Cooking Glossary - T
Tabasco chile - The famous chile from Tabasco, Mexico; seeds were
introduced to Louisiana in the 1860s.
Tabasco Sauce - A brand-name very hot red sauce made from hot ground
peppers, fermented and mixed with vinegar. Tabasco® Pepper Sauce is made
on Avery Island in Louisiana, United States. This sauce is commonly used with
Creole food, chili con carne and eggs.
Tabbouleh - A Lebanese salad made of softened bulgur tossed with
vegetables and seasoned with lemon and mint.
Table d'hфte - [French] meal of a definite number of courses, selected by the
restaurant for a preset price.
Taco - [Mexican] wad or mouthful; fried, toasted or baked tortilla
with filling rolled or folded inside. It has either a soft or crisp fried shell.
Tagine - A Moroccan dish named after the cooking utensil in which it
has been cooked. These stews may contain poultry, fish, meat, or vegetables and
are highly spiced with sweet overtones common in North African cuisine.
Tagliarini - A flat ribbon pasta, narrower than tagliatelle, measuring
approximately 3mm across.
Tagliatelle - [Italian] a flat ribbon pasta, narrower than fettuccine, measuring
approximately 6mm across.
Tahini - A light creamy paste made of toasted sesame seeds and sesame
oil - almost like peanut butter. Used in many Middle Eastern dishes, it can be
found in Middle Eastern delicatessens or larger supermarkets.
Tailgate - (United States) outdoor snack, meal or beverages originally
served from the back of a pick-up truck at any sporting event. Hot food prepared
on the grill at a sporting event.
Taleggio - A square creamy cheese from the Lombardy region of Italy,
with a fat content of almost 50%. Has a mild, salty-sweet flavor, which can
become pungent if left to age for too long.
Tallarines - [Spanish] noodles.
Tallow biscuits - Hot biscuits spread with fresh tallow.
Tamal (tamale) - [Spanish] any filling enclosed in masa, wrapped in a
corn husk or parchment paper, and steamed; the plural is tamales. The cornmeal
is spread on a corn husk, then filled with chile-seasoned mixture of meats and
red pepper, rolled, tied and steamed.
Tamalero - [Spanish] tamale-making party.
Tamarind - This is the very pungent, tart fruit pod of trees
originally from Africa, now common in Asia, India, and the West Indies. The
taste is bittersweet with citrus overtones. The pulp is very sticky and
difficult to work with. Tamarind paste and concentrate, fresh products, are
available in the produce sections of many ethnic markets. They keep for 2-3
weeks, refrigerated. Both products made from the pulp of the tamarind pod, need
to be reconstituted.
Tamarindo - [Spanish] sometimes labeled as Indian dates; a The pod is
bout four inches long; they have a brown papery outer skin that covers the
sticky pulp, fibers and seeds; it makes a wonderful hot weather drink; also
great for sauces and chiles when combined with dried chiles; a primary
ingredient in both Worcestershire and Pick-a-Peppa sauces; also sold in dried
bricks with its seeds, as frozen pulp and purйe, and as canned paste; fresh
pods can be purchased from later summer through early spring.
Tangerine - A small orange citrus fruit. What the United States calls
tangerines are called mandarins elsewhere in the world. They are loose-skinned
oranges. The best is the clementine - the small, flattened, seedless fruit that
is easier to peel, has less pith, and is sweeter than all other tangerines.
Tapenade - A paste made from cured black olives seasoned with olive
oil, garlic, anchovies, capers, lemon, and marc or cognac. This is common in
Province, where it is served with croutons and raw vegetables to dip. This also
makes a good sauce for grilled meats and strong flavored fish.
Tapioca - This is a starchy ingredient derived from the cassava root.
Tapioca puddings and custards are made with pearl tapioca, which serves as a
thickening agent. Tapioca comes in several forms, including granules and flour,
as well as the pellets that are called pearl tapioca. Tapioca starch is often
used to make dumpling dough, or as a thickening agent. If necessary, it can be
used as a substitute for cornstarch. Store tapioca in a cool dark place.
Taquito - [Spanish] little taco; rolled, deep-fried taco.
Taramasalata - A Greek dip made of olive oil and fish roe with the
consistency similar to that of mayonnaise. American versions commonly use
salmon, whitefish or carp roe. This is served with raw vegetables and bread or
Taro - The most flavorful of the "new" tubers sold in many
supermarkets and many Latin American and Asian markets. Treat as a potato, but
do not overcook or it will become dry.
Tart - A sweet- or savory-filled baked pastry with no top crust.
