- A variety of summer squash found in Latin American and Mexican cooking.
- The Italian word for squid.
- A Portuguese soup made from a sharp flavored cabbage, potatoes, broth, and olive oil. Sausage is then cooked in the soup.
- A half-moon shaped pizza turnover, often served with sauce over the top rather than inside.
- Small open-faced sandwiches served as snacks or for lunch. They may be served hot or cold, but they are often elaborately garnished.
- 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.
- A crisp pastry tube filled with sweetened ricotta cheese, chocolate chips, and candied fruit. Cinnamon and vanilla are common flavorings for this cheese mixture.
- The pickled bud from the caper bush which is used in sauces and as condiments for smoked fish and nicoise salad.
- A coarse Italian pork sausage. Usually highly seasoned, this sausage is served cold, thinly sliced, as for prosciutto.
- 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.
- Best known as a spread or cold salad containing eggplant, celery, tomatoes, 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.
- The family name for sweet and hot peppers.
- 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.
- Aromatic seeds used for baking, flavoring coffee and exotic Scandinavian and Indian dishes.
Excellent when freshly ground. Botanical name: Elettaria cardamomum.
- Fish dishes which have sauces made with lobster fumet and are garnished with lobster meat.
- A vegetable from the artichoke family that looks like celery. Cardoons may be eaten raw or cooked and served like any vegetable.
- The seed from the carob tree which is dried, ground, and used primarily as a substitute for chocolate.
- 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.
- A dish from southwest France consisting of white beans and an assortment of meats like confit, lamb, pork, and Toulouse 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.
- The stomach lining of pork which is used in place of back fat for pates and to encase crepinettes.
- 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 caviar, 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.
- The root of a type of celery with a firm texture and a clean, sweet flavor of celery.
- A wild mushroom of the boletus family known for their full flavor and meaty texture.
- 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 is 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.
- The Indian name for tea, often served with milk and sugar.
- 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.
- 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.
- A whole wheat Indian flatbread that can be grilled or fried.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A thick slice of beef from the heart of the tenderloin, grilled or saut‚ed and simply sauced. Many restaurants claim their chateaubriand to be the head of the tenderloin, cut for two, which is roasted and carved tableside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Also called the custard apple, this is a tropical fruit with a creamy texture and sweet pineapple flavor.
- The French word for goat, generally referring to goat's milk cheeses.
- A custard made originally as the filling for the gâteau Saint-Honor, consisting of pastry cream lightened with Italian meringue and stabilized with gelatin.
- Crispy fried pigskin used in Mexican cooking for salads, fillings and snacks.
- A very fine julienne of vegetables usually associated with leafy herbs, lettuces, or greens.
- 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.
- A Mexican dish consisting of a batter-fried, cheese stuffed, pablano chili pepper.
- French word for "Chinese". Also refers to a "China Cap", a very fine mesh, conical strainer.
- A dried and smoked jalapeño 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A variation of Bearnaise sauce with tomato puree or concasse added.
- An Alsatian specialty 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A dessert of fruit, originally cherries, covered with a thick batter and baked until puffy. The dessert can be served hot or cold.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 this flavor.
Coeur à la Crème
- 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.
Coeur e 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. Alternate versions use mixtures of ricotta and cream cheese and flavored with liquor and citrus juice. This is then molded and served with a berry coulis.
- One of a variety of "greens" with a firm leaf and sharp flavor.
- 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 fish. Vegetables are cooked in the stew and rice and beans are served on the side.
- Dried and fresh fruit cooked with sugar to a jam like consistency, brief enough to allow the fruit to retain their individual identity.
- The term for chopping a vegetable coarsely. This is used most often when referring to chopped tomatoes.
- Large shell shaped pasta noodles. These are often stuffed and baked au gratin. Small shells are called conchigliette.
- This is a preparation for meat to preserve it for long periods of time when fresh meat would be scarce. The meat is first salted to remove moisture. It is then cooked at the lowest of simmers, submerged in fat, until the meat is buttery tender. After the meat is cooled, it is stored in crocks and covered with the fat to prevent exposure to air. The whole crock is stored to help age the meat. During this aging period the meat develops a new flavor, completely different from its original state. When ready to eat, the meat is fried in a skillet or grilled until the skin is crisp and the meat is warmed through. Duck confit was once served with potatoes fried in the same duck fat as the confit. This practice is less popular now, but good companions to the confit are lentils or bitter green salads to balance the richness of the meat. Fatty meats such as duck, goose, and pork work best in confit. Confit is an indispensable component in cassoulet.
- A clarified broth used as a base for sauces and soups.
- The loin or shoulder of pork that is cured, cooked and dried. It is served thinly sliced for antipasto or on sandwiches or pizza.
