GLOSSARY OF RESTAURANT TERMINOLOGY

A
Aïoli - Garlic mayonnaise from Provence. Used with meats, fish and vegetables.
Aloo - Indian for Potato.
Amberjack - A lean, mild fish found along the South Atlantic coast.
Ancho chile - A long, dark, reddish brown, dried Poblano chile. It's the sweetest of all the dried chiles and has a slightly fruity flavor.
Andouille sausage - A spicy and smoke sausage made from pork. Often used in Cajun cooking.
Arroz - Spanish for Rice.
Arugula - A bitter, aromatic salad green with a peppery mustard flavor, e.g. Rocket, Rugula, Rucola
B
Baked Alaska - A dessert where sponge cake is layered with ice cream and wrapped in meringue and then baked long enough to brown the meringue, but not melt the ice cream.
Baklava - A Greek dessert in which layers of phyllo dough are drenched in butter, nuts and spices. A honey-lemon syrup is poured over the top and then the mixture is baked.
Bavarian Cream - A sweet mixture of custard, whipped cream, various flavorings (fruit, chocolate, etc.) and gelatin.

Bay scallop - Small scallops, about 1/2 inch in diameter. Smaller than the Sea Scallop .
Béarnaise - A French sauce made from a reduction of vinegar, wine, tarragon and shallots and finished with egg yolks and butter. Served with meat, fish, eggs and vegetables.
Béchamel - A French white sauce that is made by stirring milk into a butter-flour roux, which thickens and is used as a base for other sauces.
Beignet - A yeast pastry from New Orleans that is deep fried, generously coated in powdered sugar and served hot.
Beurre blanc - A French sauce made of wine, vinegar and shallot reduction into which cold butter is whisked until the sauce is thick and smooth. Great with poultry, seafood, vegetables and eggs.
Biryani - An elaborate Indian dish made from spiced saffron rice cooked with pieces of lamb, chicken or vegetables.
Bisque - A thick, rich soup usually consisting of puréed seafood (sometimes vegetables or poultry) with cream and often finished with brandy.
Blini - Small, yeast-raised pancakes traditionally served with sour cream and caviar or smoked salmon. Typically made with buckwheat flour.
Blue Point - Oyster, East Coast: From Long Island with a full, salty flavor.
Bordelaise - A French sauce made with red or white wine, brown (beef, veal) stock, shallots, parsley and herbs. Usually served with broiled meats.
Bouillabaisse - A seafood stew from Provence, made with an assortment of fish and shellfish, onions, tomatoes, white wine, olive oil, garlic, saffron and herbs.
Braise - A cooking method where meat is browned, then cooked in a small amount of liquid, covered, over low heat, until the meat becomes tender.
Bread pudding - A dessert in which cubes of bread soaked in a mixture of milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and spices and then baked. Can be served hot or cold.
Bresaola - Italian air-dried, salted beef that has been aged approximately 2 months and thinly sliced.
Broccoli Rabe - A pungent, bitter vegetable that looks similar to broccoli, but is in the same family as cabbage and turnip. Very popular in Italian cooking
B'steeya - Moroccan dish of phyllo dough surrounding a mixture of shredded chicken, almonds and spices. It's baked then sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon. e.g. Bastela, Bastila, Bisteeya, Pastilla
C
Caesar salad - Romaine lettuce tossed with a garlicky dressing (usually made with garlic, Worcestershire sauce, lemon, parmesan cheese, a coddled egg and sometimes anchovies) and croutons.
Café au lait - Coffee drink: Equal portions coffee and scalded milk.
Café brulot - Coffee drink: Traditional New Orleans flaming drink of coffee blended with spices, orange and lemon peel and brandy.
Café Macchiato - Coffee drink: Espresso with a dollop of steamed milk foam, served in an espresso cup.
Café Mocha - Coffee drink: Espresso with chocolate syrup and a generous amount of foamy steamed milk.
Caffé Americano - Coffee drink: Espresso diluted with three parts water.
Caffé latte - Coffee drink: Espresso combined with a generous amount of foamy steamed milk.
Calamari - Also known as Squid. Part of the mollusk seafood family and related to octopus. It has a firm, chewy texture with mild and somewhat sweet flavor. Often served fried or grilled.
Squid
Canapé - An appetizer or hors d'oeuvre: Small, decorative pieces of bread (toasted or untoasted) with savory topping such as cheese, smoked fish or spread.
Caper - The flowerbud of a bush native to the Mediterranean and part of Asia. The buds are picked, sun-dried and then pickled. Often seen in pasta, chicken and seafood dishes.
Cardamom - A sweet, aromatic black seed spice encased in a hard pale green shell much like a tiny head of garlic, used in massaman curry.
Carne - Spanish for beef.
Carpaccio - An appetizer of thin shavings of [usually] beef or tuna filet, drizzled with olive oil or lemon juice. Often topped with capers, onions and/or parmesan cheese. Although beef or tuna are typical, other fish or even vegetables are sometimes used..
