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66 results found.
Term Pronounciation Definition
naan; nan [NAHN] An East Indian, white-flour flat bread that is lightly leavened by a natural YEAST STARTER developed from airborne yeasts. Naan is traditionally baked in a TANDOOR OVEN. A flattened round of dough is placed on a cloth puff that is used to slap the bread directly onto the side of the special high-heat oven. In less than 60 seconds, the bread puffs slightly, browns on the side touching the oven wall and takes on a light smoky flavor. The bread is speared with a skewer and removed from the oven wall to be served hot.
nabemono [nah-beh-MOH-noh] This Japanese term translates to "things-in-a-pot" and refers to a category of communal one-pot meals that are popular in Japan, particularly during cold weather. Ingredients are prepared in bite-size portions in advance, then cooked at the table in broth or oil. With some dishes, ingredients are added one at a time and when the dish is ready it's served family style. With other dishes, participants actually cook their own food in the hot liquid or oil, much like a FONDUE Bourguignonne. Various condiments and sauces are served to flavor the just-cooked foods. See also  CHIRINABE; MIZUTAKI.
nacho [NAH-choh] A crisp TORTILLA chip topped with melted cheese (usually CHEDDAR) and chopped CHILES, usually served as an appetizer or snack. Nachos sometimes appear on menus as "Mexican pizza," in which case they generally have additional toppings such as cooked, ground CHORIZO, onions and sometimes olives.
nameko [NAH-meh-koh] A small Japanese mushroom that ranges in color from orange to amber to gold. The nameko has a soft almost gelatinous texture and a rich, earthy aroma and flavor. It's highly regarded and used primarily in Japanese soups and one-pot dishes. Though nameko mushrooms are seldom found fresh in the United States, they're available canned in Asian markets. The nameko is sometimes also called cinnamon cap. See also  MUSHROOM.
nam pla [nahm PLAH] Popular in Thailand, nam pla is a salty, fermented FISH SAUCE with an extremely pungent odor. It's used as a condiment, sauce and seasoning ingredient. Nam pla is popular throughout Southeast Asia and is known as nuoc nam  in Vietnam and as shottsuru  in Japan. Ancient Romans used a nam pla counterpart called GARUM.
nam prik [nahm PRIHK] Thailand's counterpart to SAMBAL, nam prik is a general term for various condiments and sauces used to accompany a variety of foods including fish, rice and vegetables. The ingredients used vary from region to region and can include CHILES, garlic, dried fish, trasi, TAMARIND concentrate, fruit (such as green MANGO) and nuts.
nan see  NAAN
Nantua sauce [nan-TOO-uh] A BÉCHAMEL-based sauce made with cream and CRAYFISH butter and garnished with crayfish tails. Nantua sauce is served with seafood or egg dishes.
nap To coat food lightly with a sauce so that it completely covers the food with a thin, even layer.
napa cabbage see  CHINESE CABBAGE
Napoleon [nuh-POH-lee-uhn] A delectable dessert made with crisp layers of PUFF PASTRY spread with CRÈME PÂTISSIÈRE and either glazed with a thin icing or dusted with confectioners' sugar. Napoleons are usually made in small rectangular shapes just large enough for an individual serving.
Napoleon cherry Another name for the ROYAL ANN CHERRY.
nasi goreng [nahg-SEE goh-REHNG] The Indonesian term for "fried rice," of which there are hundreds of versions throughout Indonesia, Malaysia and the surrounding areas. The rice is cooked with various ingredients including shrimp or other shellfish, meat, chicken, eggs, onions, chiles, garlic, cucumber, peanuts and a wide array of seasonings. If noodles are substituted for rice, the dish is called bahmi goreng .
natto [NAH-toh] These steamed, fermented and mashed soybeans have a glutinous texture and strong cheeselike flavor. Natto is particularly popular in Japan, where it's used as a flavoring and table CONDIMENT and is greatly favored served over rice for breakfast. It's often mixed with other ingredients such as mustard, soy sauce and chives.
navel orange Grown in California, Arizona and Florida, the navel is an excellent eating orange. Its name originates from the fact that the blossom end resembles the human navel. This large fruit has a bright-orange skin that's thick and easy to peel. The pulp is sweet, flavorful and seedless. Available from late fall through late spring, the navel orange is sometimes called Washington, Riverside  or Bahia navel. See also  ORANGE.
navy bean This small white LEGUME, also known as Yankee bean , gets its name from the fact that the U.S. Navy has served it as a staple since the mid-1800s. The navy bean is widely used for commercially canned pork and beans. It also makes wonderful soups and is often used in the preparation of BOSTON BAKED BEANS (though New Englanders prefer using the smaller PEA BEAN for this purpose). Navy beans require lengthy, slow cooking. See also  BEANS.
