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BAGOONG: Salty fermented fish paste used in or to accompany many Philippine dishes. Bagoong-alamang is a similar paste of salted and fermented shrimp. Both are sold in jars or cans in Oriental groceries.
BAKLAVA: The most famous dessert of Greece, made of layers of phyllo pastry interspersed with chopped nuts and topped with a honey flavored syrup
BALM (lemon balm): The pointed, lemon-scented, dark-green leaves may be used in mixed green and fruit salads. They are also n good flavoring for mayonnaise
BAMBOO LEAVES, DRIED: Used in Asian cooking to wrap ingredients for steaming. They need to be reconstituted before use
BAMBOO SHOOTS: Ivory-colored, conical-shaped shoots of tropical bamboo, usually about 3 inches across and 4 inches long. Large wedges packed in water are best. After opening, drain and store in fresh water in a covered jar in the refrigerator, changing the water daily. Can be kept for about 10 days. Kohlrabi or celery hearts will approximate the texture but not the flavor
BANANA LEAVES, FRESHGREEN: Rarely available in the United States. Some Puerto Rican markets may carry them in December and January. Will keep indefinitely if stored in the freezer after wrapping in foil. Substitute parchment paper
BASIL: Basic herb in the Mediterranean. Buy it fresh or dried, whole at the supermarket. Or grow your own. The aromatic leaves of a plant of the mint family with a licorice or clove like flavor. Basil has a special affinity for tomato salads and dressings, but it will also enhance carrot, cauliflower, cucumber, green bean, potato, seafood, and mixed green salads. There are many varieties of basil, such as sweet basil, lemon basil, purple basil, and curly or Italian basil. There are also special fresh basils used in some Asian cuisines that can be found in Oriental markets
BAY LEAF (laurel leaf): The dried aromatic green leaves of this evergreen shrub have a strong, pungent flavor that will lend an interesting taste to tomato dressings, seafood, and vegetable salads, and tomato aspics
BAY LEAVES: Basic to the kitchen for good soups, stews, et cetera. Buy whole or dried or, if your area is not too cold, grow a bay laurel tree
BAY RUM: Evergreen tree related to myrtle and allspice, native to the West Indies. The spirit distilled from its leaves is used in cosmetics. The small dark berries, also called malagueta pepper, are used in a way similar to ALLSPICE
BEAN CURD, FRESH: Custardlike squares of pressed pureed soybeans. Sold fresh by the cake, usually ½ to ¾ inch thick and 3 inches square, in Oriental specialty stores. The Chinese variety is generally firmer in texture than the Japanese and more suitable for deep-frying. To store the cake, drain, cover with fresh water, refrigerate in a covered jar for up to 2 weeks, changing water daily. No substitute
BEAN PASTE, YELLOW (thick bean sauce; yellow bean sauce): Viscous, pungent sauce of yellow beans, salt and water, used to flavor and preserve food. Sold canned in Oriental grocery stores. Keeps for months after opening when stored tightly covered in the refrigerator
BEAN SPROUTS: Young sprouts of the mung bean, 1½ to 2 inches long. Sold fresh by weight and in 4- to 8-ounce cans. The fresh ones have parchmentlike husks that must be removed before using. Refrigerate fresh sprouts in water in a covered jar for up to 2 weeks. After opening canned sprouts, drain and store in fresh water in a covered jar in the refrigerator-they will keep for 2 to 3 days. No substitute
BEAN-CURD, SKIN: Thin, stiff sheets of dried bean curd. Sold by weight in Chinese specialty stores (5 to 6 sheets weigh about 1 ounce). Needs no refrigeration. No substitute
BEANS (frijoles): Islanders use the term peas (or pois) for both beans and peas of various kinds. For instance, the Haitian "riz et pois" is a dishof rice and red kidney beans. Most of the beans used in these recipes are dried and can be found easily in Latin American markets. The especially popular red kidney beans are also generally available in all U.S. groceries. Dried beans should be stored in a bag or can with a tight lid in a cool, dry place for no longer than two years. Following are descriptions that enable the cook to identify the various kinds of beans called for in the recipes in
BEEF STOCK: Canned consomme or bouillon is little more than salt. Real beef stock is rich in flavor and inexpensive to make from fresh bones. Please make your own (see our recipe.)
