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Term Pronounciation Definition
rabbit The domesticated members of the rabbit family (a rodent relation) have fine-textured flesh that is almost totally white meat. They're plumper and less strongly flavored than their wild counterparts. A mature rabbit averages between 3 and 5 pounds, much smaller than its relative the hare (which usually weighs in at between 6 and 12 pounds). Fresh and frozen rabbit is available dressed either whole or cut into pieces. The best will be young and weigh between 2 and 2 1/2 pounds, and should have light-colored flesh. These are the most tender and mild-flavored and can be prepared in any manner suitable for young chicken (such as frying, grilling or roasting). Older or wild rabbits benefit from moist-heat cooking such as braising. See also  GAME ANIMALS; HARE.
rack of lamb A portion of the rib section of a lamb, usually containing eight ribs. A rack of lamb can be cut into chops or served in one piece — either as a rack or formed into a CROWN ROAST. See also  LAMB.
raclette [rah-KLEHT, ra-KLEHT] 1. A cow's-milk cheese from Switzerland that's similar to GRUYÈRE in both texture (semifirm and dotted with small holes) and flavor (mellow and nutty). It can be found in specialty cheese stores and many supermarkets. 2. A dish by the same name consisting of a chunk of raclette cheese that is exposed to heat (traditionally an open fire) and scraped off as it melts. (Electric raclette machines are also available.) The word raclette  comes from racler , French for "to scrape." It's served as a meal with boiled potatoes, dark bread and CORNICHONS or other pickled vegetables.
radiatore [rah-dyah-TOH-ray] Italian for "little radiators" referring culinarily to short, chunky PASTA shapes (about 1 inch long and 1/2 inch in diameter) that resemble tiny radiators with rippled edges.
radicchio [rah-DEE-kee-oh] This red-leafed Italian CHICORY is most often used as a salad green. There are several varieties of radicchio, but the two most widely available in the United States are Verona  and Treviso . The radicchio di Verona has burgundy-red leaves with white ribs. It grows in a small, loose head similar to BUTTERHEAD LETTUCE. The leaves of radicchio di Treviso are narrow and pointed and form tighter, more tapered heads. They also have white ribs but can range in color from pink to dark red. Other radicchio varieties have variegated or speckled leaves in beautiful shades of pink, red and green. All radicchios have tender but firm leaves with a slightly bitter flavor. Radicchio is available year-round, with a peak season from midwinter to early spring. Choose heads that have crisp, full-colored leaves with no sign of browning. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. Besides being used in salads, radicchio may also be cooked by grilling, sautéing or baking.
radish From the Latin radix , meaning "root," the radish is in fact the root of a plant in the mustard family. Its skin can vary in color from white to red to purple to black (and many shades in between). In shape and size, the radish can be round, oval or elongated and can run the gamut from globes 1/2 inch in diameter to carrotlike giants (such as the DAIKON) 1 1/2 feet in length. The most common variety found in American markets is the globular or oval-shaped red-skinned radish, which ranges in size from that of a small cherry to that of a tiny orange. The flavor can be mild to peppery, depending on factors such as variety and age. Available year-round, radishes are sold both trimmed (in plastic bags) and with their greens and roots attached. Choose those that feel firm when gently squeezed. If the radish gives to pressure, the interior will likely be pithy instead of crisp. Any attached leaves should be green and crisp. Remove and discard leaves and refrigerate radishes in a plastic bag for up to 5 days. Wash and trim root ends just before using. For added crispness, soak radishes in icewater for a couple of hours. Though radishes are most often used raw in salads, as garnishes and for CRUDITÉS, they can also be cooked. Radish sprouts can be used as a peppery accent to salads and as a garnish for a variety of cold and hot dishes. They can be found in specialty produce markets, health-food stores and some supermarkets.
ragoût [ra-GOO] A derivative of the French verb ragoûter , meaning "to stimulate the appetite," ragoût is a thick, rich, well-seasoned stew of meat, poultry or fish that can be made with or without vegetables.
ragu [ra-GOO, rah-GOO] A staple of northern Italy's Bologna, ragu is a meat sauce that is typically served with pasta. Though different than the French RAGOUT, both are derived from the verb ragoûter , which means "to stimulate the appetite." Ragu usually contains ground beef, tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots, white wine and seasonings.
ragu Bolognese see  BOLOGNESE
rainbow runner see  JACK
rainbow trout see  TROUT
raisin [RAY-zihn] In the most basic terms, a raisin is simply a dried grape. About half of the world's raisin supply comes from California. The most common grapes used for raisins are THOMPSON SEEDLESS, ZANTE and MUSCAT. Grapes are either sun-dried or dehydrated mechanically. Both dark and golden seedless raisins can be made from Thompson seedless grapes. The difference is that the dark raisins are sun-dried for several weeks, thereby producing their shriveled appearance and dark color. Golden raisins have been treated with sulphur dioxide (to prevent their color from darkening) and dried with artificial heat, thereby producing a moister, plumper product. The tiny seedless Zante grapes produce dried currants, and muscat grapes (which usually have their seeds removed before processing) create a dark, perfumy and intensely sweet raisin. All raisins can be stored tightly wrapped at room temperature for several months. For prolonged storage (up to a year), they should be refrigerated in a tightly sealed plastic bag. Raisins can be eaten out of hand, as well as used in a variety of baked goods and in cooked and raw dishes. They have a high natural sugar content, contain a variety of vitamins and minerals and are especially rich in iron. See also  CURRANTS.
raita [RI-tah] YOGURT salads popular in India, raitas are a combination of thick, whole-milk yogurt and various chopped vegetables like cucumbers, eggplant, potatoes or spinach, or fruits such as bananas or tomatoes. These salads are variously seasoned with black mustard seeds, GARAM MASALA and herbs such as chervil, coriander, cumin, dill, mint, parsley or tarragon. Raitas are designed to be a cooling counterbalance for many spicy Indian dishes.
rakkyo; rakyo [RAH-kyoh] A type of Japanese shallot, which is usually uncooked and pickled in light vinegar. Most often used as a garnish with grilled fish and meat. Rakkyo can be found in Asian markets.
ramekin [RAM-ih-kihn] 1. An individual baking dish (3 to 4 inches in diameter) that resembles a miniature soufflé dish. Ramekins are usually made of porcelain or earthenware and can be used for both sweet and savory dishes — either baked or chilled. 2. A tiny baked pastry filled with a creamy cheese custard.
ramen [RAH-mehn] 1. Asian instant-style deep-fried noodles that are usually sold in cellophane packages, sometimes with bits of dehydrated vegetables and broth mix. 2. A Japanese dish of noodles, small pieces of meat and vegetables and broth.
