Cooking Glossary  

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A la mode -- French term meaning "in the mode of," describing how a dish is prepared. Americanized to mean ice cream with your pie.

Acini de pepe -- Italian for "peppercorns," -- tiny peppercorn-shaped pasta.

Aerate -- Sift; to pass ingredients through a fine-mesh device to break up large pieces and to incorporate air into the ingredients to make them lighter.

Aioli -- A strongly flavored garlic mayonnaise, often with other herbs added, from the Provence region of southern France.
Aioli Recipes

Al dente -- An Italian term, usually referring to pasta, used to describe the texture of slight resistence when bitten. The meaning of the phrase is "to the tooth."

Albacore -- A variety of tuna fish, with white meat and a high fat content.
Albacore Recipes

Albumen -- Egg whites.

Alfredo -- A rich sauce of butter, cream, grated parmesean cheese and black pepper most commonly served over fettuccine.
Fettuccine Alfredo Recipes

Almond paste -- Made of ground blanched almonds, sugar and glycerin or other liquid. Almond extract is sometimes added for more intense almond flavor. Almond paste is less sweet and slightly coarser than marzipan. Used in a variety of confections, it is available in most supermarkets.

Amaranth -- An annual plant. Greens have a slightly sweet flavor and can be cooked or served in salads. Seeds can be ground into flour or used as cereal. Found in Caribbean and Asian markets. Considered nutritious and high-protein.
Amaranth Recipes

Anaheim chile -- Common chile available in the U.S. Long, narrow, green, and usually mild. Named after Anaheim, California.
Anaheim Chile Recipes

Ancho chile -- Dried poblano chile. Deep reddish brown color, 3 to 4 inches long. Considered the sweetest of dried chiles.
Ancho Chile Recipes

Angel hair pasta -- Very thin strand style pasta.
Angel Hair Pasta Recipes

Angelica -- A sweet herb grown in Europe. Member of the parsley family, with pale green stalks.
Angelica Recipes

Anglaise -- A French term for boiled or poached food, meaning "English style." Also used for breaded and fried foods.

Applejack -- A brandy made from apple cider.
Applejack Recipes

Arborio rice -- Short, fat, starchy rice. Usually used to make risotto.
Arborio Rice Recipes

Armagnac -- A French brandy which is aged in oak for up to 40 years. It is from the town of Gascony near Bordeaux.
Armagnac Recipes

Arroz -- Spanish for rice.
Arroz Recipes

Artichoke -- The globe artichoke is the bud of a large plant in the thistle family with tough petal shaped leaves. When properly cooked, break off the leaves one by one, dip in butter or sauce, and draw the base of the leaf through your teeth scraping off the pulp and discarding the rest of the leaf. At the center, scrape off the tiny leaves and fuzz and then continue to dip the heart of the choke in sauce and eat. The jerusalem artichoke is not a true artichoke but a tuber resembling a ginger root. These may be used peeled or unpeeled, raw as an addition to salads, or steamed or boiled as a side dish.
Artichoke Recipes
Jerusalem Artichoke Recipes

Arugula -- A bitter and aromatic salad green.
Arugula Rice Recipes

Au lait -- A French term meaning "with milk."

Aurore sauce -- A pink sauce made by combining bechamel sauce with tomato puree.

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