Tartare - This is a term which has several meanings. It is often used
to describe the preparation of raw beef called steak tartare. Raw beef is
chopped finely and served with minced onion, parsley, capers and seasoned with
anything from Worcestershire sauce to Tabasco sauce. Tartare sauce
describes a mayonnaise based sauce with capers, onion, hard cooked eggs,
cornichons and herbs.
Tarte Flambй - An Alsatian pizza with a thin crust topped with fresh
white cheese, onions, and bacon. This is also called an Alsatian firepie.
Tarte Tatin - Upside-down apple tart with sugar-and-butter caramelized
topping. Best when served immediately after cooking.
Tartufi - [Italian] truffles.
Taza - [Spanish] cup.
T-bone steak - A cut from the center section of the tenderloin,
directly in front of the porterhouse steak.
Tй - [Spanish] tea; usually an herbal tea.
Tea towel - Dish towel.
Teigemьsse - [German] macaroni dishes.
Tejano - [Spanish] Texan; often refers to the early Mexican settlers
Tejolote - [Spanish] pestle used to grind items in a molcajete.
Telera - [Spanish] French roll.
Tembleque - [Spanish] a coconut dessert; a good commercial product is
the Goya brand.
Tempura - Japanese dish of batter-dipped, fried seafood or vegetables.
Tenderloin - That portion of the beef between the sirloin and the
ribs; also known as short loin. Steaks from the tenderloin include the
Porterhouse and the T-bone.
Tenedor - [Spanish] fork.
Tepari - [Spanish] tepary beans.
Tepin - [Spanish] a dried chile; chile tepin; wild form of the pequнn,
it grows along the Mexican and U.S. border; round, measuring about 1/2 inch
across; have a searing, dry heat; used in sauces, salsas and stews; Substitute
pequнns if these are not available.
Tequila - [Spanish] a pale, sharp-tasting liquor distilled from the
agave plant (maguey cactus); the stem of the agave, known also as the century
plant, is used in making tequila; it is produced near Tequila in the state of
Terrine - [French] finely ground meats or fish, etc. See "Pвtй" for
description; an earthenware pot used in cooking and serving pasta.
Texas butter - A butter substitute of hot lard, flour and water.
Thermophilic - Cheesemaking term which describes the temperature at
which the culture thrives. From the Greek words thermo - meaning heat - and
philic - which means loving. Thermophilic cultures require a higher temperature
than mesophilic cultures.
Tierno - [Spanish] tender.
Timbale - [French] a molded dish. Also a high-sided pie crust filled with
cooked meat, fish or fruit.
Tinga - [Spanish] stew.
Tipsy cake, tipsy pudding - Sponge cake soaked with sherry and brandy,
covered with custard and almonds.
Tiramisu - An Italian dessert which is very popular in the US.
Tiramiso consists of sponge cake, soaked with an espresso syrup and layered with
a sweetened mascarpone cheese and chocolate sauce.
Toad in the Hole - An English dish consisting of pieces of meat or
sausages covered with batter and baked in the oven.
Toast points - Toast slices, cut in half diagonally.
Toasting (nuts) - Using heat to bring the oils closer to the surface
of the nut which brings out more flavor. Method is useful in low fat cooking in
order to use less nuts. Toasting also makes removing the skins off of nuts
easier. Toasting also gives the nuts a much better flavor.
Tocino - [Spanish] bacon. Cured ham with added color.
Tofu - Also called bean curd, a bland, cheese- or custard-like food
made from processed soy beans. It comes in various degrees of firmness and is a
very high source of protein.
Tomally - The liver of the lobster.
Tomate - [Spanish] tomato.
Tomate verde - Mexican green tomato.
Tomatillos (tomates verdes) - [Spanish] frescadillas; plum-sized,
bright green fruit, covered with a light green papery husk; they have a
citrus-like, acidic flavor; taste best when they are brilliant green in color;
often called green tomatoes, they are more closely related to the kiwi fruit
than to tomatoes, and are members of the gooseberry family. Also a member of the
nightshade family; originally eaten by the Aztecs; the best substitute is small
green tomatoes. If using fresh, remove the papery husks. Canned are a good
substitute, but rinse well before using.
Tomillo - [Spanish] thyme.
Tonno - [Italian] tuna.
Toronja - [Spanish] grapefruit.
Torrejas - [Spanish] egg fritters.
Torrone - Nougat candy.
Torta Rustica - A large pie similar to coulibiac, filled with salmon,
cabbage or spinach, eggs, and mushrooms. Other versions use meat or sausage in
the filling. The crust is usually made of bread dough and sprinkled with salt
Torta - [Italian] tart.
