Cooking terms beginning with the letter "F"

•Falafel - 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.

•Farfalle - Bowtie shaped pasta.

•Fasulya _ (Armenian) bean. Gananche fasulya would be a green bean.

•Fava Bean - This tan, rather flat bean resembles a very large lima bean. It comes in a large pod which, 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. They can be cooked in a variety of ways and are often used in soups. Also called faba bean, broad bean and horse bean.

•Feijoa - A fruit grown in New Zealand with a thin green skin and a flavor reminiscent of strawberry, banana, and pineapple.

•Feijoada Completa - A Brazilian dish very similar to cassoulet, made with black beans. Sausage, bacon, ham, and various cuts of pork are cooked in with the beans. The traditional accompaniments are plain white rice, cooked greens, fresh orange slices, and a very hot sauce, similar to pico de gallo, called molho carioca. Toasted cassava flour is used as a condiment, to be added by each diner. This too is a very substantial dish and needs little else to accompany it.

•Fenugreek - A very hard seed grown in the Middle East, which is used as a spice. Its dominant flavor and aroma is recognizable in commercial curry powders.

•Fettucine - Flat narrow pasta noodles less than wide and a bit thicker than tagliatelle.

•Ficelle - The French word for string. This is a term used in cooking to describe foods that have been tied to a string and cooked in a broth. This was a practice in villages when a communal pot was used to cook food. The string was used in order to allow the owners to identify and recover their piece of meat. This is generally applied to tough cuts of meat that require long periods of cooking. Yet, some restaurants are using the term to describe a more tender cut of meat that is poached in a rich broth. Beef filet and duck breasts are two good choices for this type of preparation.

•Financier - A small cake or cookie that is made with ground nuts and whipped egg whites. These are soft like sponge cake, and have a rich flavor of nuts.

•Fines Herbes - A mixture of chopped fresh herbs consisting of tarragon, parsley, chervil and chives. Dried herbs may also be used, but their delicacy is lost.

•Finnan Haddie - The Scottish name for smoked haddock.

•Five Spice Powder - A dry spice mix used in Chinese cooking consisting of cinnamon, star anise, pepper, clove, and fennel.

•Flan - This is a term that may be used to describe two different preparations. The first use of this word is describes an open top tart that is filled with pastry cream and topped with fruit. Flan is used in Spanish and Mexican cooking to describe an egg custard that is baked in a large shallow dish, and flavored with caramel. The dish is inverted when served and the excess caramel is used as a sauce for the flan. The flan may be flavored with orange, anise, cinnamon, or liqueur.

•Fleuron - A small crescent shaped pastry made of puff dough that is used to garnish fish dishes and soups.

•Florentine - This is used to describe foods that are cooked in the style of Florence. The word is most commonly associated with dishes containing spinach and sometimes a cream sauce. Steak cooked ala Florentine is a large T-bone steak, rubbed with olive oil and garlic, grilled and served with fresh lemon on the side.

•Flour - This is the finely ground grain of wheat, corn, rice, oat, rye, or barley. Unless specified, this term refers to wheat flour. Flour is milled from a variety of wheats containing different amounts of protein. The different levels of protein give each flour unique qualities. All-purpose flour is the most commonly used, especially by the domestic market. This flour is milled hard and soft wheats, giving it the strength needed in bread baking, but leaving it tender enough for cakes and pastries. Bread flour has a higher protein content so that it may withstand the constant expansion of the cell walls during proofing and baking. Cake flour is milled from soft wheat, thus containing a very low protein content and preventing the development of gluten. Pastry flour is of relatively low protein content, containing just enough to help stabilize the products during leavening. Whole wheat flours are milled from the whole kernel, thus giving it a higher fiber content and a substantial protein content. Semolina is milled from hard durum wheat, being used mainly for commercial baking and pasta production.

• Focaccio - An Italian flatbread made with pizza or bread dough, that can be baked plain or topped with onions, zucchini, eggplant, cheese, or whatever you choose.

