Cooking Terms Page

Canadian Bacon:   The large rib-eye muscle of the pork loin, cured and smoked. It is boneless and more lean than streaky bacon, making it a good ham substitute for those watching their fat intake.

Canape:   (French) Appetizer consisting of small pieces of fresh or fried bread, toast or biscuits, topped with savoury mixtures of meats, vegetables and cremes.

Candy Thermometer:  Cooking tool comprised of a large glass mercury thermometer that measures temperatures from about 40-F 400-F degrees. A frame or clip allows it to stand or hang in a pan during cooking for accurate temperature measurement.

Cannellini Beans:   (Italian) Large, creamy white bean often included in Italian cooking. Also known as Northern beans this legume makes an excellent vegetarian substitute for both fish and chicken due to itís rich texture.

Cannelloni:   (Italian) Large macaroni tubes, stuffed with savory fillings.

Capers:   Small buds of a Mediterranean shrub that are typically found pickled in vinegar or dried and salted. typically used to prepare sauces and garnishes.

Caponata:   (Italian) Sicilian dish of fish, aubergines, tomatoes, onions, capers and black olives.

Carambola:   (Indonesia) Also known as the star fruit. Golden, yellow fruit grown in the West Indies, Indonesia, and Brazil. When sliced, the fruit appears to be star-shaped. The flesh of the carambola is juicy and highly acidic. Most often star fruit is prepared fresh in salsas and vinaigrettes, and a dessert with sugar and cream.

Caramelized Sugar:   (French) Granulated sugar that has been cooked until it reaches a caramel color. The transformed flavor compliments dessert as a beautiful and tasty topping. The most common method of preparation is to sprinkle the granulated sugar or drizzle a sugar-based sauce over the top of a dessert and quickly pass a small torch or flame over the top to cook the sugar mixture.

Carbonnade:   (French) Beef stew made with beer.

Carpaccio:   (Italian) Originally, paper thin slices of raw beef with a creamy sauce. More recently the term has come to describe very thinly sliced vegetables, raw or smoked meats, and fish.

Caraway Seed:   Curved, anise-like seed popular in German and Austrian cooking. Caraway is a member of the parsley family. Seeds are used as topping on breads and savory pastries, and as accompaniments to cabbage and goulash. Caraway seed is also utilized in preparing some cheeses and liqueurs.

Cardamom:   (Indian) The pods of an aromatic plant related to the ginger family. The seeds of the pods are dried and used as a spice. It is a very expensive due to isís rare nature and most often found as an ingredient in Indian cooking. However, it also has a history of being utilized in Scandinavian recipes to spice wines and stewed fruits and in Arabic cooking as an accompaniment to coffee.

Casserole:   (French) 1. Cooking pot, complete with lid, made of oven proof or flameproof earthenware, glass or metal. 2. Slow-cooked stew of meat, fish or vegetables.

Cassoulet:   (French) Stew of haricot beans, pork, lamb, goose or duck, sausage, vegetables and herbs.

Champignon:   (French) Mushroom found as the champignon de Paris. Cultivated button-shaped white mushroom.

Chantilly:   (French) Whipped cream, slightly sweetened and sometimes favoured with vanilla.

Charlotte:   1. Hot - Moulded fruit pudding made of buttered slices of bread and filled with cooked fruit and apricot jam. 2. Cold - Moulded dessert consisting of sponge finger cakes filled with cream and fruit, or a cream custard set with gelatin.

Charlotte Mould:   A plain mould for charlottes and other desserts, sometimes used for moulded gelatin-based salads.

Chasseur:   (French) to be prepared with mushrooms, shallots and white wine.

Chaud - Froid:   (French) Elaborate dish of meat, poultry, game or fish, masked with a cream, sauce, decorated and , glazed with aspic. Served cold.

Chayote:   Crisp, delicate, light green squash that is pear shaped in appearance and is ideal for stuffing. Also can be prepared much like zucchini or summer squash.

