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Term Pronounciation Definition
Hawaiian sun fish see  TILAPIA
hazelnut These wild nuts grow in clusters on the hazel tree in temperate zones around the world. The fuzzy outer husk opens as the nut ripens, revealing a hard, smooth shell. Italy, Spain, France and Turkey lead the way in hazelnut production. Until the 1940s, the United States imported most hazelnuts; however, they're now grown in Oregon and Washington. Also called filberts  and cobnuts , particularly when cultivated, these sweet, rich, grape-size nuts are used chopped, ground and whole in all manner of sweets. They also add flavor and texture to savory items such as salads and main dishes. Hazelnuts are usually packaged whole, though some producers are now also offering them chopped — a real timesaver. Hazelnuts have a bitter brown skin that is best removed, usually by heating them at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes, until the skins begin to flake. By placing a handful of nuts at a time in a dish towel, then folding the towel over the warm nuts and rubbing vigorously, most of the skin will be removed. See also  HAZELNUT OIL; NUTS.
hazelnut oil A fragrant, full-flavored oil pressed from hazelnuts and tasting like the roasted nut. Most hazelnut oil is imported from France and is therefore expensive. It can be purchased in cans or bottles in gourmet markets and many supermarkets. Hazelnut oil can be stored in a cool (under 65°F) place for up to 3 months. To prevent rancidity, it's safer to store it in the refrigerator. Because it's so strong-flavored, hazelnut oil is generally combined with lighter oils. It can be used in dressings, to flavor sauces and main dishes and in baked goods. See also  FATS AND OILS.
head cheese; headcheese Not a cheese at all, but a sausage made from the meaty bits of the head of a calf or pig (sometimes a sheep or cow) that are seasoned, combined with a gelatinous meat broth and cooked in a mold. When cool, the sausage is unmolded and thinly sliced. It's usually eaten at room temperature. Head cheese can be purchased in delicatessens and many supermarkets. In England this sausage is referred to as brawn,  and in France it's called fromage de tête  — "cheese of head." See also  SAUSAGE.
head lettuce Generally, the term head lettuce  describes those varieties on which the leaves grow in a dense rosette. There are two subcategories — CRISPHEAD (commonly known as iceberg ) and BUTTERHEAD (the Bibb  and Boston  varieties). See also  LETTUCE.
heart Since heart consists almost entirely of muscle, it tends to be quite tough. In general, the younger the animal, the more tender the heart. Beef heart is the largest of those commonly available, followed by those of calves, lambs and chickens. Choose hearts that are fresh-smelling, plump and red, avoiding those with a brown or gray hue. Refrigerate, loosely wrapped, for no more than a day or two. Before using, remove any excess fat and wash thoroughly. Heart can be braised, stewed or chopped and added to cooked dishes such as stews. Small hearts, such as those from young lambs and pigs, are often stuffed and sautéed or roasted and served one per person. Chicken hearts from a young bird can also be sautéed.
hearts of palm The edible inner portion of the stem of the cabbage palm tree, which grows in many tropical climates and is Florida's official state tree. Hearts of palm are slender, ivory-colored, delicately flavored and expensive. They resemble white asparagus, sans tips. Their texture is firm and smooth and the flavor is reminiscent of an artichoke. Each stalk is about 4 inches long and can range in diameter from pencil-thin to 1 to 1 1/2 inches. The hearts of palm we get in the United States are either from Florida or imported from Brazil. They're available fresh only in Florida and in other countries where they're grown. Canned hearts of palm are packed in water, and can be found in gourmet markets and many large supermarkets. Once opened, they should be transferred to a nonmetal container with an airtight cover. They can be refrigerated in their own liquid for up to a week. Hearts of palm can be used in salads and in main dishes, or deep-fried.
heavy cream see  CREAM
heirloom seeds The advent of megaagriculture in America has seen the gradual depletion of ancient varieties of native nonhybrid plants. Unfortunately for those who appreciate full-flavored fruits and vegetables, produce-seed conglomerates focus only on those strains that have mass-market appeal — which means they're beautiful and hardy, but not necessarily the best-tasting. Fortunately, about 25 years ago some dedicated individuals began saving what they could of the remaining open-pollinated (without human intervention) seed varieties, which have become known as "heirloom seeds." Among the many heirloom fruits and vegetables grown today are beets, carrots, corn, dried beans, lettuce, potatoes and tomatoes. As the public becomes more aware of these wonderful alternatives, farmers are also becoming more interested. Heirloom produce can be found in some specialty produce markets and farmer's markets.
Hélène [ay-LEHN] see  POIRE HÉLÈNE
hen see  FOWL
hen-of-the-woods A dark brownish gray cultivated mushroom that resembles a tightly ruffled puff edged in white. The name of this rich-flavored mushroom is said to come from the fact that its shape vaguely resembles the body of a hen. See also  MUSHROOM.
herbes de Provence [EHRB duh proh-VAWN , S] An assortment of dried herbs said to reflect those most commonly used in southern France. The blend can be found packed in tiny clay crocks in the spice section of large supermarkets. The mixture commonly contains BASIL, FENNEL seed, LAVENDER, MARJORAM, ROSEMARY, SAGE, summer SAVORY and THYME. The blend can be used to season dishes of meat, poultry and vegetables. See also  HERBS.
