Cooking terms beginning with the letter "K"

•Kebab - Also spelled kabob, these are skewers of meat, fish, or vegetables grilled over a fire. All countries serve some version of this dish. Kebab in Armenian means the meat, the skewers are the shish from "shish kebab"

•Kedgeree - A British variation of an Indian dish with rice, smoked fish, hard cooked eggs, and bechamel sauce flavored with curry. Finnan Haddie is most often used, but smoked sturgeon or salmon are excellent substitutes.

• Kefir - A fermented milk drink similar to a lassi, flavored with salt or spices. Where available, kefir is made with camel's milk.

•Ketchup - A term derived from Asian cookery, this sauce is known to be a sweet sauce made from tomatoes. Other forms of ketchup are made from walnuts, mushrooms, and grapes.

•Khadayif - {Middle Eastern} a shredded phyllo dough used as a sweet breakfast pastry.

•Kheyma - (Armenian) Uncooked ground lamb or beef mixed with parsley, onions, tomatoes and spices and eaten with Romaine leaves or Armenian peda bread. Known lovingly as a "cannibal sandwich".

•Kimion - (Armenian) Cumin.

•Kirsch - A clear brandy distilled from cherry juice and pits. In cookery, it's most prominently known as a flavorful addition to fondue and cherries jubilee.

• Kombu(Konbu) - A large edible seaweed used in Japanese cooking.

•Koosab - (Armenian) A fruit compote usually of reconstituted dried fruit.

•Kugelhopf - A yeast cake from Alsace baked in a large crown-like earthenware dish. It is similar to brioche, though less rich, and flavored with currants or golden raisins and almonds. This is mainly eaten for breakfast.

•Kumquat - A very small citrus fruit with the unique quality of having a sweet skin and bitter flesh. These are used in pastry making, preserves, and chutneys.

•Kurabia - (Armenian) cookies.


Cooking terms beginning with the letter "L"

•Lahmahjoon - (Armenian) Best described as an Armenian pizza. Made with ground lamb, tomatoes, onions, peppers and spices.

•Lakerda - {Armenian} Salted dried fish.

•Langouste - The French name for the spiny lobster, differentiating from Maine lobsters in that they have no claws. Langoustes are warm water crustaceans that can be found in the south Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and off the coasts of South America, Australia and the West Indies.

•Langoustine - The French name for Dublin prawn. These are small pink crustaceans resembling crayfish, with a taste and texture closest to lobster. Their claws are quite long but have no edible meat in them. Like the langouste, these are found in warm waters.

•Larding - A technique by which thin strips of backfat, or vegetables, are inserted into a piece of meat. These strips help the meat to reman juicy during cooking. Larding with vegetables gives the meat a contrast of color plus the addition of flavor. This practice is not used as often now because of the higher quality of meat available to us.

•Lasagna - Sheets of pasta which are layered with sauce and cheese and baked au gratin. Meat, fish, shellfish, and vegetables are all used as fillings for this dish. Recipes from northern Italy are simple preparations consisting of little more than sauce and cheese. Contrary to this is lasagna al forno, filled with a rich bolognese sauce. Southern Italian versions are more elaborate calling for the addition of sausages, mushrooms, and anything else they may have on hand.

•Lassi - A frothy yogurt drink, sweet or salty, flavored with pistachios, cardamom, cumin, or rose water.

•Liaison - The process of thickening a sauce, soup, or stew. This includes all rouxs, starch and water mixtures(slurries), beurre manie, and egg yolks with or without cream. Egg yolks must be tempered with hot liquid before adding to the liquid in order to prevent curdling.

•Linguine - Long, oval shaped pasta noodles. Hand cut versions of this are very narrow flat noodles.

•Linzertorte - An Austrian pastry comprised of a short crust dough flavored with ground almonds and hazelnuts, cinnamon, and lemon zest. This is then spread with raspberry jam and topped with a cross-hatch of dough. Almond paste is sometimes layered underneath the raspberry jam. Other versions of this use fresh cranberries or apricots in the filling.

•Lobster Mushroom - A wild mushroom that has a firm texture and a red and orange color like lobster shells.

•Lokhoom - (Turkish) A gelatinous candy dusted with powdered sugar. Known as "Turkish delight".

