mixtures that are foamy, having a formation of tiny, light bubbles.
Also called fruit sugar and levulose, this extremely sweet substance is a natural by-product of fruits and honey. It's more water-soluble than glucose and sweeter than sucrose (though it contains half the calories). Unlike glucose, it can be used by diabetics. Fructose comes in granulated and syrup forms. Except in the case of some liquids, such as a sauce or beverage, it should not be substituted for regular sugar (sucrose) unless a recipe gives specific substitution. When heated, fructose loses some of its sweetening power.
Mild ales flavored with fruit concentrates. See also beer.
a sweet spread made of fruit cooked to a paste then lightly sweetened. Apple butter is a common example.
A mixture of various chopped fruits, served chilled as an appetizer. Any combination of fruit can be used, though a mixture of tart fruit (such as oranges and pineapples) and sweet fruit (peaches, melons or berries) is most appealing. The fruit may be spiced or drizzled with champagne or liqueur for added flavor. Canned fruit cocktail is available, although the flavors of the individual fruits are barely discernible.
Pureed fruit that is spread in a thin layer and dried. The puree sometimes has sugar or honey added to it. After drying, the sheet of fruit is often cut into strips or rolled into cylinders for easy snacking. Rolls of fruit leather in a variety of flavors are available in health-food stores and most supermarkets. It can also be made at home.
A Scandinavian specialty of cooked, pureed fruit combined with water, wine, milk or cream, spices and other flavorings. Danish apple soup is made, for example, with apples, cloves, lemon juice, wine, cream, sugar and curry powder. Though sugar is added to most fruit soups, they are not generally overly sweet. They may be served hot or cold.
Traditional winter holiday cakes made with an assortment of candied fruit and fruit rind, nuts, spices and usually liquor or brandy. Fruitcakes can have a moderate amount of cake surrounding the chunky ingredients, or only enough to hold the fruits and nuts together. Dark fruitcakes are generally made with molasses or brown sugar and dark liquor such as bourbon. Dark-colored fruits and nuts, such as prunes, dates, raisins and walnuts, may also contribute to the blend. Light fruitcakes are generally made with granulated sugar or light corn syrup and light ingredients such as almonds, dried apricots, golden raisins, etc. Fruitcakes are baked slowly and, after cooling, usually covered in cheesecloth moistened with liquor or brandy and tightly wrapped in foil. Stored in this manner, they have tremendous staying power and, providing they are occasionally remoistened, can be kept for years.
The French term translating as "fruits of the sea," referring to a combination of fish.
a popular food in English history, it is a rich, sweet porridge high in vitamins A and B.
to cook in fat (a) Pan-Fry - To cook in small amount of fat. (b) Deep-Fat Fry - To cook in enough fat to completely cover food while cooking.
This specialty of many Southwest Indians (mainly Navajo and Hopi) is made of flour, water or milk and salt. It's formed into very thin rounds, deep-fried and served hot. It can be eaten with savory foods or drizzled with honey and enjoyed as a sweet.
Also called a skillet, this long-handled, usually round pan has low, gently sloping sides so steam doesn't collect within the pan. It's used for frying foods over high heat, so it should be thick enough not to warp and should be able to conduct heat evenly. Frying pans come in various sizes, usually 8, 10 and 12 inches in diameter. Electric frying pans or skillets are often square or oblong in shape. Their heat is controlled by an adjustable thermostat unit that can be detached when the skillet is washed.
A Japanese specialty made of dried wheat gluten made into a spongy dough. Fu is available fully cooked (roasted, deep-fried or baked), partially cooked and fresh or fresh-frozen. It's sometimes colored and comes in a variety of shapes including namu fu (fresh gluten cakes), yaki fu (cubes that have been roasted and dried) and kohana fu (little flower shapes that are cooked and dried and frequently used in instant noodle mixes). Fu is used in numerous Japanese dishes such as soups and other simmered dishes.
A creamy, semisoft candy most often made with sugar, butter or cream, corn syrup and various flavorings. The most popular fudge flavor is chocolate, though maple (made with maple syrup), butterscotch (made with brown sugar or dark corn syrup) and vanilla are also favorites. Fudge can be plain and perfectly smooth or it may contain other ingredients such as nuts, chocolate chips, candied or dried fruit, etc. It may be cooked or uncooked, but both styles must be allowed to set before cutting.
The Japanese name for certain species of puffer fish or blowfish, which, though considered delicacies, contain a poison so toxic it can kill. It's so imperative that fugu be cleaned and prepared properly that entire books have been written on the subject. In commercial Japanese kitchens, where this fish is used in both sashimi and nabemono preparations, only qualified cooks may deal with fugu. See also fish.
French for "smoked."
a concentrated stock used to give body to sauces.
Italian for "mushrooms."
This pastry is a Pennsylvania Dutch specialty made by pouring batter through a funnel into hot, deep fat and frying the resulting spirals until crisp and brown. Funnel cakes are served hot, often with sugar or maple syrup.
A spiraled spaghetti that can range from about 1 1/2 to 12 inches long. See also pasta.
Of Chinese origin, this cylindrical (6 to 10 inches long, 2 to 3 inches thick) melon has a medium green skin covered with fine, hairlike fuzz. Its creamy-colored, medium-firm flesh is mildly flavored and has a tendency to take on the flavor of whatever food it's cooked with. Fuzzy melons also called hairy melons and fuzzy squash can be purchased in Asian markets and some specialty produce markets. Choose those that are fairly heavy for their size with wrinkle-free skins. Store ripe melons in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Fuzzy melons must be peeled before using. They're a popular addition to Chinese soups and stir-fries.
A cocktail made with orange juice and peach schnapps. The name is a conflation of peach "fuzz" and "navel" orange.
The French word for "cake," which can refer to those both plain and fancy.
This rich, light cake is made with flour, sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla. It's similar in texture to a moist sponge cake. It was developed in Genoa, Italy, adapted by the French and is now baked by gourmet cooks throughout Europe and the United States. Génoise is an extremely versatile cake and is used for many elegant presentations such as petits fours, cake rolls and baked alaska.
The generic term for yellow chiles such as hungarian wax or santa fe grande. See also chile.
A rhizome with a hot, ginger-peppery flavor, galangal is used primarily as a seasoning. Greater galangal, also called Laos ginger, Siamese ginger and Thai ginger, is the best known and most widely available. It grows throughout Southeast Asia and is particularly popular in Thai cooking. This creamy white-fleshed rhizome is often used as a substitute for ginger. Laos is the name given to the powdered form of greater galangal, which is slightly more intense than the fresh form. Greater galangel can be found in Asian markets. Lesser galangal has an orangish flesh and a much stronger, hotter flavor. It's not as well known and is seldom seen in the United States.
a cold jellied dish of boned chicken, veal, game or fish.
A round, flat cake or tart.
A sweet, anise-flavored, golden yellow liqueur made in Italy.
Culinarily, this word refers to any dish with a hodgepodge of ingredients, such as a stew, ragoût or hash.
an American unit of measurement equal to 128 fluid ounces; contains 8 pints (16 fluid ounces each).
wild animals and birds hunted for sport. Cooked, they are leaner and less fat-sweetened than domestic animals.
A term applied to wild animals that are deemed suitable for human consumption. Some species are now domesticated and because their diets and activity levels are changed, their meat has a different flavor than that of field animals. Game animals are categorized as large game and small game. The most common large game meat is venison, which, though commonly thought of as deer, is a term that broadly includes the meat from elk, moose, reindeer, caribou and antelope. Other popular large game animals include buffalo and goats.
Any wild bird suitable for food, including the larger species (such as wild turkey and goose), medium-sized birds (including pheasant and wild duck) and smaller game birds (such as the coot, dove, grouse, hazel hen, lark, mud hen, partridge, pigeon, plover, quail, rail, snipe, thrush and woodcock). Except for the few raised on game farms (which are usually expensive), game birds are not readily available. Those that are found in markets are usually of good quality. Most game birds are sold frozen; some of the smaller birds are canned. Factors affecting quality include the age of the bird and the manner in which it was treated after it was killed. Quality birds should have no off odor; the skin should be fresh-looking, not dull or dry. Young birds are best and can be identified by their pliable breastbone, feet and legs; their claws will be sharp. Wild birds are much leaner than the domesticated variety. Because of a lack of natural fat particularly in younger birds they must be basted, barded or larded before roasting. Older birds are best cooked with slow, moist heat such as braising, or used in soups or stews.
A rich mixture of chocolate and créme fraîche frequently used as a filling for cakes.
Garam is the Indian word for "warm" or "hot," and this blend of dry-roasted, ground spices from the colder climes of northern India adds a sense of "warmth" to both palate and spirit. There are as many variations of garam masala (which may contain up to 12 spices) as there are Indian cooks. It can include black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamom, dried chiles, fennel, mace, nutmeg and other spices. Garam masala may be purchased in Indian markets and in the gourmet section of some supermarkets. It's also easily prepared at home, but should be made in small batches to retain its freshness. As with all spices, it should be stored in a cool, dry place for no more than 6 months. Garam masala is usually either added to a dish toward the end of cooking or sprinkled over the surface just before serving.
another name for chickpea.
a casserole or stew made of cabbage, beans, potatoes and smoked meat.
A French term for the cool, well-ventilated pantry area (usually in hotels and large restaurants) where cold buffet dishes are prepared and other foods are stored in refrigerated units. Some of the items prepared in a garde manger are salads, pâtés, chaud-froids and other decorative dishes. The person in charge of this area is known as chef garde manger.
a member of the lily family (Allium sativum); the highly aromatic and strongly flavored edible bulb (called a head) is covered in a papery layer and is composed of several sections (called cloves), each of which is also covered with a papery membrane; used as a distinctive flavoring in cuisines around the world.
Said to have been invented during the late 1940s boom of Italian-American restaurants, garlic bread consists of Italian or French bread slices, spread on both sides with garlic butter and heated in the oven. There are many variations, including bread brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with minced garlic and herbs. It can also be broiled or grilled.
Softened butter blended with crushed or minced garlic. The intensity of the garlic flavor is governed by the amount of garlic used and the length of time the mixture is allowed to stand. Garlic butter is used on a broad range of foods including garlic bread, escargots, meats, poultry, fish and vegetables.
An herb similar to chives, but with a decidedly garlicky nuance, both in aroma and flavor. Garlic chive leaves have long, thin, flat stems, whereas the stalks with flowers are round and more closely resemble regular chives. Open flowers, though beautiful, are a signal that the chives were picked from a more mature plant and will not be as tender as those with unopened buds. Garlic chives can be found in Asian markets and many gourmet produce markets. Store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. They may be snipped with scissors to the desired length and used in both fresh and cooked dishes. Garlic chives are also called Chinese chives and ku chai.
finely ground dehydrated garlic; used as a seasoning; also known as powdered garlic.
A kitchen tool used to press a garlic clove through small holes, thereby extracting both pulp and juice. Leaving the skin on the clove facilitates cleaning, which should be done immediately after pressing, before any garlic left in the press dries. The press can also be set in a cup of warm water until cleaning time. Some presses contain teeth that push garlic fragments back out through the holes, making cleaning much easier. Garlic presses can be made of aluminum, stainless steel and strong plastics.
The French word for "garnish" when used as an adjective describing a food. For example, "steak garni" usually means it's accompanied by vegetables and potatoes.
to enhance a dish before serving with an edible decoration or accompaniment, which is appealing to the eye and complements the flavors of the dish.
The French word for "garnish," used as a noun.
The ancient Romans used garum as a flavoring much like salt. This extremely pungent sauce was made by fermenting fish in a brine solution for several days in the sun. The resulting liquid was combined with various other flavorings such as oil, pepper, wine and spices. See also fish sauce.
A freshwater drum that inhabits deep rivers and lakes throughout the United States. Also known as goo or gou, this fish has a white, lean flesh with a succulently sweet flavor. Gaspergoo is most commonly available in the spring and summer months. It's suitable for frying, grilling, pan-frying or steaming. See also fish.
a French term meaning to form a glaze by reduction. Some of the more common gastriques are the tarragon, pepper shallot and vinegar reductions for a classic bearnaise sauce or the red wine, herb and pepper reduction for a poivrade sauce.
A connoisseur of good food someone with a refined palate.
The art of fine dining; the science of gourmet food and drink.
1. French for cake. 2. In the United States, any cake-type dessert. 3. In France, various pastry items made with puff pastry, éclair paste, short dough or sweet dough.
Thin, fan-shaped, waffled wafers.
an iced soup made with fresh ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers, onions, and seasonings, marinated overnight. Mexican in origin.
a traditional Jewish dish of poached stuffed fish, whole or in balls, served hot of cold.
An odorless, tasteless and colorless thickening agent, which when dissolved in hot water and then cooled, forms a jelly. It's useful for many purposes such as jelling molded desserts and salads, thickening cold soups and glazing chaud-froid preparations. Granulated gelatin is the most common form of unsweetened commercial gelatin on the market. It's packaged in boxes of 1/4-ounce envelopes and is also available in bulk. Generally, 1 envelope of gelatin will jell 2 cups of liquid. It's important to soak gelatin in cold liquid (whatever the recipe directs) for 3 to 5 minutes before dissolving it. This softens and swells the gelatin granules so they will dissolve smoothly when heated. Not as readily available as granulated gelatin is leaf (or sheet) gelatin, which comes in packages of paper-thin sheets. Four sheets of leaf gelatin equal one package of powdered gelatin. Leaf gelatin must be soaked longer than granulated gelatin and is therefore not as popular. This product is often called for in jelled European dessert reci-pes. It can be found in some gourmet and bakery supply shops. Sweetened gelatin dessert mix is also available in various artificial fruit flavors.
The Italian word for "ice cream," gelato doesn't contain as much air as its American counterpart and therefore has a denser texture. An Italian ice cream parlor is called a gelateria.
A miniature muffin pan designed (depending on the pan) to make 12 to 24 tiny muffins about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. "Gem" is an old-fashioned reference to a small (nonyeast) bread or cake.
Italian for "twins," referring culinarily to short, 1 1/2-inch twists that resemble two strands of spaghetti twisted together. See also pasta.
This classic sauce for fish combines a mirepoix and brown sauce with red wine and fish fumet. The mixture is cooked, reduced and strained, after which anchovy paste, butter and minced mushrooms are added.
a light cake made of eggs, sugar, butter and cake flour. Genoese is known for its versatility. It can be used for baked alaska, lady fingers, an iced birthday cake.
Italian for "as prepared in the style of Genoa," a seaport city in northwest Italy. Specifically, it means a dish made or accompanied with pesto sauce, which originated in Genoa.
In the food world, the word "germ" refers to a grain (like wheat) kernel's nucleus or embryo. Wheat germ is one of the more commercially popular types on the market. The nutritiously endowed germ furnishes thiamine, vitamin E, iron and riboflavin.
A smoked meat-studded potato salad made with a dressing of oil, vinegar, seasonings and sometimes sugar. German potato salad can be served hot, cold or at room temperature. Favorite additions include minced onion, celery and green pepper.
The most well-known brand of petit suisse, made in Normandy and named for Jules Gervais, a famous French cheesemaker. See also cheese.
The German word Gewürz means "spicy," and this white wine is known for its crisp, spicy characteristics. It's a specialty of the French region Alsace the area that buffers Germany and France and is also produced in Germany and California. Gewürztraminer has a distinctively pungent, perfumy, yet clean flavor. It's available in varying degrees of sweetness; the drier versions complement fish and poultry, the slightly sweeter styles are perfect for summer spritzers, and the sweet late-harvest versions make excellent dessert wines. Gewürztraminer is best when drunk fairly young because even the vintage versions won't usually age well over 5 years.
clarified butter used in Indian cooking.
small cucumber species 1 1/2 inches long, for pickling.
Hailing from Switzerland, gianduja is a silky-smooth, hazelnut-flavored chocolate that comes in several styles including milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate. It's available in gourmet markets and through mail order.
From the Italian giardiniere ("gardener"), culinarily this term refers to dishes served with mixed sliced vegetables.
the heart, liver, gizzard and neck of fowl and small game, used to make stews, soups and specialty dishes.
Named for the famous American "Gibson Girl" illustrator, Charles Dana Gibson, this cocktail is identical to the martini (gin and dry vermouth), differing only in that it is served garnished with a tiny white onion instead of an olive.
French term for a leg of lamb.
A cocktail made with sugar syrup, lime juice, vodka or gin and sometimes soda water. According to the British, the secret of a good gimlet is thorough stirring.
An unaged liquor made by distilling grains such as barley, corn or rye with juniper berries. London dry gin is any colorless gin, the majority of which is made in England and America. Hollands gin, also known as genever or jenever gin, is a Dutch product that tastes very different from other gins because it's made with a large proportion of barley malt. The first Dutch gin was used as medicine. See also sloe gin.
A cocktail made with gin, lemon juice, sugar and soda, served in a tall glass over ice. When an egg white is added, the drink is called a silver fizz. Adding orange-flower water and cream or milk to a silver fizz transforms it into a Ramos gin fizz, a New Orleans original created in the late 1800s by bar owner Henry Ramos.
A carbonated, ginger-flavored soft drink.
a milky alcoholic drink that is effervescent and ginger flavored. Made with gingerroot.
the gnarled, bumpy rhizome (called a hand) of a tall flowering tropical plant (Zingerber officinale) native to China; has a tan skin, ivory to greenish-yellow flesh, a peppery, fiery, slightly sweet flavor with notes of lemon and rosemary and a spicy, pungent aroma; used to flavor beverages and in sweet and savory dishes in Asian and Indian cuisines; available fresh, powdered, preserved in sugar, crystallized, candied or pickled.
A plant from tropical and subtropical regions that's grown for its gnarled and bumpy root. Most ginger comes from Jamaica, followed by India, Africa and China. Gingerroot's name comes from the Sanskrit word for "horn root," undoubtedly referring to its knobby appearance. It has a tan skin and a flesh that ranges in color from pale greenish yellow to ivory. The flavor is peppery and slightly sweet, while the aroma is pungent and spicy. This extremely versatile root has long been a mainstay in Asian and Indian cooking and found its way early on into European foods as well. The Chinese, Japanese and East Indians use fresh gingerroot in a variety of forms grated, ground and slivered in many savory dishes. Europeans and most Americans, however, are more likely to use the dried ground form of ginger, usually in baked goods. Fresh ginger is available in two forms young and mature. Young ginger, sometimes called spring ginger, has a pale, thin skin that requires no peeling. It's very tender and has a milder flavor than its mature form. Young ginger can be found in most Asian markets during the springtime. Mature ginger has a tough skin that must be carefully peeled away to preserve the delicate, most desirable flesh just under the surface. Look for mature ginger with smooth skin (wrinkled skin indicates that the root is dry and past its prime). It should have a fresh, spicy fragrance. Fresh unpeeled gingerroot, tightly wrapped, can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks and frozen for up to 6 months. To use frozen ginger, slice off a piece of the unthawed root and return the rest to the freezer. Place peeled gingerroot in a screw-top glass jar, cover with dry sherry or madeira and refrigerate up to 3 months. The wine will impart some of its flavor to the ginger a minor
This sweet dates back to the Middle Ages, when fair ladies presented the rather hard, honey-spice bread as a favor to dashing knights going into tournament battle. In those days, gingerbread was intricately shaped and decorated, sometimes with gold leaf. Today, gingerbread generally refers to one of two desserts. It can be a dense, ginger-spiced cookie flavored with molasses or honey and cut into fanciful shapes (such as the popular gingerbread man). Or, particularly in the United States, it can describe a dark, moist cake flavored with molasses, ginger and other spices. This gingerbread "cake" is usually baked in a square pan and often topped with lemon sauce or whipped cream.
A small, very crisp ginger cookie flavored with molasses.
This buff-colored, delicately sweet nut comes from the center of the inedible fruit of the maidenhair tree, a native of China. Fresh ginkgo nuts are available during fall and winter and can be found in many Asian and gourmet markets. Their hard shells must be removed with a nutcracker and the nutmeats soaked in hot water to loosen their skins. Ginkgo nuts are also available dried or canned in brine. The canned nuts must be rinsed of brine before using. Ginkgo nuts, which turn bright green when cooked, are particularly popular in Japanese cooking. See also nuts.
The Chinese name for this sweet licorice-flavored root is "human-shaped root" and indeed some have extraordinarily human shapes. This rather amazing plant has been credited for centuries with being everything from an aphrodisiac to a restorative. Recent scientific discoveries have linked ginseng to the treatment of high blood pressure. It's referred to as white ginseng when simply sun-dried. When steamed and dried over a fire or with other heat, it takes on a reddish tinge and is called red ginseng. Ginseng is used in soups, for tea and as a medicinal. It's available in Asian markets and some health-food stores.
The French name for a chanterelle.
part of the alimentary canal of fowl, whose function is to grind food, sometimes with pebbles swallowed for this purpose.
Made from a combination of goat's- and cow's-milk whey, this Norwegian cheese is faintly sweet and caramel colored. The texture can range from semifirm like fudge to the consistency of stiff peanut butter. The brown color and sweetness result from slowly cooking the milk until its sugars caramelize. Gjetost is particularly good spread on dark bread. Scandinavia's mysost cheese (also called primost ) is made exclusively from cow's milk in exactly the same way and tastes almost identical to gjetost. See also cheese.
Especially popular during Advent, this Swedish spiced-wine punch gets its punch from the addition of aquavit or brandy. To take the chill off cold winter nights, it's served hot in cups with several almonds and raisins added to each serving.
to glaze with sugar syrup; also, to serve iced.
French for "meat glaze," glace de viande is made by boiling meat juices until they are reduced to a thick syrup. It's used to add flavor and color to sauces.
