Refers to a small amount of seasoning that is added to food. It is generally between 1/16 and 1/8 teaspoon. The term is often used for liquid ingredients, such as bottled hot pepper sauce.
To cook food by completely covering with hot fat. Deep-frying is usually done at 375 degrees.
Adding a liquid such as water, wine, or broth to a skillet that has been used to cook meat. After the meat has been removed, the liquid is poured into the pan to help loosen the browned bits and make a flavorful sauce.
A thick, intense meat-flavor gel that's often used as a foundation for soups and sauces. Demi-glace is available in gourmet shops or through mail-order catalogs.
To immerse food for a short time in a liquid or dry mixture to coat, cool, or moisten it.
Method of quickly cooking food by placing it on a grill rack directly over the heat source. A charcoal grill is often left uncovered, while a gas grill is generally covered.
To stir a solid food and a liquid food together to form a mixture in which none of the solid remains. In some cases, heat may be needed in order for the solid to dissolve.
A two-pan arrangement where one pan nests partway inside the other. The lower pot holds simmering water that gently cooks heat-sensitive food in the upper pot.
A term referring to a whole fish, with or without scales, that has had its internal organs removed. The term "drawn butter" refers to clarified butter.
To coat a food, either before or after cooking, with a dry ingredient, such as flour, cornmeal, or sugar.
Fish or game that has had guts (viscera) removed. In the case of fish, gills are removed, the cavity is cleaned, and the head and fins remain intact. The scales may or may not be removed.
A metal or disposable foil pan placed under food to catch drippings when grilling. A drip pan can also be made from heavy-duty foil.
To randomly pour a liquid, such as powdered sugar icing, in a thin stream over food.
To lightly coat or sprinkle a food with a dry ingredient, such as flour or powdered sugar, either before or after cooking.
Pastry wrappers used to encase a savory filling and make egg rolls. Look for these products in the produce aisle of the supermarket or at Asian markets. Egg roll skins are similar to, but larger than, wonton skins.
Pasteurized dried egg whites can be used where egg whites are needed; follow package directions for reconstituting them. Unlike raw egg whites, which must be thoroughly cooked before serving to kill harmful bacteria, pasteurized dried egg whites can be used in recipes that do not call for egg whites to be thoroughly cooked. Keep in mind that meringue powder may not be substituted, as it has added sugar and starch. Find dried egg whites in powdered form in the baking aisle of many supermarkets and through mail-order sources.
Keep in mind that you should avoid eating foods that contain raw eggs. Eggs should be cooked until both the yolk and white are firm; scrambled eggs should not be runny. Cook casseroles and other dishes that contain eggs until they register 160 degrees F on a food thermometer. If you have a recipe that calls for the eggs to be raw or undercooked (such as Caesar salads and homemade ice cream), use shell eggs that are clearly labeled as having been pasteurized to destroy salmonella; these are available at some retailers. Or use a widely available pasteurized egg product. If you have a recipe that calls for egg whites to be raw or undercooked, use pasteurized dried egg whites or pasteurized refrigerated liquid egg whites.
For cake recipes, allow eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before using. If the cake recipe calls for separated eggs, separate them immediately after removing them from the refrigerator and use them within 30 minutes. For all other recipes, use eggs straight from the refrigerator.
To combine two liquid or semiliquid ingredients, such as oil and vinegar, that don't naturally dissolve into each other. One way to do this is to gradually add one ingredient to the other while whisking rapidly with a fork or wire whisk.
Products based on the aromatic essential oils of plant materials that are distilled by various means. In extracts, the highly concentrated oils are usually suspended in alcohol to make them easier to combine with other foods in cooking and baking. Almond, anise, lemon, mint, orange, peppermint, and vanilla are some commonly available extracts.
Some undiluted oils are also available, usually at pharmacies. These include oil of anise, oil of cinnamon, oil of cloves, oil of peppermint, and oil of wintergreen. Do not try to substitute oils for ground spices in recipes. Oils are so concentrated that they're measured in drops, not teaspoons. Oil of cinnamon, for example, is 50 times stronger than ground cinnamon. You can, however, substitute 1 or 2 drops of an oil for 1/2 teaspoon extract in frosting or candy recipes.
