A dry spirit made from distilled cider, made in Normandy, northern France.


A brandy distilled from apples and made in the Normandy region of France. Applejack is a good substitute.


A stuffed pizza, folded over and baked, like a Cornish pasty. A calzone is usually made as a single serving.


Appetisers of mini or small foods that can be eaten with fingers and are served with drinks.


To cook in sugar or syrup when applied to sweet potatoes and carrots. For fruit or fruit peel, to cook in heavy syrup until translucent and well-coated.


Large macaroni tubes, stuffed with savoury fillings capers or Pickled flower buds of the Mediterranean caper bush. Used in sauces and garnishes.


The pickled flower buds of a shrub native to the Mediterranean and parts of Asia.


A castrated cockerel fattened for eating. It is no longer legal to produce capons in the UK.


Sicilian dish of fish, aubergines, tomatoes, onions, capers and black olives


The generic name for the pepper family which includes the large, sweet, mild peppers (red, green and yellow) as well as any of the hundreds of hot chilli peppers. Capsaicin is the chemical compound in chillies that gives them their heat and fieriness.


The process of either heating sugar to a point when it melts and resets as a hard glaze, as on the top of a cr¨me br»l©e, or cooking small or cut fruit or vegetables in water and sugar until they become brown and glazed.


To heat sugar until it becomes syrupy and golden to deep amber in color. Sugar-topped desserts like creme brulee are caramelized under the broiler or with a propane torch.


Beef stew made with beer


An aromatic spice from south-western India.


Fruit of anevergreen tree, native to the Middle East, grow in pods about 20 cm (8 in) long and ripen from green to brown.


An Italian dish, served as a starter.


The fruit of the cashew tree.


An ovenproof dish with a tightly fitting lid.


Stew of haricot beans, pork, lamb, goose or duck, sausage, vegetables and herbs.

Caul fat

The lacy fatty membrane encasing the internal organs of an animal, pork caul is often used for wrapping faggots or pat©s.


True caviar is the salted and matured eggs or roe of the huge female sturgeon fish.

Cavolo nero

An Italian cabbage with dark green leaves that have a strong flavour. It can be used as in all cabbage recipes but it is particularly favoured used as a vegetable in soups or fried in olive oil with garlic and chillies.

Cayenne pepper

A fiery hot ground spice derived from the flesh and seeds of chilli pepper.


A large root vegetable with a taste of celery.

Celery seeds

Dried seeds of celery, used in bread making, egg and fish dishes. They are ground with salt to make celery salt, used for making Bloody Marys.


A South American dish of raw white fish, marinated and 'cooked' in lemon or lime juice. It is served with sweet limes, raw onion rings, tomatoes and boiled sweetcorn.



Champignon de Paris

Cultivated button mushroom.

Chantilly cream

Sweetened, vanilla-flavoured, whipped cream used for desserts and puddings.


The generic term used to refer to products based on pork meat or offal, including cured and cooked meats, fresh and smoked sausages, p¢t©s, black puddings, salamis. The word is also used for the shop where this type of product is sold.


Hot, moulded fruit pudding made of buttered slices of bread and filled with fruit cooked with apricot jam. Also Cold, moulded dessert consisting of sponge fingers and filled with cream and fruit, or a cream custard set with gelatine.

Charlotte mould

Plain mould for charlottes and other desserts, sometimes used for moulded salads.


Cooked with mushrooms, shallots and white wine


Elaborate dish of meat, poultry, game or fish, masked With a creamy sauce, decorated and glaxed with aspic. Served cold


The French word for 'goat' has come to be used to refer to goat’s cheese.

Chick Pea Flour:

Used extensively for batters in Indian cooking. Chick Pea Flour: Used extensively for batters in Indian cooking. Sold as gram or besan flour from Indian provision stores. Or you can grind chick-peas, then sift, until they are sufficiently refined.


The correct term to describe a single bulb of chicory.


Thin strips or shreds of vegetables (classically, sorrel and lettuce), either lightly saut©ed or used raw to garnish soups.

Chili Powder

A blend of ground dried mild chiles and ingredients such as cumin and garlic powder. Ground dried chiles without added seasonings are also available and sometimes labeled chile powder.


To place food in the refrigerator until very cold but not frozen.