This Scottish liqueur is made with scotch whisky, honey and a well-guarded herbal formula.
any shiny coating applied to a food or created by browning. In meat preparation, a jelled broth applied to meat surface; in breads and pastries, a wash of egg or syrup; for doughnuts and cakes, a sugar preparation for coating.
hot wine cup served at Christmas; Swedish.
Also called double Gloucester, this dense, satiny, golden yellow cheese is one of England's finest. It was once made only with the milk from Gloucester cows (now almost extinct) and until the end of World War ii single (smaller) Gloucester rounds were also available. The mellow, full-flavored double Gloucester comes in large, flat rounds or tall cylinders both with a natural rind. It's a fine, multipurpose cheese equally as good with a meal or after it. See also cheese.
also, dextrose. A natural sugar found in fruits, vegetables, honey and other products.
a water-soluble protein found in flour. Kneading flour in bread-making brings out the smooth elastic qualities of the gluten content.
The commercial name for glycerol, a colorless, odorless, syrupy liquid chemically, an alcohol obtained from fats and oils and used to retain moisture and add sweetness to foods. It also helps prevent sugar crystallization in foods like candy. Outside the world of food, glycerin is used in cosmetics, inks and certain glues.
dumplings made from a paste of flour or potatoes and egg.
Though goat meat has been enjoyed in southern Europe, Latin America and many Mediterranean countries for centuries, it has never really caught on in the United States. The meat of mature goats is extremely tough and strong-flavored. Most goat meat consumed comes from a kid, a baby goat that is usually not more than 6 months old. Kid meat is as tender and delicate as that of young lamb, and it can be prepared in any manner suitable for lamb. It can sometimes be found in specialty meat markets. Goats also provide milk, which is usually made into goat cheese, better known as chèvre. Fresh goat's milk can sometimes be purchased in health-food stores; canned goat's milk is carried in many supermarkets.
Found in temperate to tropical seas, the goatfish is so named because of its two long chin barbels, which resemble a goat's whiskers. Probably the most famous member of this fish family is the superior red mullet, which is not a mullet at all. Depending on the species, goatfish can range in color from brilliant yellow to rose red. The meat is firm and lean and can be cooked in almost any manner including broiling, frying and baking. In the United States, goatfish is usually only available on the East Coast and throughout the Florida Keys. See also fish.
Japanese cooked white rice that has undergone a precooking process of washing, rinsing and soaking to remove as much starch as possible. This lengthy process can take up to an hour and reduces stickiness in the finished rice.
Named for its luxurious creamy texture and golden color, this cocktail is made with galliano, white crème de cacao and heavy cream.
This yellow to yellow-green apple has a sweet, rather bland flavor and juicy, crisp flesh that resists browning. Golden Delicious apples have a long season, usually from September to early June. They're a fairly good all-purpose apple though they do tend to lose some flavor when cooked. See also apple; red delicious apple.
A small (3 to 4 inches in diameter), pumpkin-shaped winter squash with a bright orange skin. The flesh, which is also orange, is sweet and slightly bland. Golden nugget squash is available from late summer through winter. Choose a squash that's heavy for its size. The skin should be colorful but have a dull finish (the latter indicates maturity). If the surface is shiny, the flesh will be flavorless. Golden nugget squash can be stored at room temperature for up to a month. It can be baked or steamed, either whole or halved. See also squash.
Particularly popular in England (where it's also known as light treacle), this liquid sweetener has the consistency of corn syrup and a clear golden color. It's made from evaporated sugar cane juice and has a rich, toasty flavor unmatched by any other sweetener. Golden syrup, the most readily available brand being Lyle's, can be found in some supermarkets and many gourmet markets. It can be used as a substitute for corn syrup in cooking and baking, and for everything from pancake syrup to ice cream topping.
Also called Danziger Goldwasser, this full-bodied liqueur is flavored with caraway seed, orange peel and spices. Its name, which translates from German as "gold water," comes from the fact that it has minuscule flecks of gold leaf suspended in it. The gold leaf is harmless to drink.
Japanese for "sesame seed." Shiro goma is unhulled white sesame seed, muki goma is hulled white seed and kuro goma is black sesame seed. Goma abura is sesame seed oil. All four products are available in Asian markets.
Available in health-food stores and some Asian markets, gomashio is a seasoning composed of sea salt and toasted sesame seeds. See also goma.
A derivative of the African word nguba, "goober" is a southern U.S. name for peanut. It's also referred to as a "goober pea."
Any of many species of large, web-footed, wild or domestic birds. Geese are much larger than ducks, weighing from 5 to 18 pounds, compared to 3 to 5 1/2 pounds for a duck. The female of the species is simply known as a goose, a male as a gander, and a young goose of whichever sex as a gosling. Geese were bred in ancient Egypt, China and India. The Romans revered them because it was a noisy gaggle of geese that alerted 4th-century b.c. Romans that the enemy Gauls were about to attack. Geese are immensely popular in Europe, where they're traditional Christmas holiday fare in many countries. They're also renowned for two French specialties foie gras, the creamy-rich enlarged liver from force-fed geese, and confit, goose cooked and preserved in its own fat. Because geese are so fatty, they have not achieved the same popularity in America and therefore, though they're domesticated, have never been mass-marketed. The U.S. government grades the quality of geese with usda classifications A, B and C. The highest grade is A, and is generally what is found in markets. Grade B geese are less meaty and well finished; those that are grade C are not usually available to the consumer. The grade stamp can usually be found within a shield on the package wrapping. Most geese marketed in the United States are frozen and can be purchased throughout the year. A frozen bird's packaging should be tight and unbroken. The goose should be thawed in the refrigerator and can take up to 2 days to defrost, depending on the size of the bird. Do not refreeze goose once it's been thawed. Fresh geese can be found in some specialty markets and are available from early summer through December. When available, buy goslings (the smaller the better) because they are the most tender. One way to determine age is to check the goose's bill; if it's pliable, the bird is still young. Choose a goose that is plump, with a good fatty layer and skin that is clean and unblemished. Store loosely covered in the coldest section of the refrigerator 2 to 3 days. Remove and store separately any giblets in the body cavity. Because geese have so much fat, they are best roasted. Larger, older birds are tougher and therefore should be cooked using a moist-heat method, such as braising. The fat derived from roasting a goose is prized by many cooks as a cooking fat. Goose benefits from being served with a tart fruit sauce, which helps offset any fatty taste. Geese are high in calories but are a good source of protein and iron. See also game birds.
These large, tart berries grow on bushes and come in many varieties including green, white, yellow and red; their skins can be smooth or fuzzy. Though they're rather rare in the United States, they flourish in northern Europe. Gooseberries are in season during the summer months. If you can find them fresh, choose those that are fairly firm and evenly colored. Canned gooseberries (usually the green variety) are available year-round. Gooseberries make excellent jams, jellies, pies and the dessert for which they're duly famous, fool.
Spanish for "little fat one," a gordita is a thick (about 1/4 inch) tortilla made of masa, fat and water or stock and sometimes mashed potatoes. These flat cakes are first partially baked on both sides on a dry comal (griddle) just until the masa is set. When cool enough to handle, the edges of the gordita are pinched slightly so that about a 1/4-inch ridge is formed all around the perimeter. The cake is then fried in about 1/2 inch of oil. The fried gordita is then filled with ground beef or chorizo and topped variously with shredded lettuce, onion, etc.
Named for a town outside Milan where it was originally made, Gorgonzola is one of Italy's great cheeses. It has an ivory-colored interior that can be lightly or thickly streaked with bluish-green veins. This cow's-milk cheese is rich and creamy with a savory, slightly pungent flavor. When aged over 6 months, the flavor and aroma can be quite strong sometimes downright stinky. The cheese usually comes in foil-wrapped wedges cut from medium-size wheels. Gorgonzola is a perfect accompaniment for pears, apples and peaches, and pairs nicely with hearty red wines. It's delicious when melted over potatoes or crumbled in salads. See also cheese.
Eaten as a snack, this dry mixture consists of a combination of foods, usually nuts, seeds, raisins or other dried fruit and oats. It's particularly favored by hikers and campers as an energy booster.
Holland's most famous exported cheese is Gouda, with its characteristic yellow interior dotted with a few tiny holes. It has a mild, nutlike flavor that is very similar to edam, but its texture is slightly creamier due to its higher milk fat content (about 48 percent compared to Edam's 40 percent). Gouda can be made from whole or part-skim cow's milk, and aged anywhere from a few weeks to over a year. The younger the Gouda, the milder the flavor. When aged over a year, it takes on almost a cheddarlike flavor. It comes in large wheels ranging from 10 to 25 pounds, and usually has a yellow wax rind. Baby Gouda, which comes in rounds weighing no more than a pound, usually has a red wax coating. Some Goudas are flavored with cumin or herbs. Though Gouda is also made in the United States, the domestic version is rarely aged and is extremely mild-flavored. Gouda is particularly good with beer, red wines and dark bread. The Dutch make a dish called kaasdoop, a Gouda fondue served with potatoes and rye bread. See also cheese.
Gruyère-flavored Choux Pastry that is piped into a ring shape before being baked. A gougère can be served hot or cold as an appetizer or snack.
A cheese-flavored choux pastry.
also, gulyas, a rich Hungarian stew made of meat, highly seasoned with paprika.
a squash-like vegetable, usually dried and used as a fall decoration.
A person who appreciates eating and drinking, sometimes to excess.
Flavored with cherry juice, this soft, creamy processed cheese has a mild, sweet flavor. It's usually sold in small cakes or wedges, sometimes with a chopped-nut coating. Gourmandise is delicious with fruit and as a snack with crackers. See also cheese.
1. One of discriminating palate; a connoisseur of fine food and drink. 2. Gourmet food is that which is of the highest quality, perfectly prepared and artfully presented. 3. A gourmet restaurant is one that serves well-prepared, high-quality food.
This popular snack was touted as a health food in the 1830s by its creator, Rev. Sylvester Graham, a United States dietary reformer. It's a rectangular-shaped, whole-wheat cracker that has been sweetened, usually with honey. Graham-cracker crust is made from a mixture of finely crushed graham crackers, sugar and butter that is pressed into a pie pan. It's usually baked, but can simply be chilled before being filled.
a wheat flour similar to wholemeal flour, ground from the whole grain.
the basic measure of weight in the metric system; 28.35 grams = 1 ounce, and 1000 grams ( a kilogram) = 2.2 U.S. pounds.
The Italian word for "grain," referring to any of various very hard cheeses with a granular texture. Such cheeses, like Parmigiano-Reggiano, are particularly suited for grating. This special texture is the result of long aging, which is usually anywhere from 2 to 7 years, though some (rare) cheeses are ripened up to 20 years. See also cheese; parmesan cheese.
A clear, dark golden, brandy-based French liqueur flavored with orange peel.
A flavored, often sweetened, frozen mixture of water, sugar and liquid flavoring.
Most of these crisp, juicy apples are imported from New Zealand and Australia, though the United States now produces some, principally in California and Arizona. The Granny Smith's freckled green skin covers a sweetly tart flesh that's excellent for both out-of-hand eating and cooking. The imported crop arrives during summer, while those from the United States are available through the winter months, making the popular Granny Smith a year-round, all-purpose apple. See also apple.
A breakfast food consisting of various combinations of grains (mainly oats), nuts and dried fruits. Some manufacturers toast their granola with oil and honey, giving it a crisp texture, sweet glaze and more calories. See also muesli.
This edible berry grows in clusters on small shrubs or climbing vines in temperate zones throughout the world including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North and South America. California is the largest U.S. producer of grapes both for wine and for the table. There are thousands of grape varieties, each with its own particular use and charm. In general, grapes are smooth-skinned and juicy; they may have several seeds in the center or they may be seedless. There are "slip-skin" varieties, which have skins that slip easily off the berry like a mitten being pulled off a hand and those with skins that cling stubbornly to the flesh. Grapes are divided into color categories of white or black (also referred to as "red"). White grape varieties range in color from pale yellow-green to light green, and black grapes from light red to purple-black. They're also classified by the way they're used whether for wine (such as cabernet or riesling), table (like thompson seedless or ribier) or commercial food production, such as muscat grapes for raisins, zante grapes for currants and concord grapes for grape juice, jams and jellies. Wine grapes, for instance, have high acidity and are therefore too tart for general eating. Table grapes, with their low acid, would make dull, bland-tasting wines. The availability of table grapes depends on the variety. Buy grapes that are plump, full-colored and firmly attached to their stems. White (or green) grapes should have a slight pale yellow hue, a sign of ripeness. Dark grapes should be deeply colored, with no sign of green. In general, grapes should be stored, unwashed and in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to a week, though quality will diminish with time. Because most supermarket grapes have been sprayed with insecticide, they should be thoroughly washed and blotted dry with a paper towel just before eating or using. Ideally, grapes should be served at about 60°F, so it's best to remove them from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving. Table grapes can be used in salads, for pies and other desserts and of course for out-of-hand eating. Whole grapes are also available canned. Grape juice comes in cans or bottles; grape jelly, jam and preserves in jars. Fresh grapes contain small amounts of vitamin A and a variety of minerals. See also catawba; chardonnay; chenin blanc; delaware; emperor; french colombard; merlot; muscadine; niagara; petite sirah; pinot blanc; pinot noir; sauvignon; sémillon; sultana; sylvaner; tokay; zinfandel.
The large green leaves of the grapevine are often used by Greek and Middle Eastern cooks to wrap foods for cooking, as with dolmas. Grape leaves are not usually commercially available fresh so, unless you have a grapevine in your backyard, you'll probably have to buy canned grape leaves packed in brine. They should be rinsed before using to remove some of the salty flavor. Fresh grape leaves must be simmered in water for about 10 minutes to soften them enough to be pliable. In addition to wrapping foods, grape leaves can be used as decorations or garnishes, or in salads. Also called vine leaves.
This tropical citrus fruit grows in great abundance in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas. Its name comes from the fact that the grapefruit grows in grapelike clusters. There are two main categories of grapefruit seeded and seedless. They're also broken into color classifications white, which has a yellowish-white flesh, and pink, the flesh of which can range from pale yellow-pink to brilliant ruby red. Pink grapefruit has a higher amount of vitamin A than does the white. The skins of all varieties of grapefruit are yellow, some with a pink blush. Fresh grapefruit is available year-round those from Arizona and California are in the market from about January through August; Florida and Texas grapefruits usually arrive around October and last through June. Choose grapefruit that have thin, fine-textured, brightly colored skin. They should be firm yet springy when held in the palm and pressed. The heavier they are for their size, the juicier they'll be. Do not store grapefruit at room temperature for more than a day or two. They keep best (up to 2 weeks) when wrapped in a plastic bag and placed in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Grapefruit is usually eaten fresh, either halved or segmented and used in salads. It can also be sprinkled with brown sugar and broiled. Canned and frozen forms of grapefruit are available in segments or juice. Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin C.
A small knife with a curved, flexible blade that is serrated on both sides. It is used to free grapefruit flesh from both rind and membrane.
smooth-skinned, juicy berries (with or without seeds) that grow in clusters; members of the genus Vitis, they are used for wine-making, raisins and eating out of hand.
Extracted from grape seeds, most of this oil comes from France, Italy or Switzerland, with a few sources now in the United States. Some grapeseed oils have a light "grapey" flavor and fragrance but most imported into the United States are on the bland side. Grapeseed oil can be used for salad dressings and, because it has a relatively high smoke point, it's also good for sautéing. It may be stored at room temperature (70°F or under) or in the refrigerator. Grapeseed oil is available in gourmet food stores and some supermarkets. See also fats and oils.
a brandy distilled from the stalks and grape skins that remain after the wine has been pressed. See eau-de-vie.
Like the drink of the same name, this light, airy and rich pie is flavored with crème de menthe and white crème de cacao. The richness comes from whipped cream and the lightness from beaten egg whites. Grasshopper pie usually has a Graham cracker- or cookie-crumb crust. It must be refrigerated several hours to set, and is served chilled.
to reduce a larger piece of food to smaller particles by rubbing it against a coarse, serrated surface, either by the use of hand-grater or a food processor.
a square metal or plastic instrument with perforations stamped in it against which goods can be rubbed to break off particles.
Any dish covered with cheese or buttered breadcrumbs and baked or broiled.
A gratin is any dish that is topped with cheese or bread crumbs mixed with bits of butter, then heated in the oven or under the broiler until brown and crispy. The terms au gratin or gratinée refer to any dish prepared in such a manner. Special round or oval gratin pans and dishes are ovenproof and shallow, which increases a dish's surface area, thereby insuring a larger crispy portion for each serving.
This crisp, juicy, sweetly tart apple has a beautiful green skin streaked with red. It's in season from August to late September and available mainly on the West Coast. Although the Gravenstein is considered an all-purpose apple and makes delicious pies and applesauce, it does not do well when baked whole. See also apple.
Any of several notable wines from the region of Graves, an important wine-producing area in France's bordeaux region. Although the name Graves is generally associated with several fine, dry white wines, the reds are also quite distinctive. They are, however, generally bottled under the name of their Château of origin, though the Graves designation is usually in fine print somewhere on the label.
alt spellings: GravloxCured raw salmon.
a sauce made from meat or poultry juices combined with a liquid (ex. milk, broth or wine) and a thickening agent (ex. flour or cornstarch).
An elongated, boat-shaped pitcher used to serve gravy. A gravy boat usually sits on a matching plate, which is used to catch gravy drips. Sometimes the plate is permanently attached to the pitcher. A matching ladle often accompanies a gravy boat. Also called sauce boat.
to cover the cooking surface of a pan or dish with a fat to keep foods from sticking to it.
An inexpensive kitchen tool that looks like a miniature rag mop made with absorbent white strips. When a grease mop is brushed over the surface of a soup or stock, the strips absorb floating grease. Grease mops (also called fat mops ) are available in specialty gourmet shops and the cookware section of some department stores. They may be washed with hot, soapy water or placed in a dishwasher.
a large, flat, kidney-shaped white bean; has a delicate flavor and is generally available dried.
French for "in the Greek style," usually referring to vegetables (such as mushrooms and artichokes) and herbs cooked in olive oil and lemon juice and served cold as an appetizer.
A rich, intensely strong brew made by boiling finely ground coffee and water together in a long-handled, open, brass or copper pot called an ibrik. Sugar and spices are sometimes added to the grounds before brewing begins. Greek coffee is often brought to a boil three times before it's considered ready. It's poured directly into tiny demitasse cups, which means that each cup gets its share of fine coffee grounds. Let the coffee sit for a few moments to allow the sediment to settle. See also coffee.
a long, slender green pod that contains several small seeds; the entire crisp pod is edible; also known as a string bean (because of the fibrous string that runs down the side; modern varieties do not have this fiber), fresh bean and snap bean.
This dressing was created in the 1920s by the chef at San Francisco's Palace Hotel in honor of actor George Arliss, who was appearing locally in a play called "Green Goddess." The classic green goddess dressing is a blend of mayonnaise, tarragon vinegar, anchovies, parsley, chives, tarragon, scallions and garlic. In addition to dressing salads, it's often used as a sauce for fish.
A small, round, tangy-sweet plum with a greenish-yellow skin and flesh. It's good for both out-of-hand eating and cooking. See also plum.
Found along the Pacific coast of the United States, this rather ugly fish has a huge mouth and sharp teeth. There are nine greenling species but only one, the lingcod (see listing ), is generally sold commercially. See also fish.
Edible leaves of certain plants such as the beet, collard, dandelion and turnip. Greens are usually steamed or quickly cooked in some other manner. See also amaranth; broccoli raab; callaloo; chard; chicory; italian dandelion; kohlrabi; mustard greens.
alt spellings: GremoladaMinced parsley, lemon peel and garlic.
A garnish made of minced parsley, lemon peel and garlic. It's sprinkled over osso buco and other dishes to add a fresh, sprightly flavor.
thin slices of fillet of veal, larded and braised.
a red sugar syrup made from pomegranate juice, and used to flavor drinks and to sweeten food.
a flat pan often of cast iron, used for cooking pancakes, omelets or steaks on top of the stove.
Another name for pancake.
in the United States and Canada a another name for pancakes, flapjacks and hotcakes. In England and Scotland, a name for drop scones.
a metal frame used to hold meat or fish as it cooks over a flame.
1. To cook on a grill. 2. Cooking equipment in which the heat source (gas, charcoal, hardwood or electric) is located beneath the rack on which the food is placed; it is generally not enclosed, although it can be covered.
1. French for "grilled (or broiled) food," usually meat. 2. A creole dish of pieces of pounded round steak seared in hot fat, then braised in a rich sauce with vegetables and tomatoes. Grillade is customarily served with grits.
Morsels of fatty meat (usually beef or duck) that are grilled or fried until very crisp.
to reduce food to particles by using a food chopper.
1. Any of various hand-driven or electric devices used to reduce food to small particles of varying degrees. Coffee grinders are electric and usually have an exposed, disk-style blade inside the unit's container. The grind can be adjusted from fine to coarse. Some nuts and spices can also be ground in a coffee grinder. Meat grinders can be either manual (operated by a hand crank) or electric; the housing can be made of cast iron or tough plastic. Hand-operated meat grinders are attached to a countertop by a clamp-and-screw mechanism, whereas electric models are freestanding. They both work on the same principle, by forcing chunks of meat through a rotating blade, then through a perforated cutting disk. See also nut mill. 2. In some regions, "grinder" also refers to a huge sandwich; see hero sandwich.
Italian for "breadsticks" (the singular form is grissino ), referring to thin, crisp breadsticks that originated in Turin, Italy. They're available commercially in many supermarkets.