•Foie Gras - This literally means goose liver, but the term is used to describe the fattened liver of both duck and geese. The birds are force fed a rich mixture to help expedite this process. These livers are praised for their delicate flavor and rich, buttery texture. The largest production of commercial foie gras is done in France and Israel. The US will only allow this product to beimported in a cooked stage, either canned, vacuum-sealed, or frozen. These are inferior products and will never highlight the true delicacy of foie gras. But fresh foie gras is now available from breeders in the US. These foie gras are very fine specimens, but a very high price goes along with them. Foie gras is prepared in a vast number of ways, though one should remember to keep these as simple as possible to avoid masking the flavor of this treasure.

•Fondant - This is an icing made of sugar syrup and glucose, which is cooked to a specific temperature and then kneaded to a smooth, soft paste. This paste can then be colored or flavored and used as an icing for cakes and petit fours.

•Fondue - There are several different types of fondue, the most notable of which is cheese fondue. This is a Swiss specialty in which cheese is melted with wine, eggs, and seasonings and served with bread and fresh vegetables. Fondue Bourguignonne is a pot of hot oil into which the diners will cook strips of meat and dip them into an array of sauces on the table. Similar to this is fondue Chinois where the hot oil is replaced by a rich chicken or meat broth. The meat, and fish too, are then cooked in this stock and dipped in sauces. The Japanese have a dish called shabu shabu, which is similar to this type of fondue. Named for the swishing sound that the meat makes in the broth, this dish is also served with vegetables and noodles in to be eaten along with the meat. A chocolate fondue is a chocolate bath, flavored with liqueur and eaten with bread and fruit, like fresh berries. These are all dishes eaten as much for their social qualities as their culinary grandeur. Their popularity in the US has diminished over the last 15 years, only being seen in ski resorts and at private dinner parties.

•Fonduta - An Italian style fondue made of Fontina cheese and served over toast or polenta. Exceptional with truffles.

•Fougasse - A flatbread from France that was once served sweetened with sugar and orange water. It is now more commonly seen as a bread eaten with savory dishes. In this case, the dough is brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with herbs or salt before baking.

•Foyot - This is a variation of a b‚arnaise sauce with the addition of a well reduced meat glaze.

•Frangipane - A pastry cream made of butter, eggs, flour, and finely ground almonds or macaroons. Modern versions will use a combination of cornstarch and flour. The nuts must be very finely ground for this to be successful. This type of raw cream is baked in the pastry shell or crepe. Frangipane is also the name for a type of panada used in making forcemeats.

•Fricassee - A stew prepared without the initial browning of the meat. Though chicken is the most common form of this type of stew, fish, vegetables, and other meats are prepared in this manner.

•Fritter - Food that has been dipped in batter and deep fried or sauteed. These may consist of vegetables, meat, fish, shellfish, or fruit. The food may be dipped in the batter and dropped into the hot fat to form little balls. Japanese tempura fried foods are a type of fritter, though this term is not applied to it.

•Frittata - An Italian open-faced omelette.

•Fritto Misto - An Italian mixed fried platter, similar to the Japanese tempura platter. A mixture of vegetables, meat, and fish are dipped in a light batter and quickly deep fried to prevent a saturation of grease into the food.

•Fruit Pectin - A substance found naturally in fruits such as apples, quince, and all citrus fruits. Pectin's ability to gel liquids makes it a key ingredient in jelly and jam making. You can purchase pectin in powder or liquid form, or use high pectin fruits in the recipe.

• Fugu - Japanese for swellfish; globefish; blowfish; ballonfish; puffer. Fugu is caught in winter only, and it is eaten as chiri-nabe (hotpot) or fugu-sashi (raw fugu, sliced paper-thin). Only licensed fugu chefs are allowed to prepare this fish in Japan, since it contains a deadly poison. Thank you to Pat B. Willener for this definition.

•Fumet - An aromatic broth made for use in soups and sauces. The flavor of a fumet is usually concentrated on one item, though multiple ingredients may be used. The stock is then reduced to concentrate this flavor. Fish and vegetable broths are more commonly called fumets, but meat may also be used.

• Fusilli - Spiral shaped pasta. Some versions are shaped like a spring. Other versions are shaped like a twisted spiral.


