Kitchen Definitions

Béchamel: Béchamel sauce is a rich, creamy sauce that is one of the five mother sauces of French cuisine. Made with butter, milk, flour and salt the sauce starts as a roux and milk is incorporated.

Chermoula: chemoula is a marinade style sauce that originated in North Africa (Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria). It is traditionally used to flavour seafood, but can be used with heavier meats or vegetables. The ingredient list traditionally includes herbs, oil, lemon juice, pickled lemon, garlic, cumin and salt. Some of the less traditional ingredients include: onion, fresh cilantro, ground chile pepper, black pepper and saffron.In Morocco, chermoula is made with dried parsley, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper.

Confit: “Confit” is a technique of cooking food in grease, oil or sugar water, at a lower temperature than deep frying. While deep frying typically takes place at temperatures between 325 and 450°F, confit preparations are done at 200˚F or a bit cooler. This can be done with many components like main proteins, or sides like tomatoes. 

Dacquoise: A dessert cake made of flavoured meringues, buttercream or whipped cream. Traditionally this is made with flavours of hazelnut and almond and topped with berries and served chilled.

Deglaze: To add wine or other liquid to (a pan in which meat has been roasted or sautéed) to make a sauce that incorporates the cooking juices and/or the pieces of food that have stuck to the bottom of the pan during cooking. Scraping off the bottom of the pan is important for this technique and lends tons of flavor.

Espagnole: this brown sauce is one of the five mother sauces of French cuisine. It is made from simmering mirepoix, tomato puree, herbs, and beef stock.

Foie Gras: This is a food product that is made out of the liver of a duck or goose that has been fattened for the purpose of a fatty liver. The flavour is described as buttery, rich and delicate.

Hake: Hake is in the same order, Gadiformes, with cod and haddock. Hake is a medium sized fish that averages a weight of 1-8 lbs. Primarily used in Europe and most highly consumed in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy. Hake is versatile and can be baked, sautéed, fried or grilled.

Herb: the leaf of a plant that contains essential oils that can be used to impart aromas and flavours to other foods.

Hollandaise: Made with butter, lemon juice and egg yolk this sauce is velvety and delicious. This is one of the five mother sauces of French cuisine. Typically this is associated with eggs benedict.

Microgreens: Small plant sized greens, generally used in small quantities. Examples include, but are not limited to: cilantro, parsley, mint, basil and shiso. These are little bitty greens that used to be for restaurants only, buy they have come to the home cook’s repertoire in recent years.

Pesto: pesto is a sauce that originated in Genoa, Italy in the Liguria area. The oldest one in the book is comprised of garlic, basil, parmesan, olive oil, pine nuts and Fiore Sardo (a sheep’s milk cheese). The name is related to the action which makes it, to crush or pound, as in a mortar and pestle fashion. Now it is fashionable to switch up the ingredients to refresh the traditional pesto (like switching out basil for arugula for a more peppery pesto), or by adding new things like roasted yellow bell pepper as seen in the Barbecued Mahi Mahi dish that I have submitted for everyone’s enjoyment. And of course, updating pesto was also done by using a food processor in place of the hand held crushing device.

Poke: (po-kay) is a Hawaiian salad that incorporates raw fish marinated in salt and generally a smattering of vegetables and spices. The real trick of poke is two fold: knife skills, every piece needs to be the same size so that nothing overpowers another inclusion. The second is seasoning with salt, acid, and crunch: balancing those flavours that are included is key. Generally Ahi tuna or yellowfin tuna is used with limu seaweed, sesame oil, chile pepper, soy sauce and candlenut. Onion, garlic, ginger, cilantro and parsley are also some more modern inclusions.

Provencal Tomato Sauce: Provencal tomato sauce recipe is a basic of the local cuisine, and one of the five mother sauces of French cuisine. Fresh tomatoes lend the sauce a bright flavor, and the addition of ham and bacon give it an incredible, smoky savory quality. Use this special tomato sauce to accent pasta, beef, and eggplant dishes.

Sabayon: Sabayon (french) or Zabaione (Italian) is a sweet sauce-esk item that is made with egg yolks, sweet wine and sugar. The ingredients are whisked together and heated until it begins to double in volume and thicken.

Spice: the bark, roots, pods, berries or seeds of a plant that can be used to impart aromas and flavours to other foods.

Steak: there is a post specific to steak types called The Steak Handbook.

Taleggio: A pungent cow’s milk cheese from Lombardy, Italy. As the cheese is cave aged it becomes rather tangy. This is a semi soft, spreadable cheese that has a washed and grainy rind with and pale yellow center. This cheese can be subbed out for the much stronger linburger (although I’m of the thought that smelly cheese is offensive as a warning). If you’re looking for the spreadability of it a brie sub will work out. If you’re cooking it with a significant amount of heat or length of time Fontina cheese would work out. Often categorized as a stinky cheese, it doesn’t smell so much in raw form as it is characterized by strong and assertive flavours. Use the cheese on your cheese board or use it melted atop pastas or other hot dishes, will also go with radicchio or a dish like my mushroom and herb polenta.

Vadouvan Spice: This is an indian spice blend that is mostly similar with different ingredients depending on which “mama” you cook with. Generally it is based in onion, shallot and garlic- a lot of them- the one that I will subscribe to also includes cardamom, brown mustard seed, fenugreek, cumin, turmeric, mustard, clove and red pepper. It is a sauce that is cooked and ground. The onion, shallot and garlic are slowly sauteed and then ground with the spices. Personally it seems to be a mixture of curry and chai – a favourite combination of mine.

Velouté: Pronounced vel-oo-tay, this is one of the five mother sauces of French cuisine.  A veloute sauce is a variation of bechamel, or white sauce, except instead of milk, the liquid added to the roux is chicken stock or another light stock like veal or fish.



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