Ramos gin fizz; Ramos fizz [RAY-mohs] see  GIN FIZZ
ramp This wild onion grows from Canada to the Carolinas and resembles a SCALLION with broad leaves. Also known as wild leek , ramp has an assertive, garlicky-onion flavor. It can be found — usually only in specialty produce markets — from March to June. Choose those that are firm with bright-colored greenery. Wrap tightly in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to a week. Trim the root ends just before using. Though the flavor of a ramp is slightly stronger than the LEEK, SCALLION or ONION, it can be used — raw or cooked — in many dishes as a substitute for any of those three.
ranchero sauce [ran-CHEH-roh, rahn-CHEH-roh] A picant tomato-based sauce that includes onions, green chiles such as SERRANOS or JALEPEÑOS and seasonings. This Mexican SALSA is most often associated with the dish, HUEVOS RANCHEROS.
range chicken see  CHICKEN
rape 1. Another name for BROCCOLI RAAB. 2. The residue of grape stalks, stems and skins after the juice has been extracted for winemaking.
rapeseed oil Rapeseed oil, expressed from rape seeds, is commonly marketed under the name CANOLA OIL. Once used only in parts of Europe and the Middle East, rapeseed oil has been discovered to have more cholesterol-balancing MONOUNSATURATED FAT than any other oil except OLIVE OIL. See also  CANOLA OIL.
rapini [rah-PEE-nee] Another name for BROCOLI RAAB.
rarebit see  WELSH RAREBIT
rascasse [rahs-KAHSS] This firm, white-fleshed member of the scorpion fish family is abundant in the Mediterranean. The French red rascasse has been made famous as an indispensable ingredient in BOUILLABAISSE. See also  FISH.
ras el hanout An exotic and complex Moroccan spice blend that, depending on the preparer, can contain up to 50 ingredients. Ras el hanout  means "head of the shop," purportedly because shop owners create their own unique blend, which can include ginger, anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, dried flowers (such as lavender and rose), NIGELLA, mace, GALANGAL and turmeric. Traditionally, this spice blend also includes APHRODISIACS like the Spanish fly beetle.
rasher 1. A strip or slice of meat such as bacon or ham. 2. A serving of two to three thin pieces of such meat.
raspberry [RAZ-behr-ee] Considered by many the most intensely flavored member of the berry family, the raspberry is composed of many connecting drupelets (individual sections of fruit, each with its own seed) surrounding a central core. There are three main varieties — black, golden and red, the latter being the most widely available. Depending on the region, raspberries are available from May through November. Choose brightly colored, plump berries sans hull. If the hulls are still attached, the berries were picked too early and will undoubtedly be tart. Avoid soft, shriveled or moldy berries. Store (preferably in a single layer) in a moistureproof container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. If necessary, rinse lightly just before serving. Raspberries are very fragile and are at their best served fresh with just a kiss of cream. They also make excellent jam. Seedless raspberry jam is available commercially. The berries contain a fair amount of iron, potassium and vitamins A and C.
ratafia [rat-uh-FEE-uh] see  LIQUEUR
ratatouille [ra-tuh-TOO-ee, ra-tuh-TWEE] A popular dish from the French region of Provence that combines eggplant, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, garlic and herbs — all simmered in olive oil. The vegetables can vary according to the cook. They can be cooked together, or cooked separately and then combined and heated briefly together. Ratatouille can be served hot, cold or at room temperature, either as a side dish or as an appetizer with bread or crackers.
ravioli [rav-ee-OH-lee, ra-VYOH-lee] An Italian specialty of little square or round pillows of noodle dough filled with any of various mixtures such as cheese, meat or vegetables. Ravioli are boiled, then usually baked with a cream, cheese or tomato sauce. Chinese-style ravioli are called WON TONS; Jewish-style are known as KREPLACH. See also  PASTA.
raw milk see  MILK
raw sugar see  SUGAR
ray see  SKATE
razor clam The most famous West Coast SOFT-SHELL CLAM, the razor clam is so-named because its shell resembles a folded, old-fashioned straight razor. It's best when steamed. See also  CLAM.
reamer [REE-muhr] see  JUICER
Reblochon cheese [reh-bluh-SHOHN] This uncooked French cows' milk cheese has a creamy-soft texture and a delicate flavor when perfectly ripe. It becomes bitter, however, when overripe. Reblochon has a dark golden rind and is sold in small discs. It's available in most specialty cheese shops and is good both for snacks and with fruit. See also  CHEESE.
reconstitute [ree-KON-stih-toot, ree-KON-stih-tyoot] Culinarily, the term means to return a dehydrated food (such as dried milk) to its original consistency by adding a liquid, usually water.
red beans Popular in Mexico and the southwestern United States, this dark red, medium-size bean is a favorite for making CHILI CON CARNE (with beans) and REFRIED BEANS (refritos ). Red beans are available dried in most supermarkets. See also  BEANS; RED BEANS AND RICE.
red bell pepper see  SWEET PEPPERS
red cabbage see  CABBAGE
red caviar see  CAVIAR
red cooking A Chinese cooking method whereby food (such as chicken) is browned in SOY SAUCE, thereby changing the color to a deep, dark red.
red date see  CHINESE DATE
Red Delicious apple This large, brilliant red (sometimes streaked with green) apple has an elongated shape with five distinctive knobs at its base. It's juicy and sweet but lacks any distinguishing tartness. The Red Delicious is in season from September through April. It's good for eating out of hand but does not cook well. See also  APPLE; GOLDEN DELICIOUS APPLE.
red drum see  DRUM
redeye gravy A traditional southern gravy made by combining the drippings from fried ham (purists insist on COUNTRY-CURED HAM only ) with water and hot coffee — the latter being optional. The mixture is cooked until thickened. It's served with the ham and spooned atop biscuits, cornbread . . . and whatever else the diner fancies.
redfish see  DRUM
red flannel hash A New England specialty made by frying chopped cooked beets, potatoes, onions and crisp bacon together until crusty and brown. Traditional recipes state that about 85 percent of the volume should be beets. Red flannel hash is usually served with cornbread.
red Mexican bean see  PINTO BEAN
red mullet This reddish-pink marine fish is not really a true MULLET but a Mediterranean member of the GOATFISH family. The red mullet ranges in size from 1/2 to 2 pounds and has very firm, lean flesh. It's found on menus all over Europe but is rarely available in the United States. See also  FISH.
red pepper; red pepper flakes A generic term applied to any of several varieties of hot, red CHILI PEPPERS. The most commonly available forms are ground red pepper and red pepper flakes.
rizotto see  RISOTTO
roast n.  1. A piece of meat — such as a RIB ROAST — that's large enough to serve more than one person. Such a meat cut is usually cooked by the roasting method. 2. Food, usually meat, that has been prepared by roasting. roast v.  To oven-cook food in an uncovered pan, a method that usually produces a well-browned exterior and ideally a moist interior. Roasting requires reasonably tender pieces of meat or poultry. Tougher pieces of meat need moist cooking methods such as braising.
roaster see  CHICKEN
roasting rack A slightly raised rack — usually made of stainless steel — that elevates meat above the pan in which it's roasting. This prevents the meat from cooking in any drippings and allows adequate air circulation for even cooking and browning. Roasting racks can be flat, V-shaped or adjustable so they can be used either way.