Coarsely ground dried corn, served boiled, or boiled and then fried.
Hulled crushed grain, such as barley, buckwheat or oats. The most widely used are buckwheat groats (also known as kasha, which are usually cooked in a manner similar to rice. Though groats are generally thought to be more coarsely ground than grits, they come in a variety of grinds including coarse, medium and fine. The two names grits and groats are often used synonymously. Groats are widely used in cereals, as a side dish with vegetables or as a thickener and enricher for soup.
A hot drink made with rum, a sweetener such as sugar or honey and boiling water. Grog is served in a ceramic or glass mug and often garnished with a slice of lemon and a few whole cloves. It has long been considered a curative for colds but is generally consumed simply for its pleasure- and warmth-giving properties.
Also referred to as hamburger, ground beef is simply beef that has been ground or finely chopped. The price of ground beef is determined by the cut of meat from which it was made and the amount of fat incorporated into the mix. High-fat mixtures are less costly but will shrink more when cooked. The least expensive product is sold as regular ground beef or regular hamburger. It's usually made with trimmings of the less expensive cuts such as brisket and shank, and can contain up to 30 percent fat. The moderately priced ground chuck is the next level of ground beef. Because it contains enough fat (about 15 to 20 percent) to give it flavor and make it juicy, yet not enough to cause excess shrinkage, ground chuck is the best meat for hamburgers. The leanest (around 11 percent fat) and most expensive of the ground meats are ground round and ground sirloin. Though they're great for calorie watchers, they become quite dry when cooked beyond medium-rare. Ground beef is sold fresh and frozen, prepackaged in bulk (usually 1 to 5 pounds) or in preformed patties. It may also be ground to order. The way it is used determines how the beef should be ground. In general, the finer the beef is ground, the more compact it will be when cooked. For instance, firm-textured combinations such as
a berry sometimes called husk tomato, it is used to make preserves.
Although some weigh 1/3 ton, the average size of this fish is from 5 to 15 pounds. Groupers are found in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the North and South Atlantic. They're marketed whole as well as in fillets and steaks. They have a lean, firm flesh that is suitable for baking, broiling, frying, poaching or steaming. The grouper's skin, which is very strongly flavored, should always be removed before cooking. The most popular members of this sea bass family are the black grouper, Nassau grouper, red grouper and yellowmouth (also called yellowfin ) grouper. See also fish.
A cereal (usually oatmeal) cooked with water or milk and generally of a very thin consistency.
Tiny (3- to 6-ounce) fish found along the Southern California coast, known for their spawning habits. The "running of the grunion" occurs by the light of the full moon as these silvery fish wriggle their way above high tide to spawn in the wet sand. Legally, grunion can only be caught by hand, though many people snare them with nets or scoops. The moderately fat grunion are best broiled, deep-fried or sautéed. See also fish.
1. Named after the grunting noise it makes, this rich, sweet-flavored fish can be found in the United States mainly in Florida's coastal waters. Anatomically related to the snapper, grunt is generally available only in its region, and is best either broiled or sautéed. See also fish. 2. An old-fashioned dessert of fruit topped with biscuit dough and stewed. Also called slump.
This Italian version of the Swiss gruyère has a sweet, nutlike flavor that is very like the original. It can be used in any manner suitable for Gruyère. See also cheese.
Swiss Gruyère is named for the valley of the same name in the canton of Fribourg. This moderate-fat, cow's-milk cheese has a rich, sweet, nutty flavor that is highly prized both for out-of-hand eating and cooking. It's usually aged for 10 to 12 months and has a golden brown rind and a firm, pale yellow interior with well-spaced, medium-size holes. It's made in 100-pound wheels that are cut into wedges for the market. Gruyère is also produced in France and several other countries.
a Mexican dip, sauce or side dish made from mashed avocado flavored with lemon or lime juice and chiles; sometimes chopped tomatoes, green onion and cilantro are added.
A shiny red, very hot chile.
The skin of this dried chile is shiny-smooth and a deep, burnished red. The chile is very tough and must be soaked longer than most dried chiles. The flavorful guajillo is pointed, long and narrow (about 4 inches by 1 inch). Because it can be quite hot, the guajillo is also sometimes called the travieso ("mischievous") chile in reference to its not-so-playful sting. It's used in both sauces and cooked dishes.
A gummy substance obtained from legume-family plants, used as a thickener and stabilizer in commercial food processing. See also gum arabic; gum tragancanth; xanthan gum.
This sweet, fragrant tropical fruit grows in its native South America as well as in California, Florida and Hawaii. There are many varieties of guavas, which can range in size from a small egg to a medium apple. Typically, the fruit is oval in shape and about 2 inches in diameter. The color of the guava's thin skin can range from yellow to red to purple-black, the flesh from pale yellow to bright red. Guavas are usually only available fresh in the region where they're grown. Choose those that give to gentle palm pressure but that have not yet begun to show spots. To be eaten raw, guavas should be very ripe. Ripen green ones at room temperature. Store ripe guavas in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Guavas make excellent jams, preserves and sauces. Canned whole guavas as well as juice, jams, jellies, preserves and sauce are available in many supermarkets. Fresh guavas are a good source of vitamins A and C.
Thought to have originated in Guinea, West Africa, this small bird is a relative of the chicken and partridge. The meat of the guinea fowl is dark, somewhat dry and has a pleasantly gamey flavor. Guinea hens are more tender than the male of the species. The hens range in size from 3/4 pound (called guinea squab ) to about 4 pounds. Guinea fowl are available fresh and frozen. If fresh, loosen package wrapping slightly and remove any giblets from the body cavity before storing in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Frozen guinea fowl should be thawed overnight in the refrigerator and used within 2 days. Never refreeze fowl once it's thawed. Guinea fowl may be prepared in any way suitable for chicken, keeping in mind that because the meat is drier, moist cooking methods will produce a more satisfactory end result. Any fowl over 2 1/2 pounds should probably be barded with fat before cooking to ensure moistness.
a preservative made of sugar, water, and powdered acacia. It is used with leaves such as mint and rose.
a gum from plants found in Iran, Turkey and Greece, it is used as a thickener and a base for ice cream powder and gelatinous desserts.
soup or stew made with okra as a main ingredient. The term also describes the okra plant.
This fine Chinese tea is considered the highest grade of green tea and is noted for both its form and its flavor. The small, young tea leaves are rolled into minuscule balls, giving the tea a granular appearance. Gunpowder tea is light in color, with a distinctively sharp flavor. See also tea.
The common English name for fish belonging to the family Triglidae. These marine fish, which sometimes swim near the surface and make a grunting or croaking noise, are also called crooner, croonack, gowdie, and in North America sea robin. They also have fins that allow them to crawl around on the ocean bottom. Most of the species used for food are found in warmer waters in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, although there are a few gunard species in the Pacific. The gunard's flesh is white, firm and lowfat, which makes it appropriate for frying, baking or poaching. See also fish.
Japanese equivalent of a pot sticker.
A Greek specialty consisting of minced lamb that is molded around a spit and vertically roasted. The meat is usually sliced, enfolded in a pita and topped with grilled onions, sweet peppers and a cucumber-yogurt sauce.
of the cod family, this fish is white-fleshed and is good to use in any recipe calling for cod. Smoked, it is known as Finnan Haddid. Poached, and served with drawn butter, it has a faint hint of the flavor of lobster.
the minced innards of an animal cooked with oatmeal and suet. Traditionally, a meat pudding or sausage was make then boiled in the cleaned stomach bag of the sheep.
This Scottish specialty is made by stuffing a sheep's (or other animal's) stomach lining with a minced mixture of the animal's organs (heart, liver, lungs, and so on), onion, suet, oatmeal and seasonings, then simmering the sausage in water for about 4 hours. Haggamuggie is a simplified version of haggis made with fish liver.
of the cod family, this fish is easy to fillet and has soft white flesh.
is a mixture of equal parts milk and cream, and is 10 to 12 percent milk fat. It cannot be whipped.
Abundant in northern Pacific and Atlantic waters, this large member of the flatfish family can weigh up to half a ton. The norm, however, ranges between 50 and 100 pounds. Considered the finest are the young chicken halibut, which can weigh anywhere from 2 to 10 pounds. Halibut meat is lowfat, white, firm and mild flavored. Fresh halibut is available year-round but most abundant from March to September. Both fresh and frozen halibut is usually marketed in fillets and steaks. It's suitable for almost any manner of preparation. Halibut cheeks are sometimes available in specialty fish markets. See also fish.
Hailing from Colombia and Venezuela, hallacas are South America's version of tamales. They consist of ground beef or chicken mixed with other foods such as olives or raisins, surrounded by a ground-corn dough, wrapped in banana leaves and gently boiled. Hallacas are served as both an appetizer and main dish.
a sweet dish or candy made from ground sesame seeds, fruit or vegetables. Near Eastern in origin.
Hailing from the Middle East, this confection is made from ground sesame seed and honey, sometimes with the addition of chopped dried fruit and pistachio nuts. It's available in most supermarkets in wrapped bars, and in Jewish delicatessens in long slabs from which individual slices can be cut.
These small triangular pastries hold a sweet filling, either of honey-poppy seed, prune or apricot. They're one of the traditional sweets of Purim, a festive Jewish holiday. Also called Haman's hats after Haman, the wicked prime minister of Persia who plotted the extermination of Persian Jews. Haman's plot was foiled at the last minute and the joyous festival of Purim was proclaimed in celebration.
1. Said to have made its first appearance at the St. Louis Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904, the hamburger is one of America's favorite foods. It consists of a cooked patty of ground beef sandwiched between two bread halves, usually in the form of a hamburger bun. The meat can be mixed with various flavorings including finely chopped onions and herbs, and is sometimes topped with a slice of cheese, in which case it becomes a cheeseburger. It's also commonly referred to as a burger and hamburger steak. The name "hamburger" comes from the seaport town of Hamburg, Germany, where it is thought that 19th-century sailors brought back the idea of raw shredded beef (known today as beef tartare) after trading with the Baltic provinces of Russia. Some anonymous German chef decided to cook the beef... and the rest is history. 2. Ground, shred-ded or finely chopped beef. See also ground beef.
A soft, round yeast roll 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter, made to fit the size of a hamburger. It may be made with regular or whole-wheat flour and variously topped with flavorings such as sesame seed, poppy seed or toasted chopped onion.
A plastic or cast-aluminum utensil that forms perfectly round, flat hamburger patties. It comes in two separate round pieces, the top part having a plunger. The hamburger meat is placed in the bottom half, which is shaped like a disc with 1/2- to 1-inch sides. The top of the utensil is set over the base and, by pushing the plunger, the hamburger meat inside is pressed into a perfect disk.
Also called molded cookie, this style is made by shaping dough by hand into small balls, logs, crescents and other shapes. See also cookie.
The name of this German specialty means "hand cheese," referring to the fact that it's hand-shaped into irregular rounds, cylinders or other forms. It's made from skimmed, sour cow's milk, which gives the cheese a sharp, pungent flavor and very strong (some say overpowering) smell. The rind is gray and the interior off-white and soft. Handkäse is usually eaten as a snack. See also cheese.
to tenderize game or meat by hanging in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place.
a sweet liquor-flavored sauce traditionally served on hot puddings and cold cake. Often offered at Christmas with plum pudding.
A test for sugar syrup desribing the point at which a drop of boiling syrup immersed in cold water forms a rigid ball. Though the ball is hard, it will still be somewhat pliable. On a candy thermometer, the hard-ball stage is between 250° and 265°F.
A test for sugar syrup describing the point at which a drop of boiling syrup immersed in cold water separates into hard, brittle threads. On a candy thermometer, the hard-crack stage is between 300° and 310°F.
a sailors name for sea biscuits.
a wild rabbit with a strong gamey flavor. This is not a wild version of the rabbits raised domestically for food in Europe and some parts of the United States, but another type. It may not be used in place of rabbit in a recipe.
A green string bean with French attitude.
From Tunisia, this fiery-hot sauce is usually made with hot chiles, garlic, cumin, coriander, caraway and olive oil. It's the traditional accompaniment for couscous but is also used to flavor soups, stews and other dishes. Harissa can be found in cans and jars in Middle Eastern markets.
Translating as "spring rain," harusame are Japanese noodles made from soybean, rice or potato flour. They're available in Asian markets and many supermarkets. Harusame are also called cellophane noodles and Japanese vermicelli.
Sliced beets cooked in a thickened sweet-and-sour sauce composed of vinegar, sugar, water, butter, cornstarch and seasonings. Harvard beets are served hot as a side dish.
A sweet cocktail made of vodka, orange juice and galliano (an anise-flavored liqueur).
a recipe using leftovers, this dish is made by dicing pre-cooked meats and/or vegetables, and cooking with seasonings, minced onions, herbs, or sauce in a frying pan until crisp.
Finely chopped, cooked potatoes that are fried until well browned. The mixture is usually pressed down into a flat cake in the pan and browned on one side, then turned and browned on the other. It's sometimes only browned on one side. Other ingredients such as chopped onion and green pepper are often added for flavor excitement.
Japanese chopsticks, either wood or bamboo, sometimes lacquered and decorated. Also called o-hashi. Long chopsticks used for cooking are called sai-hashi.
Country dish of sweetbreads, heart and liver. It is cooked in a casserole, fried, stewed or ground with onions and prepared as a sausage.
This easy, versatile dish was enjoyed by our Colonial ancestors both in the morning for breakfast and after dinner for dessert. It's a simple cornmeal mush made with water or milk and sometimes sweetened with molasses, maple syrup or honey. If the dish isn't sweetened during cooking, a syrup or sweet sauce usually accompanies a hasty pudding. It's served hot, sometimes with milk or cream.
Food that is prepared in an elegant or elaborate manner; the very finest food, prepared perfectly. The French word haute translates as "high" or "superior," cuisine as "cooking" (in general).
Named after the Danish experimental farm where it was developed, Havarti is often referred to as the Danish tilsit because of its similarity to that cheese. It's semisoft and pale yellow with small irregular holes. The flavor of young Havarti is mild yet tangy. As the cheese ages, its flavor intensifies and sharpens. Havarti comes in loaves or blocks and is often wrapped in foil. See also cheese.
These wild nuts grow in clusters on the hazel tree in temperate zones around the world. The fuzzy outer husk opens as the nut ripens, revealing a hard, smooth shell. Italy, Spain, France and Turkey lead the way in hazelnut production. Until the 1940s, the United States imported most hazelnuts; however, they're now grown in Oregon and Washington. Also called filberts and cobnuts, particularly when cultivated, these sweet, rich, grape-size nuts are used chopped, ground and whole in all manner of sweets. They also add flavor and texture to savory items such as salads and main dishes. Hazelnuts are usually packaged whole, though some producers are now also offering them chopped a real timesaver. Hazelnuts have a bitter brown skin that is best removed, usually by heating them at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes, until the skins begin to flake. By placing a handful of nuts at a time in a dish towel, then folding the towel over the warm nuts and rubbing vigorously, most of the skin will be removed. See also hazelnut oil; nuts.
A fragrant, full-flavored oil pressed from hazelnuts and tasting like the roasted nut. Most hazelnut oil is imported from France and is therefore expensive. It can be purchased in cans or bottles in gourmet markets and many supermarkets. Hazelnut oil can be stored in a cool (under 65°F) place for up to 3 months. To prevent rancidity, it's safer to store it in the refrigerator. Because it's so strong-flavored, hazelnut oil is generally combined with lighter oils. It can be used in dressings, to flavor sauces and main dishes and in baked goods. See also fats and oils.
Not a cheese at all, but a sausage made from the meaty bits of the head of a calf (sometimes a sheep or cow) that are seasoned, combined with a gelatinous meat broth and cooked in a mold. When cool, the sausage is unmolded and thinly sliced. It's usually eaten at room temperature. Head cheese can be purchased in delicatessens and many supermarkets. In England this sausage is referred to as brawn, and in France it's called fromage de tête "cheese of head." See also sausage.
Generally, the term head lettuce describes those varieties on which the leaves grow in a dense rosette. There are two subcategories crisphead (commonly known as iceberg ) and butterhead (the Bibb and Boston varieties). See also lettuce.
a molded jelly or sausage made from pigs or calfs head stewed with herbs and seasonings; it includes meat.
the heart of sheep, calf , ox and pig is used as a variety meat in many popular dishes.
the English name for a French round cake. Each region in France creates its own version. The first hearthcakes were baked on the hearth in hot ashes.
The edible inner portion of the stem of the cabbage palm tree, which grows in many tropical climates and is Florida's official state tree. Hearts of palm are slender, ivory-colored, delicately flavored and expensive. They resemble white asparagus, sans tips. Their texture is firm and smooth and the flavor is reminiscent of an artichoke. Each stalk is about 4 inches long and can range in diameter from pencil-thin to 1 to 1 1/2 inches. The hearts of palm we get in the United States are either from Florida or imported from Brazil. They're available fresh only in Florida and in other countries where they're grown. Canned hearts of palm are packed in water, and can be found in gourmet markets and many large supermarkets. Once opened, they should be transferred to a nonmetal container with an airtight cover. They can be refrigerated in their own liquid for up to a week. Hearts of palm can be used in salads and in main dishes, or deep-fried.
The advent of megaagriculture in America has seen the gradual depletion of ancient varieties of native nonhybrid plants. Unfortunately for those who appreciate full-flavored fruits and vegetables, produce-seed conglomerates focus only on those strains that have mass-market appeal which means they're beautiful and hardy, but not necessarily the best-tasting. Fortunately, about 25 years ago some dedicated individuals began saving what they could of the remaining open-pollinated (without human intervention) seed varieties, which have become known as "heirloom seeds." Among the many heirloom fruits and vegetables grown today are beets, carrots, corn, dried beans, lettuce, potatoes and tomatoes. As the public becomes more aware of these wonderful alternatives, farmers are also becoming more interested. Heirloom produce can be found in some specialty produce markets and farmer's markets.
a female bird. Commercially raised hen-chickens are tender. Hen is also a term applied to the female of various aquatic creatures, lobster for one.
A dark brownish gray cultivated mushroom that resembles a tightly ruffled puff edged in white. The name of this rich-flavored mushroom is said to come from the fact that its shape vaguely resembles the body of a hen. See also mushroom.
An assortment of dried herbs said to reflect those most commonly used in southern France. The blend can be found packed in tiny clay crocks in the spice section of large supermarkets. The mixture commonly contains basil, fennel seed, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, summer savory and thyme. The blend can be used to season dishes of meat, poultry and vegetables. See also herbs.
any of a large group of annual and perennial plants whose leaves, stems or flowers are used as a flavoring; usually available fresh and dried.
Developed and made primarily in New Orleans, Herbsaint is an anise-flavored liqueur.
A famous cheddar made in Herkimer County, New York. See also cheese.
An old-fashioned favorite said to have originated in Colonial New England, this spicy, chewy cookie is full of chopped fruits and nuts. It's usually sweetened with molasses or brown sugar. It's said that hermits were named for their long keeping qualities they're better when hidden away like a hermit for several days.
This huge sandwich goes by many names, depending on where it's made. Among its aliases are submarine, grinder, hoagie and poor boy (or po' boy ). Generally, the hero sandwich consists of a small loaf of Italian or French bread (or a large oblong roll), the bottom half of which is heaped with layers of any of various thinly sliced meats, cheeses, tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, peppers anything for which the cook is in the mood.
This huge family of saltwater fish has over a hundred varieties. The popular herring swims in gigantic schools and can be found in the cold waters of the North Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In the United States, two of the most popular members of this family are the American shad and the alewife, both of which are anadromous, meaning that they migrate from their saltwater habitat to spawn in fresh water. Herring are generally small (ranging between 1/4 and 1 pound) and silvery. The major exception to that rule is the American shad, which averages 3 to 5 pounds and is prized for its eggs the delicacy known as shad roe. Young herring are frequently labeled and sold as sardines. Fresh herring are available during the spring on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. When fresh, the high-fat herring has a fine, soft texture that is suited for baking, sautéing and grilling. The herring's flesh becomes firm when cured by either pickling, salting, smoking or a combination of those techniques. There are many variations of cured herring. Bismarck herring are unskinned fillets that have been cured in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, salt and onions. Rollmops are Bismarck herring fillets wrapped around a piece of pickle or onion and preserved in spiced vinegar. Pickled herring (also called marinated herring) have been marinated in vinegar and spices before being bottled in either a sour-cream sauce or a wine sauce. The term can also refer to herring that have been dry-salted before being cured in brine. Kippered herring (also called kippers) are split, then cured by salting, drying and cold-smoking. Bloaters are larger than kippers but treated in a similar manner. They have a slightly milder flavor due to a lighter salting and shorter smoking period. Their name comes from their swollen appearance. Schmaltz herring are mature, higher-fat herring that are filleted and preserved in brine. The reddish Matjes herring are skinned and filleted before being cured in a spiced sugar-vinegar brine. See also fish.
From the Belgian town of the same name, this cow's-milk, limburger-like cheese is pungent, soft and very strong-smelling. It is sometimes flavored with herbs. Hervé has a pale yellow interior with a reddish-brown coating created by the bacteria that grow during its 3-month aging. Because it's so strong, Hervé is best eaten with dark breads and beers. See also cheese.
a Scottish drink used for special occasions. It is a heated mixture of ale, eggs, whiskey and nutmeg.
Japanese for "fire bowl," a hibachi is just that a small (generally cast-iron) container made for holding fuel (usually charcoal). A grill that sits on top of the bowl is used to cook various foods. Hibachis come in square, oblong and round models. Because of their compact size, they're completely portable.
