"[A] fantastic blog... which ranges from opinions on food and wine to daily adventures in a culinary-related profession."

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Of Interest, Perhaps Only To Foodies

Our updated summer menu is now final and as I was reading over the menu descriptions, handed out at work, I decided to look up all the terms that I wasn't 100% sure of the definitions/items I thought guests might inquire about (you'd be surprised how many people ask what arugula is). Some of what I found was mildly interesting...

  • court bouillon: flavored liquid 
  • mignonette sauce: a condiment usually made with minced shallots, cracked pepper and vinegar 
  • bibb lettuce: delicate, loose leaves, with lots of flavor 
  • house cured gravlax: raw salmon, cured in salt, sugar, and dill--in house 
  • buckwheat blini: a traditional Russian thin pancake--made from buckwheat 
  • paddlefish caviar: comparable to sturgeon caviar 
  • preserved lemon: a condiment of diced, quartered, halved, or whole lemons that are pickled in a brine of water, lemon juice and salt. The pickle is allowed to ferment at room temperature for weeks or months before it is used. The flavor is mildly tart but intensely lemony. 
  • branzino: northern Italian sea bass 
  • saffron: a southwest Asian spice, hay-like and sweet 
  • calabrese peppers: chili peppers 
  • fermented: preserved to create lactic acid in sour foods such as sauerkraut, dry sausages, kimchi and yogurt, or vinegar (acetic acid); i.e. pickling
  • orechiette pasta: its name comes from its shape, which reminds one of a small ear
  • aborio rice: an Italian short-grain rice. The rounded grains are firm, creamy and chewy, due to the higher starch content, thus they have a starchy taste of their own, yet blend well with other flavors. It is used to make risotto. Arborio rice is also used for rice pudding. 
  • aioli: a garlic mayonnaise; it is a traditional sauce made of garlic, olive oil, and (typically) egg 
  • semolina: the coarse, purified wheat middlings of durum wheat used in making pasta 
  • Wagyū beef: refers to several breeds of cattle genetically predisposed to intense marbling and to producing a high percentage of fat. The meat from wagyū cattle is known worldwide for its marbling characteristics, increased eating quality through a naturally enhanced flavor, tenderness and juiciness and thus a high market value. In several areas of Japan, beef is shipped with area names. Some examples are Kobe, Mishima, Matsusaka, Ōmi beef and Sanda beef. Highly prized for their rich flavor, these cattle produce arguably the finest beef in the world.
  • guanciale: unsmoked Italian bacon made from pigs' cheeks or jowls
  • pancetta: Italian bacon; typically salt cured and seasoned with spices 
  • hotel butter: seasoned butter 
  • brined: marinated in salt water 
  • spit roasted: ... the rotation cooks the meat evenly in its own juices 
  • caramelized (onions): caramelizing onions, by slowly cooking them in a little olive oil until they are richly browned; onions are naturally sweet… when you slowly cook onions over an extended period of time, the natural sugars in the onions caramelize, making the result intensely and wonderfully flavorful
  • crème fraiche: French sour cream; less sour, with a lower viscosity
  • fennel pollen: fennel pollen has a flavor that is incredible--like taking the fennel seed, sweetening it and then intensifying it a hundred times; fennel pollen is the most potent form of fennel 
  • heirloom tomatoes: non-hybrid tomatoes
  • yellowfin tuna: ahi/albacore tuna
  • nicoise olives: small purplish-black olives that have a distinctive sour flavor 
  • arugula: an aromatic salad green 
  • parmigiano-reggiano: hard granular cheese; a. k. a.  "the king of cheese"
  • confit: foods that have been immersed in a substance for both flavor and preservation 
  • banyuls vinegar: banyuls is made from banyuls sweet wine from a region of France that borders Spain; it is a more mellow vinegar than a typical red wine vinegar and imparts a sweet, nutty flavor 
  • watercress: peppery, tangy flavor 
  • porcini dust: dried mushroom dust 
  • bonito flakes: dried, fermented, smoked tuna
  • rock shrimp: a texture and flavor similar to lobster 
  • pork belly: a boneless cut of fatty meat derived from the belly of a pig 
  • yuzu (sauce): citrus sauce 
  • bucatini pasta: a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center 
  • pomodoro sauce: like marinara, but thicker & creamier 
  • pappardelle pasta: large, very broad fettuccine 
  • morel butter: butter with morels (mushrooms) 
  • tagliatelle pasta: individual pieces of tagliatelle are long, flat ribbons that are similar in shape to fettuccine 
  • rouille: a sauce that consists of olive oil with breadcrumbs, garlic, saffron and chili peppers 
  • (D'Espana) chorizo: Spanish chorizo get their distinctive smokiness and deep red color from dried smoked red peppers 
  • cippolini onions: an intense flavor 
  • braising: a combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared at a high temperature and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavor
  • almond romesco: a sauce made from almonds, roasted garlic, olive oil and nyora peppers--a smaller, sweet, dried variety of red bell pepper 
  • (corn) riata: corn, yogurt, sour cream & spices 
  • za'atar (spice): mixed Middle Eastern herbs 
  • marcon almonds: a variety of almond, which is shorter, rounder, sweeter, and more delicate in texture than other varieties 
  • gastrique: a reduction of vinegar and sugar brought to light caramelization, to which a little fond (stock) is added; it is a base to which many other ingredients, or just a few, can be added to form a sauce
  • cod: a mild flavor, low fat content and a dense, flaky white flesh; cod meat is moist and flaky when cooked and is white in color (commonly used in fish & chips) 
  • kalamata olives: large, black olives with a smooth, meat-like taste 
  • radicchio: bitter, spicy taste, which mellows when grilled or roasted
  • mascarpone: an Italian triple-cream cheese made from crème fraiche 
  • berbere spice: a spice mixture whose ingredients usually include chili peppers,garlic, ginger, dried basil and white and black pepper 
  • shallots: taste somewhat like a common onion, but have a sweeter, milder and yet richer, more complex flavor 
  • capers: caper buds (of the caper bush)--salty, vinegary 

Did I come up with any incorrect definitions?
Post a Comment