Neapolitan ice cream [nee-uh-PAHL-uh-tuhn] Brick-shaped ice cream made up of three differently flavored ice creams (usually vanilla, chocolate and strawberry). It's normally served in slices, each of which displays the tricolored ice cream. Other desserts (or gelatin salads) made in three distinct layers are also labeled "neapolitan."
neat 1. A term referring to liquor that is drunk undiluted by ice, water or MIXERS. 2. An old term used mainly in England for a member of the bovine family such as the ox or cow. Neat's foot jelly was what today is called CALF'S FOOT JELLY.
Nebuchadnezzar [nehb-uh-kuhd-NEHZ-uhr] see  WINE BOTTLES
nectarine [nehk-tah-REEN] The nectarine's flesh is sweet, succulent and firmer than that of its relative, the peach. When ripe, its smooth skin is a brilliant golden yellow with generous blushes of red. Nectarines are available from midspring to late September with a peak during July and August. Look for fragrant, brightly colored fruit that gives slightly to the touch. Avoid those with bruises or other blemishes as well as those that are hard or overly green. Slightly underripe nectarines can be left to ripen at room temperature for a couple of days. Ripe fruit should be refrigerated and used within 5 days. They're wonderful eaten out of hand and can be used in salads, a variety of fresh and cooked desserts and as a garnish for many hot and cold dishes. Nectarines contain a fair amount of vitamins A and C.
Nesselrode [NEHS-uhl-rohd] Count Nesselrode, the 19th-century Russian diplomat, lived and ate lavishly and had a number of rich dishes dedicated to him. The most famous is Nesselrode pudding, developed by his head chef Mouy. It consists of cream-enriched CUSTARD mixed with CHESTNUT puree, candied fruits, currants, raisins and MARASCHINO LIQUEUR. This elegant mixture is often frozen, or made into a pie or dessert sauce. Other dishes named after the Count include a game soup and a braised sweetbread dish, but none gained the same fame as the Nesselrode pudding.
Neufchâtel cheese [noo-shuh-TELL, NOO-shuh-tell] 1.The French original, hailing from the town of Neufchâtel in the region of Normandy, is a soft, white, unripened cheese. When young, its flavor is slightly salty but delicate and mild. After ripening, Neufchâtel becomes more pungent. It's made from cows' milk and the milk fat content varies widely (from 20 to 45 percent). Neufchâtel is available in a variety of shapes — square, rectangular, cylindrical and the special heart-shape variety called Coeur de Bray . 2. For information on the American version of Neufchâtel, see  CREAM CHEESE. See also  CHEESE.
Newburg An extraordinarily rich dish of chopped cooked shellfish (usually lobster, crab and shrimp) in an elegant sauce composed of butter, cream, egg yolks, SHERRY and seasonings. It's usually served over buttered toast points. The sauce can be used with other foods, in which case the dish is usually given the appellation "newburg."
New England boiled dinner Originally made with salted beef, today this East Coast classic more commonly contains corned beef, ham or SALT PORK. Additional items such as chicken, cabbage, potatoes, parsnips, onions, carrots and seasonings are added at various times and slowly simmered together to create this hearty one-pot meal. New England boiled dinner is traditionally accompanied by horseradish and mustard.
New England clam chowder see  chowder
new potato see  POTATO
Newtown pippin apple This all-purpose apple is great for both eating and cooking. The skin is greenish-yellow to yellow, the flesh crisp and juicy and the flavor slightly tart. Also called simply pippin  or sometimes yellow pippin , this flavorful apple is available midwinter through midspring. See also  APPLE.
New York steak Also known as New York strip steak  and shell steak , this cut of meat comes from the most tender section of beef, the SHORT LOIN. It's the boneless top loin muscle and is equivalent to a PORTERHOUSE steak minus tenderloin and bone. Depending on the region, it's also marketed as Delmonico steak, Kansas City (strip) steak, shell steak, sirloin club steak  and strip steak . This tender cut may be broiled, grilled or sautéed. See also  BEEF.
