Cook’s Encyclopedia – H

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haloumi: a firm, cream-coloured sheep-milk cheese matured in brine; can be grilled or fried, briefly, without breaking down.
ham hock: smoked ham hocks are pork products commonly used in soups and are widely available in butcher shops, especially in winter.
handling: the making, manufacturing, producing, collecting, extracting, processing, storing, transporting, delivering, preparing, treating, preserving, packing, cooking, thawing, serving or displaying of food.
hapuku: also called groper, this deep sea game fish is prized for its firm, white flavoursome flesh.
haricot beans: there are many types of beans that belong to the haricot family, including cannelli (kidney shaped beans) and flageolet (white or pale green beans), and also nave beans. In Europe and the United States, haricot are also called white beans.
harissa: a spice mixture used as both a condiment and a seasoning. Harissa contains chillies which are ground with cumin, garlic, coriander, and olive oil. It becomes a thick paste that is used as is in cooking or diluted with oil or stock to be used as a condiment.
hazard: a biological, chemical or physical agent in, or a condition of, food that has the potential to cause an adverse health effect in humans.
hazelnut: also known as a filbert; plump, grape-sized, rich, sweet nut with a brown inedible skin that is removed by rubbing heated nuts together vigorously in a tea towel.
hazelnut meal: ground hazelnuts. Make your own by processing whole skinned hazelnuts to a fine meal in a food processor or blender (130g/4 oz whole hazelnuts will give 1 cup hazelnut meal). To remove the skins from whole hazelnuts, wrap in a tea towel and rub vigorously.
hijiki: hijiki is a dried, brown seaweed. Its texture is quite different to that of other seaweeds; rather than being smooth, it is more like slightly thick chewy twigs. The dried seaweed needs to be soaked before use. It is rich in calcium and is ideal sauteed with deep fried tofu or when used in a Japanese style salad. It is available from Japanese shops and some supermarkets.
hive: shelter for honeybees, beehive.
hoisin sauce: a thick, sweet and spicy Chinese paste made from salted fermented soy beans, onions and garlic.
hokkien noodles: originally Chinese, these noodles are a staple of Malaysian noodle dishes. They are thick, fresh egg noodle, which has been cooked and lightly oiled before packaging. They only need to be covered with boiling water for 1 minute to separate, before being drained and rinsed. Their strength and thickness makes them perfect for stir-frying, as they absorb the flavour of the sauce – they are also used in soups and noodle salads.
hold: keep or reserve; keep in a specified condition.
hollandaise sauce: this is the most basic of the egg and oil emulsified sauces. The only flavouring is fresh lemon juice or a good vinegar. This sauce must be kept warm, as excessive heat will cause it to break. Because this is kept warm, it is not safe to keep it for long periods of time and should never be reused from another meal period.
honeycomb: a confection made of sugar, bicarb soda and glucose; available plain or chocolate coated.
hops: dried ripe cones of the female flowers of the hop plant, used in brewing.
horn of plenty mushroom: this is a wild mushroom with a hollow, funnel-shaped cap and is dark grey or black in colour. Because of this, it also has the name trumpet of death. This mushroom is somewhat stringy, but has a robust flavour and may be used to flavour sauces, soups, or any other mushroom preparation.
horseradish cream: a creamy prepared paste of grated horseradish, vinegar, oil and sugar.
hot basil leaves: sometimes referred to as holy basil, hot basil leaves unfold sensational flavours when cooked. Renowned for their health benefits, they are high in beta-carotene, which is converted by the body into Vitamin A. This herb must be used if indicated in the recipe and cannot be substituted.
hot-hold: keep food at, or above, 60 degrees Celsius. Using appropriate equipment such as hot lamps, bain-marie.
hull: both the leafy calyx of a strawberry and the action of removing it.
hummus: a Middle-Eastern salad or dip made from softened dried chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice and tahini (sesame seed paste); can be purchased, ready-made, from most delicatessens and supermarkets.
hyssop: any of various herbs belonging to the mint family with aromatic, dark green leaves that have a slightly bitter, minty flavour. Hyssop adds intrigue to salads, fruit dishes, soups and stews. It is also used to flavour certain liqueurs such as Chartreuse.

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