See specific ingredients, such as butter, margarine, shortening, lard, or cooking oil.
A tan, flat bean that looks like a large lima bean. It is available dried, canned, and, occasionally, fresh.
A tangy, crumbly Greek cheese made of sheep's or goat's milk.
A piece of meat or fish that has no bones. As a verb, fillet refers to the process of cutting meat or fish into fillets.
A pungent brown sauce made by fermenting fish, usually anchovies, in brine. It's often used in Southeast Asian cooking.
To gently break food into small, flat pieces.
Commercially prepared oils flavored with herbs, spices, or other ingredients, including avocado, walnut, sesame, hazelnut, and almond. In addition to using them in recipes when called for, try brushing them over grilled vegetables or bread, or experiment with them in your favorite vinaigrette recipe.
An imitation extract made of chemical compounds. Unlike an extract or oil, a flavoring often does not contain any of the original food it resembles. Some common imitation flavorings available are banana, black walnut, brandy, cherry, chocolate, coconut, maple, pineapple, raspberry, rum, strawberry, and vanilla.
A milled food that can be made from many cereals, roots, and seeds, although wheat is the most popular. Store flour in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. All-purpose flour may be stored for up to 8 months. Bread flour, cake flour, gluten flour, whole wheat flour, and other whole grain flours may be stored up to 5 months. For longer storage, refrigerate or freeze the flour in a moisture- and vaporproof container. Bring chilled flour to room temperature before using in baking. Here are the types of flour most commonly used in cooking:
All-purpose flour: This flour is made from a blend of soft and hard wheat flours and, as its name implies, can be used for many purposes, including baking, thickening, and coating. All-purpose flour usually is sold presifted and is available bleached or unbleached. Bleached flour has been made chemically whiter in appearance. Some cooks prefer the bleached flour to make their cakes and bread as white as possible, while other cooks prefer their flour to be processed as little as necessary. Both bleached and unbleached flour are suitable for home baking and can be used interchangeably.
Bread flour: This flour contains more gluten than all-purpose flour, making it ideal for baking breads, which rely on gluten for structure and height. If you use a bread machine, use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour for best results. Or use all-purpose flour and add 1 or 2 tablespoons of gluten flour (available in supermarkets or health food stores).
Cake flour: Made from a soft wheat, cake flour produces a tender, delicate crumb because the gluten is less elastic. It's too delicate for general baking, but to use it for cakes, sift it before measuring and use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cake flour for every 1 cup all-purpose flour specified.
Gluten flour: Because whole-grain flours are low in gluten, some whole-grain bread recipes often call for a little gluten flour to help the finished loaf attain the proper texture. Sometimes called wheat gluten, gluten flour is made by removing most of the starch from high-protein, hard-wheat flour. If you can't find gluten flour at a supermarket, look for it at a health food store.
Pastry flour: A soft wheat blend with less starch than cake flour. It is used for making pastry.
Self-rising flour: An all-purpose flour with salt and a leavener, such as baking powder, added. It is generally not used for making yeast products.
Specialty flours: Specialty flours, such as whole wheat, graham, rye, oat, buckwheat, and soy, generally are combined with all-purpose flour in baking recipes because none has sufficient gluten to provide the right amount of elasticity on its own.
To coat or dust a food or utensil with flour. Food may be floured before cooking to add texture and improve browning. Baking utensils sometimes are floured to prevent sticking.
To make a decorative impression in food, usually a piecrust.
A method of gently mixing ingredients without decreasing their volume. To fold, use a rubber spatula to cut down vertically through the mixture from the back of the bowl. Move the spatula across the bottom of the bowl, and bring it back up the other side, carrying some of the mixture from the bottom up over the surface. Repeat these steps, rotating the bowl one-fourth of a turn each time you complete the process.
Liquid, paste, or powdered edible dyes used to tint foods.