herbs [ERB, Brit. HERB] The fragrant leaves of any of various annual or perennial plants that grow in temperate zones and do not have woody stems. Herbs can be purchased in dried or fresh forms. Some, like CHIVES, are also sold frozen. Some of the more commonly available fresh herbs are BASIL, BAY LEAF , CHERVIL, CORIANDER, MARJORAM, MINT, OREGANO, PARSLEY , ROSEMARY, SAGE, SAVORY, TARRAGON and THYME. They can be found at various times of year, depending on the herb. Choose herbs that have a clean, fresh fragrance and a bright color without any sign of wilting or browning. They can be stored in the refrigerator, wrapped in a barely damp paper towel and sealed airtight in a plastic bag for up to 5 days. For storage up to 10 days (depending on the herb), place the bouquet of herbs, stem end down, in a tall glass and fill with cold water until the ends are covered by 1 inch. Cover the top of the bouquet with a plastic bag, securing it to the glass with a rubber band. Alternatively, the herb bouquet may be placed in a screw-top jar in the same manner and sealed tightly. Either way, the water should be changed every 2 days. Just before using, wash the herbs and blot dry with a paper towel. Dried herbs are available year-round in metal or cardboard boxes, bottles, cellophane packages and unglazed ceramic pots. They have a stronger, more concentrated flavor than fresh herbs, but quickly lose their pungency. Crushed or ground herbs become lackluster more quickly than whole herbs. The more airtight the storage container, the longer the herbs will last. Transfer those in cardboard, tin, unglazed ceramic or cellophane to small glass bottles or jars with screw-top lids. Each time you use the herb, make sure the lid is tightly resealed. Store dried herbs in a cool, dark place for a maximum of 6 months. After 3 months, it is best to refrigerate them. Herbs are used to flavor all manner of food and drink. Most should be used judiciously because many of them can be quite pungent. See also  HERB AND SPICE CHART; ANGELICA; BORAGE; BUCKWHEAT; BURNET; CHIVE; COSTMARY ; CURRY LEAF; DILL; EPAZOTE ; GARLIC CHIVES; HORSERADISH; HYSSOP; LEMON BALM; LEMON GRASS; LEMON VERBENA; SORREL; SPICES; WORMWOOD ; YARROW.
Herbsaint Developed and made primarily in New Orleans, Herbsaint is an anise-flavored LIQUEUR that is used in such specialties as OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER.
herb tea see  TISANE
herb vinegar see  VINEGAR
Herkimer cheese [HER-kuh-mer] A famous CHEDDAR made in Herkimer County, New York. See also  CHEESE.
hermit An old-fashioned favorite said to have originated in Colonial New England, this spicy, chewy cookie is full of chopped fruits and nuts. It's usually sweetened with molasses or brown sugar. It's said that hermits were named for their long keeping qualities — they're better when hidden away like a hermit for several days.
hero sandwich This huge sandwich goes by many names, depending on where it's made. Among its aliases are submarine, grinder, hoagie  and poor boy  (or po' boy ). Generally, the hero sandwich consists of a small loaf of Italian or French bread (or a large oblong roll), the bottom half of which is heaped with layers of any of various thinly sliced meats, cheeses, tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, peppers — anything for which the cook is in the mood
herring This huge family of saltwater fish has over a hundred varieties. The popular herring swims in gigantic schools and can be found in the cold waters of the North Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In the United States, two of the most popular members of this family are the American shad and the alewife, both of which are anadromous, meaning that they migrate from their saltwater habitat to spawn in fresh water. Herring are generally small (ranging between 1/4 and 1 pound) and silvery. The major exception to that rule is the American shad, which averages 3 to 5 pounds and is prized for its eggs — the delicacy known as shad roe. Young herring are frequently labeled and sold as SARDINES.  Fresh herring are available during the spring on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. When fresh, the high-fat herring has a fine, soft texture that is suited for baking, sautéing and grilling. The herring's flesh becomes firm when cured by either pickling, salting, smoking or a combination of those techniques. There are many variations of cured herring. Bismarck herring are unskinned fillets that have been cured in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, salt and onions. Rollmops are Bismarck herring fillets wrapped around a piece of pickle or onion and preserved in spiced vinegar. Pickled herring (also called marinated herring) have been marinated in vinegar and spices before being bottled in either a sour-cream sauce or a wine sauce. The term can also refer to herring that have been dry-salted before being cured in brine. Kippered herring (also called kippers) are split, then cured by salting, drying and cold-smoking. Bloaters are larger than kippers but treated in a similar manner. They have a slightly milder flavor due to a lighter salting and shorter smoking period. Their name comes from their swollen appearance. Schmaltz herring are mature, higher-fat herring that are filleted and preserved in brine. The reddish Matjes herring are skinned and filleted before being cured in a spiced sugar-vinegar brine. See also  FISH.
Hervé cheese [ehr-VAY] From the Belgian town of the same name, this cow's-milk, LIMBURGER-like cheese is pungent, soft and very strong-smelling. It is sometimes flavored with herbs. Hervé has a pale yellow interior with a reddish-brown coating created by the bacteria that grow during its 3-month aging. Because it's so strong, Hervé is best eaten with dark breads and beers. See also  CHEESE.
hibachi [hih-BAH-chee] Japanese for "fire bowl," a hibachi is just that — a small (generally cast-iron) container made for holding fuel (usually charcoal). A grill that sits on top of the bowl is used to cook various foods. Hibachis come in square, oblong and round models. Because of their compact size, they're completely portable.
hichimi togarashi [hee-CHEE-mee toh-gah-RAH-shee] see  SHICHIMI TOGARASHI
hickory nut There are 17 varieties of hickory trees, 13 of which are native to the United States. The extremely hard hickory wood is widely used to smoke American hams. All varieties of the hickory tree bear nuts, the most popular being the PECAN, partially due to its thin shell. The common "hickory nut" has an extraordinarily hard shell, the cracking of which usually requires a hammer swung with a great deal of muscle. Hickory nuts have an excellent, rich flavor with a buttery quality due to their high fat content. They're available only in certain parts of the country and are generally sold unshelled. Hickory nuts can be used in a variety of baked goods and in almost any recipe as a substitute for pecans. See also  NUTS.