There are 17 varieties of hickory trees, 13 of which are native to the United States. The extremely hard hickory wood is widely used to smoke meats. All varieties of the hickory tree bear nuts, the most popular being the pecan, partially due to its thin shell. The common "hickory nut" has an extraordinarily hard shell, the cracking of which usually requires a hammer swung with a great deal of muscle. Hickory nuts have an excellent, rich flavor with a buttery quality due to their high fat content. They're available only in certain parts of the country and are generally sold unshelled. Hickory nuts can be used in a variety of baked goods and in almost any recipe as a substitute for pecans. See also nuts.
Simply put, the weight of air on any surface it comes in contact with is called air (or atmospheric) pressure. There's less (or lower) air pressure at high altitudes because the blanket of air above is thinner than it would be at sea level. As a result, at sea level water boils at 212°F; at an altitude of 7,500 feet, however, it boils at about 198°F because there's not as much air pressure to inhibit the boiling action. This also means that because at high altitudes boiling water is 14 degrees cooler than at sea level, foods will take longer to cook because they're heating at a lower temperature. Lower air pressure also causes boiling water to evaporate more quickly in a high altitude. This decreased air pressure means that adjustments in some ingredients and cooking time and temperature will have to be made for high-altitude baking, as well as some cooking techniques such as candy making, deep-fat frying and canning. In general, no recipe adjustment is necessary for yeast-risen baked goods, although allowing the dough or batter to rise twice before the final pan rising develops a better flavor.
Simply put, the weight of air on any surface it comes in contact with is called air (or atmospheric ) pressure. There's less (or lower) air pressure at high altitudes because the blanket of air above is thinner than it would be at sea level. As a result, at sea level water boils at 212°F; at an altitude of 7,500 feet, however, it boils at about 198°F because there's not as much air pressure to inhibit the boiling action. This also means that because at high altitudes boiling water is 14° cooler than at sea level, foods will take longer to cook because they're heating at a lower temperature. Lower air pressure also causes boiling water to evaporate more quickly in a high altitude. This decreased air pressure means that adjustments in some ingredients and cooking time and temperature will have to be made for high-altitude baking, as well as some cooking techniques such as candy making, deep-fat frying and canning. In general, no recipe adjustment is necessary for yeast-risen baked goods, although allowing the dough or batter to rise twice before the final pan rising develops a better flavor. For baked goods leavened by baking powder and baking soda.
A cocktail served in a tall glass over ice. Usually a simple concoction of whiskey mixed with soda water or plain water.
A type of dried, black seaweed that's reconstituted in water and used as a vegetable in soups and other dishes. Hijiki's flavor has a slight anise character.
bright reddish orange fruit of roses, particularly species roses, as Rosa rugosa. It contains vitamin C and is used to make a tea, and for jams and syrups.
Thin wheat-flour noodles generally served cold either as part of various Japanese dishes or by themselves with a soy-based dipping sauce. Hiyamugi comes in various colors and can be found dried in Asian markets.
a Belgian dish of considerable antiquity, a very thick soup traditionally made with brisket of beef, shoulder and breast of mutton, shoulder of veal, pigs feet, ears and tails, chippolata sausages, onions, assorted vegetables, herbs and condiments. The meat garnished with vegetables is served separately from the broth. Probably associated with the phrase, hodgepodge, which refers to a jumble of things all mixed together. England has a hot pot which probably is a version of the Belgian dish.
British term for any white Rhine wine. Also, a cut of meat from the leg of an animal, valued for soups, stews and jellies.
a thick, reddish-brown, sweet-and-spicy sauce made from soybeans, garlic, chiles and various spices and used as a condiment and flavoring in Chinese cuisines; also known as Peking sauce.
A mahogany-colored, sweet and tangy blend of soy, garlic, chile and spices; used in Chinese
Originating in eastern Europe, this Jewish dish consists of cabbage leaves stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, onion, eggs and seasonings. The cabbage rolls are baked and served with a sweet-and-sour sauce. Holishkes are traditional at Sukkot, the fall harvest festival, where they're considered a symbol of plenty. They're also called praches.
a sauce made of butter, egg, and lemon juice or vinegar.
This smooth, rich, creamy sauce is generally used to embellish vegetables, fish and egg dishes, such as the classic eggs benedict. It's made with butter, egg yolks and lemon juice, usually in a double boiler to prevent overheating, and served warm.
Potatoes that are sliced and fried, often with finely chopped onions or green peppers. The potatoes can either be raw or boiled before slicing. Also called cottage-fried potatoes.
hulled corn with the germ removed. Hominy grits are uniform granules that are boiled and served as a breakfast cereal or as an accompaniment to a main dish or fish, meat or poultry.
To create an emulsion by reducing all the particles to the same size. In homogenized milk, for instance, the fat globules are broken down mechanically until they are evenly and imperceptibly distributed throughout the liquid. Commercial salad dressings are also often homogenized.
treatment for milk that breaks the fat into tiny particles that can remain suspended in liquid rather than rising to the top as cream in untreated milk.
a sweet, usually viscous, liquid made by bees from flower nectar and stored in the cells of the hive for food; generally contains 17 to 20% water and 76 to 80% sucrose; consumed fresh or after processing, it is usually used as a nutritive sweetener.
This sweet, succulent member of the muskmelon family was prized by ancient Egyptians thousands of years ago, and ages before that in Persia, where the muskmelon is thought to have originated. Luckily for American honeydew enthusiasts, the melons are now grown in California and parts of the Southwest. The slightly oval honeydew is distinguished by a smooth, creamy-yellow rind and pastel green flesh that's extraordinarily juicy and sweet. It ranges in weight from 4 to 8 pounds. Honeydews are available year-round, though the peak months are generally July through September. Perfectly ripe honeydews will have an almost indistinguishable wrinkling on the skin's surface, often detectable only by touch. Choose one that's very heavy for its size. Underripe melons can be ripened at room temperature. Wrap ripe melons in a plastic bag and refrigerate up to 5 days. Honeydew melons can be used in salads, desserts, as a garnish and in fruit soups. They are a good source of vitamin C. See also melon.
Liquor that's either illegally produced (bootleg ) or just plain cheap. The word hooch is generally associated with whiskey produced during Prohibition (1920-1933), however, the name originated in the late 1800s with a tribe of Alaskan Indians. It comes from Hoochinoo (Hootchinoo ), a Tlingit Indian village on Admiralty Island, Alaska, the inhabitants of which made and sold alcoholic spirits illegally.
Said to have originated with African slaves on Southern plantations, hoppin' John is a dish of black-eyed peas cooked with cured meat and seasonings and served with cooked rice. Tradition says that if hoppin' John is eaten on New Year's day, it will bring good luck.
a southern U.S. dish of black-eyed peas cooked with a ham hock and served over white rice.
A hardy, vining plant that produces conelike flowers. The dried flowers are used to impart a pleasantly bitter flavor to beers and ales. This same plant produces hop shoots, which are widely available commercially only in Europe and can be cooked like asparagus and served as a vegetable.
Extremely popular in Spain and Mexico, horchatas are drinks made by steeping nuts, grains or chufa in water. They're usually lightly sweetened with sugar and sometimes spiced with cinnamon. Horchatas are generally served cold or at room temperature. They come in a wide variety of flavors. Horchata de arroz is made with rice, horchata de almendras with almonds, and the famous horchata de chufa is, of course, made with chufa. Horchatas may be purchased in Latin markets.
A member of the mint family, this downy-leaved plant yields a juice that, culinarily, is generally only used to make horehound candy a brittle, sugar-drop confection with a slightly bitter undertaste. Extract of horehound is also used to make cough syrup and lozenges.
a light food, hot or cold, prepared for small servings, to be eaten before the main meal. The American equivalent is an appetizer. Hors doeuvres were originally served on a sideboard apart from the dining table and before the meal.
Small savory appetizers served before the meal, customarily with apéritifs or cocktails. They are usually one- or two-bite size and can be cold or hot. Hors d'oeuvre may be in the form of a fancy canapé or as simple as a selection of crudités. The word "hors d'oeuvre" is properly used for both the singular and plural forms. The reason is that the term translates literally as (dishes) "outside the work (meal)" and no matter how many dishes there are, there is only one "work." In today's modern parlance, however, the plural is often spoken and written as hors d'oeuvres.
This ancient herb (one of the five bitter herbs of the Jewish Passover festival) is a native of eastern Europe but now grows in other parts of Europe as well as the United States. Though it has spiky green leaves that can be used in salads, horseradish is grown mainly for its large, white, pungently spicy roots. Fresh horseradish is available in many supermarkets. Choose roots that are firm with no sign of blemishes or withering. Horseradish should be refrigerated, wrapped in a plastic bag, and peeled before using. It's most often grated and used in sauces or as a condiment with fish or meat. Bottled horseradish is available white (preserved in vinegar), and red (in beet juice). Also available is dried horseradish, which must be reconstituted before using. See also wasabi.
an extra heavy duty aluminum foil bag, pre-sealed on three sides to make a large and durable pouch.
Traditionally served on Good Friday, these small, lightly sweet yeast buns contain raisins or currants and sometimes chopped candied fruit. Before baking, a cross is slashed in the top of the bun. After baking, a confectioners' sugar icing is used to fill the cross.
The term for one of America's favorite sandwiches (the other being the hamburger), which consists of a frankfurter in an oblong-shaped bun with any of various toppings including mustard, ketchup, pickle relish, cheese, sauerkraut and beans. Regular hot dogs are about 6 inches long, while they are also available in foot-long versions. Among the many aliases for hot dogs are wiener dog, frankfurter, frank and tube steak. See also corn dog; pigs in blankets.
a seasoning sauce, usually commercially made, containing chile peppers, salt and vinegar.
in the United States and Canada a another name for pancakes, flapjacks and griddlecakes. In England and Scotland, a name for drop scones.
Each country has its own version of this rich, layered, vegetable-and-meat stew. Scots usually add barley and the meat is mutton or beef. The English call it hot pot and their famous Lancashire hot pot contains mutton, sheep's kidneys, all covered with a layer of potatoes. The Dutch hutspot uses beef, whereas in France and Belgium the dish is referred to as hochepot.
A very large winter squash with a thick, bumpy, hard shell ranging in color from dark green to bright orange. Hubbards are available from early September to March, either whole or, if extraordinarily large, cut into pieces. Look for those with clean-colored rinds free from blemishes. Store unwrapped in a cool (under 50°F) place (or in the refrigerator) up to 6 months. Hubbard squash is best boiled or baked. Because of its rather grainy texture, the yellow-orange flesh is often mashed or pureed and mixed with butter and seasonings before serving. Hubbard squash is an excellent source of vitamin A and contains a fair amount of iron and riboflavin. See also squash.
A wild, blue-black berry that closely resembles (and is often mistaken for) the blueberry. The huckleberry, however, has 10 small, hard seeds in the center, whereas the blueberry has many seeds, so tiny and soft that they're barely noticeable. Additionally, the huckleberry has a thicker skin and a flavor that is slightly less sweet and more astringent. Unless you pick them yourself, or have a friend who does, it's unlikely that you'll find fresh huckleberries because they're not cultivated. They're in season from June through August and are good eaten plain or in baked goods such as muffins or pies.
Spanish for "egg." Huevos duros are "hard-boiled eggs," huevos pasados por agua are "soft-boiled eggs," huevos escalfados are "poached eggs," huevos fritos are "fried eggs" and huevos revueltos are "scrambled eggs."
Spanish for "rancher's eggs," although the more common translation is "country" or "country-style" eggs. Huevos rancheros consists of fried corn tortillas topped with fried eggs and then a layer of salsa.
French for "oil," generally referring to cooking oil. Huile d'olive is "olive oil," huile de noix is "walnut oil."
(also spelled cuitlacoche; also referred to as 'Mexican corn truffle') is a fungus which grows naturally on ears of corn (Ustilago maydis). The fungus is harvested and treated as a delicacy. The earthy and somewhat smoky fungus is used to flavor quesadillas, tamales, soups and other specialty dishes.
n. 1. The outer (usually fibrous) covering of a fruit or seed also called husk or shell. 2. The attached, leafy calyx of some fruits, such as the strawberry. hull v. To prepare a food for eating by removing the outer covering or, as in the case of strawberries, the leafy portion at the top. See also schuck.
umbles are the heart, liver, kidney and other innards of a deer. Servants once made this into a pie for themselves and coined the phrase humble pie. Today the connotation is one who accepts a humble status or humiliating treatment voluntarily.
Mashed chickpeas flavored with lemon juice, garlic and oil.
Also called century egg, thousand-year egg and Ming Dynasty egg, all of which are eggs that have been preserved by being covered with a coating of lime, ashes and salt before being shallowly buried for 100 days. The lime "petrifies" the egg, making it look like it's been buried for at least a century. The black outer coating and shell are removed to reveal a firm, amber-colored white and creamy, dark green yolk. The flavor is pungent and cheeselike. Eggs from chickens are generally used, though duck and goose eggs are also preserved in this manner. Hundred-year eggs are sold individually and can be found in Chinese markets. They will keep at room temperature (under 70°F) for up to 2 weeks or in the refrigerator up to a month. These preserved eggs are usually eaten uncooked, either for breakfast or served as an appetizer, often with accompaniments such as soy sauce or minced ginger.
A large (3 to 5 inches long and up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter) yellow chile that ranges in flavor from mild to medium-hot. Hungarian wax chiles, which have a distinctly waxy flavor, are also called banana chiles. See also chile.
a dish made of fried cornmeal batter. The term is said to have originated at a southern fish fry where the cooks fried extra bits of fish batter to throw to the noisy dogs to hush the puppies.
This Southern specialty is a small cornmeal dumpling, flavored with chopped scallions, deep-fried and served hot. Hushpuppies are a traditional accompaniment for fried fish. Their name is said to have come from the fact that, to keep hungry dogs from begging for food while the rest of the dinner was being prepared, cooks used to toss scraps of the fried batter to the pets with the admonition, "Hush, puppy!"
A protein obtained from various foods (like soybeans, corn or wheat), then broken down into amino acids by a chemical process called acid hydrolysis. Hydrolyzed plant or vegetable protein is used as a flavor enhancer in numerous processed foods like soups, chilis, sauces, stews and some meat products like frankfurters. See also vegetable protein.
Dating back to the 1930s, hydroponics is the science of growing plants in a liquid nutrient solution rather than in soil. The plants are supported in a sterile, inert medium, such as gravel or peat, and regularly flooded with a nutrient-rich solution, which is drained off and reused until it is no longer beneficial. The air and light in a hydroponic enclosure is strictly controlled to insure optimal production. Increased yields are further insured because hydroponically grown vegetables can be planted much closer together than those in the field. Yet another bonus is that hydroponic farmers are not besieged by weeds and pests, which means their crops are pesticide free. With the science of hydroponics, plants can be grown in areas where the climate is inhospitable or the soil is unsuitable. This means that perfect tomatoes can be grown in the desert or in the middle of winter. See also aquaculture.
Any of various herbs in the mint family. The slightly bitter leaves are sometimes used in salads and soups.
n. Called granité in France and granita in Italy, an ice is a frozen mixture of water, sugar and liquid flavoring such as fruit juice, wine or coffee. The proportion is usually 4 parts liquid to 1 part sugar. During the freezing process, ices are generally stirred frequently to produce a slightly granular final texture. ice v. 1. To chill a food, glass or serving dish in order to get it icy cold and sometimes coated with frost. 2. To spread frosting over the surface of a cake.
a mixture of ice and water used to chill a food or beverage rapidly.
America's favorite dessert is thought to have originated in the mountains of ancient China, with snow probably used as the base. Today's ice cream is made with a combination of milk products (usually cream combined with fresh, condensed or dry milk), a sweetening agent (sugar, honey, corn syrup or artificial sweetener) and sometimes solid additions such as pieces of chocolate, nuts, fruit and so on. According to fda regulations, ice creams with solid additions must contain a minimum of 8 percent milk fat, while plain ice creams must have at least 10 percent milk fat. French ice cream has a cooked egg-custard base. Ice milk is made in much the same way as ice cream, except for the fact that it contains less milk fat and milk solids. The result, other than a lowered calorie count, is a lighter, less creamy texture. Commercial ice creams usually contain stabilizers to improve both texture and body, and to help make them melt resistant. Many also contain artificial coloring. Those made with natural flavorings (for instance, chocolate) will be labeled simply "Chocolate Ice Cream." If the majority of the flavoring is natural with a boost from an artificial-flavor source, the label will read "Chocolate-Flavored Ice Cream"; if over 50 percent of the flavoring is artificial it will read "Artificial Chocolate Ice Cream." All commercial ice creams have "overrun," a term applied to the amount of air they contain. The percentage of overrun ranges from 0 (no air) to 200, a theoretical figure that would be all air. The legal overrun limit for ice cream is 100 percent, which would amount to half air. Ice cream needs some air or it would be rock-hard. But one with 100 percent overrun would have so little body that it would feel mushy in the mouth; it would also melt extremely fast. An ice cream with the more desirable proportion of 20 to 50 percent overrun (10 to 25 percent air) would be denser, creamier and eminently more satisfying. Since the overrun is not listed on the package, the only way to be absolutely sure is to weigh the carton. Ice cream with a 50 percent overrun (25 percent air) will weigh about 18 ounces per pint (subtract about 1 1/2 ounces for the weight of the container). The weight of the ice cream will be proportionately higher with a lower percentage of overrun. During storage, ice cream has a tendency to absorb other food odors and to form ice crystals. For that reason, it's best not to freeze it for more than 2 to 3 days. Sealing the carton airtight in a plastic bag will extend storage life up to a week. Ice cream is used for a plethora of delicious treats including baked alaskas, banana splits and ice-cream bars, sandwiches and cakes (cake layered with ice cream and frozen). See also gelato; ice; sherbet.
A rich, flavorful dessert wine, which is made by picking grapes that are frozen on the vine, then pressing them before they thaw. Because much of the water in the grapes is frozen, the resulting juice is concentrated rich in flavor and high in sugar and acid. Ice wines are renowned in Germany, where they're called Eiswein (pronounced ice-vine).
Generally speaking, there are two basic styles of ice-cream maker manual and electric. They can be simple or fancy and can cost from $25 to almost $1,000. In addition to ice cream, they can be used to make ice milk, frozen yogurt and frozen drinks. All of them work on the same principle a canister with a central, vertical paddle (called a dasher) is placed inside a container that holds the freezing agent either ice and salt, a chemical coolant or an electric refrigeration unit. The inner canister is filled with an ice-cream mixture that the dasher stirs (gently scraping the sides of the canister) when rotated. This stirring action aerates the mixture and keeps it smooth by preventing ice crystals from forming while it freezes. There are several different kinds of ice-cream freezers. Among the manual-style ice-cream makers are the old-fashioned, wooden buckets with a metal inner container for the ice-cream mixture. They require ice, rock salt (which lowers the temperature of the ice) and plenty of physical stamina to turn the crank that rotates the dasher. They usually take 30 to 40 minutes to make 4 to 6 quarts of ice cream. Some of these wooden bucket-style makers have an electric motor that sits on top of the unit, saving manpower. A newer form of manual ice-cream maker is the prechilled chamber freezer, which ranges in size from 1 pint to 1 1/2 quarts. The container is placed in the freezer for 24 to 48 hours to freeze the coolant sealed between the walls lining this unit. The ice-cream mixture is poured into the center cavity; a crank-and-dasher assembly and lid covers the entire unit. The hand-rotated crank is turned once every 2 to 3 minutes for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the amount of ice cream being made. Electric ice-cream machines are all equipped with electric motors that rotate either the ice-cream canister or the dasher. There are several different styles and sizes of electric ice-cream machines. The most common is the self-contained countertop unit that uses refrigerator ice cubes and table salt, and in which the motor turns the canister. This type can make up to 2 quarts of ice cream. There is also a small freezer unit (averaging 1 quart) that doesn't require salt or ice but instead is placed in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator with the electric cord exiting between the freezer's seal and the closed door. In this type, the dasher is motor-turned, while the canister is stationary. The Rolls-Royce of electric ice-cream freezers is the large, self-contained countertop machine that has the freezing unit built into it. All that's required for this expensive pleaser is to pour the ice-cream mixture into the canister and flick a button.
A utensil used to remove ice cream from a carton or other container while forming the ice cream into a ball or oval shape. Ice-cream scoops come in several styles and sizes. The simplest is a plain metal scoop- or spade-shaped utensil. Next comes one shaped like a half-globe or oval with a spring-action lever in the handle. When squeezed, the lever moves an arc-shaped blade across the scoop's interior and ejects the ice-cream ball. The nonstick-style scoop has antifreeze sealed inside. This model is especially helpful for extremely hard ice cream. Scoops come in many sizes, from tiny to large (about 1 to almost 3 inches in diameter).
a sweet covering or filling such as buttercream or ganache; used for cakes and pastries; also known as frosting.
The British name for confectioners' sugar.
The Idaho is considered by many to be the best variety of America's most popular potato for baking, the russet. Though some russets grown elsewhere are commonly called Idaho potatoes, many Idaho government officials are pushing to make the name exclusive to spuds grown in local soil. See also potato.
a spicy cornmeal and molasses staple of early American colonists, the pudding varied with each day and according to the condiments available in the cooks larder.
Another name for wild rice.
A French term describing Indian-style dishes flavored with curry and served with rice.
