Naan - a white flour Indian flat bread. It is one of the most
loved Indian breads. A trip to an Indian restaurant usually involves the ordering
of some kind of Naan. It is traditionally made in a brick and clay tandoor oven.
Traditionally served as an accompaniment with an Indian curry, Naan's can also be
used to wrap seasoned grilled meats, seafood, or vegetables. A naan should be served
hot and eaten immediately or else it tends to get chewy.
Nabo - [Spanish] turnip.
Nachos - [Spanish] tortilla chips that are topped with cheese,
chiles, etc., then heated until the cheese melts; originated in El Paso, Texas.
Nage - An aromatic broth in which crustaceans are cooked. The
shellfish is then served with this broth. The most notable of these dishes is lobster
Nam Pla - See "Fish Sauce."
Nantua - A name given to dishes containing crayfish. This includes
crayfish tails and sauces made with a crayfish fumet.
Napa cabbage - Sometimes called Chinese celery cabbage. Found
in many supermarkets and Oriental markets.
Naranja agria - [Spanish] sour orange.
Naranja dulce - [Spanish] sweet orange.
Naranjas - [Spanish] oranges.
Natilla - [Spanish] custard dessert; similar to floating island,
with stiffly beaten egg whites layered on top of an egg custard; often accompanied
with fresh or poached fruits.
Navarin - French stew made with mutton or lamb and onions, turnips,
potatoes, and herbs.
Nasturtium - See "Indian cress."
Navarin - A stew of browned lamb.
Nectarine - A smooth-skinned variety of the peach family.
Negro - [Spanish] black.
Neapolitan - [Italian] Ice creams and sweet cakes in layers
of different colors and flavors.
Nesselrode - A dessert or sauce with rum and fruit flavor, often
Nesselrode - A mixture of candied fruit, nuts and cherries used
Neufchatel - [French] A soft unripened cheese originally from
Neufchatel-en-Bray, France. It has a fat content of 44 to 48%. Also available as
low-fat cream cheese in the U.S.
New Mexican chiles - Formerly known as Anaheim chiles; long
green chiles grown in New Mexico; poblanos may be substituted.
New Mexico red chiles - A fresh chile; mild to medium hot; keeps
its same name in both dried and fresh forms; mild chile with an earthy flavor, slightly
tart with a hint of dried cherry; seen often strung in ristras for drying; used
in pipiens, salsas and barbecue sauces.
Newburg - Served with a hot cream sauce containing sherry and
pieces of lobster.
Nicoise, Nigoise - [French] foods cooked in the style of Nice.
These dishes may include garlic, Nicoise olives, anchovies, tomatoes, and green
beans. Salad Nicoise is the most famous of all these dishes, consisting of potatoes,
olives, green beans, and vinaigrette dressing. Also, a garnish of garlic, tomatoes,
capers and lemon.
Nicoise and Gaeta Olives - Small black olives from the south
of France and from Italy. They have a pure olive taste and come packed with their
pits. Green Nicoise olives come already pitted. Their flavor is more tart than the
Nixtamal - [Spanish] hominy; lime-slaked corn; used to make
posole or ground into masa, or dough, to make tortillas.
Noci - [Italian] nuts.
Nogada - [Spanish] walnut sauce.
Noisette - A small round steak, made of lamb or beef tenderloin.
Noisette Butter - Whole butter which has been cooked until it
reaches a rich, nutty brown color and aroma.
Noix - [French] nut.
Noodles - Flat ribbon pasta made from flour, water and egg,
then dried and rehydrated during boiling in water.
Chinese Cellophane Noodles - Also
known as slippery noodles or bean threads, these noodles are made from the starch
of mung beans, a.k.a. "sprouts" to most of us. Dried they're translucent, but softened
in hot water and cooked they become gelatinous and transparent. Although they don't
have much taste on their own they do have a knack for picking up the flavors other
ingredients they're mingled amongst. To cook: soften in hot water for 15 minutes,
then boil or stir fry for 1 minute. Or deep-fry briefly in hot oil until puffed
and lightly golden and use to garnish anything from quirky Asian-inspired appetizers
Egg Noodles - Well-stocked Asian markets
usually offer a selection of dried and fresh egg noodles, both thin and thick. Although
they are often neon yellow, some of the dried varieties are made without eggs. If
you can't find Chinese egg noodles, substitute fresh or dried Italian pasta. To
cook egg noodles boil fresh noodles for 2 1/2 to 4 minutes or dried noodles 4 1/2
to 5 minutes.