Niagara grape A North American table grape grown in the eastern United States and, because it doesn't ship well, found only in the areas where it's grown. The large, juicy Niagara is in season from September through October. It's round to oval in shape, pale greenish-white and has a sweet, foxy flavor. A limited number of Niagara grapes are made into wine. See also  GRAPE.
niboshi [nee-BOH-shee] Dried sardines, most often used in Japanese cuisine for creating a stronger-flavored soup stock than the more popular DASHI. Niboshi is also eaten as a snack and used as a flavoring ingredient in various dishes.
niçoise, à la [nee-SWAHZ] A French phrase that means "as prepared in Nice," typifying the cuisine found in and around that French Riviera city. This cooking style is identified with hot and cold dishes that include the integral ingredients of tomatoes, black olives, garlic and ANCHOVIES. Salade niçoise contains these basic ingredients plus French green beans, onions, tuna, hard-cooked eggs and herbs.
niçoise olive [nee-SWAHZ] Hailing from the Provence region of France (but also grown in Italy and Morocco), this small, oval olive ranges in color from purple-brown to brown-black. Niçoise olives are cured in brine and packed in olive oil. Good specimens have a rich, nutty, mellow flavor. See also  OLIVE.
niçoise salad see  NIÇOISE, À LA
Nieheimer [NEE-hi-mer] see  HOPFENKÄSE
nigella seeds [ni-JELL-uh, nee-JELL-uh] Also called black onion seeds , these tiny, angular, deep black seeds have a nutty, peppery flavor. They're used in India and the Middle East as a seasoning for vegetables, LEGUMES and breads. Nigella seeds are sometimes erroneously referred to as black CUMIN, an entirely different species. They can be found in Middle Eastern and Indian markets. See also  SPICES.
nigiri sushi [nee-JEE-ree SOO-shee] see  SUSHI
nijisseiki see  ASIAN PEAR
nimono [nee-MOH-noh] Japanese foods such as fish, meat and vegetables that are simmered in a seasoned broth. The broth may be flavored with various seasonings including DASHI, MISO, fresh ginger, red chiles or simply salt.
noble rot see  BOTRYTIS CINEREA
nockerl [NOK-uhrl] There are two basic versions of this Austrian dumpling. The heartier, flour-based, savory rendition is served in soups and stews. The sweet version, known as Salzburger nokerl, contains very little flour and is made fluffy by the addition of stiffly beaten egg whites. It's generally used as an addition to fruit soups or served for dessert accompanied by fruit.
no-eyed pea see  PIGEON PEA
nog 1. A nickname for EGGNOG. 2. Any beverage made with beaten egg, milk and usually liquor. 3. In certain parts of England the term "nog" refers to strong ALE.
noisette [nwah-ZEHT] 1. The French word for "hazelnut." 2. A small, tender, round slice of meat (usually lamb, beef or veal) taken from the rib or loin. See also  BEURRE NOISETTE; POMMES NOISETTE.
nökkelost cheese see  KUMINOST CHEESE
nondairy creamer Though called a "creamer," this product neither contains dairy products nor tastes particularly like cream. Its main function is to lighten the color and dilute the flavor of coffee. Nondairy creamers are made from ingredients such as COCONUT OIL, PALM OIL or hydrogenated oil, sweeteners, emulsifiers and preservatives. Because they're so high in saturated fat, these pseudocream products are not recommended for those on low-cholesterol diets. Nondairy creamers are sold in several forms — powdered, liquid and frozen.
nonnutritive sweeteners see  ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
nonpareil [non-puh-REHL] 1. A tiny colored-sugar pellet used to decorate cakes, cupcakes, cookies, candy, etc. 2. A confection consisting of a small chocolate disc covered with these colored candy pellets. 3. A French term meaning "without equal," most often used in reference to small pickled CAPERS from the region of Provence in France.
nonstick finishes These special coatings on cookware and bakeware allow for fat-free cooking, prevent food from sticking and require minimal cleanup. Some nonstick finishes are applied to the surface and can wear off over a period of time. Others are fired right onto the metal, making for a sturdier finish (and a higher cost). Most nonstick finishes are dishwasher safe but require the use of nonmetal utensils to prevent scratching the surfaces.
