Cooking terms beginning with the letter "A"

A La, Au, Aux - French terms meaning "served with" or "served in the manner of".

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 exspensive when available. A small amount is being commercially raised.

Aboor - Armenian word for "soup" or "stew".

Achar -Very spice relish from the cuisine of India and the Caribbean Islands. Achar may be made from fruits an//d vegetables.

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.

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

Adzuki Beans - Small reddish brown beans.

Agnolotti - A small half-moon shaped ravioli.

Ahnoosh - Armenian word for sweet

Arahan or rahan - Armenian for "sweet basil".

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

Ail - French word for "garlic".

Aioli - A cold egg and oil emulsion with olive oil and garlic. Many variations of this sauce are made. See the definition under rouille.

Ajo - Spanish word for "garlic".

Al Carbon - Spanish term for a dish relating to grilled or containing meat.

Al Dente - A term, meaning "to the bite", used to describe the correct degree of doneness for pasta and vegetables. This is not exactly a procedure, but a sensory evaluation for deciding when the food is finished cooking. Pasta should retain a slight resistance when biting into it, but should not have a hard center.

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

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.

Albumen - The protein of egg whites.

Alfredo - A pasta sauce originally consisting of butter, cream, and the finest parmesan cheese available. Modern versions add garlic, peas, and less expensive parmesan. All of these will make fine sauces, but nothing can compare to the original version.

Allemande - A sauce made of Velout (usually veal), a liaison and lemon juice.

Almond Paste - A sweet paste made from finely ground blanched almonds mixed with powdered sugar and enough glucose or syrup to bind it together.

Alplermagronen - Swiss speciality of macaroni, potatoes, onions, cheese, cream.

Amandine - A French term for any dish with almonds. Alternate spelling is almondine.

Amchoor - Sour, unripe mangoes that are dried and sold in slices and powder. Its primary use is in Indian cooking, giving foods a sweet/sour flavor.

Anchoiade - A dip made of pureed anchovies mixed with garlic and olive oil. Raw vegetables and bread are served with this dip.

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.

1 Angelica - Licorice flavored stalks from these plants are candied and used primarily in pastry making. Angelica is also used to flavor liqueurs.

Anna potatoes - The name for a potato pancake made of thin slices of potato which are assembled in concentric circles and cooked with liberal amounts of butter. The cake is then baked until crisp and golden brown.

Annatto Seed - Also called achiote seed, these seeds are used as a food coloring and a spice in cooking from Latin America and Southeast Asia.

Anoosh - Armenian word for "sweet".

Antipasto - The Italian word for snacks served before a meal. These are dishes to peak one's appetite, not quench it. This may consist of one or more dishes of all types of food. Common elements of an antipasto table are cured meats and salamis, olives, marinated vegetables, and cheese.

Arrowroot - This is a starch similar in appearance and qualities as cornstarch.

Arroz - Spanish term for "rice".

Artichoke - A name shared by three unrelated plants: the globe artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke and Chinese (or Japanese) artichoke. Considered the true artichoke, the globe artichoke is cultivated mainly in California's mid-coastal region. It is the bud of a large plant from the thistle family and has tough, petal shaped leaves. They are available year-round, with the peak season March through May. Buy deep green, heavy for their size artichokes with a tight leaf formation.

Asafetida - A spice used in India and the Middle East for cooking or as a condiment to be sprinkled over food after it has been cooked. It has a bitter taste and a pungent aroma similar to garlic and truffles.

Aspic - A jelly made from stock, fumet, wine, or fruit juices used to mold dishes. These preparations are often elaborately decorated for use on buffets. Both savory and sweet foods are set in aspic. Cubes of aspic are a common garnish to fine p?t?s and foie gras.1

Aubergine - The French word for eggplant.

Aurore - This is a term associated with sauces that have tomato puree or concasse added to it.


Cooking terms beginning with the letter "B"

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.

Babakanoosh - A Middle Eastern vegetable dip made with roasted eggplant puree' and tahini (A paste made from toasted sesame seeds). Can also have other roasted vegetable purees included.

