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A chiffonade is a garnish of thin strips of vegetables or herbs. To make a basil chiffonade, stack several large leaves on top of one another and roll them up lengthwise. With a sharp knife, cut the roll at an angle into very thin slices.
Capers are generally packed in brine but can also be found salted and sold in bulk. Capers should be rinsed before using to remove excess salt. The pungent flavor of capers lends a unique flavor to many pasta and meat dishes as well as sauces.
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Culinary Terms

Cabbage - Common cabbage has a tight round head of waxy, tightly wrapped light green leaves. Other varieties include white and red.

Cabrito - A dish of young cooked goat that is popular in Portugal, Spain and Mexico.

Cacciatore - An Italian stew-like dish flavored with onions, herbs, mushrooms, tomatoes and sometimes wine.

Café Brûlot - Coffee spiced with cinnamon, sugar, lemon or orange rind, and brandy; sometimes served flaming.

Caffeine - A mild organic stimulant found in foods such as coffee, tea and chocolate; acts as a stimulant on the nervous system, kidneys and heart, dilates the blood vessels and induces the release of insulin in the body.

Cajun - Cooking influenced by southern U.S. and French cuisine.

Cake - A broad range of sweet, baked pastry confections containing flour, sugar, flavorings and eggs and/or leavening agents such as baking powder or baking soda.

Cake Flour, Pastry Flour
- A fine-textured, wheat flour with a high starch content used for making cakes, pastry doughs and other tender baked goods.

Cala - A deep-fried, sweet rice cake resembling doughnut holes sprinkled with sugar, commonly served in New Orleans around the holiday of Revillion.

Calabash - A variety of passion fruit native to Central America and the Caribbean. Shaped similar to an apple with a thin yellow-brown skin. In Southern cooking the term applies to breaded or battered fried fish.

Calabaza - Baked pumpkin.

- A necessary mineral found in all dairy products, most dark leafy green vegetables (such as kale, turnip greens and broccoli), dried peas and beans, sardines and canned salmon with bones. Almost 100 percent of the body's supply of calcium goes into forming and maintaining bones and teeth.

Caldillo - A thick Mexican stew of meat, potatoes and chiles. Also the name used to define a light Spanish broth.

Calorie - A unit of heat used to measure food energy. Also written as kcalorie, kcal or Cal., it is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius. Calories are obtained from alcohol, carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Of the four, fats and alcohol have a higher caloric density than proteins and carbohydrates.

Calorie Free - A food containing less than 5 calories per serving.
Calzone - A stuffed, half-moon-shaped Italian turnover, similar to a pizza folded in half and baked or deep fried. Also the name for a Mexican sugar cookie.

Calzone - A stuffed, half-moon-shaped Italian turnover, similar to a pizza folded in half and baked or deep fried. Also the name for a Mexican sugar cookie.

Camembert Cheese - A soft, surface-ripened French cheese, similar to brie. The cheese is famous for its gray, felt-like rind, slightly bitter flavor and complex aroma. When overripe, camembert will be runny, bitter and rank. When ripe, the cheese should ooze thickly, look plump and feel soft to the touch.

Canadian Bacon - The lean, boneless rib-eye of a pork loin which has been cured and smoked.

Candele Pasta - Pipe-shaped pasta, about ½ inch to ¾ inch in diameter.

Canape - French for an appetizer prepared and served on toast or crackers.

Canard - Duck

Candy Thermometer - A large glass, mercury kitchen thermometer used for testing the temperature while making candy, jams, and jellies.

Cane Syrup - A thick, sweet syrup made from sugarcane.

Cannellini Beans - A large creamy, white kidney bean used in Italian cooking. They are sometimes referred to as Northern beans.

Cannelloni - Large pasta tubes that are boiled, then stuffed with a meat or cheese filling and baked with a sauce.

Cantaloupe - A muskmelon with a embossed crisscross gray green rind and light orange flesh with a large seed cavity and numerous seeds. It has a sweet distinctive flavor.

Canning Funnel
- A wide-stemmed funnel (usually made of metal to resist heat) specifically designed to fit the necks of standard home canning jars.

Canola Oil
- A bland oil made from rapeseeds; contains omega-3 fatty acids and less saturated fat than other vegetable oils. It is often blended with other oils to make margarine, and because of its neutral taste it is suitable for salad dressings and cooking. Also known as rapeseed oil. Because it is the most widely used oil in Canada, the Canadian seed-oil industry changed the market name to canola. It is also referred to in Canada as lear oil, for "low erucic acid rapeseed" oil.

Capellini - Ther term in Italian means "fine hair" and describes very fine spaghetti.

Capers - Unopened flower buds from a Mediterranean shrub that are cured in salted white vinegar. They have a sharp salty-sour flavor and are used as a flavoring in salads and sauces.

- Italian sausage prepared with pressed (not chopped) pork shoulder and sweet red peppers, cased, cooked and air-dried.

Capon - A young castrated rooster.

Caponata - An Italian appetizer made from eggplant, zucchini, tomato, anchovies, vinegar, olives, other vegetables, herbs and spices. It is frequently served as a side dish, relish, or as a spread with toasted bread.

