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Food Dictionary

Gourmet food by the book is defined as food of the highest quality and flavor, prepared well and presented in an artful manner.

Brioche is a rich yeast bread containing large amounts of eggs and butter.

To cook something quickly over direct heat with a small amount of oil.

The financier is a light tea cake, similar to sponge cake, and usually contains almond flour, crushed or ground almonds, or almond flavoring. The basis of the cake itself is beurre noisette (brown butter), egg whites, flour, and powdered sugar. Financiers are often baked in shaped molds. The name “financier” is said to derive from the traditional rectangular mold, which resembles a bar of gold.

Any food (usually a fruit or vegetable) that is finely mashed to a smooth, thick consistency. Purees can be used as a garnish, served as a side dish or added as a thickener to sauces or soups.

An Italian rice specialty made by stirring hot stock into a mixture of rice (and often chopped onions) that has been sauteed in butter.

Duxelles is a finely chopped mixture of mushrooms, onions, shallots and herbs sauteed in butter.

A cooking method by which food (usually meat or vegetables) is first browned in fat, then cooked, tightly covered, in a small amount of liquid at low heat for a lengthy period of time. The long, slow cooking develops flavor and tenderizes foods by gently breaking down their fibers.

A thick, full-bodied meat sauce that’s a staple of northern Italy’s Bologna. Ragu usually contains ground beef (and sometimes pork), pancetta tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots and garlic, enhanced with wine, milk or cream and seasonings.

An Italian bacon that is cured with salt and spices but not smoked.

A thick creamy East Indian stew made with lentils or other legumes, onions, and various spices.

Foie Grois:
Prepared Goose Liver in which the flavor is extraordinarily rich and the texture silky smooth.

Haricots Vert:
French for “green string bean,” haricot meaning “bean” and vert translating as “green.”

A dish of fresh or dried fruit that has been slowly cooked in a sugar syrup (which may contain liquor or liqueur and sometimes spices). Slow cooking is important for the fruit to retain its shape.

These delicious crispy wafer flakes taste like crushed ice cream cones. They are made by the world renown French chocolate company Cocao Barry.

A rich icing/filling made of semisweet chocolate and whipping cream, heated and stirred together until the chocolate has melted.

A tasty small round cream puff. Profiterole comes from the French diminutive of profit and originally meant a small gratuity.

Stilton is a cheese of England. It is produced in two varieties: the well-known blue and the lesser-known white. Hailed by some as “the king of cheese”. Only cheese produced in the three counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Nottinghamshire and made according to a strict code may be called “Stilton”.

Mise En Place:
Literally translated from French, means “setting in place.” When cooking, the term is used to describe preparation done before starting the actual cooking process.