Cooking terms beginning with the letter "G"

•Galanga - A root spice related to ginger, which has a musky flavor reminiscent of saffron. It is found dried whole or in slices, and also in powder.

•Galantine - A pate-like dish made of the skin of a small animal, most often chicken or duck, which is stuffed with a forcemeat of this animal. Additional strips of meat, blanched vegetables, and truffles are also layered with the forcemeat. This is then wrapped or tied and poached in broth. Galantine are always served cold with their aspic, where as ballottines may be hot or cold. These terms are often used interchangeably.

•Galette - This is French for pancake, usually sweet, made of batters, doughs, or potatoes. Brioche-type dough or puff pastry are often used. Small short butter cookies were once also called galettes. The term has now been stretched to include preparations made of vegetables or fish. Different from a croquette, these cakes are not breaded.

•Gananche fasulya _ (Armenian) Green beans.

•Garam Masala - This is an Indian curry mixture with a more complex flavor and aroma. The mixture is always made fresh by the cook, never purchased pre-ground. The mixture may include cumin, fennel, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, saffron, pepper, chiles, and caraway. These spice mixtures vary greatly between cooks and different dishes. Garam Masala is also used as a condiment, being added to a dish at the end of cooking.

•Gatah - (Armenian) Sweet coffee roll.

•Gazpacho - A cold vegetable soup served throughout all of the Spanish countries. The most common version is one made with a coarse puree of fresh tomatoes flavored with vinegar and olive oil, embellished with diced raw vegetables like onions, cucumbers, and peppers. A light gazpacho is made with a puree of cucumber, and served with an array of garnishes for the diner to choose from. Roasted almonds, avocadoes, and croutons are common garnishes.

•Gelatin - A protein produced from animals, used to gel liquids. It is found in granular and sheet form.

•Gelato - An Italian frozen dessert, whose popularity has overwhelmed the US, is made of whole milk and eggs. This gives it richness without flavors becoming masked by the fat from cream. The flavors are very intense and the texture is soft and silky.

•Genoise - A very rich sponge cake made with eggs and butter. This may be eaten as is with whipped cream or fruit, but also used as the foundation for many other cake preparations.

• Ghee - The Indian name for cooking fat. Most commonly used is clarified butter made from the milk of buffaloes and yaks. In regions where milk is unobtainable, mustard and sesame oil are used.

•Ginz - (Armenian) Coriander.

•Glace - A highly reduced stock used as an essence in flavoring sauces and enriching soups and stews. Veal glace is used for all meat preparations and stands up the best to the long reduction required. Fish and shellfish glaces are used, but their flavor can become edirtye tasting and bitter from too long of a reduction.

•Gluten - The protein found in wheat flours.

•Gnocchi - These are small dumplings made with flour, potatoes, and eggs. Other versions include spinach, semolina, sweet potatoes, chopped herbs, and parmesan or ricotta cheese. Once the gnocchi are made they are cooked in boiling water, and then sauced or tossed with melted butter. Some recipes call for cooking the gnocchi in broth. Gnocchi is also the name of a pasta with a similar shape.

•Gootah - (Armenian) long light green skinned Armenian cucumber.

•Got - (Armenian) Milk>

•Gougere - A savory pastry made of choux paste flavored with cheese. This may be made in individual puffs or piped into a ring of puffs, which is served with a pool of sauce in the center of the ring.

•Goulash - A Hungarian soup/stew made with beef and liberally seasoned with paprika. Some versions add gremolata at the very end of cooking or sprinkled over the top.

•Granita - A coarse fruit ice similar to sorbet, without the meringue, which is often flavored with liqueurs.

•Gratin - Dishes cooked in the oven which form a crust on the surface. This is expedited by placing the dish under the broiler. Breadcrumbs and cheese are often sprinkled on top of these dishes to help form the crust.

•Gravlax - Whole salmon fillets that have been cured with salt, sugar, and pepper, then flavored with dill. The salmon is then sliced paper thin and served with pumpernickel bread, sour cream, capers, onion, and lemon. Other spellings for this are gravadlax and gravlox.

