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CALABAZA (west indian pumpkin, green pumpkin): Pumpkins belong to the squash family, and in most parts of the Caribbean the term calabaza, or pumpkin, is used to mean a squash. Sizes, shapes and skin coloring vary, but calabazas usually have firm yellow flesh and a delicate flavor somewhat like that of Hubbard or butternut squash. Available in some Latin American markets
CALLALOO: Caribbean-wide soup made with callaloo greens and crab meat. The word may also be used to mean CALLALOO GREENS
CALLALOO GREENS: The term is used both for the young leaves of the DASHEEN or TARO plant and for the Oriental potherbs known as Chinese spinach. Available in some Latin American markets
CANE SYRUP, PURE (ribbon cane syrup): Sweet dark-brown sugarcane syrup, with a flavor somewhat like that of dark-brown sugar. As a substitute, combine two parts dark corn syrup with one part dark molasses
CAPERS: The unopened black or brown flower buds of a vining shrub that are usually cured and have a salty tang. They are good additions to seafood, meat, and tomato salads, and a popular salad garnish
CARAMBOLA (star fruit): Tropical fruit of an ornamental shrub of Asian origin, about 4 inches long, with thin, waxy, yellow-green rind and star-shaped in cross section. The mild-tasting watery pulp may be sweet or sour according to variety. Best eaten raw or used in iced drinks. Occasionally available in Florida and Southern California markets
CARAWAY SEED: This ancient dried seed is excellent for baking fresh breads. The highly aromatic, tiny brown, dried seeds of the caraway plant. They are good flavorings for beet, cauliflower, cheese, potato, and sauerkraut salads and coleslaws.
CARDAMOM, POD: Dried fruit of a plant of the ginger family. The pod is about the size of a large pea and may be buff colored if it was bleached; green if dried in an oven; or brown if dried in the sun. Most cardamom pods available in the U.S. are of the bleached variety, but Indian cooks prefer green cardamom. The outer pod itself is not used in cooking bur is broken away from the seeds inside and discarded
CARDAMOM, SEED: The dark-brown, dried seeds of a plant of the ginger family are encased in three-sided, creamy-white, pithy pods. (Each pod contains from 15 to 20 seeds.) The pungent, somewhat lemon-like flavor is most pronounced in the seed of the green cardamom. Available in the pod, decorticated (with pod removed), and ground. The seeds of four whole pods measure approximately ¼ teaspoon. The seeds are good flavorings for fruit salads as well as fruit salad dressings.
CARDOON (artichoke thistle, cardone, cardoni, carduni or cardi): A thistle-like plant related to the globe artichoke but similar in appearance to a large bunch of celery, is whitish-green with a delicate and slightly bitter taste. It has a tough skin and outer stalks that must be removed before cooking, as only the inner stalks are edible. The smaller plants are preferable for salads. Cardoon must be blanched or precooked, and, once cut; it should be rubbed with lemon juice or put in acidulated water to prevent discoloring.
CARRAGEEN (carrageen moss): Carrageen moss is edible seaweed which is plentiful on the rocky Irish coast and is used in most parts of the island. When bleached and dried, it will keep for years.
CASHEW: Plump kidney-shaped nut native to Brazil and the West Indies, first introduced into India in the 16th Century by early Portuguese explorers. It grows at the base of a pear-shaped fruit called a cashew apple, which is borne in clusters on the low growing cashew tree
CASSAREEP: Juice squeezed from fresh grated cassava root, which is boiled down and used as a thickening agent and a bitter-sweet flavoring in Trinidadian PEPPER POT
CASSAVA (manioc, yuca, mandioca): Long, irregularly shaped root at least 2 inches in diameter with a dark-brown rough barklike skin and hard white starchy flesh. The bitter variety is poisonous until cooked. It is the base for tapioca and manioc meal, but in the Caribbean is chie/ly used to make starch. The root used in the recipes in this book is the sweet variety, which is available year round in most Latin American and Puerto Rican groceries. Refrigerated, the root will keep safely for 2 or 3 weeks
CASSIA: The light-reddish bark of cassia from an evergreen tree has a sweet, pungent flavor similar to cinnamon, and is often called and sold as cinnamon. It may be used to flavor fruit salads. Available in buds, sticks, and ground.
CAYENNE: A hot red powder made from the dried ripe fruit of several capsicum peppers. It may be used sparingly in egg, cheese, meat, and seafood salads and some salad dressings.
