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    David C

    Abalone –
    A mollusk, related to a sea snail, similar in flavor to a clam. It may be cooked by various methods and is best suited to very long or very short cooking times. Also called “Awabi” in Japanese cuisine and “Loco” in South American cuisine. It has been over-harvested and is very expensive when available. A small amount is being commercial raised.


    An East Indian word referring to pickled and salted relishes. They can be made sweet or hot, depending on the seasoning added.

    Acidulated Water –
    A mixture of water and a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice, used to purify or prevent discoloration in meats and vegetables

    acini di peppe
    [ah-CHEE-nee dee PAY-pay]
    Italian for “peppercorns,” referring culinarily to tiny peppercorn-shaped PASTA.

    In cooking, to “adjust flavoring” means to taste before serving, adding seasoning if necessary.

    Adobo –
    Paste or sauce made from chiles, vinegar, and other seasonings. Used as a seasoning for meats.

    [ER-ayt, AY-uh-rayt]
    A term used in cookery as a synonym for SIFT.

    age; aged
    To let food get older under controlled conditions in order to improve flavor or texture or both.

    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.

    Agnolotti –
    A small half-moon shaped ravioli.

    The Hawaiian name for yellowfin, as well as bigeye TUNA.

    Aiguillette –
    Long, thin slices of poultry breast or some other meats.

    Ail –
    French word for “garlic”.

    [ay-OH-lee; i-OH-lee] A strongly flavored garlic mayonnaise from the Provence region of southern France. It’s a popular accompaniment for fish, meats and vegetables

    An Italian word meaning “at the,” “to the” or “on the.”

    A La, Au, Aux –
    French terms meaning “served with” or “served in the manner of”.

    [ah lah KAHRT]
    A menu term signifying that each item is priced separately

    A la minut –
    Cooked to order.

    Albert sauce
    [AL-bert, al-BEHR]
    Usually served with beef, this is a rich horseradish sauce with a base of butter, flour and cream.

    The protein-rich white of an egg; contains the chalazae, the stringy cord which anchors the yolk to the shell

    Italian for “to the tooth”; Describes just cooked vegetables and pasta that offer slight resistance to the bite.

    Al Forno –
    Italian term describing a dish cooked in the oven.

    alfredo sauce
    A rich sauce of butter, grated PARMESAN CHEESE, heavy cream and plentiful grindings of black pepper.

    1. Thin strips of PUFF PASTRY spread or filled with different savory mixtures (such as shrimp butter or grated cheese) and served as an HORS D’OEUVRE. A sweet filling turns this pastry into a dessert.

    2. Allumette , the French word for “match,” also refers to potatoes that have been cut into thin “matchsticks” and fried.

    Al Pastor –
    A term used in Spanish and Italian referring to a dish cooked in the style of shepherd cooking, usually over a grill or spit.

    Andouille – A sausage made from the stomach and the intestines of pork. The sausage is dried and smoked, then boiled or steamed to finish cooking.Andouille sausage is used regularly in Creole cooking, but it is popular in French cooking as well. The Creole version of this sausage is much spicier than those made in France.

    angler fish
    The angler takes its name from the method by which it lures its prey: it lies partially buried on the sea floor and twitches a long filament that grows from its head. The filament resembles a worm and attracts smaller fish that are soon engulfed by the angler’s huge mouth. Also known as monkfish, lotte, bellyfish, frogfish, sea devil and goosefish , this large, extremely ugly fish is lowfat and firm-textured, and has a mild, sweet flavor that has been compared to lobster

    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.

    Any spice or herb that gives flavour or fragrance to food eg. basil, cinnamon, bay leaf etc.

    Arroz –
    Portuguese word for “rice”. It is not a Spanish term.

    asadero cheese

    Asiago cheese
    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.

    A clear fish, poultry or meat jelly made of clarified stock or consomme and gelatine: used as a base for moulded dishes or as a glaze for cold food

    Aubergine –
    The French word for eggplant.

    The term used to specify the point at which the blood no longer runs when cooking a steak. The meat is still pink. Also termed as “medium”

    aurore sauce


    Baba – A small cake made from enriched yeast dough, often flavored with candied fruits, and soaked with a rum or Kirsch syrup after baking. This dough is also used to make the larger savarin.