Chillies are available from greengrocers and supermarkets. They are grown on a dwarf bush with small dense green leaves, white flowers and red or green finger shaped fruit.


pork; a pair of loins left undivided also or to remove the triangular bone of the backbone to facilitate carving. Ask your butcher to do this for you.

Chinese cabbage:

A light green brassica, similar in shape to cos (romaine) lettuce

Chinese dried mushrooms:

Black fungi, which are sold by weight in plastic bags (not to be confused with European dried mushrooms)


Separating the backbone from the ribs in a joint of meat to make carving easier.


A conical strainer with a handle, used for soups and sauces.


A small pork sausage of Italian origin, often served as an hors d'oeuvre.


A mild, smoky, dried chilli commonly used in Mexican and south-west American cookery.


Chorizos are fresh sausages or dried salamis of pork, flavoured with paprika and sometimes garlic.


Portuguese garlic sausage.

Choux pastry

A very light, double-cooked pastry usually used for sweets such as cakes and buns.


A thick, chunky seafood soup from North America, of which clam chowder is the best known.

Chuck and Blade

Cut of beef from the shoulder, ideal for casseroles and stews.


Chukamilo is a lemon concentrate used when nibua and gal-gal, large oblong lemons grown in Nepal and Himachal Pradesh in India respectively, are not available.


Cut of either lamb or pork taken from the lower back. Sold as chops and steaks, ideal for grilling and barbecues.


From the East Indian word chatni, this spicy relish contains fruit or vegetables, vinegar, sugar and spices.


A loaf of moist aerated Italian bread made with olive oil.


The American term for coriander.


This warm, sweet spice comes from the bark of several tropical trees.

Cinnamon Sticks

Used to garnish hot beverages, but they can be simmered in a liquid to release their warm, spicy flavor.


Brown game stew.

Clarified butter

Butter cleared of its water content through heating and then straining


To remove impurities from salted butter by heating it.


Clearing fats by heating and filtering. Clearing consommes and jellies with beaten egg white.

Clotted cream

Thick, baked cream, traditionally from Devon and Cornwall. Served with scones or desserts or made into ice-cream.


Pungent, sweet spice used both for savoury stews and roasts as well as with fruits.


To dip meat in plain flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs or a batter to protect it from the high temperature of the cooking oil when frying. It can also mean to spoon a sauce, aspic or mayonnaise over meat.


The fruit of the coconut palm.

Coconut milk and cream

Coconut milk is not the liquid from inside the nut, but the extract of freshly grated coconut flesh.


Small ovenproof, earthenware, porcelain or metal dish, used for baking individual egg dishes, mousses or souffles.


Cocum: a deep red grape-sized berry. The skin is dried and used as a souring agent in fish and vegetable dishes.


Popular white sea fish with flaky flesh, available fresh or frozen, whole or as steaks and fillets.


Cooking slowly in simmering water. Applied to eggs.


Perforated metal or plastic basket used for draining away liquids.


Collagen is the white connective tissue found in meat. Low heat, liquid and long, slow cooking process convert the connective tissue into gelatine. It is this process which tenderizes the meat.


Cut of pork from the neck which is sold as chops or diced and minced. Good for casseroles and stews.


A dish of fruits, stewed or baked whole or in pieces with sugar.


Roughly chopped. Applied to vegetables, such as tomatoes.


Whole fruit preserved by boiling with sugar and used like jam.


A clear soup made from a hearty meat stock which has been reduced and clarified. It can be served cold or hot.


Scallop or Shell-shaped ovenproof dish used to serve fish, shellfish or poultry.

Cordon bleu

Highly qualified cook. According to legend, King Louis XV of France once awarded a blue ribbon to a female chef who had prepared an outstanding meal.


To remove the seeds or tough woody centers from fruits such as apples, pears, and pineapple, and vegetables such as cabbage and fennel.


The world's most commonly used herb


This spice is used throughout the world. It is available as either whole seeds or ground powder.

Corn starch

Finely ground flour from maize, which is used for thickening sauces, puddings, etc.

Corn syrup

A common ingredient in the US made by adding enzymes to corn starch, turning it into syrup of dextrose, maltose and/or glucose. It comes in two flavours - dark and light. Light corn syrup is very sweet like golden syrup while dark corn syrup has a molasse


Bread made from cornmeal flour, the product of ground, dried maize; in Italy the same golden cornmeal is known as polenta.

