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Glossary - F
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FARINE: On the French islands, a shortened form of farine de manioc, or cassava meal
FAVA BEANS, DRIED: A Mediterranean bean similar to our lima beans. Buy the peeled variety
FENNEL (sweet fennel, finocchio, italian celery): The fresh leaves and stalks of fennel, a member of the parsley family, have a licorice flavor and are good salad ingredients. They may be used in salads in the same manner as celery
FENNEL SEED: Yellowish-brown seed of a plant of the parsley family. Shaped like a miniature watermelon, it has an agreeable anise, odor and a licorice flavor. Available whole and ground. They are good flavorings for mixed green, fish, lentil, meat, seafood, and sauerkraut salads, as well as some salad dressings.
FENUGREEK SEED: Very small reddish-brown seed of a plant of the pea family, it has a pleasant bitter flavor and a strong, sweetish odor reminiscent of burnt sugar. A primary ingredient in curry powder. Used in Persian cooking as well as in Indian curries. Find in Middle Eastern and Indian markets
FETA: A Greek cheese. Made from sheep's or goat's milk, it is white and pleasantly pungent. Pure white, crumbly, and salty, it is excellent in salads and in a wide variety of baked dishes. To keep it moist, store feta in brine or tightly wrapped in plastic. It is usually served as an appetizer and as a table cheese, and it is used in many phyllo recipes. Available in Greek or specialty shops in the United States, it may be substituted for BRYNZA and SIRENE
FIDDLEHEAD: In northern New England and neighboring Canadian areas, tender, green, fuzzy, and curled fern shoots, or sprouts, called fiddleheads (and also known as fern fronds, ostrich ferns and cinnamon ferns), have long been treasured delicacies. Found growing on the shores of streams, they are picked just as they're pushing up through the ground in spring. They're best when they're young and tender. Many years ago, the greens provided welcome relief from the monotonous winter diet of root vegetables. Today they're still sought after as spring fare. Fresh fiddleheads are available in the locales where they're grown, but canned or frozen fiddleheads may be purchased in other parts of the country. Fresh fiddleheads must be thoroughly washed and then steamed for a few minutes in a small amount of water. Cold, cooked fresh or frozen or canned fiddleheads may be mixed with any favorite salad dressing, such as mustard-flavored mayonnaise or chive-flavored sour cream.
FILE POWDER: Ground dried sassafras leaves for flavoring and thickening gumbo
FILO (phyllo): Tissue-thin sheets of pastry that can be purchased fresh or frozen by the pound in Greek or specialty shops. It is used in making BANITSA and may be used as a substitute for MALSOUQUA in BRIK and BASTILA. Should be kept refrigerated. As FILO dries out instantly, the sheets should be kept covered with a damp towel while being used
FINES HERBES: A French term that means finely minced herbs for seasoning mixed green salads, as well as other dishes. Popular herbs used are basil, chervil, chives, sweet marjoram, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, and thyme. Suggested herb combinations include parsley, chives, and chervil; burnet, parsley, and thyme; and basil, chives, and parsley
FISH CAKES (Japanese): These are fish paste molded into cakelike shapes and grilled or deep fried. Available frozen in Japanese markets
FISH SAUCE: A condiment made from fermented anchovies, salt, and water that are common in Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Thai cooking. The Cambodian version, "nam pla", is considered the finest and has the richest flavor. The Vietnamese variety, "nuoc mam", most widely available, is milder. The different varieties are interchangeable, but it is fun to use each country's sauce. Available in any Oriental or Asian market See FISH'S GRAVY.
FISH'S GRAVY (nam pla): Thin brownish sauce produced by fermentation of salted fresh fish. Extremely salty and smells strongly of fish, but when used with moderation, it provides a surprisingly subtle flavor. Used in much the same way as soy sauce. Available bottled as "fish's gravy" in most Oriental groceries See FISH SAUCE.
FIVE SPICE POWDER: A combination of five ground spices (anise seed, fennel, clove, cinnamon and Szechwan pepper) sold ready-mixed by weight in Chinese specialty stores. Store at room temperature in tightly covered container. Substitute allspice
FLOATS: Fried yeast buns, a specialty of Trinidad. Traditionally served with codfish ACCRAS
FRIJOL NEGRO (black bean, turtle bean): Small charcoal-colored bean no more than ˝ inches long. It is a native of the Americas and related to the common navy and kidney bean. Available dried in most groceries
FRUTABOMBA: Cuban name for PAPAYA
FU: Light cake made of wheat gluten, available packaged in different sizes, shapes and colors. Used principally as a soup garnish
FUL: This is an Egyptian dried bean. Buy the small variety in specialty food shops
FUNCHI (fungee): Cornmeal pudding, like Italian polenta
 
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