high-altitude cooking and baking Simply put, the weight of air on any surface it comes in contact with is called air  (or atmospheric ) pressure . There's less (or lower) air pressure at high altitudes because the blanket of air above is thinner than it would be at sea level. As a result, at sea level water boils at 212°F; at an altitude of 7,500 feet, however, it boils at about 198°F because there's not as much air pressure to inhibit the boiling action. This also means that because at high altitudes boiling water is 14° cooler than at sea level, foods will take longer to cook because they're heating at a lower temperature. Lower air pressure also causes boiling water to evaporate more quickly in a high altitude. This decreased air pressure means that adjustments in some ingredients and cooking time and temperature will have to be made for high-altitude baking, as well as some cooking techniques such as candy making, deep-fat frying and canning. In general, no recipe adjustment is necessary for YEAST-risen baked goods, although allowing the dough or batter to rise twice before the final pan rising develops a better flavor. For baked goods leavened by BAKING POWDER and BAKING SODA.
highball A COCKTAIL served in a tall glass over ice. Usually a simple concoction of whiskey mixed with SODA WATER or plain water.
high tea This British tradition is a late-afternoon or early evening meal, usually quite substantial. It originated in the 19th century as a simple, early workingman's supper. High tea can be served buffet-style or set on a table. It includes a variety of dishes such as CORNISH PASTIES, WELSH RABBIT, SCOTCH WOODCOCK and various other meat and fish dishes. Also included are plenty of buns, CRUMPETS, biscuits and jams, as well as an elaborate array of cakes and pastries and, of course, steaming pots of hot tea. See also  TEA; TEA INFUSER.
hijiki [hee-JEE-kee] A type of dried, black SEAWEED that's reconstituted in water and used as a vegetable in soups and other dishes. Hijiki's flavor has a slight ANISE character.
hiki-cha [hee-kee CHAH] see  MATCHA
hiyamugi [hee-yah-MOO-gee] Thin wheat-flour noodles generally served cold either as part of various Japanese dishes or by themselves with a soy-based dipping sauce. Hiyamugi comes in various colors and can be found dried in Asian markets.
hoagie [HOH-gee] see  HERO SANDWICH
hochepot see  HOTCHPOTCH
hock 1. The lower portion of an animal's leg, generally corresponding to the ankle in a human. See  also  HAM HOCK. 2. A term used in England for any Rhine wine.
hoe cake; hoecake see  JOHNNYCAKE
hogfish see  CATFISH
hog jowl The cheek of a hog, which is usually cut into squares before being cured and smoked. Hog jowl is generally only available in the South. Tightly wrapped, it can be refrigerated for up to a week. It's fattier than bacon but can be cut into strips and fried in the same manner. It's also used to flavor stews, bean dishes and the like.
hog maw A pig's stomach, commonly stuffed with a sausage mixture, simmered until done, then baked until brown. It's usually available only by special order and should be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 2 days. Before using, the stomach should be cleaned of all membrane, rinsed thoroughly, then patted dry.
hoisin sauce [HOY-sihn, hoy-SIHN] Also called Peking sauce , this thick, reddish-brown sauce is sweet and spicy, and widely used in Chinese cooking. It's a mixture of soybeans, garlic, chile peppers and various spices. Hoisin sauce is mainly used as a table condiment and as a flavoring agent for many meat, poultry and shellfish dishes. It can be found in Asian markets and many large supermarkets. Once opened, canned hoisin should be transferred to a nonmetal container, tightly sealed and refrigerated. Bottled hoisin can be refrigerated as is. Both will keep indefinitely when stored in this manner.
holishkes [hoh-LIHSH-kuhs] Originating in eastern Europe, this Jewish dish consists of cabbage leaves stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, onion, eggs and seasonings. The cabbage rolls are baked and served with a SWEET-AND-SOUR sauce. Holishkes are traditional at Sukkot, the fall harvest festival, where they're considered a symbol of plenty. They're also called praches .
hollandaise sauce [HOL-uhn-dayz] This smooth, rich, creamy sauce is generally used to embellish vegetables, fish and egg dishes, such as the classic EGGS BENEDICT. It's made with butter, egg yolks and lemon juice, usually in a DOUBLE BOILER to prevent overheating, and served warm.
homard [oh-MAHR] French for "lobster."
home-fried potatoes; home fries Potatoes that are sliced and fried, often with finely chopped onions or green peppers. The potatoes can either be raw or boiled before slicing. Also called cottage-fried potatoes .
hom ha see  SHRIMP SAUCE
homogenize [huh-MAHJ-uh-nize] To create an EMULSION by reducing all the particles to the same size. In homogenized milk, for instance, the fat globules are broken down mechanically until they are evenly and imperceptibly distributed throughout the liquid. Commercial salad dressings are also often homogenized.
honey A thick, sweet liquid made by bees from flower nectar. Contrary to what many people think, a honey's color and flavor does not derive from the bee, but from the nectar's source. In general, the darker the color the stronger the flavor. There are hundreds of different honeys throughout the world, most of them named for the flower from which they originate. The flowers that produce some of America's most popular honeys are clover, orange blossom and sage. Other honeys, some of which are only available in limited quantities in the region from which they originate, come from the following blossoms: alfalfa, buckwheat, dandelion, heather, linden, raspberry, spearmint and thyme, just to name a few. When using honey in cooking, it's important to know its source — buckwheat honey, for example, has far too strong a flavor to be used in a recipe that calls for orange blossom honey, which has a light, delicate fragrance and flavor. Honey comes in three basic forms: comb honey, with the liquid still in the chewy comb, both of which are edible; chunk-style honey, which is honey with pieces of the honeycomb included in the jar; and regular liquid honey that has been extracted from the comb, much of which has been PASTEURIZED to help prevent crystallization. Other honey products such as honey butters, honey spreads and whipped honey are available at most supermarkets. Store tightly sealed liquid honey in a cool, dry place for up to a year; store comb and chunk honey for 6 months. When refrigerated, honey crystallizes, forming a gooey, grainy mass. It can easily be reliquefied by placing the opened jar either in a microwave oven at 100 percent power for about 30 seconds (depending on the amount), or in a pan of hot water over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Honey is widely used as a bread spread and as a sweetener and flavoring agent for baked goods, liquids (such as tea), desserts and in some cases savory dishes like honey-glazed ham or carrots.
