Lisa O's Cooking Glossary
- Thursday, 21 August 2008
Butchers Twine: It is a thin cotton cooking rope that you use to tie roasts, turkeys, sachets etc… You can find it at the grocery store and any specialty kitchen shop.
Caramelize: To gently brown that item that you are cooking, this cooking method will produce natural sugars to come out and that is what is causing the food to turn golden in color.
Cardamom: Native to Southern Indonesia and part of the ginger family, the black seeds are encased in a pliable green husk that can be broken open with little effort. It also aids in digestion.
Cheesecloth: 100% cotton fine mesh gauze that is used to strain liquids, stocks, sauces, hold herbs such as sachet d’ epices or when you are draining the liquid from cheese or yogurt. It is also used to keep fish together when poaching.
Coeur a La Crème (coo-or ah-la krem): Coeur means heart and you can find the mold at a specialty kitchen shop. It looks like a white porcelain heart with holes at the bottom.
Crème Fraiche (kremm-fresh): Fresh cultured cream that tastes a bit sour and has a hint of nuts. Do not substitute sour cream, it simply does not compare.
Curdle: To change into curd; to break apart; as acid causes milk to curdle.
Curry powder: Curry is characteristically golden in color due to it’s addition of saffron and turmeric plus up to15 different herbs and spices that are blended together. Some of the spices included are: saffron, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel, hot chilies, fenugreek, oregano, nutmeg, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and tamarind. Sometimes mace is added as well.
Delicata Squash (dell-ih-kah-ta): A cream colored oblong-shaped squash with green striped skin and golden textured flesh. It ranges in size from 4 to 12 inches in length with an average weight of 2 pounds. It is usually available in abundance from September-early December. You can find it all year long but the squash will taste the best while in the peak of its season.
Hot Water Bath (also known as a Bain Marie): A device for regulating the temperature of anything subjected to heat, by surrounding the cooking vessel with warm or hot water to prevent the product you are cooking from boiling or scorching.
Immersion Blender: A hand-held kitchen appliance that is used to blend, chop, or puree small food items. It is often used for pureeing soups and emulsifying sauces while leaving the food in the cooking pot or pan. The Immersion Blender is also known as a hand blender, stick blender, wand blender or Bermixer and is a good option for small tasks that do not require the heavy-duty aspects of a food processor or blender.
Julienne: A vegetable or piece of meat that is cut at 1/16’’ in width and 2-3 inch in length.
Kirschwasser (keer-ssh-vas-er): It is a colorless double distilled cherry brandy and literally translates to cherry water. Do not use cheap cherry brandy it will taste medicinal.
Limoncello: An Italian liqueur that is simply made from peeled lemon rind (all pith must be peeled away from rind or else it will become bitter), sugar, water and high proof neutral grain alcohol. The reason a high proof alcohol is used is that it will properly extract the lemon’s flavor and beautiful yellow color.
Mace: Native to Indonesia, mace is a waxy red membrane that covers nutmeg so the taste is similar to nutmeg but with some peppery notes. Benefits include, relief from nausea, depression, and is antimicrobial. Do not use mace when you are pregnant, for more info consult with your naturopathic doctor.
Mascarpone: An Italian cows milk cheese that is mild and sweet and typically used in the preparation of Tiramisu.
Meyer Lemon: A cross between a lemon and an orange, it has sweet and bright citrus notes. Looks like a deep yellow lemon.
Mince: A cut that measures 1/16’’ squared.
Quinoa (keen-wha): Ancient Aztec grain that is a complete protein because it includes all of the essential amino acids. Quinoa can be substituted in a recipe calling for rice, however it does have a bit of a nutty flavor.
Sachet d’ epices (Bag of spices): Aromatic ingredients that are encased in cheesecloth and tied with butchers twine. Typically, the spices are parsley stems, cracked peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf and garlic.
Scald: Milk or cream that has been heated under the boiling point (boiling point is 212f or at higher altitudes 210f). If you were to “scald”, the temperature would be 180f.
Simmer: Cook gently at low temperature just under the boiling point.
Small Dice: a method of dicing where the cut measures ¼ x ¼ x ¼ inches.
Tahini: Sesame seed paste.
Temper: Slowly pouring a hot liquid or sauce into whipped eggs this prevents the eggs from scrambling and thus creates a thicker more stable mixture such a crème brulee.
Tuaca: A brand of Italian liqueur that is made of brandy, vanilla and orange essence.
Vanilla Bean Paste: A sweet concentrated vanilla extract with vanilla bean seeds.
Bulgur Wheat: Bulgur is a quick-cooking form of whole wheat that has been cleaned, partially cooked and dried.