- 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
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.
Calcium - 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
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
- 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
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
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.
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
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
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.
Capicolla - 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.
Cappelletti - 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
Caprini - 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
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
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
Carbohydrate - 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.
Carbonara - A pasta sauce composed of such
items as bacon, olive oil, eggs, cream, Parmesan
cheese and occasionally white wine, onions, garlic
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.
Carob - 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
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
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
Casareccia Pasta - S-shaped lengths of pasta
that are slightly twisted.
Casein - 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
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.
Celtuce - 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.
Cèpes - 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.
Challa - 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,
Champ - Irish dish made from potatoes,
onions and butter. Also called bruisy, cally,
goddy, and poundies.
Char - 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.
Charlottes - 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.
Cheesecake - 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.
Cheesecloth - 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
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
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.
Chicharron - 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
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.
- 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
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.
Chitterlings - The boiled, fried or stuffed
small intestines of pigs, popular in the southern
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
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
Cholesterol - 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
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
Chow - Chinese term for sautéing; also
known as stir-fry.
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
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
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.
Chupati - 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
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
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.
Cleaver - 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
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
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
Cocotte - An ovenproof dish used to bake
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,
Cognac - The finest of all brandies. Cognac
is double-distilled immediately after fermentation.
It then begins its minimum 3-year aging in Limousin
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.
Conchiglie - Pasta shaped like small conch
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
Condiment - 1. Seasoning or flavoring mixture
used to accompany foods. 2. The French term for
Conduction - 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
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
Coq Au Vin - A French dish of chicken,
mushrooms, onions, and bacon or salt pork cooked
in red wine.
- 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.
Corkscrew - 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.
Cornichon - 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
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
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
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.
Bean - A kidney-shaped bean with a pale-red
streaked skin and a nutty flavor.
Cravatte - Bow-tie-shaped pasta similar
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
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
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.
Croaker - 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
Croutons - Cubed pieces of bread fried
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
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
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
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.
Currants - 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
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
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.