Macadamia nut - Also known as the Queensland nut, it is a fleshy
white nut with a coconut-like flavor. In Asia, it is used in savory soups and stews.
In the U.S., the macadamia is used mostly in sweets. The nuts have an extremely
high fat content.
Macaire - A potato pancake made with seasoned potato puree.
Macaroni - A general name for the pastas which are made into
various shapes and sizes, as spaghetti, linguini, vermicelli, etc.; actually tubular-shaped
Macaroon - A small round cookie that has a crisp crust and a
soft interior. Many versions bought commercially have been thoroughly dried. These
cookies may be made from almonds, though coconut is common in the US. The may also
be flavored with coffee, chocolate, or spices. Amaretti, from Italy, are a type
Macarronada - [Spanish] macaroni
Mace - The outer covering of nutmeg, reddish-orange and lacy.
Used as nutmeg or cinnamon, with nutmeg flavor.
Macedoine - [French] A mixture of fruit or vegetables. Vegetable
macedoine are cut into small dice and used as a garnish to meats. Fruit macedoine
are cut in larger pieces and often marinated in sugar syrup with liqueur.
Macerate - To soak fruit or vegetables in wine, liquor, or syrup
so that they may absorb these flavors. Salt and sugar macerations are used to draw
excess moisture out of the food for a secondary preparation. This is done for canning,
jam and preserve making, and to remove bitter flavors from vegetables.
Machaca - [Spanish] from the verb machacar, which means to pound
or break something into small pieces; meat that has been stewed, roasted or broiled,
then shredded; it is typical of Sonoran cooking.
Machacado - [Spanish] mashed; name of a dish of scrambled eggs
and shredded dried meat.
Mache - A wild lettuce with small round leaves that may be used
for salads or cooked and used as you would spinach. The taste is a little less pronounced
than spinach. Mache grows wild, and can be found in the fall. It is cultivated in
France, Italy, and the US from September to April. It is also known as lamb's lettuce
and field salad.
Madeleine - A small scalloped or shell shaped cookie or cake
made from a rich batter similar to genoise. These may be flavored with almonds,
lemon, or cinnamon.
Madire, au - Made with Madeira wine.
Madrilene - A clear chicken consomme flavored with tomato juice.
Maggi Seasoning - Dark brown, bottled sauce that resembles soy
sauce; it adds salt and depth of flavor to dishes; do not overdo using this sauce
as it will overpower the dish; regular soy sauce may be substituted, if necessary.
Magret - The breast meat from a mallard or Barbary duck. These
ducks are specially raised for foie gras. Their breasts are large and have a much
thinner layer of fat than do the Peking or Long Island duckling.
Maguey - Cactus plant (Agave americana) from which tequila,
mescal and pulque are made.
Mahi-mahi - Contrary to popular belief, mahi-mahi is not a mammalian
dolphin. A warm-water fish with dark meat that turns brown after cooking. Mahi-mahi
is a great alternative to swordfish.
Mais - [French] corn.
Maitre d'hotel butter - This is the most common of all the compound
butters. It is flavored with lemon and chopped parsley and used to garnish fish
and grilled meats. Garlic may be added, but it would then be called escargot butter.
Maiz - [Spanish] maiz; corn.
Miaz azul - [Spanish] blue corn.
Maizena - [Spanish] cornstarch; a product of Mexico which comes
in almond, chocolate, cinnamon, coconut, guava, mango, pineapple and vanilla flavors;
commonly used to make Atole.
Mako shark - Fairly inexpensive fish with ivory-pink flesh that
resembles swordfish in color and texture (but not in appearance). Other available
shark includes dusky, black tip, silky, lemon, bull, tiger, or hammerhead shark.
Malanga - A tuber sold in all Latin American markets and some
supermarkets; you might find it under the name "yautia." Raw, it has the texture
of jimica, but it is not eaten raw. It's best boiled, fried, or included in stews
-- in short treated exactly as a potato. Peel and trim before cooking.
Manchamantel - [Spanish] "tablecloth stainer." Usually refers
to sauces that do not wash out easily.
Manchego - [Spanish] an aged sheep's milk cheese that is dry
and crumbly; packed in straw and weighted; usually grated for use in quesadillas
and empanadas; substitute good Parmesan or aged white Cheddar.