CELERY CABBAGE: A variety of Chinese cabbage that grows like celery but has crisp, tightly packed, yellow-white stalks 14 to 16 inches long and 4 to 5 inches wide. Sold fresh by the bunch or weight in Oriental specialty stores and some vegetable stores and supermarkets. Store, refrigerated, for about 2 weeks. Substitute savoy cabbage
CELERY SEED: The small, aromatic, light-brown, dried seeds of the celery plant have celery like flavor. They are good flavorings for cabbage, cauliflower, fish, fruit, potato, sauerkraut, and tomato salads, as well as aspics and salad dressings.
CELLOPHANE NOODLES (glass noodles, sai fun, bean threads, long rice): Thin, translucent noodles made from ground mung beans. Dried in looped skeins and sold in 2- to 6-ounce packages in Chinese specialty stores. Wrap to store. No substitute
CHAKCHOUKA (Tunisia): A spicy vegetable mixture used as a base in soups
CHAYOTE, CHOCHO (christophine, chuchu, xuxu): The ancient chayote (pronounced shy-o-tee), a member of the squash family and actually a fruit, although prepared and served as a vegetable, is highly prized in African, West Indian, and South American cuisines. It has a green or white pear shape and firm, rather crisp flesh, may be smooth or corrugated, 3 to 8 inches long, sometimes covered with soft spines. If the skin is not tough, it does not have to be peeled. Because the chayote has a bland flavor, it is generally well seasoned. It is particularly good when cooked and marinated in a dressing, with or without other fruits and vegetables, to be served as an appetizer or salad. Also known as vegetable pear and christophine, the chayote is available in some supermarkets and specialty food stores. Keeps two to four weeks in refrigerator.
CHERVIL: The delicate green leaves with parsley like flavor will enhance mixed green, beet, cucumber, egg, and tomato salads, and are a good garnish
CHICHARRONES: Fried pork cracklings available packaged in most Latin American markets
CHICKEN LUAU: Chicken cooked in coconut cream with taro leaves. Fresh fruit is served and coconut milk drunk.
CHICKEN STOCK: A chicken soup or stock made from chicken backs and necks, carrots, yellow onions, celery, and a bit of salt and pepper and allowed to simmer for a good hour or so. It is then strained and served. See our recipe
CHICORY (curly endive, chicoree): A salad green with very curly, slightly prickly, narrow, thin leaves that shade from dark green at the edges to a pale yellow heart. It has an applealing bitter flavor that enhances mixed green salads, goes especially well with tomatoes and citrus fruits, and may be used as a garnish
CHILIES AND PEPPERS: Every podded pepper-sweet, pungent or hot-has a New World origin. The chili-pepper family, called CAPSICUM, includes Hungarian paprika as well as the fiery peppers of Indian curry, the pickled peppers of the Middle East and the common sweet bell pepper. There are a number of groups within the family-Cayenne and tabasco are examples-and within each group there are hundreds of varieties of different shapes and hotness. Growers and canners of chilies rate the pungency, or heat, of chili peppers on a scale of 1 to 120. Ajalapeno, which to our palates is a relatively hot chili, measures 15 on this scale. The chilies and peppers listed here appear in the recipes in They are described here by appearance, size, flavor and pungency. Remember that chilies lose their flavor quickly. Even dried chilies must be stored in a cool, dry place-preferably the refrigerator-in a tightly covered jar or tin
CHINESE EGGNOODLES: Long thin noodles no more than 1/8 inch wide, made of wheat flour, eggs and water. Sold by weight in Oriental specialty stores. May be stored in plastic bags in the freezer for months or in the refrigerator for a week. Substitute dried Chinese egg noodles or any other narrow egg noodle, cooked according to package instructions
CHINESE SAUSAGE: Sweet, mildly seasoned cured sausage of fat and lean pork, thumb-thick and about 6 inches long. Sold by weight (about 4 pairs per pound) in Oriental markets. No substitute
CHIVES (garlic chives): The young, slender, tubular leaves with a delicate onion flavor are excellent additions to mixed green, cucumber, and seafood salads, ns well as salad dressings. Light green in color, long thin stalks with a small bud on the tip. Find fresh in some Asian markets
CHOCOLATE, MEXICAN: Solid bars of granular sweet chocolate, flavored with almonds and cinnamon. Available in some Latin American specialty stores in 15-ounce packages of two bars each. Keeps indefinitely in plastic wrap or tightly covered container. No substitute
CHORIZO (spanish sausage): Lightly smoked sausage of coarsely chopped pork, generally seasoned with garlic, sweet red pepper and hot paprika. Varies in piquancy. Will keep refrigerated for several months but should not be frozen. Available in 4-inch links at Latin American or Spanish groceries. Also available packed in lard in tins ranging in size from 5 ounces to 4½ pounds. Occasionally found as estiio Cantimpalos, a 10-inch dried sausage. Substitute any smoked, spiced, uncooked French, Italian or Polish sausage
CHRISTOPHENE (chayote, chocho): Tropical squash, round or pearshaped, ranging from white to dark green; 3 to 8 inches long. It may be smooth or corrugated and is sometimes covered with soft spines. The firm, crisp flesh is more delicate in /lavor than summer squash. Available in some Latin American markets the year round
CINNAMON STICK: Dried reddish brown bark peeled from a tree of the evergreen family, and rolled into long slender "quills" or "sticks." Available usually in 4-inch lengths, stick cinnamon has a more pronounced and aromatic flavor than ground cinnamon.