Baekenhofe - An Alsatian 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.

Bahneer - (Armenian) cheese.

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.

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. It can also be used to keep foods warm.

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.

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 rosewater.

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 unaged 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.

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.

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

Bastegh - (Armenian) candy.

Basterma or Pasterma - (Armenian) beef jerky.

Bavarian Cream - A cream made with pastry cream lightened with whipped cream and stabilized with gelatine. 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.

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.

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.

Berag - (Armenian) Pastry dough filled with meat or cheese.

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.

Beurre Manie - A mixture of flour and butter kneaded to a smooth paste. This is then used in small quantities to adjust the thickness of sauces and stews. The sauce must then be boiled briefly to remove the starchy taste of the flour. For this reason, beurre mani is used in situations where only a small quantity is needed.

Bhamya - (Armenian) okra.

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.

Bistella - See pastilla for a definition.

Bitlitzee - (Armenian) From the village of Bitlis.

Blanch - Cooking foods in boiling water for a brief period of time. This applies primarily to vegetables so as to reduce their final cooking time. But blanching may be done to fish or meat as well.

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

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.

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.

Boletus - A family of wild mushrooms known for their rich taste and meaty texture. Porcinis and cepes are two members of this family of mushroom.

Bollito Misto - An Italian stew consisting of various cuts of meat, including zampone, boiled in a rich broth with vegetables. The whole dish is served with cornichons, pickled onions and a variation of chutney called mostarda di Cremona. These are whole or large pieces of fruit cooked in a spicy mustard flavored syrup. Other common sauces are salsa verde and mayonnaise.

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. Bouquet Garni - A sachet of herbs, containing parsley, thyme, and bay leaf. Variations may include rosemary, marjoram, fennel, leeks, celery leaves, and black pepper.

Bourguignonne - Foods cooked in the style of Burgundy. This includes red wine, mushrooms, pearl onions, and bacon.

Bourma - (Armenian) a dessert made with phyllo dough.

Bourride - Another fish stew from southern France. Here the broth, in which large pieces of fish are poached, is strained and thickened with aioli. The two are then served together in shallow bowls with bread or croutons.

Bran - The outer husk of grains such as wheat, containing a high percentage of fiber. White flours have the bran removed. Whole wheat flours may contain all or part of the bran.

Brandade - A puree of salt cod mixed with olive oil and potatoes. Another version of brandade is covered with GruySre cheese and browned in the oven. Both are served with croutons.

Bresaola - A cured and dried beef filet from Italy with a more delicate texture but stronger flavor than that of prosciutto. A Swiss version of this is called bandnerfleisch. This style is pressed into a rectangular shape and has a bit drier texture than bresaola. Both are served thinly sliced with bread and fruit or pickled vegetables.

Brioche - A very rich bread with butter and eggs. Brioche is baked in many shapes though the brioche e tete is best known. The dough can be flavored with nuts or candied fruit, as well as herbs and spices. It may also be used to wrap foods like coulibiac. Slices of toasted brioche are the perfect companion to foie gras and gravlax.

Brochette - Skewers of meat, fish, or vegetables that are grilled over a flame and simply served.

Brunoise - A very fine dice usually applied to vegetables.

Bruschetta - Grilled slices of bread brushed with olive oil and fresh garlic. This was the original garlic bread.

Bucatini - Long, narrow tubes of pasta usually served with a hearty meat sauce.

Buffet - A vast array of hot and cold foods, often elaborately garnished.

Bulghour - Cracked wheat made from the whole kernel that has been cooked and dried. Most commonly used in breads and tabbouleh salad.

Butter - A cooking and eating fat that is made from sweet or sour cream and, by federal law, must contain a minimum of 80% butterfat. Butter absorbs odors easily and is highly susceptible to rancidity. To avoid either of these problems, store butter in the refrigerator no longer than 2 weeks. For longer storage, butter may be frozen for up to 6 months without deterioration.

