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Glossary of Food and Techniques

My Glossary of Foods and Techniques

I keep adding to this when new items come along

Agar-agar – also called Japanese gelatin
Agar-agar is made from dried seaweed and is used for its setting properties, which are five times stronger than regular gelatin.
Aioli
a garlic mayonnaise, popular in Provencal cuisine.
Allumette
a small matchstick-size strip (e.g., potatoes cut into this shape).
Américaine (à l’américaine)
a dish (usually lobster) prepared with tomatoes, wine and seasonings.
Appellation
a French government designation regulating growing regions, grape varieties, etc. in wine making; other appellations are used to designate cheeses and other foods from specific regions.
Arborio
short-grained Italian rice, used in risotto because its high starch content provides a creamy texture.
Aromatic
a spice, herb or vegetable that is used to flavour a dish.
Arugula
a slightly bitter, peppery salad green of Italian origin; also called “rocket.”
Aubergine
French for “eggplant.”

Baguette
a long, narrow cylindrical loaf of French bread with a crisp crust.
Bain-marie
a cooking method in which a dish, bowl, etc. is placed into a hot water bath (in the oven or on the stovetop) or over a pan of boiling water.
Bard
to cover an item with strips of fat to baste it during cooking.
Béarnaise
a classic sauce, a variation of hollandaise, made from egg yolks and butter, flavoured with a reduction of white wine, shallots and tarragon.
Béchamel
a classic white sauce made from milk, roux and various flavourings (e.g., bay leaf or onion).
Beurre blanc
an emulsified sauce made with butter and a white wine and shallot reduction.
Beurre manié
a paste of equal parts flour and softened butter, used to thicken sauces.
Blanch
to cook a food briefly in boiling water before cooling it quickly in ice water.
Bouquet garni
a combination of herbs, usually thyme, parsley and bay leaf, used to flavour soups, stocks, stews, etc. The herbs are often tied together with a string or enclosed in a piece of cheesecloth for easy removal.
Braise
a moist-heat cooking method in which food is slowly cooked in a closed utensil with a small amount of liquid, either on the stovetop or in the oven.
Brick pastry
very thin pastry sheets made from wheat flour, common in Middle Eastern cooking. Phyllo pastry may be substituted for brick.
Brioche
a rich French yeast bread containing eggs and butter, typically baked in a fluted pan.
Brochette
French for “skewer.”
Brunoise
a method of cutting vegetables into tiny dice, often used as a garnish.
Bulgur wheat
wheat that has been steamed, dried and cracked into small bits, often used in such Middle Eastern dishes as tabbouleh.
Canalayed
A Canalaye (lemon decorator) knife used to cut strips out of lemon, oranges, cucumber, courgettes etc.

Caper
the bud of a nastseriton plant, having a piquant, peppery taste. Capers are pickled in brine and used to flavour numerous dishes and sauces.
Caramel
sugar cooked until it reaches a colour ranging from light amber to dark brown, used to flavour and colour various preparations.
Carbonnade (à la flamande)
a Belgian beef stew, containing beer and onions, often flavoured with bacon or mustard.
Cassis (Crème de cassis)
a black currant liqueur; it is added to white wine to make the aperitif “kir.”
Calcium
is a mineral salt. In molecular gastronomy, calcium salts are involved in the basic specification or reverse-specification processes in reaction with sodium alginate. Sodium alginate indeed needs a source of calcium to form a gel.

Caviar
salted fish roe, traditionally from sturgeon, but salmon, herring are very good usually served as an appetizer with toast chopped egg ,chopped onions and lemon.
Celeriac (celery root)
a knobby brown root vegetable with white flesh having a strong celery flavour. Celeriac is peeled before using, and may be eaten raw (as in “celeriac en rémoulade”), or cooked.
Celsius
a temperature scale in which 0° represents the freezing point of water and 100° the boiling point; to convert a Celsius reading to Fahrenheit degrees, multiply by 9, divide by 5, and add 32; also called “centigrade.”
Cèpe (English: cep)
the French name for the Boletus edulis (porcino in Italian), a brown meaty mushroom that may weigh up to 1 lb. Ceps are often sold dried: they must be soaked in hot water for 20 minutes before using.
Ceviche
a South American appetizer in which fresh raw fish is marinated in lime juice to “cook” it, along with onions, peppers and tomatoes.
Chanterelle
a trumpet-shaped wild mushroom with a nutty flavour and chewy texture, ranging in colour from yellow to orange; often available dried.
Charcuterie
a French term referring to cooked meat products (usually pork), that can include pâté, sausages, ham, cured meats, etc.; also a shop where such products are sold.
. Chinois
French word for Chinese.
This describes a very fine conical straining with very fine gauze .in my opinion all sauces should be passed through before serving