Corned (salted) beef

Any cut of beef that has been cured. Brisket and silverside are the most popular choices.


Cornflour is the starch extracted from maize which is soaked and ground to separate the germ and the bran.


Smooth, thick fruit or vegetable sauce eg apricot, raspberry, red pepper.


Goblet used for serving ice cream, fruit and shellfish cocktails.

Court bouillon

A spiced aromatic liquor or stock used mainly for cooking fish and shellfish. Wine and vinegar may sometimes be added to the court-bouillon which is usually prepared in advance and allowed to cool.


Using the same flour that goes into pasta, couscous is made by rolling and coating durum or hard wheat semolina grains in fine wheat flour, and is a staple ingredient in North Africa. Couscous is also the name of a dish in which the grains are steamed tog

Crab apple

The small fruit of the wild apple tree that has more core than flesh.

Cr¨me anglaise

This is the French term for custard cream, made with sugar, egg yolks and milk flavoured with vanilla.

Cr¨me br»l©e

A dessert made from an egg custard with a hard caramel topping.

Cr¨me fra®che

A French cream made from pasteurised cows' milk to which a lactic bacteria culture has been added. can be used instead of cream or soured cream.

Cr©me caramel

Cold moulded egg custard with caramel topping.


Thin French pancake, served with sweet or savoury fillings or toppings.


To beat butter, margarine, or other fat until it's creamy looking or with sugar until it's fluffy and light. This technique beats in air, creating light-textured baked goods.

Crepes suzette

Pancakes cooked in orange sauce and flamed in liqueur.


Making a decorative border to pie crusts, also Gashing fresh skate, then soaking it in cold water and vinegar before cooking, so that the flesh firms


Small cubes of bread that have been fried and then drained and cooled. As they cool, they develop a crispy texture and are used as a garnish for soups or in salads.


Chopped meat or mashed potato bound with a thick white sauce (panada) and shaped into a cylinder or round shape. It is then dipped in beaten egg and breadcrumbs and shallow- or deep-fried.


Baguette-style bread, Traditionally a festive Italian appetiser.


Small crispy fried or baked bread or pastry shape which is filled with a savoury mixture,


A toasted or fried circle of bread on which a savoury mixture is served. Certain meat cuts such as tournedos are usually served on a croute to absorb the meat juices.


Raw vegetables, thinly sliced or grated, served as a starter or, with a dip, as a snack. Crudit©s include carrots, celeriac, cucumber, sweet peppers, red cabbage, celery, fennel, tomatoes, mushrooms and radishes. A plate of crudit©s may also include har

Cumberland sauce

Cold sauce made from port, orange and lemon juice and redcurrant jelly, traditionally served with hot or cold ham, sausages and p¢t©.


Cumin is available as small brown ridged seeds or in the ground form. Both types have a characteristic pungent, warm flavour.


Semi-solid part of milk, produced by souring.


To cause fresh milk or a sauce to separate into solids and liquids by overheating or by adding acid. #2. To cause creamed butter and sugar in a cake recipe to separate by adding the eggs too rapidly


To preserve fish or meat by drying, salting or smoking.


From the southern Indian word kari , meaning 'sauce', comes this catch-all term, used to refer to any number of hot, spicy, sauce-based dishes of east Indian origin.

Curry Paste

Curry pastes are made by pounding spices with red or green chillies. They are ferociously hot and will keep for about 1 month in the fridge.

Curry powder

Mixture of spices used in making curries and in Indian cooking; mild, medium and hot. Generally contains differing amounts of turmeric, chilli powder, coriander, cumin, ginger, pepper.


A sweet sauce, usually quite thick, made from milk, egg yolks, sugar and cornflour. Often used to accompany sweet dishes, the custard may be flavoured, or may be chilled and served semi-solid.

Cut in

To work shorting, butter, or margarine into dry ingredients using a pastry blender or two knives scissor-fashion until the pieces are the desired size.


2 to 2.5 cm (3/4 to 1 inch) thick chops cut from the pork or lamb rib after the backbone has been removed. The tips of the ribs are usually frenched.

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