Rob Roy A COCKTAIL made with SCOTCH, sweet VERMOUTH and BITTERS. It's sometimes called a Scotch Manhattan  because it substitutes scotch for the bourbon used in the standard MANHATTAN recipe.
rocambole [ROK-uhm-bohl] Also called sand leek  and giant garlic , rocambole has LEEKlike bulbs that taste like mild garlic. It grows wild (and is sometimes cultivated) throughout Europe and may be used in any way suitable for garlic. Rocambole is rarely commercially available in the United States.
rock and rye An American rye whiskey-based LIQUEUR flavored with lemon or orange essence and distinguished by a chunk of ROCK CANDY in the bottom of each bottle.
rock bass see  SUNFISH
rock bun Also called rock cake , this spicy British cross between a cookie and a small cake is full of coarsely chopped dried fruit. It's baked in small mounds, which, after baking, take on a rocklike appearance.
rock candy A simple hard candy made by allowing a concentrated SUGAR SYRUP to evaporate slowly (sometimes for up to a week), during which time it crystallizes into chunks. The crystals can be formed around strings or small sticks (the latter can be used as stir sticks for sweet drinks). Small rock-candy crystals can be used as a fancy sweetener for tea or coffee. ROCK AND RYE liqueur has a large chunk of rock candy in the bottom of the bottle. Rock candy can be made at home or purchased in candy shops.
Rock Cornish hen; Rock Cornish game hen see  chicken 
rocket see  ARUGULA
rockfish 1. With over 50 varieties, this is the largest of the Pacific Coast fish families. The lowfat rockfish can be broken down into two broad categories — deep-bodied and elongated. The flesh of the deep-bodied varieties (such as yellowtail, blue rockfish and goldeneye) is firmer and more full-flavored than the softer, milder flesh of the elongated species (like bocaccio, chilipepper and shortbelly). Rockfish range widely in color from reddish-pink with black-tipped fins to orange-mottled brown to dark olive green with bright yellow fins. They average from 5 to 15 pounds and are sold whole or in fillets. The firm-fleshed rockfish is suitable for virtually any cooking method, whereas the softer flesh of the elongated varieties must be handled gently — preferrably baked or poached. Some rockfish are marketed as "Pacific snapper" or "Pacific red snapper," but they are not related to the true Atlantic RED SNAPPER. 2. STRIPED BASS is also referred to as "rockfish."
rock lobster see  LOBSTER
rock salt see  SALT
rock sugar Not as sweet as regular granulated sugar, rock sugar comes in the form of amber-colored crystals, the result of sugar cooked until it begins to color. It's used to sweeten certain Chinese teas and meat glazes. See also  SUGAR.
Rocky Mountain Oyster see  MOUNTAIN OYSTER
rocky road A bumpy-textured candy that's a mixture of miniature marshmallows, nuts and sometimes small chunks of dark, white or milk chocolate. The candy is so named because it resembles a "rocky road" in appearance. This favorite flavor combination is also used for a number of desserts from ice cream to pies.
roe [ROH] This delicacy falls into two categories — hard roe and soft roe. Hard roe is female fish eggs, while soft roe (also called white roe ) is the milt of male fish. The eggs of some CRUSTACEANS (such as lobster) are referred to as CORAL. Roe can range in size from 1 to 2 ounces to over 3 pounds. If the fish is small, the roe is cooked inside the whole fish. The roe of medium and large fish is usually removed and cooked separately. Most fish roe is edible but others (including that of the great barracuda and some members of the puffer and trunkfish families) are toxic. The choicest roe comes from carp, herring, mackerel and shad, but those from cod, flounder, haddock, lumpfish, mullet, perch, pike, salmon, sturgeon and whitefish also have their fans. Salting roe transforms it into CAVIAR. Roe is marketed fresh, frozen and canned. Fresh roe is available in the spring. It should have a clean smell and look moist and firm. The extremely fragile membrane that holds the eggs or milt must be gently washed before preparation. Roe can be sautéed, poached or, providing it's medium-size or larger, broiled. It can also be used in sauces.
rolled cookie A cookie that begins by rolling a rather firm dough into an even, thick to thin layer. A COOKIE CUTTER is then used to cut the rolled-out dough into various shapes before baking. See also  COOKIE.
rolled oats see  OATS
rolled roast see  RIB ROAST
rolling boil see  BOIL
rolling cookie cutter see  COOKIE CUTTER
rolling pin Though this kitchen tool is used mainly to roll out dough, it's also handy for a number of other culinary tasks including crushing crackers and bread crumbs, shaping cookies like TUILES and flattening meats such as chicken breasts. Rolling pins can be made of almost any material including brass, ceramic, copper, glass, marble, plastic and porcelain. The favored material, however, is hardwood. The heavier pins deliver the best results because their weight and balance produce smoother doughs with less effort. There are many rolling pin styles but by far the most popular and easiest for most people to use are the American or bakers' rolling pins. Those of higher quality are characterized by sturdy handles anchored with a steel rod running through the center of the pin and fitted with ball bearings. Many professional cooks prefer the straight French rolling pin (a solid piece of hardwood sans handles) because they get the "feel" of the dough under their palms. The tapered rolling pin is larger in the center and tapers to both ends, which allows it to be rotated during the rolling process — a feature particularly useful for rolling circles of dough. There are also "cool" rolling pins made of ceramic, marble, glass or plastic, some of which are hollow and can be filled with ice or iced water. These special-purpose pins are designed to work with delicate pastry doughs that become difficult as they warm.
rollmops see  HERRING
roll out A baking term that describes the technique of using a ROLLING PIN to flatten a dough (such as for a pie crust or cookies) into a thin, even layer.
romaine lettuce [roh-MAYN] Because it's said to have originated on the Aegean island of Cos, romaine is also called Cos lettuce . Romaine's elongated head has dark green outer leaves that lighten to pale celadon in the center. The leaves are crisp and slightly bitter and the crunchy midrib is particularly succulent. Romaine adds crunch and flavor to mixed green salads and is the lettuce of choice for CAESAR SALADS. See also  LETTUCE.
Romanesca cauliflower; Romanesco [roh-mah-NEHS-kah (koh)] Though classified as (and also called) a summer cauliflower , this vegetable's appearance is so uniquely striking that it deserves its own listing. Like regular cauliflower, Romanesca has a tightly compact head of florets attached by clusters of stalks — but there the similarity in appearance ends. Romanesca, which hails from northern Italy, is a beautiful pale lime green color; its florets, rather than being rounded, rise in a pyramid of pointed, spiraling cones. Its flavor is somewhat more delicate than that of regular cauliflower. Romanesca is available only briefly — from September through November. Choose a firm head with crisp leaves. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Romanesca can be cooked in any fashion suitable for regular cauliflower. It makes beautiful CRUDITÉS, and is stunning cooked whole. See also  BROCCOFLOWER; CAULIFLOWER.
Roman mushroom see  CREMINO
Romano cheese [roh-MAH-noh] There are several different styles of Romano cheese, all of which take their name from the city of Rome. Probably the best known is the sharp, tangy pecorino Romano, made with sheep's milk. Caprino Romano is an extremely sharp goat's-milk version, vacchino Romano a very mild cow's-milk cheese. Most U.S. Romanos are made of cow's milk or a combination of cow's milk and goat's or sheep's milk. In general, the pale yellow Romano is very firm and mostly used for grating. See also  CHEESE; PECORINO CHEESE.