Torta - [Spanish] hero sandwich; often made with a bolillo; also made
with tortillas fried semi-crisp.
Torte - Dessert of the cake or meringue type, usually rich in eggs or
Tortellini - A small, stuffed pasta pocket made from little rounds of
dough, then twisted to form dumplings. Fillings can be made with anything and
are served sauced or in a simple broth.
Tortelloni - This is a larger version of the tortellini.
Tortilla - [Latin American] a very thin Mexican bread made of corn or
wheat flour. They are served both soft and fried. A round, flat unleavened bread
made from a dough of wheat flour or corn flour; the staple of all Latin American
Tortilladora - [Spanish] small handcranked machine for making
Tortillerнa - [Spanish] establishment where tortillas are made and
Tostada - [Spanish] corn tortilla fried crisp and garnished.
Tostados - [Spanish] fried corn tortillas with toppings; bowls made by
frying corn and flour tortillas in a tostado fryer.
Tostones - [Spanish] fried plantain slices.
Totopos, tostaditas - [Spanish] southern Mexican term for tortilla
Tournedo - A fillet of beef from the heart of the tenderloin,
approximately an inch thick. This term is rarely used in America today, being
replaced by filet of beef or filet mignon.
Tourte - Similar to pвtй en croute, these are pies made in a round
shape and served cold. They are generally highly seasoned and preparations are
indicative to the region they are from.
Treacle - [Great Britain] Molasses.
Trennette - Flat noodles, wider than fettuccine, that have one flat
edge and one scalloped edge.
Trigo - [Spanish] wheat.
Tripe - linings of the first and second stomach of a cow or ox; it is
the main ingredient of traditional menudo.
Truchas - [Spanish] freshwater trout.
Truffle - This is a tuber of unusual flavor and aroma. It is savored
in Italian and French cookery, and due to its scarcity, draws a very high price.
The truffle has yet to be successfully cultivated, though a fine substitute is
now being grown in California. The black truffle of Perigord and the white
truffle of Piedmont are highly prized for their exceptional flavors. The black
truffle requires cooking to allow the flavors to be fully achieved. Conversely,
the white truffle is best when shaved directly on the dish before eating. The
aroma of truffles is strong enough to permeate egg shells when the two are
stored together. Due to their short growing season and large demand, truffles
can reach a price of up to $800 per pound. Frozen and canned forms are more
accessible, but their taste never reaches that of fresh truffles. Also, a very
rich chocolate candy.
Truite - French - trout
Truss - To tie up, as a bird, so that all parts will remain in place
Try out - To heat fat slowly until it liquefies and can be drawn off.
Tube pan - Ring-shaped tin for baking cakes. Most often used to
prepare sponge cakes and angel food cakes.
Tuiles - Crisp, paper thin cookies named for their tile-like
appearance. They are often flavored with almond slices, lemon, and vanilla.
Tumeric - A bright yellow spice used primarily in commercial curry
powder. It is also used in sweet pickles and for various dishes requiring a
yellow color. This is used as a coloring substitute for saffron.
Tuna - An excellent steak fish (and the most popular canned fish),
with tender, flaky, and highly flavorful flesh; Look for bluefin but settle for
yellowfin if need be.
Tunas - [Spanish] prickly pear cactus fruits which turn from green to
ruby red; their juice is magenta-colored; their exotic flavor is like a blend of
pomegranates, cherries and strawberries; the fruit is used in making jelly,
candies and syrup.
Tunken - [German] sauces.
Turducken - A Louisiana specialty - a chicken stuffed inside a duck
stuffed inside a turkey.
Turmeric - [Indian] a rhizome that is dried and ground, then utilized
to spice and color dishes bright yellow. Primarily used in Indian and Southeast
Turnip - A root vegetable with a sharp flavor that mellows and
sweetens when cooked.
Turnovers - Pastries filled with a savory or sweet mixture, doubled
over to the shape of a semicircle, then baked or deep-fried.
Turquй - [Spanish] turkey.
Tutti Frutti - [Italian] Dried mixed fruits as added to ice cream.
Tzatziki Sauce - Dipping sauce derived from yogurt, garlic, cucumber,
olive oil and lemon juice. Served with calamari.
Tzimmes - Traditionally served on Rosh Hashana, this sweet Jewish dish
consists of various combinations of fruits, meat and vegetables. All are
flavored with honey and often with cinnamon as well. The flavors of this
casserole-style dish develop by cooking it at a very low temperature for a very