- A rich rum or kirsch-soaked Polish yeast cake
studded with currants or raisins. The traditional
baba is baked in a tall cylindrical mold but the
cake can be made in a variety of shapes and sizes;
called savarin when baked in a large ring mold.
- This fruit indigenous to Ecuador, ranges from
8 to 12 inches long and about 4 inches in diameter.
The skin, which is entirely edible, turns from
green to golden yellow as it ripens. Babáco
is best eaten raw, contains triple the amount
of papain than found in papaya, and is a good
source of vitamins A and C.
Babka - A Polish sweet yeast bread, traditionally
made with rum and studded with almonds, raisins
and orange peel.
Back Ribs - A slab of ribs cut from the pork
primal loin and weighing 1.75 pounds or less.
Baby Lima Beans - There are two common varieties
of lima beans: the Fordhook and the baby (also
called sieva). The pale green bodies of both varieties
have a slight kidney-shaped curve. The Fordhook
is larger and plumper than the baby lima.
Bacon - A cured / smoked cut of pork carcass
that consists of fat interspersed with strands
of meat, available sliced or in a slab.
Bagel - A dense, chewy, doughnut-shaped
roll that is cooked in boiling water, then baked.
Baguette - A long, thin, cylindrical loaf
of French bread with a crisp, brown crust and
chewy interior; traditionally made from flour,
salt, water and yeast.
Bain Marie - 1. A hot-water bath used to
gently cook foods. Hot water is placed in a pan
and the food item (such as custard), nestled in
a separate container, is set in the water. This
allows gentle cooking without scorching. 2. French
term for a type of double boiler.
Bake Cups - Paper or foil pleated cups
used to line cupcake or muffin tins.
Bake -To cook in an oven with dry heat
at a specific temperature.
Baker's Cheese - Similar to cottage cheese,
this soft, acidic white cheese is made from skim
milk and used mainly in commercially baked goods.
It is rarely available in retail stores.
Baker's Peel - A tool with a flat, smooth
surface and long handle that's used to move pizzas
and yeast breads to and from an oven. Peels are
usually hardwood, but can be made of metal. Also
known as a pizza peel or paddle.
Baking Powder - A Leavening agent containing
a combination of baking soda, an acid like cream
of tartar and a moisture-absorber like cornstarch.
When mixed with liquid, it releases carbon dioxide
gas that causes baked goods to rise.
Baking Soda, Bicarbonate of Soda - A Leavening
agent that causes baked goods to rise when combined
with an acid ingredient such as buttermilk or
Baking Stones, Baking Tiles - A heavy, thick,
round or rectangular ceramic or stone plate placed
on the lowest oven shelf and preheated with the
oven. Such stones are used to duplicate the baking
qualities of the brick floors of some commercial
bread and pizza ovens. Items to be baked are then
placed directly on the baking stone in the oven.
Also known as a pizza stone. Baking tiles are
used like a baking stone, but are thick, unglazed
quarry tiles 8 to 12 inches square.
Baklava - Greek pastry made in layers with
thin leaves of phyllo dough, honey, sugar and
Balachan - Malaysian condiment made of
spices, small fish and shrimp, allowed to ferment
in the hot sun, and then dried. It is quite pungent
and is considered an acquired taste.
Balsamic Vinegar - An Italian vinegar made
from white Trebbiano grape juice. It has a dark
color and pungent sweetness from aging in barrels
made of wood.
Bamboo Shoots - These are the ivory-colored
shoots of the bamboo plant. Bamboo shoots have
a tender-crisp texture and sweet flavor. Primarily
available in cans and used in Asian cuisines.
Banana - A tropical fruit that grows in
clusters and is long and curving with a yellow
skin flecked with brown specs. It has a slightly
sticky, creamy pulp and a distinctive sweet flavor.
Banana Squash - A large, long winter squash
with creamy orange skin and orange flesh; often
sold in sections.
Banneton - A small woven basket used for
letting bread dough rise before baking. The basket
is dusted with flour before use. The dough takes
on the shape of the basket as it rises and is
then carefully turned out onto a baking sheet.
The baked bread retains the pattern of the basket.
