Cooking Terms Page

Paella:   (Spanish) Dish of saffron rice, chicken and shellfish, which is named after the large shallow pan in which it is traditionally cooked.

Panada:   Thick sauce made of flour or bread and used to bind ingredients.

Panctone:   (Italian) Cake-like bread with raisins, which is traditionally served at Christmas.

Pappadums:   (Indian) Wafers made of legume flour or both rice and legume flours. Traditionally served with drinks or as a snack with such accompaniments as chopped onions, tomatoes, coriander, and chili.

Paprika:   (Hungarian) Translated to sweet red pepper. A spicy seasoning ground from a sweet variety of red pepper. It is used to season ragouts, stuffings, sauces, and garnish.

Par-boiling:   Method of preparation whereby an item is boiled for a short time to partially cook.

Parchment Paper:   A silicon based paper that can withstand high heat. Often used to prepare sugar and chocolate confections because they do not stick to the paper at all. Parchment paper may be reused several times.

Parfait:   (French) Frozen dessert made of whipped cream and fruit puree.

Parmentier:   (French) Refers to dishes containing potatoes. The term is de rived from Antoine Parmentier who introduced the potato to France.

Parmesan Cheese:   (Italian) Cow's milk cheese whose flavor ranges from sweet to sharp. Hard cheese, most suitable for grating.

Pasta:   (Italian) Paste made with flour and water, sometimes enriched with egg and oil. Used to make macaroni and spaghetti.

Pasteurizing:   (French) Method of sterilizing milk by beating it to 60 to 82-C or 140 to 180-F degrees to destroy harmful bacteria. The term is derived from Louis Pasteur, who developed the method.

Pastry:   Dough made with flour, butter and water and baked or deep-fried until crisp.

Pastry Wheel:   Small, serrated wooden or metal wheel-like utensil for cutting and fluting pastry.

Pasty:   Small pastry pie with a savoury filling of meat, potatoes and onion.

Pate:   (French) 1. Savoury mixture which is baked in a casserole or tureen, and served cold. 2. Savoury mixture baked in a pastry case and served hot or cold. 3. Pastry or dough.

Patty:   1. Small, flat, round or oval shaped cake of food, such as potato cake or fish cake, which is served hot. 2. Small, flat, individual pie, such as a chicken patty, which is served hot or cold. 3. Small, round form for meats such as hamburger.

Paupiette:   (French) Thin slice of meat rolled around a savoury filling.

Pave:   (French) 1. Cold savoury mousse mixture set in a square mould coated with aspic jelly. 2. Square sponge cake, filled with butter cream and coated with icing.

Peanut:   (United States) Ground nut, eaten plain or roasted. Used to make peanut butter and oils.

Pearl Barley:   De-husked barley grains, primarily used in soups.

Pease Pudding:   Puree of cooked, dried peas which is made into puddings, boiled and traditionally served with pork.

Pectin:   Substance extracted from fruit and vegetables. Used to set jellies and jams.

Percolator:   Two-part coffee pot which forces boiling water from lower half up through coffee grains contained in upper half, and finally filtered through a fine sieve.

Perdrix:   (French) Partridge.

Pesto:   (Italian) Basil sauce. Many variations of this sauce exist including different nut based pestos, different herb based pestos, sun dried tomato pesto, and black olive pesto.

Petits Fours:   (French) 1. Tiny sponge cakes, iced and decorated. 2. Small fruits; Example -- grapes and cherries, coated in sugar glaze. 3. Marzipan colored and shaped to resemble miniature fruits.

Petit Pois:   (French) Tiny young green peas.

Pickle:   Process whereby meat or vegetables are preserved in brine or vinegar solutions with or without seasonings and herbs.

Pico de Gallo:   (Mexican) Literally translates to rooster's beak. Also know as a coarse uncooked tomato salsa or a relish of oranges.

Pilaf or Pilau:   (Turkish) Near-eastern dish of cooked rice mixed with spiced, cooked meat, chicken or fish.

Pimento:   Green or red preserved pepper.

Pine Nuts:   Also known as pignolias and pinon. The pine nut is the seed of the stone pine. Creamy in appearance and contains a light pine taste. Often in utilized Italian, Spanish, and Middle Eastern cooking.

Pintade:   (French) Guinea fowl.

Pipe:   To force meringue icing, savoury butter, potato puree or other mixtures through a forcing bag fitted with a nozzle, to decorate or garnish various dishes.

Piquante:   (French) Term often used in wine tasting which means pleasantly sharp and appetizing.

Pith:   The white cellular lining to the rind covering the flesh of citrus fruits.

Pizza:   (Italian) Open-faced pie consisting of a rich yeast dough, topped with tomatoes, cheese, anchovies and olives.

Pizzaiola:   (French) 1. Meat or chicken, cooked in red wine, tomato sauce and favoured with garlic plat du jour. 2. Dish of the day.

Plantains:   Also known as machos. The plantain is a green skinned, pink fleshed banana-like fruit which is usually flatter and longer than a regular banana. Contains more starch and less sugar than its cousin the banana . Traditionally prepared fried, mashed, or in stews in South American, African, and West Indian cuisine.

Pluck:   1. Offal. 2. To remove the feathers from a domesticated or game bird.

Poaching:   Cooking method whereby food is simmered in a liquid, just below boiling point.

Polenta:   (Italian) A coarse yellow cornmeal mush. As versatile as pasta or noodles, polenta is served hot with a variety toppings. It can be molded, then cut into squares and fried or grilled.

Pomegranate Molasses:   (Middle Eastern) Also known as pomegranate syrup. Condiment prepared from yellow sour pomegranates cooked with sugar. Provides fruity and tangy flavor to savory dishes.

Porcini Mushrooms:   (Italian) Dried Cepes mushrooms that are usually re-hydrated before used in cooking by soaking them in boiling water.

Potage:   (French) Thick soup.

Praline:   (French) Sweet consisting of unblanched almonds caramelized in boiling sugar.

Preserving:   Process whereby food is kept in good condition by treating with chemicals, heat, refrigeration, pickling in salt or boiling in sugar.

Printanier:   (French) Garnish of spring vegetables.

Proscuitto:   (Italian) Raw, smoked ham, served finely sliced.

Provencale:   (French) In the Provence style; Example -- cooked with garlic and tomatoes.

Pudding:   1. Baked or boiled sweet dessert. 2. Boiled suet crust which is filled with meat or poultry.

Pulp:   1. Soft, fleshy tissue of fruits or vegetables. 2. To reduce food to a soft mass by crushing or boiling.

Purse:   (French) 1. Sieved raw or cooked food. 2. Thick vegetable soup which is passed through a sieve or an electric blender or food processor.

Make your own free website on