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TermDefinition
churn The process of agitating cream until it separates into solids and liquids. The solid fat result is butter.
chutney A spicy, Indian condiment made from fruit, vinegar, and spices. It is served with curries and other dishes, or as a spread or appetizer with cheese.
cilantro The stems and leaves of the coriander plant, also known as Chinese parsley and coriander. It is often used in Asian, Caribbean and Latin American cooking and can be found sold in bunches in the fresh herb section of most markets year round. Both the leaves and the stems may be used in cooking. For cooking ideas, type cilantro into our word search feature.
clafouti A French dessert made by topping fresh fruit with batter. After baking it is served hot, often with whipped cream.
clarified butter Butter with milk solids removed. This form of butter is good for frying as it has a higher smoke point than butter containing the milk solids. Easy to make by slowly melting butter in a bowl until the solids settle to the bottom. Then chill until hardened, turn over, and skim off the solids.
coddle Slow cooking of eggs in hot water. Used as a way to reduce the danger of salmonella poisoning from tainted raw eggs, when raw eggs are called for in a recipe (such as in Caesar Salad.)
coffee World-wide popular beverage produced by steeping roasted, ground coffee beans. Coffee flavor is produced by hundreds of chemical compounds, and is among the most complex of any food or beverage.
cognac A fine brandy from the Cognac region of France. Various grades, such as VSOP and XO indicate how long the product as aged.
Coleslaw A shredded or chopped salad of red or white cabbage and mixed with mayonnaise, vinaigrette or other dressing. Variations include such ingredients as chopped onion, celery, red or green bell pepper, carrots, or herbs. Traditional American coleslaws are made with a cream and vinegar sauce (along with other ingredients), while Dutch and German variations are vinegar based and the cabbage may or maynot be partially cooked. There is often some sugar added for a sweet and sour effect.
collard A Southern green of the cabbage family. A popular preparation method is boiling with bacon, but any preparation used for spinach may also be used.
compote A dessert dish of fruit which has been slowly cooked in a syrup, then chilled.
concasse If using tomatoes cut in large wedges. Cut near skin leaving about 1/4" of meat. No seeds or mushy flesh. Then, slice wedges julienne (1/4") and then slice julienne pieces in 1/4" pieces. Generally a mixture that is coarsely chopped or ground.
confit A French method of preserving meat (usually goose, duck or pork) where it is salted and cooked in its own fat then packed in a crock or pot, covered with its cooking fat, which acts as a seal and preservative and can be refrigerated up to 6 months.
consomme A clarified meat or fish broth which can be used as a soup or sauce base.
cooking slow Process which cooks food with a low, steady, moist heat often over a period of 8 to 12 hours. A slow cooker or crock pot is an electic appliance which can cook the dish while you're away and doesn't heat up the kitchen. Some vegetables may become over-cooked before other ingredients are done but could be added later in the cooking time or partially cooked on the stovetop and added at a later time.
cooking spray Aerosol cans sold in grocery stores containing vegetable oil or sometimes olive oil which can be sprayed in a fine mist. Especially good for "oiling" cooking pans so food does not stick. Sold under brand names such as PAM or Mazola Pro Chef. Gourmet stores also carry pump sprayers such as one marketed under the name "Misto" which can be filled with the cooking oil of your choice to use as a spray. One of the benefits of using cooking spray is that fewer calories are added than if the pan is coated in oil. If cooking spray is unavailable to you, simple wipe the pan with a light layer of cooking oil.
Cool Whip A prepared pre-sweetened imitation whipped cream topping found in the freezer section of American grocery stores. A sweetened whipped cream could be substituted if whipped fairly stiff.
coral lettuce A type of lettuce with leaves resembling coral. Any lettuce with curly or spiky leaves is usually a suitable alternative.
core To remove the coarse and often fibrousor seed filled center of vegetables and fruits such as squash and tomatoes or apples, pineapples and pears. Coring fruits and vegetables allows for sweet or savory fillings to be pressed in and then baked inside.
coriander A spice made from the seeds of the coriander plant, whose leaves are the familiar cilantro of Asian and Mexican cooking.
cornichon A pickle made from small gherkin cucumbers. A common accompaniment to pates and smoked meats.
courgette The French word for zucchini.
court-bouillon A poaching broth made of vegetables and herbs boiled for 30 minutes then allowed to cool before straining. Wine, lemon juice, or vinegar can be added as well.
couscous A beady grain of semolina used in North African cuisines. Typically boiled like rice, with spices and vegetables or fruits.
Crazy Salt See Jane's Krazy Mixed-Up Salt
cream The milk-fat portion of separated milk. Cream is categorized by the amount of milk fat. Light cream contains about 18-30% fat, light whipping cream 30-36%, heavy whipping cream 36-40%. Half and half is a blend of light cream and milk, with about 12% fat.
cream (to) As a verb,to blend together, as sugar and butter (or shortening), until mixture takes on a smooth creamy texture
cream of tartar A powdery acid that comes from deposits inside wine barrels. It is added to candy and frostings for a creamier consistency and to egg whites before beating to improve stability and volume.
creme brulee A custard dish that is topped with sugar that is carmelized under a broiler or with a torch.
creme fraiche Cream that has fermented into a thick, tangy sauce. It doesn't curdle when boiled, so it can be added to soups or sauces. Often used as a fruit or dessert topping.

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