Bap - A soft Scottish yeast roll traditionally
eaten for breakfast with a flour-tasting finish.
Sugar - A soft, moist, fine-textured type
of raw sugar. If unavailable, dark brown sugar
can be substituted in equal parts.
Barbeque, Bar-B-Q - 1. A method of cooking
meat, poultry or fish or even vegetables and fruit.
Is covered and slowly cooked in a pit or on a
spit, using hot coals or hardwood as a heat source.
2. A brazier fitted with a grill and sometimes
Barder, Bard - To cover meats with slices
of salt pork
Barley - A small, round grain grown in
most of the world. It is pearled to remove its
outer husk. It has a slightly sweet, nutty, earthy
flavor and chewy texture.
Barley Flour - Ground barley used for baking,
however, since it lacks gluten, barley flour isn't
recommended for yeast breads unless combined with
a gluten-containing flour. An excellent thickener
for soups and sauces
Barley, Pearl - Polished barley.
Barm Brack - An Irish bread, usually containing
candied fruit peel and raisins or currants. Barm
brack is typically buttered and served with tea.
Barquettes - Small, oblong pastry tarts
made of short crust pastry or puff pastry and
Basil - An herb commonly used in Italian
cooking with a strong sweet flavor. Basil is used
with many dishes but is most commonly paired with
Basmati - An aged, fragrant long grain
rice. It has a creamy yellow color, distinctive
sweet, nutty aroma and delicate flavor.
Bass - A term used for several varieties
of fresh and saltwater spiny-finned fish. Large
mouth, small mouth, sea and striped bass are some
of the varieties.
Baste - To add moisture, flavor and color
to foods by brushing, drizzling or spooning pan
juices or other liquids over the food during cooking.
Batter - A mixture of flour, fat, and liquid
that is thin enough in consistency to require
a pan to encase it.
Bavette - Thin, oval shaped pasta.
Bay Leaves - A leaf from the laurel family
used as an herb that imparts a lemon-nutmeg flavor
and is usually removed from food after cooking.
Bean Sprouts - Mung and soybean sprouts
are very popular in Asian cooking. The crisp,
mild-flavored sprouts add a crunchy texture to
salads, and are best eaten raw. However, they
are also a nice addition to stir-fry dishes, but
will lose their crunchiness if cooked longer than
30 seconds. Bean sprouts are available in most
supermarkets, either pre-packaged or in bulk.
Select crisp, pale sprouts with the buds attached;
avoid musty-smelling, dark or slimy-looking sprouts
Beat - To mix thoroughly with a spoon,
whisk or beaters until smooth and well combined.
Bearnaise Sauce - A classic white-wine sauce
flavored with fresh herbs and shallots, thickened
with egg yolks and usually finished with tarragon
Beau Monde Seasoning - A commercial combination
Bechamel - Basic milk (white) sauce
Beef - The firm but tender meat of cows
which has a dark red color, rich flavor, interior
marbling and external fat.
Beet - A large round, garnet red edible
root with an edible leafy green top
Beignets - Fritters
Bel Paese - Semisoft Italian cheese having
a mild, buttery flavor. Delicious with fruity
wines, it can be served as a dessert cheese, and
melts beautifully for use in casseroles or on
Bell Pepper - A large fresh sweet pepper
with a mild sweet flavor and available in various
colors, including green, red, white, brown, purple,
yellow and orange.
Benedictine - A green spread made with
cucumber, cream cheese and mayonnaise.
Bench Proof - The final rising state in yeast
dough production, occurring between the time the
dough is panned and baked.
Benne - Term used commonly in the southern
United States for sesame seeds, and to describe
dishes containing sesame, e.g., benne brittle
or benne wafers (sesame cookies).
Berries - Fruit with seeds embedded in
the pulp. Varieties include blackberries, raspberries,
dewberries, loganberries, salmonberries, youngberries
and many more. Berries should be plump, tender
and stored in ventilated containers when fresh.
Beta Carotene - A naturally occurring nutrient
found in plants and vegetables that acts as an
antioxidant. When consumed, beta carotene is converted
into vitamin A.