- Italian term for little hats. Cappelletti are small, pointed-hat-shaped dumplings stuffed with ground meat, cheese or vegetables; traditionally served on Christmas day.

Cappuccino - A beverage made from equal portions of espresso, steamed milk and foamed milk, often sprinkled with sweet cocoa powder or cinnamon

- Cylindrical Italian cheese composed of a varying mixture of goat, cow, and ewe's milk and having a high fat content. Stored in olive oil and bay leaves, the cheese is served as an antipasto.

Capsaicin - The compound found in the placental ribs of a chili. Responsible for the heat of the chili causing watery eyes, a runny nose, sweating and burning. It has been found not only to stimulate pain receptors in the digestive tract, but to block some as well - allowing people to become accustomed to hotter and hotter dishes.

Capsicum - Family of peppers such as cherry, banana, bell, Tabasco, jalapeño, habañero, etc., which fall into two categories: chiles and sweet peppers. Common black and white pepper - made from berries from vines of the Piperaceae family - are not botanically related.

Carambola - A golden tropical fruit that has a star shape when cut acorss the grain. The flesh is juicy and tastes like a combination of plums, grapes, and apples. Also known as star fruit.

Caramel - 1. A substance produced by cooking sugar until it becomes a thick, dark liquid; its color ranges from golden to dark brown; used for coloring and flavoring desserts, candies; sweet and savory sauces and other foods. 2. A firm, chewy candy made with sugar, butter, corn syrup and milk or cream.

Caramelization - Browning sugar over a flame, with or without the addition of some water to aid the process. The temperature range in which sugar caramelizes is approximately 320º F to 360º F (160º C to 182º C).

Caramelize - The process through which natural sugars in foods become browned and flavorful while cooking. This is usually done over a constant heat of low to medium-low. Caramelization can be quickened with the addition of a little sugar. Either way, be careful not to burn.

Caraway Seeds - An aromatic spice with a pungent, licorice flavor.
Carbonnade - Braised Steak

- An important class of foods derived from organic nutrients. There are three classes of significance: 1. Cellulose - indigestible dietary fiber. 2. Sugars - fructose, sucrose, glucose and more complex sugars. All are readily digested and are high in calories. 3. Starches - complex compounds derived from cereal grains, legumes or vegetables. These have more nutrients than other carbohydrates and take longer to digest.

- A pasta sauce composed of such items as bacon, olive oil, eggs, cream, Parmesan cheese and occasionally white wine, onions, garlic and herbs.

Cardamom - This spice, from the ginger family, has a sweet, ginger-like flavor. Available as seeds or ground.

Carne Adovada - Pork steak marinated in chile sauce, then roasted or pan fried. Usually served with Spanish rice and refried beans.

Carne Asada - Beef or pork cut in thin diagonal strips and cooked quickly over very hot coals, as in a brasero or Japanese hibachi.

- The sweet pulp of the long, leathery pods from an evergreen tree native to the Middle East. The pulp can be eaten raw, but is usually dried, roasted and ground into a powder. The powder has a flavor similar to chocolate and is often used as a chocolate substitute to flavor baked goods and candies; available in specialty food and health food stores. Carob is also known as Saint John's bread and locust bean.

Carrageen; Carragheen - Purple seaweed used after processing as a texturing and thickening agent in jellies, ice cream and desserts; also known as Irish moss or chondrus extract.

Carre - Rack of lamb or veal

Carrelet - Flounder

Carrot - A member of the parsley family (Daucus carota); has lacy green foliage, an edible orange taproot with a milk sweet flavor and crisp texture, a tapering shape and comes in a variety of sizes.

Cartoccio - A method of baking fish in paper or parchment after seasoning it with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. A similar cooking technique in France is known as "en papillote.

Caruru - Brazilian seafood stew made with dried shrimp, okra, tomatoes, and (dende) palm nut oil.

Carving Board
- A hardwood board with a depression in the center and a channel around the edge to catch juices. Also comes as a reversible board that is flat on one side for general carving and has an oval depression on the other side for carving roasted poultry.

Casareccia Pasta
- S-shaped lengths of pasta that are slightly twisted.

- Phosphoprotein rendered from milk, soybeans and other sources, important as the chief component of cheese (after fermentation), and contains all essential amino acids. It is used to solidify food as well as adhesives and paints.

Cashew Nuts
- Sweet, buttery, kidney-shaped nuts that grow from the bottom of the tropical cashew apple. The shells are toxic and always removed before the nuts are marketed. As with most nuts, cashews have a high fat content and should be refrigerated. They are sold blanched, plain or toasted and are eaten out of hand; a popular ingredient in many Chinese dishes.

Casonsei Pasta - Stuffed rings of pasta from Bergamo (a commune in the northern Italian town of Lombardy).

Casserole - This term refers to both a baking dish and the ingredients it contains. Casserole cookery is extremely convenient because the ingredients are cooked and served in the same dish. 1. A "casserole dish" usually refers to a deep, round, ovenproof container with handles and a tight-fitting lid. It can be glass, metal, ceramic or any other heatproof material. 2. A casserole's ingredients can include meat, vegetables, beans, rice and anything else that might seem appropriate. Often a topping such as cheese or bread crumbs is added for texture and flavor.

