Christmas Recipes
This dictionary of culinary terms and food glossary makes it easy to find information on specfic foods, dishes, cooking methods, and recipes. Information is listed by keyword.

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Baby Back Ribsa fabricated cut of the pork primal loin; a slab of ribs weighing 1.75 pounds or less.
Backribsa fabricated cut of the pork primal loin; consists of the ribs cut from the anterior end; also known as country-style spareribs.
Bacona fabricated cut of the pork carcass, cut from the sides and belly; consists of fat interspersed with strands of meat; it is salted and/or smoked, available sliced or in a slab.
Bagela dense, doughnut-shaped Jewish yeast roll; cooked in boiling water, then baked, which gives the rolls a shiny glaze and chewy texture.
Baguettea long, thin, crisp loaf of French bread.
Bain-marieThe French term for the cooking technique we call a water bath . It consists of placing a container (baking pan, bowl, soufflé dish, etc.) of food in a large, shallow pan of warm water, which surrounds the food with gentle heat. The food may be cooked in this manner either in an oven or on top of a range. This technique is designed to cook delicate dishes such as custards, sauces and mousses without breaking or curdling them. It can also be used to keep cooked foods warm.
Baketo cook in an oven, surrounding the food with dry heat of a specific temperature.
Bake Blind (also called blind baking)A term for baking a pastry shell (pie crust) before it is filled. There are two methods used. 1. The unbaked shell is first pricked all over with a fork to prevent it from blistering and rising and then baked. 2. The unbaked shell is lined with foil or parchment paper, then filled with dried beans or rice, clean pebbles (a French practice) or specialty pie weights made of metal or ceramic. The weights and foil or parchment paper should be removed a few minutes before the baking time is over to allow the crust to brown evenly.
Bake Cupspaper or foil shaped, pleated cups used to line cupcake or muffin tins to prevent batter from sticking to the pan during the cooking process.
Baking Powdera mixture of sodium bicarbonate and one or more acids, generally cream of tartar and/or sodium aluminum sulfate, used to leaven baked goods; releases carbon dioxide gas if moisture is present in a formula.
Baking Sodasodium bicarbonate, an alkaline compound that releases carbon dioxide gas when combined with an acid and moisture; used to leaven baked goods.
Baklavaa Middle Easter sweet rich with honey and nuts and made from filo, a paper-thin pastry in many flaky layers.
Bamboo Shootthe crunch tip of a young bamboo tree. It is served in Oriental dishes.
Bananathe berry of a large tropical herb; the fruit grows in clusters (hands) and is long and curving with a brown-stained yellow skin (it is harvested while still green), a slightly sticky, floury, off-white pulp and a distinctive sweet flavor and aroma.
Bannocka Scottish round cake.
Barbecueto roast or broil whole, as a hog, fowl, etc. Usually done on a revolving frame over coals or upright in front of coals. To cook thin slices of meat in a highly seasoned vinegar sauce.
Barbecueto roast meat slowly over coals on a spit or framework, or to roast in an oven, basting intermittently with a special kind of sauce
Bardinga thin piece of fatty bacon or lard used to cover too-lean meat while it roasts
Barleya small, spherical grain grown worldwide and usually pearled to remove its outer husk; the white grain has a slightly sweet, nutty, earthy flavor, chewy texture and high starch content; also known as pearl barley.
Basilan herb and member of the mint family; has soft, shiny light green leaves, small white flowers and a strong, pungent peppery flavor reminiscent of licorice and cloves (other varieties are available with flavors reminiscent of foods such as cinnamon, garlic, lemon and chocolate); available fresh and dried; also known as sweet basil.
Basmatian aged, aromatic long-grain rice grown in the Himalayan foothills; has a creamy yellow color, distinctive sweet, nutty aroma and delicate flavor.
Basteto moisten the food as it cooks by spooning or brushing it at regular intervals with a liquid such as melted fat, meat drippings, fruit juice, sauce or water. This is done to add flavor and color to the food and to prevent drying of the surface.
Battera semiliquid mixture containing flour or other starch used to make cakes and breads; gluten development is minimized and the liquid forms the continuous medium in which other ingredients are disbursed; generally contains more fat, sugar and liquids than a dough.
Bavarian Creama soft, sweet egg custard mixed with gelatin and whipped cream, then flavored with fruit.
Bay Leavesa small tree of the laurel family native to Asia; produces firm leaves, which are shiny on top and dull beneath; used as an herb, the leaves impart a lemon-nutmeg flavor and are usually removed from whatever food they are used to flavor before the item is eaten.
Bean Curda soybean custard used in Oriental dishes
Beatto make a mixture smooth and introduce air by brisk regular motion that lifts mixture over and over. To mix vigorously with a brisk motion with spoon, fork, egg beater, or electric mixer.