nonvintage see  VINTAGE
noodles The main difference between noodles and MACARONI or SPAGHETTI is that, in addition to flour and water, noodles contain eggs or egg yolks. Noodles can be cut into flat, thick or thin strips of various lengths. They may also be cut into squares. A wide variety of noodles is available in markets, including those enriched with vitamins and minerals, and colored noodles (red tinted with tomato paste or beet juice and green with spinach). Noodles are sold fresh (these should be refrigerated for no more than 3 days) and dried (best stored in a cool, dry place for no more than 6 months). See also  ASIAN NOODLES; PASTA.
nopales [noh-PAH-lays] Long popular in Mexico, these fleshy oval leaves (also called pads  or paddles ) of the nopal  (PRICKLY PEAR) cactus are gaining popularity in the United States. They range in color from pale to dark green and have a delicate, slightly tart green-bean flavor. Though fresh nopales  (also called cactus leaves ) are available year-round in Mexican markets and some supermarkets, they're at their most tender and juicy best in the spring. Look for small, firm, pale-green nopales  with no sign of wrinkling. Refrigerate tightly wrapped for up to a week. Before use, the thorns must be removed; a VEGETABLE PEELER will shave them off quickly. The flesh is generally cut into small pieces or strips, simmered in water until tender and used in a variety of dishes from scrambled eggs to salads. Nopalitos (nopales that are diced or cut into strips) are available canned (pickled or packed in water). Acitrónes are candied nopales, packed in sugar syrup and available in cans or jars.
nopalitos [noh-pah-LEE-tohs] see  NOPALES
nori [NOH-ree] These paper-thin sheets of dried SEAWEED can range in color from dark green to dark purple to black. They have a sweet ocean taste and are popular at Japanese meals. Nori is generally used for wrapping sushi and rice balls. When finely cut it serves as a seasoning or garnish. It can be purchased toasted (labeled yakinori ); if purchased plain, it is usually lightly toasted before being used. Nori that has been brushed with soy sauce is called ajijsuke-nori . Japanese markets and some supermarkets carry nori either in plastic packaging or canned. All nori is very rich in protein, vitamins, calcium, iron and other minerals.
normande, à la [nohr-MAHND] A French phrase meaning "in the style of Normandy," referring to dishes based on the cooking of that region. Most commonly, it refers to fish (generally SOLE) garnished with shellfish (such as OYSTERS, SHRIMP and MUSSELS), mushrooms and TRUFFLES. Such a dish is usually served in normande sauce, a fish stock-based VELOUTÉ enriched with butter, cream and egg yolks. Other Normandy-style dishes include those made with regional products such as butter, fresh cream, apples, apple cider and CALVADOS.
Northern Spy apple A large, sweet-tart apple with a red skin marked with yellow streaking. This all-purpose apple is available from October through March. It's also simply called spy apple. See also  APPLE.
nougat [NOO-guht] Particularly popular in southern Europe, this confection is made with sugar or honey, roasted nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios or hazelnuts) and sometimes chopped candied fruit. It can be chewy or hard and variously colored. White nougat  is made with beaten egg white and is therefore softer. Brown nougat  is made with caramelized sugar and, in addition to being a darker color, is normally firmer in texture.
nouvelle cuisine [noo-vehl kwee-ZEEN] A French term meaning "new cooking," referring to a culinary style, begun in the early 1970s, that moved away from the rich, heavy style of classic French cuisine toward fresher, lighter food served in smaller portions. The sauces are lighter because they're REDUCED instead of being thickened with flour. Nouvelle cuisine vegetables are quickly cooked and therefore are tender yet slightly crisp.