    Hailing from Poland, this rum-scented sweet yeast bread is studded with almonds, raisins and orange peel.

    Side pork (the side of a pig) that has been CURED and smoked. Because fat gives bacon its sweet flavor and tender crispness, its proportion should (ideally) be 1/2 to 2/3 of the total weight

    Baekenhofe –
    An alsacienne stew made of pork, lamb, and beef layered with potatoes and onions. The meat is first marinated in wine and herbs for a minimum of 24 hours, then assembled and baked in a paste sealed casserole until the meat is buttery tender. The juices are reduced and the top is browned under the broiler. Crisp bacon and fried leeks are used to garnish this dish.

    Bagna Cauda –
    Meaning “warm bath”, this is a dip made of anchovies, olive oil, and garlic. Unlike the French anchoiade, this is served warm and is not emulsified. Bread and raw vegetables are served with this dip.

    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.

    Bain-Marie – Simply a water bath. It consists of placing a container of food in a large, shallow pan of warm water, which surrounds the food with gentle heat. The food may be cooked in this manner either in an oven or on top of a range. This technique is designed to cook delicate dishes such as custards, sauces and savory mousses without breaking or curdling them.

    To cook food in the oven.

    To bake a pastry crust before it is filled. To keep its shape the shell is often pricked (docked) and lined with parchment or foil and baking beans.

    Baked Alaska – A dessert comprised of sponge cake topped with ice cream and covered with meringue. The dessert is then placed in a hot oven to brown the meringue before the ice cream can melt.

    Baking Powder – A leavening agent combining an acid with bicarbonate of soda to form the gas which enables baked products to rise. The chemical reaction between the acid and the soda produces carbon dioxide to leaven the product. The most common form of baking powder is the double acting variety, which produces gas upon mixing and again at high temperatures. Always store this tightly covered.

    Baking Soda – A leavening agent which is used as an essential ingredient in baking powder. When used alone as a leavener, recipes must include some type of acid to neutralize the resulting sodium carbonate in the finished product. Buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, and citrus juice are adequate acid to use. You may also use baking soda to help neutralize the acid in recipes that call for large amounts of fruit.

    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.

    Baklava – A very sweet dessert made of layers of flaky pastry filled with a mixture of ground nuts and sugar. The pastry is sliced, baked, and brushed with a honey syrup flavored with lemon or rose water.

    Ballottine – A dish in which forcemeat is stuffed back into the boneless carcass from which the forcemeat was made. This may include fish, poultry, game birds, or even some cuts of meat. The mixture is wrapped in muslin and poached or braised. These dishes may be served hot or cold.

    Balsamic Vinegar – A wonderfully fragrant vinegar made from the juice of Trebbiano grapes. The juice is then heated and aged in wooden barrels, evaporating and concentrating in flavor. The resulting vinegar is deep rich brown with a sweet and sour flavor. Well aged balsamic vinegars are very costly, some reaching an astronomical $200 an ounce. Most balsamic vinegars found in the US are not “aceto balsamico tradizionale”, but un aged balsamic vinegar. These vinegars lack in body and flavor that the well-aged balsamic vinegars possess, yet have a fair sweet and sour balance of flavor not found in any other vinegars.
    Bangers – British colloquial term for sausages. “Bangers and mash” are sausages and mashed potatoes.

    Bangers –
    British colloquial term for sausages. “Bangers and mash” are sausages and mashed potatoes.

    Barding – The practice of wrapping lean cuts of meat to be with thin slices of back fat. The converse of this is larding, in which long strips of fat are inserted into the cut of meat to keep it moist during cooking.
    Barquette – A small oval shaped pastry shell with either sweet or savory fillings.

    Barquette – A small oval shaped pastry shell with either sweet or savory fillings.

    Basquaise – Food prepared in the style of Basque which often includes tomatoes and sweet or hot red peppers.

    To spoom or brush a liquid stock (pan juices or fat) over foods during cooking; adds flavour and moisture.

    The uncooked mixture used for making crepes, pancakes and cakes.
    May be thick or thin. Also used for the coating used on fish and other foods before deep frying.

    Bavarian Cream – A cream made with pastry cream lightened with whipped cream and stabilized with gelatin. This cream may then be poured into molds, or used as a filling for cakes or pastries. Bavarian cream is often flavored with fruit purees or alcohol.

