HOW TO COOK MEAT

GLOSSARY

A

  • Abats - The French cooking term for offal: heads, hearts, livers, kidneys, feet, tongues, brains, etc.
  • A la Minut - A French culinary term meaning "cooked to order." A literal translation would be "per minute."
  • A la, Au, Aux - French words commonly used on menus, meaning "with" and "in the manner of,"
  • Acidulated Water - A combination of water and an acid like vinegar or lemon juice used to prevent discoloration in meat and vegetables.
  • Aiguillette - Any meat cut long and thin into strips.
  • Aioli - Garlic mayonnaise often used as an accompaniment to fish, vegetables and other meat. Making from scratch is preferred to simply mixing garlic into mayo.
  • Al Dente - Usually referring to pasta or vegetables, Al Dente is Italian for "to the tooth." Which basically means the food is tender but still firm.
  • Alaeae Salt - A special unrefined sea salt from Hawaii, it is used ceremonially and in certain regional dishes. The red is from the iron in the clay.
  • Allspice - The dried and unripened fruit of the tree Pimenta dioca. It tastes pretty good ground up in Swedish Meatballs.
  • Allumette - A term for a type of cut usually in reference to potatoes, similar to matchsticks, ⅛ inch by ⅛ inch. Also called julienne.
  • Almond - The fruit or seed of a tree in the Prunus family, of which peaches and plums are also members. If you are lactose intolerant, almond milk is a good substitute.
  • Amaranth - The genus contains many plants that can be cultivated for their grain, leaves, and roots.
  • Animelles - Lamb testicles, also called rocky mountain oysters and criadillas.
  • Anise Seed - (Pimpinella anisum) The seeds taste of liquorice. It is commonly used to flavor alcohol.
  • Annatto Seed - The seeds of achiote trees (Bixa orellana) commonly used as a food coloring for cheese, rice and margarine.
  • Aperitif - A light alcoholic beverage served before dinner, believed to stimulate the appetite. But a large glass of water 15-20 minutes before you eat will actually do a better job of getting your guts moving.
  • Appareil - [Ah-pah-ray]: The mixing together of a bunch of ingredients for a recipe. A mirepoix is an appareil.
  • Apple - The fruit of multiple members of the Malus species in the Rose family.
  • Apricot - (Prunus armeniaca or Armeniaca vulgaris) Closely related to plums, these fruits are often dried.
  • Artichoke - (Cynara cardunculus, C. scolymus) The edible flowering body of a thistle.
  • Arugula - (Eruca sativa) Also known as rocket, roquette, and rucola. It's commonly used as a leaf vegetable and is quite good with olive oil, salt, and lemon.
  • Asparagus - (Asparagus officinalis) A flowering perennial spring vegetable picked before maturation and eaten fresh, steamed, grilled, and any other way you can think of. It's been known to make your pee smell funny.
  • Aspic - A clear thickened jelly served cold with a variety of dishes as a garnish or a coating.
  • Avocado - (Persea americana) The large green skinned fruit (berry) native to central Mexico. The fruit can only ripen off the tree so that is why avocados aren't usually ripe at the store.
  • Azuki Bean - (Vigna angularis) Also spelled adzuki or aduki, these beans are native to Asia and are second in popularity only to soybeans.

B

  • Bamboo Shoot - (Bambusa vulgaris and Phyllostachys edulis) The brand new shoots of bamboo trees are edible, and can be found in fresh, dried and canned varieties.

  • Banana - (Musacea spp.; Musaceae); its starchy variant is the plantain.

  • Bangers - A type of British sausage, most commonly served with mashed potatoes, a.k.a. bangers and mash with onion gravy.

  • Barberry - Berberis, or pepperidge, bushes' berries are edible and high in vitamin C. Some people believe that they have medicinal qualities.

  • Barder - Also called barding, is the act of of wrapping things with fat or bacon.

  • Barley - A member of the grass family used to make beer, soup, and other foods. It is also a common grain used to feed animals.

  • Basil - Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) comes originally from India. Thai basil is a common variety as well as lemon basil and holy basil.

  • Batonnet - A slightly larger version of allumette or julienne. These food are cut into ¼ inch by ¼ inch sticks.

  • Bay Leaf - Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) is an aromatic leaf that is used fresh or dried to flavor soups, stews and braised dishes. And it is often included in a bouquet garni.