Cassoulet - A French dish of white beans and meat such as sausage, pork and preserved duck or goose, covered and simmered or baked very slowly.
Celeriac - A special type of celery that is grown for its root rather than its stalk and leaves. It looks like a giant turnip, but tastes like a cross between celery and jicama. Can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in soups or stews.
Cépes - Another name for mushroom with a smooth, meaty texture and pungent, woodsy flavor, e.g.
Porcini
Challah - A traditional Jewish bread that's has a rich, eggy flavor and has a light, airy texture.
Charcuterie - Meat products often sold in a delicatessen-style shop such as pâtés and rillettes.Often served as an appetizer with a selection of meat..
Chasseur Sauce - A brown sauce made with mushrooms, shallots and white wine (sometimes parsley and tomatoes). Often served with game meat.
Chervil - An herb that is a member of the parsley family with a mild, slightly anise flavor. Tastes like a mild cross between parsley and tarragon.
Chevre - Goat's milk cheese.
Chorizo - Coarsely ground pork sausage flavored with garlic, chili powder and other spices. Very unique flavor. Typically found in Mexican (fresh pork) or Spanish (smoked pork) styles.
Chutney - A spicy Indian condiment with fruit, vinegar, sugar and spices. Can be served with curried dishes or with bread and cheese, depending on the sweetness level.
Clafouti - A dessert of fresh fruit topped with a batter and then baked, sometimes topped with cream. Traditionally cherries are used, but can be plums, peaches and pears are also used.
Clams Casino - An appetizer where clams are baked on the half shell and stuffed with garlic butter, bacon and topped with toasted bread crumbs.
Colbert Sauce - A sauce of meat glaze, butter, wine, shallots, tarragon and lemon juice. Served with grilled meat and game.
Compote - Chilled fresh or dried fruit that has been slowly cooked in sugar syrup, sometimes adding liqueur and/or spices.
Confit - Cooked duck (pork or goose can also be used) meat is salted and slowly cooked in its own fat and packed in a vessel along with the cooking fat. The result is a very tender, flavorful piece of meat.
Consommé - An intensely flavored, clarified meat or fish broth. Can be served hot or cold.
Couscous - A tiny semolina pasta from North Africa, this quick cooking grain has a slightly nutty flavor. Often used as a substitute for rice.
Crème Chantilly - A slightly sweetened whipped cream, often flavored with vanilla. Used to top desserts.
Crème fraîche - A thickened cream with a slightly tangy, nutty flavor and rich texture. Similar to sour cream, but thicker and richer.
Crêpe - A paper-thin pancake that can be made either sweet or savory.
Crown Roast - A roast formed from the rib section of pork or lamb loin by tying it into a circle with the ribs facing up. Traditionally the tips of the bones are covered with paper frills that look like a miniature chef's hat.
Cumberland Sauce - A sauce made with red currant jelly, port wine, orange and lemon zests, mustard and other seasonings. Generally served with venison, duck and other game meats.
D
Daikon - A large, white, carrot shaped Japanese radish.
Dal - Dal is an Indian word, which includes dried peas, beans, and lentils that are red, yellow orange, or pink, plus split peas and other legumes. Dal can also be used to describe a soup like dish prepared with lentils.
Dolma/dolmades - Grape leaves usually stuffed with a seasoned mixture of ground lamb, rice, onions, currents and pine nuts.Usually served as an appetizer.
Duchess potatoes - Cooked potatoes that are pureed with egg yolks and butter and then formed or piped and then baked until golden. Often used as a garnish or to top dishes.
E
Eggs Benedict - Two poached eggs each on a half of an English muffin, topped with ham or Canadian bacon and Hollandaise sauce.
Elote - Spanish for corn.
Endive - Closely related to chicory, endive is usually seen as Belgian endive, Curly endive or Escarole. All three have a slightly bitter flavor of varying degrees and a green leaves. They're mainly used in salads, as a side dish and in soups.
Espagnole Sauce - A rich sauce of reduced brown stock, herbs, tomato puree, browned vegetables and thickened with a brown roux. Used as a base for many other sauces.
F
Falafel - Highly spiced, ground chickpeas formed into small balls and deep-fried. Usually served with a yogurt or tahini-based sauce.
Fennel - A vegetable with a bright green bulbous base and feathery foliage. The flavor of fennel is a sweeter version of a licorice or anise and can be eaten raw or cooked.
Filet Mignon - A beef steak cut from the tenderloin, filet mignon is known for its tenderness, but it is not the most flavorful steak.
G
Galangal - First cousin to ginger, its creamy white flesh has a hot, ginger-peppery flavor and is used as a seasoning.
Garam masala - A blend of dry-roasted, ground spices that adds a sense of "warmth" to both palate and spirit. Could contain up to 12 spice, but varies from cook to cook.
Génoise - A rich, light cake made with flour, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla. Similar to a moist sponge cake and can be used for a variety of desserts from Baked Alaska to petit fours and cake rolls.
H
Haricot vert - Small, slender green beans.
