The Cuisine Solutions Blog - Out of the Bag

Culinary Words of the Day

A l'Indienne (n):

Dishes of curried fish, eggs or poultry. Often served with boiled rice.

A l'impératrice (n):

Sweet or savory dishes. Associated with a dessert made from rice, fruit and cream.

Abaisee (n):

A puff pastry or sponge cake that has been rolled or cut thin for dessert preparation.

Aioli (n):

Mayo made from garlic cloves, egg yolks, oil, lemon juice and seasoning.

Allspice (n):

A dried berry used as a spice. Its flavor resembles a blend of cloves, cinnamon & nutmeg.

Amaranth (n):

Once a weed, this annual is now known as a nutritious food with edible seeds and greens.

Amuse-bouche (n):

Tiny bites served before a meal to whet the palate and invigorate the appetite.

Aperitif (n):

An alcoholic drink, usually wine or Champagne, served before meals to stimulate appetite.

Architectural Cuisine (n):

Menu items that are stacked for height. Also called vertical cuisine.

À La Valencienne (n):

Dish prepared by cooking rice in meat stock and garnishing with peppers and ham.

Balti (n):

An Indian form of curry that's cooked quickly & spiced with a combination of seeds.

Bard (tr. v):

To surround or envelop meat with bacon or pork fat to keep meat moist while it cooks.

Base (n):

A soup reduction paste similar to bouillon, but richer, more flavorful and less salty.

Bias-slice (v):

To slice a food cross wise at a 45-degree angle.

Bocconcini (n):

Small nuggets of fresh mozzarella usually sold packed in water or whey.

Broccolini (n):

A hybrid vegetable that is a cross between broccoli & Chinese kale.

Candlenut (n):

A tropical nut used to flavor curries, but toxic when raw. Its oil is used for candles.

Carpaccio (n):

A dish of raw meat or fish, thinly sliced or pounded thin and served with sauce.

Cavolo nero (n):

Strong flavored cabbage with dark leaves, a traditional ingredient of minestrone.

Cayenne pepper (n):

A popular pepper with a distinct, fruity flavor about 3-5x hotter than jalapenos.

Ceviche (n):

Seafood prepared in an old method of cooking by contact with acidic citrus juice.

Chaud-Froid (adj):

Usually refers to a cream-based sauce that is prepared hot, but served cold.

Cherbourg (n):

A French beef consommé garnished with mushrooms, truffles, poached egg and ham.

Chiffonade (n):

A preparation of shredded or finely cut vegetables used as a garnish for soup.

Delicata squash (n):

A small winter squash ranging in color from cream to yellow with green stripes.

Demi-glace (n):

A rich brown sauce used alone or as a base for other sauces. French for half-glaze.

Dolce or dolci (adj):

Gentle and sweet. When found on a menu, the term refers to desserts.

Dredge (v):

To lightly coat food with flour, bread crumbs, or corn meal before frying it.

Dulcified (tr. v):

To sweeten or make sweet.

Emulsification (n):

The process of forcing together unmixable liquids, like oil & water.

Escalope (n):

White meat that has been thinned out and often baked in breadcrumbs.

Escargot (n):

French word for snail. Edible snails have a 1- to 2-inch tan & white shell.

Escarole (n):

A vegetable with a heart of white leaves edged with yellow that is often eaten raw.

Faisselle (n):

A basket with perforated sides used for draining cheese

Fava beans (n):

Tan, flat beans with tough skins and a strong, bitter flavor.

Flan (n):

An open tart made in a pie shape filled with fruit or cream.

Fleur de sel (n):

A delicate French sea salt collected by scraping the top layer of salt pans.

Fool (n):

An English treat made of fruit purée strained, sweetened & chilled (not frozen).

Frenching (v):

Cutting vegetables into thin strips, which promotes even cooking and optimal flavor.

Frisee (n):

A variety of endive with curly, pale-green leaves and a slightly bitter flavor.

Frizzes (n):

Dry Italian sausages made from pork or beef and seasoned with garlic or anise.

Ganache(n):

A mixture of chocolate and cream used as a filling for cakes, truffles and pastries.

Gastronomy (n):

The art or science of good eating.

Gazpacho (n):

A cold tomato soup with bell peppers, onions, celery, cucumbers and bread.

Geoduck (n):

A very large, mud-burrowing saltwater clam found on the west coast of North America.

Gnocchi (n):

Italian dumplings made using a potato base with the addition of flour.

Gourmand (n):

French term for a person who appreciates fine food. To some, the word means a glutton.

Gravlax (n):

Scandinavian salmon cured and sliced thin, then served on bread with a mustard sauce.

