Tuesday, 1 November 2011

COOKING TERMS – A

COOKING TERMS – A

Acidulated Water – Water with acid added, such as lemon juice or vinegar. This is to prevent cut or skinned fruits and vegetables from browning or discolouration and to maintain their appearance.; use 1 tsp to 250ml.
Adjusting seasoning – To taste the dish before serving to determine the need for salt, herbs, or other seasonings.
Agar Agar – A vegetarian alternative to gelatine made with seaweed.
Aïoli – A form of garlic mayonnaise
Al denté – Describes foods, especially pasta, cooked “to the tooth” until tender, soft enough to eat, but slightly firm to the bite and not overdone. The Italian translation is “to the teeth.”
Allspice – The berry of an evergreen tree native to South America and theWest Indies.  It is pickled before it ripens. Usually used in ground form, allspice has a flavor like a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Allspice is used in both savory and sweet dishes.
Allumette-  Any of various puff pastry items made in thin sticks or strips (French word for “matchstick”).
Almond Paste-  A mixture of finely ground almonds and sugar.
Amaretto – An almond-flavored liqueur, often made with kernels of apricot pits
Angel Food Cake –  A type of cake made of meringue (egg whites and sugar) and flour.
Angel Food Method –  A cake mixing method involving folding a mixture of flour and sugar into a meringue.
Angelica – A parsley-like plant with a sweet flavour. Its leaves can be added as a flavouring to salads or sweet custards. The stalks of young plants are crystallised to the bright green decoration for pastries and desserts which is the most commonly available form. The seed is used to flavour vermouth.
Anglaise (a la)- 1) Cooking style for simple cooked dishes such as boiled vegetables. 2) A Method of cooking fish – deep frying in bread crumbs accompanied by tartar sauce 3) Sauce – fresh egg custard.
Anise – Aromatic, oval seeds. Anise is one of the oldest know spices. It is native to the Middle East, where it is used to flavor soups, stews and breads. It’s most common use today is in drinks such as pastis, ouzo and anisette, and in the confectionery and medicinal trade. Mildly sweet and licorice in flor. Use it in cakes, biscuits and baked products. The seeds can be ground and should be used quickly as the flavor dissipates raptidly.
Anise pepper – The dried reddish-brown berry of the Chinese variety of the small prickly ash tree. They are hollow and split open and sometimes have bits of stalk attached. Sometimes has loose black seeds still in the centre of the berries which should be discarded as they are bitter. The flavor is woody and aromatic with a sharp after taste. Widely used in Chinese cookery and is one of the ingredients of Chinese five spice powder. Crush or grind the berries and dry roast for more flavour. Used to flavour roast duck, good with chicken and meat.
Aniseed – Tiny oval seeds of the anise plant, with a pungent liquorice-like flavour. In Mediterranean countries it is used to flavour drinks such as pernod and ouzo. In central and NorthernEurope, it is used in baking. In Southeast Asia andIndia it is used in curries. Sold as the whole seed.  Related to parsley
Antipasta (o) – Italian for “before meal” usually a selection of various cold vegetable, meat. fish or cheese.
Appetizer – A small portion of food served at the beginning of a meal
Arame – An edible seaweed.
Artichoke – refers to the  edible immature flower head  of the tall Mediterranean composite herb (Cynara scolymus) resembling a thistle with coarse pinnately incised leaves, which is cooked as a vegetable
Asafoetida – The hindu alternative to garlic. A hard resin formed from the roots of plants native toIran andIndia. It has a pungent unpleasant smell, which disappears when cooked and a delicate garlic flavor develops. Usually in a ground powder
Asparagus – The shoots of an underground stem. Asparagus is seasonal in Europe and at its best from April to June – May being the prime month, it is also grown in North Africa, Israel, Thailand and the States. There are three main varieties of Asparagus green, white and wild. The bottom of the spears are usually snapped off or trimmed to remove any woodiness and sometimes the base is peeled if the skin is tough and stringy. Boil or steam for two or three minutes until tender but still firm. Often served with melted butter or hollandaise
Aubergine / eggplant – Belongs to the tomato family and is native to tropicalAsia. The most common variety is the large, oval-shaped and purple in color. White, mauve, and green varities are also occasionally availbale. Miniature varieties are also available. The flesh is white and spongy, but discolours when cut. The flavour is mild and watery, and is best eaten cooked – boiled, baked, grilled or fried. Salting aubergines is common to remove their mild bitterness (sprinkle slices with salt, and let them drain in a colander for about 30 minutes, then rinse well and pat them dry).
Au gratin – Describes a dish which is  covered with bread crumbs and sometimes butter and grated cheese, and then gratinated or  browned either in an oven or under a grill.
Au jus –  means serving a dish with its natural juices or gravy such as roasted meat served with natural pan juices that accumulate during cooking.

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