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dacquoise: a cake made of nut meringues layered with whipped cream or butter cream. The nut meringue disks are also referred to as dacquoise.
daikon: daikon, or mooli, is a large white radish. Its flavour varies from mild to surprisingly spicy, depending on the season and variety. Daikon contains an enzyme that aids digestion. It can be freshly grated or slow cooked in broths, and is available from most large supermarkets or Asian grocery stores. Select firm and shiny vegetables with unscarred skins.
dal: this is the Indian term for all varieties of dried beans, split peas, and lentils. There are many different varieties of dal, all of which have a specific use in Indian cooking.
dark sesame oil (also called Oriental sesame oil): dark polyunsaturated oil with a low burning point, used for seasoning. Do not replace with lighter sesame oil.
dashi: traditionally, three types of dashi are used in Japanese cooking: katsuo-dashi, stock from dried bonito flakes; konbu-dashi, stock from dried kelp seaweed used for shabu-shabu (one-pot dish); and niboshi-dashi, stock from dried small sardines or anchovies. Dashi is used in clear soups, miso soups and various casserole dishes. Instant dashi is available in powder, granules and liquid concentrate.
dashi granules: is made from dried kelp (kombu) and dried fish (bonito). It is available as granules or powder and is dissolved in hot water to make the well known Japanese dashi stock.
dates: from the date palm tree and have a sticky texture; sometimes sold already pitted and chopped.
daube: a stew consisting of a single piece of meat such as a shoulder or joint. The meat is stewed in a rich, wine laden broth with herbs and vegetables. The broth is then thickened, reduced and served with the slices of meat and accompanying vegetables.
dauphine: little puffs made of potato puree, that are mixed with choux paste and deep fried.
dauphinoise: potato gratin with lots of cream and garlic, all topped with Gruyere cheese.
decant: gradual pouring of liquid from one container to another without disturbing the sediment.
deep fry: cooking food by immersing it in a large pan of cooking oil. If large pieces of food are to be cooked, the temperature of the oil should be lower.
deglaze: to dissolve congealed cooking juices or glaze on the bottom of a pan by adding a liquid, then scraping and stirring vigorously whilst bringing the liquid to the boil. Juices may be used to make gravy or to add to sauce.
degrease: to skim grease from the surface of liquid. If possible the liquid should be chilled so the fat solidifies. If not, skim off most of the fat with a large metal spoon, then trail strips of paper towel on the surface of the liquid to remove any remaining globules.
demi-glace: a rich brown sauce comprised of Espagnole sauce, which is further enriched with veal stock and wine and reduced to proper consistency. This is a very long procedure and requires constant skimming. A quick version of this involves reducing brown veal stock to which has been added mirepoix, tomato paste, wine, and brown roux. The latter recipe saves time, but never reaches the intensity of flavour as does the former method.
devilled: a dish or sauce that is highly seasoned with a hot ingredient such as mustard. Worcestershire sauce or cayenne pepper.
dice: to cut into small cubes.
dietary fibre: a plant-cell material that is undigested or only partially digested in the human body, but which promotes healthy digestion of other food matter.
Dijon mustard: a pale brown, distinctively flavoured, fairly mild French mustard.
dill: a herb with fine, feathery leaves and a sweet, aromatic flavour. Sold fresh, as sprigs, or dried.
dissolve: mix a dry ingredient with liquid until absorbed.
ditalini: short pasta tubes.
dolmas: a cold hors d’oeuvre made of grape leaves stuffed with cooked rice, lamb, and onion. They are marinated with olive oil and lemon. A Greek dish.
double-boiler: one saucepan containing ingredients is placed in another containing hot or boiling water to facilitate slow cooking. It also prevents curdling in foods such as custards, sauces, etc.
dredge: to coat with a dry ingredient, as flour or sugar.
dried Asian fried onions: crisp-fried shallots or onions are available from most Asian grocery stores and are normally packaged in plastic tunes or bags. They are often used as a flavour enhancer, scattered over rice and savoury dishes.
dried berries: American dried mixed berries can be found in specialty food stores. All dried berries, and especially cranberries, can bring a wonderful sweet-tart element to cakes and flavoured butters, and when reconstituted can be added to fresh fruit salads. To reconstitute the berries, simply cover with boiling water until they are completely soft and plump.
dried Greek oregano: also known as rigani; dried stems of Greek oregano are available from continental delicatessens and specialty food stores.
dried green tea noodles: these are dried Japanese wheat-based noodles, which have been flavoured with green tea. They are a beautiful pale green colour, and are perfect for cold noodle salads.
dried kombu: actually large sheets of dried kelp, dried kombu is boiled with dried bonito to make dashi. Dried kombu can be bought from specialty Japanese stores or some Asian supermarkets.
dried mandarin peel: available from Asian food stores.
dried prawns: also called dried shrimp, these small sun-dried prawns are soaked in hot water or pounded to a paste before using. Available from Asian food stores.
drizzle: to pour in a fine thread-like stream over a surface.
dry goods: food ingredients which can be stored at room temperature (not chilled or frozen) without being a risk to food safety for example flour, sugar, rice, jars and bottles of sauce, canned fruit and raw vegetables.
dry storage: storing dry goods at room temperature.
duck fat: rendered and clarified duck fat and goose fat imported from France are available in tins from delicatessens and specialty food stores.
duchess: a basic potato puree that is enriched with butter and egg yolk. When piped into decorative shapes and browned in the oven they are called duchesse potato.
dust: to sprinkle or coat lightly with flour or icing sugar.
dutch oven: a heavy casserole with a lid usually made from cast iron or pottery.
dutch-pressed cocoa: “Dutching” is a method of alkalising cocoa. An alkali is added during processing, neutralising the astringent quality of the cocoa and giving it a rich, dark colour and smoother, more rounded flavour. Available from specialty food stores and delicatessens.
durian: a large fruit from Southeast Asia that has a creamy, gelatinous texture and a nauseating smell similar to that of stinky feet. The flesh is savoured by many from this area, but outsiders find it a difficult flavour to become accustomed.
duxelle: finely chopped mushrooms that are cooked in butter with shallots and wine. When cooked dry, duxelle make a good filling for omelettes, fish, and meat. They may also be moistened with wine or broth and served as a sauce. Duxelle are also flavoured with fresh herbs and brandy or Madeira.
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