Butter-Cultured - Cultured butter is butter churned from cultured cream (cream fraiche). Most butter produced in the U.S. before 1920 was cultured butter, but in the 20's, the U.S. Government guaranteed the sale of every pound of butter produced, so quality became a non-issue and sweet cream butter prevailed.

Buttermilk - Originally a by-product of butter making, buttermilk is commercially produced by adding lactic acid culture to skimmed or partially skimmed milk.


Cooking terms beginning with the letter "C"

Calabacita - A variety of summer squash found in Latin American and Mexican cooking.

Calamari - The Italian word for squid.

Caldo Verde - A Portuguese soup made from a sharp flavored cabbage, potatoes, broth, and olive oil. Sausage is then cooked in the soup.

Calzone - A half-moon shaped pizza turnover, often served with sauce over the top rather than inside.

Canape - Small open-faced sandwiches served as snacks or for lunch. They may be served hot or cold, but they are often elaborately garnished.

Cannelloni - An Italian dish made of sheets or tubes of pasta filled with meat, cheese or fish, sauced and baked au gratin. Variations of this use thin pancakes, called crespelle, which are similar to crepes and are filled and cooked in the same manner as the pasta.

Cannoli - A crisp pastry tube filled with sweetened ricotta cheese, chocolate chips, and candied fruit. Cinnamon and vanilla are common flavorings for this cheese mixture.

Caper - The pickled bud from the caper bush which is used in sauces and as condiments for smoked fish and nicoise salad.

Capicolla - A coarse Italian pork sausage. Usually highly seasoned, this sausage is served cold, thinly sliced, as for proscuitto.

Capon - A castrated chicken that is savored for its delicate taste and texture. Once castrated, the chicken would become fattened, yielding tender, juicy flesh. This method of raising chickens is not practiced much anymore, since most chickens are butchered at a young age and still very tender.

Caponata - Best known as a spread or cold salad containing eggplant, celery, tomaotes, raisins, and pine nuts seasoned with vinegar and olive oil. Modern variations will add other vegetables such as zucchini and season it with fresh herbs.

Capsicum - The family name for sweet and hot peppers.

Carbonara - An ultra-rich pasta sauce consisting of pancetta, eggs, and parmesan cheese. Actually less of a sauce than a preparation, hot pasta is tossed with the rendered pancetta fat, the eggs, and then the cheese. Crisp pancetta and black pepper are tossed into the pasta just before serving.

Cardinal - Fish dishes which have sauces made with lobster fumet and are garnished with lobster meat.

Cardoon - A vegetable from the artichoke family that looks like celery. Cardoons may be eaten raw or cooked and served like any vegetable.

Carob - The seed from the carob tree which is dried, ground, and used primarily as a substitute for chocolate.

Carpaccio - An Italian dish made of paper thin slices of beef dressed with olive oil and parmesan cheese. Slices of raw white truffles are an excellent partner to this dish.

Cassoulet - A dish from southwest France consisting of white beans and an assortment of meats like confit, lamb, pork, andToulouse sausage. The dish is enriched with large amounts of duck fat and is baked until the top is brown and crispy. Variations of this dish include seafood and lentils. This dish is very substantial and needs nothing else to be served with it but a bitter green salad to cut through the richness.

Caul Fat - The stomach lining of pork which is used in place of backfat for pates and to encase crepinettes.

Caviar - These are the eggs of sturgeon that have been salted and cured. Grading for caviar is determined by the size and color of the roe and the species of the sturgeon. Beluga caviar, which is the most expensive of the three types of caviar, are dark gray in color and are the largest eggs. Ossetra caviar are light to medium brown and are smaller grains than beluga. Sevruga caviar are the smallest grains, the firmest in texture and are also gray in color. Pressed caviar is made of softer, lower quality eggs and have a stronger, fishier flavor. The term malossol is used to describe the amount of salt used in the initial curing process. The roe from other fish such as salmon, lumpfish, and whitefish are not considered caviars, regardless of their label. They should be addressed as roe. Caviar should be served as simply as possible. Traditional accompaniments, inspired by the Russians, are sour cream, blinis, and ice cold vodka. Lemon and minced onion are often served with caviar, but their flavors will only detract from the pure delicate flavor of the caviar.

