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Cooking definitions and terms beginning with


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Mise en place - A French term referring to having all the ingredients necessary for a dish prepared and ready to combine up to the point of cooking.

Mix - to combine ingredients into a uniform mixture with a stirring motion.

Mixed Grill - a combination of grilled meats, such as liver, steak and bacon garnished with tomatoes and mushrooms. It is usually served with fried potatoes.

Mocha - a rich coffee originally grown in Mocha, Yemen. The beans are almost without bitterness in the best grades. Mocha also describes a combination of chocolate and coffee used to flavor cakes and candies.

Mode, à la - literally “in the mode”. Meats à la mode are braised with vegetables and served with gravy. In the United States, à la mode usually refers to food topped with ice cream.

Molasses - a thick, sweet, brownish-black liquid that is a by-product of sugar-refining; used in breads, cookies and pastries for its distinctive, slightly bitter flavor and dark color.

Mold, to - to shape food, usually by pouring the liquefied food into a mold. When the liquid is cooled it will retain the shape of the mold.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) - an amino acid derived from gluten of soybeans. Used in Oriental cooking to improve the flavor of a dish that has not come up to par.

Monterey Jack cheese - Originated in Monterey, California, thus the name. It is also called California Jack or simply Jack cheese. It is a member of the Cheddar family and is a mild, white cheese aged only three to six weeks. The texture of Monterey Jack cheese depends on the type of milk used. If whole milk is used, the cheese will be semi-soft; if skim milk is used, it will be harder and can be used for grating. It has a mild, somewhat bland flavor. It has good melting properties, making it excellent for sandwiches as well as for cooked dishes. Some versions contain flavorings such as jalapeño pepper, black pepper, garlic, vegetable and dill.

Morel - a small, very tasty mushroom.

Mornay - white sauce with egg, cream, and cheese added.

Moussaka - a traditional dish of the Balkan peninsula, and generally known as Greek. There are many variations, but all are layered casseroles of vegetables and ground meat. A good example is a combination of eggplant with tomatoes and lamb.

Mousse - a dish usually based on beaten egg whites and yolks, baked into a savory or a sweet. A mousse can be a purée of meat, poultry, fish or vegetables, served hot or cold. As a dessert it is an extra-light pudding flavored with fruit, lemon or chocolate, and served warm or cold with or without cream.

Mousseline - a sauce with whipped cream added. The name for small molds of poultry, game fish and shellfish and cream, served hot or cold.

Muddler - a thick rod used to crush and mix fruit and sugar in drinks. Also, used to free the bubbles in champagne.

Muffin - a drop batter baked in individual pans and served as a quick bread.

Mulled Wine - Wine, usually red, that is heated, but not boiled, with sugar and spices, such as cinnamon stick, ground mace and whole cloves.

Mulligatawny - English version of chicken or lamb soup served with rice. The original is Indian.

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