  • Beetroot - (Beta vulgaris) Various varieties of beets exist in multiple colors and shapes. Beets are often served poached, boiled, or pickled.

  • Bell Pepper - (Capsicum annuum) Also called the sweet pepper, it is a member of the chili pepper family. It comes in 4 basic colors: red, yellow, green, and orange.

  • Beurre Manie - Equal parts butter and flour kneaded together. Used for thickening gravies and sauces.

  • Black Cardamom - (Amomum subulatum and A. costatum) A smokier and darker flavor than green cardamom.

  • Black Fungus - Also called "wood ear" or "tree ear" fungus, black fungi are popular in Asian cuisine.

  • Black-Eyed Pea - (Vigna unguiculata subsp. unguiculata) Is a medium sized edible bean that goes well with rice and ham hocks.

  • Blackberry - (Rubus spp.) Not just a phone; it is also a large, dark berry related to the raspberry. They make good jams and jellies.

  • Blanch - Cooking food quickly and lightly in water or oil to preserve the color. French fries that are blanched in oil first before frying are crispier and better tasting.

  • Blood Orange - (Citrus sinensis) These crimson-fleshed citrus fruits are the result of a mutation of the sweet orange, which is a hybrid of the pomelo and mandarin fruits.

  • Blueberry - (Vaccinium spp.) Native to North America, they come in many varieties. Where I grew up, they were low to the ground and small, and the black bears loved them almost as much as my grandpa did.

  • Bok Choy - (Brassica rapa Chinensis group) A type of Chinese cabbage, bok choy is technically the same species as the common turnip, but through gene expression they look quite different.

  • Borage - Starflower (Borage officinalis) is used in soups and pasta fillings in Germany and some of Europe. It also has some medicinal qualities.

  • Bouillon - The French word for broth. But not usually made from those salty bouillon cubes we have here.

  • Boulanger - A baker of breads and unsweetened doughs.

  • Bouquet Garni - A bundle of aromatic herbs tied together with twine and added to soups, stocks, and braised dishes.

  • Braise - A method of cooking meat in a bit of liquid for a long period of time, usually after browning it in a bit of oil. The liquid typically goes up to about the half-way mark on the meat. Braised dishes cook for several hours in a covered dish called a braiser or a brazier.

  • Brazil Nut - (Bertholletia excelsa) A South American tree with the same name as its harvested drupe.

  • Brine- A mixture of salt and seasonings and sometimes sugar used to preserve foods or moisten them.

  • Broccoli - (Brassica oleracea) A member of the cabbage family and one of the best things you can eat. Raw is best.

  • Broccoli Rabe - (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa) Also known as rapini or broccoletti, it's a smaller, leafier version of broccoli.

  • Broil - Cooking foods with a radiant heat source placed above the food.

  • Brunoise - A dice cut of ⅛ inch squares, done by first cutting julienne or allumette. A fine brunoise would be a dice of 1/16 inch squares.

  • Brussels Sprout - (Brassica oleracea Gemmifera group) Small cabbages grown on a long stalk. Unlikely created in Brussels, but possibly Belgian in origin, before it was Belgium.

  • Buckwheat - Neither a wheat nor a cereal, buckwheat is a pseudocereal. It is raised for grain in many parts of the world. It's good in pancakes and waffles.

  • Butterfly - To cut something open like the wings of a butterfly or a book.

  • Button Mushroom - (Agaricus bisporus) Also known as common, white, table, champignon, crimini, Swiss brown, Roman brown, Italian brown, cultivated, and when mature Portobello mushroom.

C

  • Cabbage - (Brassica oleracea Capitata group) Arguably the most popular cultivar of the Brassica oleracea. It's good with corned beef and mustard.

  • Calabash Nutmeg - (Monodora myristica) Also known as Jamaican nutmeg, was once widely sold as a nutmeg substitute.

  • Calendula - (Calendula officinalis) The leaves make good salad greens.

  • Camphor Laurel - (Cinnamomum camphora) Used as a flavoring in many Indian deserts like kheer.

  • Caramelization - What happens to sugar when it's heated to between 320-360 degrees F.

  • Caraway - (Carum carvi) A member of the Apiaceae family. The fruits are used often to flavor cheese, cabbage, liquors, and meat dishes.