Cheesecloth
a cotton cloth used to strain liquids, enclose herbs to form a bouquet garni, etc.
Chèvre
(French for “goat”)
a tangy white goat’s milk cheese, usually eaten young.
Chorizo
a highly seasoned Spanish or Mexican pork sausage.
Choux paste
a dough of flour, water, butter and eggs. When cooked, the choux paste puffs up to form a crisp hollow shell which can be filled with either savoury or sweet fillings (e.g., eclairs and cream puffs). Also good for cheese and sweet fritter
Clafouti
a rustic French dessert, in which a batter is poured over fresh fruit (especially cherries) and baked.
Clarify
to melt butter so that the clear butterfat can be separated from the milky whey and sediment. Clarified butter has a higher smoking point than regular butter.
Clotted cream
a specialty of southwestern England, prepared by heating rich unpasteurized milk until a thick spreadable cream forms on the surface; traditionally served at tea time with scones and jam.
Confit
meat (particularly duck, goose or pork) which is preserved by cooking and storing it in its own fat; confit may also refer to other types of preserved food.
Coriander
an herb used since ancient times both for its seeds and its leaves (also called cilantro); widely used in Asian, Latin American and Indian cooking.
Cornichon
a sour crisp pickle made from tiny gherkin cucumbers, which often accompanies pâtés and cold meats in French cuisine.
Court-bouillon
a liquid used to poach fish or seafood, usually consisting of water flavored with onion, carrots, celery, herbs and white wine or lemon juice.
Couscous
an important food in North African cooking, consisting of steamed semolina granules. Couscous is either served on its own, or as an accompaniment to spicy stews, etc.
Crayfish
a freshwater crustacean resembling a small lobster;
Cream
single cream contains 20% butterfat, while whipping cream ranges from 38 to 42%. double cream is 48%
Crème Chantilly
the French name for whipped cream sweetened and flavoured with vanilla.
Crème fraîche
a tangy thickened cream, served with desserts or added to savoury preparations, sauces, etc.; it can heated without danger of curdling.
Crème patisserie
a thick custard filling made from milk, eggs, flour, sugar and flavourings, used in numerous pastry preparations
Crêpe
a pancake, especially the thin French variety, used to enclose a sweet or savoury filling, or served spread with jam, flambéed with liqueur, etc.
Croûte
French for “crust”; “en croûte” refers to a food that is baked in pastry.

Dashi
a Japanese fish stock prepared with dried bonito tuna flakes. It is also available in powdered form.

Denuded
a term I use to describe a butchery process
To remove all sinew, silver skin, fat and bones and left with just the cleaned meat.

Dice
to cut into small cubes
Dijon mustard
prepared mustard from Dijon in Burgundy, containing mustard seeds, white wine and seasonings, with a flavour ranging from mild to hot.
Dim Sum
a Chinese meal (meaning “heart’s delight”) served in restaurants and tea houses, consisting of a variety of small dishes, including steamed dumplings or buns, potstickers, shrimp balls, etc.,
Emulsion
a homogenous mixture of two or more liquids dispersed in tiny droplets that create a smooth, thick consistency (e.g., mayonnaise, hollandaise sauce.)

Étuvée (à l’étuvée)
a cooking method in which a vegetable, etc., is cooked slowly in a covered pan with a small amount of liquid (from the French for “smothered”).

Fahrenheit
a temperature scale in which 32° represents the freezing point of water and 212° the boiling point. To convert to Celsius, subtract 32 from the Fahrenheit reading, multiply by 5 and divide by 9.
Feta
a white crumbly Greek cheese traditionally made from sheep or goat’s milk, cured in brine, having a tangy, salty flavour.
Fines herbs
a traditional French combination of finely chopped parsley, chervil, tarragon and chives.
Fish sauce (Vietnamese: nuoc mam; Thai: nam pla)
a pungent salty condiment prepared from salted fermented fish, widely used in southeastern Asian cooking.
Foam
You can produce various kinds of foams by using nitrous oxide canisters designed for whipped cream. Simply fill the canister with the liquid of your choice.
Fondue
(1) a preparation of vegetables cooked over low heat until very soft and reduced to a pulp, often used as a garnish for meat or fish; (2) a Swiss dish of melted cheese and wine, into which diners dip cubes of bread.
Frittata
a round (not folded) Italian omelette in which other ingredients are mixed into the eggs, instead of being used as a filling as in a French omelette.
Fumet
a concentrated stock, usually fish stock, flavoured with white wine, vegetables, herbs, etc.

