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Cooking definitions and terms beginning with


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Pizzelles - Thin decoratively patterned Italian wafer cookies that are made in an iron similar to a waffle iron. They may be flat or rolled into cones and filled.

Planking - a style of baking or broiling meat or fish on a piece of hard wood. Plank also describes a wooden carving or serving platter with grooves that keep juices from spilling; used for serving roasts.

Plastic Wrap - a thin sheet of clear polymers such as polyvinyl chloride; clings to surfaces and is used to wrap foods for storage.

Plum - a small to medium-sized ovoid or spherical stone fruit (Prunus domestica) that grows in clusters; has a smooth skin that can be yellow, green, red, purple or indigo blue, a juicy flesh, large pit and sweet flavor.

Plum Pudding - British holiday pudding made mostly of dried fruit, rarely with plums. It is steamed, then served with hard sauce.

Pluot - [PLU-ought]. A new fruit grown near Fresno in California's San Joaquin Valley. Pluots are a cross between a plum and an apricot, combining the delicious flavors of both "parent" fruits. Smooth-skinned like a plum on the outside, pluots have deep red skin and sunny yellow flesh with a sweet/tangy flavor. The fruit is also sold dried.

Poach - to cook in liquid held below the boiling point.

Poi - Hawaiian dish of cooked and pounded taro root.

Polenta - Italian cornmeal pudding or mush, eaten hot or cold, usually with sauce and / or meats. It may be cooled and fried after cooking.

Popover - a batter muffin that is puffy and almost hollow, it has risen so high. The ingredients are about the same as for Yorkshire pudding, and like Yorkshire pudding, the batter is poured into already-heated containers. The beating period is critical and cannot be skimped on, as the leavening agent is egg, which must be thoroughly aerated.

Pork - the flesh of hogs, usually slaughtered under the age of 1 year.

Porringer - a child’s dish used for porridge.

Port - a grape wine fortified with brandy, which often is used to flavor casseroles and desserts. It may also be drunk after dinner as a digestif.

Portabella, Portabello - a very large crimini; the mushroom has a dense texture and a rich, meaty flavor.

Porterhouse Steak - a thick steak of high quality cut from the wide end of the sirloin.

Portmanteau - a French steak that has a pocket cut into the side into which oysters are placed. The pocket is sewn shut before the steak is cooked.

Potato - the starchy tuber of a succulent, non-woody annual plant (Solanum turberosum) native to the Andes Mountains; cooked like a vegetable, made into flour, processed for chips and used for distillation mash.

Potato Flour - a flour made from potatoes. It is used as a thickening agent, like cornstarch.

Potatoes, Straw - potatoes grated or sliced into tiny sticks and deep fried.

Pot-Au-Feu - literally, “pot on the fire,” this is one of the oldest ways with food in France - a thick soup, or thin stew. Often the cooked meat and vegetables are served with rock salt, after the soup has been drunk.

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