A technology whereby cookware is heated using magnetic energy. It requires a special smooth ceramic cooktop with induction energy coils directly beneath the surface. These coils produce high-frequency alternating current from regular low-voltage direct current. When cookware made of a magnetic-based material is placed on this special stovetop, the molecules in the vessel begin to move so rapidly that the pan (not the stovetop) becomes hot. Removing the pan from the cooking surface produces an immediate slowdown of the gyrating molecules, which means the pan begins to cool. This gives a cook immense control over what's being heated. Although most steel- and cast-iron-based vessels work well, those made of aluminum, copper and some stainless steel can't be used on an induction cooktop because they aren't magnetic. Special pans designed for induction cooking are available but, before making a purchase, first try a simple test on your cookware: if a magnet sticks to its surface, the pan is suitable. In addition to an induction stovetop's obvious advantages of heat control, safety, and energy efficiency, its smooth surface makes it a snap to clean.
to steep herbs and other flavorings in boiling liquid. Coffee and tea are examples, and so is milk steeped with vanilla bean.
An infusion is the flavor that's extracted from an ingredient such as tea leaves, herbs or fruit by steeping them in a liquid (usually hot), such as water, for tea. In today's culinary parlance, sauces that have been variously flavored (as with herbs) are also called infusions.
Italian for salad.
An integral sauce is a sauce based on the juices released during the cooking of a meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable item. An integral sauce can’t be prepared separately from the dish because it incorporates cooking juices from the item it is served with, usually directly in the pan in which the item was prepared. The most important technique required for integral sauces is deglazing. Juices released by sautéed and roasted meats are reduced and caramelized in the bottom of the pan during cooking. Deglazing dissolves these caramelized juices and incorporates them into the desired sauce. For the simplest example, if you sauté a chicken breast and then deglaze the sauté pan with a little stock and season the resulting liquid, you end up with an integral sauce that can be served with the chicken.
Invert sugar is created by combining a sugar syrup with a small amount of acid (such as cream of tartar or lemon juice) and heating. This inverts, or breaks down, the sucrose into its two components, glucose and fructose, thereby reducing the size of the sugar crystals. Because of its fine crystal structure, invert sugar produces a smoother product and is used in making candies such as fondant, and some syrups. The process of making jams and jellies automatically produces invert sugar by combining the natural acid in the fruit with granulated sugar and heating the mixture. Invert sugar can usually be found in jars in cake-decorating supply shops.
A strong, robust black-tea blend that includes the superior ceylon tea. See also tea.
Guaranteed to warm the cockles of anyone's heart, this hot beverage blends strong coffee, irish whiskey and a small amount of sugar. It's usually served in a glass mug and topped by a dollop of whipped cream. See also coffee.
A liqueur made from a blend of irish whiskey and heather honey.
A round, white, thin-skinned potato whose origin is actually South America. It's good for boiling, frying and pan-roasting. See also potato.
This classic Irish quick bread uses baking soda (as the name implies) as its leavener. It's usually made with buttermilk and is speckled with currants and caraway seed. Before baking, a cross is slashed in the top of the loaf. The purpose of the cross, legend says, is to scare away the devil.
a traditional mutton dish made by boiling well-salted and prepared chops with an equal quantity of onions and potatoes.
Made in Ireland, this light, dry whiskey is distilled from a mash of fermented barley and other grains.
Pots and pans made from iron or cast iron, both known for excellent heat conductivity. Modern-day ironware is either preseasoned or coated with a thick enamel glaze. The advantage of the enamel coating is the ease with which it cleans. Old-fashioned unseasoned iron pots and pans must be seasoned before using. See also season.
An fda-approved process by which food is bombarded with low doses of high-frequency energy from gamma rays, X-rays or accelerated electrons. The purpose for this radiation is to extend shelf life by inhibiting maturation and decay through the elimination of microorganisms and insect invasion. Most foods processed with irradiation will last weeks instead of days. All irradiated foods must bear an international symbol a plant within a broken circle. Exceptions to this rule are irradiated foods such as spices and herbs that are used as an ingredient in other food products. The jury is still out on the safety of irradiated foods. Of concern are potentially toxic elements that irradiation may produce in foods, as well as the possible long-term side effects of eating these treated products. Proponents suggest that irradiation serves as a substitute for many questionable chemicals and preservatives now used in food processing. Those foods currently approved by the fda for irradiation treatment are: fruits, vegetables, dried spices, herbs, seasonings and teas, white potatoes, wheat and wheat flours. Most food producers, however, have not taken advantage of that approval.
Transparent and pure, this form of gelatin comes from the air bladders of certain fish. It was popular 100 years ago, particularly for making jellies and to clarify wine. With the convenience of today's modern gelatin, isinglass is rarely used.
Almost identical to french bread, with the exception of its shape, which is shorter and plumper than the French baguette. The top of Italian bread is sometimes sprinkled with sesame seed.
Although not a true dandelion, this green looks almost identical to its namesake. The main difference is that the jagged-edged leaves are a deeper green and slightly larger. The Italian dandelion has a tangy, slightly bitter flavor. It can be cooked as well as used in salads. Refrigerate, tightly wrapped in a plastic bag, up to 5 days. Wash thoroughly just before using.
A salad dressing consisting of olive oil and wine vinegar or lemon juice, seasoned variously with ingredients including garlic, oregano, basil, dill and fennel.
A creamy meringue made by slowly beating hot sugar syrup into stiffly beaten egg whites. Because the sugar syrup is cooked to the soft-ball stage, the resulting meringue becomes very dense, glossy and smooth. The same method is used to make boiled icing. Italian meringue is used in soufflés, to frost cakes and pastries and to top pies (in the last case it's usually lightly browned in the oven before serving).
A coarse sausage, generally sold in plump links. Italian sausage is usually flavored with garlic and fennel seed or anise seed. It comes in two styles hot (flavored with hot, red peppers) and sweet (without the added heat). It must be well cooked before serving, and is suitable for frying, grilling or braising. See also sausage.
An herb-flavored liqueur based on armagnac, Izarra is available in yellow and green varieties, the latter being the stronger of the two.
Often referred to as the Mexican potato, this large, bulbous root vegetable has a thin brown skin and white crunchy flesh. Its sweet, nutty flavor is good both raw and cooked. Jícama is available from November through May and can be purchased in Mexican markets and most large supermarkets. It should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag and will last for about 2 weeks. The thin skin should be peeled just before using. When cooked, jícama retains its crisp, water chestnut-type texture. It's a fair source of vitamin C and potassium.
A fish family of over 200 species, including pompano, amberjack, bar jack, blue runner, crevalle jack, green jack, horse mackerel (not a true mackerel), rainbow runner, rudderfish, trevally, yellow jack and yellowtail. Although some jack species aren't particularly good to eat, many particularly pompano are considered excellent and have a rich, firm, delicately flavored flesh. Jacks are found around the world in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific. See also fish.
another name for Monterey Jack cheese.
This huge relative of the breadfruit and fig can weigh up to 100 pounds. Spiny and oval or oblong-shaped, the tropical jackfruit grows in parts of Africa, Brazil and Southeast Asia. When green, both its flesh and edible seeds are included in curried dishes. Ripe jackfruit has a bland, sweet flavor and is generally used for desserts. In the United States, jackfruit is only available canned.
A 70-proof German liqueur that's a complex blend of 56 herbs, fruits and spices. Serving Jagermeister (which means "hunt master") icy cold helps tame its assertive herbal flavor.
This dark, coarse, unrefined sugar (sometimes referred to as palm sugar ) can be made either from the sap of various palm trees or from sugar-cane juice. It is primarily used in India, where many categorize sugar made from sugar cane as jaggery and that processed from palm trees as gur. It comes in several forms, the two most popular being a soft, honeybutter texture and a solid cakelike form. The former is used to spread on breads and confections, while the solid version serves to make candies, and when crushed, to sprinkle on cereal, and so on. Jaggery has a sweet, winey fragrance and flavor that lends distinction to whatever food it embellishes. It can be purchased in East Indian markets. See also sugar.
a short, tapering chile with thick flesh, a moderately hot, green vegetable flavor and a dark green color (a red version is also available; it is a green chili that has been allowed to ripen); available fresh or canned;named for the Mexican city of Jalapa.
Named after Jalapa, the capital of Veracruz, Mexico, these smooth, dark green (scarlet red when ripe) chiles range from hot to very hot. They have a rounded tip and are about 2 inches long and 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter. Besides their flavor, jalapeños are quite popular because they're so easily seeded (the seeds and veins are extremely hot). They're available fresh and canned and are used in a variety of sauces, sometimes stuffed with cheese, fish or meat, and in a multitude of dishes. In their dried form, jalapeños are known as chipotles.
A small cake made with flaky pastry, filled with a layer of almond paste topped with jam. A latticed pastry topping allows the colorful jam filling to peek through.
fresh whole fruit and sugar cooked into a spread that preserves well.
As the name indicates, this bright red chile is extremely hot. It's small (1 to 2 inches in diameter) and has a distorted, irregular shape. Jamaican hots are often used in curried dishes and condiments. See also chile.
A dry seasoning blend that originated on the Caribbean island after which it's named, and which is used primarily in the preparation of grilled meat. The ingredients can vary, depending on the cook, but Jamaican jerk blend is generally a combination of chiles, thyme, spices (such as cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves), garlic and onions. Jerk seasoning can be either rubbed directly onto meat, or blended with a liquid to create a marinade. In the Caribbean, meats seasoned in this fashion are beef and chicken. Such preparations are referred to as "jerk beef" and "jerk chicken."
a Creole dish of ham, shrimp, crayfish and or sausage (usually chaurice) cooked with rice, tomatoes, green peppers, onions and seasonings.
French for ham.
The French term referring to a dish garnished with vegetables, which are served in individual groups arranged around the main dish.
vegetables cut into strips or a soup containing such vegetables.
This mild Swiss-style cheese has large irregular holes. It hails from Norway and has a yellow-wax rind and semifirm yellow interior. The texture is buttery rich and the flavor mild and slightly sweet. It's an all-purpose cheese that's good both for cooking and for eating as a snack. See also cheese.
An aromatic rice from Thailand that has a flavor and fragrance comparable to the expensive basmati rice from India, at a fraction of the cost. See also rice.
To congeal a food substance, often with the aid of gelatin.
a clear preserve of strained fruit juice with sugar. Jelly of another sort is made by boiling animal or fish bones and tissue.
Used to strain and clarify the juice from fruit in order to prepare jelly. A jelly bag is made from a porous yet closely woven fabric like unbleached muslin. Jelly bags are hung over a bowl with the aid of loops at the top. The crushed fruit is placed in the bowl and left to drain for several hours, preferably overnight. Before use, the jelly bag is rinsed in water and wrung dry. This prevents too much juice from being absorbed into the fabric.
This small, brightly colored, egg-shaped candy has a chewy, gelatinous texture and a hard candy coating. Jelly beans come in many flavors including lime, orange, licorice, cherry, chocolate, banana, etc. Jelly Bellies is a brand name that is now used generically to describe a miniature (about 1/2-inch-long) jelly bean. They come in many more exotic flavors such as piña colada, pink lemonade, chocolate fudge-mint, etc.
a thin sponge cake spread with jelly or filling and rolled up.
A rectangular baking pan with about 1-inch-deep sides used to make sheet cakes or sponge cakes used for jelly rolls. These pans are usually 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch; however there is a smaller pan measuring 12 x 7 x 3/4 inch and a larger one measuring 17 x 11 x 1 inch.
An invertebrate marine animal with a soft, gelatinous, umbrellalike anatomy and long, thin tentacles. Jellyfish is popular in chinese cuisines. Asian markets sell it in a dried, salted form, which must be reconstituted by soaking overnight in warm water. The red matter must then be cut away. Jellyfish toughens if excessively cooked, so it's generally quickly blanched in boiling water for only about 15 seconds. It's customarily shredded and served cold in salads for a crunchy texture.
a Jamaican preparation method in which meats and poultry are marinated in herbs and spices, then cooked over a pimento (allspice) wood fire; commercial blends of jerk spices are available.
Meat, most often beef, cut into long, thin strips and dried. Tough and salty, jerky keeps indefinitely and travels well.
an oversized bottle, generally holding up to 4 quarts.
This vegetable is not truly an artichoke but a variety of sunflower with a lumpy, brown-skinned tuber that often resembles a gingerroot. Contrary to what the name implies, this vegetable has nothing to do with Jerusalem but is derived instead from the Italian word for sunflower, girasole. Because of its confusing moniker, modern-day growers have begun to call Jerusalem artichokes sunchokes, which is how they're often labeled in the produce section of many markets. The white flesh of this vegetable is nutty, sweet and crunchy. Jerusalem artichokes are available from about October to March. Select those that are firm and fresh-looking and not soft or wrinkled. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. After that, they will begin to wither because of moisture loss. They may be peeled or, because the skin is very thin and quite nutritious, simply washed well before being used. Jerusalem artichokes can be eaten raw in salads or cooked by boiling or steaming and served as a side dish. They also make a delicious soup. Jerusalem artichokes are a good source of iron.
Found off the coast of Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico, the true jewfish is a member of the grouper family and can weigh up to 750 pounds. Giant sea bass are also sometimes referred to as jewfish. Its firm, white meat is usually sold in steaks and fillets. Jewfish can be cooked in any manner suitable for grouper. See also fish.
Used in Latin American cooking, jicama is a member of the potato family. The bulbous, brown root has a thin brown skin and crunchy and sweet white flesh.
a liquid measure equal to 1 1/2 fluid ounces.
Found in European waters, this incredibly odd-looking fish has an oval, flat body and a large, spiny head. The John Dory's flesh is delicate and mild and can be cooked in a variety of ways including grilling, sautéing and poaching. It's rarely exported to the United States, but porgy may be substituted for any recipe calling for John Dory. See also fish.
Thought to be the precursor of the pancake, the johnnycake dates back to the early 1700s. It's a rather flat griddlecake made of cornmeal, salt and either boiling water or cold milk; there are strong advocates of both versions. Today's johnnycakes often have eggs, oil or melted butter and leavening (such as baking powder) added. Some renditions are baked in the oven, more like traditional cornbread. Also called hoe cake or hoecake.
a classic corn bread unique because the meal is water-ground and made from white sweet corn.
to cut; to cut into pieces at the joint. Also, a British cut of meat for roasting.
The spicy fragrance of this bright red apple is to some just as seductive as its juicy, sweet-tart flavor. The Jonathan is in season from September through February. This all-purpose apple is great for out-of-hand eating, and for pies, applesauce and other cooked dishes. It doesn't fare well, however, when used as a baking apple. See also apple.
This large, plump almond is imported from Spain and sold plain as well as encased in hard pastel candy coatings of various colors. See also almond; nuts.
a stew made of game meat, particularly hare - jugged hare. The blood of the animal is used in the stew and it is cooked in a jug or an earthenware pot.
the liquid released or squeezed from any raw food, whether animal or vegetable, but particularly fruit.
A manual or electric kitchen device used to extract the juice from fruit, and with some models, vegetables. Most of those used strictly for juicing citrus fruits have a ridged cone onto which a halved fruit is pressed. An old-fashioned form of this tool is the reamer, a ridged, teardrop-shaped tool with a handle. A reamer is used primarily for citrus fruits.
the edible fruit of a tropical plant also known as the Chinese date. Also, a chewy gelatin candy.
to slice food into very thin shreds or strips.
Dating back to early America, this delicate, crisp, ring-shaped cookie was particularly popular in the 1800s. It's like a thin, rich sugar cookie, often made with sour cream and, formerly, scented with rose water. Jumbles can also be made with other flavorings such as orange zest or grated coconut.
Hebrew: ערער These astringent blue-black berries are native to both Europe and America. Juniper berries are too bitter to eat raw and are usually sold dried and used to flavor meats, sauces, stuffings, etc. They're generally crushed before use to release their flavor. These pungent berries are the hallmark flavoring of gin. In fact, the name is derived from the French word for juniper berry — genièvre, which is the name for gin in France.
milk which has been thickened with rennet, sweetened and is served as dessert. Also, trade name for a flavored dessert mix including rennet.
French for juice, jus also refers to the unthickened juices from a piece of roasted meat.
A sweet, colorless liqueur flavored with caraway seed, cumin and fennel.
A Dutch specialty that's a gouda-cheese fondue, served with roasted or boiled potatoes and chunks of rye bread.
New to the United States market, this winter squash has a beautiful jade green rind with celadon green streaks. When cooked, its pale orange flesh is tender-smooth and sweet. An average kabocha ranges from 2 to 3 pounds, though they have been known to weigh as much as 8 pounds. Choose squash that are heavy for their size. The rind should be dull and firm; avoid any with soft spots. Kabochas can be cooked in any way suitable for acorn squash, such as baking or steaming. Before cooking, they must be halved and seeded. See also squash.
Grown in Southeast Asia and Hawaii, the kaffir lime tree produces small, pear-shaped citrus fruit with a skin that's bright yellow-green, bumpy and wrinkled. The glossy, dark green kaffir lime leaves, which are used in cooking, have a unique double shape and look like two leaves that are joined end to end. Dried kaffir lime rind and leaves, which have a mysterious flora-citrus aroma, can be found in Asian markets. Fresh leaves, which have a more intense, fragrant aroma, are sometimes also available.
A coffee-flavored liqueur made in Mexico.
a coffee-flavored liqueur.
a large, round yeast roll with a crisp crust, used for making sandwiches or served as a breakfast roll; also known as a hard roll or Vienna roll.
a Greek fish soup.
An almond-shaped Greek olive (also spelled calamata ) that ranges in length from about 1/2 to 1 inch. Kalamatas are a dark eggplant color and have a flavor that can be rich and fruity. They're often slit to allow the wine vinegar marinade in which they're soaked to penetrate the flesh. Kalamatas are marketed packed in either olive oil or vinegar. See also olive.
This attractive, nonheading member of the cabbage family has been cultivated for over 2,000 years. Though it grows in warm climates, it's happiest in colder climes where for centuries its high vitamin content has made it particularly popular with northern Europeans. Kale has a mild, cabbagey flavor and comes in many varieties and colors. Most kale is easily identified by its frilly leaves arranged in a loose bouquet formation. The color of the leaves of the varieties most commonly available in the United States is deep green variously tinged with shades of blue or purple. There are ornamental varieties in gorgeous shades of lavender, purple and celadon green. Kale's best during the winter months, though it's available year-round in most parts of the country. Choose richly colored, relatively small bunches of kale, avoiding any with limp or yellowing leaves. Store in the coldest section of the refrigerator no longer than 2 or 3 days. After that, the flavor of kale becomes quite strong and the leaves limp. Because the center stalk is tough, it should be removed before the kale is used. Kale may be prepared in any way suitable for spinach and small amounts make a nice addition to salads. Kale, a cruciferous vegetable, provides ample amounts of vitamins A and C, folic acid, calcium and iron. See also flowering kale.
A loaf or cake of ground or pureed, steamed fish. Kamaboko is available fresh in Asian markets and is generally white but occasionally has food coloring (usually pink or red, sometimes brown, green or yellow) brushed on the surface. It's used in numerous Japanese preparations including soups, noodles and simmered dishes. Chikuwa is kamaboko shaped into rolls formed around bamboo stick. Ita-kamaboko is shaped into squares or rectangles on wood planks that are usually made of cypress. See also surimi.
Long, beige, ribbonlike strips of gourd that are dried and used as edible ties for various Japanese food packets. Kampyo is also occasionally used as an ingredient in sushi and in simmered dishes. It can be found packaged in cellophane in Asian markets. Kampyo strips must be softened in water several hours before using.
The name "kamut" comes from the ancient Egyptian word for "wheat." Considered by some to be the great-great grandfather of grains, kamut is a variety of high-protein wheat that has never been hybridized. Thirty-six kernels were brought to Montana in the late 1940s and, at this writing, the grain is grown commercially only in that state. Kamut's kernels are two to three times the size of most wheat. Not only does this grain have a deliciously nutty flavor, but it also has a higher nutritional value than its modern-day counterparts. In the United States, kamut is available only in processed foods. It's used mainly for pastas, puffed cereal and crackers. Because cultivation is limited, kamut products are hard to find, and are generally only available in health-food stores. See also wheat.
Japanese deep-frying technique whereby the food (meat, fish or vegetables) is lightly dusted with flour, cornstarch or kuzu before frying.
a side dish, like a pasta or rice side dish, served in Eastern Europe. It may be buckwheat, barley, or millet. Also, cooked buckwheat.
Sharp, salty and hard, except when flamed in brandy (as in Saganaki).
Pink flakes of dried bonito (tuna), which are used in Japanese cooking as a garnish and in some cooked preparations, principally dashi. The tuna is boiled, smoked, then sun-dried. A special tool is used to flake the extremely hard chunks. Katsuobushi can be purchased in Asian markets and the specialty section of some large supermarkets. Depending on how fresh it is when purchased, it can be stored in a cool, dry place up to a year.
The Middle Eastern equivalent of clotted cream, kaymak is made by gently heating milk (usually from water buffaloes or goats) until a rich, semisolid layer of cream forms on the surface. After it's cooled, the kaymak is typically used as a spread for bread.
minced meat or cubes of meat on a skewer, usually marinated before cooking.
Small chunks of meat, fish or fish that are usually marinated before being threaded on a skewer and grilled over coals. Pieces of vegetables can also accompany the meat on the skewer. Also called shish kebab and shashlik.
An intensely dark brown, syrupy-thick Indonesian sauce similar to, but with a sweeter, more complex flavor than, soy sauce. Kecap manis is sweetened with palm sugar (see jaggery) and seasoned with various ingredients, which generally include garlic and star anise. It's used in marinades, as a flavoring in various Indonesian dishes and as a condiment. Kecap manis can be found in Asian markets. Store indefinitely in a cool, dry place.
an English breakfast dish brought from India, and made of leftover fish, rice and hard-boiled eggs.