Ganache
a smooth mixture of chocolate and cream, sometimes containing additional flavourings, used as a filling or glaze in cake- and pastry-making.
Garam masala
in Indian cooking, a spice blend which may be made up of as many as 12 different spices.
Génoise
a sponge cake, a staple of French and Italian pastry-making, made from flour, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla.
Glucose
A thick, clear form of sugar which is produced by the breakdown of starch cells that have been treated with acids or enzymes and then fermented to form sugars. The thickness of the liquid glucose depends on how much the starch cells have broken down. Glucose is most commonly used in confectionery to give elasticity to caramel or sugar piece and to help prevent crystallization. It can also be added to chocolate to produce a modeling paste.

Gratin (au gratin)
a dish topped with cheese or bread crumbs and butter, placed in the oven or under the broiler until brown and crispy.
Guacamole
a Mexican preparation consisting of mashed avocado, lime juice, seasonings, and sometimes diced onion and tomato, used as a condiment or dip.

Hollandaise
a sauce made from egg yolks and butter, flavoured with lemon juice and seasonings.

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Jardinière, à la
a French term referring to a dish garnished with vegetables.
Julienne
describes food that is cut into small matchstick lengths.
Jus
French for juice, often used to refer to the juices exuded by meat or poultry during cooking (e.g., veal jus).
Kir
an apéritif made from white wine and a dash of cassis.
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Leaf Gelatine
Soak in cold water, then squeezed out and melted over heat gently making sure that all is melted. As a rule I always strain any liquid I have added gelatine to again to unsure that there are no stands of gelatine in the mix
When adding gelatine to thick preparation e.g. cold cooked mousse. I allow a little extra water in the melting for two reasons
1. If the preparation is cold if allows the gelatine to be added with out setting during the mixing, thus causing fine stands of gelatine in the mousse.
2. It also make the additions of the gelatine easier and one dose not lose the lightness of the mousse
Langoustine (also: Dublin Bay prawn or Norway lobster)
a salt-water crustacean related to the lobster, resembling a crayfish. The shelled tail meat is called “scampi”
Lardon
a small strip of pork fat or a cube of cooked bacon used as an ingredient or garnish.
Line caught
A trawl line, or long line, is simply a line of baited hooks that is left to drift or that is submerged by anchoring it on the ocean floor or at various depths, depending on the species to be caught. This technique allows fishermen to be more selective and to bring in fish of superior quality.
Macerate
to soak a food in a liquid, usually a liqueur or spirit, to moisten and flavour it.
Marinière
a cooking method in which shellfish, particularly mussels, are steamed with white wine, onion or shallot, and other flavourings.
Mesclun
a mixture of young salad greens, which may contain arugula, oak leaf, radicchio, frisée, endive, lamb’s lettuce, etc.
Meunière, à la
a cooking method, most often used for fish, in which food is lightly floured, fried in butter, and then sprinkled with lemon juice and chopped parsley.
Milled
A process used to mix and grind ingredients together to obtain a fine texture and flavour.
This can be done in a liquidiser or food processor. My favourite is the thermomix

Monte au Beurre
To thicken a sauce with butter
In a small flat pan add sauce shaking it from side to side and dropping in small amounts of hard butter until dissolve and thickened the sauce

Mirepoix
a traditional flavouring mixture in French cooking, consisting of two parts chopped onion to one part each chopped carrot and celery, sprig of thyme and bay leaf used in stocks, soups, stews, etc. Roughly cut,
Uses are
1. For adding flavour to stocks and basic sauce
2. Laid on the bottom of roasting pan to protected delicate meat from direct heat from pan in this case I cut long thick batons

Mirin
Mirin is sweet alcohol made from mochigome and komekoji (yeast). It is generally used for cooking only. It is used as a ceremonial drink (otoso) at New Years. there are two types of mirin: hon and shin. Shin mirin has less than 1% alcohol content. It enhances flavor and makes food shiny. It’s sweetness is essential to Japanese dishes and sauces.

Miso
Miso is a salty fermented bean paste that is an important flavoring ingredient in Japanese cooking. The particular colour (pale to dark brown) and flavor (mild to strong) of the miso depend on its production and aging process. Miso is high in B vitamins and protein.
Mornay
a cheese sauce made by adding Gruyère, Parmesan, etc. to Béchamel sauce.