Cassis - Blackcurrant

Cassoulet - A classic stew from southwest France consisting of white beans and a variety of meats (such as lamb, pork, sausage, preserved duck or goose). The dish is usually enriched with large amounts of duck fat, covered and slowly cooked to harmonize the flavors. The top is then browned until crispy.

Cast Iron - One of the oldest materials used for cooking, cast iron provides extremely even heating that is especially useful for long cooking times. Once a cast iron pan is seasoned, a natural nonstick surface is created that can be used to cook anything from delicate items such as eggs to hearty stews.

Caster Sugar - Also called superfine sugar. It is pulverized granulated sugar. It can be purchased or prepared at home by whizzing some granulated sugar in the blender.

Catfish - A freshwater fish indigenous to Southern and Midwestern lakes and rivers, but also extensively farm raised. So named because of its long whisker-like feelers, catfish has a tough, inedible skin that must be removed before cooking. The white flesh is firm and has a mild, slightly sweet flavor. Traditionally coated with cornmeal and deep-fried, catfish is delicious poached, steamed, baked or grilled, and can be used in soups and stews. The saltwater variety is called hogfish.

Cauliflower - A member of the cabbage family (Brassica oleracea); has a head (called a curd) of tightly packed white florets (a purple variety is also available) partially covered with large waxy, pale green leaves on a white-green stalk; some varieties have a purple or greenish tinge.

Caviar - This elegant and expensive appetizer is sieved and lightly salted fish roe (eggs). Sturgeon roe is premium and considered the "true" caviar. The three main types of caviar are beluga, osetra and sevruga.

Cayenne; Cayenne Pepper - 1. A hot pungent peppery powder blended from various ground dried hot chiles and salt, has a bright orange-red color and fine texture; also known as red pepper. 2. A dried thin, short chile usually with a bright red color, thin flesh and hot, tart acidic flavor; usually used ground.

Celeriac - Also known as celery root. A root vegetable that houses a white fleshed interior beneath its rough skin.

Celery - This vegetable grows in bunches of long stringy curved stalks or ribs surrounding a tender heart. It can be eaten raw, cooked or used as a flavoring.

Celery Salt - A seasoning blend of ground celery seeds and salt.

Celery Seeds - The seeds of the herb lovage; they are small and brown and are used in pickling and as a flavoring.

Cellophane/Glass Noodles - Also known as bean thread noodles, these are made from mung bean flour. They are usually softened by soaking in hot water for 10 -15 minutes before cooking with other ingredients.

- An Asian salad plant resembling a head of lettuce with long, pale stalks, and having a flavor reminiscent of celery. The stalks are very crunchy and can be eaten raw or cooked like Swiss chard. The tough outer leaves can be cooked like spinach.

- A wild mushroom with a meaty texture and woodsy flavor with caps ranging from one to 10 inches in diameter. These mushrooms are usually available dried in the United States, but are difficult to find fresh. Also known as bolete, Steinpilze or porcini.

Chafing Dish - A pan (usually metal) containing food, nestled inside a larger pan containing water. The ensemble sits directly over a heat source, which keeps the food warm; used mostly for buffets. Also known as rechaud, which is French for reheat.

- A traditional Jewish yeast bread classically formed into a braid. This tender bread is usually made with butter and honey. Also known as hallah and challa.

Champignons - French word for mushrooms, generally of the button variety, used in the names of recipes and restaurant dishes.

Chantilly Cream - Lightly sweetened whipped cream, sometimes flavored with vanilla or liqueur, used as a dessert topping.

Chalupas - Meaning "little boats," is a fried corn tortilla topped with shredded chicken or beans, cheese, tomatoes, guacamole, and salsa.

Champ - Irish dish made from potatoes, onions and butter. Also called bruisy, cally, goddy, and poundies.

- 1. To seal in the flavor and juices of a food (such as meat) by blackening its surface in a skillet, over an open flame, or under a broiler. Blackened redfish is an example of a charred food. 2. A troutlike fish in the salmon family, found in very cold water. It has pink flesh with a flavor and texture between that of trout and salmon.

Chard - Commonly called Swiss chard, this vegetable is essentially a beet grown for its leaves. The leaves are a crinkly, dark green with silvery, celery-like stalks. May be substituted for spinach in most dishes.

- A classic French molded dessert; the mold is lined with ladyfingers, sponge cake or bread, then filled with custard, Bavarian cream or whipped cream and/or fruit. It is chilled thoroughly and unmolded before serving. Apple charlottes are baked and served warm.

Chateaubriand - Double steak cut from the center of the beef fillet

ChaudFroid - 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

Chawan Mushi - Savory egg custard. Eggs are gently beaten with fish stock, then poured over small bits of various ingredients (chicken, prawns, gingko nuts, lily root, fishcake) then steamed over boiling water.

Chayote - The pear-shaped fruit of a West Indian annual vine of the gourd family that is widely cultivated as a vegetable. Also called mirliton. It tastes similar to a cross between a potato and cauliflower, yet is slightly sweet.

Cheddar, American - A firm cheese made from whole cow's milk (generally pasteurized) produced principally in Wisconsin, New York and Vermont; ranges from white to orange in color and its flavor from mild to very sharp.