  • Cardamom - (Elettaria) The seed pods of the cardamom plant are used in many curries and provide the principle flavor in Masala Chai.

  • Carob - (Ceratonia siliqua) A member of the pea family, this shrub produces a sort of chocolate- like product.

  • Carrot - (Daucus carota) An umbiliferous plant with a large, horn-shaped taproot, which is the most commonly eaten portion. Carrots are an essential element in cooking, as they are in mirepoix.

  • Cashew - (Anacardiaceae) A evergreen tree that grows in tropical climates. The tree produces both cashew nuts and cashew apples, both of which are consumed.

  • Cassava - (Manihot esculenta; Euphorbiaceae) Also called yuca or manioc, is a woody shrub native to South America.

  • Cassia - (Cinnamomum aromaticum) Also known as Chinese Cinnamon it is used primarily for its aromatic bark.

  • Cauliflower - (Brassica oleracea) One of many members of this family of plants, of which broccoli and cabbage are also members.

  • Cayenne Pepper - (Capsicum annuum) One of the most popular spicy red chili peppers, it is used by many cultures.

  • Celeriac - (Apium graveolens var. rapaceum) Also called celery root, turnip-rooted celery and knob celery. It is a type of celery grown for its root instead of its shoots and leaves. Makes good soup.

  • Celery - (Apium graveolens var. dulce) The stalk or petiole of a celery plant. Celery stalks are one of the three parts of mirepoix. Onion and carrot are the other two.

  • Celery Seed - (Apium graveolens) The mature seed of the celery plant. Used to flavor pickles and coleslaw.

  • Charcuterie - A method of preparing pork and various other meats into hams, terrines, sausages, pates, confits, and other forcemeats. The person who makes the charcuterie is called a charcutiere.

  • Chanterelle - (Cantharellus cibarius) Also called the golden chanterelle or girolle, is a type of fungus. The mushroom is the flowering body of this fungus.

  • Chateaubriand - The true Chateaubriand is cut from the thicker end of the tenderloin. Not from the sirloin as some butchers would have you believe.

  • Chard - (Beta vulgaris var. cicla) A large and diverse variation of the beetroot/green plant. Other common names for chard include: Swiss chard, silverbeet, perpetual spinach, spinach beet, crab beet, bright lights, seakale beet, and mangold.

  • Chaud-Froid - A food that is prepared hot but served cold.

  • Chayote - (Sechium edule; Cucurbitaceae) Originally native to Middle America, but it's eaten all over the world now. It's a sort of edible gourd, like melons and squash.

  • Cheesecloth - A fine-meshed cloth that comes in various sizes and fineness, and is used to strain liquids and sauces. Also used for making sachets.

  • Cherry - Sweet, black, sour, and wild species (Prunus avium, Prunus serotina, Prunus cerasus, and others)

  • Chervil - (Anthriscus cerefolium) A delicate herb related to parsley, but more delicate than it, chervil is used widely throughout France.

  • Chickpea - (Cicer arietinum) Also known as the garbanzo bean, chana, Indian pea, Bengal gram. The Chickpea is an edible legume in the pea family.

  • Chiffonade - Broadleaved herbs and vegetables cut into thin strips. Often used as a garnish. Basil, sage, mint, spinach, and other lettuces are often cut chiffonade.

  • Chili Pepper - (Capsicum genus) A very large and broad group of fruiting plants, all members of the Nightshade family, originating from the Americas.

  • Chipotle - A smoked and dried jalapeno chili.

  • Chives - (Allium schoenoprasum) A very small edible onion. The leaves are used to season a variety of dishes.

  • Chokecherry - (Prunus virginiana) A small tree and shrub growing throughout most of North America that produces a small bitter edible fruit used to make wine, jellies, and jams. It was also one of my grandpa's favorite things.

  • Choucroute - French sauerkraut from the Alsatian region. Usually cooked in fat with juniper berries. Choucroute Garnie, garnished sauerkraut, is the most popular version.

  • Cicely - (Myrrhis odorata) A member of the parsley family, it is similar in taste to anise and is used mostly in Scandinavia and Germany. It, like its relatives fennel, anise, and caraway, is used to flavor akvavit, a mighty tasty Scandinavian spirit.