A spiced East Indian dish of rice, lentils and onions, Anglicized in the 18th century when the English added flaked smoked fish, hard-cooked eggs and a rich cream sauce. Kedgeree is a popular English breakfast dish.
Kefir comes from high in the Caucasus a 750-mile-long mountain range between the Caspian and Black seas. Today, it's commonly produced from cow's milk. It's a slightly sour brew of fermented milk, most of which contains about 2 1/2 percent alcohol. Kefir is reminiscent in both taste and texture of a liquid yogurt. It's available in cartons or bottles in health-food stores. See also kumiss.
A generic name for any of the edible, brown seaweeds of the family Laminariaceae. See also kombu.
1. The softer, usually edible part, contained within the shell of a nut or a stone of a fruit; also known as the meat. 2. The body of a seed within its husk or other outer covering. 3. A whole seed grain (ex. wheat and corn).
Ke-tsiap a spicy pickled-fish condiment popular in 17th-century China is said to be the origin of the name "ketchup." British seamen brought the ke-tsiap home and throughout the years the formula was changed to contain anything from nuts to mushrooms. It wasn't until the late 1700s that canny New Englanders added tomatoes to the blend and it became what we know today as ketchup. Also called catsup and catchup, this thick, spicy sauce is a traditional American accompaniment for French-fried potatoes, hamburgers and many other foods. Ketchup usually has a tomato foundation, though gourmet markets often carry condiments with similar appellations that might have a base of anything from walnuts to mangoes to mushrooms. Vinegar gives ketchup its tang, while sugar, salt and spices contribute to the blend. In addition to being used as a condiment, ketchup is used as an ingredient in many dishes.
pot for boiling liquids. In some regions the word has come to mean a pot with a handle and a spout for pouring, as a teakettle.
A custard pie very similar to a lemon meringue pie, except that it's made with the yellowish, very tart Key lime (see lime) from Florida.
Similar to the Italian calzone, khachapuri is a yeast-dough "package" filled with cheese and baked until the bread is golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly. This Russian specialty hails from Georgia (formerly of the ussr) and comes in various forms, from round to football-shaped, and from a simple and flat to that of a pleated-turban design. It's generally served hot or at room temperature.
Particularly popular in Lebanon and Syria, this Middle Eastern dish has myriad variations but basically combines ground meat (usually lamb), bulghur wheat and various flavorings. The meat may be raw or cooked.
One of the variety meats, the kidney is a glandular organ. The most popular kidneys for cooking are beef, veal, and lamb. They're easily distinguishable because beef and veal kidneys are multi-lobed while lamb is single-lobed. In general, the texture is more tender and the flavor more delicate in younger animals. The kidneys from younger animals are pale while those from older animals become deep reddish-brown; they're also tougher and stronger-flavored. Look for kidneys that are firm, with a rich, even color. Avoid those with dry spots or a dull surface. Kidneys should be used the day they're purchased, or store loosely wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Before cooking, remove skin and any excess fat. Soaking helps reduce the strong odor in kidneys from more mature animals. See a general cookbook for details pertaining to the particular type of kidney you wish to cook. Kidneys may be braised, broiled, simmered or cooked in casseroles, stews and dishes like the famous steak and kidney pie. All kidneys are a good source of protein, iron, phosphorus, vitamin A, thiamine and riboflavin.
a medium-sized, kidney-shaped bean with a dark red skin, cream-colored firm flesh and a bland flavor; available fresh, dried and canned; also know as red kidney bean.
1. A general term used for most Polish sausages. 2. A Polish sausage made from veal (with beer sometimes added) flavored with garlic; smoked, usually precooked and sold in medium to large links; also known as Polish sausage.
This spicy-hot, extraordinarily pungent condiment is served at almost every Korean meal. It's made of fermented vegetables such as cabbage or turnips that have been pickled before being stored in tightly sealed pots or jars and buried in the ground. It's dug up and used as needed. Commercial kimchi can be purchased in Korean markets. It will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator.
This large Florida-grown orange has a rather flattened shape and loose rough skin. It has a juicy, sweetly tart flesh and is in season from December to April. See also orange.
There are two distinct types of fish known as kingfish. The first is actually the regional name for a king mackerel. The name of the second type, found along the Atlantic coast, applies to any of several species of drum.
These young leaves of the prickly ash tree have a fresh, subtle mint flavor and a tender texture. They're occasionally available fresh in Japanese markets during the spring. Kinome is used as a garnish for many Japanese dishes. Store the fresh leaves in a plastic bag in your refrigerator's vegetable drawer. They should be used within 3 to 4 days. Though watercress or mint can be used as a substitute for color, nothing can duplicate the flavor of kinome.
1. A small, crescent-shaped yeast pastry with a filling of chopped nuts and brown sugar. Also known as rugalach. 2. A crescent-shaped, butter-rich cookie with either a jam filling or a filling similar to that of the pastry.
fish cured by splitting, salting, and drying or smoking. A breakfast food in England, kippered herring is poached, grilled or baked.
White wine that is flavored with a soupçon of cassis, usually served as an apéritif. When made with champagne, it's referred to as a kir royale.
a cherry-flavored liqueur made of black cherries and their pits.
From the German kirsch ("cherry") and wasser ("water"), this clear brandy is distilled from cherry juice and pits. In cookery, it's most prominently known as a flavorful addition to fondue and cherries jubilee.
A broad, flat Japanese wheat noodle, which is slightly thicker and wider than the udon noodle. Kishimen noodles are prepared and used in a similar fashion to udon noodles. See also asian noodles.
A Jewish-American sausage made with flour, matzo meal, fat, onions and the cook's choice of ground meat. The mixture is stuffed into a beef casing before being steamed, then roasted. See also sausage.
1. A small, mound-shape, baked meringue, which often contains chopped nuts, cherries or coconut. The texture of a kiss is light and chewy. 2. The term also applies to small one-bite candies, usually commercially produced.
Next to ice cream, Russians claim kissel as their favorite dessert. It's a sweetened fruit puree thickened with either cornstarch or potato flour, which gives it a soft-custard texture. Kissel can be served hot or cold, usually topped with cream or a custard sauce.
meringues. Also, small chocolate candies roll up in twists of silver paper.
Hailing from New Zealand, this oval fruit ranges in length from 3 to 5 inches. It has a bright yellow skin studded with stubby "horns," which is why it's also called a horned melon. The kiwano's pulp is a pale yellow-green color and jellylike in texture with a sweet-tart flavor evocative of bananas and cucumbers. Kiwanos can sometimes be found in specialty produce markets.
Also known as the Chinese gooseberry, this odd-looking fruit received its moniker from the flightless bird of the same name from New Zealand. It looks like a large brown egg with a covering of fine downy hair. But this rather unusual exterior hides a beautiful brilliant green flesh, spattered with tiny edible black seeds. The kiwi's flavor is elusive. Some say it's reminiscent of pineapple... others say strawberry... but all agree that it has a sweet-tart flavor unlike any other fruit. The kiwi is cultivated in both New Zealand and California. Since New Zealand's seasons are the opposite of ours, this delectable fruit is pretty much available year-round. Ripe kiwis can be stored in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks. They can be halved and scooped out like a melon or peeled, sliced and used in salads, desserts or as a garnish. New Zealand's popular pavlova dessert is a favorite local way to feature this fruit's beauty and flavor. Kiwis are a good source of vitamin C.
a small barrel-shaped fruit (Actinidia sinensis) native to New Zealand; has a greenish-brown skin covered with fuzz, brilliant green flesh that becomes more yellow toward the center, many small, edible black seeds and a sweet-tart flavor; named for the flightless bird of New Zealand; also known as the Chinese gooseberry.
Short, thick links of precooked beef sausage that is well flavored with garlic. Knackwurst is usually boiled or grilled before serving, often with sauerkraut. The name comes from the German knack ("crack") and wurst ("sausage"). It was so named from the crackling sound the sausage makes when bitten into. See also sausage.
to work a dough by hand or in a mixer to distribute ingredients and develop gluten.
A Jewish pastry made from a piece of dough closed around a mashed potato, cheese and or meat filling.
The ankle joint of beef, veal, and other meat. It is used in stews and pies and particularly in soups.
An exclusive grade of beef from cattle raised in Kobe, Japan. These pampered cattle are massaged with sake and fed a special diet that includes plentiful amounts of beer. This specialized treatment results in beef that is extraordinarily tender and full-flavored. It also makes the beef extravagantly expensive, which is why it's rarely available in the United States. See also beef.
a meat ball popular in the Balkans, the Middle and Far East.
This vegetable is a member of the turnip family and, for that reason, is also called cabbage turnip. Like the turnip, both its purple-tinged, white bulblike stem and its greens are edible. The kohlrabi bulb tastes like a mild, sweet turnip. It's available from midspring to midfall. Those under 3 inches in diameter are the most tender. Choose a kohlrabi that is heavy for its size with firm, deeply colored green leaves. Avoid any with soft spots on the bulb or signs of yellowing on leaf tips. Store tightly wrapped up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Kohlrabi's best steamed, but can also be added to soups and stews as well as used in stir-fries. It's rich in potassium and vitamin C.
Claimed by both Poles and Czechs, these sweet yeast buns are filled with poppy seeds, nuts, jam or a mashed fruit mixture.
Particularly popular in Japanese cookery, kombu is one of the two basic ingredients used for dashi (soup stock). It's a long dark brown to grayish-black seaweed, which, after harvesting, is sun-dried and folded into sheets. Kombu is sold in Japanese and health-food markets and when stored unopened in a dry place it will keep indefinitely. After opening, store in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months. Kombu has a natural white-powder covering that delivers considerable flavor. For that reason, the surface should be lightly wiped off, not washed. Kombu is used to flavor cooked foods as well as for sushi. It's sometimes pickled and used as a condiment. Kombu is also called simply kelp.
A translucent, gelatinous cake made from the starch of a yamlike tuber known as devil's tongue. Although konnyaku has no noticeable flavor, it readily absorbs the flavors of the simmered dishes to which it's added. There are two types shiru konnyaku, a refined pearly-white version, and kuro konnyaku, an unrefined cake with dark specks in it. Konnyaku is available in the refrigerated section of Asian markets. See also shirataki.
also, quoorma. A spicy Pakistani/Indian stew made of mutton and yogurt and flavored with the spices that go into a curry.
food that conforms to Jewish dietary laws, which were laid down by Moses, according to Biblical accounts of Hebrew history.
These popular melt-in-the-mouth Greek cookies are served on festive occasions such as christenings, weddings and holiday celebrations. They're buttery-rich and can contain nuts or not, but are always rolled in confectioners' sugar after baking. Kourabiedes come in various forms from balls to ovals to S-shapes. At Christmastime, a clove inserted in the top symbolizes the rare spices brought to Christ by the Magi.
Small ravioli-ish dumplings of Jewish origin, most often filled with meat or cheese.
A fruit- or cheese-filled yeast-raised cake, usually served for breakfast but also enjoyed as a dessert. It originated in Germany but is now enjoyed in many variations throughout much of Europe and the United States. The word kaffeekuchen is German for "coffee cake."
A weak-stemmed vine originally from China and Japan. The roots are dehydrated, pulverized and used to thicken soups and coasting foods to be deep fried.
A baked pudding made with potatoes or noodles and sometimes meat and vegetables, usually served on the Jewish Sabbath.
Though generally thought of as Austrian, bakers from Alsace, Germany and Poland also claim credit for this light yeast cake. It's filled with raisins, candied fruits and nuts, and generally embellished with a simple dusting of confectioners' sugar. It's traditionally baked in a special fluted kugelhopf ring mold. Also called gugelhopf.
a traditional Russian Easter cake. It is made of sweet bread dough and candied fruit, baked tall and round like the headgear of a Russian Orthodox priest.
Also called nökkelost, this Danish cheese can be made from whole or skimmed cow's milk. It can have either a natural or waxed rind and its interior is pale yellow and semifirm. Kuminost is flavored with cumin, caraway seed and clove and is popular for snacks and sandwiches, as well as melted in dishes such as casseroles and quiches. See also cheese.
Thought to have originated with the Mongols, this acrid, slightly alcoholic beverage is made from fermented milk. Like kefir, today's kumiss is produced from cow's milk. It's often used as a digestive aid.
a sweet liqueur prepared with caraway seed and cumin, made in regions bordering the eastern coast of the Baltic sea.
This pigmy of the citrus family looks like a tiny oval or round orange. It's cultivated in China, Japan and the United States. The edible golden orange rind is sweet, while the rather dry flesh is very tart. The entire fruit skin and flesh is eaten, and very ripe fruit can be sliced and served raw in salads or as a garnish. The kumquat is more likely to be found cooked, however, either candied or pickled whole or in preserves or marmalades. Fresh kumquats are available from November to March. Look for firm fruit without blemishes. Refrigerate wrapped in a plastic bag for up to a month. Kumquats contain good amounts of potassium and vitamins A and C.
a colorless liquid produced as milk sugar ferments and milk sours. It is used to curdle milk in cheese making.
This sugar occurs naturally in milk and is also called milk sugar. It's the least sweet of all the natural sugars and is used commercially in foods such as baby formulas and candies.
to move portions of a food using a ladle. A utensil with a cup-like bowl and a long hooked or pierced handle and available in various sizes; used to pour sauces and liquids (ex. soups) and to push sauces and other foods through a sieve.
A tiny apple that can range in color from brilliant red to yellow with generous red blushing. Its flesh is sweet-tart and it can be eaten raw or cooked. Fresh lady apples are available during the winter months. They're also available canned, and are widely used for garnishing purposes. See also apple.
A moist, three-layered white cake with a succulent filling of raisins, nuts and sometimes other fruit such as figs. The cake is covered with a fluffy white frosting such as boiled icing. It was first mentioned by novelist Owen Wister in his 1906 novel, Lady Baltimore. Legend has it that a young woman gave Wister such a cake, which he later chronicled in his novel. See also lord baltimore cake.
A light, delicate sponge cake roughly shaped like a rather large, fat finger. It's used as an accompaniment to ice cream, puddings and other desserts. Ladyfingers are also employed as an integral part of some desserts, such as charlottes. Ladyfingers can be made at home or purchased in bakeries or supermarkets.
a small finger-shaped sponge cake, like a cookie.
any light beer.
Used primarily in southern Louisiana and southeast Texas, the word lagniappe refers to an "unexpected something extra." It could be an additional doughnut (as in "baker's dozen"), a free "one for the road" drink, an unanticipated tip for someone who provides a special service or possibly a complimentary dessert for a regular customer.
A round, thin, crisp bread that's also known as Armenian cracker bread. It comes in a soft version, as well as in various sizes, ranging from about 6 to 14 inches in diameter. Lahvosh is available in Middle Eastern markets and most supermarkets. It's the bread used to make the popular aram sandwich.
French for "milk," such as in café au lait, which is "coffee with milk."
the meat of a sheep slaughtered when less than 1 year old; generally tender with a mild flavor; also known as a yearling.
the heart, liver, sweetbread and inside fat of the lamb.
a handy annual plant also known as corn salad. A salad green.
a fancy hot alcoholic drink made of hot sweetened ale, roasted apples, and nutmeg or ginger.
A sweet cherry variety that's large, round and a deep ruby red. The flesh is sweet, firm and meaty. A superior cherry for out-of-hand eating as well as cooking. See also cherry.
An Italian wine that comes in three versions red, white and rosé. The style best known by Americans is the pale red, semisweet, slightly effervescent Lambrusco. All three variations are made in both semisweet and dry styles, the latter being preferred in Italy. Lambrusco wines are not known for their aging capabilities and should be drunk young.
Made in Lancashire, England, this white cheese can range from soft to semifirm depending on how long it's aged. When young, the flavor is mild yet tangy. It becomes stronger and richer in flavor as it matures. Lancashire melts beautifully. See also cheese.
Particularly popular throughout the South, this white or yellow cake is layered with a mixture of coconut, nuts and dried fruits and covered with a fluffy white frosting. Lane cake is said to have originated in Clayton, Alabama, when its creator, Emma Rylander Lane, won a prize for it in the state fair.
see spiny lobster.
This famous black tea hails from China's Fukian province and is noted for its distinctive smoky essence. See also tea.
tenderized hog fat used in pie crusts and for deep-frying. Also, to insert strips of fat into meat to keep it moist and add flavor.
a long needle with a large eye, used to insert strips of fat into lean meats.
1. Narrow strips of fat used to lard meats.
1. A wide (about 2 inches), flat noodle, sometimes with ruffled edges. The plural form is lasagne. 2. A dish made by layering boiled lasagna noodles with various cheeses (usually including mozzarella) with the cook's choice of sauce, the most common being tomato, meat or Béchamel. This dish is then baked until bubbly and golden brown. See also pasta.
1. Wide, flat Italian pasta sheets with ruffled or smooth edges. 2. An Italian dish made with boiled lasagna layered with cheese (usually ricotta and mozzarella) and meats and/or vegetables and topped with a tomato, meat and/or béchamel sauce and baked.
A popular chilled yogurt drink in India, which can also be made with buttermilk or extra-rich milk. Lassi is like a healthy milk shake, the thickness of which depends on the ratio of yogurt to water. Thick lassi is made with four parts yogurt to one part water and/or crushed ice. Lassi can be flavored variously with salt, mint, cumin, sugar, fruit or fruit juices even spicy additions such as ground chiles, fresh ginger or garlic. The ingredients are all placed in a blender and processed until the mixture is light and frothy.
An American wine term referring to wines made from grapes picked toward the end of the harvest (usually late fall), preferably those with botrytis cinerea, a fungus that shrivels the grape thereby concentrating its sugar. Late-harvest wines are very sweet and usually have a high alcohol content. The most popular grapes used for these dessert wines are riesling, gewürztraminer and sauvignon blanc.
Traditionally served at Hanukkah, the latke is a pancake usually made from grated potatoes mixed with eggs, onions, matzo meal and seasonings. It's fried and served hot as a side dish.
A relative of mint, this aromatic plant has violet flowers and green or pale gray leaves, both of which lend their bitter pungency to salads. The leaves may also be used to make herb tea or, more accurately, tisane.
This citrus fruit is a white grapefruit-tangelo cross. The skin and flesh are a pale pink, the flavor sweet. This fruit is usually available only in specialty produce stores. It can be used in any manner appropriate for grapefruit. Lavender gems are also called wekiwas.
This highly nutritious dried seaweed comes in tissue-thin sheets about 7 1/2 inches square. It has a fresh, tangy-sweet flavor and a dark purple color, which is why it's also called purple laver. The Chinese name for this seaweed is jee choy, which means "purple vegetable." Before using, laver must be soaked in cold water. After an hour of soaking, it doubles in size. Laver is often used in soups. Strips of it can also be deep-fried and served as an appetizer.
two, three or more layers of cake with a filling between.
a revolving tray that sits in the middle of a dining table. Usually round.
Any of several varieties of lettuce with leaves that branch from a single stalk in a loose bunch rather than forming a tight head. The leaves are crisper and more full-flavored than those of the head lettuce varieties. Depending on the variety, leaf lettuce (also called looseleaf and Simpson lettuce ) can range in color from medium to dark green; some have red-tipped leaves. Among the more popular leaf lettuces are Oak leaf, Salad Bowl, frilly Red Leaf and crinkly Green Leaf. In general, leaf lettuce is more perishable than head lettuce. Choose bunches with crisp, evenly colored leaves with no sign of wilting or yellowing at the edges. As with all greens, leaf lettuce should be washed and either drained completely or blotted with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture before being refrigerated in a plastic bag. It will keep this way up to about 3 days. See also lettuce.
the FDA-approved food-labeling term used to describe meat, poultry, game, fish or shellfish that contains less than 10 grams of fat, less than 4 grams of saturated fat and less than 95 mg of cholesterol per serving or per 100 grams.
to lighten and increase the volume of bakery products. Leavening agents are yeast, baking powder, baking soda and eggs.
Agents that are used to lighten the texture and increase the volume of baked goods such as breads, cakes and cookies. Baking powder, baking soda and yeast are the most common leaveners used today. When mixed with a liquid they form carbon dioxide gas bubbles, which cause a batter or dough to rise during (and sometimes before) the baking process. Some foods, such as angel food cake and sponge cake, are leavened by the air beaten into egg whites. When heated, the egg whites cook and set, trapping the air inside and creating a light, airy cake.
1. A substance used to leaven a dough or batter; may be natural (ex. air or steam), chemical (ex. baking powder or baking soda) or biological (ex. yeast). 2. A type of food additive used to produce or stimulate production of carbon dioxide in baked goods to impart a light texture.
This smooth, delicate veal pâté is made with onion, garlic and eggs. The tubular sausage is cut into thick slices and either steamed or gently sautéed. Leberkäse is served warm or at room temperature. It's delicious with rye bread and mustard. See also sausage.
This thick, cakelike cookie is a specialty of Nuremberg and one of the most popular in Germany. It's honey-sweetened, full of spices, citron and almonds and often topped with a hard confectioners' sugar glaze. Lebkuchen has been made for centuries and is often baked in decorative molds to shape the cookie into intricate designs. See also cookie.
The Spanish word for "milk."
A fatty substance obtained from egg yolks and legumes, used to preserve, emulsify and moisturize food. Lecithin-vegetable oil sprays (available in every supermarket) can be used instead of high-calorie oils for greasing pans and sautéing foods.
This popular Swiss cookie comes in two versions one made with honey, one with ground almonds. Both are chewy and delicious. The dough is traditionally pressed into special wooden molds, which imprint designs on the surface of the cookies.
the sediment of dregs left as wine or liquors ferments. Also, the settling of a liquid.