•Grecque - Foods that are prepared in the style of Greece. This is usually used for dishes with lemon, garlic, and olive oil. But the addition of tomatoes, peppers, and fennel often allows a dish to be called … la grecque.

•Gremolata - A mixture of chopped parsley, garlic, and lemon peel. This is added to stews at the end of their cooking time to add a pungency to the dish. Used in some recipes for osso buco a la Milanese, and Hungarian goulash.

•Grissini - Italian bread sticks.

•Gruyere - A moderate-fat cow's-milk cheese with a rich, sweet, nutty flavor that is prized for both 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.

•Guacamole - A dip made of mashed avocadoes seasoned with onions, tomatoes, chiles, and cilantro. This is mostly eaten as a dip for fried corn chips, but it is also very good with raw vegetables. You may also use it as a filling for burritos and tacos.

•Gumbo - A thick soup/stew made with meat or seafood served over plain white rice. Okra, filé powder, and roux. All methods are acceptable, and all are considered traditional


Cooking terms beginning with the letter "H"

•Halva - A Middle Eastern candy made from sesame seeds.

•Harissa - A spice mixture used as both a condiment and a seasoning. Harissa contains chiles which are ground with cumin, garlic, coriander, and olive oil. It becomes a thick paste that is used as is in cooking or diluted with oil or stock to be used as a condiment.

•Harpootzee - from the Armenian village of Harpoot.

•Hatz or Hots - General Armenian word for bread.

•Hoisin Sauce - A rich, dark, sweet barbecue sauce used in Chinese cooking for marinades and basting. Hoisin sauce is easily recognizable in Mu Shu pork and Peking duck. The sauce is made from soybean flour, chiles, red beans, and many other spices.

•Hollandaise Sauce - This is the most basic of the egg and oil emulsified sauces. The only flavoring is fresh lemon juice. This sauce must be kept warm, as excessive heat will cause it to break. Because this is kept warm, it is not safe to keep it for long periods of time and should never be reused from another meal period.

•Horn of Plenty Mushroom - This is a wild mushroom with a hollow, funnel- shaped cap and is dark gray or black in color. Because of this, it also has the name 'etrumpet of deathe'. This mushroom is somewhat stringy, but has a robust flavor and may be used to flavor sauces, soups, or any other mushroom preparation.

•Hyssop - Any of various herbs belonging to the mint family with aromatic, dark green leaves that have a slightly bitter, minty flavor. Hyssop adds intrigue to salads, fruit dishes, soups and stews. It is also used to flavor certain liquers such as Chartreuse.


Cooking terms beginning with the letter "I"

•Imrig halva - {Middle Eastern}Mock sesame seed dessert made of cream of wheat or farina.

•Infusion - An infusion is the flavor that's extracted from any ingredient such as tea leaves, herbs or fruit by steeping them in a liquid such as water, oil or vinegar.

•Involtini - Thin slices of meat or fish which are stuffed and rolled. They may then be sauteed, grilled, or baked.


Cooking terms beginning with the letter "J"

•Jambalaya - A Creole version of paella, though more highly spiced. The only consistent ingredients among all of the jambalaya recipes are rice, tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Ingredients used for jambalaya are ham, oysters, chicken, Andouille sausage, duck, shrimp, and game birds.

•Jerusalem Artichoke - A tuber, also called sunchoke, with a very firm flesh and a flavor reminiscent of globe artichokes. These are used as a vegetable, in soups, or cooked and served in salads. •Jicama - A large bulbous root vegetable with a thin brown skin and white crunchy flesh. Its swet, nutty flavor is good both raw and cooked. It is a fair source for vitamin C and potassium.

Joojukh - Armenian yogurt and cucumber soup, usually served ice cold.

•Julienne - Foods that are cut in long, thin strips. The term is usually associated with vegetables, but may be applied to cooked meat or fish.

•Jus - A rich, lightly reduced stock used as a sauce for roasted meats. Many of these are started by deglazing the roasting pan, then reduced to achieve the rich flavor desired. A jus lie is one that has been slightly thickened with cornstarch or flour.

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