Cheese - Dairy products made from milk curds separated from the whey; numerous varieties are found worldwide.

- A rich, smooth dessert made by blending cream cheese, cottage cheese or ricotta with sugar, eggs and other flavorings, then baking (usually in a springform pan) The dessert is often topped with sour cream or fruit.

- Cotton gauze used in the kitchen for straining liquids and wrapping foods to make them easier to remove from vessels after cooking; available in fine or coarse weaves. Sometimes known as butter muslin in Britain.

Chef - (French) A culinary expert. The chief of the kitchen.

Cherries Jubilee
- Flaming dessert of cherries in syrup, vanilla ice cream and brandy, usually prepared in a chafing dish.

Cherry - A small stone fruit from a tree of the Prunus genus, grown in temperate climates worldwide; there are two principal types: sour and sweet; both types are generally available fresh, dried, canned and frozen.

Cherry Stoner; Cherry Pitter
- A hand-held tool used to remove the pits from cherries. An individual cherry is held securely in the hinged unit and the pit is forced out; can also be used on olives.

Cherry Tomato - A small round tomato with a bright red or yellow skin. The yellow-skinned variety has a less acid and is less flavorful than the red-skinned variety.

Chervil - A parsleylike herb, with a slight taste of anise. It must be added late in the preparation of a dish to preserve its flavor. Also called cicily and sweet cicily.

Chestnut - The nut of the sweet chestnut tree. It is edible when cooked and has a dark brown outer shell, a bitter inner skin, a high starch content and is used in savory and sweet dishes.

Chèvre Cheese - A French cheese made from goat's milk. Chèvre is usually pure white with a tart flavor. Its texture ranges from dry and crumbly to moist and creamy. It comes in various sizes and shapes, sometimes garnished with black ash, leaves, herbs or pepper.

- Fried, crispy pork skin, similar to crackling, found in Mexican dishes. The skin is deep-fried at two different temperatures causing it to balloon into honeycombed puffs.

Chicken - One of the principal USDA-recognized kinds of poultry; any of several varieties of common domestic fowl used for food as well as egg production; has both light and dark meat and relatively little fat.

Chicken, Broiler-fryer - A chicken slaughtered when 13 weeks old; has a soft, smooth-textured skin, relatively lean flesh, flexible breastbone and an average market weight of 3.5 lb. (1.5 kg).

Chicken, Roaster - A chicken slaughtered when 3-5 months old; has a smooth-textured skin, tender flesh, a less flexible breastbone than that of a broiler and an average market weight of 3.5-5 lb. (1.5-2 kg).

Chickpea - A somewhat spherical, irregular-shaped pea-like seed of a plant (Licer arieinum) native to the Mediterranean region; has a buff color, firm texture and nutty flavor; used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines in soups, stews and salads, it is also roasted and eaten as a snack; also know as ceci and garbanzo bean.

Chicory - The roasted ground roots of a variety of perennial herbs related to the radicchio and curly endive. Caffeine-averse Germans discovered that chicory could be processed into a coffee substitute. In New Orleans, chicory spiked coffee and/or Cafe Au Lait is very popular.

Chicos - Dried sweet corn used whole or crushed in a seasoned stew.

Chiffon - Pie filling made light and fluffy with stabilized gelatin and beaten egg whites.

Chiffonade - To slice an herb or leafy vegetable into thin ribbons. This is easy to accomplish by stacking then rolling the leaves and slicing.

Chilaquillas, Chilaquiles - Called tortilla hash or poor man's dish. Includes leftover tortillas fried until crisp and combined with chile, eggs, jack or sharp cheddar cheese, and red chile sauce.

Chile Caribe - Red chile pods blended with water to a puree and seasoned. Used in such dishes as carne adovada.

Chile Caribe - Red chile pods blended with water to a puree and seasoned. Used in such dishes as carne adovada.

Chile Con Queso - Melted cheese dip seasoned with chile and served with tostados.

Chile Powder - Pure ground dried chiles; depending on the variety used, its flavor can range from sweet and mild to pungent and extremely hot and its color from yellow-orange to red to dark brown; used as a flavoring.

Chile Rellenos - Green chiles stuffed with cheese or meat, dipped in a cornmeal batter, and deep-fat fried.

Chile, Chile Pepper, Hot Pepper - The fruit of various plants of the capsicum family; a chile can have a mild to fiery hot flavor (caused by the capsaicin in the pepper's placental ribs) with undertones of various fruits or spices. A fresh chile is usually yellow, orange, green or red, and its shape can range from thin, elongated and tapering to conical to nearly spherical; a dried chile, which is sometimes referred to by a different name than its fresh version, is usually more strongly flavored and darker colored.

Chili Oil - This spicy, bright red oil, an essential in Chinese cooking, is made from steeping vegetable oil with crushed or small dried chilies. Because of its strong, fiery flavor, it is used more as a seasoning or condiment than as a cooking oil.

Chili Paste/Sauce - A variety of thick seasoning pastes and sauces made from ground chilies, oil, salt and sometimes garlic and vinegar are used throughout Asia.

Chilled - A food that has been refrigerated, usually at temperatures of 30-40ºF(-1 - +4ºC).