•Lychee - A small fruit from China and the West indies, with a hard shell and sweet, juicy flesh. The flesh is white with a gelatinous texture and a musky, perfumed flavor.

•Lyonnaise, à la - A French term for “in the manner of Lyons”. Dishes include onions which have been cooked golden brown and seasoned with wine, garlic, and parsley.

•Lyonnaise Sauce - A classic French sauce preparation made with sauteed onions, white wine and demi-glace. The sauce is strained before being served with meats and sometime poultry.


Cooking terms beginning with the letter "M"

•Mahdzoon - (Armenian) plain yogurt.

•Mahldanoatz - (Armenian) Flat leafed parsley.

•Manti or Monti - An Armenian ravioli.

•Matjes Herring - A reddish herring that has been skinned and filleted before being cured in a spiced sugar-vinegar brine.

•Macaire - A potato pancake made with seasoned potato puree.

•Macaroon - A small round cookie that has a crisp crust and a soft interior. Many versions bought commercially have been thoroughly dried. These cookies may be made from almonds, though coconut is common in the US. The may also be flavored with coffee, chocolate, or spices. Amaretti, from Italy, are a type of macaroon.

•Macedoine - A mixture of fruit or vegetables. Vegetable macedoine are cut into small dice and used as a garnish to meats. Fruit macedoine are cut in larger pieces and often marinated in sugar syrup with liqueur.

•Macerate - Soaking fruit or vegetables in wine, liquor, or syrup so that they may absorb these flavors. Salt and sugar macerations are used to draw excess moisture out of the food for a secondary preparation. This is done for canning, jam and preserve making, and to remove bitter flavors from vegetables.

•Mache - A wild lettuce with small round leaves that may be used for salads or cooked and used as you would spinach. The taste is a little less pronounced than spinach. Mache grows wild, and can be found in the fall. It is cultivated in France, Italy, and the US from September to April.

•Madeleine - A small shell shaped cookie or cake made from a rich batter similar to g‚noise. These may be flavored with almonds, lemon, or cinnamon.

•Magret - The breast meat from a mallard or Barbary duck. These ducks are specially raised for foie gras. Their breasts are large and have a much thinner layer of fat than do the Peking or Long Island duckling.

• Maitre d' Hotel Butter - This is the most common of all the compound butters. It is flavored with lemon and chopped parsley and used to garnish fish and grilled meats. Garlic may be added, but it would then be called escargot butter.

•Marengo - A chicken stew made with wine, tomatoes, and garlic. The stew is served over toast, garnished with crayfish and fried eggs. The modern versions of this omit the eggs and substitute shrimp for the crayfish. Of course, other liberties have been taken with this recipe to include black olives, peppers, and veal. The dish is rumored to have been named for the dish served to General Bonaparte after his army's defeat of the Austrians in the battle of Marengo.

•Margarine - A solid fat invented in 1869 by the French chemist Henri Mege- Mouries. Margarine was first invented to replace butter in cooking and baking. It was then made solely of beef fat. Margarine is now made with a variety of fats, alone or with others, along with the addition of water, whey, yellow coloring, and vitamins. Beef fat is still used today, but with a higher consciousness towards a healthier diet, it is very rare.

•Marzipan - An almond paste with the addition of egg whites. This mixture is kneaded into a smooth paste and used to wrap or layer cakes and candies. Marzipan is also shaped into figures of animals, fruits, and vegetables, and sold in pastry or candy shops.

• Mascarpone - A rich triple cream, fresh cheese from Italy with a texture resembling that of solidified whipped cream.

•Matafan - A thick pancake eaten sweet as a snack, or savory as an accompaniment to cheese. They are also made with bacon, spinach, and potatoes.

• Matelote - A French fish stew made with wine. The Alsatian version of this dish is made with freshwater fish, Riesling wine, and thickened with cream and egg yolks. The Normandy versionincludes seafood and is flavored with cider and Calvados. These stews are normally embellished with pearl onions and mushrooms.

•Mayonnaise - This is the mother of all of the cold egg and oil emulsified sauces. Commercial versions are made with inferior oils and are far to thick for proper utilization. A hand made version has a rich, subtle flavor and silky texture. You should always use a neutral oil or a good olive oil. Avoid using an extra-virgin olive oil, which will offer too strong of a flavor for most usage.