Béchamela French leading sauce made by thickening milk with a white roux and adding seasonings; also known as a cream sauce and a white sauce.
Beefthe meat of bovines (ex. cows, steers and bulls) slaughtered when older than 1 year; generally, has a dark red color, rich flavor, interior marbling, external fat and a firm to tender texture.
Beera mild alcoholic drink made by boiling malted barley with hops and then fermenting.
Beeta large bulbous edible root with an edible leafy green top; its color is typically garnet red but can range from pinkish-white to deep red; also know as the garden beet, red beet and beetroot (especially in Great Britain).
Bell Peppera large fresh sweet pepper with a bell-like shape, thick juicy flesh, a mild sweet flavor and available in various colors, including green ( the most common), red ( a green bell pepper that has been allowed to ripen), white, brown, purple, yellow and orange; also known as a sweet pepper, sweet bell pepper and green pepper.
Beurre Maniethickener made by combining 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Form into small balls. A thick, buttery paste will result. Beurre Manie is beaten into the cooking liquid of casseroles or soups of sauces that are too thin, or that are meant to be thickened after the cooking is almost complete.
Bibb Lettucea variety of butterhead lettuce with soft, pliable green leaves that have a buttery texture and flavor and are smaller and darker than Boston lettuce leaves; also known as limestone lettuce.
Bindto cause a mixture to hold together by beating in an egg, sauce, or some other thickening agent.
Bisquea thick, creamy soup usually of shellfish, but sometimes made of pureed vegetables.
Bite-Sizeto cut into pieces which would easily fit into the mouth, approximately 1/2 inch.
Bittersan aromatic liquid used to flavor cocktails, soft drinks, as well as soups and sweet dishes, such as ice cream.
Black Beana relatively large, dried bean with black skin, cream-colored flesh and a sweet flavor; also called a turtle bean.
Black Butterbutter, melted, clarified, and cooked until it is nut brown.
Black-Eyed Peathe seed of a member of the pea family native to China; small and beige with a black circular eye on the curved edge and used in southern U.S. and Chinese cuisines; also known as a cowpea (it was first planted in the United States as fodder).
Blackberrya large shiny berry with a deep purple, almost black color and a sweet flavor; also known as a bramble berry.
Blanchto immerse food briefly into boiling water, then plunge into cold water. The process firms flesh, heightens and sets color and flavor and loosens skin as in tomatoes intended for peeling.
Blancmangea sweet pudding made with milk and cornstarch flavored with almonds, vanilla, rum, or brandy.
Blendto mix two or more ingredients together thoroughly with a spoon, beater or blender.
Blind bakingSee Bake Blind.
BliniRussian buckwheat pancakes served with a variety of spreads, notably, sour cream and caviar.
Blintza cooked crepe stuffed with cheese or other filling.
Blueberrya small berry native to North America; has a smooth skin, blue to blue-black color, juicy light gray-blue flesh and a sweet flavor; eaten raw, used in baked goods or made into jams and jellies.
Bodydescribes a characteristic of wines. A “full bodied” wine is rich without bitterness, when it is a good one.
Boilto cook in a liquid which has reached a temperature of 212*F (100*C), or where bubbles are rising continually and are breaking the surface.
Boiling-Water-Bath Canning Methodused for processing acid foods, such as fruit, tomatoes, pickled vegetables, and sauerkraut. These acid foods are canned safely at boiling temperatures in a water-bath canner.
Bok Choya member of the cabbage family native to southern China; has long wide, white crunchy stalks with tender, smooth-edged, dark green leaves; used raw, pickled or cooked; also know as baak choy, Chinese mustard, pak choi and white mustard cabbage.
Bolognaa large, highly seasoned sausage made from pork, beef and veal; named for Bologna, Italy (although the Italian sausage associated with that city is mortadella), available cooked and usually served cold; also known as baloney.
Bone-ina cut of meat containing the bone.
Bone, toto remove bones.
Boned, bonelessa cut of meat from which the bone has been removed.
Bonbona sweet made of or dipped into fondant.
Boston Baked BeansAmerican bean dish often made in a crock. These are small white beans (navy beans) cooked with salt pork and s sweetener such as molasses, maple syrup or brown sugar.
Borschtsoup containing beets and other vegetables; it is usually made with a meat stock base.
Boston Baked Beansan American dish of navy or pea beans, salt pork, molasses and brown sugar baked in a beanpot or casserole.
Boston lettucea variety of butterhead lettuce with soft, pliable pale green leaves that have a buttery texture and flavor and are larger and paler than bibb lettuce leaves.