Gremolata (n):

A garnish of parsley, lemon peel and garlic, traditionally sprinkled over Osso Bucco.

Grouper (n):

A lean, white-fleshed fish of the sea bass family common around coral reefs.

Halicot (n):

A mutton stew of chopped meat, turnips, onions, potatoes and sometimes haricot beans.

Halloumi (n):

Traditional Greek cheese made with goat & sheep milk. It can be easily fried or grilled.

Hamachi (n):

Yellowtail, a bony fish often used for sushi. It is native to the northwest Pacific Ocean.

Haricot Vert (n):

Green string beans that are thinner than regular green beans and have better flavor.

Heiko (n):

A smooth, dark shrimp paste used in Thai & Malaysian cuisines as flavoring.

Hominy (n):

Dried corn kernels with the hull and germ removed. It has a soft, chewy consistency.

Iago (n):

A small British pastry with layers of sponge cake and buttercream, topped with fondant.

Idiazabal (n):

Unpasteurized sheep's milk from the Basque region of Spain that is cooked and pressed into wheels.

Ile Flottante (n):

A dessert of cooked egg whites & sugar that is unmoulded and drizzled with caramel.

Issues (n):

French term used to describe the inedible parts of an animal, such as the hair and horns.

Jaggery (n):

A coarse brown sugar from the sap of the Palmyra palm popular in Southeast Asian cuisine.

Jambon au Madere (n):

Ham steaks prepared with Madeira wine.

Julienne (tr. V):

To slice into long, thin strips the size of matchsticks.

Jus (n):

Gravy made by diluting pan juices and boiling it until it has been absorbed into the stock.

Jussulent (adj):

Full of broth or soup. Jus is French for juice, and Latin for broth.

Kinilaw (n):

A raw fish salad. The meat is marinated in vinegar with ginger, onion, and peppers.

Kipper (v):

To cure, usually fish, by cleaning, salting and drying, or smoking.

Knish (n):

A Jewish pastry made of a piece of dough enclosing a filling of seasoned mashed potatoes.

Krupnik (n):

A simple Polish soup made from grain and vegetables such as carrots, leeks, and cabbage.

Kumquat (n):

An orange citrus fruit native to China. It has a sweet rind and a sour flesh.

Lefse (n):

Traditional Norwegian flatbread made out of potato, cream and flour, and baked on a griddle.

Lemon Balm (n):

A lemon-scented herb native to Europe used in salads, drinks, soups and sauces.

Loganberry (n):

A hybrid between a blackberry and a raspberry first grown in 1881.

Macaire (n):

A flat potato cake that can be used as a garnish for roast or sautéed meats.

Macerate (v):

To soften or break up food by soaking in liquid.

Marmite (n):

A popular British product of concentrated yeast paste used on toast or in stews.

Mesocarp (n):

The succulent, fleshy middle layer of a fruit; usually the major part of the fruit.

Milanaise (n):

Food prepared Milan-style

Nap or nappe (v):

To completely coat food with a light, thin, even layer of sauce or a jelly.

Noix (n):

The upper part of a leg of veal, cut lengthways. The meat is lean, but tends to be dry.

Noque (n):

A poached dumpling made from flour, egg and butter. They are served as a course or in soup.

Okra (n):

A tropical plant cultivated as a vegetable. It contains small seeds that give it character.

Orache (n):

Garden plant whose triangular leaves are added to soups, cooked or used as a garnish.

Orloff (n):

Recipe for cooking loin of veal. The meat is stuffed with a purée of mushrooms and onions.

Orly (n):

Fish dipped in egg and breadcrumbs, then fried, drained and served with tomato sauce.

Panzanella (n):

A salad of bread, tomatoes and vegetables. Garlic, olives and anchovies are added.

Paprika (n):

Hungarian for pepper. The chili has a fleshy pod and a deep red color.

Parboiled (tr. v):

To cook partially by boiling for a brief period.

Pate (n):

Various elegant, seasoned ground meat preparations served cold, usually on toast.

Pine Nuts (n):

Seeds from the Mediterranean stone pine. A key ingredient in pesto and some salads.

Pirozkhi (n):

Russian turnovers traditionally served with soup or as hors d'oeuvres.

Pith (n):

The bitter, white layer just below the zest of a fruit.

Pommes dauphine (n):

Crispy potato puffs made by deep-frying mashed potatoes and choux pastry.

Poppy Seeds (n):

Seeds from the opium poppy, among the oldest cultivated plants.

Potjie (n):

A lidded, almost spherical cast-iron pot with three legs made for use over an open fire.