Nage
a flavourful broth in which shellfish is cooked and served.
Niçoise, à la
a dish prepared in the style of Nice, often containing garlic, olives, anchovies or tomatoes.
Nori
A dried sheet form of seaweed used in Japanese cooking (sushi)

Olivette
to small lengths of vegetable, potatoes that have been trimmed into olive shapes

Paella
a Spanish specialty consisting of rice cooked with chicken, shellfish, sausage, vegetables, etc., flavoured with saffron and olive oil.
Papillote (en papillote)
a cooking method in which an item is wrapped in parchment and cooked in the oven. The trapped steam cooks the food, while its juices and flavour are retained within the parchment.
Parchment SILICON PAPER
heat-resistant paper used to line baking sheets, to cook items “en papillote,” etc.
Pastry cream
a thick custard filling made from milk, eggs, flour, sugar and flavourings, used in numerous pastry preparations.
Pâte brisée
a pastry that can be used for both sweet and savoury dishes, including pies, tarts, quiche, etc.
Pâte sablée
a rich sweet short crust used for fruit tarts, etc.

Pâté
a mixture of chopped or ground meat, fat and seasonings, sometimes cooked in pastry (en croûte) or in an earthenware container (see “terrine”).
Paupiette
A paupiette is a slice of meat or fish that is pounded thin and rolled up, usually around a forcemeat filling, and braised.
Pavé
French for “cobblestone,” it can refer to a rectangular filled layer cake, or to a square of meat, fish, etc.
Pecorino
Italian sheep’s milk cheese.
Persillade
a mixture of chopped fresh garlic and parsley, added to a dish near the end of the cooking time or just before serving.
Pesto
an Italian uncooked sauce made from fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese, traditionally blended together with a mortar and pestle, but which can also be prepared in a food processor.
Pine nut
an ivory-coloured kernel found in several varieties of pine cones, traditionally used in Italian cuisine in both sweet and savoury dishes and in pesto.
Pistou
the French version of the Italian “pesto.”
Profiterole
a small choux pastry filled with a sweet or savoury filling (e.g., a cream puff).
Prosciutto
Italian salt-cured air-dried ham, often served thinly-sliced with figs or melon as a first course, or used as an ingredient in other dishes (e.g., saltimbocca).
Puff pastry
a rich flaky pastry made by enclosing butter in a dough which is then folded and rolled out numerous times to create hundreds of layers. When baked, the steam from the butter causes the pastry to puff up.
Purée
a thick creamy preparation made by mashing or sieving a food to a smooth consistency, or by using a food processor or blender.
Powder thyme
Air dry fresh thyme 48 hours, then place in thermomix and reduce to fine powder with a little salt this should be like icing sugar when finishi. Any herb can be used

Raita
a traditional Indian dish consisting of yogurt, cucumber or other vegetables, and herbs and spices, served as a cooling salad alongside spicy curries.
Ramekin
a small (3 to 4 inch) baking dish, resembling a miniature soufflé dish.
Ratte
a variety of yellow-fleshed fingerling potatoes, originally developed in Switzerland.
Reduce
to evaporate the liquid in a dish by simmering or boiling, in order to develop a thicker consistency and intensify the flavours.
Rémoulade
a mayonnaise-based sauce flavoured with mustard, capers, cornichons, anchovies and herbs.
Ricotta
a fresh, soft, grainy white cheese used in Italian recipes both sweet and savoury

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Rillettes
a smooth mixture of pounded meat or poultry combined with fat and seasonings, packed in small containers, sealed with fat and served cold, spread on bread.
Rissole
a small croquette, enclosed in pastry or rolled in breadcrumbs, usually baked or deep fried. It is filled with sweet or savoury ingredients, most often minced meat or fish, and is served as an entrée, main course, dessert or side dish.

Risotto
an Italian dish made by gradually adding hot stock to starchy short-grained (Arborio) rice, stirring constantly until the rice is cooked and creamy. Risotto usually is made with butter or olive oil, onions and seasonings, but vegetables, meat, seafood, cheese, herbs, etc. are also often added.
Roux
a mixture of flour and fat that is cooked (to either a light, blond or brown stage) before being used to thicken sauces, soups, etc.

Sake a Japanese fermented beverage made from rice, commonly used in sauces and marinades.
Sashimi
in Japanese cuisine, sliced raw fish, often served with pickled ginger, soy sauce and wasabi.