BEET GREENS: Young, tender beet greens are excellent additions to mixed salads. They are difficult to find in markets but are accessible to persons who grow beets in their gardens
BENI SHOGA: Red pickled ginger root, available bottled in Japanese markets. Used slivered or sliced as flavoring agent or garnish. Once opened, will keep refrigerated for several weeks if bottles are reclosed
BESAN: Flour made by grinding dried chick-peas
BIRD'S NEST: Fragments of a translucent, gelatinous material with which Asian swiftlets coat their nests. Available in Chinese specialty stores, usually in 4- to 8-ounce packages. Needs no refrigeration. No substitute
BITTER MELON (balsam pear): Small, green, tapered vegetable that resembles the cucumber in size and shape but has a warted or wrinkled green surface. It grows in tropical climates and is highly prized by African and Asian cooks. As the name suggested, it has distinctive bitter taste that is also refreshingly cool. The vegetable, available fresh and/or canned in Oriental and specialty food stores, doesn't have to be peeled, but it has a white, spongy center portion that must be removed before cooking or eating.
BLACK BEANS (frijoles negros, turtle beans or black turtle soup beans): Small, flat, less than ½ inch long. Charcoal black with white spot
BLAFF: Fresh fish poached in a clear stock seasoned with hot peppers. Traditional in the French islands
BOK CHOY (chinese cabbage, chard): A crisp, mild-tasting variety of Chinese cabbage that grows somewhat like celery but has 12- to 16-inch - long smooth white stalks and large dark-green leaves with white veins. The name, however, means "white cabbage." Bok choy has a very pleasant flavor, is crisp, and should be used promptly. Although generally cooked, it may be used raw in salads. The vegetable is sold fresh by the bunch in Oriental or specialty food stores and in some supermarkets. Substitute celery cabbage or Swiss chard.
BORAGE: The oval, grayish-green leaves with a cucumber like fragrance and taste are fine additions to mixed green, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, green pea, and spinach salads
BOUREKI (bourekakia): Greek phyllo puffs made with various fillings
BREADFRUIT: Breadfruit, a prickly, large, round, green fruit with yellowish-white flesh, is a staple food in Africa, the West Indies, South America, and the South Pacific. It may weigh up to 10 pounds, and has a warty or prickly hide. When baked or toasted, the flesh has the texture of broad. The fruit comes in many varieties, is rich in vitamins, and has a high carbohydrate value. It is not edible until cooked, and is eaten and served like potatoes or as a starchy vegetable. Breadfruit is available fresh and canned in some specialty food stores.
BROCCOLI: Broccoli, a dark-green vegetable related to cauliflower and very rich in vitamin C, is used in China for making a number of superb dishes, including interesting salads. It should be cooked until just tender and still crisp. Serve with roast meat, game, or poultry.
BROWN BEANS: Smaller and rounder than American beans, these are cooked up to make a fantastic Scandinavian dish. Find in specialty stores or Scandinavian markets
BROWN-BEAN SAUCE: Thick sauce made from fermented yellow beans, flour and salt. Sold in cans of 1 pound or more in Chinese specialty stores. After opening, it keeps for months refrigerated in a covered jar. Substitute additional salt
BRYNZA: A brined white sheep's-milk cheese resembling Greek FETA. Available in cheese stores
BULGUR WHEAT: Processed wheat for Middle Eastern dishes. Three grinds: fine, medium, and coarse. Find in Middle Eastern stores or in fancy supermarkets or gourmet stores
BURNET: The young, tender leaves with a distinct and delicate cucumber flavor are good additions to mixed green, beet, cucumber, mushroom, and tomato salads
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