  • Cilantro - (Coriandrum sativum) The American name for the leaves of the coriander plant. Strangely however we know the seeds as coriander seeds, not cilantro seeds.

  • Cinnamon - (Cinnamomum) The inner bark of one of many trees in the cinnamon genus.

  • Clarification - Removing solids from a liquid.

  • Clarified Butter - Butter that has had all of the milk solids and water removed from it.

  • Clementine - (Citrus reticulata var. clementine) The clementine is a type of mandarin orange that gained popularity in the last 100 years.

  • Cloudberry - (Rubus chamaemorus) One of the more unique members off the rubus genus, of which raspberries and blackberries are also members. Cloudberries grow throughout the Northern Hemisphere, especially Scandinavia.

  • Clove - (Syzygium aromaticum) Cloves are dried flower buds of a tree native to Indonesia. These buds are very aromatic and are used to flavor many things.

  • Coarse Chop - Chopping things into roughly the same size quickly, when appearance is unimportant.

  • Cocoa Bean - (Theobroma cacao; Sterculiaceae) The cocoa fruit is a sort of pod containing 30-50 beans that when roasted can be used to make chocolate.

  • Coconut - (Cocos nucifera; Arecaceae) Coconuts grow on coconut palms that can grow to be quite large.

  • Collard greens - (Brassica oleracea) Are the leafy greens of various versions of the plant Brassica oleracea, which is the same plant as cabbage and broccoli. The leaves are stewed for a couple hours with some smoked meat and served with pepper or hot sauce.

  • Common bean - (Phaseolus vulgaris) Almost all of the beans are common beans: green beans, lima beans, soybeans, peas, fava beans, anasazi beans, black beans, pink beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, shell beans, white beans, and yellow beans.

  • Compound Butter - Butter that is mixed with herbs and/or spices, usually used to sauce grilled or broiled things.

  • Confit - Meat like pork, duck, or goose that is cooked, prepared and sometimes stored in its own fat. Duck confit is the most popular of all.

  • Coriander Seed - The seed of the coriander plant or as it's known in America the cilantro plant.

  • Coulis - Vegetables or fruit pureed into a thick sauce.

  • Court Bouillon - A very quick broth made from aromatics and a bit of acid. Used for poaching.

  • Cranberry - (Vaccinium spp.) They are low-to-the-ground creeping shrubs that produce bitter little fruits that we candy and eat at Thanksgiving.

  • Cress - (Lepidium sativum) Garden cress or pepper cress is a tangy peppery leafy vegetable added to soups, sandwiches, and salads.

  • Cucumber - (Cucumis sativus) A creeping vine in the gourd family, the cucumber has many varieties. One, the "seedless" variety, is colloquially known as the burpless cucumber.

  • Culantro - (Eryngium foetidum) Culantro is also a member of the parsley family but is a bit different looking. The leaves are long and broad, but they taste similar.

  • Cumin - (Cuminum cyminum) One of many members of the Parsley family that has aromatic seeds harvested for their flavor. It is the second most popular spice in the world, after black pepper.

  • Cure - A method of preserving food by salting, smoking, pickling and/or drying. Salmon gravlax is one type of cured meat.

D

  • Daikon - (Raphanus sativus Longipinnatus group) A large white radish from central Asia. Very popular in Japan.

  • Dandelion - (Taraxacum officinale) The greens of this prolific plant are quite tasty. Just make sure to wash them first.

  • Date - (Phoenix dactylifera; Arecaceae) These fruits grow on the date palm and there are a lot of different types. And if you poison them you might accidentally kill your own monkey.

  • Daube - A classic French stew made with meat braised in wine. There is even a special pot or oven that is suppose to be used, it's called a daubière.

  • Deep-Fry - Submerging stuff in hot oil or fat to cook it.

  • Digestif - A spirit like brandy or cognac consumed after eating to help with digestion.

  • Dill - (Anethum graveolens) A very old and widely used plant. The dill seed, leaves, and stems are utilized.

  • Drawn - A fish that has been gutted but still retains its head and fins.

  • Drawn Butter - A type of clarified butter. The milk solids are cooked until they fall out of solution to the bottom. Then the clarified butter is poured off the top.

  • Dry Sauté - To sauté without fat as you might in a non-stick pan.