Rome Beauty apple In season from November through May, the Rome Beauty apple has a deep red skin with some yellow speckling. The off-white flesh ranges from tender to mealy, its flavor from mildly tart to sweet and bland. It holds it shape well when cooked and for that reason is often the fruit of choice for baked apples or for other cooked dishes. See also  APPLE.
romesco [roh-MEHS-koh] A classic sauce from Catalonia, Spain, romesco  is a finely ground mixture of tomatoes, red bell peppers, onion, garlic, almonds and olive oil. It's typically served with grilled fish or poultry.
root beer Created in the mid-1800s by Philadelphia pharmacist Charles Hires, the original root beer was a (very) low-alcohol, naturally effervescent beverage made by fermenting a blend of sugar and yeast with various roots, herbs and barks such as SARSAPARILLA, SASSAFRAS, wild cherry, WINTERGREEN and GINGER. Today's commercial root beer is completely nonalcoholic and generally contains sugar, caramel coloring, a combination of artificial and natural flavorings (including some of those originally used) and carbonated water for sparkle.
Roquefort cheese [ROHK-fuhrt] If not the "king of cheeses" as many proclaim, Roquefort is at least one of the oldest and best known in the world. This blue cheese has been enjoyed since Roman times and was a favorite of Charlemagne. It is made from sheep's milk that is exposed to a mold known as Penicillium roqueforti  and aged for 3 months or more in the limestone caverns of Mount Combalou near the village of Roquefort in southwestern France. This is the only place true Roquefort can be aged. Roquefort has a creamy-rich texture and pungent, piquant, somewhat salty flavor. It has a creamy white interior with blue veins and a snowy white rind. It's sold in squat foil-wrapped cylinders. True Roquefort can be authenticated by a red sheep on the wrapper's emblem. The name "Roquefort" is protected by law from imitators of this remarkable cheese. For example, salad dressings made from blue cheese other than Roquefort cannot be labeled "Roquefort dressing." In addition to salad dressings, Roquefort can be used in a wide variety of preparations from savory breads to CANAPE spreads. Aficionados love Roquefort at the end of a meal served only with a fine SAUTERNES, PORT or other DESSERT WINE.
rose hip Though too tart to eat raw, the ripe reddish-orange fruit of the rose (especially the wild or dog rose) is often used to make jellies and jams, syrup, tea and even wine. Because they're an excellent source of vitamin C, rose hips are also dried and ground into powder (and sometimes compressed into tablets) and sold in health-food stores.
rosemary Used since 500 b.c., rosemary is native to the Mediterranean area (where it grows wild) but is now cultivated throughout Europe and the United States. Early on, this mint-family member was used to cure ailments of the nervous system. Rosemary's silver-green, needle-shaped leaves are highly aromatic and their flavor hints of both lemon and pine. This herb is available in whole-leaf form (fresh and dried) as well as powdered. Rosemary ESSENCE is used both to flavor food and to scent cosmetics. Rosemary can be used as a seasoning in a variety of dishes including fruit salads, soups, vegetables, meat (particularly lamb), fish and egg dishes, stuffings and dressings. See also  HERBS; HERB AND SPICE CHART; A FIELD GUIDE TO HERBS.
rosette; rosette iron [roh-ZEHT] A small fried pastry made by dipping a rosette iron first into a thin, sweet batter, then into hot deep fat. When the mixture turns crisp and golden brown, the rosette is removed from the iron and drained on paper towels. While warm, these pastries are usually sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar. A nonsweetened batter may be used to make savory rosettes, which can be sprinkled with salt and served as an appetizer. A rosette iron has a long metal rod with a heatproof handle at one end and various decorative shapes (such as a butterfly, heart, star or flower) that can be attached to the other end.
rose water A distillation of rose petals that has the intensely perfumy flavor and fragrance of its source. Rose water has been a popular flavoring for centuries in the cuisines of the Middle East, India and China. In addition to culinary uses, rose water is also used in religious ceremonies and as a fragrance in some cosmetics.
rosé wines [roh-ZAY] Rosé wines are usually made from red grapes but — contrary to the normal process of making red wine — the skins and stems are removed almost immediately, usually within 2 to 3 days. This brief contact with the skins and stems gives the wine its light pink (or rose) color. It also, however, is the reason that rosés lack the body and character of most red or white wines. In general, rosé wines are very light-bodied and slightly sweet. They should be served chilled and can accompany a variety of lightly flavored foods. In the United States, the term BLUSH WINE has all but replaced that of "rosé."
Rossini [roh-SEE-nee] Dishes that include FOIE GRAS, TRUFFLES and a DEMI-GLACE sauce — either as an integral part or as a garnish — are tagged with this appellation. TOURNEDOS Rossini and eggs Rossini are two popular examples. Such dishes were named after 19th-century Italian composer Gioacchino Rossini because of his passionate love of food.
rösti [RAW-stee, ROOSH-tee] In Switzerland rösti  means "crisp and golden." The term refers to foods (today, usually shredded potatoes) sautéed on both sides until crisp and browned. Rösti potatoes are pressed into a flattened pancake shape while browning.
rotary beater A hand-powered kitchen utensil with two beaters connected to a gear-driven wheel with a handle — all of which is attached to a housing topped with a handle-grip. The rotary beater requires two hands to operate — one to hold the unit, the other to turn the wheel. As the gear-driven wheel is turned, the two beaters rotate, providing aeration that can whip cream, eggs, batters, etc. The best roatary beaters have rounded, stainless-steel hoops and nylon gears. Others are made of cast aluminum, chromed steel or plastic.
rotelle [roh-TELL-ay] Small round PASTA which resembles a wheel with spokes.
rôti [roh-TEE] French for "roast" or "roasted."
roti [ROH-tee] An UNLEAVENED griddle-baked bread from India, usually made with whole wheat flour. The roti is finished over an open flame for 10 to 15 seconds, a technique that causes it to fill with steam and puff up like a balloon. See also  CHAPATI and PARATHA.
rôtie [roh-TEE] 1. A CANAPÉ consisting of a slice of toast spread with PÂTÉ or FORCEMEAT. 2. Also simply a toasted slice of bread.
rotini [roh-TEE-nee] Short (about 1 1/2 inches) spaghetti spirals. See also  PASTA.
rotisserie [roh-TIHS-uh-ree] 1. A unit that cooks food while it slowly rotates. A rotisserie contains a spit fitted with a pair of prongs that slide along its length. Food (usually meat) is impaled on the spit and the prongs (which are inserted on each side of the food) are screwed tightly into place to hold the food securely. Modern rotisseries have a motor that automatically turns the shaft, while their predecessors relied on humanpower. Many ovens and outdoor barbecue units have built-in electric rotisseries. This type of cooking allows heat to circulate evenly around the food while it self-bastes with its own juices. 2. A restaurant or meat shop that specializes in roasted meats. 3. The area where roasting is done (usually in a large restaurant kitchen), often by specially trained chefs (rôtisseurs ).
