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Cooking definitions and terms beginning with

"M"


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Meat - 1. The flesh (muscles, fat and related tissues) of animals used for food. 2. The edible part of nuts.

Medallion - a small, coin-shaped slice of meat or fish.

Melba Toast - thin slices of bread baked slowly until crisp. Named for the coloratura soprano, Dame Nellie Melba, who was the toast of international society early in 21st century.

Melon - a member of the gourd family Cucurbitaceae; grown on vines worldwide, these fruits generally have a thick hard rind, many seeds and a sweet juicy flesh; there are two principal types: muskmelons and watermelons.

Melt - to liquefy by heat.

Meringue - a mixture of egg whites beaten with sugar and baked into cookies or used as a pie topping. The addition of sugar to a meringue is critical; poured in too quickly, the meringue will fall and will not be usable.

Meunière - French for literally, “in the style of the miller’s wife”, dusted with flour and sautéed in butter.

Mexican Corn Truffle - A nickname for Huitlacoche (also spelled cuitlacoche) a fungus which grows naturally on ears of corn (Ustilago maydis). The fungus is harvested and treated as a delicacy. The earthy and somewhat smoky fungus is used to flavor quesadillas, tamales, soups and other specialty dishes.

Microwave Cooking - a heating method that uses radiation generated by a special oven to penetrate the food; the radiation agitates water molecules in the food, creating friction and heat; this energy then spreads throughout the food by conducting (and by convection in liquids).

Microwave Oven - a specially constructed and wired oven that cooks with microwaves, a form of electromagnetic radiation used in radar and telecommunications. Microwave ovens tenderize foods more rapidly than conventional cooking instruments.

Mignonette - coarsely ground white or black pepper.

Mille-Feuilles - literally, “a thousand leaves”, this is the flaky pastry the Middle East introduced into European cuisine, layered with cream, and topped with jam and icing.

Milt - the reproductive gland of a male fish, also known as soft roe.

Mimosa - a garnish of grated hard-boiled egg yolks, named for the tree flower that is a spry of tint yellow fluffy balls.

Mince - to cut or chop food into very small pieces; smaller than chopped.

Mincemeat - a preserve of chopped apples, suet, dried fruits, candied peel, sugar, spices and brandy or rum. It is matured for a month or more and used in holiday pies and in some recipes for fruitcake.

Minestra - Italian; a thick soup of meat and vegetables.

Minestrone - a minestra with pasta.

Mint - herb used in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking. In the West, commonly used to make tea as well as a sauce served with lamb roasts.

Minute Steak - a boneless steak cut one quarter inch thick, and criss-crossed with cuts for tenderizing. It is intended to be sautéed in 1 minute. To cook it longer is to toughen it.

Mirepoix; Mirepois - French term for a mixture of diced carrots, onions, celery and herbs sautéed in butter. Sometimes ham or bacon is added to the mix. Mirepoix is used to season sauces, soups and stews, as well as for a bed on which to braise foods, usually meats or fish.

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