Chinese Broccoli - The broad leaves, tender stalks and delicate white flowers of this vegetable are all edible. They have a mild flavor, similar to Western broccoli, but with a slightly bitter, earthy flavor. Ideal for steaming and stir-frying; often paired with oyster sauce.

Chinese Cabage - Several varieties of cabbage are grown in China, but the two most known to Americans are bok choy (also known as Chinese white cabbage) and pe-tsai (also known as Chinese celery cabbage or Napa cabbage.

Chinese Chives - Also known as garlic chives, these flat green chives are quite pungent and are used extensively in stir-fries and soups.

Chinois Strainer
- A conical metal strainer used for straining stocks and sauces. A spoon or pestle is used to force the food through the extremely fine mesh. Also known as a china cap.

Chipotle - A dried, smoked jalapeño; this medium-sized chile has a dull tan to dark brown color with a wrinkled skin and a smoky, slightly sweet, relatively milk flavor with undertones of tobacco and chocolate.

- The boiled, fried or stuffed small intestines of pigs, popular in the southern United States.

Chives - An herb and member of the onion family (Allium schoenprasum), with long, slender, hollow, green stems and purple flowers; have a mild onion flavor and are generally used fresh, although dried, chopped chives are available; also know as Chinese chives, flowering chives and kucha.

Chocolate - Roasted, ground, refined cacao beans used as a flavoring, confection or beverage.

Chocolate, White - A confection made of cocoa butter, sugar and flavorings; does not contain cocoa solids.

- A fatty alcohol necessary for human metabolism. Less than 225 milligrams per 100 cubic centimeters of blood is a low level, 226 milligrams to 259 milligrams is in the middle range, and a high level is 260 milligrams or greater. There is well-established belief that high levels of serum cholesterol can lead to an increased incidence of heart and vascular disease. A high intake of saturated fats will raise the serum level. Polyunsaturated fats do not increase the serum level.

Cholesterol Free
- A food containing fewer than 2 milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams or fewer of saturated fat.

Chop - To cut into irregular pieces. Recipes usually specify finely or coursely.

Chopping Board, Cutting Board
- A flat surface made of wood or acrylic used for cutting, chopping or slicing foods.

Chorizo - A highly spiced, coarsely ground pork sausage, widely used in Spanish and Mexican cooking.

- Chinese term for sautéing; also known as stir-fry.

Chow Mein Noodles - Yellow noodles made from wheat flour and possibly with egg, packed in cakes or bundles. Traditionally served with the Chinese-American dish of poultry, shrimp and/or meat, vegetables and other ingredients. Chow mein is Chinese for fried noodles.

Chow-chow - A mustard-flavored mixed vegetable and pickle relish. The term was originally used to describe a condiment in Chinese cuisine made of orange peel and ginger in heavy syrup

Chowder - A milk based soup, usually containing seafood.

Chuck - The cut of beef taken from between the neck and shoulder blades. Usually inexpensive, chuck is a popular choice for steaks and roasts where stewing and braising improve tenderness.

Chunks - Usually bite-size pieces, about 1-inch or larger.

- Flat bread from northern India, made with wheat and resembling a Mexican tortilla.

Chutney - From the Hindi chatni, it is a condiment made from fruit, vinegar, sugar and spices; its texture can range from smooth to chunky and its flavor from mild to hot.

Cilantro - The dark green lacy leaves of the cilantro plant; used as an herb, they have a sharp, tangy fresh flavor and aroma and are used fresh in Mexican, South American and Asian cuisines; also known as Chinese parsley.

Cinnamon - A spice that is the inner bark of the branches of a small evergreen tree (Cinnamonum zeylanicum) native to Sri Lanka and India; has an orange-brown color and a sweet, distinctive flavor and aroma; usually sold in rolled-up sticks (quills) or ground and is used for sweet and savory dishes and as a garnish; also known as Ceylon cinnamon.

Citron - An oval-shaped fruit similar to a lemon (citron is the French term for lemon) but much larger and less acidic. As the pulp is extremely sour, citron is grown for its thick peel, which is candied and used in baking

Citrus Juicer - An electrical or manual device with a ridged cone used to extract the juice from citrus and other fruits. The fruit is cut in half through the middle and one-half is placed on the cone. Pressure is applied and the juice is extracted.

Citrus Zester - A hand tool with a stainless-steel cutting edge having five tiny cutting holes. The zester is pulled across the surface of a citrus fruit, such as a lemon or orange, shaving thin theadlike strips of colored peel (the zest), but leaving the bitter pith.

Clarify (Clarified Butter) - Remove impurities from butter or stock by heating the liquid, then straining or skimming it.

- A heavy, versatile knife with a large rectangular blade; used for cutting through bone, chopping and trimming. The flat edge can be used to crush herbs and garlic. Also known as a butcher's or Chinese cleaver.

Clotted Cream
- Rich cream made by heating unpasteurized milk until a semisolid layer of cream forms on the surface. Once cooled, the thickened cream is removed. It can be spread on bread or spooned atop fresh fruit or desserts. Also known as Devonshire cream and occasionally called Devonshire cheese.

