The words in this glossary are defined as they are used in the AccommodatingTable.com recipes and website.
Al dente: In Italian, “al dente” means, “to the tooth.” It is a term used to describe pasta which has been boiled just to the point of resistance to the bite, not overcooked to mushy.
Al fresco: In Italian, “al fresco” means, “in the fresh air.” It is a term used to describe dining outdoors.
Bake: To cook in a conventional oven. The temperature at which food is baked should always be pre-set or pre-heated before food is placed in the oven.
Barbecue: Relates to a particular sauce, usually tomato based, which is used predominantly with meat items cooked on an outdoor grill.
Baste: To moisten food to prevent drying, usually with a liquid or marinade.
Beat: To thoroughly mix wet ingredients until smooth using an electric mixer or rotary beater.
Beurre manié: A dough made of equal parts soft butter and flour; Used to thicken soups and sauces, and as a finishing step for sauces, imparting a smooth, shiny texture prior to service.
Blanch: To submerge vegetables in boiling water for just a few minutes, until crisp tender. Then, plunge them into a bowl of ice water. This prevents vegetables from losing their color and flavor.
Blend: To mix wet or dry ingredients thoroughly until no separation of color, texture, or flavor exists.
Broil: To cook under the broiling element of a conventional oven, approximately six inches below the element.
Brown: To cook at a higher heat for a short time; the outside of the food becomes a light brown color.
Butter: Margarine or light butter can be substituted for butter, but for a richer taste, use a good-quality butter in your recipes, and to set on your Accommodating Table. Use a European-style butter such as Plugra or Kerrygold for a special occasion.
Butterfly: To cut a piece of meat almost into half lengthwise, stopping before the meat is cut all the way through. The meat can then be opened up so that both sides lay flat on a surface. Butterflying decreases cook time, and/or allows a filling to be placed in the meat when rolled up.
Caramelize: To have natural or added sugar or fat brown on the outside of food, usually done in a skillet.
Cast-iron skillet: A heavy skillet made out of cast iron, which does not have a non-stick coating. The skillet becomes non-stick by a process called, seasoning.
Chill: To place in a refrigerator until cold and/or for a specified time.
Chop: To cut food into pieces. Generally, chopped food will be larger or coarser than diced food.
Coat: To make sure that one food item completely covers another.
Cool: To remove from heat until the food is cold, or nearly so.
Cover: To place a lid or piece of aluminum foil tightly on the cooking vessel.
Cream: To mix a semi-solid fat, such as butter, into a dry ingredient, such as flour, usually with a fork or pastry blender. Also, milk fat — the richest part of milk, which rises to the top of fresh milk and is skimmed off.
Crisp: Refers to a food item having a snap when bitten — in the case of vegetables, softened, but not cooked entirely.
Cut on a bias: Food which is not cut straight with a knife, but at an angle. It is a presentation technique.
Dairy-free: If a recipe is designated as Dairy-free, its ingredients do not contain milk or any dairy (milk-derived) products such as butter, yogurt, sour cream, heavy cream, half and half, and all types of cheeses.
Dash: Just a small amount; approximately 1/8 teaspoon.
Deglaze: The process of introducing a liquid (wine, broth, water) to a pan after the pan has been used to cook meat, and scraping the pan to incorporate any drippings and brown bits into the liquid.
Dice: To cut food into relatively equal square, small pieces.
Dissolve: To have one food completely disappear into the liquid into which it was placed.
Drain: To remove all of the liquid from food by using a strainer or colander.
Dredge: To drag food through a dry ingredient, like flour or cornmeal, until coated.
Drizzle: To lightly drip a liquid in a consistent stream over foods, moving quickly so that the liquid is distributed evenly over the food.
Drug Store Wrap: A method of wrapping food for freezing or cooking. Place the food in the center of the wrapping material (i.e., parchment paper or aluminum foil). The wrapping material should be two times the surface area of the food, both horizontally and vertically. Bring the two horizontal pieces together above the food and begin to make small folds down, about ½-inch each until the wrapping material just about reaches the food. Fold ends making the same ½-inch folds. Then, crimp the two ends as the folds reach the food.
Dry Sherry: A light blended white wine with a distinct and complex flavor; use a good dry sherry (e.g., Hartley & Gibson or Osborne Fino)
Dust: To lightly cover food in a dry coating, e.g., flour — shaking off excess.
Egg Whites, Separated: To crack an egg over a bowl, letting the egg white fall into the bowl while transferring the egg yolk between the two shell halves, being careful not to pierce the yolk, until all of the egg white has transferred from the shell to the bowl. The egg white may then be used. The yolk may then be used or discarded.