Bouillabaissea highly seasoned fish soup or chowder containing two or more kinds of fish.
Bouillonclear delicately seasoned soup usually made from lean beef stock.
Bouquetaroma, a term used to describe the fragrance of wines and other foods.
Bouquet Garnia combination of herbs tied in cheese-cloth which are used to flavor stocks and stews and removed before serving.
BourbonNamed for Bourbon County, Kentucky, this all-American liquor is distilled from fermented grain. Straight bourbon is distilled from a "mash" of at least 51 percent corn; blended bourbon must contain not less than 51 percent straight bourbon. Sour mash bourbon is made by adding a portion of the old mash to help ferment each new batch, in the same way that a portion of sourdough starter is the genesis of each new batch of sourdough bread.
Bourguignonname applied to dishes containing Burgundy and often braised onions and mushrooms.
Bowla round vessel used for preparing and serving foods, especially those with a liquid or semiliquid texture.
Boysenberrya blackberry, raspberry and loganberry hybrid named for its progenitor, horticulturist Rudolph Boysen; shaped like a large raspberry; has a purple-red color and a rich, sweet, tart flavor. Choose boysenberries that are firm and uniform in size. Discard shriveled or moldy berries. Do not wash until ready to use, and store (preferably in a single layer) in a moistureproof container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
Braiseto cook meat by searing in fat, then simmering in a covered dish in small amount of moisture.
Branthe tough, outer covering of the endosperm of various types of grain kernels; has a high fiber and B vitamin content and is usually removed during milling; used to enrich baked goods and as a cereal and nutrient supplement.
Bratwursta fresh German sausage made from pork and veal, seasoned with ginger, nutmeg and coriander or caraway seeds.
Bread1. A food baked from a dough or batter made with flour or meal, water or other liquids and a leavener. 2. To coat a food with flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs or cracker crumbs before cooking.
Bread Flouris an unbleached, specially formulated, high-gluten blend of 99.8 percent hard-wheat flour, a small amount of malted barley flour (to improve yeast activity) and vitamin C or potassium bromate (to increase the gluten's elasticity and the dough's gas retention). It is ideally suited for yeast breads.
Brinea solution of salt and water used in pickling. Brine draws natural sugars and moisture from foods and forms lactic acids which protects them against spoilage. Usually the strongest brine used in food processing is a 10% solution, made by dissolving 1.5 cups of salt in 1 gallon of liquid, or 6 tablespoons of salt for each quart of liquid.
Briochea yeast-raised cake baked to a rich brown usually circular in shape, with a smaller round on top. It is different from other raised doughs in that eggs are added, giving it a characteristic golden tinge, also it is raised in the refrigerator overnight.
Broccoflowera light green cauliflower that is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, with a milder flavor than either vegetable.
BroccoliItalian for cabbage sprout and used to describe a member of the cabbage family with a tight cluster (called a curd) of emerald green florets on top of a stout, paler green edible stalk with dark green leaves.
Broilto cook the food by placing it a measured distance below direct, dry heat. Most ovens have a broiler section that is used to cook meats, fish and poultry or melt or brown foods.
Brotha thin soup, or a liquid in which meat, fish, of vegetables have been cooked.
Brownto produce a brown surface on a food by use of relatively high heat for a brief period of time, giving the food an appetizing color and a richer flavor, keeping the interior moist by sealing in the natural juices.
Brown Sugarsoft, refined sugar with a coating of molasses; can be dark or light, coarse or fine.
Browniea cake-like bar cookie, usually made with chocolate and garnished with nuts.
Bruiseto partially crush an ingredient, such as herbs, to release flavor for seasoning food.
Brunoisefinely diced or shredded vegetables, usually cooked in butter or stock, and used to flavor soups and sauces.
Burritoa flour tortilla made with a filling.
Buttera fatty substance produced by agitating or churning cream; contains at least 80% milkfat, not more than 16% water and 2 to 4% milk solids; melts into a liquid at approx. 98*F (38*C) and reaches the smoke point at 260*F (127*C).
Butterflyto cut food almost in half so that when flattened the two halves resemble butterfly wings.
Buttermilk1. Fresh, pasteurized skim or lowfat cow's milk cultured (soured) with Streptococcus lactis bacteria; also known as cultured buttermilk. 2. Traditionally, the liquid remaining after the cream was churned into butter.
Butternut Squasha large, elongated pear-shaped squash (Caryoka nuciferum) with a smooth yellow to butterscotch-colored shell, an orange flesh and a sweet, nutty flavor.
Butterscotch1. A flavor derived from brown sugar and butter, used for cookies, candies, sauces and the like. 2. A hard candy with the flavor of butterscotch.
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