Celeriac - The root of a type of celery with a firm texture and a clean, sweet flavor of celery.

Cepes - A wild mushroom of the boletus family known for their full flavor and meaty texture.

Chai - The Indian name for tea, often served with milk and sugar.

Chaimen - (Armenian)cumin.

Chanterelle - A wild mushroom with a golden color and a funnel-shaped cap. The whole mushroom is edible and is savored for its exquisite flavor and firm texture when cooked.

Chantilly - This is a name for sweetened whipped cream flavored with vanilla. The term may also be used to describe sauces that have had whipped cream folded into them. This includes both sweet and savory sauces.

Chapati - A whole wheat Indian flatbread that can be grilled or fried.

Charcuterie - The French word for the variety of pork preparations that are cured, smoked, or processed. This includes sausages, hams, pates, and rillettes. This term may also imply the shop in which these products are sold and the butchers who produce it.

Charlotte - The name for two different desserts. The first preparation is made of slices of bread which are lined in a mold, filled with fruit, and baked until the bread acquires a golden color and crisp texture. The second version, similar to the first, lines a mold with cake or lady fingers and is filled with a bavarian cream. These may also be filled with whipped cream or even a fruit mousse. More elaborate versions layer the cake with jam, then slices of this cake is used to line the mold.

Charmoula - A sauce and marinade used in Middle Eastern cooking made of stewed onions flavored with vinegar, honey and a spice mixture called "rasel hanout". This is a complex spice mixture containing cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, cumin and sometimes paprika and coriander. This sauce is used on meat and fish and can even be adjusted to make a unique vinaigrette.

Chateaubriand - A thick slice of beef from the heart of the tenderloin, grilled or sauted and simply sauced. Many restaurants claim their chateaubriand to be the head of the tenderloin, cut for two, which is roasted and carved tableside.

Chaud-Froid - Meat or fish that has been poached or roasted, chilled and served cold, masked with a thick sauce and glazed with aspic. The whole preparation was once quite popular and used consistently on elaborate buffets. Modern tastes have moved away from this style of food, opting for cleaner, less adulterated flavors.

Chayote - A pear shaped squash, used in Latin American cooking, with a taste of zucchini. Chayote may be eaten raw or cooked as you would any summer squash.

Cherimoya - Also called the custard apple, this is a tropical fruit with a creamy texture and sweet pineapple flavor.

Chervil - A mild-flavored member of the parsley family, this aromatic herb has curly, dark green leaves with an elusive anise flavor. 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 can be diminished when boiled.

Chevre - The French word for goat, generally referring to goat's milk cheeses.

Chiboust - A custard made originally as the filling for the g?teau Saint- Honor, consisting of pastry cream lightened with Italian meringue and stabilized with gelatine.

Chicharron - Crispy fried pigskin used in Mexican cooking for salads, fillings and snacks.

Chiffonade - A very fine julienne of vegetables usually associated with leafy herbs, lettuces, or greens.

Chilaquiles - A family style Mexican dish of refried corn tortillas simmered in a sauce of tomatoes, chiles, and garlic. This is a highly seasoned dish, often served as a brunch or lunch dish with eggs or grilled meats.

Chinois - French word for "Chinese". Also refers to a "China Cap", a very fine mesh, conical strainer.

Chipotle - A dried and smoked jalape?o which can be found dried or reconstituted and sold in tomato sauce. These chiles are extremely hot and caution should be taken when using them in cooking.

Chive - 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. They are a good source of vitamin A and also contain a fair amount of potassium and calcium.

Chocolate - A product of cocoa beans in which the chocolate liquor is mixed with cocoa butter in various proportions to produce the different varieties of chocolate. Bitter chocolate has no additional ingredients added. Other varieties of chocolate have additional cocoa butter added, along with sugar, milk, and vanilla.

Chorag or Cheorag - (Armenian) coffee or tea roll.