Mandel - [German] almond.
Mandoline - The original food processor, and still highly useful,
the mandoline is the easiest way to cut thin slices of vegetables.
Mangos - [Spanish] mangoes; one of the most popular fruits in
the Southwest and Mexico; it has a peach-like taste and flowery aroma; the skin
is pink, red, gold and green; the flesh is deep yellow and juicy; to slice the fruit,
free it from the flat, oval pit in large pieces. There are some two hundred varieties.
They are usually eaten ripe, as a fruit or in salsa. Green mangoes make great salads
Manicotti - Rolled pancakes (crepes), stuffed with cheese. Pasta
tubes may also be used.
Manioc - [Spanish] yuca; cassava; see "yuca."
Mano - [Spanish] hand; implement used to grind corn and chiles
on a metate.
Manteca - [Spanish] lard; fat; probably the most frequently
used ingredient in traditional Mexican cooking; has approximately half the cholesterol
of butter; fresh rendered lard is best; it is usually best to substitute vegetable
shortening unless fresh lard is available.
Mantequilla - [Spanish] butter.
Manzanas - [Spanish] apples.
Maple sugar - Made by the evaporation of maple sap or maple
syrup. Usually pressed into fancy shapes and sold as a candy. It is not generally
used for baking or cooking.
Maple syrup - Thick and sweet syrup used on pancakes and waffles
or as an ice cream topping. Pure maple syrup is made by the evaporation of the sap
from maple trees. Maple-blended syrup is a mixture of maple syrup and cane syrups,
resulting in a milder and less costly product.
Maquereau - [French] mackerel.
Marchand de vin - A dark brown sauce made with meat and wine.
Marengo - A chicken stew made with wine, tomatoes, and garlic.
The stew is served over toast, garnished with crayfish and fried eggs. The modern
versions of this omit the eggs and substitute shrimp for the crayfish. Of course,
other liberties have been taken with this recipe to include black olives, peppers,
and veal. The dish is rumored to have been named for the dish served to General
Bonaparte after his army s defeat of the Austrians in the battle of Marengo.
Margarine (oleo, oleomargarine) - Comes in several forms. Regular
margarine, with 80% fat is usually interchangeable with butter. Soft margarine is
readily spreadable even at refrigerated temperatures. Whipped margarine has air
beaten in to increase volume. Imitation or diet margarine has greatly reduced fat
content and Half the calories, sometimes less, of regular margarine. Margarine was
first invented to replace butter in cooking and baking. It was then made solely
of beef fat. Margarine is now made with a variety of fats, alone or with others,
along with the addition of water, whey, yellow coloring, and vitamins. Beef fat
is still used today, but with a higher consciousness toward a healthier diet, it
is very rare.
Marguery - A Hollandaise sauce made with shellfish essence and
Marinade - A seasoned liquid, often containing vinegar and oil,
in which food is soaked to improve flavor.
Marinara - A spicy tomato and garlic sauce.
Marinate - To soak meat, vegetables or fish in seasoned liquid.
Marina - [French] Pickled, marinated.
Mariscos - [Spanish] seafood dishes.
Marjoram - Sometimes called "wild oregano," it is an herb in
the mint family and is related to thyme; often confused with and substituted for
oregano; grows up to 2 feet high with closely bunched purple and white flowers that
resemble knots; used to season game or pork; often labeled as sweet marjoram.
Marmalade - A preserve of citrus fruits (most commonly oranges)
Marmite - [French] a rich meat soup or stock; an earthenware
Marrons - Chestnuts.
Marrons glaces - Chestnuts preserved in syrup or candied.