  • Durian - (Durio zibethicus; Bombacaceae) A fruit native to Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. It is either loved or hated.

  • Duxelles - An appareil, or mixture, of finely chopped mushrooms and shallots cooked gently in butter and used to stuff and garnish things. Duxelles are one of the ingredients of Beef Wellington, which is a filet en croûte.

E

  • Eggplant - (Solanum melongena) A member of the nightshade family that is closely related to tomatoes and potatoes. It is a native plant of India and is quite delicious.

  • Elephant Garlic - (Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum) Not actually garlic at all but more closely related to a leek. They are fun to grow in your garden though and can help scare pests away.

  • En Croûte - Something in a crust, Filet en croûte is my favorite.

  • En Papillote - Cooking things wrapped in a parchment paper envelope.

  • Endive - (Cichorium endivia) A leafy vegetable not to be confused with Belgian endive or radicchio. The two main types of endive are curly or frisee and escarole.

  • Entrecôte - A tender steak cut from between the 9th and 11th ribs of beef.

  • Enoki Mushroom - (Flammulina velutipes) Enokitake in Japanese, these tall thin mushrooms are forced to grow that way by wrapping them in a paper cone.

  • Escalope - A small boneless piece of meat that is uniform in its thickness and scalloped in shape.

  • Estouffade - A French stew with meat and wine. Or a rich brown stock made from pork, veal and beef bones.

  • Étouffeé - Braising a bunch of things together without adding any liquid. As you can imagine the lid must be tightly fit.

F

  • Fabrication - Cutting whole pieces of meat or animals into smaller pieces to be cooked. Many kitchens fabricate their own meat to save money.

  • Farce - It means stuffing in French.

  • Fatback - The thick fat from the back of a pig, used for larding, barding, and for making pork cracklings.

  • Fermière - A style of cutting that is mean't to be rustic and simple, like that of a farmer.

  • Filet Mignon - The small chops or steaks cut from the small end of the tenderloin. Broiled filet mignon with fresh chanterelles is my favorite recipe.

  • Fines Herbes - A mixture of delicate herbs added at the end of cooking so they don't lose their flavor. Parsley, chervil, tarragon, or chives are common.

  • Fennel - (Foeniculum vulgare) Native to the shores of the Mediterranean, fennel is good both as a seed or as a bulb.

  • Fenugreek - (Trigonella foenum-graecum) A plant in the pea family, both the leaves and seeds are eaten. The seeds are often included in curry.

  • Fiddlehead - (Pteridium aquilinum, Athyrium esculentum) The young heads of ferns harvested before they unfurl themselves.

  • Filé Powder - The dried and ground leaves of the sassafras tree (Sassafras abidum) native to the eastern North America. Also known as gumbo file.

  • Flax - (Linum usitatissimum) Flax has been used to make fabric for as long as 32,000 years. The seeds are also edible and quite good for you.

  • Fleur de Sel - (flower of salt) The salt collected from the very top layer of the salt pans, most traditionally of the coast of Brittany.

  • Foie Gras - The fattened liver of a duck or goose force fed over 4-5 months.

  • Fond - The French word for stock. Also the bits of stuff stuck to the bottom of a pan from cooking. This stuff is generally removed by deglazing with a liquid and used to make a sauce or something.

  • Fork Tender - When a cooked meat, usually cooked through wet heat, is easily pierced or broken up with a fork, meaning it's done.

  • Fricasseé - A stew of poultry, rabbit, or other white meat in a white sauce.

  • Fumet - A type of stock, normally involving fish and wine.

G

  • Galantine - Meat that has had its bones removed, stuffed, and rolled back together. Then poached and served cold, sometimes in aspic.

  • Ganache - A chocolate sauce made with cream and sugar, also used as a glaze or filling depending on how hard it becomes when cooled. Which is controlled by adjusting the ratio of chocolate to cream.

  • Garlic - (Allium sativum) A member of the onion family commonly used throughout the world for more than 6000 years.

  • Garlic Chives - (Allium tuberosum) In the onion family like both garlic and chives, the garlic chive, which tastes more like garlic than chives, is a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine.

  • Gelatin - Found in animal bones and connective tissue, gelatin is often used to thicken and enrich sauces, soups, and stocks.