    B & B

    Bavarian Cream –
    A cream made with pastry cream lightened with whipped cream and stabilized with gelatin. This cream may then be poured into molds, or used as a filling for cakes or pastries. Bavarian cream is often flavored with fruit purees or alcohol.
    Bearnaise – This is the most notable of all the hollandaise sauce variations. It is made with a wine and vinegar reduction flavored with tarragon. This sauce makes a good companion to grilled meats and fish.

    Bearnaise – This is the most notable of all the hollandaise sauce variations. It is made with a wine and vinegar reduction flavored with tarragon. This sauce makes a good companion to grilled meats and fish.

    Bechamel Sauce –
    This is a white sauce made with milk or cream and thickened with a roux. Bechamel sauce is generally used as a base for other more complex sauces, though it may be used alone for binding or moistening.

    Beef, the meat of an adult (over 1 year) bovine, wasn’t always as popular as it is today. America has had cattle since the mid-1500s, but most immigrants preferred either pork or chicken. Shortages of those two meats during the Civil War, however, suddenly made beef attractive and very much in demand. Today’s beef comes from cows (females that have borne at least one calf), steers (males castrated when very young), heifers (females that have never borne a calf) and bulls under 2 years old. Baby beef is the lean, tender but not too flavorful meat of a 7- to 10-month-old calf. Meat packers can request and pay for their meat to be graded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The grading is based on three factors: conformation (the proportion of meat to bone), finish (proportion of fat to lean) and overall quality. Beginning with the best quality, the eight USDA grades for beef are Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter and Canner.
    Beignet –
    A French term for a type of doughnut. Dough or batter is deep fried and dusted w/sugar or glazed with a flavored syrup.

    Belle Helene –
    Best known as the name of a dessert with poached pears, ice cream, and chocolate sauce. It is also a term used in French cookery as a name for a garnish to grilled meat dishes.

    Benne Seeds –
    An African term for sesame seeds.

    Beurre Blanc –
    An emulsified sauce made of a wine or vinegar reduction blended with softened butter. This may be flavored in many ways, for fish, vegetables, and poultry dishes. This is a very tricky sauce and does not hold for long periods of time. Because of this, modern versions add a touch of cream to stabilize the sauce for longer periods of time.

    French for “kneaded butter”. A paste made from equal parts flour and butter, used as a thickener for soups stews and sauces. In other words an uncooked ROUX.

    Biscotti –
    Dry Italian cookies flavored with almonds, chocolate, or anise seed, used for dunking in coffee and sweet dessert wine.

    Bisque –
    A rich shellfish soup made with the shells of the animal. The soup is enriched with cream and Cognac and garnished with pieces of the shellfish meat. This name is also used to describe vegetable soups prepared in the same manner as shellfish bisques.

    Fruit of the bush Ribes nigra, of special interest because of its high vitamin C content (150-230 mg/100g). The British National Fruit Collection has 120 varieties. A 100-g portion is a rich source of vitamin C; a source of iron and copper; provides 9 g of dietary fibre; supplies 35 kcal (145 kJ).

    Blackening is a method of cooking invented by Chef Paul Prudhomme. Though he is a Cajun country native, the dish isn’t part of traditional Cajun cooking. To blacken fish or meat, the chef coats it with spices and quickly sears it in butter in a cast iron skillet. The goal is to get a crunchy coat. It is not supposed to be burned, over-charred or excruciatingly spiced with pepper.

    Originating in Asia, the black-eyed pea is thought to have been introduced to the United States through the African slave trade. This small beige bean has a black circular “eye” at its inner curve. It can be purchased fresh or dried. Though originally cultivated for animal fodder, black-eyed peas are now a popular LEGUME (particularly in the South) and are essential in the traditional dish HOPPIN’ JOHN. Also called cowpea and, if the “eye” is yellow, yellow-eyed pea .

    A stock containing flour, water and lemon juice, that is used to cook and preserve the colour of vegetables, most often Globe Artichokes.

    To plunge vegetables or fruits into boiling – then iced – water to stop them cooking, loosen skins, set colour, and remove bitterness. Also reduces salt content of bacon or other cured meats.