Marrow - Bone substance and gut eaten by Native Americans and
Marzipan - a sweet confection made from ground blanched almonds
and sugar, some of which is liquid sugar to make a soft pliable paste. While there
are no hard-and-fast rules, Marzipan typically contains more than 60% sugar some
of which is liquid sugar. Marzipan is like edible modeling clay. It can be sculpted
into fanciful shapes, rolled to decorate cakes or coated in chocolate to make a
It has been enjoyed in Europe since the Middle Ages. It is believed that when
the Crusaders opened up trade routes to the Near East, they brought the taste for
this Arab sweet back to Europe. There, almond paste and nougat candies made their
way into the Mediterranean pastry and candy traditions, as well as in Germany, the
British Isles, and Scandinavia. - courtesy Love'n Bake.com
Masa - [Spanish] dough; dough of ground dried corn and flour;
usually refers to ground nixtamal; instant corn flour tortilla mix; cornmeal dough
made from dried corn kernels that have been softened in a lime solution, then ground;
fresh frozen masa is available in supermarkets throughout the Southwest; comes finely
ground in a dehydrated form and can be used to make tortillas and tamales.
Masa is the plain, wet stone ground dough made with a special corn known as Nixtamal.
Fresh masa is sold two different ways - prepared and unprepared. Prepared masa is
plain masa which has been mixed with lard and salt only. This type of masa yields
heavy, greasy, drier dough.
Masa Harina - Instant corn flour, dough flour; a product developed
by the Quaker Oats Company at the request of the Mexican government; used to make
dough for tamales and corn tortillas; uncooked corn kernels that have been ground
Mascabado - [Spanish] brown sugar.
Mascarpone - A rich triple cream, fresh cheese from Italy with
a texture resembling that of solidified whipped cream.
Mask - To cover completely, as with mayonnaise, jelly, ganache,
Matafan - A thick pancake eaten sweet as a snack, or savory
as an accompaniment to cheese. They are also made with bacon, spinach, and potatoes.
Matelote - [French] in the sailor's style. A fish stew made
with wine. The Alsatian version of this dish is made with freshwater fish, Riesling
wine, and thickened with cream and egg yolks. The Normandy version includes seafood
and is flavored with cider and Calvados. These stews are normally embellished with
pearl onions and mushrooms. Also, a sauce made with court bouillon and red wine.
Mastic - a resin that gives a sour flavor to dishes. A shrub
rarely growing higher than 12 feet, much branched, and found freely scattered over
the Mediterranean region, in Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Turkey, the Canary
Islands, and Tropical Africa. The best Mastic occurs in roundish tears about the
size of a small pea, or in flattened, irregular pear-shape, or oblong pieces covered
with a whitish powder. They are pale yellow in color, which darkens with age. The
odor is agreeable and the taste mild and resinous, and when chewed it becomes soft,
so that it can easily be masticated. This characteristic enables it to be distinguished
from a resin called Sanderach, which it resembles, but which when bitten breaks
Matjes herring - A reddish herring that has been skinned and
filleted before being cured in a spiced sugar-vinegar brine.
Matzo, Matzoth - Thin, unleavened, Jewish flat bread made of
flour and water.
Mayonnaise - This is the mother of all of the cold egg and oil
emulsified sauces. Commercial versions are made with inferior oils and are far to
thick for proper utilization. A hand made version has a rich, subtle flavor and
silky texture. You should always use a neutral oil or a good olive oil. Avoid using
an extra-virgin olive oil, which will offer too strong a flavor for most usage.
Meat tenderizer - A food product obtained from the papaya, which
works on the fibers of raw meat to make it tender, regardless of kind, grade, or
cut. When the meat is cooked all tenderizing action stops.
Medallion - [French] the "eye" of a rib lamb chop.
Mediano - [Spanish] medium hot (to taste).
Mejillones - [Spanish] mussels.
Mejorana - [Spanish] marjoram; wild oregano.
Melange - A mixture
Melba - The name of a popular dessert invented by Auguste Escoffier.
Poached peach halves are served with vanilla ice cream and topped with fresh raspberry
Melon - There are three kinds of melons (aside from watermelon,
a different species entirely). Small melons with ridged skin, such as the charentais,
more common in Europe; and those with a meshed rind, such as cantaloupe; and those
with a smooth rind, like the honeydew. When looking for ripe melons, an appetizing
smell is a good sign. Shake the melon. Loose seeds are a fairly good indication
of ripeness. Squeeze the ends, especially the one opposite the stem; it should be
fairly tender, almost soft.
Melon - [Spanish] cantaloupe.
Membrillo - [Spanish] quince.
Menta - [Spanish] mint.
