Nut - An oily, marble size, white nut with
a buttery rich flavor. The macadamia nut's shell
is exceptionally hard. It has an extremely high
Macaroni - Pasta made from semolina and
water, usually refers to tube shapes, but can
also include shells, twists and ribbons.
Mace - A sweet, but pungent spice, made
from the outer covering of the nutmeg, and has
a very similar flavor.
- Small dice - 1/4" square
Macerate - To soak fruit or other food
in liquid to infuse it with the flavor of the
- A plant with small, tender, dark green leaves
and a slightly nutty flavor; used in salads or
cooked. It is often found growing wild in cornfields,
but it is difficult to find in stores and can
be quite expensive.
Mackerel - The king mackerel (also known as
kingfish) is probably the best known of this family
of saltwater fish found in the Atlantic Ocean.
Mackerel has firm, savory flavored flesh and is
available fresh, smoked or salted.
- A sweet, Portuguese desert wine often served
as an apéritif or as an after dinner drink.
Madeleine - A small, scalloped, shell shape
cake from a butter and egg rich batter.
Mafalda, Mafalde(pl) - Wide, flat noodle with
ruffled edges, resembles a lasagna noodle, only
Maigre - French term for a dish containing
no meat. It may also refer to lean or low-fat
Mahi Mahi, Dolphinfish - Though this fish
is actually a type of dolphin, it should not be
confused with the dolphin that is a mammal. Mahi
mahi is a firm, flavorful fish, excellent grilled
Mallet - A tool usually made of sturdy hard
wood with a metal-reinforced striking surface;
used to flatten thin cuts of meat or poultry and
for cracking the shells of cooked crabs and lobsters.
Malt - 1. A fountain drink that is a thick
blend of malted milk powder, ice cream, milk and
flavoring. 2. A grain like barley that has been
sprouted, kiln-dried and ground into sweet-flavored
powder. The malt powder is used to brew beer,
make vinegar and is used as an additive to many
Maltagliate - Irregular, triangle- or diamond-shaped
pasta pieces, half the size of a postage stamp,
often used as an ingredient in soups.
- 1. A cooking style from China. The word
mandarin literally means "Chinese official,"
suggesting the style is the aristocratic epitome
of Chinese cuisine. 2. A citrus fruit with loose
yellow to reddish-orange rind that is very easy
to peel. The flesh is orange in color and has
a sweet flavor.
Mandoline - A hand-operated slicing and
cutting apparatus. Mandolines are used to cut
fruits and vegetables evenly.
Mango - A beautiful tropical fruit which grows
in a variety of shapes and sizes; the skin may
be green, rosy red, gold or all three as the fruit
ripens. The juicy, smooth, golden flesh is fragrant
and sweetly tart, with one large flat seed.
Manhattan Clam Chowder - Chowder made with
quahog clams, tomatoes, onions, celery, and potatoes.
Manicotti - Large, tube shaped pasta that
is normally stuffed with a meat, vegetable and
cheese mixture and topped with a red sauce and
Manzanilla Olive - Spanish green olive,
lightly lye-cured then packed in salt and lactic
acid; available unpitted and/or stuffed.
Maple Syrup - Maple sap that has been reduced
by boiling until a thick syrup with a sweet distinctive
taste is formed.
Maraschino Cherry - A pitted cherry soaked
in a flavored, sugar syrup and dyed red or green.
Maraschino cherries are used for drink and food
Marble - To smoothly whirl one food into
Marbling - The streaks of intramuscular fat
found in meat (especially beef) which add to the
meat's flavor and tenderness. Marbling is a primary
factor in determining a meat's quality grade.
Marengo - A chicken dish containing mushrooms,
wine, tomatoes, pearl onions and garlic.
Margarine - A solid fat invented in 1869
to replace butter in cooking and baking. Originally,
it was composed entirely of beef fat. Today, margarine
is made with a variety of fats (usually vegetable),
water, whey, yellow coloring, and nutritional
Marinade, To Marinate - A liquid seasoning blend
or dry spice rub for foods, used for flavor enhancement
and tenderizing. Marinades are added to foods
and then allowed to set for a period of time.
Liquid marinades are usually acid-based with wine,
vinegar, yogurt or lemon juice with added spices.
Marinade - A seasoned liquid, usually containing
an acid, in which foods such as meat or vegetables
are soaked (marinated) before cooking.
Marinara Sauce - Literally, "sailor-style"
in Italian, this sauce can be made either red
or white, but it always contains garlic, tomatoes,
olive oil, oregano, and vinegar and/or wine.
Sweet Marjoram - A Mediterranean herb of the
mint family that has short oval, pale green leaves,
a sweet flavor suggestive of thyme and oregano
and a strong aroma.
Marmalade - A jellied fruit preserve that
contains pieces of rind (usually citrus fruit).