Sauté
to cook quickly in a small amount of fat in a skillet or frying pan over direct heat.
Self raising) flour
flour to which baking powder and salt have already been added.
Setting Point
This is the point where the gelatine starts to thicken slightly before stetting completely and suspends any matter in the jelly, mousse or terrine. I always wait for the setting point before folding in my meringue into mousse.
It is also very important to wait for the setting point in the case of panacotta so all the lovely vanilla seeds are suspended in the Ivory cream
Seal
To brown or colour meat before cooking
In a very hot pan or roasting tray with a little oil or butter, place the meat and turn over to obtain a golden colour
At this stage flavour can be added e.g black pepper, lavender salt, ground cardamom, grated nutmeg or herbs.
These flavours are enhance by the caramelisation process of sealing the meat

Shallot
a member of the onion family, with a garlic-like head consisting of several cloves. Its flavour is milder than other onions.
Short
a culinary term indicating a high proportion of fat to flour (e.g., shortbread, short crust). Short doughs are typically rich and crumbly.
Silpat
A silicone and rubber mat for cooking on,will take temperatures of up to 250c , food will not stick too. Ideal for sugar work and any baking

Simmer
to cook at a temperature just below a boil. .
Stock
liquid in which meat, fish or poultry, vegetables, seasonings, etc. have been cooked to extract their flavour, strained and used as the base for soups, sauces, etc.
Spider
A wire mesh spoon for quickly removing vegetable out of boiling water
Suprême
the breast and wing of a chicken; also a fillet of fish.
Sushi
a Japanese specialty consisting of seasoned cooked rice topped with sliced raw fish or rolled in sheets of nori (seaweed) with fish, vegetables, wasabi, etc.
Sweat
to cook an item, often a vegetable, in a small amount of fat in a covered pan so it releases moisture and cooks in the steam.
Sweetbread
the thymus gland of a calf of lamb.
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Tapas
a wide variety of small dishes and appetizers often served in Spanish bars and restaurants as hors-d’oeuvres or cocktail snacks.
Tapenade
a preparation from Provence consisting of black olives, anchovies, capers, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice pounded to a thick paste, used as a dip or condiment.
Taramosalata
a traditional Greek appetizer, consisting of carp roe, lemon juice, breadcrumbs soaked in milk, olive oil, lemon juice, etc., whipped until light and fluffy.
The cooking of sugar
Sugar must be clean and only use a clean pan

Cooking stage Temperature Comments
Pearl 104 to 106° C / 220 to 222° F
Thread 106 to 112° C / 223 to 235° F
Blow or Soufflé 110 to 112° C / 230 to 235° F
Soft Ball 112 to 116° C / 234 to 240° F
Firm Ball 116 to 120° C / 242 to 248° F
Hard Ball 121 to 129° C / 250 to 265° F 121° C (250° F) – At this temperature the cooked sugar syrup is thicker. Dip the tip of a soup spoon into the boiling syrup then immediately plunge it into cold water: the sugar should form a soft ball.
Temperature peak for Italian Meringue

Soft crack 132 to 143° C / 270 to 290° F
Hard crack 149 to 154° C / 300 to 310° F
Light caramel 160 to 170° C / 320 to 338° F
Dark caramel 176 to 182° C / 350 to 360° F

Temper
to stabilize chocolate through a process of melting and cooling so that it retains its shine and brittle texture.
Tempura
a Japanese specialty consisting of vegetables, shrimp, fish, etc. coated in a light batter (flour, baking powder or beaten egg whites and ice water) and deep-fried.
Teriyaki
It’s a way of Japanese cooking. The word, teriyaki is a combination of two Japanese words “teri” and “yaki.” Teri means luster and yaki means grill or broil. To make a teriyaki dish, ingredients are broiled, roasted, or grilled after being marinated in or basted by teriyaki sauce. It’s the teriyaki sauce that brings the shiny look (teri) to the ingredients.
Terrine
a mixture of chopped meats, fat and seasonings placed into an earthenware container (which is also called a terrine) and cooked; the terrine is sliced and served cold with pickles, etc. Terrines may also be made from fish, vegetables, etc.
Tortilla
a thin flat pancake usually made from cornmeal, a staple of the Latin American diet; in Spain the word refers to an omelette of eggs, potatoes, onions, etc. .
Quenelle
A basic shape used in cooking (Oval).
This is achieved by using two spoons together scraping the mixtures between them until a pointed oval shape.
Tzatziki
a Greek sauce made from yogurt, diced cucumber and garlic, used as a dip or condiment.

Vinaigrette
a cold sauce or dressing made from oil and vinegar and flavourings (e.g., salt, pepper, mustard, herbs, shallots, etc.) The classic proportion is three parts oil to one part vinegar.
Velouté
a classic French sauce, made by combining white stock with a white roux. It is the basis for countless other sauces.
Wasabi
a pungent Japanese horseradish, which in its powdered form is used to make a condiment served with sushi and sashimi
Zest
the outer coloured layer of a citrus peel, excluding the white pith. The zest contains highly-flavoured aromatic oils and is used as a flavouring in many recipes.