Menudo - [Spanish] tripe and cow's foot soup or stew; fiery
Mexican "hangover cure," traditionally eaten on Saturday and Sunday; traditional
dish for New Year's Day; normally served with lime wedges, oregano, red pepper flakes
and hot tortillas.
Mercados - [Spanish] markets.
Merienda - [Spanish] afternoon tea following the daily siesta.
Meringue - [French] whipped egg whites to which sugar has been
added to form a stiff paste. These are used to lighten mousses, cakes and pastry
creams. Unsweetened versions are used to lighten forcemeats.
Mesa - [Spanish] table.
Mescal - [Spanish] liquor distilled from fermented juice of
the maguey cactus.
Mesophilic - Cheesemaking term which describes the temperature
at which the culture thrives. From the Greek words meso - meaning intermediate -
and philic - which means loving. Mesophilic cultures thrive around room temperatures.These
terms describes at the temperature the culture thrives at. Mesophilic (from the
Greek words meso - meaning intermediate and philic - which means loving) cultures
thrive around room temperatures. Mesophilic cultures require a temperature than
Mesclun - A word used to describe a mixture of a dozen or more
wild and cultivated greens. Often this mix is stretched with herbs or flower sprigs
and bitter greens. These greens should be dressed very lightly, with only best oil
and vinegar, so that their flavor will not be masked.
Mesquite - Hardwood tree, the dry wood of which is used to fuel
fires in Southwestern cooking; the beans are a Native American staple.
Metate - Old Native American utensil, made of volcanic rock;
used for grinding corn, mesquite beans, etc.
Meuniere a la, Meuniere - Fish or seafood sauteed and served
in brown butter. Also, with sauce of butter, lemon juice and parsley.
Mexican chocolate - A mixture of chocolate, almonds, sugar and
sometimes cinnamon and vanilla, ground together and formed into octagonal tablets;
Ibarra is the most common brand in the United States; can be used in desserts, chocolate
beverages and some mole sauces; the best substitute is to add a dash of cinnamon
to bittersweet chocolate.
Mexican mint marigold - Also known as "sweet mace"; flavor of
the leaves is similar to tarragon with a subtle anise flavor; both the leaves and
petals can be used in sauces and relishes and as a garnish.
Mexican oregano - Much larger leaves and a different appearance
from the oregano most commonly found in the United States; almost always sold dried
in the United States; used in many traditional recipes for red sauces, moles and
stews; should be toasted slightly before using to enhance the flavor.
Mexican strawberries - Cowboy term for red beans.
Miel - [French and Italian] honey.
Migajas - [Spanish] crumbs.
Migajon - [Spanish] soft inside of bread.
Migas - [Spanish] leftovers; crumbs; a dish made of eggs scrambled
with chorizo, tortilla chips, onions, tomatoes, cheese and chiles, it is normally
eaten for breakfast; also called huevos con tostaditos.
Mignon, Migonette - This is a term used to describe coarsely
ground pepper used for au poivre preparations and in bouquet garni. This is also
used to describe small round pieces of meat or poultry.
Milanese - [Italian] used to describe foods that are dipped
in egg and bread crumbs, sometimes parmesan cheese, and fried in butter.
Milch - [German] milk.
Mild chiles - New Mexico or Anaheim chiles.
Milk chocolate - Most popular form of eating chocolate in the
United States due to its mild, mellow flavor. It has only 10% chocolate liquor and
usually contains about 12% milk solids. Milk chocolate has a less robust flavor
than sweet or semi-sweet chocolates.
Mille-feuilles - Small rectangular pastries made of crisp layers
of puff pastry and pastry cream. This may also include savory fillings of similar
presentation. The word mille-feuille means a thousand leaves.
Milnot - Milnot is canned evaporated milk that can be whipped.
It is only marketed in a handful of states.
Milpa - [Spanish] cornfield.
Mince - [Great Britain] Ground beef.
Mincemeat - A sweet spicy mixture of candied and fresh fruits,
wine, spices, and beef fat. Earlier recipes for this used beef or venison meat and
beef fat. It is used primarily as a filling for pies served during the Christmas
Minestrone - A thick Italian vegetable soup with beans and pasta
or rice. This may contain any number of vegetables, but for authenticity, meat is
Minute steak - A tender and juicy very thin steak cut from the
top round, which can be quickly saut ed, broiled or pan-broiled.
