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Joyce LaFray’s Famous Florida!® Food Glossary

June 12, 2014

Al Dente
Literally means to the tooth’’ in Italian. The food, particularly pasta, is just barely cooked.

All-purpose Flour
Plain flour that has no salt or baking powder added

Plunge food into boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, then put under cold running water to stop the cooking process.

Cook slowly in fat until brown, and then add a small amount of liquid, covering and simmering.

Cut against the grain or cut lengthwise, leaving flesh attached on one side. This is done for appearance and to tenderize.

Chicken Sauce
To drippings from baked chicken breasts, add enough chicken stock to measure 2 cups of chicken sauce.

Separate into small pieces, about ¼-inch cubes. The sharper the knife, the easier it is to do.

Clam Stock
Strain liquid remaining after steaming clams open. Bottled clam juice can be used instead, but reduce the amount of salt called for in recipe.

Clarified Butter
Make butter clear by heating and removing all whey and sediment as it rises to the top.
1. Slowly heat butter until completely melted.
2. Carefully skim off the whey (white matter) that rises to the top. The remaining clear (clarified) butter keeps for at least a week if tightly covered and refrigerated.
and then remove from heat.

Cracker Meal
Fine meal made from crackers, finer than cornmeal and used as a more delicate coating for meats. Can be purchased or made from unsalted soda crackers rolled on a wooden board with a rolling pan.

Made from the rind of ham or pork. They can be purchased in your local grocery store or you can make your own. Cut the rind into ½-inch squares. Bake at 300 F. until the rind is browned and all the fat has been rendered. Drain and store in the refrigerator until needed.

Datil Peppers
Peppers from small, green-orange plants. The peppers have been called bottled hell’’ and heavenly torture’’ because of their spicy hot flavor. If you have difficulty finding them, you may substitute the hottest peppers you can find.

Deep Fry
Cook by immersing in hot oil or fat in a pan deep enough for oil to cover food completely.

Use a liquid (water, broth, or wine) to clean’’ a cooking pan. Turn heat under pan to high, add required liquid, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up particles used in sauce.

A rich brown sauce that’s slowly cooked until it’s reduced to a thick glaze that coats a spoon.

Clean shrimp by removing black filament from the back, before or after cooking.

Cut into small cubes, usually about an eighth of an inch square.

Dredge in, Dust with Flour
Dip meat in or sprinkle lightly with flour.

Pure pork fat that is cut from the back of the pig, fresh or salt-cured.

Boneless meat or fish. Cut or slice fish that has been cleaned, beheaded, and scaled down both sides of the backbone.

Flambé (Flame)
Cover food lightly with spirits and carefully ignite. It is to add flavor or beauty when serving.

Mix one ingredient into another slowly and gently, without breaking, as with egg whites that must be kept light and fluffy.

Garlic Butter
Mash 4 to 6 cloves garlic and mince. Work into 1 stick softened butter. Refrigerate and use as needed.

Cut into thin strips or match like sticks with a very sharp knife.

Soak food in liquid usually pickled with vinegar or wine and oil, as well as spices and herbs that both add flavor and tenderize the meat or fish. The liquid is called marinade.

Chop into very tiny pieces.

Cook food gently in liquid that is barely simmering.

Force food through a sieve or blend in food processor until smooth.

Red Wine Sauce
Add 1 cup red wine to 1 cup brown sauce and reduce to ½ cup.

Boil or simmer a liquid until it is less; to concentrate flavor.

Salt Pork
Generally pork fat cured in salt.

Cook in a shallow pan, in a small amount of butter or fat. Brown evenly to seal in the juices.

Make shallow cuts in the surface of meat.

Cook in water or other liquid below or just at the boiling point.

Expose to water vapor by cooking with a small amount of boiling water in a tightly covered pan.

The peel (not the white pith) part of citrus fruit that is grated and often poached or candied. Used as a flavor enhancer or for garnish.

Copyright Joyce LaFray. All Rights Reserved.