- A Japanese root vegetable, that looks like a
white carrot that is used in salads or and a wide
variety of cooked dishes, including stir-fry.
Dal - 1. The Hindi term for dried peas,
beans, and lentils; legumes. 2. Dal is also the
word for the spicy dish made with lentils, tomatoes,
onions and various seasonings. It is often puréed
and served with curry.
Dandelion - A plant with bright green jagged
leaves and a slightly bitter taste. Dandelion
leaves can be used in salads or cooked in the
same way as spinach.
Dash - An approximate measure roughly equal
to 1/16 teaspoon.
Date - The fruit of a palm tree grown in
Mediterranean regions. Usually oval in shape,
a very thin skin and exceptionally sweet flesh
and a chewy texture. Dates are eaten fresh or
Date Sugar - Ground dehydrated dates that
are used as a sweetner.
Debone - To remove the bones from meat
Deep-Fry - To submerge foods in hot oil
or fat while cooking.
Defat - To remove the fat that congeals
on the top of soups, broth, chili and sauces.
Deglaze - After meat or poultry is sautéed
or fried, most of the fat and the meat are removed
from the skillet. Liquid is added to the browned
residue and heated, while stirring continuously.
This mixture is used for a base in sauces and
Degrease - To remove the fat that congeals
on the top of broths, jus and sauces.
Dehydrate - To remove most of the moisture
from food by drying it slowly in the oven or commercial
Delicata Squash - A green striped winter squash
with pale yellow skin. The flesh is yellow and
has a taste between a sweet potato and butternut
squash. Also known as sweet potato squash.
Demerara Sugar - A coarse, dry, raw sugar
from the Demerara area of Guyana. Its flavor is
similar, but not identical, to that of brown sugar.
Demi-glace, Demi-glaze - A term meaning "half
glaze." This rich brown sauce begins with
a basic espagnole sauce and beef stock, and is
slowly cooked with Madeira or sherry until it
has been reduced by half. The resulting thick
glaze should be able to coat the back of a spoon
and can be used as the base for many other sauces.
Demitasse - Literally means "half cup"
in French; usually refers to a tiny coffee cup
used to serve espresso.
Depouillage - To skim the surface of a
cooking liquid, such as a stock or sauce. Depouillage
is more easily done by placing the pot off-center
on the burner and skimming the impurities as they
collect at one side of the pot.
- To remove the grainy, blackish vein under the
rounded top of a shrimp by slitting the shrimp
and pulling it out.
Devil - To mix a food with spicy seasonings
and sauces. Devilled eggs are an example.
Dextrose - A sweetener produced from cornstarch
that has been treated with heat and acids or enzymes.
Dextrose produces a high-temperature browning
effect in baked goods.
Dice - To cut into especially small pieces,
roughly 1/8 to 1/16-inch.
Dietary Fiber - The part of whole grains,
fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds that
humans cannot digest; only found in plant foods.
Dijon - A prepared mustard originally from
the Dijon region of France. It has a slightly
hot, spicy flavor and is yellow-gray or brown
Dijonnaise - Dishes that are prepared with
mustard or are accompanied by a sauce that contains
Dill - An herb that is has feathery leaves
that taste somewhat like parsley with overtones
of anise and are used fresh or dried. The small
oval, brown seeds have a faintly bitter taste
and are used as a spice.
Dilute - To add liquid to make less concentrated.
Dip - A thick sauce served hot or cold
to accompany raw vegetables, crackers or chips
as an hors d'oeuvre. The base is usually made
of yogurt, mayonnaise, sour cream or cream cheese
Direct Heat - The lack of a conductor between
food and the heat source, such as grilling,
broiling, and toasting.
Disjoint - To dismember a chicken before cooking
by slicing the connective tissue and cartilage
and twisting firmly until the pieces separate.
Dissolve - To merge with a liquid.
Ditali; Ditalini - Italian for thimbles;
very short hollow tubes of pasta used in salads
and soups. Ditalini is a smaller version of ditali
with proportionally thicker pasta.
Dock - Any of several varieties of a hardy
perennial herb belonging to the buckwheat family,
all with some amount of acidity and sourness.