Nova Scotia salmon see  SMOKED SALMON
noyaux [nwah-YOH] see  CRÈME DE NOYAUX
nuoc cham [noo-ahk CHAHM] A Vietnamese CONDIMENT that's based on NUOC NAM (fish sauce) combined with various seasonings that can include red chiles, garlic, lime juice, ginger, scallions and sugar.
nuoc nam [noo-AHK NAHM] Vietnamese for FISH SAUCE. See also  NAM PLA.
nursehound see  dogfish
nutmeg When Columbus sailed from Spain looking for the East Indies, nutmeg was one of the spices for which he was searching. Native to the Spice Islands, this seed from the nutmeg tree (a tropical evergreen) was extremely popular throughout much of the world from the 15th to the 19th century. When the fruit of the tree is picked, it is split to reveal the nutmeg seed surrounded by a lacy membrane that, when dried and ground, becomes the spice MACE. The hard, egg-shaped nutmeg seed is grayish-brown and about 1 inch long. The flavor and aroma are delicately warm, spicy and sweet. Nutmeg is sold ground or whole. Whole nutmeg freshly ground with a NUTMEG GRATER or GRINDER is superior to that which is commercially ground and packaged. Nutmeg is excellent when used in baked goods, milk- or cream-based preparations like custards, white sauces or eggnog and on fruits and vegetables — particularly potatoes, spinach and squash. See also  SPICES; HERB AND SPICE CHART.
nutmeg grater; nutmeg grinder Small tools used to turn the whole NUTMEG seed into a coarse powder. A nutmeg grater has a fine-rasp, slightly curved surface. The grating is accomplished by rubbing the nutmeg across the grater's surface. Many graters store the whole nutmegs in containers attached to the bottom or back of the unit. A nutmeg grinder resembles a pepper grinder, except the cavity is designed specifically to hold a whole nutmeg with a small 4-pronged plate at the end of a central, spring-mounted post. The spring serves to keep downward pressure on the nutmeg, forcing it into a sharp blade that, when the crank is rotated, grates the nutmeg.
nut mill A utensil that attaches to the top of a countertop by means of a clamp-and-screw housing. Shelled nuts are placed in a top opening. When a hand crank is rotated, the nuts are pressed against a grating drum, which pulverizes them without releasing their natural oil. Nut mills are usually made of enameled cast iron.
nuts Any of various dry fruits that generally consist of an edible kernel enclosed in a shell that can range from medium-hard, thin and brittle to woody and tough. Botanically speaking, some foods we know as nuts are actually seeds (such as the BRAZIL NUT) or LEGUMES (like the PEANUT). Among the more popular of the other "nuts" are ALMONDS, CASHEWS, CHESTNUTS, MACADAMIAS, PECANS, PISTACHIOS, PINE NUTS and WALNUTS. Most nuts are sold both shelled and unshelled. Shelled nuts come in many forms including blanched or not, whole, halved, chopped, sliced or minced. Additionally, shelled nuts come raw, dry-roasted, oil-roasted, with or without salt, smoked, candied and with various flavorings such as jalapeño and garlic. They're sold in plastic bags and boxes, and vacuum-packed in cans and jars. When buying unshelled nuts in bulk, choose those that are heavy for their size, with solid shells sans cracks or holes. The nut's kernel should not be loose enough to rattle when shaken. Shelled nuts should be plump, crisp and uniform in color and size. In general, nuts should be purchased as fresh as possible. Rancid nutmeats will ruin whatever food they flavor. To be sure that nuts are fresh — whether shelled or unshelled — buy them from a supplier with rapid turnover. Because of their high fat content, rancidity is always a hazard with nuts. For that reason they should be stored airtight in a cool place. Shelled nuts can be refrigerated in this manner up to 4 months, frozen up to 6 months. As a general rule (and depending on their freshness at the time of storage), unshelled nuts will keep about twice as long as shelled. Popular nut by-products include meal or flour (usually found in health-food stores) and nut butter and oils (the most popular being almond, hazelnut, peanut and walnut oils). Nuts are high in calcium, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E and fiber. Some scientific studies have concluded that a daily portion of just 1 ounce of nuts rich in monounsaturated fat (see  FATS AND OILS) can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 10 percent. The nuts highest in monounsaturated fat are almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts. And, although 1 ounce of nuts delivers about 180 calories and 17 fat grams, 50 to 80 percent of that fat is monounsaturated (the "good" fat that helps reduce the level of LDL — the "bad" cholesterol). Nuts are wonderful simply eaten out of hand as well as used in a wide variety of sweet and savory dishes for meals from breakfast to dinner. The flavor of most nuts benefits from a light toasting, either on stovetop or in the oven. See also  BLACK WALNUT; BUTTERNUT; CANDLENUT; ENGLISH WALNUT; GINKGO NUT; HAZELNUT; HICKORY NUT.
© The Residential Chef 2019