Cook’s Encyclopedia – L

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laksa paste: bottled paste containing lemon grass, chillies, galangal, shrimp paste, onions and turmeric.
lamb’s lettuce: also known as mâche, corn salad or lamb’s tongue; tender, narrow, dark-green leaves with mild flavour.
lamington pan: straight-sided rectangular slab cake pan that is 3-4cm deep.
langouste: the French name for the spiny lobster, differentiating from Maine lobsters in that they have no claws. Langoustes are warm water crustaceans that can be found in the south Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and off the coasts of South America, Australia and the West Indies.
langoustine: the French name for Dublin prawn. These are small pink crustaceans resembling crayfish, with a taste and texture closest to lobster. Their claws are quite long but have no edible meat in them. Like the langouste, these are found in warm waters.
lard: fat obtained from melting down and clarifying pork fat; available packaged.
lasagne: sheets of pasta which are layered with sauce and cheese and baked au gratin. Meat, fish, shellfish, and vegetables are all used as fillings for this dish. Recipes from northern Italy are simple preparations consisting of little more than sauce and cheese. Contrary to this is lasagne al forno, filled with a rich bolognaise sauce. Southern Italian versions are more elaborate calling for the addition of sausages, mushrooms, and anything else they may have on hand.
lassi: a frothy yoghurt drink, sweet or salty, flavoured with pistachios, cardamom, cumin, or rose water.
lavash bread: flat, unleavened bread; also called lavoche.
leaven: to add a substance to (bread and other things made with flour) to make it get bigger when it is cooked. Yeast is added to yeast-leavened bread to make it rise and increase in volume.
Lebanese cucumber: small and thin-skinned; it is also known as the European or burpless cucumber.
leek: member of the onion family; resembles the green onion, but is much larger.
lemon butter: packaged spread; also known as lemon curd, lemon cheese and lemon spread.
lemon grass: a tall clumping, lemon-smelling and tasting, sharp-edged grass, the white lower part of each stem is chopped and used.
lemon thyme: herb with tiny, green citrus flavoured leaves.
lentils: dried pulses often named after their colour; also known as dhal.
lettuce: cos also known as romaine lettuce; the traditional caesar salad lettuce. Oak leaf also known as feville de Chene. Available in both red and green leaf. Mesclun a mixture of baby lettuces and other salad leaves, also known as gourmet salad mix.
light evaporated milk: unsweetened canned milk from which water has been extracted by evaporation; identified on the label as being 98.3% fat free.
lights: lungs of an animal, used in various meat preparations such as pates and faggots.
ligurian olives: from the Italian Riviera, these are black, small and high in oil, with a delicate sweet flavour.
lima beans: large, flat, kidney-shaped, beige, dried and canned beans. Also known as butter beans.
limes: lime juice, fruits and leaves give many Thai dishes a distinct flavour. Kaffir lime leaves are sold dried, and should be stored in a spice jar.
linguine: a long, narrow pasta often known as a “flat” spaghetti; sometimes known as bavette.
linzertorte: an Austrian pastry comprised of a short crust dough flavoured with ground almonds and hazelnuts, cinnamon, and lemon zest. This is then spread with raspberry jam and topped with a cross-hatch of dough. Almond paste is sometimes layered underneath the raspberry jam. Other versions of this use fresh cranberries or apricots in the filling.
liquid glucose: used in baking and confectionery making as a sweetener, as it does not crystallise easily. Available from health food stores.
lobster: mistakenly referred to as crayfish (a name which refers to specifically to their freshwater cousins), lobsters found in Australian waters are known as rock lobsters. Unlike European lobsters, their claws contain very little meat.
lobster mushroom: a wild mushroom that has a firm texture and a red and orange colour like lobster shells.
long eggplant: this elongated vegetable is renowned for its usage in Asian cuisine and often referred to as Japanese eggplant. Its meaty texture makes it a perfect alternative for vegetarian diets. It is low in vitamins, and valued for its low content in fat and calories.
lotus root: actually a rhizome (like ginger), lotus is used in dishes such as tempura and salads. Scrape or peel to remove skin before use. Sold in cans, fresh and frozen.
Ltr: measurement Unit – Ltr. (Litre) = 1 kg (kilogram). For U.S measurement conversion refer to conversion chart.
lychees: delicious fruit with a light texture and flavour; peel away rough skin, remove seeds and use. Also available in cans.
lyonnaise sauce: a classic French sauce preparation made with sauteed onions, white wine and demi-glace. The sauce is strained before being served with meats and sometime poultry.

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