Beurre - Butter
Beurre Noir - A sauce for fish which contains
browned butter flavored with parsley, seasonings
Beurre Noisette - Browned butter with lemon
juices and seasonings.
Bias-slice - To slice a food crosswise
at a 45-degree angle.
Bibb Lettuce - A small variety of butterhead
lettuce with soft, light green leaves that has
a buttery flavor and texture.
Bind - To stir in ingredients such as eggs,
flour, butter, or cream to thicken a sauce or
Biscuit - 1. An individual serving of bread
made with flour, leavening and fat. 2. Describes
a cracker or cookie in England.
Biscuit Cutter - A round stainless-steel
device that cuts dough for biscuits or scones;
may have straight or fluted edge.
Bisque - A creamy soup made with seafood
Bite-size -To cut into pieces which can
be easily chewed.
Bitters - A bitter liquid distilled from roots
and herbs, often used in mixed drinks, served
as an aperitif, or as a home remedy for fevers
and other illness.
Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate - This
is the chocolate most often called for in cake
and cookie recipes (like chocolate chips).
Black Bean - A relatively large, dried
bean with black skin, cream flesh and a sweet
flavor; also called a turtle bean.
Blackberry - A large shiny, deep purple
berry with a sweet flavor. Also known as a bramble
Blackened - A cooking method popular in
Cajun cuisine where seasoned foods are cooked
over high heat in a very hot skillet until charred.
Black-eyed Pea - A small, beige pea with
a black round eye on the curved edge and used
in Southern and Chinese cuisines. Also called
Blanche or Blanch - To partially cook food
(usually vegetables and fruits) by plunging into
boiling water briefly, then into cold water bath
to stop the cooking process.
Blanquette - A light soup or stew made
without browning the meat first.
Blend - To mix ingredients just until thoroughly
Blind Bake - To bake a pie crust without
Blintz - A Jewish pancake, stuffed and made
with egg batter. The thin pancake can be rolled
around a variety of fillings including soft cheeses,
fruit or meat mixtures.
Blue Crab - A variety of crab found along
the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Named for the color
of its claws and dark blue-green shell, the blue
crab has a rich, sweet flavor and is available
in hard- and soft-shell stages.
Blue (bleu) Cheese - A strong, semisoft,
blue-veined cheese made from cow's milk.
Blueberry - A native American berry that
has a smooth dark blue skinand a light blue-gray
flesh. Usually used for baked goods and jams and
Bluefine Tuna - The main Atlantic variety
of tuna; a bluefin can weigh more than 1,000 pounds.
Boil - To heat a liquid until bubbles appear
on the surface (212°F for water at sea level).
Boiling Onions - Mild-flavored white onions
about 1 inch in diameter. They are used in stews,
cooked as a side dish and pickled. See also onions.
Bok Choy - A member of the cabbage family
that has wide, white crunchy stalks with tender,
dark green leaves. Commonly used in Chinese cuisine.
Bologna - A large, seasoned, cooked sausage
made from pork, beef and veal. Usually served
cold in sandwiches. Also known as baloney.
Bombes - Dessert ice cream
Bonbon - A sweet made of or dipped into
Boned, Boneless, Bone - A cut of
meat from which the bone has been removed or to
remove the bone from a cut of meat.
Bone-in - A cut of meat containing the
Bonito - From the tuna family, the small bonito
rarely exceeds 25 pounds. The fish is relatively
high in fat and is among the most strongly flavored
of the tunas.
Borage - A European herb with blue flowers,
downy leaves and a subtle cucumber flavor. The
flowers and leaves can be added to cold drinks
or used in salads. Since the leaves have a slightly
hairy texture, they should be finely chopped before
adding to salads. The leaves can also be used
to flavor teas and vegetables, and the flowers
are good when candied.
Bordelaise Sauce - A red or white wine
sauce mixed with meat glaze, marrow, lemon juice,
finely minced shallots, parsley, ground pepper,
thyme, bay leaf, and other fresh herbs.
Bordure - A rice ring
Börek - Turkish appetizer. Fried or
baked, böreks come in many varieties. They
are made from layers of thin wheat dough and may
be filled with a sweet or savory mixture. Cheese
is a popular filling.