roughage see  FIBER, DIETARY
rouille [roo-EE, roo-YUH] Literally French for "rust," culinarily rouille is a fiery-flavored, rust-colored sauce of hot chiles, garlic, fresh bread crumbs and olive oil pounded into a paste and often mixed with fish stock. It's served as a garnish with fish and fish stews such as BOUILLABAISSE.
roulade [roo-LAHD] 1. The French term for a thin slice of meat rolled around a filling such as mushrooms, bread crumbs, cheese or a mixture of vegetables and cheese or meat. The rolled package is usually secured with string or a wooden pick. A roulade is browned before being baked or braised in wine or stock. Also referred to as paupiette, bird  and, in Italy, braciola . 2. The term roulade  also refers to a SOUFFLÉ-type mixture that's spread on a jelly roll pan, baked until firm but still moist, then spread with a savory or sweet filling and rolled up in jelly-roll fashion.
Rouladen [roo-LAH-dn] Germany's version of the French ROULADE. Rouladen comes in many variations, such as Rindsrouladen  — slices of beef rolled around a pickle, onion and bacon mixture, and Kohlrouladen  — cabbage leaves rolled around a ground beef mixture.
round, beef This section of the hind leg of beef extends from the rump to the ankle. Since the leg has been toughened by exercise, the round is less tender than some cuts. There are six major sections into which the round can be divided: the rump; the four main muscles (top round, sirloin tip, bottom round and eye of round); and the heel. The rump is a triangular cut taken from the upper part of the round. This flavorful section is generally cut into rump steaks  or two or three roasts that, when boned and rolled, are referred to as rump roasts.  Those with the bone in are called standing rump roasts.  Pieces from the rump section are best cooked by moist-heat methods. The top round, which lies on the inside of the leg, is the most tender of the four muscles in the round. Thick top-round cuts are often called butterball steak  or London broil , whereas thin cuts are referred to simply as top round steak . The boneless sirloin tip is also called top sirloin, triangle  and loin tip . The better grades can be oven-roasted; otherwise moist-heat methods should be used. The bottom round can vary greatly in tenderness from one end of the cut to the other. It's usually cut into steaks (which are often CUBED) or the bottom round roast . The well-flavored eye of the round is the least tender muscle, although many mistakenly think otherwise because it looks like the TENDERLOIN. Both steaks and roasts from this cut require slow, moist-heat cooking. A cut that includes all four of these muscles is usually called round steak  and those cut from the top (and which are of the best grades) can be cooked with dry heat. Near the bottom of the round is the toughest cut, the heel of the round. It's generally used for ground meat but can sometimes be found as a roast. See also  BEEF.
roux [ROO] A mixture of flour and fat that, after being slowly cooked over low heat, is used to thicken mixtures such as soups and sauces. There are three classic roux — white, blond and brown. The color and flavor is determined by the length of time the mixture is cooked. Both white roux and blond roux are made with butter. The former is cooked just until it begins to turn beige and the latter until pale golden. Both are used to thicken cream and white sauces and light soups. The fuller-flavored brown roux can be made with butter, drippings or pork or beef fat. It's cooked to a deep golden brown and used for rich, dark soups and sauces. CAJUN and CREOLE dishes use a lard-based roux, which is cooked (sometimes for almost an hour) until a beautiful mahogany brown. This dark nutty-flavored base is indispensable for specialties like GUMBO.
Royal Ann cherry Big and heart-shaped, this firm and juicy sweet cherry has a golden-pink skin and flesh. The Royal Ann (also called Napoleon ) is used mainly for commercial canning and to make MARASCHINO CHERRIES. It's delicious for out-of-hand eating as well. See also  CHERRY.
royal icing An icing made of confectioners' sugar, egg whites and a few drops of lemon juice. It hardens when dry, making it a favorite for durable decorations (such as flowers and leaves) and ornamental writing. Royal icing is often tinted with FOOD COLORING.
rubber spatula see  SPATULA
ruby port; ruby Porto see  PORT
rucola; rugala see  ARUGULA
rudderfish see  JACK
rugalach [RUHG-uh-luhkh] A Hanukkah tradition, rugalach are bite-size crescent-shaped cookies that can have any of several fillings including raisins (or other fruit) and nuts, poppy-seed paste or jam. They're generally made with a rich cream-cheese dough.
rum A LIQUOR distilled from fermented sugarcane juice or MOLASSES. Most of the world's rum comes from the Caribbean. Puerto Rico's white or silver rum is clear and light in body and flavor. The Puerto Rican golden and amber rums have a deeper color and a flavor to match. Dark, rich and full-bodied best describes Jamaican and Cuban rums. The sugarcane that grows along Guyana's Demerara River produces the darkest, strongest and richest of all, Demerara rum. This slightly sweet liquor is used in a variety of cocktails including the CUBA LIBRE, MAI TAI, DAIQUIRI and PIÑA COLADA.
rumaki [ruh-MAH-kee] A hot HORS D'OEUVRE consisting of a strip of bacon wrapped around a slice of WATER CHESTNUT and a bite-size piece of chicken liver that has been marinated overnight in a soy sauce-ginger-garlic mixture. Sometimes the water chestnut slice is inserted into a slit made in the chicken liver. This combination is skewered with a toothpick before being grilled or broiled until the bacon is crisp.
rump roast; rump steak see  ROUND
runner bean This climbing plant — one of Britain's favorite green beans — was brought to the British Isles in the 17th century for decorative use because of its beautiful flowers. The scarlet runner bean has a long, green bean-type pod that holds red-streaked beige, medium-size seeds. Young runners may be prepared in any way suitable for GREEN BEANS. In U.S. markets consumers are more likely to find the shelled dried beans, which can be cooked like PINTO or PINK BEANS and used in dishes such as soups and stews.
ruote; ruote de carro [RWAW-tay, rwaw-tay day KAHR-roh] Italian for "cartwheels," referring culinarily to small, spoked wheel- shaped PASTA.
rusk [RUHSK] Known in France as biscotte  and in Germany as ZWIEBACK, a rusk is a slice of yeast bread (thick or thin) that is baked until dry, crisp and golden brown. Some breads used for this purpose are slightly sweetened. Rusks, plain or flavored, are available in most supermarkets.
russet Burbank potato see  POTATO
Russian dressing Actually American in origin, this salad dressing includes mayonnaise, pimiento, chili sauce (or ketchup), chives and various herbs. Some think that the "Russian" title comes from the fact that earlier versions of this dressing contained CAVIAR, for which Russia has long been famous.