    Blanquette –
    A stew of white meats, usually veal, without initial browning. The sauce is thickened with roux and enriched with cream.

    Blini –
    A small pancake made of buckwheat flour and leavened with yeast. These pancakes are often brushed with large amounts of melted butter and served with caviar and sour cream. Other versions may be made of vegetable purees or semolina flour.

    Blintz –
    A stuffed crepe or thin pancake. The filling is usually made of a fresh cheese or cottage cheese, and often topped with fresh fruit or fruit preserves.

    “Bring to the boil” refers to heating a liquid until bubbles break the surface at 100C. Also refers to the method of cooking food in a boiling liquid.

    [bahk CHOY]
    Also called Chinese white cabbage, pak choy, pak choi and white mustard cabbage, bok choy is a mild, versatile vegetable with crunchy white stalks and tender, dark green leaves. It resembles a bunch of wide-stalked celery with long, full leaves. Choose bunches with firm, white stalks topped with crisp, green leaves. Bok choy is available year-round in most supermarkets and should be refrigerated airtight for no more than 3 to 4 days. It can be used raw in salads, in a STIR-FRY or as a cooked vegetable. Bok choy is related to but not the same as CHINESE CABBAGE.

    Bordelaise –
    This is a term primarily used to describe a brown sauce that includes shallots and red wine. Some versions of this sauce include slices of bone marrow added at the end of cooking. Fish dishes with this name will be cooked with white Bordeaux wine.

    Borscht –
    A rich soup from Eastern Europe containing beets or cabbage. Other ingredients may include potatoes, beans, meat or sausage. The best known of these soups is a cold version based on beets and served with sour cream, but hot versions are very common.

    Bouchee –
    A small round puff pastry shell used for sweet or savory fillings.

    Boudin –
    Smooth sausages of two types. Boudin blanc contain veal, pork, and chicken. Boudin noir are made with blood and rice or potatoes. The latter type are popular in European and Creole cooking.

    Bouillabaisse –
    A rich fish stew from southern France. This was once a poor man’s meal made of any fish available. Modern versions include lobster and shrimp. The broth is flavored with garlic, orange peel, fennel, and saffron. Olive oil is added to the stew and rapidly boiled to blend it into the broth. The stew is served with croutons and rouille, a variation of aioli.

    [boo-KAY gahr-NEE]

    Bouquet garni is a bag made of cheesecloth containing leek,
    parsley, thyme, and bay leaf tied inside of it. It adds flavor and
    aroma to your dish without leaving the solid herbs and spices in the dish
    itself. After use, the cheesecloth bag is removed and discarded.

    To brown foods in fat, then to cook in a little liquid in a sealed container at a low heat for a long time. Used for cheaper (tougher cuts of meat) to help make it tender.

    French for skewer; used to denote food threaded onto a skewer and grilled or cooked on a BBQ. A Kebab.

    [broo-SKEH-tah, broo-SHEH-tah]
    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.

    A term used to denote very finely diced food, usually vegetables cut into 2mm dice. Used to garnish dishes such as Consomme brunoise.

    To split a food (leg of lamb, chicken breast or prawns) down the centre, cutting almost – but not completly – through. The 2 halves are opened out to resemble a butterfly.



    cabbage turnip
    see KOHLRABI

    cabinet pudding

    calf’s foot jelly
    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.

    A decorative effect for the skins of fruit and vegetablesmade with a Canelle knife. This cuts grooves out of the skin so that when sliced the fruit or vegetable has grooved borders.

    The process of heating sugar until it liquifies and becomes a syrup and colours to a pale golden through to dark brown. Sugar can also be caramalized by sprinkling on food and grilling or heated with a blow torch until it melts and colours ( as for creme brulee). This term is also used fro browning vegetables such as onion and leeks as well as meat tht are sauteed in a little fat.

    A thin membrane taken from a pigs (normally) stomach. used to encase lean and minced meats to moisten during cooking.

    Caviar is the roe, or eggs, of various species of sturgeon processed as a piquant table delicacy. Due to its high price, it is synonymous in Western culture with luxury and wealth. The best-known caviar comes from the countries on the Black and Caspian seas and the rivers that flow into them. In 2006, however, declines in sturgeon species led to a suspension of the international trade in nearly all caviar from wild Caspian sturgeon.