Any of thousands of plant species that have seed pods that split along both sides when ripe. Some of the more common legumes used for human consumption are beans, lentils, peanuts, peas and soybeans. Others, such as clover and alfalfa, are used as animal fodder. When the seeds of a legume are dried, they're referred to as pulses. The high-protein legumes are a staple throughout the world. They contain some vitamin B, carbohydrates, fats and minerals. See also black-eyed pea; chickpea; english pea; field pea; soybean; winged bean; yard-long bean.
a large group of plants that have double-seamed pods, containing a single row of seeds; depending on the variety, the seeds, pod and seeds together, or the dried seeds, are eaten.
This orangy-red, cow's-milk cheese resembles cheddar but has a higher moisture content. Its crumbly texture makes slicing difficult but facilitates grating. The flavor is mellow with a tangy aftertaste. Leicester melts beautifully. It's also good for snacks and makes a mild accompaniment for fruit. See also cheese.
A thick, soft spread made of fruit (usually prunes or apricots) cooked with sugar. This Hungarian specialty is used to fill a variety of pastries and cookies. Lekvar can be purchased in cans or jars in most supermarkets.
a citrus fruit (Citrus limon) with a bright yellow skin, and an ovoid shape with a bulge at the blossom end, juicy yellow flesh and a very tart, distinctive flavor.
Widely available in Europe, this herb has lemon-scented, mintlike leaves that are often used to brew an aromatic tea (tisane). Its slightly tart flavor is used to flavor salads as well as meats and poultry. Also called simply balm.
One of the most important flavorings in Thai cooking, this herb has long, thin, gray-green leaves and a scallionlike base. Citral, an essential oil also found in lemon peel, gives lemon grass its sour-lemon flavor and fragrance. Lemon grass is available fresh or dried in Asian (particularly Thai) markets. It's used to make tea and to flavor soups and other dishes. Lemon grass is also called citronella and sereh.
a particularly delicate flounder taken in the waters of Georges Bank, Cape Cod and Massachusetts.
Native to South America, the long, slender leaves of this potent herb have an overpowering lemonlike flavor. For that reason, a light touch is necessary when adding lemon verbena (also called simply verbena ) to food. It's available dried and sometimes fresh in specialty produce markets. It's used to flavor fruit salads and some sweet dishes, and for tea (tisane).
A lemon-scented herb used liberally in Thai cooking.
Popular in parts of Europe and a staple throughout much of the Middle East and India, this tiny, lens-shaped pulse has long been used as a meat substitute. There are three main varieties of lentils. The French or European lentil, sold with the seed coat on, has a grayish-brown exterior and a creamy yellow interior. The reddish orange Egyptian or red lentil is smaller, rounder and sans seed coat. There's also a yellow lentil. None of these varieties are used fresh but are dried as soon as they're ripe. The regular brown lentils are commonly found in supermarkets whereas the red and yellow lentils, though available in some supermarkets, must usually be purchased in Middle Eastern or East Indian markets. Lentils should be stored airtight at room temperature and will keep up to a year. They can be used as a side dish (pureed, whole and combined with vegetables), in salads, soups and stews. One of the most notable showcases for the lentil is the spicy East Indian dal. Lentils have a fair amount of calcium and vitamins A and B, and are a good source of iron and phosphorus.
the small flat seeds of a variety of legumes (Lens esculenta); sold shelled, dried or cooked.
any of a variety of plants of the genus Lactuca, probably native to the Mediterranean and now grown worldwide; their leaves are generally consumed fresh in salads or used as a garnish. There are three principal types of lettuces: butterhead, crisp head and leaf.
Flavored with caraway or cumin seeds, this Dutch cheese is made from a combination of partially skimmed cow's milk and buttermilk. It's spicy and semisoft and delicious as a snack, especially when served with dark bread and dark beer. See also cheese.
a thickening or binding agent for soups, sauces, stuffings and so on. Examples are flour, beurre manié (see above), cornstarch, eggs, arrowroot, etc.
1. This feathery-leaved plant grows wild throughout southern and parts of central Europe. It's favored for the extract taken from its root as well as for the root itself when dried and has long been used to flavor confections and medicine. 2. A candy flavored with licorice extract.
This lightly sweet German white wine is made from a blend that often includes Riesling, Silvaner or Müller-Thurgau grapes. Its quality varies greatly depending on the shipper.
This American original was created in 1882 by Emil Frey, a New York cheesemaker. He named it after a New York singing society of the same name, whose members were great fans of the cheese. Made from cow's milk, Liederkranz has an edible, pale yellow crust and semisoft, ivory interior. The flavor is mildly pungent and the aroma distinctive. As it matures, the crust turns golden brown and the cheese a deep honey color; both flavor and aroma become much stronger. Liederkranz makes a full-flavored snack cheese and is particularly well complemented by dark bread and dark beer. See also cheese.
the FDA-approved food-labeling term used to describe a nutritionally altered food with at least 33% less calories, 50% less fat or 50% less sodium than the regular or reference (i.e. FDA standard) food.
the lungs of an animal.
A French apéritif made from a blend of wine, brandy, fruits and herbs. It originated in the French village of Podensac and has been made since the late 1800s. Lillet Blanc is made from white wine and is drier than Lillet Rouge, its red-wine counterpart. Both are classically served over ice with an orange twist.
This New World bean was named for Lima, Peru, where it was found as early as 1500. There are two distinct varieties of lima the Fordhook and the baby lima (and Fordhooks are not adult baby limas). Both are pale green, plump-bodied and have a slight kidney-shape curve. The Fordhook is larger and plumper than the baby lima. It also has a fuller flavor than its smaller relative. Fresh limas are available from June to September. They're usually sold in their pods, which should be plump, firm and dark green. The pods can be refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to a week. They should be shelled just before using. Frozen lima beans are available year-round and are labeled according to variety (Fordhook or baby). Canned and dried limas are usually labeled "jumbo," "large" or "small," a designation that relates to size and not variety. In the South, dried limas are frequently referred to as butter beans. When mottled with purple they're called calico or speckled butter beans. A traditional way to serve limas is with corn in succotash. They're also used alone as a side dish, in soups and sometimes in salads. Lima beans contain a good amount of protein, phosphorus, potassium and iron. The lima is also called the Madagascar bean. See also bean.
Undoubtedly the stinkiest of the strong-smelling cheeses, limburger has a rind that ranges in color from yellow to reddish-brown and a yellow, pasty interior. This strong, pungently flavored cheese is made from cow's milk and is soft-ripened for about 3 months. Though it originated in Belgium and is now also made in the United States, most limburger comes from Germany. The imports continue to ripen during transit, however, and often arrive devastatingly odorous. Though it's definitely categorized among those foods that are an "acquired taste," limburger has legions of fans. It's best served with full-flavored food and drink such as onions, dark breads and dark beer. See also cheese.
an ovoid citrus fruit (Citrus aurantifolia) with a thin, green skin; smaller than a lemon, it has a juicy, pale green pulp and a very tart flavor.
Also called Swedish limpa, this moist rye bread is flavored with fennel or anise, cumin and orange peel. The result is an immensely flavorful, fragrant loaf of bread.
Hawaiian word for seaweed, of which there are over two dozen varieties included in the native Hawaiian diet. Among the more popular types are the deep green limu ele'ele, the reddish-brown limu kohu, the pale brown limu lipoa and limu manauea, which ranges in color from yellow ocher to magenta.
v. A pan is lined for many reasons to prevent the mixture in it from sticking, to provide structure to a soft mixture or to add texture and/or flavor. The lining can be a nonedible material such as parchment paper, thin slices of cake (for structure, as in a charlotte), slices of cured meat (as with a pâté) or a simple coating of bread or cookie crumbs.
Found on the North American Pacific coast, lingcod is not really a cod but a greenling. This fish won't win any beauty contests, but its mildly sweet flavor and firm, lowfat texture makes up for its appearance. Lingcod ranges from 3 to 20 pounds and is available whole or as steaks or fillets. It can be prepared in almost any manner including baking, broiling, frying or grilling. Lingcod also does nicely in soups and stews. See also fish.
This tiny cowberry (a member of the cranberry family) grows wild in the mountainous regions of Scandinavia, Russia, Canada and in the United States Maine. The tart red berries are available fresh only in the regions where they're grown. They can be purchased as sweet sauces or preserves, however, and make excellent accompaniments for pancakes, crêpes, puddings, etc.
Heavily flavored with garlic, this slim (about 1/2 inch in diameter) Portuguese sausage can be found in Latin American markets and many supermarkets. It's used in many Latin dishes such as Brazil's feijoada and Portugal's caldo verde. See also sausage.
Italian for small tongue and used to describe long, narrow, slightly flattened strands of pasta.
a double hazelnut cookie filled with jam and made famous in Vienna, Austria.
Though it's now famous around the world, the motherland of this elegant, rich tart is Linz, Austria. Ground almonds, grated lemon rind and spices add their magic to the buttery crust, which is spread with jam (usually raspberry) before being topped with a lattice of crust. After baking, the tart is served at room temperature.
Hailing from and named after a province in Hungary, Liptauer contains about 45 percent fat and is made from sheep's milk. This soft, fresh cheese has a mild flavor that is commonly seasoned with herbs, onions, garlic and paprika (which turns it red). It's a delicious snack cheese, which, depending on the flavoring, can go nicely with anything from beer to white wine. Though in Hungary the cheese itself is referred to as "Liptauer," those in German-speaking countries use the same word to describe the cheese when mixed with flavorings. See also cheese.
a sweet alcoholic drink also known as a cordial and as a digestif, to be drunk after meals and served in small glasses. Also used to flavor desserts and in pastry making.
1. A distilled, alcoholic beverage made from a fermented mash of various ingredients including grains or other plants. whiskey, gin, vodka and rum are among the most popular. See also aquavit; arrack; bourbon; brandy; malt liquor; mescal; okolehao; scotch whisky; tequila. 2. pot liquor or pot likker refers to the liquid resulting from cooking meats or vegetables.
One of China's cherished fruits for over 2,000 years, the small (1 to 2 inches in diameter) litchi has a rough, bright red shell. The creamy white flesh is juicy, smooth and delicately sweet. It surrounds a single seed. Native to Southeast Asia, the litchi is cultivated in subtropical regions including California, Florida and Hawaii. Fresh litchis are available from June to about mid-July. Choose those with brightly colored skins free of blemishes. Place in a plastic bag and refrigerate unshelled for up to a week. Shell, seed and eat plain or as part of a fruit salad or dessert. Canned and dried litchis are available year-round. When dried they're often referred to as litchi nuts because they resemble a nut the shell turns a dark reddish brown and the flesh becomes brown and crisp. They're eaten as a snack, much in the same way as nuts or candy.
The largest and one of the most important organs, liver has immense nutritional value... providing, that is, that it comes from a fairly young animal. Because liver acts as a clearinghouse for substances that enter the body, it tends to store and absorb unwanted chemicals, medicines and hormones that an animal might be fed. Naturally, the older the animal the greater the accumulation of these unwanted substances, which, according to some, offset liver's nutritional value. For this very reason, many people choose the more expensive calf's liver over beef liver. There are several ways to distinguish between the two. The color of beef liver is reddish-brown, compared to the paler pinkish-brown of calf's liver. Liver from a mature animal also has a stronger odor and flavor than that from a youngster. Additionally, it will be less tender. Besides beef and calf's, the most common animal livers used in cookery are lamb, poultry and goose, the latter used mainly to produce pâté de foie gras. Poultry livers are the most mild and tender of the lot. All livers are usually available fresh beef and chicken livers may also be purchased frozen (though the quality of frozen liver is considerably lower than that of fresh). While chicken livers are sold whole, most of those from other animals are marketed sliced. Look for liver that has a bright color and moist (not slick) surface. It should have a fresh, clean smell. Refrigerate loosely wrapped for no more than a day. Liver can be prepared in a variety of ways though quick sautéing is the most popular. It toughens quickly with overcooking. Liver is rich in iron, protein and vitamin A.
A broad term for "liver sausage" referring to well-seasoned, ready-to-eat sausage made from at least 30 percent liver mixed with other meat. The texture of liverwurst can range from firm enough to slice to creamy-smooth and spreadable. It can be smoked or plain and comes in large links, loaves and slices. It's generally used for snacks and sandwiches and is especially suited to rye bread and crackers. See also sausage; braunschweiger the most popular of the liverwursts.
1. Fresh Chinese egg noodles. 2. A Chinese-American dish of poultry, shrimp and/or meat with vegetables such as bean sprouts, mushrooms, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and green onions served over soft noodles.
There's disagreement as to the origin of this beautiful ruby red, blackberry-shaped berry. Some botanists think it's a separate species while others consider it a raspberry-blackberry hybrid. All agree that it was discovered by California Judge J. H. Logan in the late 1800s. Available in June and July, the loganberry is juicy and sweetly tart, and turns purple-red when very ripe. Choose plump, brightly colored berries that are uniform in size. Avoid soft, shriveled or moldy fruit. Do not wash until ready to use, and store (preferably in a single layer) in a moistureproof container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Loganberries are delicious both cooked and fresh. They make wonderful jams and preserves.
Depending on the animal, the loin comes from the area on both sides of the backbone extending from the rib to the leg (in beef, lamb and veal). Beef loin is divided into short loin and sirloin. In general, the loin is a tender cut that can be butchered into chops, steaks and roasts.
1. A flank steak that has been cut into large pieces, tenderized by marinating, broiled or grilled, then thinly sliced across the grain. 2. A term also used for various thick cuts of meat including sirloin tip (see sirloin) and top round (see round).
A potent mixed drink composed of gin, vodka, cola and lemon. It's served in a tall glass over ice. Sometimes tequila is also added to the mix.
Also called dragon's eye, this native Southeast Asian fruit is small (about 1 inch in diameter) and round and has a thin brown shell. Inside is a translucent white, juicy-soft pulp that surrounds a large black seed. The perfumy flavor is delicate and sweet. Fresh longans can occasionally be found in Asian markets during July and August. They may be refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to 3 weeks. The easy-to-peel shell must be removed before eating. Dried and canned longans are available year-round. Longans are eaten as a snack and used in some Asian soups, sweet-and-sour dishes and desserts.
Named after the longhorn cow, this cheese is a mild form of cheddar. It comes in cylinders and rectangles. See also cheese.
a small citrus fruit that sweetens as it ripens. It is good peeled, stewed with sugar, and served with cream or combined with other fruits.
A three-layered yellow cake with a filling of chopped pecans or almonds, maraschino cherries and macaroon crumbs. The cake is covered with a fluffy white frosting such as boiled icing. See also lady baltimore cake.
A water lily whose leaves, root and seeds are frequently used in Asian cooking. The huge lotus leaves have a diameter of from 11 to 15 inches. They can be found fresh and dried in Asian markets. These leaves are used both as a flavoring and to wrap sweet and savory mixtures (rice, meat, fruit, etc.) for steaming. The underwater lotus root can be up to 4 feet long. It looks like a solid-link chain with 8-inch lengths, each about 3 inches in diameter. It has a reddish-brown skin that must be peeled before using. The lotus root's creamy-white flesh has the crisp texture of a raw potato and a flavor akin to fresh coconut. Besides the fresh form, it's also available canned, dried and candied. Lotus root is used as a vegetable as well as in sweet dishes. The oval, delicately flavored lotus seeds are eaten out of hand both in their fresh and dried forms. Dried lotus seeds are also candied and used in desserts and pastry fillings. They can be purchased canned or in bulk in Asian markets. The lotus is also called hasu and renkon.
a water lily whose root is used as a vegetable. It is crisp when fresh. Sold dried, cut into rounds in Oriental markets.
small and nutlike, these can be eaten raw or cooked into a stuffing.
A sauce made of mayonnaise, chili sauce, cream, scallions, green peppers, lemon juice and seasonings. This dressing is wonderful with all manner of cold fish dishes.
Seasoned with orange rind, this Greek sausage is made with lamb. Loukanika is a fresh sausage and must therefore be cooked before eating. It's usually cut into chunks and sautéed. See also sausage.
A celery-like vegetable.
A tomato moniker that originated in the 16th century when tomatoes from North Africa were known in Italy as pomo dei Mori, "apples of the Moors." That was transliterated to the French pomme d'amour... "love apple."
a traditional Hawaiian freest featuring roast pig.
Italian for "snails," referring culinarily to large pasta shells intended for stuffing.
This Philippine version of the egg roll consists of a lumpia wrapper (a thin "skin" made of flour or cornstarch, eggs and water) wrapped around a filling and fried. Sometimes a lettuce leaf is used to enfold the filling mixture, in which case lumpia is not fried. The filling can be made of chopped raw or cooked vegetables, meat or a combination of the two. Lumpia can be served as an appetizer or side dish.
A Scandinavian specialty made with unsalted dried cod. The age-old preparation method is to soak the dried cod in regularly changed cold water for a period of eight days. The cod is then soaked for two days in a mixture of water and potash lye, after which it's soaked for two more days in fresh water. (Thankfully, for fans of this dish, ready-to-cook lutefisk is commercially available.) The final step is simmering the fish for 10 to 15 minutes, just until it becomes translucent. Just before serving, lutefisk is sprinkled with allspice, salt and white pepper. It's accompanied with white sauce (see Béchamel) and, typically, boiled potatoes.
a small fruit native to South China. It has a sweet-sour flavor and is considered as good canned as fresh.
A classic French sauce made with white wine, sautéed onions and demi-glace. The sauce is strained before being served with meats and sometimes poultry.
in the style of Lyons, literally, and usually featuring shredded fried onions as a garnish. Lyons is a city in central France famous for its cuisine.
Dark, tangy greens used most often in salads.
head waiter, but on menus, a dish that is cooked quickly and simply with parsley as the featured flavor.
a parsley butter excellent with grilled meats or fish and vegetables, especially carrots. The recipe calls for butter, minced parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper blended. (Be wary of mincing the parsley in a blender; overblended in a blender or a processor, parsley releases a bitter juice that spoils the food it is combined with. You can avoid overblending by cutting only a small handful at a time in the machine).
A compound butter made by blending together softened butter, lemon juice or vinegar, chopped parsley and seasonings. It is served as an accompaniment to fish, poultry and meat.
A headwaiter or house steward, sometimes informally referred to simply as maître d'.
A dish of colorful, attractively cut fresh fruits or, less commonly, vegetables, either of which may be raw or cooked. The fruits are customarily either briefly soaked or drizzled with a mixture of sugar syrup and liqueur. A fruit macédoine is served for dessert, either cold or flambéed. For a savory macédoine, each vegetable is cooked separately, then artfully arranged together on a plate and dressed with seasoned melted butter. It can be served as a side dish or a first course.
a round, costly, and delicious nut sold shelled and bottled. It is the fruit of a subtropical evergreen native to Australia but most that reach the market come from Hawaii (also grown in California). Seeds were brought to Hawaii in 1880, and the nuts first were offered on the market in the 1930s.
1. Dried pasta made from a dough of wheat flour and water. 2. In the United States, specifically, short elbow-shaped tubes of pasta.
A small cookie classically made of almond paste or ground almonds (or both) mixed with sugar and egg whites. Almond macaroons can be chewy, crunchy or a combined texture with the outside crisp and the inside chewy. There is also a coconut macaroon, which substitutes coconut for the almonds. Macaroons can be flavored with various ingredients such as chocolate, maraschino cherries or orange peel.
The Italian word for all types of macaroni, from hollow tubes, to shells, to twists.
1. A spice that tastes and smells like a pungent version of nutmeg. 2. Mace is the bright red membrane that covers the nutmeg seed. After the membrane is removed and dried it becomes a yellow-orange color. It's sold ground and, less frequently, whole (in which case it's called a "blade"). Mace is used to flavor all manner of foods, sweet to savory.
1.To soak a food (usually fruit) in a liquid in order to infuse it with the liquid's flavor. A spirit such as brandy, rum or a liqueur is usually the macerating liquid.
Any of several species of fish found in the Atlantic Ocean off both the North American and European coasts. The king mackerel (also called kingfish ) is probably the most well known of this family of fish. The mackerel has a firm, high-fat flesh with a pleasant savory flavor. When small (about 1 pound), it's sold whole. Larger fish are cut into fillets and steaks. Mackerel is also available smoked or salted. The latter must be soaked overnight before using to leach excess salt. Mackerel can be cooked in almost any manner including broiling, baking and sautéing. See also fish.
This favorite East Coast apple is small to medium-size and wine red in color. It's crisp, juicy and sweetly tart. The Macoun is considered an all-purpose apple, but is especially good for eating out of hand. See also apple.
Another name for lima bean.
Named after the Portuguese-owned island where it's made, Madeira is a distinctive fortified wine that's subjected to a lengthy heating process during maturation. It can range in color from pale blond to deep tawny and runs the gamut from quite dry to very sweet. The pale golden Sercial is the lightest, driest Madeira, while the rich, dark Malmsey is the sweetest. Bual and Verdelho are both medium-sweet wines. The flavor of American-made Madeiras cannot compare with that of the Portuguese originals... but then they're a fraction of the price. The lighter Madeiras are often served as apéritifs, while the richer, darker Malmsey is perfect for after-dinner sipping. Madeira is also an excellent cooking wine and can be used in both sweet and savory preparations.
A traditional English favorite that's like a simple pound cake, the top of which is sprinkled with candied lemon peel halfway through baking. The name comes from the fact that it is usually served with a glass of madeira. Some cooks also sprinkle the baked cake with Madeira before it cools.
a small cake baked in a shell-shaped mold. Also, a garnish of artichoke bottoms, onions and green beans.
a consommé flavored with tomato, usually served cold.
A broad, flat noodle that resembles a narrow, ripple-edged lasagna noodle. See also pasta.