  • Ginger - (Zingiber officinale) Originating from southern Asia the ginger rhizome is used widely across the world but predominately in Asia and eastern Africa.

  • Grape - (Vitis spp.; Vitaceae) Also called raisin or sultana when it is dried.

  • Grapefruit - (Citrus paradisi) A sour member of the citrus genus that was hybridized in the 18th century.

  • Grill - A cooking technique as well as the implement used to grill. Grilling is done by placing an item over radiant heat on a rack, or grill.

H

  • Haricot - French word for beans. Haricot verts are usually thinner than American green beans.

  • Hen of the Woods - (Grifola frondosa) A type of mushroom that grows at the base of trees, usually oaks.

I

  • Iodised Salt - Table salt, which is fine-grained salt with agents to keep it from sticking together and other, iodine-containing, minerals. This is to prevent iodine deficiency, which affects 1in 3 people worldwide.

J

  • Jardinière - A mixture of vegetables. Sometimes pickled.

  • Jerusalem artichoke - (Helianthus tuberosus) A tuber that is sometimes eaten steamed or boiled and mashed like potatoes. Beware: they cause severe, painful flatulence in some.

  • Juniper Berry - (Juniper communis) Not actually a berry at all, but a cone from a conifer tree that just looks like a berry. They are strong-tasting; the predominant flavor of gin, they are often used for seasoning wild game and birds.

  • Julienne - The same as allumette, vegetables cut into ⅛ inch strips.

  • Jus - French word for Juice. Au jus is "with juice".

  • Jus Lie - Thickened meat juice. Usually with arrowroot or cornstarch.

  • Jícama - (Pachyrhizus erosus) A tuberous vine native to Mexico, the jicama root is often compared to apples and potatoes. They are very good in salads and soups.

K

  • Kale - (Brassica oleracea Acephala group) These are leafy greens that are basically just another form of cabbage, without the head.

  • Kosher Salt - Pure refined salt, sodium chloride, nothing else added. Often used for pickling or to prepare kosher items.

L

  • Lardon - The fat used for larding, which is inserting fat strips into meat. Also bacon that has been blanched, diced and fried.

  • Leek - (Allium porrum) A vegetable in the onion and garlic group of plants. Leeks grow in cylindrical shapes instead of bulbs. They make good soups, tarts, pies, and salads. Wash them well.

  • Legume - The French word for vegetable as well as a group of pod plants, peas and beans.

  • Lemongrass - (Cymbogopon citratus and more) Lemongrass is native to the Philippines and is used in many Asian cuisines.

  • Lentil - (Lens culinaris) Is an edible seed of the legume family.

  • Liason - Egg yolks and cream mixed together to thicken a sauce or soap.

  • Licorice - (Glycyrrhiza glabra) The root of this plant contains the flavor that things like anise and fennel are often compared to.

  • Lingonberry - (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) In the same genus as blueberries, lingonberries also grow low to the ground and are also commonly harvested in the wild.

  • Lotus root - (Nelumbo nucifera) The root of the lotus flower. Apparently they are pretty good for you.

  • Lychee - (Litchi chinensis; Sapindaceae) A tropical fruit native to the bulk of Asia. They have a skin that is easily peeled off to get at the fruit.

  • Lyonnaise - Food cooked in the style of Lyons, which often involves onions, butter, wine, and sometimes vinegar or demi-glace.

M

  • Mace - The dried skin of a nutmeg.

  • Maillard Reaction - Basically, it's when you caramelize meat without the presence of much or any sugar.

  • Marjoram - (Origanum marjorana) A perennial herb that has a sort of sweet, piny and citrusy flavor.

  • Mayonnaise - An emulsion of oil, egg yolks, vinegar and mustard, and sometimes seasoning. That stuff in the store pales in comparison to homemade mayonnaise.

  • Medallion - A small, usually quite small, round piece of meat.

  • Mie - The soft inner part of the bread.

  • Mince - To chop into very small pieces. Sort of like a rough-cut fine brunoise.

  • Mirepoix - An appareil or mixture of aromatic vegetables. Traditionally: 2 parts onion to 1 part celery and 1 part carrot.

  • Mise en Place - Getting everything you need to cook in place in order to make cooking easier.

  • Monte au Beurre - Thickening a sauce by mixing in a small amount of butter at a time. Emulsifying the butter in without letting it separate.

