myFresha-licious: Cooking Terms – U to Z

Cooking Terms – U to Z


Ugli Fruit – A Jamaican fruit with loose, yellow-green skin. The fruit is thought to be a cross between the tangerine and the grapefruit with a grapefruit-orange flavor.
Unmold – To remove molded food from its container.
Unsalted Butter – Butter which contains no salt. Unsalted butter is more perishable than butter with salt.
Upside-Down Cake – An upside-down cake is generally made by first covering the bottom of the baking pan with butter, sugar, and arranged fruit. A cake batter is then poured over the fruit. The baked cake is inverted onto a serving plate, which makes the fruit bottom the top of the cake.
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Vacherin (vah sher ran – A crisp meringue shell filled with cream, fruits, or other items.
Vanilla –  (1) An aromatic spice with a warm flavor, vanilla is the seed pod of an orchid. It’s available dried or as an extract.  (2) is a bean from the pod of a tropical climbing orchid. It can also be obtained as Vanilla extract or as Vanilla essence, these should be used sparingly as the flavour can be acrid if used in excess. Vanilla sugar is made by leaving one or two vanilla pods in a Jar of sugar . This gives a hint of vanilla flavour to the sugar. It can been made by mixing in a bit of vanilla essence and then drying out the sugar , but the result is less satisfactory. Use in place of ordinary sugar to give a hint of flavour.
Vanilla Sugar – A flavored sugar made by burying vanilla beans in granulated or confectioners’ sugar. Vanilla sugar can be used as an ingredient or decoration for baked goods, fruit, and desserts.
Variety Meats – Also known as “offal,” variety meats are usually organ meats, such as brains, heart, kidneys, liver, etc.
Velouté – A white stock thickened with a blond roux. Velouté is the basis of many classic sauces and soups.
Veal – The meat of a calf up to one year old reared for slaughter when weaned. “Milk-fed” veal are unweaned calves. “Bob veal” is under a month old; “baby beef” is 6 – 12 months old. To keep their flesh from darkening, these animals are not fed grains or grasses.
Venison – Deer Meat. The term Venison covers the meat from any laege game animal such as antelope, caribou, elk, deer, moose, and reindeer. Venison is probably the most popular large game meat eaten today. The term comes from the latin”venatio” to hunt.
Vienna Sausage – A small frankfurter, often served as an hors d’oeuvre.
Vinaigrette – An oil and vinegar sauce usually used on salad greens or other vegetables. Vinaigrette may contain other seasonings, shallots, onions, mustard, etc.
Vintage – A wine term which describes the year the grapes were harvested, but used only if the wine was made only from grapes grown that year. Wines made from grapes harvested in various years is called “non-vintage.”

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Waldorf Salad – The original Waldorf salad, created at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel in the 1890s, contained only apples, mayonnaise, and celery. It was later that walnuts became part of the dish.
Wash- (1) A liquid brushed onto the surface of a product, usually before baking. (2) To apply such a liquid.
Wassail – A drink of ale or wine flavored with sugar and spices, the term “wassail” is from the Norse “be in good health.”
Water Bath – To place a container of food in a large pan of warm water, which surrounds the food with heat. The water bath is used to cook custards, sauces, and mousses, and may be used to keep food warm.
Water Buffalo – A buffalo native to the Old World tropics with large flattened horns. Also called “water ox.”
Water Pack –  A type of canned fruit or vegetable containing the water used to process the item.
Wax Paper or Waxed Paper – A paper with a thin coating of wax on both sides. Wax paper is moistureproof and almost transparent, often used to cover foods and line baking pans.
Weak Flour – Flour with a low protein content.
Whey – The liquid which separates from the solids when cheese is made.
Whip – To beat ingredients with a whisk, electric mixer, or other utensil, a process which incorporates air into a mixture and changes the texture.
Whisk – (noun) A metal utensil made of looped wires joined at the handle, used to whip foods such as cream and egg whites. (verb) Whipping ingredients with a whisk.
Wok – A pan with a round bottom, the wok is used to stir-fry foods.
Whole Wheat Flour: Flour made by grinding the entire wheat kernel, including the bran and germ.
Wild Boar – is the ancestor of the domestic big but its meat is richer, leaner and stronger tasting than pork. It can be found in Europe, Asia, North Africa and North America for more info see Game.
Wok – A round bottom pan used for stir fry and other cooking methods using high heat.
Wonton skins – A thin noodle dough that is used in Oriental recipes. Often available in the produce area of the grocery store.
Worcestershire Sauce – A condiment used to season meat, gravy, sauces, and other various dishes. Worcestershire sauce is thin and dark with a piquant flavor, named for Worcester, England, where it was originally bottled. Ingredients usually include vinegar, tamarind, onions, molasses, garlic, soy sauce, lime, anchovies, and seasonings.

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Xanthan Gum – Xanthan gum is used as a thickener and emulsifier in dairy products, salad dressings, and other foods. It’s made from corn sugar.

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Yakitori – Japanese term meaning “grilled,” it usually refers to skewered chicken pieces.
Yam – A thick vine tuber grown and eaten in South and Central America and parts of Asia and Africa. Sweet potatoes are often called yams, but are from a different plant species. True yams may be found in Latin American markets and may be used in most recipes which call for sweet potatoes.
Yankee Pot Roast – A “pot roast” is a piece of chuck or round cut that is browned, then braised very slowly in a covered pot with a little liquid. A “Yankee pot roast” includes vegetables that are added part way through the cooking process.
Yeast – Yeast is a living organism which is used in brewing, winemaking, and baking. The carbon dioxide produced by yeasts is what gives champagne and beer their effervescence, and cause bread doughs to rise. Active dry yeast and compressed yeast are the forms most commonly used for leavening. One package (or 1 scant tablespoon) of active dry yeast granules is equal to one cake of compressed fresh yeast.
Yeast Starter – Yeast starters were commonly used before yeasts and other leaveners were commercially available. Typically, a mixture of water, flour, and sugar, and sometimes commercial yeast are mixed and allowed to ferment, capturing natural airborne yeasts. When the mixture has fermented, a portion is used in a recipe, and the amount taken is replenished with equal amounts of water and flour. A starter may be replenished and kept going indefinitely. Sourdough bread is one of the most popular breads using this method.
Yogurt – Yogurt is milk which has been fermented by keeping it at a temperature of 110 degrees for several hours. The final product is a creamy with a slightly tart taste. Yogurt is available plain, flavored, and frozen.
York Ham – A classic british Ham with a mild and sweetish flavor.
Yorkshire Pudding – A common accompaniment to British roast beef, Yorkshire pudding is similar to a popover or soufflé. The batter of eggs, milk and flour is baked in beef drippings until puffy.
Young Dough: dough that is underfermented.

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Zabaglione – An Italian dessert made from egg yolks, wine, and sugar. Zabaglione is beaten over simmering water, which cooks the egg yolks and makes a light and foamy custard.
Zest – The thin, brightly colored outer skin of a citrus fruit (not the white part). A citrus zester or paring knife may be used to remove the thin layer, usually in small shreds. Zest adds a nice citrus flavor to dishes and baked goods. (2) To remove, in fine strips, the outermost peel of citrus fruits. Be careful not to include the bitter, inner white pith.
Zuppa – Italian word for “soup.”
Zwieback – Zwieback means “twice baked” in German, and refers to cut up bread which is then cooked in the oven until thoroughly crisped and dry.