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TermDefinition
bitters Bitter flavored distillation of herbs, bark, roots, and plants. Used in cocktails and cooking. The most popular brand is Angostura bitters.
blackened A cooking technique made famous by Louisiana chef Paul Prudhomme. Meat or fish is usually seasoned with a cajun spice mixture and then cooked in a cast iron skillet that has been heated almost red hot. This technique gives the food an extra crispy crust and sears in the juices. It is also guaranteed to set off your smoke detector--unless the battery is dead.
blanch A cooking technique of placing food into boiling water for a short time, then in cold water to stop cooking.
blanquette A French term for creamy stew made of veal, chicken, or lamb, mushrooms and whole small white onions.
blend To mix 2 or more ingredients together with a spoon, whisk, or electric blender until combined.
blintz A very thin pancake, rolled around a filling and sauteed until golden brown.
bockwurst A German sausage made with ground veal and herbs.
boiling To boil refers to heating a liquid until bubbles for and break at the surface, commonly 212 degrees for water at sea level. A rolling boil is one that can't be slowed by stirring.
Bolognese A cooking style named after Bologna, Italy, in which dishes are served with a thick meat and vegetable sauce made with wine and milk or cream. A ragu is a fypical Bolognese sauce.
bone When used as a cooking verb, it means to remove the bones.
borscht A Russian or Polish soup made with beef stock, beets, and other vegetables or meat. Traditionally topped with sour cream. Served hot or cold.
boudin Boudin blanc is a French sausage made with chicken, pork, fat, eggs, cream, bread crumbs and seasonings. In Louisiana it is made with pork, rice and onions.
bouillabaisse A French seafood stew made with fish and shellfish, onions, tomatoes, white wine, garlic, saffron and herbs. Often served over thick slices of French Bread.
bouillon A strained broth made by cooking any vegetable, meat, seafood, or poultry in water. Used for soups and sauces.
bouquet Refers to the fragrance of wine.
bouquet garni Herbs tied or bagged in cheesecloth and used to flavor soups or broths. They can easily be removed at the end of cooking.
braise A cooking technique of browning meat, then slow cooking in a tightly covered container with a small amount of liquid.
Brazil nut The seed of a large, Amazon jungle tree. High in fat and high in the antioxident, selenium.
bread starter Before commercial baking powders and yeasts were available, bread starters were a mixture of flour, water, sugar and yeast set aside to ferment and then kept alive by regularly adding equal parts of water and flour. Various types of starters include sourdough and Herman (see word search for recipes). Two cups of starter mixture substitutes for each package of yeast called for in a recipe. The starter should not be used if it turns orange or pink as it has been invaded by undesirable backteria and must be discarded.
brown sugar Granulated or white sugar combined with molasses giving it a soft texture. Dark brown sugar has a heavier molasses flavor and light brown sugar, a more delicate taste.
bruschette Traditionally, this is toasted bread rubbed with garlic and olive oil. Now the bread is more often topped with tomatoes, herbs, mushrooms, or other items.
bubble and squeak An English side dish made with mashed potatoes and cooked cabbage, mixed together and fried.
bulger Steamed, dried, and crushed wheat kernels. Used in Middle-Eastern dishes like Tabbouleh.
Bundt pan A round baking pan with a tube in the middle and fluted sides. Bundt was a trademarked name, but now the term is generic.
butterfly A preparation technique of splitting an item down the center, nearly completely through, so the halves can be opened and laid flat, looking like a butterfly (though a meaty, dead one.)
Byrrh French drink of combined red wine and quinine water.
cacao A tropical tree whose seeds are used to make cocoa and chocolate.
Caesar salad Famous salad first made by Caesar Cardini in Tijuana, Mexico. Romaine lettuce and croutons are tossed with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, anchovy, egg, and Worcestershire sauce. An editor favorite is to substitute crisp chopped celery for the croutons.
Cajun A culinary style of French and Southern origins, associated with the deep south. There are numerous well known dishes, such as Jambalaya, that come from this cuisine.
caldo verde A Portugese soup made with kale, potatoes, and liguica sausage.

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