Marsala - An Italian, dessert wine, served
as an after dinner drink or as an apéritif.
Marsala is available in dry and sweet.
Marzipan - A mixture of almond paste, sugar
and egg whites (of ground almonds, sugar, and
egg whites) used to cover dessert cakes or to
mold and shape for decorations on pastries.
Masa, Masa Harina - Masa is the dough used
mainly for tortillas and tamales. It is made from
dried corn kernels which has been cooked in limewater,
then ground while wet. Masa Harina is flour made
from dried masa.
Cheese - An extremely rich cream cheese from
Mash - To press or crush a food into a
Mask - To cover a dish with sauce or aspic
after it has been cooked but prior to serving.
It also refers to over-seasoning a dish to the
point where all other flavors are indiscernible.
Matelote - Stew containing freshwater fish,
wine and aromatics.
Matzo Meal - Ground matzo (unleavened bread
made of only wheat flour and water), which is
used in a variety of foods including matzo balls
(dumplings) and pancakes.
Mayonnaise - A creamy, thick white sauce
consisting of oil and vinegar emulsified with
egg yolks. It is used as a spread or dressing.
It is sold commercially and comes in reduced fat
and non fat varieties.
Mead - A fermented beverage consisting
of water, honey, and yeast (or hops) with flavorings.
Measuring Cups - Containers used to measure
the volume of dry or liquid foods.
- 1. The flesh (muscles, fat and related tissues)
of animals used for food. 2. The edible part of
Medallion - A very small, round cut of
pork, veal, or beef.
Melba Sauce - A sauce composed of pureed,
strained fresh raspberries, red currant jelly,
sugar and cornstarch. It is traditionally served
with Peach Melba, but can be used as a topping
for other desserts.
Melba Toast - A very thin and very dry
toast that is served with soups and salads.
Melon - A member of the gourd family. There
are two groups of melons: muskmelon and watermelon,
of which there are many varieties.
Melt - To alter a food from a solid to
a liquid by heat.
Menudo - A Mexican soup containing tripe,
green chiles, hominy and spices.
Meringue - Egg whites beaten until they
are stiff and creamy, then sweetened. Primarily
used as the topping for cream pies, or baked as
Mesclun - French word for "mixed"
that refers to a salad of assorted small salad
leaves and herbs.
Mesquite - A hardwood tree grown in the Southwest
US, used to impart a distinct flavor in barbecue
and smoked foods.
Mezzani - Smooth tubular pasta.
Microwave Cooking - A heating method that
cooks with high-frequency radio waves that cause
food molecules to pulse, creating friction that
heats and cooks the food.
Migas - A mixture of bread or tortilla crumbs
with scrambled eggs, chiles, onions and seasonings.
Occasionally, chorizo (sausage) is added to the
Milk Chocolate - Popular form of eating chocolate
because of its mild, mellow flavor and usually
contains about 12% milk solids. Milk chocolate
has a less robust flavor than sweet or semisweet
Milk Shake - Milk, ice cream, and a syrup
or other flavorings mixed in a blender until the
ice cream is soft enough to be sipped through
Millet - A small, round grain boiled or
grounded into flour. It does not contain gluten.
Mince - To cut into extremely fine pieces.
Mincemeat - A spicy, sweet combination of
candied and fresh fruits, wine, spices, and beef
fat. Primarily used filling for pies.
Minestrone - An Italian all-vegetable soup
containing an assortment of vegetables and pasta
or beans or rice.
Mint - An herb with a fresh, peppery flavor.
Mint is available fresh, dried, and as an extract.
Mint Julep - A popular drink from the southern
U.S. containing fresh mint, bourbon, and crushed
Mirin - A sweet, rice wine used in cooking
- Fermented soybean paste that is an indispensable
Japanese flavoring ingredientIt is used in sauces,
soups, marinades, dressings, dips and main dishes.
Mix - To combine ingredients with a spoon
or beaters until well integrated.
Mix Until Just Moistened - To combine dry
ingredients with liquid ingredients until the
dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened, but
the mixture is still slightly lumpy.
Mocha - A coffee and chocolate mixture.
Mock Duck - Fresh, organic wheat gluten
that is folded and pressed creating a meat substitute
to duck in Buddhist and other vegetarian dishes.
Available canned in Asian markets.
Mojo - Cuban seasoning mix made of garlic,
olive oil, and sour oranges It is used as a dip,
marinade, or sauce for vegetables and meats.
Molasses - A thick, sweet, brownish-black
liquid that is a by-product of sugar-refining;
used in breads, cookies and pastries for its distinctive,
slightly bitter flavor and dark color.
Molcajete Y Tejolete - The Mexican term
for mortar (molcajete) and pestle (tejolete);
sometimes made from volcanic rock.
Mold - To shape food, usually by pouring
the liquefied food into a mold. When the liquid
is cooled it will retain the shape of the mold.