  • Morel - (Morchella) A genus of edible fungi that have a honeycomb-like flesh.

  • Mousse - Egg whites beat to stiff peaks and folded into a base of some sort. Mashed parsnips, potatoes, or chocolate are common. The same can be done with whipped cream.

  • Muskmelon - (Cucumis melo) The origin of multiple types of melons, including honeydew, crenshaw, casaba, cantaloupe, and Christmas melon.

N

  • Napa Cabbage - (Brassica rapa Pekinensis group) A type of Chinese cabbage originating from Beijing.

  • Navarin - A French stew of lamb and root vegetables.

  • New Potato - Any small potato that is smaller than 1 ½ inches around.

  • Noisette - Something that is the color of hazelnut. Beurre noisette tastes of hazelnuts.

  • Nutmeg - (Myristica) The seed of this evergreen tree contains two spices: nutmeg and mace. Mace is the skin and nutmeg is the rest.

O

  • Offal - The edible rest of the animal: brains, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, tongue, feet, tripe, sweetbreads, and tails. Called Abats in French.

  • Okra - (Abelmoschus esculentus) The edible seed pods are prized for their high soluble fiber content. Which helps it to thicken soups and stews like gumbo.

  • Oyster Mushroom - (Pleurotus) Oyster mushrooms, also called abalone or tree mushrooms, are a very commonly cultivated edible mushroom.

P

  • Pan-Frying - Large to medium sized items cooked in a pan or skillet with a little bit of fat.

  • Pan-Steaming - Cooking stuff with a bit of liquid and the lid on, over direct heat.

  • Paprika - A spice made by grinding dried bell peppers and chili pepper. It comes in hot to sweet varieties.

  • Par Cook - To partially cook something before storing and/or finishing it.

  • Parsnip - (Pastinaca sativa) Parsnips must be left in the ground over winter before they can be dug up and eaten. They are closely related to carrots.

  • Persimmon - (Diospyros) A weird little fruit that is actually a true berry like the tomato.

  • Pigeon Pea - (Cajanus cajan) A tasty little pea that goes really well with ham and rice.

  • Pine Nut - (Pinaceae) The edible seeds of certain pine trees. Makes great pesto.

  • Pink Pepper - (Schinus molle) Not related to black pepper but often sold in mixes of peppercorns as pink pepper or rose pepper.

  • Plantain - (Musa) The starchy cousin of the banana. They taste really good fried.

  • Poach - To cook something in a liquid between 160-185 degrees F.

  • Poissonier - The person in charge of all things fish in the kitchen.

  • Porcini - (Boletus edulis) The porcini or "little piglet" mushroom is quite tasty.

  • Pot-au-Feu - French boiled dinner: poultry, beef, vegetables and a broth which serves as first course.

  • Prawn - Although very similar to shrimp they are genetically different.

  • Primal Cuts - The first stage of butchering. The primal cuts are further broken down into the final cuts.

  • Provençal - Food prepared in the style of Provence. Garlic, tomato, olive oil, anchovies, eggplant, mushrooms, olives, or onions.

  • Puree - A smooth paste, easily done with a food mill, blender, or food processor.

Q

  • Quatre Épices - Mixture of four ground spices. Black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and occasionally ginger.

  • Quince - (Cydonia oblonga) Closely related to pears and apples but the sole member of its own genus cydonia. Quince taste quite similar to pears.

  • Quinoa - (Chenopodium) A psuedocereal in the grass family. The seeds of the quinoa plant are really good for you.

R

  • Raft - A mixture of ingredients used to clarify consommé.

  • Radicchio - (Cichorium intybus) Related to endive and chicory, radicchio is a purple leafy vegetable.

  • Reduce - To boil or simmer a liquid down to reduce the quantity of it. Increases flavor and also sometimes thickens.

  • Reduction - The end result of reducing something.

  • Remouillage - A stock made from bones that have already been used to make a stock. Weaker than the first batch, it is usually reduced to make glaze.

  • Render - To melt the fat and clarify the drippings.

  • Rest - An important step in cooking meat. This allows the juices time to latch onto the meat fibers before you slice it open.

  • Rillette - Meat that is slowly cooked in fat. Makes good spreads on toasts.

  • Roast - A method of dry-heat cooking, uncovered.