Coq au Vin
- A chicken stew flavored with red wine, bacon, mushrooms, and pearl onions.
- Dextrose, maltose, or glucose obtained by converting starch with acids. This syrup is used in baking, primarily to prevent the crystallization of sugar.
- A fresh pork sausage with a very fine consistency and delicate flavor. It contains a small amount of ground pork rind, coteca in Italian, thus giving it the name.It is a large sausage, about 3"X 9", used in stews and pasta e fagioli.
- A Russian pie made with alternating layers of salmon, hard cooked eggs, rice, mushroom duxelle, and vesiga. Vesiga is the spinal marrow of sturgeon and has all but disappeared from commercial markets. The dough used to wrap the pie can be pate brisee, puff pastry, or brioche dough. Crepes are often layered in the bottom of the pie.
- A puree of fruit or vegetables, used as a sauce or flavoring agent to other sauces or soups. As sauces, they are thinned down just enough to reach the proper consistency, but not so much as to alter the intense flavor of the puree.
- The French word for zucchini.
- A well-seasoned cooking liquor, sometimes made with broth, used to poach fish and shellfish. Court-bouillons mainly consist of wine, water, herbs, and onion. Vinegar is sometimes added to the bouillon to help set the fish and enhance its white color. Truite au bleu is a perfect example of this technique.
- A pasta made from semolina (which itself is a flour made from Durum wheat).The name couscous also refers to the famous Maghreb dish in which semolina or cracked wheat is steamed in the perforated top part of a special pot called a couscoussiere, while chunks of meat (usually chicken or lamb), various vegetables, chickpeas and raisins simmer in the bottom part. The cooked semolina is heaped onto a large platter, with the meats and vegetables placed on top. Diners use chunks of bread to scoop the couscous from the platter.
- Crispy pieces of skin remaining after the fat is rendered. Commonly made from pork, duck, and goose it is used in salads, stuffings, and seasonings.
- This is the portion of milk that rises to the top when milk has not been homogenized. Cream is defined by its varying amounts of butterfat content. Half and half cream is a mixture of milk and cream, resulting in a butterfat content of 12%. Sour cream and light cream have a butterfat content of 18-20%. Heavy cream will have no less than 30% butterfat, averages around 36%, and will go as high as 40%.
- This is a custard made of milk and eggs. It is used both as a sauce for desserts and as a base for mousses.
- Like the Spanish flan, this is a baked custard that is flavored with caramel. When the dish is inverted, the caramel creates a sauce for the dessert.
- A naturally thickened fresh cream that has a sharp, tangy flavor and rich texture. This is an expensive item to buy, but a good substitute can be made by mixing heavy cream with uncultured buttermilk and allowed to stand, well covered, in a tepid place until thickened.
- This is a thick pastry cream made of milk, eggs, and flour. Other versions of this use all or a portion of cornstarch.
- A cake made of crepes layered with vegetables, cheese, or ham. The cake is then baked to blend the flavors and help set it so that it may be cut into wedges.
- A very thin pancake used for sweet and savory fillings.
- A small sausage patty wrapped in caul fat. They are filled with ground pork, veal, or poultry and fried or grilled. Some are shaped into balls. You may also use cooked meat or vegetables to flavor a forcemeat in the crepinette.
- An Italian pancake, similar to a crˆpe, used in place of pasta in preparations of dishes like manicotti and cannelloni.
- The French version of a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with Gruyere cheese.
- A grand dessert made up of cream puffs that are dipped in caramel and assembled into a large pyramid shape. The whole dessert is then brushed with more caramel and elaborately decorated.
- A thick patty made up of cooked foods. These patties or balls are breaded and fried or saut‚ed. Vegetables, fish, or meat may be used in croquettes.
- Toasted bread slices which are brushed with olive oil and served with tomatoes, pumate, cheese, chicken liver mousse, bean puree, or tapenade. These are the Italian version of canap‚s.
- Bread that is cut into smaller pieces and toasted or fried until crisp. This includes cubes for salads and slices for soups and hors d'oeuvres.
- A selection of raw vegetables served with a dip.
- The heart of the prosciutto.
- An English sauce used for ham, game, and pâtés. The sauce is made of currant jelly mixed with lemon and orange juice and port wine.
- This is a mix of spices that we have come to know of by the Muslim variety found in stores. Yet this is a mixture that is unique to everyone's kitchen. They may be mild with spices like cumin, fennel, and coriander; or heated up a bit with chiles and pepper; or fragrant with cinnamon and saffron. All of these are considered curry powders and all of them have distinctly different applications. Look under the definition for garam masala for more information.
- A cousin to the squid, that is also prized for its ink sac as well as its flesh.