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Cooking definitions and terms beginning with


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Packed - pressed or mashed together tightly, filling the measuring utensil with as much of the ingredient as possible.

Paella - a traditional Spanish one-pot dish of saffron-flavored rice combined with a variety of meats and shellfish (such as shrimp, lobster, clams, chicken, pork, ham and chorizo), garlic, onions, peas, artichoke hearts and tomatoes. It's named after the special two-handled pan — also called paella — in which it's prepared and served. The pan is wide, shallow and 13 to 14 inches in diameter.

Pakora - a small, deep-fried snacks of India with chick-pea flour as an ingredient in the mixture. Vegetables, fish, or chicken are spiced with ginger, cumin, chopped onion, and garlic, blended with the flour, shaped into small patties, and deep fried. An American version makes appetizers by dipping chunks of raw vegetables into a fritter batter, and deep frying.

Palmier - a delicious flat flaky palm-shaped pastries made by layering puff pastry with sugar, rolling it, then slicing it thin and baking.

Pan-broil - to cook over direct heat in an uncovered skillet containing little or no shortening.

Pan-fry - to cook in an uncovered skillet in small amount of shortening.

Pancakes - A round, pan-fried flat bread made from batter, the versatile pancake has hundreds of variations and is served for breakfast, lunch and dinner and also as appetizers, entrées and desserts. The cakes can vary in thickness from wafer-thin crepes to the much thicker breakfast pancakes (also called hotcakes, griddlecakes and flapjacks).

Paper Cookery - en papillote is the French term for this process of cooking food in a container made from heavy paper.

Papillote - French term for fancy paper shapes and ruffles used to hide the ends of chop bones.

Papillote, en - a food (ex. fish with a vegetable garnish) enclosed in parchment paper or greased paper wrapper and baked; the paper envelope is usually slit open tableside so that the diner can enjoy the escaping aroma.

Paprika - a blend of dried red-skinned chiles; the flavor can range from slightly sweet and mild to pungent and moderately hot and the color can range from bright red-orange to deep blood red; used in Central European and Spanish cuisines as a spice and garnish; also known as Hungarian pepper.

Parboil - to partially cook a food briefly in boiling water before storing or finishing it by another method.

Parchment Paper - heavy grease-resistant paper used to line cake pans or baking sheets, to wrap foods for baking en papillote and to make disposable piping bags.

Pare - to cut off the outside covering. Applied to potatoes, apples, etc.

Parfait - a French dessert of frozen pudding, either ice cream or mousse layered with fruits or syrups and whipped cream.

Parsley - an herb (Petroselium crispum) with long, slender stalks, small, curly dark green leaves and a slightly peppery, tangy fresh flavor (the flavor is stronger in the stalks, which are used in a bouquet garni); generally used fresh as a flavoring or garnish; also known as curly parsley.

Pashka - a traditional Russian Easter cheesecake with nuts and candied fruit made in the form of a pyramid.

Passover Bread - a type of thin unleavened bread special to the Passover feast celebrated by the Jews. It resembles a cracker. Also, unleavened dumplings.

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