Russian tea cakes see  MEXICAN WEDDING CAKES
rusty nail A COCKTAIL made with equal parts of SCOTCH and DRAMBUIE and served over ice.
rutabaga [ROO-tuh-bay-guh] This cabbage-family root vegetable resembles a large (3 to 5 inches in diameter) TURNIP and, in fact, is thought to be a cross between cabbage and turnip. The name comes from the Swedish rotabagge , which is why this vegetable is also called a Swede  or Swedish turnip . Rutabagas have a thin, pale yellow skin and a slightly sweet, firm flesh of the same color. There is also a white variety but it is not generally commercially available. This root vegetable is available year-round with a peak season of July through April. Choose those that are smooth, firm and heavy for their size. Rutabagas can be refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to 2 weeks. They may be prepared in any way suitable for turnips. Rutabagas, which are a CRUCIFEROUS vegetable, contain small amounts of vitamins A and C.
rye flour Milled from a hardy cereal grass, rye flour contains less GLUTEN (protein) than all-purpose or whole-wheat flour. For that reason, it won't produce a well-risen loaf of bread without the addition of some higher-protein flour. Rye flour is also heavier and darker in color than most other flours, which is why it produces dark, dense loaves. There are several different types of rye flour, the most common of which is medium rye flour, available in most supermarkets. Light or dark rye flours, as well as pumpernickel flour (which is dark and coarsely ground), are available in health-food stores and some supermarkets. See also  FLOUR.
rye whiskey Though wheat and barley are often used in the MASH, law requires that this American WHISKEY be made with a minimum of 51 percent rye. Rye has a flavor that is similar to a smooth, rich BOURBON. Straight ryes are those from a single distiller, while blended ryes are a combination of several straight ryes. See also  LIQUOR.
red shiso see  SHISO
red snapper see  SNAPPER
reduce Culinarily, to boil a liquid (usually stock, wine or a sauce mixture) rapidly until the volume is reduced by evaporation, thereby thickening the consistency and intensifying the flavor. Such a mixture is sometimes referred to as a reduction .
reduction see  REDUCE
refried beans; frijoles refritos; refritos [free-HOH-lehs reh-FREE-tohs] This popular Mexican specialty consists of cooked RED BEANS or PINTO BEANS that are mashed, then fried, often in melted lard. Refried beans are sold canned in most supermarkets. The term frijoles refritos  translates as "refried beans."
refrigerator cookie Also called icebox cookie , this style of cookie is made by forming the dough into a log, wrapping in plastic wrap or waxed paper and chilling until firm. The dough is then sliced into rounds and baked. See also  COOKIE.
refrigerator thermometer see  FREEZER/REFRIGERATOR THERMOMETER
refritos [reh-FREE-tohs] see  REFRIED BEANS
Reggiano Parmigiano cheese [rej-JYAH-noh pahr-muh-ZHAH-nah] see  PARMESAN CHEESE
Rehoboam [ree-uh-BOH-uhm] see  WINE BOTTLES
reindeer [RAYN-deer] see  GAME ANIMALS
rémoulade [ray-muh-LAHD] This classic French sauce is made by combining MAYONNAISE (usually homemade) with mustard, CAPERS and chopped GHERKINS, herbs and ANCHOVIES. It's served chilled as an accompaniment to cold meat, fish and shellfish.
render To melt animal fat over low heat so that it separates from any connective pieces of tissue, which, during rendering, turn brown and crisp and are generally referred to as CRACKLINGS. The resulting clear fat is then strained through a paper filter or fine CHEESECLOTH to remove any dark particles. The term try out  is used synonymously with render .
renkon see  LOTUS
rennin [REN-ihn] A coagulating enzyme obtained from a young animal's (usually a calf's) stomach, rennin is used to curdle milk in foods such as cheese and JUNKET. It's available in most supermarkets in tablet or powdered form.
restaurateur [rehs-tuhr-uh-TOOR, rehs-tuhr-uh-TUHR] A restaurant owner or manager. A popular misconception is that the word is pronounced the same as "restaurant," whereas in actuality, there is no "n" in restaurateur. 
retsina [reht-SEE-nah] Made for more than 3,000 years, this traditional Greek wine has been resinated — treated with pine-tree resin. The resin gives the wine a distinctively sappy, turpentinelike flavor that, according to most non-Greeks, is an acquired taste. Retsinas are either white or rosé and should be served very cold.
Reuben sandwich [ROO-behn] Reportedly originally named for its creator, Arthur Reuben (owner of New York's once-famous and now-defunct Reuben's delicatessen), this sandwich is made with generous layers of corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut on sourdough rye bread. Reuben is said to have created the original version (which was reportedly made with ham) for Annette Seelos, the leading lady in a Charlie Chaplin film being shot in 1914. Another version of this famous sandwich's origin is that an Omaha wholesale grocer (Reuben Kay) invented it during a poker game in 1955. It gained national prominence when one of his poker partner's employees entered the recipe in a national sandwich contest the following year . . . and won. The Reuben sandwich can be served either cold or grilled.
Rhode Island Greening apple This medium-size, green to yellow green apple has a sweet-tart flavor that seems to intensify when cooked. Because both texture and flavor hold up to heat, most of the Rhode Island greening crop is sold for commercial processing (applesauce, pies, etc.). It's also good for out-of-hand eating and is available from October to April, mainly in the eastern and central United States A variant grown in the western half of the country is called Northwest Greening. See also  APPLE.
Rhône wines [R , OHN] Wines from France's Rhône region, which follows the Rhône river for approximately 125 miles in southeastern France. The northern part of the region contains many great individual APPELLATIONS including Côte Rôtie, Condrieu, Château Grillet, Saint-Joseph and Hermitage. The dominant grapes here are SYRAH for red wines and Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier for whites. The most famous appellation in the south is CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE. Most of the vineyards in the southern Rhône produce wines covered by the CÔTES DU RHÔNE appellation. In the southern Rhône the principal red grape is Grenache. The white grapes used include Bourboulenc, Clairette, Marsanne, Muscardine, Picardan, Roussanne and Piquepoul (or Picpoule ).
rhubarb [ROO-bahrb] The thick, celerylike stalks of this buckwheat-family member can reach up to 2 feet long. They're the only edible portion of the plant — the leaves contain OXALIC ACID and can therefore be toxic. Though rhubarb is generally eaten as a fruit, it's botanically a vegetable. There are many varieties of this extremely tart food, most of which fall into two basic types — hothouse and field grown. Hothouse rhubarb is distinguished by its pink to pale red stalks and yellow-green leaves, whereas field-grown plants (which are more pronounced in flavor) have cherry red stalks and green leaves. Hothouse rhubarb is available in some regions almost year-round. The field-grown plant can usually be found from late winter to early summer, with a peak from April to June. Choose crisp stalks that are brightly hued. The leaves should be fresh-looking and blemish-free. Highly perishable, fresh rhubarb should be refrigerated, tightly wrapped in a plastic bag, for up to 3 days. Wash and remove leaves just before using. Because of its intense tartness, rhubarb is usually combined with a considerable amount of sugar. It makes delicious sauces, jams and desserts and in some regions is also known as pieplant  because of its popularity for that purpose. In America, a traditional flavor combination is rhubarb and strawberries; in Britain, rhubarb and ginger. Rhubarb contains a fair amount of vitamin A.