Mirabelle - [French] small yellow plum, used as tart filling;
a liqueur made from small yellow plums.
Mirasol chiles - Mirasol means looking at the sun; also called
chile travieso, or naughty chile; the dried pods are used like dried red New Mexican
chiles in corn dishes, meat dishes, sauces and stews; when fresh and green, it can
be substituted for the serrano chile mochomos - cooked or roasted meat, shredded
and fried crisp.
Mirepoix - [French] a mixture of chopped onion, carrot, and
celery used to flavor stocks and soups. Ham or bacon are sometimes added to a mirepoix,
depending on the specific preparation.
Mirepoix - Mixed vegetables diced very small and cooked with
diced ham, often used as a garnish.
Mirin - [Japanese] sweet rice vinegar. May substitute by adding
a little sugar to regular rice-wine vinegar.
Mirliton (vegetable pear) - A vegetable resembling a pale green
squash. Mirlitons are also referred to as vegetable pears or chayote squash. You
can find them on vines growing in Louisiana back yards. Their delicate flavor generally
absorbs the taste of other foods they come in contact with. They are also used as
an ingredient in Caribbean as well as Latin and Southwestern American dishes.
Mise en place - [French] mise (to put) en (in) place (place).
A French term well-known to any professional cook. It means "putting in place,"
and refers to the many prepped ingredients that must be on hand in order to be ready
for meal service.
Miso, light or dark (red) - Fermented soybean paste used as
a basic ingredient in many Japanese dishes.
Mocha - Flavoring of coffee or made by combining coffee and
Mochi - Japanese confection; a small, round rice cake which
can be eaten with condiments such as kinako (roasted soy bean flour),
manju (sweet red bean paste), soy sauce dip, andseaweed. Traditionally,
mochi is made by pounding steamed glutinous rice in a large wooden mortar, called
the usu, with a wooden mallet called the kine. Mochi-tsuki is the Japanese term
for the old-style method of pounding the steamed glutinous rice used to make mochi.
Mode, a la - A food which is braised; also, pies and cakes served
with a garnish of ice cream.
Mojo - [Mexican] A spicy, rich sauce consisting of nuts, seeds,
spices, chocolate, and peppers.
Mojo de ajo - [Spanish] soaked in garlic.
Molasses - This is a syrup resulting from the crystallization
of raw sugar from the sap. Additional processing results in darker and stronger
tasting molasses called black strap.
Molcajete - [Spanish] mortar made from volcanic stone used for
Mole - [Spanish] taken from the Nahuatl word "Molli," meaning
concoction; an assortment of thick sauces used in Mexican cooking made of chiles.
These sauces are made with one or many chiles, and flavored with cumin, coriander,
cinnamon, nuts, seeds, and chocolate. one of the most common ingredients of mole
sauce is chocolate; one of the oldest known sauces. Their flavor is rich, smoky,
and very complex. Some recipes are made with fresh herbs and have a green color.
Chicken, turkey, and pork are then simmered in this sauce.
Mole negro - [Spanish] the best known of Oaxaca's famous "seven
Molinillo - [Spanish] a wooden whisk used to whip hot chocolate;
the handle is rolled between the palms of the hands, whipping the mixture until
it is frothy.
Mollejas - [Spanish] sweetbreads.
Molletes - [Spanish] yeast rolls flavored with anise; toasted
open-faced sandwich filled with refried beans and cheese.
Monaco, la - Served with a green pea and caper sauce.
Monkfish - Known as the poor man's lobster, because of its extremely
firm, meaty texture. Highly versatile. Remove any membrane that remains on the fillet
Monosodium Glutamate, MSG - A white, crystalline salt found
in wheat, beets, and soy bean products. It is used extensively in Chinese cookery,
and thought to help accentuate the flavors of certain foods. Many people suffer
serious allergic reactions to this so widespread use has been reduced to the commercial
food processing industry.
Mont blanc - A rich dessert of chestnut puree and whipped cream.
Monterey jack - Mild, buttery-flavor cheese usually sold in blocks;
melts easily; also made with jalapenos.