Egg Yolks, Separated: To crack an egg over a bowl, letting the egg white fall into the bowl while transferring the egg yolk between the two shell halves, being careful not to pierce the yolk, until all of the egg white has transferred from the shell to the bowl. The yolk me then be transferred to another bowl and the egg white used or discarded.
Eggroll Wrappers: Pre-made eggroll wraps are found in refrigerated produce sections of grocery stores, usually, next to tofu.
En Papillote Wrap: A method of wrapping food for cooking in parchment paper. (See video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzwjVoKDZj4)
Filet: see Fillet
Fillet: A slice of boneless meat or fish.
Flake: The test of doneness of a piece of fish — when a fork, pressed into the fish produces pieces which break apart.
Fold: To gently mix ingredients using a rubber spatula until just blended.
Food Profile: The Accommodating Table profile which allows a diner (Guest) to indicate their food and beverage loves, likes, dislikes, and allergies.
Garnish: An item which adds visual appeal to the presentation of a dish.
Giblets: The internal organs of poultry: liver, gizzard, and heart.
Glaze: A light coating of sauce over food, usually containing a sweet base.
Gluten-free: If a recipe is designated as Gluten-free, no ingredient in that recipe contains wheat, barley, or rye. In addition, Accommodating Table has excluded all recipes containing soy as an ingredient in its Gluten-free category, due to the potential for cross-contamination of soy in the processing of wheat. Our Gluten-free recipes are considered safe for a Guest with celiac disease. While Accommodating Table does not endorse any particular product, in some instances, Accommodating table may direct a Host to a specific product which is represented to be Gluten-free.
Grate: To scrape food pieces over a grating surface to make fine conforming pieces.
Grease: To place butter or oil on the surface of a pan to prevent food from sticking while baking.
Grill: The piece of equipment used to cook outdoors or the process of cooking on the surface of such equipment.
Grind: To pulverize a food substance in a grinder.
Guest: The Accommodating Table designation for a diner at a Host’s table.
Half and Half: Refers to a half milk/half cream dairy product.
Heavy Cream: Has a fat content between 36% – 40%, also known as whipping cream.
Host: The Accommodating Table designation for a registered user of the Accommodating Table website.
Immersion Blender or Stick Blender: Is a long, cylindrical electric device with blades at the end, which is perfect for blending soups or liquids in the pot in which they are cooked.
Jellyroll Style: Refers to a method of placing food within a food by rolling out or pounding the first food to create a flat surface and placing or spreading food on top of that surface, then rolling from one end to the other until the filling is completely enveloped.
Julienne: To cut in long, thin strips either with a knife or with a julienner kitchen utensil.
Madeira Wine: A fortified Portuguese wine made in the Madeira Islands.
Marinade (noun): A concentration of several ingredients, usually containing an acid, to create a sauce for food to soak in for a period of time prior to cooking
Marinate (verb): To place food in a marinade.
Marsala wine: A fortified Italian wine. Dry good Marsala is an ingredient in soups and is an excellent substitute for white wine in recipes such as risotto – Florio is an example of a good, dry Marsala wine.
Melt: To convert a food substance from its solid form to its liquid form through the application of heat.
Milk: Whole, fresh milk.
Milk, Condensed: Canned dairy product which is cow’s milk with water removed and sugar added (also known as sweetened condensed milk), sold in the baking aisle of grocery stores.
Milk, Evaporated: Canned dairy product which is cow’s milk with about 60% of the water removed, and no sugar is added.
Mince: To cut into very small pieces.
Mix: To blend together well.
Non-stick Cooking Spray: A low-calorie spray, which allows you to grease pans and grill grates to inhibit food sticking, usually sold next to cooking oil in grocery stores.
Nut-free: If a recipe is designated Nut-free, it is free of all tree nuts, including almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pinon nuts, pistachios, and walnuts. In addition, Accommodating Table’s Nut-free recipes do not include peanuts or peanut butter.
Pan-fry: To cook food in a skillet in a small amount of fat (e.g., oil or butter) over relatively high heat.
Parboil: To submerge vegetables in boiling water for just a few minutes, until crisp tender.
Parchment Paper: A kind of rolled paper which withstands high heat and therefore, can be used in an oven, e.g., to cook foods en Papillote or to prevent foods from sticking to the bottom of a cookie sheet. Usually found in grocery stores with waxed paper, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap.
Pare: To peel off the skin, e.g., an apple.
Pastry Blender: A kitchen utensil with curved wires and a blade which easily blends softened butter and flour for use in baking.