rhubarb chard see  CHARD
rib 1. The meat cut (beef, lamb or veal) from between the SHORT LOIN and the CHUCK. Chops, steaks and roasts (depending on the animal) are cut from the rib section, which is very tender. See also  RIB ROAST; RIB STEAK. 2. A single stalk of a celery bunch, though some cooks refer to the entire bunch as a rib. In general, the words rib  and stalk  describe the same thing.
ribbon A cooking term describing the texture of an egg-and-sugar mixture that has been beaten until pale and extremely thick. When the beater or whisk is lifted, the batter falls slowly back onto the surface of the mixture, forming a ribbonlike pattern that, after a few seconds, sinks back into the batter.
rib-eye steak see  RIB STEAK
Ribier grape [RIHB-yuhr] One of America's bestselling grapes, the Ribier is large, round and has a tough blue-black skin. The flesh is juicy, sweet and contains a few seeds. Ribier grapes are in season from July to February. See also  GRAPE.
ribollita [ree-boh-LEE-tah] The word ribollita  means "twice boiled," referring to the fact that this Tuscan soup was originally simply leftover MINESTRONE, reheated the next day and mixed with chunks of bread. But today this rich, thick soup is much more than "leftovers." Slices or chunks of garlic-rubbed bread can be layered either with minestrone, but also simply with chicken broth, PARMESAN cheese and cooked vegetables and white beans. The entire mixture is baked until bubbly hot, then served with a drizzle of olive oil.
rib roast A beef roast from the rib section between the SHORT LOIN and the CHUCK. The three most popular styles are standing rib roast, rolled rib roast and rib-eye roast. The standing rib roast usually includes at least three ribs (less than that is really just a very thick steak). It's roasted standing upright, resting on its rack of ribs, thereby allowing the top layer of fat to melt and self-baste the meat. A rolled rib roast has had the bones removed before being rolled and tied into a cylinder. Removing the bones also slightly diminishes the flavor of this roast. The boneless rib-eye roast is the center, most desirable and tender portion of the rib section. Therefore, it's also the most expensive. Many rib roasts are often inappropriately labeled PRIME RIB. In fact, they can't be called prime rib unless the cut actually comes from USDA Prime beef — rarely found in meat markets today. See also  BEEF.
rice n.  This ancient and venerable grain has been cultivated since at least 5000 b.c., and archaeological explorations in China have uncovered sealed pots of rice that are almost 8,000 years old. Today, rice is a staple for almost half the world's population — particularly in parts of China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Southeast Asia. The 7,000-plus varieties of rice are grown in one of two ways. Aquatic rice  (paddy-grown) is cultivated in flooded fields. The lower-yielding, lower-quality hill-grown rice  can be grown on almost any tropical or subtropical terrain. The major rice-growing states in the United States are Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas. Rice is commercially classified by its size — long-, medium- or short-grain. The length of long-grain rice is four to five times that of its width. There are both white and brown varieties of long-grain rice, which, when cooked, produce light, dry grains that separate easily. One of the more exotic varieties in the long-grain category is the perfumy East Indian BASMATI RICE. Short-grain rice has fat, almost round grains that have a higher starch content than either the long- or medium-grain varieties. When cooked, it tends to be quite moist and viscous, causing the grains to stick together. This variety (also called pearl rice  and glutinous rice , though it's gluten-free) is preferred in the Orient because it's easy to handle with chopsticks. Italian ARBORIO RICE — used to make creamy RISOTTOS — and the Japanese MOCHI are also varieties of short-grain rice. Medium-grain rice, as could be expected from its name, has a size and character between the other two. It's shorter and moister than long-grain and generally not as starchy as short-grain. Though fairly fluffy right after being cooked, medium-grain rice begins to clump once it starts to cool. Rice can be further divided into two other broad categories — brown and white. Brown rice is the entire grain with only the inedible outer husk removed. The nutritious, high-fiber bran coating gives it a light tan color, nutlike flavor and chewy texture. The presence of the bran means that brown rice is subject to rancidity, which limits its shelf life to only about 6 months. It also takes slightly longer to cook (about 30 minutes total) than regular white long-grain rice. There is a quick brown rice  (which has been partially cooked, then dehydrated) that cooks in only about 15 minutes, and an instant brown rice  that takes only 10 minutes. White rice has had the husk, bran and germ removed. Regular white rice is sometimes referred to as polished rice . For converted  or parboiled white rice , the unhulled grain has been soaked, pressure-steamed and dried before milling. This treatment gelatinizes the starch in the grain (for fluffy, separated cooked rice) and infuses some of the nutrients of the bran and germ into the kernel's heart. Converted rice has a pale beige cast and takes slightly longer to cook than regular white rice. Talc-coated rice  is white rice that has a coating of talc and glucose, which gives it a glossy appearance. The coating acts as a preservative and the practice was once widely used to protect exported rice during long sea voyages. Today coated rice (which is clearly labeled as such) is available only in a few ethnic markets, usually those specializing in South American foods. It must be thoroughly rinsed before being cooked, as there is a chance that the talc can be contaminated with asbestos. Instant or quick white rice has been fully or partially cooked before being dehydrated and packaged. It takes only a few minutes to prepare but delivers lackluster results in both flavor and texture. Rice bran, the grain's outer layer, is high in soluble fiber and research indicates that, like oat bran, it's effective in lowering cholesterol. Rice should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry place. White rice can be stored this way almost indefinitely, brown rice up to 6 months. The life of the latter can be extended considerably by refrigeration. Rice can be prepared in a multitude of ways, the method greatly depending on the type of rice. Consult a general cookbook for cooking directions. Rice, which is cholesterol- and gluten-free, is low in sodium, contains only a trace of fat and is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates. Enriched or converted rice contains calcium, iron and many B-complex vitamins, with brown rice being slightly richer in all the nutrients. See also  AROMATIC RICE; JASMINE RICE; RICE FLOUR; RIZCOUS; TEXMATI RICE; WEHANI RICE; WILD RICE; WILD PECAN RICE. rice v.  To push cooked food through a perforated kitchen utensil called a RICER. The result is food that looks vaguely ricelike.
rice bran see  RICE
rice flour Regular rice flour is a fine, powdery flour made from regular white rice. It's used mainly for baked goods. Glutinous or sweet rice flour (such as the Japanese MOCHI) is made from high-starch short-grain rice. It's widely used in Asian cooking to thicken sauces and for some desserts.
rice-flour noodles These extremely thin Chinese noodles resemble long, translucent white hairs. When deep-fried, they explode dramatically into a tangle of airy, crunchy strands that are a traditional ingredient in Chinese chicken salad. Rice-flour noodles can also be presoaked and used in soups and STIR FRIES. The term rice sticks  is generally applied to rice-flour noodles that are about 1/4-inch wide. Rice-flour noodles can be found in Asian markets and some supermarkets. They're usually sold in coiled nests packaged in cellophane. See also  ASIAN NOODLES.