    Serving is done with either horn, wood, or gold utensils (mother-of-pearl and plastic are also common), rather than silver or steel (even stainless), which may alter the taste and color of the caviar.

    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, pork or chicken, vegetables, cheese or a combination of these, and served as an appetizer.

    [shah-POHN ]

    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


    CHARGRILL (Charbroil)
    To cook foods on a metal grid set over hot coals. To cook in a ridged pan on top of the stove.

    This classic molded dessert begins with a mold lined with SPONGE CAKE, LADYFINGERS or buttered bread. The traditional charlotte container is pail-shaped, but almost any mold is acceptable. The lined mold is then filled with layers (or a mixture) of fruit and CUSTARD or whipped cream that has been fortified with gelatin. The dessert is chilled thoroughly and unmolded before serving.



    chickpea; chick-pea
    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.

    Leafy vegetables or herbs that have been rolled up and sliced across thinly to give thin strips. eg shredded lettuce

    Chinese cabbage

    A fine mesh conical sieve used mainly for passing sauces. So named after the shape of a Chinamans hat.

    chipped beef
    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 . “Sh-t on a shingle,” known in polite society as SOS, is military slang used for creamed chipped beef served on toast.


    The British word for what Americans call “FRENCH FRIES.” Their potato chips are called “crisps.”

    [CHIHT-lihnz, CHIHT-lingz]
    Popular in Southern cooking, chitterlings are the small intestines of animals, usually freshly slaughtered pigs. Once cleaned, chitterlings must be simmered until tender. They can then be served with a sauce, added to soups, battered and fried or used as a sausage CASING.

    Related to the onion and leek, this fragrant HERB has slender, vivid green, hollow stems.

    To cut food coarsly using a knife. The knife tip is held stationary on the board with one hand, whilst the other lifts the handle up and down. (as for chopping parsley)

    To rid a liquid of impurities. This may involve simmering the liquit with whisked egg whites as for consomme. It is also used for heating butter to remove the milk solids to make clarified butter to use in frying.

    To cover a food prior to cooking with flour, egg and bread crumbs or prior to serving with mayonnaise or icing.

    [KAWL-an-der, KUHL-an-der]
    Used for draining liquid from solids, the colander is a perforated, bowl-shaped container. It can be metal, plastic or ceramic.

    cola nut; kola nut
    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.

    A single fruit or mixture of fruits that is slowly cooked, usually in a light sugar syrup infused with spices and/or liqueur. A cooked fruit salad.

    Usually used for tomatoes that have been peeled, deseeded and chopped. Can also be used for other fruits.

    A method of cooking fatty meat such as duck, goose or pork slowly in its own fat. It is then stored in its own fat.

    corn whiskey
    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.

    A sieved puree of fruit or tomatoes, combined with a sweetener and a little lemon juice.

    This is Italian for Zucchini

    To beat together fat and sugar until light and smooth. This incorperates air into the mixture and dissolves the sugar.

    [kwah-SAHN, , KWAH-sawn , , kruh-SAHNT]
    The origin of this flaky, buttery-rich yeast roll dates back to 1686, when Austria was at war with Turkey. In the dead of night a group of bakers, hearing Turks tunneling under their kitchens, spread the alarm that subsequently led to the Turkish defeat. In turn, the vigilant bakers were awarded the privilege of creating a commemorative pastry in the shape of the crescent on the Turkish flag. Croissant is the French word for “crescent.” Originally, the croissant was made from a rich bread dough. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that a creative French baker had the inspiration to make it with a dough similar to puff pastry . . . and so a classic was born.

    cruciferous vegetables
    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.

    To preserve food with salt, smoke, acid-based brines or bacteria.
    In food preparation, curing refers to various preservation and flavoring processes, especially of meat or fish, by the addition of a combination of salt, sugar and either nitrate or nitrite. Many curing processes also involve smoking. The etymology of the term is unclear, but it is thought to derive from the same Latin cura, -ae that the other meanings of cure do.

    Curing with salt and sugar may be called salting, salt-curing, sugar-curing or honey-curing. The application of pellets of salt, called “corns”, is often called corning. Curing in a water solution or brine is called wet-curing or pickling or brining. The curing of fish is sometimes called kippering.

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