To cut meat away from the end of a rib or chop to expose the bone, as with a lamb rib roast.
To apply a cooked or uncooked topping, which is soft enough to spread but stiff enough to hold its shape, to cakes, cupcakes, or cookies.
To cook food in a hot cooking oil or fat, usually until a crisp brown crust forms. To panfry is to cook food, which may have a very light breading or coating, in a skillet in a small amount of hot fat or oil. To deep-fat fry (or French fry) is to cook a food until it is crisp in enough hot fat or oil to cover the food. To shallow fry is to cook a food, usually breaded or coated with batter, in about an inch of hot fat or oil. To oven fry is to cook food in a hot oven, using a small amount of fat to produce a healthier product.
The strongly scented, pungent bulb of a plant related to an onion. A garlic clove is one of the several small segments that make up a garlic bulb. Elephant garlic is larger, milder, and more closely related to the leek. Store firm, fresh, plump garlic bulbs in a cool, dry, dark place; leave bulbs whole because individual cloves dry out quickly. Convenient substitutes are available; for each clove called for in a recipe use either 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder or 1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic.
To add visual appeal to a finished dish.
A dry ingredient made from natural animal protein that can thicken or set a liquid. Gelatin is available in unflavored and flavored forms. When using, make sure the gelatin powder is completely dissolved.
To dissolve one envelope of unflavored gelatin: Place gelatin in a small saucepan and stir in at least 1/4 cup water, broth, or fruit juice. Let it stand 5 minutes to soften, then stir it over low heat until the gelatin is dissolved.
Do not mix gelatin with figs, fresh pineapple (canned pineapple is not a problem), fresh ginger, guava, kiwifruit, and papaya, as these foods contain an enzyme that prevents gelatin from setting up.
Some recipes call for gelatin at various stages of gelling. "Partially set" means the mixture looks like unbeaten egg whites. At this point, solid ingredients may be added. "Almost firm" describes gelatin that is sticky to the touch. It can be layered at this stage. "Firm" gelatin holds a cut edge and is ready to be served.
The edible internal organs of poultry, including the liver, heart, and gizzard. (Although sometimes packaged with the giblets, the neck is not part of the giblets.) Giblets are sometimes used to make gravy.
The root of a semitropical plant that adds a spicy-sweet flavor to recipes (also called gingerroot). Ginger should be peeled before using. To peel, cut off one end of the root and use a vegetable peeler to remove the brown outer layer in strips. To grate ginger, use the fine holes of a grater. To mince ginger, slice peeled ginger with the grain (lengthwise) into thin sticks. Stack the sticks in a bundle and cut them finely. Ginger stays fresh two or three weeks in the refrigerator when wrapped loosely in a paper towel. For longer storage, place unpeeled ginger in a freezer bag and store in freezer. Ginger will keep indefinitely when frozen, and you can grate or slice the ginger while it's frozen. In a pinch, ground ginger can be used for grated fresh ginger. For 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, use 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.
A confection made from pieces of ginger (gingerroot) cooked in a sugar syrup, then coated with sugar. Also known as candied ginger. Store in a cool, dry, dark place.
The French term for "glazed" or "frozen." In the United States, it describes a candied food.
A thin, glossy coating. Savory glazes are made with reduced sauces or gelatin; sweet glazes can be made with melted jelly or chocolate.
An elastic protein present in flour, especially wheat flour, that provides most of the structure of baked products.
To rub food, such as hard cheeses, vegetables, or whole nutmeg or ginger, across a grating surface to make very fine pieces. A food processor also may be used.
To coat a utensil, such as a baking pan or skillet, with a thin layer of fat or oil. A pastry brush works well to grease pans. Also refers to fat released from meat and poultry during cooking.
To mechanically cut a food into smaller pieces, usually with a food grinder or a food processor.
The word gumbo is from an African word meaning "okra." This creole stew contains okra, tomatoes, and onions as well as various meats or shellfish such as shrimp, chicken, or sausage. It is thickened with a roux.
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