rice paper An edible, translucent paper made from a dough of water combined with the pith of an Asian shrub called, appropriately enough, the rice-paper plant (or rice-paper tree). RICE FLOUR is sometimes also used. The paper comes in various sizes — small to large, round or square. Rice paper can be used to wrap foods to be eaten as is or deep-fried. It's also useful as a baking-sheet liner on which delicate cookies are baked. After baking, the cookies may be removed from the sheet without damage and the flavorless rice paper (which sticks to the cookies' bottoms) eaten along with the confection. Rice paper can be found in Asian markets and some supermarkets.
ricer Also called a potato ricer , this kitchen utensil resembles a large garlic press. Cooked food such as potatoes, carrots or turnips is placed in the container. A lever-operated plunger is pushed down into the food, forcing it out through numerous tiny holes in the bottom of the container. The result is food that (vaguely) resembles grains of rice. Ricers come in a variety of shapes, the most common being a 3- to 4-inch round basket or a V-shaped bucket. They're generally made of chromed steel or cast aluminum and can be found in specialty cookware shops.
rice sticks see  RICE-FLOUR NOODLES
rice vinegar There are Japanese as well as Chinese rice vinegars, both made from fermented rice, and both slightly milder than most Western vinegars. Chinese rice vinegar comes in three types: white (clear or pale amber), used mainly in SWEET-AND-SOUR dishes; red, a popular accompaniment for boiled or steamed crab; and black, used mainly as a table CONDIMENT. The almost colorless Japanese rice vinegar is used in a variety of Japanese preparations, including SUSHI rice and SUNOMONO (vinegared salads). Rice vinegar can be found in Asian markets and some supermarkets.
rice wine A sweet, golden wine made from fermenting freshly steamed glutinous rice. Most rice wines are low in alcohol. The most well-known Japanese rice wines are SAKE and MIRIN, while Chinese renditions include Chia Fan, Hsiang Hsueh, Shan Niang and Yen Hung.
rickey [RIHK-ee] A drink made with lime (sometimes lemon) juice, soda water and liquor, usually gin or whiskey. If sugar is added, the drink becomes a Tom COLLINS. A nonalcoholic rickey always has sugar or sugar syrup added to it.
ricotta cheese [rih-KAHT-tuh] This rich fresh cheese is slightly grainy but smoother than cottage cheese. It's white, moist and has a slightly sweet flavor. Most Italian ricottas are made from the WHEY drained off while making cheeses such as MOZZARELLA and PROVOLONE. Technically, this type of ricotta is not really cheese because it's made from a cheese by-product. In the United States, ricottas are usually made with a combination of whey and whole or skim milk. The word ricotta  means "recooked," and is derived from the fact that the cheese is made by heating the whey from another cooked cheese. Ricotta is a popular ingredient in many Italian savory preparations like LASAGNA and MANICOTTI, as well as desserts like CASSATA and CHEESECAKE. See also  CHEESE.
Riesling [REEZ-ling, REES-ling] Riesling is considered one of the world's great white wine grapes and produces some of the very best white wines. It's a native of Germany, where it's believed to have been cultivated for at least 500 — and possibly as long as 2,000 — years. Riesling wines are delicate but complex, and characterized by a spicy, fruity flavor, flower-scented BOUQUET and long finish. Riesling is vinified in a variety of styles ranging from DRY to very sweet. In Germany, these sweet wines — which are usually affected by BOTRYTIS CINEREA- are graded in ascending order of sweetness as AUSLESE, BEERENAUSLESE and TROCKENBEERENAUSLESE. California winemakers now produce high-quality, German-style Rieslings, which are lighter, more delicate, and slightly to medium-sweet. Because the name "Riesling" is used in many ways, it's sometimes difficult to find wines truly made from this variety. In California, for instance, Johannisberg Riesling is the true Riesling, whereas Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are actually other varieties. A bottle of California wine labeled simply "Riesling" usually means that the wine's made from one of the lesser varieties, not Johannisberg Riesling.
rigatoni [rihg-ah-TOH-nee] Short, grooved tubes of MACARONI. See also  PASTA.
rijsttafel [RRI-stah-fuhl, RIHS-tah-fuhl] Dutch for "rice table," rijst-tafel is the Dutch version of an Indonesian meal consisting of hot rice accompanied by a profusion of small, well-seasoned side dishes such as steamed or fried seafoods and meats, vegetables, fruits, sauces, CONDIMENTS, etc. The Dutch adopted this style of dining during their occupation of Indonesia in the 18th and 19th centuries.
rillettes [ree-YEHT, rih-LEHTS] Meat, usually pork but also rabbit, goose, poultry, fish, etc., that is slowly cooked in seasoned fat and then pounded or pulverized (along with some of the fat) into a paste. This mixture is then packed in small pots, RAMEKINS or other containers and covered with a thin layer of fat. Rillettes can be stored for several weeks in the refrigerator providing the fatty seal is not broken. This mixture, resembling a smooth PÂTÉ, is served cold, usually as an appetizer spread on toast or bread.
ripe olive see  OLIVE
ripieni [ree-PYAY-nee] Italian for foods that are "stuffed," such as peperoni ripieni  — "stuffed peppers."
ris [REE] French for "SWEETBREADS." Ris de veau  are from a calf, ris d'agneau  from a lamb.
riso [REE-soh] Rice-shape PASTA, similar to ORZO.
risotto [rih-SAW-toh, ree-ZAW-toh] An Italian rice specialty made by stirring hot stock into a mixture of rice (and often chopped onions) that has been sautéed in butter. The stock is added 1/2 cup at a time and the mixture is stirred continually while it cooks until all the liquid is absorbed before more stock is added. This labor-intensive technique results in rice that is delectably creamy while the grains remain separate and firm. Risottos can be flavored variously with ingredients such as chicken, shellfish, sausage, vegetables, cheese, white wine and herbs. The famous risotto Milanese is scented with SAFFRON. The use of Italian ARBORIO RICE is traditional in the preparation of risotto.
rissole [rih-SOHL, ree-SOHL] 1. Sweet- or savory-filled pastry (often shaped like a turnover) that is fried or baked and served as an appetizer, side dish or dessert (depending on the size and filling). 2. Small, partially cooked potato balls that are browned in butter until crisp.
rissolé [RIHS-uh-lee, rihs-uh-LAY, ree-saw-LAY] Food that has been fried until crisp and brown.
ristra [REE-strah] A Spanish term referring to a handstrung rope of foods, primarily CHILES or heads of garlic. Though ristras are used for decoration, many people let the chiles dry and use them in cooking, pulling them off one-by-one from the bottom. Dried garlic ristras are used strictly for decoration.
riz [REE] French for "rice."
riz à l'impératrice [REE ahl-ahn-pehr-ah-TREES] 1. French for "rice as the empress likes it," riz à l'impératrice  is a very rich rice pudding made with vanilla custard, whipped cream and crystallized fruit (which is often soaked in KIRSCH). 2. The term à l'impératrice  is used to describe a variety of rich sweet or savory dishes.
Rizcous [REEZ-koos] Produced in California, Rizcous is a product composed of broken brown rice grains. In its cooked form, it resembles its namesake, COUSCOUS.
© The Residential Chef 2018