Clove - 1. A spice that is the dried, unopened flower bud of a tropical evergreen tree (Eugenia aromatica); has a reddish-brown color, a nail shape and an extremely pungent, sweet, astringent flavor; available whole or powdered. 2. A segment of a bulb, such as garlic.

Coarsely Chop - To cut food into small pieces, about 3/16 inches (1/2 cm) square.

Coat - To evenly cover food with flour, crumbs, or a batter.

Cobb Salad
- Classic American salad, created in 1936 by Robert Cobb at the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, made with layers of various greens, chopped egg, chicken, tomatoes, bacon, blue cheese and watercress.

Cobbler - A baked dish consisting of fruit covered with a sweet biscuit or piecrust dough.

Cocoa Powder - A brown, unsweetened powder produced by crushing cocoa nibs and extracting most of the fat (cocoa butter); it is used as a flavoring; also known as unsweetened cocoa.

Coconut Milk - Coconut milk is made by combining equal parts water and shredded fresh or desiccated coconut meat and simmering until foamy. The mixture is then strained , squeezing as much of the liquid as possible from the coconut meat. The coconut meat can be combined with water again for a second, diluted batch of coconut milk. Coconut milk comes canned and may sometimes be found frozen in Asian markets and some supermarkets.

Coconut, Dried - The shredded or flaked flesh of the coconut; often sweetened; also known as copra.

Cocotte - An ovenproof dish used to bake egg dishes.

Cod - A large family of saltwater fish, including Atlantic cod, Pacific cod, pollock, haddock, whiting and hake; generally, they have a milk, delicate flavor, lean, white flesh and a firm texture and are available fresh, sun-dried, salted or smoked.

Coddle - A cooking method in which foods (such as eggs) are put in separate containers and placed in a pan of simmering water for slow, gentle cooking.

Cognac - The finest of all brandies. Cognac is double-distilled immediately after fermentation. It then begins its minimum 3-year aging in Limousin oak.

Colander - Used for draining liquid from solids, the colander is a perforated, bowl-shaped container. It can be metal, plastic or ceramic.

Colby Cheese
- A mild cheese made from whole milk; similar to cheddar cheese, but it has a higher moisture content (making it more perishable than other cheddars) and a softer texture.

Cold Pressing - A chemical-free process for obtaining olive oil that uses only pressure. Cold-pressing produces a higher quality olive oil that is naturally lower in acidity.

Coleslaw - A salad made from shredded cabbage and sometimes onions, sweet peppers, pickles and/or bacon bound with a mayonnaise, vinaigrette or other dressing and sometimes flavored with herbs.

Collard Greens - A leafy, dark green vegetable with paddle-like leaves that grow on tall tough stalks; the leaves have a flavor reminiscent of cabbage and kale.

Combine - To blend two or more ingredients into a single mixture.

Comino - Ground cumin seeds.

Compote - Combination of fresh or cooked fruits. May be served hot or chilled.

Compressed Yeast
- Fresh yeast compressed into a tiny cake (1/6-ounce), equal to one scant tablespoon of dry yeast. Compressed yeast is moist and extremely perishable and must be refrigerated and used within a week or two.

Comté Cheese - A firm unpasteurized cheese made from cow's milk; smooth slightly fruity in flavor; also called Gruyère de comté.

- Pasta shaped like small conch shells.

Condensed Milk - A preserved milk in which the water content of the milk is evaporated and a lot of sugar is added. It was very popular in wartime England because of how well it preserved. These days it is used mainly in sweets and confectionery making.

- 1. Seasoning or flavoring mixture used to accompany foods. 2. The French term for chutney.

- In cooking, the method of heat transfer in which heat is transmitted to food from a pot or pan, oven walls or racks.

Confectioners' Sugar - Refined sugar ground into a fine, white, easily dissolved powder; also known as powdered sugar and 10X sugar.

Confit - To slowly cook pieces of meat in their own gently rendered fat.

Congeal - To turn liquid into solid by chilling.

Conserve - Combination of fruits, cooked with sugar. Nuts and raisins are frequently added.

Consomme - A clarified broth used as a base for sauces and soups.

Convection Cooking - Convection ovens use a small fan in the rear of the oven to circulate air all around the food to cook it quickly and more evenly. Cooking times are generally reduced by 25%. Most manufacturers suggest that you reduce the cooking temperature given in the recipe by 25 degrees and bake it for the time specified.

Converted Rice - Rice that is pressure-steamed and dried before milling to remove surface starch and help retain nutrients; has a pale beige color and the same flavor as white rice; also known as parboiled rice.

Cookie Sheet - A flat, firm sheet of metal, usually aluminum, with open sides on which cookies, biscuits and other items are baked.

Cookies - Small, sweet, flat pastries, usually classified by preparation or makeup techniques as drop, icebox, bar, cutout, pressed and wafer.

Cool - To allow a food to sit until it is no longer warm to the touch.

Cooling Rack - A flat grid of closely spaced metal wires resting on small feet; used for cooling baked goods by allowing air to circulate around the food.

Coq Au Vin - A French dish of chicken, mushrooms, onions, and bacon or salt pork cooked in red wine.