Mole - A Mexican specialty, mole is a dark,
reddish-brown sauce, often served with chicken
or turkey. Mole is made from a variety of ingredients,
including ground seeds, chile peppers, onion,
garlic, and chocolate.
Monkfish - A saltwater fish of which only
the tail meat is eaten.
Monosodium Glutamate - A sodium salt found
in wheat, beets, and soy bean products. It is
used extensively in Chinese cooking, and thought
to help accentuate the flavors of certain foods.
However some people have shown an allergic reaction.
Monounsaturated Fat - Monounsaturated fats
have been shown to reduce LDLs, but have relatively
no effect on HDLs, except for olive oil, which
can increase the beneficial HDLs. Other sources
of monounsaturated fat can be obtained from canola
oil, peanut oil, avocados, almonds, cashews and
Mont Blanc - A classic French dessert made
with sweetened chestnut purée. The purée
is passed through a ricer and formed into a fluffy
mound on a platter. The dessert is then topped
with whipped cream.
Monterey Jack Cheese - Deriving its name from
the California city where it originated, this
cheese is very versatile. Usually available unaged,
it is mild and has an ivory color.
Monter au beurre - To whisk cold butter
into a hot liquid to give the liquid a silky consistency
and depth of flavor.
Morel - A variety of wild mushroom, the
morel is cone-shaped and has a nutty, earthy flavor.
Mornay Sauce - A basic béchamel
sauce to which cheese has been added. It is sometimes
varied with the addition of eggs or stock.
Mortar and Pestle - A bowl and blunt tool
for pounding seasonings into a paste or powder.
Often made of marble. The traditional method of
making basil pesto is to place all ingredients
into the mortar and blend.
Mostaccioli - Literally means "Small
Mustaches". This tubular pasta goes well
with sauce, used in salads, baked in casseroles,
or made into stir fry dishes.
Mother Sauces - A French concept that classifies
all sauces into five foundation sauces called
"mother" or "grand sauces."
From these five sauces, all sauces can be made.
They are: 1. Demiglace or brown; 2. Velouté
or blond; 3. Béchamel or white; 4. Hollandaise
or butter; 5. Tomato or red.
Moussaka - A layered dish of eggplant and
lamb with tomatoes and onions in a white sauce.
Mousse - A sweet or savory dish, mousse
is usually made with egg whites or whipped cream
to give the light, airy texture. In French, the
word means "froth" or "foam."
Mozzarella Cheese - Mozzarella is known as
a mild cheese with an elastic texture. It is fairly
soft, requires little ripening time, and has excellent
MSG - This natural amino acid is found in
seaweed, vegetables, cereal gluten and the residue
of sugar beets, and is used as a flavor enhancer.
Muenster Cheese; Munster Cheese - A semi-ripe
Alsatian cheese made with whole cow's milk, flavored
with caraway and cumin. It may cure up to three
months before consumption.
Muesli - The German term for mixture, muesli
may contain raw or toasted grains (wheat, oats,
barley, etc.) nuts, bran, dried fruits, wheat
germ, sugar and dried milk solids. Muesli is often
eaten like cold cereal with milk, or with yogurt
or fruit juice.
Muffin - A drop batter baked in individual
pans and served as a quick bread.
Mull - To flavor a beverage, such as cider
or wine, by heating it with spices or other flavorings.
Mung Beans - Small green beans used in
both Indian and Chinese cooking. They do not require
presoaking and cooked mung beans have a tender
texture and slightly sweet flavor. The sprouts
are also used in salads.
Muscadine Grape - A thick-skinned purple
grape with a musky flavor, muscadine grapes are
found in the Southeastern United States. The grapes
are eaten as is, and often used to make jelly
Mushroom - Any of many species of cultivated
or wild fleshy fungus, usually consisting of a
stem, a cap (which may have gills) and mycelium;
available fresh or dried and eaten raw, reconstituted
Muskmelon - One of the two broad classes of
melon. Muskmelons have been grown for thousands
of years by many cultures. The two main skin textures
are netted (such as cantaloupe), and smooth (crenshaw
Mussel - A bivalve mollusk with an extremely
thin, oblong shell that can range from dark blue
to bright green to yellowish-brown. The creamy-tan
meat has a slightly sweet flavor. Mussels can
be cooked in a variety of ways including steaming,
frying, baking or used as an ingredient in dishes
such as paella.
Mustard - A spice with a pungent flavor,
available as seeds or ground, or a condiment prepared
Mustard Greens - Leaves of the mustard
plant, mustard greens are a very popular vegetable
in the South. The leaves have a pungent mustard
flavor, and may be found fresh, frozen, or canned.
Mustard greens must be washed thoroughly, then
may be steamed, sauteed, or simmered. They're
usually cooked with seasonings and ham, pork,