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MACE: The brownish-orange outer shell of nutmeg has a flavor similar to nutmeg but is more potent and of lighter color. Mace may be used like nutmeg but in lesser quantity. It may be used to flavor fruit salads and vegetable salads made with sweetly flavored vegetables. Available ground. See NUTMEG.
MAHLEB: Small seed that is ground fresh for wonderful Middle Eastern and Greek breads. Often available in Middle Eastern markets, and it is worth the search. There is no exact substitute, but some cookbooks recommend using a little ground fennel seed
MAHLEPI: Cherry-flavored seeds used in a variety of Greek cakes and breads. It comes from Syria, and must be finely ground before using
MALAGUETA PEPPER: Name given to the small dark berry of the bay rum tree used in such dishes as BLAFF See BAY RUM.
MALANGA: Member of the TARO family
MAMEY APPLE: Large tropical fruit, related to the mango, with thick brown skin and orange-red sweet pulp, eaten raw or cooked
MANGO: Fruit of an evergreen tree taken from India to the West Indies about 200 years ago. Mangoes range from plum-sized varieties to those weighing 2 or 3 pounds. Usually oval in shape. The skin is smooth and yellow or yellowish green, often with a splotch of scarlet; the stone inside is long and flat. When ripe, the yellow /lesh is sweet and juicy. Available in better fruit stotes and Latin American markets between April and September
MANIOC MEAL (farinha de mandioca): Fine, grainy, flourlike meal prepared from the dried pulp of the bitter cassava or bitter manioc, a Brazilian root. Available by the pound in Latin American food stores. Keeps indefinitely when stored in tightly covered container. No substitute
MANOURI: A Greek cheese. This soft unsalted sheep's and goat's milk cheese closely resembles soft mizithra (see below) and its Italian counterpart, ricotta, and can be used interchangeably with both
MARANTHO (Greece): Source of licorice flavor, commonly used in soups, to process olives, and to pickle vegetables
MARIGOLD: The bright, golden, fresh or dried petals of this attractive garden flower will add a subtle flavor to mixed green salads, but it should be used with discretion. The flower is also a good salad garnish. The buds are sometimes pickled and used like capers. Pulverized marigold is sometimes used as a substitute for saffron.
MARJORAM: Common kitchen herb, light in flavor. Buy whole dried. See OREGANO.
MASAHARINA: Corn flour. Instant varieties are available in Latin American markets in 5- to 50-pound packages. In general, domestic milled brands preferable. Store tightly covered in a dry place
MASALAS: Spices are the key to Indian cooking. Though some foods, such as fried okra with cumin, employ only two or three spices, most dishes are made with the elaborate combinations of freshly ground seasonings called masalas. The masalas vary widely and each is designed for a special purpose. Garam masala, for example, is a basic blend of dried spices to be used alone or with other seasonings. (See typical recipe.) Other masalas, each devised to suit a particular dish, combine spices with herbs and may be ground with water, vinegar or another liquid to make a paste or "wet masala." In some cases nuts, coconut, even onion or garlic may be added. The flavors may be balanced to create a harmonious blend, or a single flavor may be emphasized as in a "cardamom masala" or a "coriander masala." To release its flavors, a masala is usually cooked-separately or with other ingredients-before the appropriate meat, fish or other food is added to the pan. The traditional Indian cook uses various grinding stones as well as mortars and pestles to prepare dry and wet masalas. A more modern and less arduous technique, used in this book, is to grind the seasonings in an electric blender. To ensure a fine grind and avoid overheating the blender, other liquids from the recipe, such as yogurt and coconut milk, are sometimes blended with the masala
MASTICHA (Greece): The sap drawn from the mastichodenro bush, grown only on the island of Chios. Masticha is the basic ingredient of chewing gum as well as a flavoring for liqueurs, breads, and cookies
MATE (yerba mate, Paraguay tea): Dried leaves of a South American holly used to make a stimulating caffeine-rich tea. Derives its name from the gourd, or mati, in which it is usually brewed and served. Available in Latin American and health. food stores. Store tightly covered. No substit
MATSUTAKE: Large Japanese mushrooms, available canned in Japanese markets
MATZO MEAL: Jewish flat bread that has been ground
MATZOURANA: Used for flavoring stews and fish dishes; also brewed and used as a medicinal tea
MIKAN: Mandarin oranges, available canned-packed in syrup-in Japanese and many American markets. Used as a dessert
MINT: An herb grown in many varieties, it has an aromatic, sweet, and refreshing flavor and a cool aftertaste, It is a good addition to fruit and vegetable salads and yogurt dressings. Mint is also a popular salad garnish. Fresh mint can be grown in the backyard; or buy in the supermarket.
MIRIN: Sweet sake (rice wine), used only for cooking. Available in liquor stores on special order. Japanese markets will often arrange to get it from neighboring liquor stores. A good substitute is pale dry sherry, used in lesser amounts than the mirin called for by recipes
MIRLITON (christophene, vegetable pear, chayote): Tropical squash, available in the Louisiana area in early fall
MISO: Soybean paste, made from the fermentation of cooked soybeans, wheat or rice, and salt. The basic types are aka miso (a reddish color) and shiro miso (white). Used as a flavoring in soups and as the base for a dressing for vegetables. Available in containers in Japanese markets. Will keep, even opened, for as long as a year at room temperature
MIZITHRA: A Greek cheese. Comes in two types: the first is soft, unsalted, and resembles ricotta. The second is lightly salted and semi-hard. Mildly flavored, this type is a delicious accompaniment for fruits
MOUSSAKA (Greece): A layered casserole usually made with eggplant and chopped meat, topped with a cream sauce
MSG (monosodium glutamate): A powder made from seaweed or soybeans. Used as a natural flavor enhancer. It should be used sparingly, just as you use salt See AJI-NO-MOTO.
MUNG BEANS, DRIED: A versatile bean common throughout Asia. This bean or pea is also the source of bean sprouts. Found in Oriental markets
MUSHROOMS, CHINESE DRIED: Strongly flavored dried mushrooms from ¾ to 2 inches in diameter. Sold by weight or already packaged in Oriental specialty shops. Can be stored indefinitely at room temperature in a covered jar. Substitute Japanese dried mushrooms but not the European variety
MUSSEL: Both cockles and mussels are mollusks that are found along Northern European coasts. Cockles, however, are smaller and recognizable by their "cockleshells." Sometimes called "oysters of the poor," and related to the oyster, cockles and mussels may be eaten raw, but they are often steamed before eating or being used in salads.
MUSTARD GREENS: The small, deep-green, frilly leaves with a peppery flavor come in a number of sizes and shapes. The tender leaves are good additions to mixed green salads. Pickled - green variety of Chinese cabbage pickled in brine and fermented. Sold in jars and cans and from barrels in Oriental specialty stores. Store in refrigerator. Substitute rinsed sauerkraut
MUSTARD OIL: Pungent colorless or pale-yellow oil made from black mustard seeds
MUSTARD SEED: Tiny reddish brown to black seed of a variety of the mustard plant, smaller than the common yellow mustard seed and much less pungent in flavor. They are good flavorings for beet, broccoli, fish, green bean, or potato salads, and coleslaws, as well as some salad dressings.
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