Cooking definitions and terms beginning with
Pasta - 1. Italian for dough or pastry 2. An unleavened dough formed from a liquid (eggs and/or water) mixed with a flour (wheat, buckwheat, rice or other grains or a combination of grains) and cut or extruded into tubes, ribbons and other shapes; flavorings such as herbs, spices and vegetables (ex. tomatoes and spinach) can be added to the dough; pasta is usually boiled and served with a sauce.
Pastrami - spicy smoked beef eaten hot or cold. Italian variation of corned beef.
Pâté (French for paste) - a paste made of finely ground liver or meat blended together with herbs and spices and baked.
Paupiettes - thin slices of meat or fish, stuffed, then rolled and cooked. Sometimes the meat is pounded to thin and enlarge it, before stuffing.
Pawpaws - the largest edible fruit that is native to the United States. The unique flavor of the fruit resembles a blend of various tropical flavors, including banana, pineapple, and mango. The flavor and custard-like texture make pawpaws a good substitute for bananas in almost any recipe. The common names, 'poor man's banana,' 'American custard apple,' and 'Kentucky banana' reflect these qualities.
Peach - a medium-sized stone fruit (Prunus persica) native to China; has a fuzzy, yellow-red skin, pale orange, yellow or white juicy flesh surrounding a hard stone and a sweet flavor; available as a clingstone and freestone.
Peanut - a legume and not a nut (Arachis hypogea), it is the plant's nut-like seed that grows underground; the hard nut has a papery brown skin and is encased in a thin, netted tan pod and is used for snacking and for making peanut butter and oil; also known as a groundnut; earthnut, goober (from the African work nguba) and goober pea.
Pear - a spherical to bell-shaped pome fruit (Pyrus communis), generally with a juicy, tender, crisp off-white flesh, moderately thin skin that can range in color from celadon green to golden yellow to tawny red and a flavor that can be sweet to spicy; pears can be eaten out of hand or cooked and are grown in temperate regions worldwide.
Peas - the edible seeds contained within the pods of various vines; the seeds are generally shelled and the pod discarded; although available fresh, peas are usually marketed canned or frozen.
Pecan - the nut of a tree of the hickory family (Carya oliviformis), native to North America; has a smooth, thin, hard, tan shell enclosing a bilobed, golden brown kernel with beige flesh and a high fat content.
Pectin - substance that occurs in fruits or vegetables that acts as jelling agent in jams and other preserves. It is packed in bottles and sold commercially.
Peel - to remove the outside covering, such as the rind or skin, of a fruit or vegetable with a knife or vegetable peeler.
Penne - Italian for pen or quill and used to describe short to medium-length straight tubes (ridged or smooth) of pasta with diagonally cut ends.
Pepitas - roasted pumpkin seeds.
Pepper - the fruit of various members of the Capsicum genus; native to the Western hemisphere, a pepper has a hollow body with placental ribs (internal white veins) to which tiny seeds are attached (seeds are also attached to the stem end of the interior); a pepper can be white, yellow, green, brown, purple or red with a flavor ranging from delicately sweet to fiery hot; the genus includes sweet peppers and hot peppers.
Peppermint - an herb and member of the mint family (Mentha piperita); has thin stiff, pointed bright green, purple-tinged leaves and a pungent, menthol flavor; used as a flavoring and garnish.
Pepperpot - a spicy stew without much sauce.
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