CITRIC, OR SOUR SALT: A crystalline product extracted from lemons and limes that imparts an acidulous taste
CLOUD EAR: Small, crinkly, dried fungus, about 1 inch long. Sold by weight in Oriental specialty shops. Store in a covered jar. No substitute
COCIDO: Spanish word for stew
COCKLE: 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.
COCONUT MILK: Liquid produced by grinding fresh coconut meat and hot water together, then squeezing the pulp or meat completely dry. This process is often repeated with additional water to produce a second coconut milk. The term coconut milk is sometimes applied to the natural liquid inside the fresh nut, but this liquid is not used in Asian cooking
COCONUT SYRUP: Heavy opaque caramelized syrup of sugar and coconut milk. Available bottled at gourmet food stores
COLESLAW: One of America's most popular salads is cabbage coleslaw which is made in an amazing number of variations. All are easy to prepare and always in season. Although generally made with shredded green cabbage, coleslaw can be prepared with red cabbage or a combination of red and green cabbage. Minced green pepper, pimientos, or carrots are used in traditional slaw recipes. Others might call for the addition of apples, pineapples, pears, cucumbers, celery, grapes, blanched almonds, pecans, hard-cooked eggs, or cheese. Probably the most elaborate slaw is one called "heavenly slaw" or "Virginia City slaw," which includes, besides the cabbage, pineapple tidbits, miniature marshmallows, and slivered blanched almonds, and is topped with a snow dressing made primarily of beaten egg whites. Slaws may be hot or cold, crisp or wilted, moistened with French dressing, mayonnaise, salad dressing, boiled dressing, sweet or sour cream, buttermilk, chili sauce, or catsup, and seasoned with pickles, crisp bacon, Worcestershire sauce, dry or prepared mustard, soy sauce, onions, horseradish, curry powder, ginger, aniseed, chives, lemon juice, vinegar, dill weed or dill seeds, parsley, celery, caraway, or mustard seeds. To make a good slaw, choose cabbage of the best quality that is firm, crisp, and of good color. Shred or grate coarsely. What to do next is a matter of preference. Some cooks wash, drain, and dry the cabbage and put it in the refrigerator until ready to moisten with a dressing if a crisp slaw is desired. Some chill the cabbage in ice water, with or without lemon juice, 30 minutes or longer, to crisp. If so, dry well and refrigerate. Just before serving, moisten and add seasonings. For a wilted slaw, mix dry, grated cabbage with a dressing and any other ingredients and let stand in the refrigerator until ready to serve. For a hot slaw, combine hot dressing with cabbage and serve at once. For extra flavor, make coleslaw a day ahead of time so the dressing and cabbage blend well. Keep the slaw covered in the refrigerator; it improves as it mellows.
CONCH (lambi): Conch (pronounced ‘konk’) is delicious. It is taken from a beautiful amber-colored spiral shell with a highly polished pink, peach, and yellow, pearl like luster. Collectors hold the shells 10 the ear to hear the roar of the sea, and they use them as decorative pieces. The conch is native to the West Indies und also inhabits the waters of the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. Conch meat is fried or used to make fritters, chowders, and salads. Because conch has a tendency to be tough, it is usually tenderized by pounding with a mallet before using.
