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TermDefinition
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.
calorie An energy unit of measure. It is defined as the energy required to heat one gram of water by one degree C. at sea level. Fat and alcohol both have nearly twice the calories per unit of weight than carbohydrates and proteins.
cambric tea An American beverage of milk, water, sugar, and tea, served hot.
canape An appetizer or hors d'oeuvre of bread or crackers with some savory topping.
cannelloni A large, tube-shaped pasta. They are generally boiled, stuffed, and served with a sauce.
cannoli Italian dessert of deep fried pasta shells filled with a sweet ricotta cheese mixture.
Canola oil This Canadian oil is made from the rapeseed. Who'd want an oil named after the rapeseed? It is low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat, making it a relatively healthy oil.
capellini Thin pasta, slightly thicker than "angel hair" pasta.
capers The flower but of a bush native to the Mediterranean and parts of Asia. It is picked, dried and then pickled in a vinegar brine. After rinsing, capers add a piquancy to sauces and condiments or as a garnish to meats and vegetables.
cappuccino An Italian coffee beverage of expresso, a little steamed milk, topped with steamed milk foam and cocoa powder.
capsaicin The "heat" in chiles comes from this compound. Most prevalent in the seeds and veins of the chiles.
caramel A candy produced by melting sugar to between 320 F. and 350 F. When cooled, it is hard and brittle. Soft caramel, used as an ice cream topping, is made by mixing butter and milk with the caramel.
caramelize A cooking technique of topping a dish with sugar and then melting the sugar with high heat. This is the technique used to make creme brulee.
carpaccio Italian dish of raw beef, very thinly sliced, drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil, and topped with capers and onions.
cassata A traditional Italian dessert, typically made with sponge cake enclosing a ricotta-chocolate filling.
cassoulet A French dish of white beans and meats, slow cooked in a covered pot.
caster suger Also spelled castor sugar is the British equivalent for superfine sugar. It dissolves easily and can be used for such things as making meringues and sweetening cold liquids. It can be substituted for regular granulatd sugar cup for cup.
caul A fatty membrane taken from pig or sheep. It is used to wrap preparations, such as pate, and it melts while cooking.
caviar Classic, famous appetizer of sturgeon roe (eggs). Beluga caviar is considered the best, coming from the Caspain Sea of Russia and Iran. Lesser caviars are available from other fish species.
cayenne Bright red, very hot chile pepper. Used to make cayenne pepper, or ground for soups and sauces.
celeriac The root of a variety of celery, used raw or cooked or pureed in a variety of dishes.
celery A popular vegetable; stalks and leaves are used extensively in salads, appetizers, soups, and more. Originally considered a medicinal herb.
Celsius A temperature scale where 0 is the freezing point of water, and 100 is the boiling point (at sea level.) F = 32 + C * 9/5.
chafing dish A dish kept above a heat source to keep food warm.
challah A rich Jewish yeast bread, traditionally formed in a braid.

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