honeydew melon This sweet, succulent member of the MUSKMELON family was prized by ancient Egyptians thousands of years ago, and ages before that in Persia, where the muskmelon is thought to have originated. Luckily for American honeydew enthusiasts, the melons are now grown in California and parts of the Southwest. The slightly oval honeydew is distinguished by a smooth, creamy-yellow rind and pastel green flesh that's extraordinarily juicy and sweet. It ranges in weight from 4 to 8 pounds. Honeydews are available year-round, though the peak months are generally July through September. Perfectly ripe honeydews will have an almost indistinguishable wrinkling on the skin's surface, often detectable only by touch. Choose one that's very heavy for its size. Underripe melons can be ripened at room temperature. Wrap ripe melons in a plastic bag and refrigerate up to 5 days. Honeydew melons can be used in salads, desserts, as a garnish and in FRUIT SOUPS. They are a good source of vitamin C. See also  MELON.
hooch; hootch Liquor that's either illegally produced (bootleg ) or just plain cheap. The word hooch is generally associated with whiskey produced during Prohibition (1920-1933), however, the name originated in the late 1800s with a tribe of Alaskan Indians. It comes from Hoochinoo  (Hootchinoo ), a Tlingit Indian village on Admiralty Island, Alaska, the inhabitants of which made and sold alcoholic spirits illegally.
Hopfenkäse [HOH-pfern-ker , -zer] A HOP-flavored cheese made from sour cow's milk. It comes from northwest Germany in the same area famous for WESTPHALIAN HAM. The texture of Hopfenkäse ranges from soft to medium firm. It gains its pleasantly-bitter flavor as it dries between layers of hops; it's sometimes flavored with caraway seeds or cumin. Hopfenkäse is a natural companion to full-bodied beer. Nieheimer  is a German cheese made in a fashion similar to Hopfenkäse, and has a comparable flavor. See also  CHEESE.
hoppin' John; hopping John Said to have originated with African slaves on Southern plantations, hoppin' John is a dish of BLACK-EYED PEAS cooked with SALT PORK and seasonings and served with cooked rice. Tradition says that if hoppin' John is eaten on New Year's day, it will bring good luck.
hops A hardy, vining plant that produces conelike flowers. The dried flowers are used to impart a pleasantly bitter flavor to beers and ales. This same plant produces hop shoots, which are widely available commercially only in Europe and can be cooked like asparagus and served as a vegetable.
horchata [hor-CHAH-tah] Extremely popular in Spain and Mexico, horchatas are drinks made by steeping nuts, grains or CHUFA in water. They're usually lightly sweetened with sugar and sometimes spiced with cinnamon. Horchatas are generally served cold or at room temperature. They come in a wide variety of flavors. Horchata de arroz  is made with rice, horchata de almendras  with almonds, and the famous horchata de chufa  is, of course, made with chufa. Horchatas may be purchased in Latin markets.
horehound A member of the mint family, this downy-leaved plant yields a juice that, culinarily, is generally only used to make horehound candy — a brittle, sugar-drop confection with a slightly bitter undertaste. Extract of horehound is also used to make cough syrup and lozenges.
horned melon see  KIWANO
horn of plenty mushroom see  TROMPETTE DE LA MORT
hors d'oeuvre [or DERV] Small savory appetizers served before the meal, customarily with APÉRITIFS or COCKTAILS. They are usually one- or two-bite size and can be cold or hot. Hors d'oeuvre may be in the form of a fancy CANAPÉ or as simple as a selection of CRUDITÉS. The word "hors d'oeuvre" is properly used for both the singular and plural forms. The reason is that the term translates literally as (dishes) "outside the work (meal)" and no matter how many dishes there are, there is only one "work." In today's modern parlance, however, the plural is often spoken and written as hors d'oeuvres .
horse mackerel see  JACK
horseradish This ancient herb (one of the five bitter herbs of the Jewish Passover festival) is a native of eastern Europe but now grows in other parts of Europe as well as the United States. Though it has spiky green leaves that can be used in salads, horseradish is grown mainly for its large, white, pungently spicy roots. Fresh horseradish is available in many supermarkets. Choose roots that are firm with no sign of blemishes or withering. Horseradish should be refrigerated, wrapped in a plastic bag, and peeled before using. It's most often grated and used in sauces or as a condiment with fish or meat. Bottled horseradish is available white (preserved in vinegar), and red (in beet juice). Also available is dried horseradish, which must be reconstituted before using. See also  WASABI.
hosomaki [hoh-soh-MAH-kee] see  SUSHI
hot pot see  HOTCHPOTCH
hubbard squash A very large winter squash with a thick, bumpy, hard shell ranging in color from dark green to bright orange. Hubbards are available from early September to March, either whole or, if extraordinarily large, cut into pieces. Look for those with clean-colored rinds free from blemishes. Store unwrapped in a cool (under 50°F) place (or in the refrigerator) up to 6 months. Hubbard squash is best boiled or baked. Because of its rather grainy texture, the yellow-orange flesh is often mashed or pureed and mixed with butter and seasonings before serving. Hubbard squash is an excellent source of vitamin A and contains a fair amount of iron and riboflavin. See also  SQUASH.