Chorizo - A spicy pork sausage from all Hispanic countries, ranging in seasoning from mild and sweet to fiercely hot. Hotter versions come from areas of Spain and Portugal. Mexican versions contain a large variety of chiles and have a mealier texture and more complex flavor. Some of them even use fresh herbs giving it a green color. Portugal makes a cousin to this sausage called the linguisa, that is smoked and much hotter.

Choron - A variation of Barnaise sauce with tomato puree or concasse added.

Choucroute - An Alsatian speciality consisting of sauerkraut that is simmered with assorted fresh and smoked meats and sausages. This is a grand dish served on huge platters so that diners may witness all of the components displayed at one time. The kraut is first washed, then seasoned with garlic, caraway seeds, and white wine. The meats are layered in the casserole with the kraut and cooked until all the meat is tender and the flavors have blended together. Pork sausages, smoked pork shanks and shoulders, and fresh pork loin are all used. A variation of this, though not actually called a choucroute, is a whole pheasant cooked in sauerkraut with champagne. There are other recipes that consist of solely fish in with the sauerkraut. This can be quite delicious if properly prepared.

Chutney - The name for a large range of sauces or relishes used in East Indian cooking. Fresh chutneys have a bright, clean flavor and are usually thin, smooth sauces. Cilantro, mint, and tamarind are common in fresh chutney. Cooked chutneys have a deeper, broader flavor.

Cioppino - A rich fish stew from San Francisco made with shrimp, clams, mussels, crabs, and any available fish. The broth is flavored with tomato, white wine, garlic, and chile flakes. This stew needs no other courses served but a simple green salad and a lot of sourdough bread.

Civet - A French stew usually containing game, though duck and goose are used. The meat is marinated in red wine for long periods of time, then stewed with pearl onions and bacon. The sauce was once thickened with blood, but that is a method not used much anymore.

Clafoutis - A dessert of fruit, originally cherries, covered with a thick batter and baked until puffy. The dessert can be served hot or cold.

Clotted Cream - This specialty of Devonshire, England (which is why it is also known as 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. It 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 four days.

Cock-a-Leekie - A thick Scottish soup made with chicken, leeks, and barley. Modern versions have lightened up this soup by using a chicken broth garnished with leeks and barley.

Cocoa Powder - This is the dried powder formed from chocolate liquor after the cocoa butter content has been reduced. This mixture is then dried and ground into a fine powder. Dutch process cocoa has been treated with alkali to give a darker appearance and less bitter taste. Breakfast cocoa has sugar, milk solids, and other flavorings added to it.

Coconut Milk - This is not the liquid that is found in the center of coconuts, but a thick liquid made by steeping fresh grated coconut in hot water. The hot water helps to extract the fat from the coconut meat, which carries so much of it.

Coeur de la Creme - Meaning "the heart of the cream", this is a soft cheese dessert where the mixture is drained in a mold to help it set. The cheese is then turned out onto a platter and served with fruit and bread.

Collard Greens - One of a variety of "greens" with a firm leaf and sharp flavor.

Colombo - A West Indian stew seasoned with a spice mixture of the same name. This is similar to curry powder, containing coriander, chiles, cinnamon, nutmeg, saffron, and garlic. The stew may contain pork, chicken, or lamb.