•Meese - (Armenian) A general term for meat.

• Melba - The name of a popular dessert invented by Auguste Escoffier. Poached peach halves are served with vanilla ice cream and topped with fresh raspberry sauce.

•Menudo - A soup similar to pozole with the addition of tripe and meat broth. This, too, is served with assorted condiments for the diners to choose from.

•Meringue - Whipped egg whites to which sugar has been added to form a stiff paste. These are used to lighten mousses, cakes, and pastry creams. Unsweetened versions are used to lighten forcemeats. Meringue is also baked in a very low oven, forming crisp shells which are filled with fruit or ice cream. Small dried meringue shells are called vacherin.

•Mesclun - This is a mix of very young lettuces and greens. Often this mix is stretched with herb or flower sprigs and bitter greens. These greens should be dressed very lightly, with only best oil and vinegar, so that their flavor will not be masked.

•Midia - (Armenian) Mussels.

•Mignonette - This is a term used to describe coarsely ground pepper used for au poivre preparations and in bouquet garni. This is also used to describe small round pieces of meat or poultry.

•Milanese - This is used to describe foods that are dipped in egg and breadcrumbs, sometimes parmesan cheese, and fried in butter.

•Mille-Feuille - Small rectangular pastries made of crisp layers of puff pastry and pastry cream. This may also include savory fillings of similar presentation. The word mille-feuille means a thousand leaves.

•Mincemeat - A sweet spicy mixture of candied and fresh fruits, wine, spices, and beef fat. Earlier recipes for this used beef or venison meat and beef fat. It is used primarily as a filling for pies served during the Christmas holiday season.

• Minestrone - An Italian vegetable soup with beans and pasta or rice. This may contain any number of vegetables, but for authenticity, meat is never added.

•Mirepoix - A mixture of chopped onion, carrot, and celery used to flavor stocks and soups. Ham or bacon are sometimes added to a mirepoix, depending on the specific preparation.

• Mirin - A non-alcoholic version of sake/rice wine. It is sweet and syrupy.

•Mise en Place - A term used in professional kitchens to describe the proper planning procedure for a specific station.

•Miso - A paste made from fermented soy beans. This is used in Japanese cooking for sauces and soups.

•Molasses - This is a syrup resulting from the crystallization of raw sugar from the sap. Additional processing results in darker and stronger tasting molasses called black strap.

•Mole - An assortment of thick sauces used in Mexican cooking made of chiles. These sauces are made with one or many chiles, and flavored with cumin, coriander, cinnamon, nuts, seeds, and chocolate. Their flavor is rich, smoky, and very complex. Some recipes are made with fresh herbs and have a green color. Chicken, turkey, and pork are then simmered in this sauce.

•Monosodium Glutamate - A sodium salt found in wheat, beets, and soy bean products. It is used extensively in Chinese cookery, and thought to help accentuate the flavors of certain foods. Many people suffer serious allergic reactions to this so widespread use has been reduced to the commercial food processing industry.

•Morel Mushroom - This is a wild mushroom with a honeycomb cap and hollow stem. These are very dirty mushrooms and must be cleaned carefully. Morels possess a wonderful earthy flavor, making them good candidates for soups, sauces, and fillings.

•Mornay Sauce - A bechamel sauce with Gruyere cheese, sometimes enriched with egg yolks. It is used mainly for fish and vegetable preparations.

•Mortadella - Large,lightly smoked sausages made of pork, beef, or veal. These are specialities of Bologna, which is where the US version of this sausage gets its name. Mortadella is a very smooth, pink sausage with a subtle creamy texture. They are studded with cubes of pork fat and peppercorns.

•Mostarda di Cremona - These are fruits cooked and marinated in a spicy, mustard flavored syrup. It is a classic accompaniment to bollito misto. These fruits are also used in sauces for veal, and assorted stuffed pasta fillings.

•Moussaka - A layered dish of eggplant and lamb with tomatoes and onions. This is all bound with bechamel sauce and cooked au gratin.

