||GLOSSARY OF COOKING TERMS
- Al dente
- Firm the bite. Pasta especially should never be overcooked and "gluey".
- A light entrée eaten before the first course as an appetizer. They are very adaptable and, with increased quantities, may be eaten as a main course, generally for lunch.
- Aubergine (G.B.)
- Au gratin
- A dish topped with breadcrumbs or grated cheese, cooked in the oven and/or finished off under the grill until golden brown and toasted.
- Bain marie
- Melting or cooking very gently by placing the ingredients in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering hot water.
- Moisten meat by pouring its own gravy or fat over.
- Peeling by dropping into boiling water for a few seconds to loosen the skin.
- Bouquet garni
- A bunch of assorted herbs tied together and put into a stew, casserole or roast.
- Cooking slowly in liquid with onions, herbs, etc.
- There is a great variety of Italian bread with many local variations. Generally Tuscan bread is "country" style - a large, round loaf and unsalted. Casalingo literally means "homemade" and is the term used for a typical, Tuscan unsalted loaf. Salato is salted bread, spongier and lighter. Nero means brown (usually wholemeal) bread. Stale bread is a frequent ingredient in Tuscan recipes, soaked in milk or water and then squeezed dry.
- Courgettes (G.B.)
- A slice of unsalted bread, topped with a variety of ingredients, from liver paste to chopped tomatoes, or boiled and sautéed green vegetables.
- Pour off by gently inclining the bottle without disturbing the sediment.
- A very tender, boneless piece of meat, or also fish.
- Cold, cured pork, typically Tuscan and rather spicy, flacoured with fennel seeds.
- Cheese from the Val d'Aosta, semi-soft, with a mild and slightly nutty flavour.
- Omlette, but denser than the whisked, French version; it is always served whole and round or cut into pieces. In Florence it is often made with spinach and used as a sandwich filling.
- Funghi porcini
- One of the most delicious mushrooms, used fresh in the autumn and dried (soak for a couple of hours in cold water before using) the rest of the year. Their texture is smooth and silky and their flavour quite strong and distinctive. A genuine speciality and treat.
- Decorate a dish for presentation at the table.
- Leave fresh meat, especially game, to dry or become tender.
- Fine, matchstick-sized pieces of chopped vegetables.
- Cover the inside of a dish, bowl or mould with paper, pastry, gelatine etc.
- Cook partially to soften in boiling water before proceeding to cook in another manner.
- Cheese made with sheep's milk, ranging from the soft, fresh (young) kind to the more mature, harder, crumbly kind.
- Chili pepper. In general the dried pods of the chili are used, crushed, in cooking.
- A dish consisting of assorted, fresh, uncooked vegetables, chopped into bite-sized pieces. Each person has a small, individual bowl in which he mixes oil, salt and pepper to his own preference. He then dips his vegetables into the bowl to flavour.
- Mashed and creamed vegetables, or cooked fruit.
- A small, round-leafed, herb-like plant used in salads.
- A form of chicory or endive. It may be green or red and is eaten in salads, or grilled, baked, or used in risottos. Sharp- flavoured.
- Meat, grilled, fried or roast leaving the meat red and tender on the inside.
- Simmer a sauce or gravy until it partially evaporates.
- Indicates the consistency of a sauce or cream when it leaves a thick, smooth trail on the surface as it falls from the spoon.
- A round "parcel" of meat or fish, stuffed and rolled up.
- Rocket. A deliciously peppery salad plant.
- A flat bread, marked with dimples on the surface and baked with oil and salt sprinkled on top.
- A kind of savoury pudding, not unlike the filling used in a quiche.
- Remove the excess fat which forms on the surface of a liquid or sauce.
- Fry gently until transparent and no longer crisp.
- Assorted cuts of pork, minced, chopped, dressed and flavoured in various ways, then "pressed" into a large sausage form. Served as a cold cut meat.
- Spinach, turnip greens, Swiss chard
- Most greengrocers sell these vegetables ready-prepared, boiled, then rolled and pressed into smallish balls.
- Cook slowly, simmering with liquid in a covered casserole.
- Liquid from stewed meats, cooked vegetables etc. used as a basis of soups, casserole, stews.
- Beat rapidly until smooth and frothy.