- A cake made of nut meringues layered with whipped cream or buttercream. The nut meringue disks are also referred to as dacquoise.
Daikon - A large oriental radish with a sweet, fresh flavor. Can be as fat as a football but is usually 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Use raw in salads, shredded as a garnish or cook in a variety of ways including stir-fry.
Dal - This is the Indian term for all varieties of dried beans, split peas, and lentils. There are many different varieties of dal, all of which have a specific use in Indian cooking.
Darne - The Larousse Gastronomique describes a 'darne' as a transverse slice of a large raw fish, such as hake, salmon or tuna.
Dashi - A Japanese fish stock made with dried bonito and kombu seaweed. This is used for soups, sauces, and marinades.
Daube - A stew consisting of a single piece of meat such as a shoulder or joint. The meat is stewed in a rich, wine laden broth with herbs and vegetables. The broth is then thickened, reduced and served with the slices of meat and accompanying vegetables.
Dauphine - The name for little puffs made of potato puree, that are mixed with choux paste and deep fried.
Dauphinoise - The name of a potato gratin with lots of cream and garlic, all topped with Gruyere cheese.
Deglaze - A process of adding liquid to a hot pan in order to collect the bits of food which stick to the pan during cooking. This is most common with saut‚ed and roasted foods. Wine, stock, and vinegar are common deglazing liquids.
Demi-Glace - A rich brown sauce comprised of espagnole sauce, which is further enriched with veal stock and wine and reduced to proper consistency. This is a very long procedure and requires constant skimming. A quick version of this involves reducing brown veal stock to which has been added mirepoix, tomato paste, wine, and brown roux. The latter recipe saves time, but never reaches the intensity of flavor as does the former method. Due to the quantity and length of time required to prepare it, it is not usually made in the home. However it is available for home gourmands. See .
Devon Cream - Please see "Clotted Cream"
Dijonnaise - This is a name given to dishes that contain mustard or are served with a sauce that contains mustard.
Dim Sum - A selection of small dishes served for snacks and lunch in China. These dishes include a wide selection of fried and steamed dumplings, as well as, various other sweet and savory items.
Ditalini - Short pasta tubes.
Dolma - A cold hors d oeuvre made of grape leaves stuffed with cooked rice, lamb, and onion. They are marinated with olive oil and lemon. Vegetarian versions of this are also made.
Dry Aging - A process usually referring to beef. This process not only adds flavor but tenderizes the beef through enzyme action. Maximum flavor and tenderness is acheived in 21 days. See Duchess - The name for potato puree that is enriched with cream, then piped into decorative shapes and browned in the oven. They are often piped around the rim of a platter onto which a roast or whole fish may be served.
Durian - A large fruit from southeast Asia that has a creamy, gelatinous texture and a nauseating smell similar to that of stinky feet. The flesh is savored by many from this area, but outsiders find it a difficult flavor to become accustomed.
Duxelle - Finely chopped mushrooms that are cooked in butter with shallots and wine. When cooked dry, duxelle make a good filling for omelets, fish, and meat. They may also be moistened with wine or broth and served as a sauce. Duxelle are also flavored with fresh herbs and brandy or Madeira.


Effiler - To remove the fibrous string from a string bean; to thinnly slice almonds.
Egg Threads - Lightly beaten eggs that are poured slowly into a hot broth, creating irregular shaped threads used to garnish soups.
Emincer - To cut fruit into thin slices, shorter than for julienne. This term is most often used when referring to meats, but it also applies to fruits and vegetables.
Empanada - A small savory pie from Spain and South America. Fillings may be made of meat, seafood, or vegetables. The fillings can be seasoned in many ways. Those from around Spain are flavored with peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Those from South America have a sweet/sour undertone from the addition of raisins and green olives. Crusts may be made from bread dough or flaky dough like pate brisee and puff pastry.
Entrecote - A steak cut from the rib section of beef. It is boneless and has a very thin layer of fat. Though steaks cut from the loin ends of the rib are a finer quality steak, the whole rib may be used for entrecete. The term is sometimes used referring to a strip steak. This is not an accurate description. This cut of beef is called the faux-filet or contre-filet.
Escabeche - A highly seasoned marinade used to flavor and preserve food. Fish and chicken are the most common foods used for escabeche. First the meat is fried and placed in a dish large enough to hold all of the food in one layer. Then a marinade made of onions, peppers, vinegar, and spices is poured over the food while hot. The whole dish is then allowed to rest overnight and served cold.
Escalope - A thinly sliced food similar to a scallopine. This may consist of meat, fish, or vegetables.
Espagnole Sauce - This is the foundation of all of the brown sauces. A number of modifications have been made of this sauce since its conception. The sauce is now made of a rich brown veal stock thickened with a brown roux. The sauce is then simmered with a mirepoix, bouquet garni, and wine. The long, slow cooking help to purify and concentrate its flavor. It is finally strained through very fine muslin. Demi-glace and glace de viande are all structured around a fine espagnole sauce.