huckleberry A wild, blue-black berry that closely resembles (and is often mistaken for) the BLUEBERRY. The huckleberry, however, has 10 small, hard seeds in the center, whereas the blueberry has many seeds, so tiny and soft that they're barely noticeable. Additionally, the huckleberry has a thicker skin and a flavor that is slightly less sweet and more astringent. Unless you pick them yourself, or have a friend who does, it's unlikely that you'll find fresh huckleberries because they're not cultivated. They're in season from June through August and are good eaten plain or in baked goods such as muffins or pies.
huevo [WAY-voh, Sp , . WEH-voh] Spanish for "egg." Huevos duros  are "hard-boiled eggs," huevos pasados por agua  are "soft-boiled eggs," huevos escalfados  are "poached eggs," huevos fritos  are "fried eggs" and huevos revueltos  are "scrambled eggs."
huevos rancheros [WAY-vohs rahn-CHEH-rohs] Spanish for "rancher's eggs," although the more common translation is "country" or "country-style" eggs. Huevos rancheros consists of fried corn TORTILLAS topped with fried eggs and then a layer of SALSA.
huile [WEEL] French for "oil," generally referring to cooking oil. Huile d'olive  is "olive oil," huile de noix  is "walnut oil."
hull n.  1. The outer (usually fibrous) covering of a fruit or seed — also called husk  or shell . 2. The attached, leafy calyx of some fruits, such as the strawberry. hull v.  To prepare a food for eating by removing the outer covering or, as in the case of strawberries, the leafy portion at the top. See also  SCHUCK.
humble pie A 17th century English dish, in which the heart, liver, kidney and other innards of a deer were combined with apples, currants, sugar and spices and baked as a pie. The servants ate this inexpensive but filling repast while the gentry dined on the VENISON. The name comes from the old-English word numble , meaning a deer's innards. "A numble pie" became "an umble pie," which eventually worked it's way to "a humble pie."
hummus [HOOM-uhs] This thick Middle Eastern sauce is made from mashed CHICKPEAS seasoned with lemon juice, garlic and olive or sesame oil. It's usually served as a dip with pieces of PITA, or as a sauce. When TAHINI (sesame-seed paste) is added, it becomes hummus bi tahina. Middle Eastern markets carry both forms in cans or jars or sometimes fresh.
Hunan cuisine [HOO-nahn] see  CHINESE CUISINE
hundred-year egg Also called century egg, thousand-year egg  and Ming Dynasty egg , all of which are eggs that have been preserved by being covered with a coating of lime, ashes and salt before being shallowly buried for 100 days. The lime "petrifies" the egg, making it look like it's been buried for at least a century. The black outer coating and shell are removed to reveal a firm, amber-colored white and creamy, dark green yolk. The flavor is pungent and cheeselike. Eggs from chickens are generally used, though duck and goose eggs are also preserved in this manner. Hundred-year eggs are sold individually and can be found in Chinese markets. They will keep at room temperature (under 70°F) for up to 2 weeks or in the refrigerator up to a month. These preserved eggs are usually eaten uncooked, either for breakfast or served as an appetizer, often with accompaniments such as soy sauce or minced ginger.
Hungarian cherry pepper see  CHERRY PEPPER
Hungarian wax chile A large (3 to 5 inches long and up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter) yellow chile that ranges in flavor from mild to medium-hot. Hungarian wax chiles, which have a distinctly waxy flavor, are also called banana chiles . See also  CHILE.
hushpuppy; hush puppy This Southern specialty is a small cornmeal DUMPLING, flavored with chopped scallions, deep-fried and served hot. Hushpuppies are a traditional accompaniment for fried catfish. Their name is said to have come from the fact that, to keep hungry dogs from begging for food while the rest of the dinner was being prepared, cooks used to toss scraps of the fried batter to the pets with the admonition, "Hush, puppy!"
husk see  HULL
hutspot see  HOTCHPOTCH
hydrogenated oil see  FATS AND OILS; TRANS FATTY ACIDS
hydrolyzed plant protein; hydrolyzed vegetable protein A protein obtained from various foods (like soybeans, corn or wheat), then broken down into amino acids by a chemical process called acid hydrolysis. Hydrolyzed plant or vegetable protein is used as a flavor enhancer in numerous processed foods like soups, chilis, sauces, stews and some meat products like frankfurters. See also  VEGETABLE PROTEIN.
hydroponics [hi-druh-PON-iks] Dating back to the 1930s, hydroponics is the science of growing plants in a liquid nutrient solution rather than in soil. The plants are supported in a sterile, inert medium, such as gravel or peat, and regularly flooded with a nutrient-rich solution, which is drained off and reused until it is no longer beneficial. The air and light in a hydroponic enclosure is strictly controlled to insure optimal production. Increased yields are further insured because hydroponically grown vegetables can be planted much closer together than those in the field. Yet another bonus is that hydroponic farmers are not besieged by weeds and pests, which means their crops are pesticide free. With the science of hydroponics, plants can be grown in areas where the climate is inhospitable or the soil is unsuitable. This means that perfect tomatoes can be grown in the desert or in the middle of winter. See also  AQUACULTURE.
hyssop [HIHS-up] Any of various herbs belonging to the mint family with aromatic, dark green leaves that have a slightly bitter, minty flavor. Hyssop adds intrigue to salads, fruit dishes (it particularly complements cranberries), soups and stews. It's also used to flavor certain LIQUEURS, such as CHARTREUSE.
habanero chile [ah-bah-NEH-roh] This distinctively flavored, extremely hot CHILE is small and lantern-shaped. It's native to the Caribbean, the Yucatan and the north coast of South America. The habanero ranges from light green to bright orange when ripe. It's generally used for sauces in both its fresh and dried form.