Punnet (n):

A small basket or container for fresh fruit and vegetables.

Puttanesca (n):

A piquant sauce of tomatoes, onions, black olives, capers, anchovies and chili flakes.

Quetsch (n):

A plum with mauve skin and a sweet interior suitable for tarts, compotes and jams.

Quiche (n):

An open tart, often filled with a mixture of beaten egg, crème fraiche and pieces of bacon.

Radicchio (n):

Chicory of Italian origin. Its small heart is crunchy with a bitter, acidic taste.

Raisiné (n):

A jam made without sugar by simmering grape juice or sweet wine with various cut fruit.

Roux (n):

A mixture of flour and fat used as a thickening agent in soup or sauce.

Rétès (n):

A Hungarian pastry similar to the Austrian strudel.

Safflower Oil (n):

Oil from the seeds of the safflower often used for deep-frying.

Sambal (n):

An Indonesian condiment made with red chili peppers, onion, lime juice, oil and vinegar.

Sapid (adj):

Having a strong, pleasant flavor.

Sauce au Xérès (n):

A French compound sauce made from a demi-glaze flavored with dry sherry.

Sauerbraten:

German for "sour roast" — beef roast marinated for a few days in a sweet-sour marinade.

Scald (v):

To dip into boiling water, or to heat milk to just below the boiling point.

Scant (adj):

Lacking a part of the whole. One scant teaspoon means a little less than a whole teaspoon.

Schnitzel (n):

Means slice in German and usually refers to a cutlet of veal that is packed thin.

Scrod (n):

The catch of the day, or a general label for small members of the cod family.

Searing (v):

Browning a food surface at high heat. It brings out flavor and creates a fond for sauces.

Seize (v):

To cook meat or vegetables in a pan with fat or oil until surface is brown.

Slurry (n):

A mixture of 1 part starch and 2 parts cold water.

Smorgasbord (n):

A Swedish buffet of many dishes. Commonly includes pickled herring and smoked salmon.

Souchet (n):

A sauce of stewed vegetables, white wine and fish stock reduced and finished with butter.

Soufflé (n):

A light, foamy dessert made from egg, milk and sometimes flour.

Soup (n):

Any combination of broth and contents. From sop, which meant dipping bread into broth.

Spatchcocking (v):

French technique of removing the backbone of poultry so it can cook flat.

Steam (v):

To cook with steam, which retains flavor, shape, texture & nutrients better than boiling.

Stir-fry (n, v):

Brisk cooking of small ingredients in oil over intense heat.

Temper (v):

To slowly warm a cold ingredient by adding small amounts of a hot or boiling liquid.

Tian (n):

French for a shallow, earthenware casserole. Originally referred to a dish of vegetables.

Tostones (n):

A Mexican dish of fried plantains, typically smashed and served with garlic sauce.

Traviso (n):

A milder version of radicchio. Its leaves resemble romaine lettuce and have a nutty taste.

Truffle (n):

A highly prized underground fungus of unusual aroma, savored in Italian & French cuisine.

Truss (v):

To secure poultry or game with string or skewers so that it stays compact while cooking.

Tzimmes (n):

A Jewish stew of vegetables, like potatoes and carrots, sweetened with sugar or honey.

Unsaturated fat (n):

Fatty acids believed to reduce the amount of cholesterol in blood.

Utility knife (n):

An all-purpose knife used for cutting produce and carving poultry.

Uzés (n):

A French compound sauce made from hollandaise flavored with anchovy paste and wine.

Vandyke (n):

The decorative edging carved into a feature of a dish, usually on a lemon or orange slice.

Veloute (n):

A stock-based white sauce made from chicken, veal or fish stock thickened with white roux.

Verjus (n):

A condiment made of semi-ripe wine grapes that can substitute for vinegar or lemon juice.

Vichy (n):

A dish of sliced carrots cooked over low heat until all of the moisture is absorbed.

Vinaigrette (n):

A versatile dressing made with vinegar, oil, and seasonings.

Water chestnut (n):

A walnut-sized bulb covered by tough skin. Can be eaten raw, boiled or candied.

Wiener Schnitzel (n):

Veal scallops that are breaded, sauted and served with lemon slices.

Xerophagy (n):

The eating of dry food, especially food that's cooked without oil.

Xun (n):

Chinese cooking method of smoking an ingredient with tea leaves, then steaming or deep frying.

Zest (n):

The grated rind of citrus fruits. The rind holds a concentrated amount of a fruit's flavor.

Zingara (n):

A sauce of demi-glaze and tomato sauce seasoned with paprika.

Zushi (n):

The seasoned rice used for sushi.