glossary of cooking and ingredient terms

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  Cooking Light March 1995

Arborio rice has a squat, oval shape and delightful taste. It is the rice best suited for risotto, a dish made by frequent additions of hot liquid stirred into a saut‚ed mixture of rice and onions.

Balsamic vinegar is made from white Trebbiano grapes. This aromatic vinegar ages to a dark brown. It has a full-bodied, slightly sweet flavor with a hint of tartness. use it in small amounts to flavor vinaigrettes, sauces, and strawberries. Store in a cool, dark place for up to six months.

Barbecue smoke seasoning is a bottled liquid used during cooking to give food hickory-smoke flavor. It is sometimes labeled "liquid smoke".

Carambola is a deeply ridged, yellow fruit that g rows in tropical climates. It is sometimes called star fruit because when it's cut in half crosswise, it has a five-pointed star shape. They don't need to be peeled and can be eaten raw. The ripe fruit is a vibrant yellow color.

Cardamon is one of the world's most versatile spices because its exotic flavor marries well with a variety of foods, both sweet and savory. It is widely available in ground form. The green pods, with dark, sticky seeds inside are sold in Indian and other specialty food markets. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry place.

Deglazing is loosening and dissolving solidified particles of food left on the surface of a skillet or pan after browning meat. Gently loosen the particles with a spatula, add liquid and heat, and stir to dissolve.

Dried shiitake mushrooms are sometimes called forest mushrooms or Oriental or Chinese black mushrooms. Rehydrate dried shiitakes in hot water, remove the stems and chop.

Hoisin sauce is a thick, dark-brown Chinese sauce made from soybeans and chilies. Sugar and salt are added to give the sauce a sweet but biting taste.

Hungarian paprika, whether sweet of hot, is considered to be the best paprika. It is interchangeable with regular paprika.

Rice vinegar is made from either fermented rice or rice wine. It is mainly used in Oriental cooking.

Saffron threads are the dried stigmas of a type of crocus and are used to season and color dishes such as paella or rice. Saffron is the most expensive spice there is, but it will keep for up to a year in the freezer. To measure saffron, crumble the threads and loosely pack them into a measuring spoon.

Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 03-01-95

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