•Mousse - Sweet or savory dishes made of ingredients which are blended and folded together. These mixtures may be hot or cold, and generally contain whipped egg whites to lighten them. Cream is also used to lighten these dishes, though when used in large quantities, these preparations are called mousselines.

•Mousseline - As stated above, these are fine purees or forcemeats that have been lightened with whipped cream. The term is also used to describe a hollandaise sauce which has unsweetened whipped cream folded into it.

•Mousseron Mushroom - A wild mushroom with an off-white to beige color. The flavor is full-bodied and the texture is fleshy like bolets.

•Mulligatawny - A curried chicken soup adapted by the British from India. Originally the soup was enriched with coconut milk and embellished with almonds and apples. Newer versions make a lighter broth and flavor this with curry and coconut.


Cooking terms beginning with the letter "N"

•Nage - An aromatic broth in which crustaceans are cooked. The shellfish is then served with this broth. The most notable of these dishes is lobster la nage.

•Nantua - A name given to dishes containing crayfish. This includes crayfish tails and sauces made with a crayfish fumet.

•Navarin - French stew made with mutton or lamb and onions, turnips, potatoes, and herbs.

• Nicoise - Foods cooked in the style of Nice. These dishes may include garlic, Nicoise olives, anchovies, tomatoes, and green beans. Salad Nicoise is the most famous of all these dishes, consisting of potatoes, olives, green beans, and vinaigrette dressing.

•Noisette - A small round steak, made of lamb or beef tenderloin.

•Noisette Butter - Whole butter which has been cooked until it reaches a rich, nutty brown color and aroma.

•Nori Seaweed - Thin dry sheets of seaweed used in Japanese cooking. It is mainly used to wrap sushi and as garnish for other cold presentations.

•Nougat - A candy made from sugar and honey mixed with nuts. This mixture is then formed into slabs and sliced.

•Nougatine - A darker candy, made of caramel syrup and nuts. This is rolled into thin sheets and formed into cups or bowls to serve as a vessel for other candy or fruit.

•Nuoc-Mam - This is a Vietnamese fish sauce made with fermented fish or shrimp. Another name for this is nam pla.

• Nutella - A commercial brand of gianduja. This is a creamy paste of chocolate and hazelnuts treasured in Italy. This is used in candy making, for flavored milk drinks, and when thinned out, spread on bread as a quick snack.


Cooking terms beginning with the letter "O"

•Oeuf - The French word for egg.

•Oeuf a la Neige - Sweet meringue puffs that are poached in milk and chilled. When served, these puffs are drizzled with caramel and served with creme anglaise.

•Olives - This is the edible fruit of the olive tree. Found in both green(unripe) and black(ripe) forms, each must undergo a processto remove the bitterness found in them. This curing process is done with brine solutions, salt curing, and drying.

•Olive Oil - Olive oil has a very distinctive flavor, and has become more prominent in American cooking today. Gradings of olive oils are determined by the methods of extraction and the acid content of the resulting oil. Virgin oils are those obtained from the first pressing of the olive without further refinement. The finest olive oil is extra virgin, with an acid content of 1%. Following this are superfine at 1.5%, fine at 3%, and virgin at 4%. Pure olive oils are those which have been extracted by heat. These are of 100% olive oil, but their flavor can result in a harsh, bitter aftertaste. Pomace olive oil is refined from the final pressings and under heat and pressure. The taste is inferior to other olive oils and should never be substituted for them. Olive oil becomes rancid very easily, more so when exposed to heat or light. Always store tightly sealed in a cool, dark place.

•Opakapaka - Pink snapper. A local Hawaiian favorite, especially around the holidays.

•Orzo - Small rice shaped pasta.

•Osso Buco - An Italian dish comprised of crosscut slices of the veal shank braised with vegetables, aromatics, and stock. Milanese style is served with saffron risotto and gremolata.

•Ouzo - A clear anise-flavored liqueur from Greece. It's generally mixed with water which turns it whitish and opaque.

Oyster - A bivalve found in bays and rivers worldwide.

•Oyster Mushroom - A wild mushroom that grows in clusters on the side of trees. It is off-white to greyish in color and has a soft texture. These mushrooms have a very subtle flavor. They are also being cultivated in the US, making them readily available in markets and moderately priced.

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