Montmorency - A sauce made with cherries; also, a garnish made
with artichoke hearts.
Mora chiles - A dried chile; a more subtle variety of smoked
jalapeno than chipotles, they have a long mesquite flavor with tones of dried fruit;
moras grandes are a larger version of the same type of chile, while smaller ones
are often labeled "moritas." Use chipotles as a substitute for any of these chiles.
Morcilla - [Spanish] pork mixed with pig's blood and spices
and steamed within the animal's stomach.
Morel mushroom - This is a wild mushroom with a honeycomb cap
and hollow stem. These are very dirty mushrooms and must be cleaned carefully. Morels
possess a wonderful earthy flavor, making them good candidates for soups, sauces,
and fillings. Morels are most readily available dried.
Morello cherries - Pie cherries.
Mornay Sauce - A sauce similar to bechamel sauce but with Gruyere
cheese, sometimes enriched with egg yolks. It is used mainly for fish and vegetable
Mortadella - Large, lightly smoked sausages made of pork, beef,
or veal. These are specialties of Bologna, which is where the US version of this
sausage gets its name. Mortadella is a very smooth, pink sausage with a subtle creamy
texture. They are studded with cubes of pork fat and peppercorns.
Mostarda di Cremona - [Spanish] These are fruits cooked and
marinated in a spicy, mustard flavored syrup. It is a classic accompaniment to bollito
misto. These fruits are also used in sauces for veal, and assorted stuffed pasta
Mostaza - [Spanish] mustard.
Mouler - [French] To grind soft food into a puree or dry food
into a powder.
Moules - [French] mussels.
Mountain oysters - Roasted calf testes eaten as a between-meal
Moussaka - [Greek] A layered dish of eggplant and lamb with
tomatoes and onions. This is all bound with bechamel sauce and cooked au gratin.
Mousse - Sweet or savory dishes made of ingredients which are
blended and folded together. These mixtures may be hot or cold, and generally contain
whipped egg whites to lighten them. Cream is also used to lighten these dishes,
though when used in large quantities, these preparations are called mousselines.
Mousseline - As described above, these are fine purees or forcemeats
that have been lightened with whipped cream. The term is also used to describe a
hollandaise sauce which has unsweetened whipped cream folded into it.
Mousseron mushroom - A wild mushroom with an off-white to beige
color. The flavor is full-bodied and the texture is fleshy like bolets.
Moutarde - [French] mustard.
Mouton - [French] mutton.
Mozzarella - A mild white-yellow cheese which melts easily.
Muesli - [Swiss] Dish of raw rolled oats, coarsely grated apple,
nuts and dried fruit served with cream or whole milk.
Mulato chile - A dried chile; in Mexican cooking it refers to
the chile mulato, a dark black-brown dried chile famous for its use in Mole Poblano;
tastes of licorice, chocolate and dried fruit; used in many dark moles; if unavailable,
use anchos or pasillas.
Mulligatawny - A curried chicken soup adapted by the British
from India. Originally the soup was enriched with coconut milk and embellished with
almonds and apples. Newer versions make a lighter broth and flavor this with curry
Mung beans, dried - A versatile tiny (about one-eighth inch
in diameter), dried bean is common throughout Asia. The bean or pea is also the
source of bean sprouts, also used to make bean-thread noodles.
Muscoli - [Italian] mussels.
Chanterelle - Meaty and fleshy texture;
nutty flavor with a hint of apricot. Best sauteed with poulty or fish.
Chinese - Find in Oriental markets. Soak in water before cooking. Trim the stems and save
for making soup.
Crimini - Firm, dense consistency; earthy flavor.
Best used stuffed with herbs and nuts.
Dried European - Cepe, boletus, or porcini. Keep in a tightly sealed jar in your
refrigerator. Will keep about 1 year.
Enoki - Crisp texture, like bean sprouts; clean and fruity
flavor. Best used raw in salads and sandwiches.
Wild mushroom - With a honeycomb cap and hollow stem. These are very dirty mushrooms and must be
cleaned carefully. Morels possess a wonderful earthy flavor, making them good candidates
for soups, sauces, and fillings. Morels are most readily available dried.