haddock [HAD-uhk] A saltwater fish that is closely related to but smaller than COD. The lowfat haddock has a firm texture and mild flavor. It can weigh anywhere from 2 to 6 pounds and is available fresh either whole or in fillets and steaks, and frozen in fillets and steaks. Haddock is suitable for any style of preparation including baking, poaching, sautéing and grilling. Smoked haddock is called FINNAN HADDIE. See also  FISH.
haggis [HAG-ihs] This Scottish specialty is made by stuffing a sheep's (or other animal's) stomach lining with a minced mixture of the animal's organs (heart, liver, lungs, and so on), onion, SUET, oatmeal and seasonings, then simmering the sausage in water for about 4 hours. Haggamuggie is a simplified version of haggis made with fish liver.
hairy melon see  FUZZY MELON
hake [HAYK] Related to the COD, hake is a saltwater fish that makes its home in the Atlantic and northern Pacific Oceans. It's low in fat and has white, delicately flavored meat. Ranging in size from 1 to 8 pounds, hake is marketed whole or in fillets and steaks. It comes in fresh, frozen, smoked and salted forms. Hake may be prepared in any way suitable for cod. See also  FISH.
hakusai [HAH-koo-si] see  CHINESE CABBAGE
half-and-half; half & half see  CREAM
halibut [HAL-uh-buht] Abundant in northern Pacific and Atlantic waters, this large member of the FLATFISH family can weigh up to half a ton. The norm, however, ranges between 50 and 100 pounds. Considered the finest are the young chicken halibut, which can weigh anywhere from 2 to 10 pounds. Halibut meat is lowfat, white, firm and mild flavored. Fresh halibut is available year-round but most abundant from March to September. Both fresh and frozen halibut is usually marketed in fillets and steaks. It's suitable for almost any manner of preparation. Halibut cheeks are sometimes available in specialty fish markets. See also  FISH.
hallacas [ay-YAH-kahs] Hailing from Colombia and Venezuela, hallacas are South America's version of TAMALES. They consist of ground beef, pork or chicken mixed with other foods such as cheese, olives or raisins, surrounded by a ground-corn dough, wrapped in banana leaves and gently boiled. Hallacas are served as both an appetizer and main dish.
hallah see  CHALLAH
halvah; halva [hahl-VAH, HAHL-vah] Hailing from the Middle East, this confection is made from ground SESAME SEED and honey, sometimes with the addition of chopped dried fruit and pistachio nuts. It's available in most supermarkets in wrapped bars, and in Jewish delicatessens in long slabs from which individual slices can be cut.
ham The cut of meat from a hog's hind leg, generally from the middle of the shank bone to the aitch (hip) bone. The actual length of the cut varies according to the producer. The unprocessed meat is referred to as fresh ham, but most ham goes through a curing process after which it's referred to as cured ham. The final flavor of a ham can be attributed to a combination of many factors. Before the animal is slaughtered, those factors include its breed, the type of feed on which it was raised and the age at which it was slaughtered. Most hogs are fed corn, but animals headed for the gourmet market may have treats such as acorns, beechnuts, chestnuts or peanuts added to their diets. After the hog is slaughtered, the meat is usually cured in one of three ways — dry curing, sweet-pickle curing or injection curing. Dry curing involves salting the surface of the ham thoroughly, then storing it until the salt saturates the meat. This procedure may be repeated several times. Sweet-pickle curing involves immersing the ham in a sweet BRINE with added seasonings (usually a secret recipe of the producer). If sugar is added to the curing mix the ham may be labeled sugar-cured . Most mass producers of ham use the injection-curing method whereby the ham is injected with brine. This method is sometimes combined with one of the other curing methods. The length of time a ham is cured will affect the final flavor. Most hams for American consumers have a light or mild cure. After curing, a ham may go through a smoking process that adds both flavor and aging capability. The length of time a ham is smoked varies widely depending on the desired result. Those being prepared for the mass market are usually smoked lightly or not at all. Hams for the gourmet palate are more heavily smoked, the process lasting a month or more. The smoked flavor will vary depending on the substance used. Hickory and maple are the woods of preference, and some producers add exotic ingredients such as JUNIPER BERRIES, sage or peat. Once curing and smoking are completed, gourmet hams are usually aged to further develop flavors; most mass-produced hams are not. In some cases, aging can take up to 2 years. Hams are sold in several forms including boneless (with the hip, thigh and shank bones removed), partially boned (with the hip and/or shank bones removed) and bone-in. Since bone contributes flavor to the meat during cooking, most gourmet-ham producers leave some bone in. Hams are marketed in several sizes, the most popular being whole, halves (shank or butt ends only), shank, butt and center-cut slices or steaks ranging in thickness from 1/2 to 3/4 inch. Whole hams usually weigh from 8 to 18 pounds. Canned hams may either be a whole piece of boneless meat or they may be "formed" from bits and pieces of meat held together with a gelatin mixture. Hams are available fully cooked, partially cooked or uncooked. Those that are fully-cooked are heated to an internal temperature of 148°F or above, partially cooked hams to at least 137°F (which kills the trichina parasite). Uncooked and partially cooked hams must be cooked prior to serving. Fully cooked hams, sometimes labled "heat-and-serve" or "ready-to-eat," do not require additional cooking and may be eaten cold or heated until warm. Carefully check the label for instructions. Most hams sold today are of the mass-produced variety sometimes referred to as "city" or "urban" hams. Higher-quality American hams are generally labeled "COUNTRY-CURED" (or "country-style"). The majority of these "country" hams come from Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia; each region adds its own distinctive style to the ham it produces. Probably the most famous country-cured ham is the SMITHFIELD HAM from the Virginia town of the same name. A wide selection of specially cured hams are also imported from many European countries. The most well known are PROSCIUTTO from Italy, Germany's WESTPHALIAN, France's BAYONNE and the York ham from England. Prosciutto and Westphalian are generally sold in paper-thin slices. When buying a fresh ham , look for one with a firm white layer of fat, with well-marbled lean portion. In younger animals, the meat should be a grayish-pink color; older pork should be a delicate shade of rose. Loosen any packaging material and store the fresh ham in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When purchasing a cured ham,  choose one that's firm and plump. The meat should be finely grained and rosy pink. Refrigerate in the ham's original wrapping or container for up to 1 week. Some country-style hams can be stored in a cool place for 1 to 2 months. Longer storage is possible, but moisture evaporation causes the ham to shrink and toughen. Canned hams should be stored according to label directions. Some require refrigeration; others have been sterilized and do not need to be refrigerated until after they've been opened. Ham slices should be wrapped airtight and refrigerated up to 3 days. Ham can be baked, grilled, sautéed, broiled or simmered. Precooked hams can be eaten without additional cooking. Heavily cured country-style hams, depending on how salty they are, may require scrubbing, then soaking up to 24 hours before cooking. See also  CULATELLO; PARMA HAM; PICNIC HAM.