The mildest variety is dock sorrel, also called
Docking - The act of piercing small holes
or making cuts in dough or crust before baking
to allow steam to escape, thus preventing the
dough from rising as it bakes.
Dolcelatte Cheese - A soft, mild, blue-veined
cheese that can be served as an appetizer or dessert.
Also known as Gorgonzola dolce.
Dolci - Italian word for "sweets";
on a menu, the term means desserts.
Dollop - 1. A spoonful of soft and usually
creamy food, such as sour cream of mayonnaise.
2. It may also mean a dash or "splash"
of a liquid like a "splash of sparkling water".
Dolmades; Dolmas - Blanched grape leaves stuffed
with a seasoned mixture of ground lamb and rice,
braised in stock, oil and lemon juice. Other foods
that can be used as casings include squash, eggplant,
sweet peppers, cabbage leaves, quinces and apples.
Dot - To place random bits of food (like
butter) on the surface of another food.
Double Acting Baking Powder - Releases leavening
gases twice: Once when it comes in contact with
moisture and again when exposed to heat from the
Double Boiler - Like with a bain-marie,
you cook in a double broiler without using direct
heat. Two saucepans that fit together on on top
of the other. The bottom pan contains boiling
water is placed on the heat source and the top
one contains the food to be cooked.
Dough - A mixture of oil or shortening,
flour, liquid, and other ingredients that retains
its shape when placed on a flat surface, although
may change shape once baked like cookies and breads.
Drain - To remove liquid from, pour off,
sometimes with the use of a strainer or colander.
Drawn Butter, Clarified Butter - Butter
that has been melted and skimmed of milk solids.
Dredge - To coat with dry ingredients such
flour, corn meal, or bread crumbs before cooking.
Desserts are dredged with sugar after baking or
Dress - 1. To prepare poultry for cooking.
2. To add dressing to a salad.
Dried Wood Ears - An edible mushroom that
grows on the trunks of dead trees. It has a shallow
oval cup and is somewhat crunchy in texture. Also
known as tree ear, Jew's ear and cloud ear mushroom.
Drippings - The fat and liquid that result
when meat is cooked.
Drizzle - To trickler a very fine stream
of liquid like a glaze or melted butter over food.
Drum - A variety of fish so named because
of the sounds that it makes during mating. The
fish is usually quite lean and can weigh anywhere
between 1 pound and 30 pounds.
Dry Aging - An aging process that adds
flavor and tenderizes to beef through an enzyme
Dry Cure - A method of curing meat or fish
by using a combination of salts and seasonings,
usually before smoking.
Dry Milk - A product made from milk from which
almost all the moisture has been removed, leaving
the milk solids in a powdery form. Dry milk comes
in three basic forms: whole milk, nonfat milk
and buttermilk. Dry milk is less expensive and
easier to store than fresh milk (though dry whole
milk must be refrigerated because of its milk-fat
content), and the taste is never quite the same
as fresh milk.
Dry Sauté - To sauté food with
very little or no fat; a nonstick pan is often
used for this method.
Du Jour - French term meaning "of the
day"; used to indicate a special menu item.
Duck - A variety of poultry refering to
a domestic web footed bird. It's meat is dark
and has a rich, deep flavor.
Dumpling - A batter or soft dough, which
is formed into small mounds that are then steamed,
poached, or simmered.
Dungeness Crab - A large crab found along
the Pacific coast from Mexico to Alaska. Weighing
from 1 pound to 4 pounds, this variety of crab
has pink flesh that is succulent and sweet.
Durum Flour - High protein flour produced
from durum wheat. Durum wheat is used to make
semolina, which is combined with water to make
pasta dough. It is also known for the high amounts
of gluten it produces.
- To sprinkle food lightly with spices, sugar,
Oven - A large pot or kettle, usually made
of cast iron, with a tight-fitting lid so steam
cannot readily escape. It's used for moist-cooking
methods, such as braising and stewing. Dutch ovens
are said to be of Pennsylvania Dutch heritage,
dating back to the 1700s.
Duxelles - A reduction of finely chopped
mushrooms, parsley, onions, pepper, shallots,
salt and butter, used to flavor soups, stuffings