  • Roe - Fish or shellfish eggs.

  • Rondelle - Round or oval cut vegetables.

  • Roulade - A thin slice of meat rolled around some sort of filling.

  • Roux - A mixture of equal parts flour and butter that is cooked over moderate heat to cook off the water in the butter. It is then used to thicken stuff.

  • Rosemary - (Rosmarinus officinalis) A woody shrub with aromatic leaves. Goes well with potatoes and shrimp.

S

  • Sachet d'Épices - A bag of aromatic spices and herbs used to flavor stocks among other things.

  • Saffron - (Crocus sativus) The bright red stigmas of the saffron crocus.

  • Saltpeter - Potassium nitrate; an old school way of curing meats.

  • Sashimi - Sliced raw fish served with wasabi, pickled ginger, soy sauce, and daikon.

  • Sauté - To cook quickly in a pan with a small amount of fat over high heat.

  • Savory - (Satureja) The two most important savory herbs are the winter and summer varieties.

  • Scald - To heat a liquid like milk or cream to just below boiling.

  • Seasoning Salt - A mixture of salt and other seasonings. Often MSG is involved.

  • Sel Gris - After fleur de sel has been harvested, the gray salt is harvested. The gray comes from whatever is at the bottom of the pan: clay, basalt, sand, concrete or tile.

  • Silverskin - The shiny, tough connective tissue that covers certain muscles.

  • Smoking - A method of preservation by exposing the meat to smoke. It also adds a lot of flavor.

  • Sorrel - (Rumex acetosa) A leafy green vegetable from the garden. Makes great soup and salad.

  • Spätzle - German pasta. Very tasty with käse and speck.

  • Spring Onion/Scallion - (Allium wakegi) Also called green onions. Are quite good in stir-fries and other Chinese dishes.

  • Star Anise - (Illicium verum) A star shaped seed pod that tastes very similar to anise. Native to southwest China and Northeast Vietnam.

  • Stewing - Similar to braising, but with more liquid.

  • Stir-Frying - Sauteing in a wok, keeping the food moving around.

  • Stock - A liquid made by simmering bones and/or vegetables with herbs and spices.

  • Straw Mushrooms - (Volvariella volvacea) Grown on rice straw beds, these mushrooms are pickled when they are still immature.

  • Sweat - To cook an item in a bit of oil with the lid on, to make it release some of its liquid.

  • Sweetbreads - The thymus glands of young animals.

  • Sweet Potato - (Ipomoea batatas) China grows the most sweet potatoes, about 80% of the world's supply.

  • Szechuan Pepper - (Zanthoxylum) The husk of a tiny little fruit. Not actually related to black or chili peppers.

T

  • Tarragon - (Artemisia dracnculus) A perennial herb also sometimes called dragon's wort.

  • Tourner - To cut vegetables into barrel or football shapes.

  • Tripe - The edible stomach lining of a cow.

  • Truss - A way of tying up meat or poultry to make it cook more evenly, or at least look better doing it.

  • Truffle - (Tuber sp.) The edible flowering body of an underground fungi. Both black and white varieties are prized.

  • Turmeric - (Curcuma longa) A plant in the ginger family. Also the thing that makes some curry mixtures so yellow.

U

  • Umami - The taste of MSG, among other things.

V

  • Vanilla - (Vanilla planifolia; Orchidaceae) The flavor derived from the dried fruits of the vanilla orchid.

W

  • Watercress - (Nasturtium officinale) The plant grows in water and it grows quickly. It is a widely eaten leafy vegetable.

  • Whey - The liquid left over after curds have been formed in milk.

  • White Fungus - (Tremella fuciformis) A gelatinous white fungus that is widespread in the tropics.

  • Wild Rice - One of four species of grasses that contain a grain that resembles rice. Even though rice is totally different.

X

  • Xanthan Gum - Made when corn sugar is fermented. It is used as a stabilizer and thickener.

Y

  • Yam - (Dioscorea spp.) Although some people think yams are the same as sweet potatoes they are totally different species. There are lots of different yams and only a couple of them actually resemble the sweet potato.

Z

  • Zucchini - (Cucurbita pepo) An extremely popular summer squash that is good fresh or lightly cooked. When I was young my parents used to stuff the really big ones with meat to try and get us to eat them. We didn't.