Coralli - The Italian word for coral is used to describe these tiny smooth or ribbed tubes of pasta, most often used in soups.

Cordon Bleu - A dish consisting of thin boneless chicken breasts or veal scallops separated by a thin slice of prosciutto or other ham and Emmenthal-style cheese, breaded and sautéed.

Core - To remove the inedible center of fruits such as pineapples.

Coriander - The tiny yellow-tan ridged seeds of the cilantro plant (Coriandrum sativum); used as a spice, they have a flavor reminiscent of lemon, sage and caraway, are available whole or ground and are used in Middle Eastern, Indian and Asian cuisines and pickling spice blends. See cilantro.

- A small tool used to withdraw corks from bottles. There are many varieties, but a typical corkscrew has a pointed metal spiral with a handle at the opposite end.

Corn - A tall, annual plant native to the western hemisphere producing white, yellow, blue or multicolored grains arranged on a cob; consumed as a vegetable when young and available fresh, canned or frozen, or dried and ground into cornmeal; also known as maize.

Corn Flour - Finely ground cornmeal; has a white or yellow color and is used as a breading or in combination with other flours.

Corn Oil - A pale yellow oil obtained from corn endosperms; odorless, almost flavorless, high in polyunsaturated fats with a high smoke point; a good medium for frying, also used in baking, dressings and to make margarine.

Corn Syrup - A thick, sweet syrup derived from cornstarch, composed of dextrose and glucose; available as clear (light) or brown (dark), which has caramel flavor and color added.
Corned - Meat that has been cured in a brine solution.

Corned Beef - Beef, usually a cut from the brisket or round, cured in a seasoned brine; has a grayish-pink to rosy red color and a salty flavor; also known as salt beef.

- A very small sour, pickled gherkin cucumber traditionally used as an accompaniment to meat paté.

Cornmeal - Dried, ground corn kernels (typically of a variety known as dent); has a white, yellow or blue color, gritty texture, slightly sweet, starchy flavor and available in three grinds (fine, medium and coarse); used in baking, as a coating for fried foods or cooked as polenta.

Cornstarch - A dense, very fine powdery flour made from ground corn endosperm and used as a thickening agent.

Cottage Cheese
- A moist, fresh cheese made from whole, part-skimmed or skimmed cow's milk, containing large white curds. Cottage cheese comes in three forms: small-curd, medium-curd and large-curd, which is sometimes referred to as popcorn cottage cheese.

Cotto Salami
- A large air-cured salami made from pork and beef and highly seasoned with garlic, black peppercorns and other spices.

Courgette - The French word for zucchini.

Court Bouillon - A savory bouillon made from fish stock. Court bouillon is used for poaching fish and as a base for fish sauces.

Couscous - Small, spherical bits of semolina dough that are rolled, dampened and coated with a finer wheat flour; a staple of the North African diet.

Couverture - Extremely glossy semisweet chocolate used for coating and decoration. It forms a much thinner shell than ordinary confectionery coating because of its high cocoa butter content; usually only found in specialty candymaking shops.

Crab - A marine crustacean that is highly prized throughout the world; its flavor and texture are considered by some to be the equal of lobster. There are several varieties including blue crab, Dungeness, Alaska King, and rock. Soft-shell crabs are actually blue crabs that have just shed their hard shells. They should always be purchased alive.

Crab Boil - A mixture of herbs and spices, used to flavor the water for seafood.

Cracked Wheat - The whole-wheat berry broken into coarse, medium or fine angular fragments. It can be substituted for rice or other grains in most recipes. Refrigerate to extend shelf-life.

Cracklings - Crispy cooked pieces of fatty meat, such as salt pork. Sometimes added to Southern cornbread.

Cranberries - Shiny red berries that are grown in bogs on low, trailing vines. Cranberries grow wild in northern Europe and in North America where they are also cultivated - particularly in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Washington and Oregon. Berries are available in late summer and fall and have a characteristically tart flavor. Fresh cranberries have a very high vitamin C content.

Cranberry Bean - A kidney-shaped bean with a pale-red streaked skin and a nutty flavor.

Cravatte - Bow-tie-shaped pasta similar to farfalle.

Cream - 1. To beat an ingredient or ingredients with a spoon or beaters until light and fluffy or of a "creamy" consistency. Most often used in reference to butter or shortening, with or without sugar, in baking recipes. 2. A component of milk with a milkfat content of at least 18%; has a slight yellow to ivory color, is more viscous and richer tasting than milk and can be whipped to a foam; rises to the top of raw milk; as a commercial product it may be pasteurized or ultrapasteurized and may be homogenized.

Cream Cheese - A fresh, soft, mild, white cheese made from cow's cream or a mixture of cow's cream and milk (some goat's milk cream cheese are available); used for baking, dips, dressings, confections and spreading on bread products; must contain 33% milkfat and not more than 55% moisture and is available, sometimes flavored, in various-sized blocks or whipped.