Borlotti Bean - Native to Italy, this bean
is like the pinto, but reversed in color with
maroon highlights on a thin pink skin. Borlotti
and pinto beans are interchangeable in recipes
since their flavor and texture are identical.
Also known as cranberry, Roman, saluggia and crab-eye
Boston Baked Beans - An baked American
dish of navy or pea beans, bacon or salt pork,
mustard and brown sugar.
Boston Lettuce - A variety of butterhead
lettuce with soft, pliable pale green leaves that
have a buttery texture and flavor and are larger
and lighter in color than bibb lettuce.
Boudin - A pork- and rice-based, highly
seasoned sausage that is common in southern Louisiana
cooking. The term is French for "white pudding."
Bouef - Beef
Bouillabaisse - Fish stew
Bouillon - Reduced meat stock
Boulettes - A type of meatball used in the Creole
cooking of southern Louisiana.
Bouquet Garni - A group of herbs (usually
parsley, thyme and bay leaf) that are tied together
in a bundle or placed in cheese clothand tied
used to flavor soups, stews and broths. It is
removed before serving.
Bourguignonne, à la - Meat that
is cooked red wine and served with small mushrooms
and white onions.
Boursin Cheese - A French triple cream
cheese with a soft texture; made from cow's milk
and often flavored with herbs, garlic or pepper.
Bowl - A round vessel used for preparing
and serving foods.
Boysenberry - A hybrid of blackberries
and raspberries that has a purple-red color and
a tart-sweet flavor.
Braise - A cooking technique where meat
is browned in oil or fat and then cooked (tightly
covered) very slowly in liquid. Braising tenderizes
and enhances the flavor of the meat.
Bran - The tough, outer covering of several
types of grain kernels. It is marketed in cereal
and used as a nutrient supplement.
Brazil Nuts - The seeds of a giant tree in
the Brazilian forest; the large, hard fruit of
this tree contains up to 20 seeds, each in its
own hard shell. Inside the shell is a creamy,
rich nut that can be roasted or ground or chipped
to flavor cookies and pastries. Brazil nuts do
not keep well because of their high oil content.
Bread - To coat food with bread or cracker
crumbs, flour, cornmeal and a liquid or egg mixture
Breadfruit - A large, round fruit with bumpy
green skin and bland-tasting, cream-colored flesh
the texture of fresh bread. Breadfruit can be
baked, fried or boiled in the same way as potatoes.
It is available fresh in some specialty produce
markets, as well as canned.
Breast - The fleshy white meat between
the neck and abdomen of poultry.
Bresaola - Salt-cured, air-dried beef fillet,
served thinly sliced as an antipasto.
Yeast - The inactive yeast remaining after
beer-making. It is used as a nutritional supplement
for humans, providing high-quality protein, thiamin,
riboflavin, iron and phosphorus. Brewer's yeast
has no leavening power.
Brick Cheese - An all-American pale yellow
cheese with a tangy flavor. The flavor and aroma
become stronger as the cheese ages.
Cheese - Made from cow's milk, this soft,
creamy cheese has a delicate, slightly nutty flavor.
The white rind is also edible. To select brie
at its peak of ripeness, look for one that is
plump and springy to the touch. It is acceptable
for the rind to show some brown edges, but ripe
brie should be used within a few days. When brie
is past its prime, it will appear gray and have
an ammonia smell.
- To tie poultry or meat
Brine - A salt water solution used to preserve
Brioche - Yeast-leavened sponge dough.
Brisket - A cut of beef (or mutton) taken
from the breast section; sold without the bone
and divided into two sections. The flat cut has
minimal fat and is usually more expensive than
the more flavorful point cut, which has more fat.
Brisket can be boiled, braised, barbecued, stewed
or used to make corned beef, which requires long,
Broccoli - This deep-green relative of
cabbage and cauliflower is made up of tiny bunches
of tightly closed green buds growing from a thick
edible stalk. Peak season is from October through
April, but broccoli can be found in supermarkets
year-round. Choose bunches with tightly closed
buds, crisp leaves and deep green, or green with
purple tinges (considered the best), in color.