Hollandaise - A smooth and creamy sauce made of butter, egg yolks and lemon juice. Used to top vegetables, fish and egg dishes.
Hummus - A dip, typically made with mashed chickpeas seasoned with lemon juice, garlic and olive or sesame oil.
J
K
Kappa - Japanese for cucumber.
Kohlrabi - A vegetable that tastes like a sweet, mild turnip. Its purple-tinged white bulblike stem and its greens are edible.
Kumamoto - Oyster: from Japan. Small with a salty, sweet flavor.
L
Lyonnaise sauce - A French sauce made with white wine, sautéed onions and demi-glace.
M
Maltaise or Maltese sauce - Hollandaise sauce blended with orange juice and grated orange zest.
Marinière - Preparation of shellfish with white wine and herbs.
Medallion - A small, coin-shaped piece of meat, usually beef, veal or pork.
Meringue - A mixture of stiffly beaten egg whites and granulated sugar.
Meunière - Style of cooking whereby a food (usually fish) is seasoned, lightly dusted with flour and sautéed simply in butter.
Miso - A fermented paste of soya beans and either barley or rice, with salt - basic to Japanese cookery and especially miso soup. Miso is highly flavored and rich in protein.
Mornay Sauce - A béchamel sauce with cheese, usually parmesan and swiss, added.
N
O
Osso Buco - An Italian dish typically made with veal shanks braised with olive oil, white wine, stock, onions, tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, carrots, celery and lemon peel.
Oysters Rockefeller - Oysters on the half shell, topped with a mixture of chopped spinach, butter, breadcrumbs and seasonings and either baked or broiled.
P
Pancetta - Italian bacon that has been cured with salt and spices but not smoked.
Panna cotta - Dessert that is a light, silky eggless custard, which is often flavored with caramel and served cold.
Paupiette - A thin slice of meat, usually veal or beef, rolled around a filling of finely ground meat or vegetables.
Pepitas - Pumpkin seeds often used in Mexican cooking.
Pesto - An Italian uncooked sauce made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and olive oil.
Polenta - A thick, cooked mixture of cornmeal and either milk or water. Sometimes mixed with cheese such as parmesan or gorgonzola.
Porterhouse Steak - A large, flavorful steak. The filet mignon is part of this steak along with a strip sirloin. Typically, a larger version of the T-Bone.
Poussin - A French term for a very young, small chicken.
Proscuitto - A general term for ham that has been seasoned, salt-cured and air-dried (not smoked). The meat is pressed, which produces a firm, dense texture.
Q
Quince - From Ancient Roman times, this yellow-skinned fruit looks and tastes like a cross between an apple and a pear.
Quinoa - Known by the Incas as the "Mother Grain," quinoa is considered a complete protein as it contains all 8 essential amino acids. Tiny and bead shaped with a light, delicate flavor.
R
Ragoût - A thick, rich, well-seasoned stew of meat, poultry or fish.
Ratatouille - A vegetable dish of eggplant, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, garlic and herbs - all simmered in olive oil.
Rémoulade - A cold sauce made of mayonnaise, mustard, capers, chopped gherkins, herbs and anchovies. Served with cold meat, fish and shellfish.
Ribeye Steak - A highly marbled, tender cut of beef with intense flavor.
Risotto - An Italian rice specialty where hot stock is gradually mixed into rice that has been sauteed in butter or olive oil along with onions, resulting in creamy yet separate grains of rice.
S
Saffron - The the yellow-orange stigmas from a small purple crocus flower that produces the pungent, aromatic spice that is primarily used to flavor and tint food.
Scotch Egg - A hard-cooked egg that is coated with sausage, dipped into beaten egg, rolled in breadcrumbs and deep-fried.
Sea scallop - The largest of the scallops, usually 20-40 per pound.
Skate - A fish with firm, deliciously sweet white flesh.
Spatchcock - A technique where a whole bird (poultry) that has been split down the back for grilled or broiling on a spit.
T
Tapenade - A thick paste made from capers, anchovies, olives, olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings. A condiment often served with fish, raw vegetables and meat.
Tartare - Ground or finely chopped, seasoned raw meat, typically beef or tuna.
T-Bone Steak - Two steaks in one, this combines the New York Strip on one side of the T-shaped bone with the tenderloin on the other.
Terrine - A pâté molded into an earthenware container.
Top Sirloin Steak - One of the more flavorful cuts of beef with a lean, meaty texture.
Truffle Oil - A very rich, pungent, infused olive oil which is used very sparingly to garnish dishes and impart the flavor of truffles for a fraction of the cost of using real truffles.
V
Vichyssoise - A rich, creamy potato-leek soup that's served cold.
W
Waldorf - A salad with apples, celery, mayonnaise and walnuts on top of a bed of lettuce.
Wasabi - Known as Japanese horseradish, this plant root is used to make the green condiment that has a strong, fiery flavor.
Z
Zest - The perfumy outermost skin layer of citrus fruit (typically lemons, limes and oranges). The aromatic oils in the zest are what add so much flavor to food.
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