CONFECTIONERS' SUGAR (icing sugar): A very finely ground powdered white sugar. Some icing sugar may contain 2 percent corn flour which acts as a free flowing agent. Often the percentage of corn flour is increased in cheaper brands
CONKIES: Cornmeal mixed with chopped meat, raisins, coconut and spices, wrapped and cooked in envelopes of banana leaves. A traditional Barbadian specialty
CORIANDER (cilantro, coriandro, culantro, chinese parsley): Aromatic herb that resembles flat-leaf parsley in appearance, but has a much more pungent flavor. Round pale to yellowish-brown ridged seed of the herb coriander, slightly smaller than a peppercorn. Do not wash or remove roots before storing. To some it suggests the taste of lemon peel and sage, to others a mixture of caraway and cumin. Keeps indefinitely in a tightly covered jar. Any of the above may be found in Middle Eastern, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisines. In Asian cooking the fresh leaves are preferred. Thai cooks sometimes use just the root or stems. Also used in Mexican cooking where it is known as cilantro. Find in supermarkets or in the markets of the above cultures.
CORIANDER SEED: The little, yellowish-brown, dried seeds of the coriander plant have a flavor that is a blend of sage and lemon. The seeds are good flavorings for mixed green, fruit, green pea, lentil, and rice salads, as well as some salad dressings.
CORN, DRIED: Coarsely cracked pearly-white corn, in ¼-inch bits
CORN, FLOUR: Yellow or white corn, milled to the texture of wheat flour. It tastes like cornmeal
COURT BOUILLON: In the French islands of the Caribbean, the term describes a traditional recipe for poached fish. Not to be confused with the classic court bouillon of French cooking: the liquid in which fish or other food is poached
COUSCOUS (North Africa, Asia): Tiny pasta like pellets usually made with semolina and water. Also the cooked dish of steamed couscous with sauce, or other accompaniment
COUSCOUSSIER (North Africa, Asia): A pot like a double boiler with openings like a sieve in the bottom of the top pot. COUSCOUS grains steam uncovered in the top pot, while the accompanying sauce or stew simmers in the bottom pot. Available in specialty cookware stores
CRANBERRY BEANS, DRIED: Similar to pinto beans but plumper and deeper pink, mottled with reddish-brown, about ½ inch long
CRANBERRY BEANS, FRESH (shellouts): Sold in pods to be shelled and cooked during brief season, which varies with locality. Pods are mottled beige and red; shelled beans are flat and about ½ inch long. Available in some neighborhood Latin American and Hungarian markets
CRAPAUD: French for the large frog found on Dominica and Montserrat, where it is also called mountain chicken and considered a delicacy
CRAWFISH (crayfish, crawfish, cray fish, craw fish): This small shell fish, which resembles a miniature lobster. Fresh-water crustacean, highly valued for the sweet white meat. The opening of the crayfish season (which starts at the end of the first week in August and continues to the end of September) is celebrated with special parties.
CREOLE MUSTARD: Pungent prepared mustard made from brown mustard seeds. As a substitute, use any strong flavored prepared brown mustard
CRESSES: There are a number of peppery herbs or greens that grow wild or are cultivated that are called cresses. They are known by various names, such as winter, garden, or upland cresses. The greens are good additions to mixed salads and are used as garnishes
CUBANELLE PEPPER: A mild light-green pepper. Probably the closest thing in flavor to a real Hungarian pepper. Found in a good supermarket or in Caribbean markets. You can substitute fresh green Anaheim peppers. They are just a tiny bit hotter, but nothing serious
CUMIN (comino): Yellowish-brown seed of a plant of the parsley family, strongly aromatic and reminiscent of caraway. Shaped like a miniature corn kernel. Often used in curries. Available in small packets, whole or ground, in Latin American food stores and gourmet shops. Keeps indefinitely when tightly covered. No substitute. Can be purchased by the can in powder form, or buy the whole seed and grind it. The flavor is much brighter with the whole seed. Used extensively in Mexican and Indian cooking
CURAQAO: Liqueur produced in the Dutch islands from the peel of bitter oranges
CURING SALT: A salt that has nitrates added and is used as a preservative in sausage making. Available in some supermarkets and specialty shops
CURRY POWDER: A golden-yellow blend of several spices that can be mild, rather hot, or very hot. It may be used to flavor egg, chicken, meat, rice, some vegetable salads and salad dressings.
CUTLETTI: Cutletti or rissoles of various kinds are very popular in Russia. They are made from meat, fish, chicken or game. Bread soaked in milk is always added, and they are bound with egg and formed into flat rissoles in the shape of a cutlet and fried in shallow fat. Raw meat is minced at home for them and flavored with a little onion or garlic. Fish rissoles are flavored with nutmeg, game or poultry with mushrooms.
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