If not being cooked right away, store unwashed
broccoli in an airtight bag in the refrigerator
for up to four days. Peel any tough stalks before
cooking. Steam or boil briefly to preserve some
of the crispness.
Broccoli Rabe - A member of the broccoli family
which looks similar to its relative, but has thinner
stalks and is harvested very young. The leaves
and young flower heads can be eaten cooked as
spring greens or raw in salads. The stems are
also edible. The flavor is slightly bitter and
becomes more so as it matures. Select young, crisp,
leafy stalks (they may have some yellow flowers),
and check the stalks for toughness. Avoid large,
woody stalks or yellow, limp leaves. Also known
as broccoli rab, raab, rape, rapini, Italian turnip
Brochette - Food cooked on a skewer
Broil - To place directly under or over
a heat source while cooking.
Bromated Flour - Flour with potassium bromate
added as an aging agent; the label must state
that the flour is "bromated." Potassium
bromate is currently under examination and is
expected to be outlawed in the United States.
Food regulations no longer permit its use in Europe
Broth or Stock - A flavorful liquid that
is the result of cooking vegetables, meat or fish
and other seasoning ingredients in water.
Brown - To cook quickly over or under high
heat at the beginning or end of meal preparation,
often to enhance flavor, texture and eye appeal.
Brown Rice - Whole rice grain with only
the very outer husk removed. The bran coating
is left on, giving the rice a tan color and nutlike
flavor. Brown rice is higher in fiber and more
nutritious than white rice. However, brown rice
is subject to rancidity because of the bran and
has a shelf life of only about six months. Brown
rice also requires a longer cooking time than
regular white long-grain rice.
Brown Sugar - White sugar combined with
Molasses.This soft refined sugar come in dark
Brownie - A bar cookie, usually made with
Brunoise - French term for finely diced
vegetables (1/8 inch dice)
Bruschetta - Bread that is drizzled with
olive oil, saltand pep, then heated and served
warm. It can be topped with olives, tomatoes,
garlic paste, basil or other garnishes.
Brush - Using a pastry brush, to coat a
food such as meat or bread with melted butter
Brussels Sprouts - A vegetable of the cabbage
family that grows in small cabbage-like heads
Bucatini - Thin, straight, short, hollow
Buckwheat - Despite common misconceptions,
buckwheat is neither a wheat nor a grain. It is
actually the triangular seeds of a plant related
to rhubarb. Once the seeds are hulled and ground
they are called groats. Groats (usually available
in fine, medium and coarse grinds) can be cooked
in a manner similar to rice.
Buffet - A meal where a large array of
hot and cold foods are set out on a table and
guests serve themselves.
Bulb Baster - A kitchen device used to
baste various foods; consists of a tapered tube
made of metal or plastic and a rubber bulb at
the wider end. Basting liquid is drawn into the
tube by squeezing and releasing the bulb; the
liquid pours over the food when the bulb is squeezed
Bulgur, Burghul - Wheat kernels that have
been steamed, dried and crushed. It has has a
tender, chewy texture and is used in dishes like
Tabbouleh and other Middle Eastern dishes.
Bundt Pan - A tube baking pan with fluted
Buñuelo - A Mexican pastry that
is fried than sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.
Burrito - Flour tortilla filled with cheese,
salsa or chile sauce, refried beans and/or beef
Butter - A fatty substance produced by
churning cream. It contains at least 80 percent
milk fat and 20 percent water and milk solids.
Butterfly - To split food such as shrimp
or pork chops down the center without cutting
all the way through and then spread open like
a butterfly or open book.
Butter Lettuce - Also known as Boston or
Bibb lettuce, this salad green has a loosely formed
head and a characteristically sweet flavor.
Buttermilk - 1. A thick and tangy milk
made from fresh, pasteurized skim or lowfat cow's
milk then cultured with bacteria; also known as
"cultured buttermilk". 2. Traditionally,
the liquid remaining after the cream was churned
Butternut Squash - A large, pear-shaped
squash with a smooth yellow brown skin and orange
flesh with a sweet flavor.
Butterscotch - 1. A flavor blend of brown
sugar and butter, used for cookies, candies, sauces.
2. A hard candy with the flavor of butterscotch.