Pastry Sheet: A frozen sheet of pastry which, when thawed, can be used as the basis for many desserts. Found in the frozen food section of a grocery store.
Pie Shell: A pastry which covers the bottom of a pie plate or pie pan. It can be homemade or purchased ready-made along with the pie pan, in the frozen food section of a grocery store.
Pinch: A small amount; approximately 1/16 to 1/8 teaspoon.
Poach: To cook in liquid.
Puree: To blend almost to the point of liquefying, thoroughly mixed to a smooth texture and color, usually in a blender or food processor. It also refers to the resultant product.
Reduce: To boil, e.g., a sauce or liquid used in a recipe, until it evaporates to a specified measure.
Roast: To cook meat or poultry in an oven, it also refers to the resultant piece of meat or poultry.
Rolling Boil: A rapid boil.
Roux: a French term that refers to a mixture of flour and fat — used as a thickening agent.
Salt, Cerulean Sea: A large grained salt made from evaporated sea water. It has a clear, salty taste.
Salt, Kosher Salt: A coarse grained salt, which typically does not contain additives such as iodine.
Salt, Sea Salt: A coarse grained salt made from evaporated sea water. It has a clean salty taste.
Sauté: To cook in an open sauté pan or skillet in a small amount of fat.
Sear: To cook meat or poultry over high heat for a short amount of time in order to brown the outside and seal in the natural juices.
Season a Skillet: See blog entry, “My Cast-Iron Inheritance!“
Sherry: A light blended white wine with a distinct and complex flavor; See also Dry Sherry
Shred: To cut a food into long, thin strips by using a knife or grater.
Sift: To process dry flour or meal through a sieve or sifter to remove any clumps and to infuse more air into the product.
Simmer: Refers to a liquid just at the boiling point — where a few bubbles from the bottom of the pan reach the top, but the liquid is not at a rolling boil.
Skim: To remove a by-product which rises to the top of a food from which it has separated. This is usually done with a spoon or baster.
Skin: To remove the skin from the flesh of meat, poultry, and fish.
Skinless: To have the skin removed before purchase.
Skin-on: To purchase with the skin still intact.
Slice: A method of cutting in which the whole food is placed on the cutting surface and is cut from top to bottom.
Steam: An indirect method of cooking where food is placed over boiling water, e.g., in a steamer basket.
Sweat: A method of cooking root vegetables by placing them in a heavy bottomed pot on low heat, with a small amount of fat such as butter or oil until the pieces are tender, but not browned.
Tamari: A Gluten-free soy sauce, made with 100% soybeans, instead of 50% wheat and 50% soybeans, as in conventional soy sauce.
To Taste: Usually refers to seasonings, especially salt and pepper. Literally, a cook must taste a finished dish to determine whether it has an appropriate amount of salt, pepper, etc., for the tastes at their table.
Toss: To lightly mix, by turning ingredients over one another, either by shaking or stirring.
Truss: To tie the legs of poultry together with string and to twist back the wings under the bird before roasting. (See video, https://video.about.com/bbq/How-To-Truss-A-Chicken.htm).
Vegan: If a recipe is designated Vegan, no ingredient in that recipe is derived from animals. Vegan recipes exclude meat, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy, and honey; however, they do not exclude white sugar and wine, which are avoided by some vegans because small amounts of animal products are sometimes used in their processing.
Vegetarian: If a recipe is designated as Vegetarian, its ingredients do not contain meat, poultry, fish, or seafood. Eggs are not excluded in Accommodating Table’s vegetarian recipes; however, they are excluded in Vegan recipes. Also, products made from meat, poultry, fish, or seafood; e.g., Worcestershire sauce (anchovies), chicken stock and broth are excluded ingredients in Accommodating Table’s Vegetarian recipes.
Wasabi Powder: Japanese horseradish; a green powder made from dehydrated wasabi root.
Whip: To beat a food lightly and rapidly to combine thoroughly either with a whisk, blender, mixer, or food processor to infuse the food with more air.
Whipping Cream: High fat content milk — the richest part of milk, which rises to the top of fresh milk.
Whisk: A kitchen utensil consisting of several hoops of wire, used for whipping.
Whitewash: A thickening agent made from combining flour and water.
Wine, Madeira: A fortified Portuguese wine made in the Madeira Islands.
Wine, Marsala: A fortified Italian wine. Dry good Marsala is an ingredient in soups and is an excellent substitute for white wine in recipes such as risotto — Florio is an example of a good, dry Marsala wine.
Zest: The outside peel or skin of citrus fruit, cut into small pieces with a zester or knife.