Saturday, July 02, 2005

Glossary:In the Pantry

Peppers

Cayenne Pepper
Very Hot & fiery. Made from one of the hottest type of chilli which is dried then crushed to powder including seeds.

Mustards

Djon mustard
From Burgundy, France. Not as fiery as English mustard, been tempered by the mixture of unripe grapes juice or diluted vinegar. Good but difficult to keep

Wholegrain mustard
Mixture of mustard seeds, spices and wine vinegar, milder than straight made-up mustard; great for storage. Adds flavour to dressings and sauces cos of its lovely seedy texture. Keeps better than djon.

American mustard
Best for BBQ. Mixture of mustard, tumeric, paprika and other spices. Awesome with a frankfurter or sausage in a hot dog!

Because of the short shelf-life of mustards, it is not really worth the while of buying gourmet flavoured mustards (eg: Dill mustard) if you are not using it within a month or so. Best is to make your own mustard and combine required herbs yourself or buy regular mustards and blend in your own herbs.

Sauces

Worcestershire sauce
Main ingredient; anchovies from Basque region of Spain, blended with shallots, onions & garlic and matured for 3 years. Its a flavour provider and enhancer, real stalwart for jazzing up stocks, gravies and sauces. Of course, a key ingredient to a Bloody Mary too!

Mayonnaise
Best mayonnaise is always home made, better quality than those bottled and sold on shelves. Store in smaller jars if you are pre-making at home as air deteriorates the mayonnaise. Key ingredients: eggs, white wine vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and oil.

Canned/Bottled Ingredients

Cornichons
Cornichons are French-style sour pickles made from small cucumbers that are usually no more than 2 inches (5 cm) in length. Impt ingredient for tartare sauce and fish recipes.

Horseradish
Horseradish is fabulous with roast beef or smoked fish. Choose creamed horseradish to the generic ones at the supermarket. I tend to combine my horseradish and mustard together for that extra "umph"!

Gelatine
Used to make clear jelly. Not to be confused with agar-agar as the texture is different from that of Gelatine. Gelatine is much softer and more susceptible to disintegrating when out of the fridge while agar-agar is much denser and can sit on a buffet table longer and retain its shape.

Sugar

Molasses
Dark-ebony syrup thats left over after sugar has been refined, some unrefined sugars molasses is included at different degrees. It's very concentrated, only a little is needed. Tip from Delia Smith: use molasses instead of black Treacle in some recipes, much more luscious flavour.

Alcohol

Fortified wines
More popular ones are Sherry, dry sercial Madeira, Marsala and port. Great for cooking and drinking too!

Spirits
Common cooking spirits are brandy, whisky, Calvados and rum.

Armagnac
Cousin of Cognac but with its own special distinctive flavour. It has a great affinity with prunes, great with brownies and cakes.

Spices

Allspice
Combination of cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. It's unique and is used in marinades, chutney and pickles.

Cardamom
Indian spice that comes encased in its onw pods. Pale green in colour with tiny black aromatic seeds. Key ingredient in curries and even some cakes and selected desserts.

Saffron
Made from dried stamens of a variety of purple crocus. You only need very little to get the powerful flavour and the colour. Best if bought in threads and then pounded if you require saffron powder.

Tumeric
it's a root belonging to the ginger family. Its fragrant aroma and bright yellow colour makes Indian pilau rice have that pale yellow.

-Adapted from Delia's How to Cook-

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