Cream of Tartar
- A fine white powder (potassium acid tartarate) obtained from a crystalline acid deposited on the inside of wine barrels; a component of single-acting baking powder, and also added to candy and frosting mixtures for a creamier texture. Cream of tartar is also helpful when added to egg whites before beating, as it improves stability and volume

Creole - Cuisine originating in 18th-century New Orleans, in which classical European cooking was combined with New World herbs and spices and African and Native American culinary traditions. The emphasis on dairy-based ingredients and tomatoes differs from the amount of spices and pork fat used in Cajun cooking. Both cuisines, however, use the "holy trinity" base of chopped green peppers, onions and celery.

Crêpe - The French term for pancake; thin and light, crêpes are usually served with a variety of fillings. The egg and flour batter can be sweetened if a dessert crêpe is desired, and filled with a jam or fruit mixture. Crêpes can also be served as a first or main course, filled with a meat, cheese or vegetable mixture and topped with a complimentary sauce.

Cress - From the mustard family, cress is available in several varieties. Watercress, peppergrass, and broadleaf cress name but a few. Cress can be used in sandwiches, salads, soups, or as garnish, and can be identified by its peppery tang.

Crimini Mushrooms
- Italian term for various common store mushrooms that range in color from light tan to rich brown; the flavor is more earthy and full-bodied than that of the agaricus (common white) mushroom.

Crimp - To create a decorative edge on a piecrust. On a double piecrust, this also seals the edges together.

Crisp - To restore the crunch to foods; vegetables such as celery and carrots can be crisped with an ice water bath, and foods such as stale crackers can be heated in a medium oven.

- A member of the drum family, this dark speckled fish is found in temperate coastal waters. The croaker weighs about one pound and has lean flesh and a mild flavor.

Crookneck Cquash - A summer squash with a long slender neck and bulbous body, pale to deep yellow skin with a smooth to bumpy texture, creamy yellow flesh and mild, delicate flavor; also known as yellow squash.

Croquettes - Ground or minced cooked food, such as chicken or salmon, bound with a thick sauce, formed into patties or balls, then fried.

Croustade - Meat or chicken served in pastry shells.

Croutons - Cubed pieces of bread fried in butter.

Crudités - Hors d'oeuvres consisting of raw vegetables served with a dipping sauce.

Crumble - To break food into smaller pieces, usually by hand.

Crumpet - Small British yeast breads, baked on top of the stove. The unsweetened batter is poured into ring molds (crumpet rings) which have been arranged on a griddle, and cooked until brown on the bottom and riddled with small holes on top that are perfect reservoirs for butter and jam.

Crush - To condense a food to its smallest particles, usually using a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin.

Crystallize - To form sugar- or honey-based syrups into crystals. The term also describes the coating.

Crystallized Ginger - Gingerroot that has been cooked in a sugar syrup and coated with coarse sugar; used most often as a confection or added to desserts and available in Asian markets and many supermarkets. Also known as candied ginger.

Cube - Cut into squares, size of which is determined by the recipe, generally between 1/2 to 2-inches.

Cucumber - The edible fleshy fruit of several varieties of a creeping plant (Cucumis sativus); most have a dark green skin and creamy white to pale green flesh; generally divided into two categories: pickling and slicing.

Cuisson - 1. The French term for cooking; used to explain culinary processes and details, especially cooking times. 2. Poaching liquid (such as stock, fumet, court bouillon or other liquid) that can be reduced and used as a base for the poached item's sauce.

Cumin - A spice that is the dried fruit (seed) of a plant in the parsley family (Cuminum cyminum), native to the Middle East and North Africa; the small crescent-shaped seeds have a powerful, earthy, nutty flavor and aroma and are available whole or ground in three colors (amber, white and black); used in Indian, Middle Eastern and Mexican cuisines.

Cup - A unit of measure in the U.S. system equal to 8 fl. oz.

Cupcake - A small individual-sized cake baked in a mold such as a muffin pan, usually frosted and decorated.

Curd - Custard-like pie or tart filling flavored with juice and zest of citrus fruit, usually lemon, although lime and orange may also be used.

Curdle - To cause semisolid pieces of coagulated protein to develop in food, usually as a result of the addition of an acid substance, or the overheating of milk or egg-based sauces.

Cure - To preserve or add flavor with an ingredient, usually salt and/or sugar.

- 1. Dried, seedless, black Zante grapes that are native to the area around Corinth in Greece; they resemble very small dark raisins and most often are used in baking. 2. Small, tart, translucent berries which grow in grapelike clusters in red, black and white varieties.

Curry Powder - An American or European blend of spices associated with Indian cuisines, the flavor and color vary depending on the exact blend; typical ingredients include black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, ginger, mace and turmeric, with cardamom, tamarind, fennel seeds fenugreek and /or chile powder sometimes added.

Custard - A mixture of beaten egg, milk, and possibly other ingredients such as sweet or savory flavorings, which is cooked with gentle heat, often in a water bath or double boiler. As pie filling, the custard is frequently cooked and chilled before being layered into a prebaked crust.

Cut - To divide a food into smaller portions, usually with a knife or scissors.

Cut In - To work a solid fat, such as butter or shortening into dry ingredients. This is commonly done by using a pastry blender.
Cutlet - A small piece of meat cut from the leg or rib of veal or pork, or a croquette mixture made into the shape of a cutlet.

Cuttlefish - A rounder, thicker and chewier relative of the squid. This lean and nutritious seafood can be found in ethnic markets.

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