Haman's hats see  HAMANTASCHEN
hamantaschen [HAH-mahn-tah-shuhn] These small triangular pastries hold a sweet filling, either of honey-poppy seed, prune or apricot. They're one of the traditional sweets of Purim, a festive Jewish holiday. Also called Haman's hats  after Haman, the wicked prime minister of Persia who plotted the extermination of Persian Jews. Haman's plot was foiled at the last minute and the joyous festival of Purim was proclaimed in celebration.
hamburger 1. Said to have made its first appearance at the St. Louis Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904, the hamburger is one of America's favorite foods. It consists of a cooked patty of ground beef sandwiched between two bread halves, usually in the form of a HAMBURGER BUN. The meat can be mixed with various flavorings including finely chopped onions and herbs, and is sometimes topped with a slice of cheese, in which case it becomes a cheeseburger. It's also commonly referred to as a burger  and hamburger steak . The name "hamburger" comes from the seaport town of Hamburg, Germany, where it is thought that 19th-century sailors brought back the idea of raw shredded beef (known today as BEEF TARTARE) after trading with the Baltic provinces of Russia. Some anonymous German chef decided to cook the beef . . . and the rest is history. 2. Ground, shred-ded or finely chopped beef. See also  GROUND BEEF.
hamburger bun A soft, round yeast roll 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter, made to fit the size of a HAMBURGER. It may be made with regular or whole-wheat flour and variously topped with flavorings such as sesame seed, poppy seed or toasted chopped onion.
Hamburg parsley see  PARSLEY ROOT
ham hock The hock is the lower portion of a hog's hind leg, made up of meat, fat, bone, gristle and connective tissue. In the market, ham hocks are often cut into 2- to 3-inch lengths. Most have been cured, smoked or both, but fresh hocks can sometimes also be found. Ham hocks are generally used to flavor dishes such as soups, beans and stews that require lengthy, slow cooking. See also  HAM.
hand cheese see  HANDKÄSE CHEESE
hand-formed cookie; hand-shaped cookie Also called molded  cookie, this style is made by shaping dough by hand into small balls, logs, crescents and other shapes. See also  COOKIE.
handkäse cheese [HAHND-kay-zeh] The name of this German specialty means "hand cheese," referring to the fact that it's hand-shaped into irregular rounds, cylinders or other forms. It's made from skimmed, sour cow's milk, which gives the cheese a sharp, pungent flavor and very strong (some say overpowering) smell. The rind is gray and the interior off-white and soft. Handkäse is usually eaten as a snack. See also  CHEESE.
Hangtown Fry This dish is said to have been created during the California Gold Rush in a rowdy burg called Hangtown (now Placerville) because of the town's frequent hangings. It consists of fried breaded oysters cooked together with eggs and fried bacon, rather like an omelet or scramble.
hard-ball stage A test for SUGAR SYRUP desribing the point at which a drop of boiling syrup immersed in cold water forms a rigid ball. Though the ball is hard, it will still be somewhat pliable. On a CANDY THERMOMETER, the hard-ball stage is between 250° and 265°F.
hard cider see  CIDER
hard-crack stage A test for SUGAR SYRUP describing the point at which a drop of boiling syrup immersed in cold water separates into hard, brittle threads. On a CANDY THERMOMETER, the hard-crack stage is between 300° and 310°F.
hardhead see  DRUM
hard sauce The traditional accompaniment for PLUM PUDDING, hard sauce is made by beating butter, sugar and flavoring together until smooth and creamy. The sugar can be confectioners', granulated or brown. The flavoring is generally brandy, rum or whiskey, though vanilla or other extracts may also be used. This mixture is refrigerated until "hard" (the texture of butter). It's often spooned into a decorative mold before chilling and unmolded before serving. Hard sauce is known in England as BRANDY BUTTER.
hard-shell clam One of the two varieties of clam, the other being soft-shell clam. On the East Coast, hard-shell clams, also called by their Indian name, quahog , come in three sizes. The smallest are LITTLENECK CLAMS, which have a shell diameter less than 2 inches. Next comes the medium-sized CHERRYSTONE CLAM, about 2 1/2 inches across. The largest of this trio is the CHOWDER CLAM, (also simply called large clam ,) with a shell diameter of at least 3 inches. Among the West Coast hard-shell varieties are the Pacific LITTLENECK CLAM, the PISMO and the small, sweet BUTTER CLAMS from the Puget Sound. See also  CLAM.
