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TermDefinition
Tex-Mex Food derived from the combined cultures of Texas and Mexico. Burritos, nachos and tacos are considered Tex-Mex dishes.
thyme Herb of the mint family that is native to southern Europe. It is a basic herb of the French cuisine where its minty, light-lemon aroma enhances vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, soups and cream sauces.
timbale Describes both the drum-shaped, high sided cooking mold and the custard, vegetable and meat casserole that is baked in the mold.
tofu Also know as bean curd, white tofu is made from curdled soy milk. Popular in Asian cooking, tofu itself has a mild nutty flavor but will readily take on the flavor of the food in which it is cooked.
tomatillo Similar to a small green tomato and from the same nightshade family, tomatillos are distinctive in their thin paper like covering. Typically used green they have a lemon herb flavor and are found in Southwestern and Mexican dishes.
tournedo Beefsteak cut from the tenderloin. Because they are very lean it's common to wrap them in bacon or pork fat for cooking.
trifle Sponge cake or ladyfingers soaked with liquor and covered with jam, whipped cream and nuts.
tripe Most often, the lining of beef stomach. Among other things, used in the Spanish soup Menudo.
tripolini Small, bow tie shaped pasta.
truffle Fungus that is considered a delicacy. Prized fragrance is earthy and garlicky. Very expensive due to cultivation techniques. Pigs and dogs actually ferret out the fungi which grow several inches below the ground.
truss Term used to describe technique of sewing or wrapping a roast or poultry with string to keep it compact and secure for cooking.
tube pan A tube pan is simply an old-fashioned angel food cake pan. A round high sided pan with a hollow center tube. The tube helps with more even baking in the center of the cake. Another version of this type of pan is the bundt pan.
tulipe French term for a thin cookie that has ruffled edges. These are typically crispy and used as edible dishes for ice cream or fruit.
tureen Deep-sided, covered dishes used in serving soups and stews at the table.
turnover Sweet or savory filled pastry squares or semi-circles. Sealed with filling inside, they are usally baked or deep fried, they can be bite sized or up to 6 inches across.
tutti-frutti Refers to Italian preserve made from mixed, diced fruits in sugar and brandy. Also considered as fruity flavoring in gums and candies.
udo Japanese vegetable of the ginseng family. Asparagus like, it's used raw in salads or cooked for soups and other dishes.
unleavened Describes baked goods that do not contain leavening agents such as baking powder, baking soda or yeast.
vanilla Aeromaic bean of one variety of orchid. Bean or extract are used to heighten the flavor of other ingredients. Pure vanilla is relatively expensive due to the culturing process and time consuming extraction process.
varak Extremely thin sheets of gold or silver that are applied to food to add rich coloring. Flavorless and odorless the sheets can be found in Indian markets.
veal Meat from a young calf, generally from 1 to 3 months old.
veloute sauce One of five basic sauces. It's made from chicken, veal or fish stock and thickened with white roux. Basis for other sauces.
verjuice (verjus) Sour juice from unripe fruit such as grapes. It's added to sauces and mustards to increase flavor. Traditional in medieval and Renaissance times but now enjoying a comeback.
vermicelli Pasta which is shaped in long thin strands. Much thinner that regular spaghetti.
verte sauce French for "green sauce". A green vegetable such as spinach or parsley is blanched and squeezed tightly to release green colored liquid which is mixed with mayonnaise. Traditionally used on cold fish dishes.
vichyssoise Creamy potato-leek soup that is served cold and topped with chives. Pronounced: VEE-she-swahz
vinaigrette A basic oil and vinegar combination used over salad, cold vegetables or cold meat dishes. Simplest form includes oil and vinegar in 3 to 1 proportion with salt and pepper to taste.
vindloo Hottest of the Indian curry dishes. They come from central and southwestern coastal India. A complexed spice mixture made up of mustard, cumin, ginger, pepper, fungreek, cloves and coriander makes up the basic sauce. Red chilies and tamarind concentrate add heat and unique flavoring. Sauce is typically combined with meat and served over rice.
Waldorf salad Salad made of apples, celery and mayonnaise originally from Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, circa 1890s. Walnuts have been added to modern recipies.
wasabi Japanese version of horseradish. It's a green condiment with sharp, firey flavor. Can be purchased in powdered form from most Asian markets. Typically mixed into paste and served with soy sauce at the table. Wasabi is made by combining water with wasabi powder. Wasabi powder is powder made from Japanese horseradish. You can find it in Asian markets, specialty food stores, and in some grocery stores. It also is available pre-made. It should be a vivid green color.

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