Thought by some to be Spain's answer to the French madeleine, magdalenas are small sponge cakes made with eggs, flour and olive oil although many modern versions use sunflower oil instead. Although these small cakes have been made for special holidays since the Middle Ages, they are now so popular that they're an everyday pleasure for most Spaniards. Magdalenas have an invitingly tender, moist texture and shiny, golden brown tops. They come in three basic shapes the classic, high-domed round, a flat-topped round and an oblong shape.
Short, curved tubes of pasta.
a single bottle with a capacity of two bottles or about 2/5 gallon, or 160 centiliters.
Though this is actually a type of dolphin, it shouldn't be confused with the dolphin that is a mammal. To avoid this misunderstanding, the Hawaiian name mahi mahi is becoming more widespread. Also called dolphinfish and dorado, mahi mahi is found in warm waters throughout the world. It's a moderately fat fish with firm, flavorful flesh. It ranges in weight from 3 to 45 pounds and can be purchased in steaks or fillets. Mahi mahi is best prepared simply, as in grilling or broiling. See also fish.
Used in the Middle East as a flavoring in baked goods, mahleb is ground black-cherry pits. It can be purchased in Greek or Middle Eastern markets, either prepackaged or ground to order.
A potent, complex mixed drink made with light and dark rums, orgeat syrup, curaçao, orange and lime juices and any other touches the bartender might add. It's served over ice and garnished with a skewer of fresh fruit. The mai tai is said to have been created by Victor Bergeron, the original owner of Trader Vic's restaurant, who said he created it for a couple of Tahitian friends. On tasting it, they reportedly exclaimed, "Mai Tai!" meaning "out of this world."
French for "corn" or "corn on the cob."
The French word for "house." On a menu, such a designation like pâté maison refers to a specialty of the house or to the fact that the dish was made by the house chef.
The Mexican and Spanish word for "corn."
The European word for corn.
American corn bread, also known as corn pone, spoon bread, egg cake and ash cake. Each of these is made by a somewhat different method, but all have cornmeal as the base.
A root vegetable that looks similar to a coconut, with potato-like flesh.
A natural acid found in sour apples and other fruits. In winemaking, when certain bacteria convert malic acid to lactic acid (which is much less strong and sour), a process called "malolactic fermentation" occurs. This reduces the wine's tartness, adds complexity to the flavor and sometimes contributes a slight sparkle. Malic acid is used as an acidulant as well as a flavoring agent in the processing of some foods.
sprouted barley used to brew beer or distill spirits.
A beer that has a relatively high alcohol content by weight usually from 5 to 8 percent, with several varieties reaching as high as 9 percent. See also beer.
A natural sweetener made from a filtered, evaporated mash of ground corn and sprouted barley. Found in health-food stores, malt syrup has an earthy, full-bodied flavor and is 75 to 80 percent as sweet as honey. Plain malt syrup is sweeter than the hop-flavored style, which has a bitter edge. Malt syrup may be substituted for other syrupy sweeteners. It's also referred to as malt extract.
hollandaise sauce blended with orange juice and grated orange rind, used to top cooked vegetables, particularly asparagus and green beans.
a drink made from powdered wheat and malted barley extracts, mixed with milk and sometimes, added flavorings like chocolate, strawberry, etc.
Also called malt sugar, this disaccharide plays an important role in the fermentation of alcohol by converting starch to sugar. It also occurs when enzymes react with starches (such as wheat flour) to produce carbon dioxide gas (which is what makes most bread doughs rise).
Spain's most famous cheese, so named because it was originally made only from the milk of Manchego sheep that grazed the famous plains of La Mancha. Manchego is a rich, golden, semifirm cheese that has a full, mellow flavor. The two that are most commonly exported are curado, aged between 3 and 4 months, and viejo, aged longer. Manchego is a wonderful snack cheese and melts beautifully in heated dishes. See also cheese.
1. Any of several varieties of a small citrus fruit (Citrus reticulata) native to China, including the mandarin, dancy, tangerine clementine and satsuma. 2. A citrus fruit; generally has a somewhat flattened spherical shape, loose yellow to reddish-orange rind, orange flesh and a sweet flavor that is less acidic than that of an orange.
A loose-skinned orange category that includes several varieties that can be sweet or tart, seedless or not and can range in size from as small as an egg to as large as a medium grapefruit. They all, however, have skins that slip easily off the fruit. Among the more well-known mandarin-orange family members are clementine, dancy, satsuma and tangerine. The tiny clementine has a thin peel and a tangy-sweet red-orange flesh that's usually seedless. It's cultivated in Spain and North Africa and can usually be found only in specialty produce markets. Dancy oranges are similar in size and color (and equally rich-flavored) to clementines but have a plenitude of seeds. The small Japanese satsuma oranges are almost seedless. Most of the canned mandarin oranges on the market are satsumas. The most common mandarin found in the United States is the tangerine, which has a thick, rough skin and sweet flesh. It was named for the city of Tangier, Morocco. Mandarin oranges can, depending on the variety, be found in the market from November through June. See also orange; tangelo.
Chinese crêpes, usually made with wheat flour and used to wrap foods such as peking duck.
An orange-flavored liqueur made with cognac and mandarin oranges.
From the German words mandel ("almond") and brot ("bread"), this Jewish favorite is a crisp almond bread that is eaten as a cookie.
A compact, hand-operated slicing machine with various adjustable blades or inserts for thin to thick slicing and for julienne and french-fry cutting. Mandolines have folding legs and come in plastic, wood- or stainless steel-frame models. They're used to cut firm vegetables and fruits (such as potatoes and apples) with uniformity and precision. On most machines, the food is held in a metal carriage on guides so that fingers aren't in danger. V-slicers are a less expensive alternative for the home cook.
French for "eat everything," referring to a bean or pea, such as the sugar snap pea, where everything pod to seed is edible.
a tropical fruit the size of a small pear, in its original species, but today mango hybrids are as large as small or medium grapefruits. From India, and a key ingredient in some of the best chutneys, notably Major Greys. The fruit is yellow shaded red when ripe, and is peeled before eating. Best chilled, and ripe enough to be softly yielding. Delicious taste between a pineapple and a very ripe peach.
Widely cultivated in the Asian tropics, the mangosteen is no relation to the mango. In size and structure, it's much like a tangerine, having 5 to 8 fruit segments. The segmented flesh is soft, cream-colored and juicy. It has a tantalizingly sweet-tart flavor that is extremely refreshing. The hard skin of the mangosteen is a dark purple-brown. Unfortunately, the mangosteen is rarely imported to the United States.
A cocktail made with bourbon or blended whiskey mixed with sweet vermouth. It's served over ice and garnished with a maraschino cherry. A perfect Manhattan uses equal parts sweet and dry vermouth, while a dry Manhattan uses all dry vermouth.
Tube-shaped noodles about 4 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. They're available packaged in supermarkets. Manicotti are boiled, then stuffed with a meat or cheese mixture, covered with a sauce and baked. See also pasta.
Cassava, the source plant for tapioca.
A white, crystalline sweetener added to processed foods for the purpose of thickening, stabilizing and sweetening.
A favorite apéritif in its native Spain, manzanilla is a light, extremely dry sherry. It's served cold, often to accompany fish, and is commonly used in savory sauces.
The American Indians taught the Colonists how to tap the maple tree for its sap and boil it down to what the Indians called "sweetwater." Canada, New York and Vermont are all known for their superior maple products. The maple-tapping season (called "sugar season") usually begins sometime around mid-February and can last anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. The "sugarmakers" insert spouts into the maple trees (a grove of which is called a "sugarbush") and hang buckets from them to catch the sap. Some companies connect plastic tubing to the spout, running it from tree to tree and eventually directly to a large holding tank where it's stored until ready to be processed. The sap is then taken to the "sugarhouse," where it's boiled until evaporated to the desired degree. Quite simply, maple syrup is sap that has been boiled until much of the water has evaporated and the sap is thick and syrupy. At the beginning of the sugar season, when the sap is concentrated, it only takes about 20 gallons of it to make a gallon of syrup, whereas toward the end of the season it may take up to 50 gallons of sap. Maple sugar, which is about twice as sweet as granulated white sugar, is the result of continuing to boil the sap until the liquid has almost entirely evaporated. In between those two stages at least two other products are made: maple honey (thicker than syrup) and maple cream or butter (thick and spreadable). Maple syrup is graded according to color and flavor. Generally, U.S. grades are: Fancy or Grade aa, a light amber colored syrup with a mild flavor; Grade A is medium amber and mellow-flavored; Grade B is dark amber and hearty flavored; and Grade C is very dark with a robust, molasseslike flavor. Since the processing of maple syrup is labor-intensive, pure maple syrup is quite expensive. A less costly product labeled maple-flavored syrup is a combination of less expensive syrup (such as corn syrup) and a small amount of pure maple syrup. Pancake syrups are usually nothing more than corn syrup flavored with artificial maple extract. Pure maple syrup should be refrigerated after opening. Warm to room temperature before serving.
a reddish-brown, viscous liquid with a sweet distinctive flavor, made by reducing the sap of the North American maple tree.
small cuts of meat and poultry which are breaded and fried in butter. Green asparagus tips and truffles are usual in the garnish.
a sweet liqueur made from cherries. Also, red cherries in maraschino syrup, which are used in mixed drinks and with desserts, such as fruit salad and as a garnish on drinks.
This specially treated fruit can be made from any variety of cherry, though the royal ann is most often used. The cherries are pitted and then macerated in a flavored sugar syrup (usually almond flavor for red cherries, mint for green). At one time they were traditionally flavored with maraschino liqueur, though such an extravagance is now rare. The cherries are then dyed red or green. The federal government has now banned the use of the harmful dyes that were used until recently. Maraschino cherries can be purchased with or without stems. They're used as a garnish for desserts and cocktails, as well as in baked goods and fruit salads.
A bittersweet, cherry-flavored Italian liqueur made from wild marasca cherries (and their crushed pits) grown in the area of Trieste.
a term for meat streaked with fat. When cooked, marbled meat is juicy and exceptionally tender, so this is a mark of a high-quality piece, especially sought after in steaks and beef roasts.
Flecks or thin streaks of fat that run throughout a piece of meat, enhancing its flavor, tenderness and juiciness. Very lean cuts of meat are sometimes artificially marbled (see lard v. ).
eau-de-vie, a spirit distilled from the residue of grapes or other fruit after wine has been pressed and strained. Calvados is the marc made of apples.
A French sauce (the name of which means "wine merchants") made from a heavily reduced mixture of full-bodied red wine, chopped shallots, cracked pepper and glace de viande. At the last minute, butter, lemon juice and minced parsley are whisked into the reduction. Marchands de vin, which is sometimes chilled until firm, is a popular accompaniment for grilled or roasted meats.
A veal or chicken dish in which the meat is sautéed in olive oil, then braised with tomatoes, onions, olives, garlic, white wine or brandy and seasonings. Sometimes scrambled eggs accompany the dish. It's said to have been created by Napoleon's chef after the 1800 Battle of Marengo.
a butter substitute made from animal or vegetable fat and butter flavored.
A cocktail made with tequila, an orange-flavored liqueur (usually triple sec) and lime juice. The rim of the glass is traditionally dipped in lime juice, then coarse salt. A margarita may be served straight up or on the rocks. It can also be blended with ice into a slushy consistency.
Italian for "daisies," referring culinarily to narrow flat noodles with one rippled side. See also pasta.
A sauce made from a reduced mixture of white wine and fish stock blended with egg yolks and butter. The sauce, which was developed by French chef Nicolas Marguery in the late 1800s, is most often served with mild fish, such as sole.
This bright yellow flower is used culinarily to flavor and add color to salads, soups and other dishes. The petals are sometimes dried, powdered and used as a coloring agent. See also flowers, edible.
a seasoned liquid blend, usually acid-based with wine, vinegar, yogurt or lemon juice, or a dry spice rub.
To soak a food such as meat, fish or vegetables in a seasoned liquid mixture called a marinade. The purpose of marinating is for the food to absorb the flavors of the marinade or, as in the case of a tough cut of meat, to tenderize. Because most marinades contain acid ingredients, the marinating should be done in a glass, ceramic or stainless-steel container never in aluminum. Foods should be covered and refrigerated while they're marinating. When fruits are similarly soaked, the term used is macerate.
to cover food with a marinade for a specified amount of time before cooking to make it more flavorful, more moist and/or more tender. (Food should be covered and refrigerated while marinating.).
to cook shellfish with white wine. Also, a garnish with mussels.
1. A long, rectangular dacquoise made with ground almonds and hazelnuts and layered with chocolate buttercream. 2. The French word for the herb marjoram.
an herb and member of the mint family (Origanum marjorana) native to the Mediterranean, has short oval, pale green leaves, a sweet flavor reminiscent of thyme and oregano and a strong aroma; also known as sweet marjoram.
This Massachusetts specialty is a single-crust pie with a custardlike filling of applesauce, eggs, cream and sometimes sherry. Many Massachusetts families serve it as a traditional Thanksgiving dessert.
a citrus jelly that also contains unpeeled slices of citrus fruit.
a heavy metal or earthenware pot.
French dish. A rich broth called consommé double, it includes chicken and beef with vegetables and herbs. The words mean small pot.
Marron is the French word for "chestnut." Marrons glacé are chestnuts that have been preserved in a sweet syrup. They can be found in jars or cans in the gourmet section of most supermarkets and are quite expensive. They're eaten as a confection, chopped and used to top desserts such as ice cream and mixed fruit or used to make desserts such as the rich mont blanc.
a squash. Also, the inner substance of meat bones, usually shin bones.
Grown chiefly in the East, these are the largest and roundest of the white beans. They're usually found fresh only in the region where they're grown, but are available dried year-round in most supermarkets. Marrow beans are customarily served sauced as a side dish, in the manner of a pasta. See also beans.
A bone, usually from the thigh and upper legs of beef, containing marrow. The long bones are usually cut into 2- to 3-inch lengths.
Imported from Sicily and made from local grapes, Marsala is Italy's most famous fortified wine. It has a rich, smoky flavor that can range from sweet to dry. Sweet Marsala is used as a dessert wine, as well as to flavor such desserts as the famous zabaglione. Dry Marsala makes an excellent apéritif. There are also special Marsala blends with added ingredients such as cream, eggs and almonds.
Once created from the sweetened extract of the roots of the marshmallow plant, this sweet is now commercially made from corn syrup, gelatin, gum arabic and flavorings. Light, fluffy marshmallows come packaged in regular size (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter) and miniature (1/2 inch in diameter). They may be white or pastel colors. Marshmallows are used variously to top hot chocolate and dishes such as sweet potatoes. Marshmallow creme is a thick, whipped mixture available in jars. It's used in fudge, as an ice-cream topping and as a filling for cakes and candies. Marshmallow recipe
Said to have been named after the company of Martini & Rossi (famous for their vermouth), this cocktail is made with gin and vermouth, garnished with either a green olive or a lemon twist. The less vermouth it contains, the "drier" (see dry) it is. A martini may be served straight up or on the rocks. It may also be made with vodka, in which case it's called a vodka martini. A gibson is a martini garnished with a tiny white onion.
A sweet, pliable mixture of almond paste, sugar and sometimes unbeaten egg whites. It's often tinted with food coloring and molded into a variety of forms including fruits, animals and holiday shapes. Some fancy commercial marzipan fruit is colored so convincingly that it can almost be mistaken for the real thing. Marzipan is also rolled into thin sheets and used either to cover cakes or to cut into strips to form ribbons, bows and a variety of other shapes. Marzipan is available in most supermarkets, packaged in cans or plastic-wrapped logs.
a combination of almond paste, sugar and egg whites used in making pastry and small fruit shapes for holidays.
Corn tortilla dough.
The Spanish word for "dough," masa is the traditional dough used to make corn tortillas. It's made with sun- or fire-dried corn kernels that have been cooked in limewater (water mixed with calcium oxide). After having been cooked, then soaked in the limewater overnight, the wet corn is ground into masa. Masa harina (literally "dough flour") is flour made from dried masa.
A word used throughout India for a spice blend with myriad variations. It can refer to a simple combination of two or three spices (such as cardamom, coriander and mace) or a complex blend of 10 or more ingredients. The principal masala blend used in India is garam masala, the variations of which are countless, depending on the cook and the dish being seasoned.
Ultra-rich, soft cheese known best for its role in tiramisu.
Hailing from Italy's Lombardy region, mascarpone is a buttery-rich double-cream to triple-cream cheese made from cow's milk. It's ivory-colored, soft and delicate, and ranges in texture from that of a light clotted cream to that of room-temperature butter. It's versatile enough to be blended with other flavors and is sometimes sold sweetened with fruit. In Italy's Friuli region a favorite blend is mascarpone mixed with anchovies, mustard and spices. But in truth, this delicately flavored cheese needs little embellishment other than being topped with fruit. See also cheese.
to crush or pound, generally used in connection with cooked root vegetables, such as potatoes and turnips.
A brilliant green powdered tea served in the Japanese tea ceremony. Matcha, also called hiki-cha, is made from very high quality tea, which is too bitter for most western plates.
a rich fish stew flavored with red or white wine and herbs.
This dark brown Japanese wild mushroom has a dense, meaty texture and nutty, fragrant flavor. It's available fresh from late fall to midwinter, usually only in Japanese markets or specialty produce stores. Canned matsutake are also marketed. These mushrooms can be cooked by a variety of methods including braising, grilling, steaming and frying. See also mushroom.
a type of thin unleavened bread special to the Passover feast celebrated by the Jews. It resembles a cracker. Also, unleavened dumplings.
Also called a knaidel (pl. knaidlach ), this small, round dumpling is made with matzo meal, eggs, chicken fat and seasonings. Matzo balls are usually cooked and served in chicken soup.
A Jewish dish made with pieces of matzo that have been soaked in hot water, squeezed dry, then dipped in beaten egg and fried like french toast. Matzo brei is typically served with cinnamon-sugar, maple syrup or honey.
Ground matzo, generally available in two textures fine and medium. Matzo meal is used in a variety of foods including gefilte fish, matzo balls and pancakes. It's also used to thicken soups and for breading foods to be fried. Matzo meal is available in Jewish markets and most supermarkets.
A thin, brittle, unleavened bread traditionally eaten during the Jewish Passover holiday. Tradition states that matzo is made only with water and flour but some modern-day versions include flavorings like onion. Matzo can be found in Jewish markets as well as most supermarkets. See also matzo meal.
Though poisonous when green, the yellow, egg-shaped May apple can be safely eaten after ripening. This member of the barberry family is about the size of a large cherry. It's lightly sweet and acidic and makes very good preserves. The May apple is found in the East but is rarely available in markets. See also apple.
A German white-wine punch flavored with woodruff. Also called Maibowle, May wine is sold bottled and can be found in some gourmet liquor and wine stores.
a cold, thick, creamy sauce consisting of oil and vinegar emulsified with egg yolks; used as a spread or base for a salad dressing or dip.
Discovered in the late 1700s by Canadian John McIntosh, this medium-crisp, tart-sweet apple has a bright red skin that is sometimes tinged with green. It's available from late September through March. Though the McIntosh is considered an all-purpose apple, it doesn't hold up well when subjected to lengthy cooking. See also apple.
an alcoholic drink of fermented honey and water.
1. The coarsely ground seeds of any edible grain such as oats or corn. 2. Any dry, ground substance such as bone or dried fish meal.
1. Having a dry or powdery texture that resembles meal. 2. A term used to describe the texture of a baked potato as slightly dry and almost crumbly.
Containers that come in graduated sizes, used to measure amounts of food. Dry measuring cups come in nested sets that can include 2-cup, 1-cup, 1/2-cup, 1/3-cup, 1/4-cup and 1/8-cup (2-tablespoon) sizes. The dry ingredient can either be stirred first (as with flour and confectioners' sugar) or simply spooned lightly into the cup, then leveled off with the straight edge of a knife. Brown sugar and shortening should be packed tightly into the cup before being leveled off. For foods such as coconut, nuts and chocolate chips, the cups should be filled, then leveled off with your fingers. Liquid measuring cups range in size from 1 to 4 cups. To use, simply pour in liquid and read measurement at eye level. See also metric system.
vessels, usually made of plastic or metal, with a handle and a rim that is level with the top measurement specified; used to measure the volume of dry substances and are generally available in a set of 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, and 1-cup capacities; metric measures are also available.
vessels, usually made of glass, plastic or metal, with a handle and a spout that is above the top line of measurement; specifically used to measure the volume of a liquid and are generally available in 1, 2, and 4-cup to 1-gallon capacities; metric measures are also available; also know as glass cup measures.
1. The flesh (muscles, fat and related tissues) of animals used for food. 2. The edible part of nuts.
Hanging and aging is how many meat processors tenderize meat, but the home cook can easily do so by simple mechanical or chemical methods. Tenderizing meat mechanically is accomplished by breaking down the meat's tough fibers through pounding. Meat pounders (also called meat bats, mallets and tenderizers ) come in metal or wood and in a plethora of sizes and shapes. They can be large or small, have horizontal or vertical handles and be round-, square- or mallet-shaped. Some have smooth surfaces while others are ridged. Tenderizing meat chemically refers to softening the meat fibers by long, slow cooking, by marinating it in an acid-based marinade, or by using a commercial meat tenderizer. Most forms of the latter are a white powder, composed mostly of a papaya extract called papain, an enzyme that breaks down tough meat fibers. The use of this enzyme is nothing new South American cooks have been using papaya juice to tenderize meat for ages. Powdered meat tenderizer is available at most supermarkets. Most brands contain salt, sugar (in the form of dextrose) and the anticaking agent calcium stearate.