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Cooking definitions and terms beginning with


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Pepper Steak - a beefsteak dipped in crushed pepper and sautéed in butter, then flamed with brandy. A sauce is made from the pan drippings and red wine. Also, a Chinese dish made with green pepper strips and thin-sliced beef.

Pepperoncini - [pep-per-awn-CHEE-nee] Are chilies that have a slightly sweet flavor that can range from medium to medium-hot. Pepperoncini are most often sold pickled and generally used as a part of antipasto and as an addition to various types of sandwiches.

Periwinkle - a small sea snail served roasted, poached, or raw, with wine sauce.

Persimmon - small acidulous plum-like tool used to crush or pound food in a bowl with rough interior surface - the mortar.

Petit Four - a small cake, usually bite-sized, which has been frosted and decorated.

Petit Suisse - an unsalted, very rich cream cheese rolled in paper in a cylindrical shape. In France, it is treated as a dessert, and served with sugar and cream.

Phyllo (filo) - pastry dough made with very thin sheets of a flour-and-water mixture; several sheets are often layered with melted butter and used in sweet or savory preparations.

Pickle - to preserve in seasoned and/or flavored vinegar, brine or oil. This is common for vegetables, especially cucumbers, fruits and meats.

Pignoli - pine nuts.

Pilaf / Pilaff / Pilau - a rice dish in which the raw rice is first simmered in a shortening or butter, then cooked with water or broth, and sometimes meat, poultry, fish or shellfish.

Pimiento - a large, heart-shaped pepper with red skin and a sweet flavor; used in paprika and to stuff olives.

Pinch - the amount of a dry ingredient that can be held between the thumb and forefinger (sometimes referred to as a dash). The equivalent measurement is approximately 1/16 of a teaspoon.

Pine Nuts - a nut with a tangy flavor reminiscent of pine, used in Mediterranean dishes, and brought to attention recently by the spaghetti sauce called pesto pignoli.

Pineapple - a tropical fruit (Ananas comosus) with a spiny, diamond-patterned, greenish-brown skin and swordlike leaves; the juicy yellow flesh surrounds a hard core and has a sweet-tart flavor.

Pint - a unit of volume measurement equal to 16 fl. oz. in the U.S. system.

Pinto Bean - a medium-sized pale pink bean with reddish-brown streaks; available dried; also known as a crabeye bean and a red Mexican bean.

Pipe - to squeeze a smooth, shapeable mixture through a decorating bag to make decorative shapes; to apply with a pastry tube.

Pissaladière - French. a tart, or pizza-type dish, made of baked dough with onions, tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, black olives and / or other garnishes.

Pistachio - a flavorful nut used for snacking when roasted, and for flavoring sweets and ice cream. It has a high iron content and a characteristic greenish tinge.

Pita - envelope of unleavened bread used for making sandwiches; sometimes called pocket bread. Arab.

Pizza - a yeast dough, sometimes thick, sometimes thin, baked with such toppings as puréed tomatoes, shredded mozzarella cheese, sausages, olives, anchovies, etc. Versions of this dish, which originated in Naples, Italy, vary throughout the world.

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