hardtack Also called ship biscuit  and sea bread , this large, hard biscuit is made with an unsalted, UNLEAVENED flour-and-water dough. After it's baked, hardtack is dried to lengthen shelf life. It's been used at least since the 1800s as a staple for sailors on long voyages.
hard wheat see  WHEAT
hare A larger relative of the RABBIT, the hare can weigh as much as 12 to 14 pounds, compared to a rabbit at about 5 pounds. Whether wild or domesticated, hares have a darker flesh and earthier flavor than rabbits. Wild hare, also called jackrabbit  and snowshoe rabbit , generally needs marinating to tenderize it before cooking. Younger animals (1 year or less) can usually be roasted, whereas older animals are best cooked with moist-heat methods such as stewing or braising. One of the most famous dishes made with this animal is JUGGED HARE. Although plentiful in the United States, hare isn't as popular here as in European countries.
haricot vert [ah-ree-koh VEHR] The French term for "green string bean," haricot  meaning "bean" and vert  translating as "green."
harissa sauce [hah-REE-suh] From Tunisia, this fiery-hot sauce is usually made with hot chiles, garlic, cumin, coriander, caraway and olive oil. It's the traditional accompaniment for COUSCOUS but is also used to flavor soups, stews and other dishes. Harissa can be found in cans and jars in Middle Eastern markets.
hartshorn see  AMMONIUM BICARBONATE
harusame [hah-roo-SAH-meh] Translating as "spring rain," harusame are Japanese noodles made from soybean, rice or potato flour. They're available in Asian markets and many supermarkets. Harusame are also called CELLOPHANE NOODLES and Japanese vermicelli.
Harvard beets Sliced beets cooked in a thickened sweet-and-sour sauce composed of vinegar, sugar, water, butter, cornstarch and seasonings. Harvard beets are served hot as a side dish.
Harvey Wallbanger A sweet COCKTAIL made of vodka, orange juice and GALLIANO (an anise-flavored LIQUEUR).
hasenpfeffer [HAH-zuhn-fehf-uhr] Literally translated from German as "hare pepper," this dish is a thick, highly seasoned stew of rabbit meat. Before stewing, the meat is soaked in a wine-vinegar marinade for 1 to 3 days. Hasenpfeffer is often served garnished with sour cream and accompanied by noodles or dumplings.
hash n.  A dish of finely chopped meat (roast beef and corned beef are the most common), potatoes and seasonings, usually fried together until lightly browned. Other chopped vegetables, such as green pepper, celery and onion, can also be added. Hash is sometimes served with gravy or sauce. hash v.  To chop food into small pieces.
hash browns; hash-brown potatoes Finely chopped, cooked potatoes that are fried (often in bacon fat) until well browned. The mixture is usually pressed down into a flat cake in the pan and browned on one side, then turned and browned on the other. It's sometimes only browned on one side. Other ingredients such as chopped onion and green pepper are often added for flavor excitement.
hashi [HAH-shee] Japanese CHOPSTICKS, either wood or bamboo, sometimes lacquered and decorated. Also called o-hashi . Long chopsticks used for cooking are called sai-hashi.
hasty pudding This easy, versatile dish was enjoyed by our Colonial ancestors both in the morning for breakfast and after dinner for dessert. It's a simple cornmeal mush made with water or milk and sometimes sweetened with molasses, maple syrup or honey. If the dish isn't sweetened during cooking, a syrup or sweet sauce usually accompanies a hasty pudding. It's served hot, sometimes with milk or cream.
hasu [hah-soo] see  LOTUS
hatcho miso [HAHT-choh MEE-soh] see  MISO
haute cuisine [OHT kwih-ZEEN (kwee-ZEEN)] Food that is prepared in an elegant or elaborate manner; the very finest food, prepared perfectly. The French word haute  translates as "high" or "superior," cuisine  as "cooking" (in general).
Havarti cheese [hah-VAHR-tee] Named after the Danish experimental farm where it was developed, Havarti is often referred to as the Danish TILSIT because of its similarity to that cheese. It's semisoft and pale yellow with small irregular holes. The flavor of young Havarti is mild yet tangy. As the cheese ages, its flavor intensifies and sharpens. Havarti comes in loaves or blocks and is often wrapped in foil. See also  CHEESE.
Hawaiian blue prawn A freshwater prawn that's now being AQUACULTURED in Hawaii. It's name comes from the brilliant blue color of its tail. The moderately fat flesh of the Hawaiian blue prawn is sweet and succulent. This CRUSTACEAN can be prepared in any manner suitable for SHRIMP. See also  PRAWN.
hot cake see  PANCAKE
hotchpotch [HAHCH-pahch] Each country has its own version of this rich, layered, vegetable-and-meat stew. Scots usually add barley and the meat is mutton or beef or sometimes grouse and rabbit. The English call it hot pot and their famous Lancashire hot pot contains mutton, sheep's kidneys and, when available, oysters, all covered with a layer of potatoes. The Dutch hutspot uses beef, whereas in France and Belgium the dish is referred to as hochepot and the ingredients include pig's ears and feet.
hot cross buns Traditionally served on Good Friday, these small, lightly sweet yeast buns contain raisins or currants and sometimes chopped candied fruit. Before baking, a cross is slashed in the top of the bun. After baking, a confectioners' sugar icing is used to fill the cross.
hot dog The term for one of America's favorite sandwiches (the other being the HAMBURGER), which consists of a FRANKFURTER in an oblong-shaped bun with any of various toppings including mustard, ketchup, pickle relish, cheese, sauerkraut and beans. Regular hot dogs are about 6 inches long, while they are also available in foot-long versions. Among the many aliases for hot dogs are wiener dog, frankfurter, frank  and tube steak . See also  CORN DOG; PIGS IN BLANKETS.
hot pepper see  CHILE
© The Residential Chef 2018