Chicory:   Roasted ground roots of a variety of perennial herbs related to radicchio and curly endive. Caffeine-averse Germans discovered that chicory could be processed into as a coffee substitute.

Chiffonade:  (French) A garnish made of shredded lettuce, sorrel mushrooms and spinach. Used for finishing soups or cold dishes.

Chilling:   Process of cooling prepared or partially prepared food, without freezing it, in a refrigerator.

Chiming:   Meat carving process whereby the backbone is separated from the ribs in a join to make carving easier.

Chine:   Translated to be pork. Most often a pair of loins left undivided.

Chinois:   (French) 1. In the Chinese style. 2. To process through a conical-shaped sieve with a fine mesh.

Chipotle:   Smoked and dried jalapeno chile peppers.

Cilantro:   Also known as Coriander and Chinese Parsley. Herb is often used in Chinese and Mexican cooking. It resembles the appearance of and is often used z parsley. The seeds of this aromatic plant are dried and used as a whole or ground spice producing a flavor reminiscent of slightly burnt oranges.

Chorizo:  (Spanish) Smoked pork sausage.

Chowder:   (United States) Fish dish, half-way between a soup and stew in consistency. Most often prepared as a milk-based soup.

Civet:  (French) Brown game stew.

Clarified Butter:   (French) Butter cleared of water and impurities by slow melting and filtering through a sieve.

Clarifying:   (French) 1. Method of preparation that clears fats by heating and filtering. 2. Clearing consommes and jellies with beaten egg white.

Cloves:   Brown, hard dried flower buds of an aromatic Southeast Asian evergreen. Cloves are useful in both whole and ground forms. Ground cloves are used in the preparation of many cakes and soups. Whole cloves add great flavor to mulled wines and ciders, and the spice of choice for baking ham. Cloves also have natural preservative qualities in pickling solutions and oils.

Cocotte:   (French) Small oven proof, earthenware, porcelain or metal dish, used for baking individual egg dishes, mousses or souffles.

Cocoa Powder:   Regular (or American) and Dutch process are the two dominant types of processed cocoa beans . The Dutch processed cocoa has a slightly stronger flavor and richer color than regular cocoa because it is treated with a mild alkali, such as baking soda, to neutralizes its acidity. Both regular and Dutch process cocoa have far less fat and fewer calories than baking and eating chocolate because the cocoa butter has been removed.

Cocotte:  (French) Small oven proof, earthenware, porcelain or metal dish, used for baking individual egg dishes, mousses or souffles.

Coddling:   (French) Cooking process whereby food is slowly simmered in water.

Colander:   Cooking utensil comprised of perforated metal or plastic and shaped as a basket. Primarily used for draining away spent or reserved liquids.

Compote:   (French) Dessert of fresh or dried fruit, cooked in syrup and served cold.

Concasse:   (French) Method of roughly chopping soft foods often applied to vegetables, such as tomatoes.

Conde:   (French) 1. Dessert made with rice; Example - peach conde. 2. Pastry biscuits topped with icing and glazed in the oven.

Condensed Milk:   Preserved milk in which much of the water content is evaporated and sugar is added. First became popular is wartime England because of how well it preserved. Today it is primarily utilized in sweets and confectionery making. Condensed Milk is also used in iced drinks because its high sugar content won't readily freeze in the beverage.

Confectioners Sugar:   Also know as Powdered Sugar. Commonly utilized in pasty baking and in frostings.

Conserve:   (French) Whole fruit preserved by boiling with sugar and used like jam.

Coquille:   (French) 1. Scallop. 2. Shell shaped oven proof dish used to serve fish, shellfish or poultry.

Cordon Bleu:   (French) 1. Highly qualified cook. According to legend, King Louis XV of France once awarded a blue ribbon to a female chef who had prepared an outstanding meal. 2. (United States) Chicken stuffed with ham and white sauce.

Cornmeal:   Also known as polenta. A yellow, grainy powder made from degermed ground corn. It is similar to semolina in texture. Tortillas and cornbread are two of the most common cornmeal based foods. Cornmeal is versatile ingredient that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. White cornmeal is also available and does not impact the color of the prepared food in the same manner as yellow cornmeal.

Cornstarch:   White, powdery thickener that is ground finer than flour. It is extracted from the starch endosperm of wheat or corn. It must be dissolved in a cold liquid before it is added to a hot mixture or it will lump. It results in a glazy, opaque finish in most soups, stews and gravy. Also used for thickening sauces and puddings.

Corn Syrup:   (United States) Clear syrup produced in light and dark verities as obtained from maize or corn. Common ingredient utilized in the preparation of baked items and confectionery.

Coulis:   A thin puree of fruit, sweetened and watered to a sauce consistency by adding granulated sugar.

Coupe:   (French) Goblet used for serving ice cream, fruit and shellfish cocktails.

Couscous:   (North African) Grain-like hard wheat semolina that has been ground, moistened, and rolled in flour. The grain is traditionally steamed to prepare and served with a stew. There are also sweet couscous varieties.

Creme:   (French) Applied to fresh cream, butter and custard creams, and thick creamy soups.

Creme Brulle:   (French) Cream custard with caramelized topping.

Creme Caramel:   (French) Cold moulded egg custard with caramel topping.

Creme Fraiche:   (French) Cream that has been allowed to mature but not to sour.

Cream of Tartar:   Common name for potassium bitartare, a by-product of wine-making. Its is a major ingredient in baking powder and is used to stabilize beaten egg whites.

Crema Mexicana:   (Latin American) A Latin-style cream that has the same amount of butterfat as whipping cream. It can be sweet and pourable like whipping cream, or delicately tart and thick.

Crema Mexican Agria:   (Latin American) A Latin-style cream as thick as sour cream with 15% to 20% fat content. Added as a tart topping or base for sauces much like sour cream.

Crema Fresca Casera:   (Latin American) Translated as home style fresh cream this sweet, pourable whipping cream used in Latin cooking.

Crema Centroamerica:   (Latin American) A Latin-style cream that is as richer than whipping cream. It can be liquid and sweet in flavor, or thick and sour cream-like and tangy.

Crema Centroamericana Acida:   (Latin American) A Latin-style cream that has the consistency, tang, and fat content of salted sour cream.

Creole:   Of Caribbean cookery.; prepared with pimentos, tomatoes, okra, rice and spicy sauces.

Crepe:   (French) Thin pancake.

Crepes Suzette:   (French) Pancakes cooked in orange sauce and flamed in liqueur.

Crimping:   1.Process of making a decorative border to pie crusts. 2. Gashing fresh skate, then soaking it in cold water and vinegar before cooking, in order to firm the flesh.

Croastade:   (French) Small crispy fried or baked bread or pastry shape which is filled with a savoury mixture.

Croquettes:   (French) Cooked foods moulded in small shapes, dipped in egg and crumbs, and deep fried. Typically sprinkled with confectioners sugar to finish.

Croutes:   (French) 1. Pastry covering meat, fish and vegetables. 2. Slices of bread or brioche, spread with butter or sauce, and baked until crisp.

Cumin:   (Indian) Spice with an earthy flavor, also known as comino. Utilized in both its ground form and as cumin seed. Cumin is featured in Middle Eastern lentil and lamb dishes, as well as in Latin American tamales.

Curd:   Semi-solid part of milk, produced by souring process.

Curdle:   1. Process which causes fresh milk or a sauce to separate into solids and liquids by overheating or by adding acid. 2. Common cooking error whereby the addition of creamed butter and sugar in a cake recipe is separated due to adding eggs too quickly.

Cure:   Process of preserving fish or meat by drying, salting or smoking.

Curry Powder:   (Indian) Spice mixture more popular in the West than in India. It usually consists of coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, cumin, and chili.

Cuttlefish:   Rounder, thicker and chewier relative of the squid.

Make your own free website on