Wheat-Flour Noodles - Made with wheat flour
and water, this is the oldest noodle form found in China. Still made by hand in
fine restaurants around the world, they are created from a soft dough, resulting
in a silky texture. They do vary in thickness and may be round or flat. The thinnest
are used in refined soups, whereas the thicker varieties stand up to heartier soups
and casseroles. Although these noodles come in shrimp-, chicken- and crab-flavored
varieties the quality can vary dramatically along with their flavor. To cook wheat-flour
noodles boil fresh noodles for 2 1/2 to 4 minutes or dried ones for 4 1/2 to 5 minutes.
Korean Buckwheat Noodles - One of
the most popular varieties of noodles among the Koreans are the brownish noodles
known as "naengmyon" which are sold dried. They are made with buckwheat flour and
potato starch and are slightly chewier than soba noodles. To prepare buckwheat noodles
boil for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Naengmyon are mostly used in soups.
Sweet Potato Noodles - "Tangmyon" or sweet
potato noodles are similar to cellophane noodles, and they are often made with mung
bean starch. Like cellophane noodles, they become translucent once cooked and will
absorb the flavors of the foods they are cooked with. Used in stir fry dishes, to
cook simply soften noodles in hot water for 10 minutes then stir-fry for 45 seconds
to 1 minute.
Japanese Soba Noodles - The brownish
buckwheat soba noodles from Japan are becoming more popular as their beguiling nutty
flavor and nutritional value engage the attention of Western cooks. Rich in protein
and fiber, they are most commonly served cold with a dipping sauce or hot in soups.
Soba noodles are extraordinarily versatile and lend themselves to salads and stir-fried
dishes as well. You can find soba noodles flavored with green tea, lemon zest, or
black sesame seeds. For the best-quality check out the Japanese brands. To cook
boil fresh noodles 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or dried ones 4 to 4 1/2 minutes.*
Udon Noodles - Fat, slippery white noodles
found bobbing about in soups or casseroles, udon noodles are made from a wheat-flour-and-water
dough and may be round, square, or flat in shape. In most recipes, udon noodles
are interchangeable with soba noodles and Chinese wheat-flour-and-water noodles.
Boil the fresh variety for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes and the dried anywhere from 4 to 4
Ramen Noodles - Most of us recognize ramen
noodle from the dried, curly variety found in those inexpensive instant noodle soup
packages. Made with an egg-based dough, ramen are usually served with meat and vegetables
in a flavorsome broth. Because fresh ramen is not always easy to find, fresh or
dried Chinese egg noodles or Italian pasta make an adequate substitute.*
Somen Noodles - The most delicate of all
the Japanese noodles, somen are often distinguished by their elegant packaging.
Made from a wheat-flour dough with a touch of oil added, like soba noodles they
are often served cool with a dipping sauce, but don't forget they also make a light
and delicate garnish for hot soups. To cook somen noodles just boil for 2 1/2 to
Nopal (nopales) - [Spanish] paddles (leaves) of the prickly
pear (nopal) cactus; they are firm and crunchy; the smaller the paddle, the more
tender; nopales have a flavor similar to green beans and can be eaten raw or cooked;
sliced green beans can be substituted.
Nopalitos - [Spanish] cactus paddles cut into strips or dices;
usually refers to the canned and pickled cactus.
Nori - Thin dry sheets of seaweed used in Japanese cooking.
It is mainly used to wrap sushi and as garnish for other cold presentations. See
"Seaweed sheets, dried."
Normande - A cream sauce containing fish essence, mushrooms
and egg yolks.
Norte, norteno - [Spanish] north; of the north.
Nougat - A candy made from sugar and honey mixed with nuts.
This mixture is then formed into slabs and sliced.
Nougatine - A darker candy, made of caramel syrup and nuts.
This is rolled into thin sheets and formed into cups or bowls to serve as a vessel
for other candy or fruit.
Nouilles - [French] noodles.
Nudeln - [German] noodles.
Nuevo - [Spanish] new.
Nuez moscada - [Spanish] nutmeg.
Almond Paste - a blend of ground, blanched
almonds cooked with sugar to make a creamy, firm paste. It is used as an ingredient
in cakes, cookies, ice cream, pastries tarts. (It is the secret ingredient in rainbow
and pignoli cookies, macaroons, kranskage, Danish pastries and Swedish mazarins.)
And almond paste can be used to make marzipan, a sweet almond confection. [see below]
Quality almond paste usually contains more than 50% almonds and the balance is sugar.
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 candy center. 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.
Hazelnut paste or hazelnut praline - roasted
hazelnuts cooked with sugar then ground to make a smooth sweet paste used to flavor
butter cream icings, puddings, ice cream, chocolates and fudge. Praline paste is
usually made with hazelnuts although it can also be made with almonds.
Lekvar - a Hungarian-style fruit puree, usually
made from dried plums or apricots cooked with sugar to make a smooth, thick fruit
filling. Lekvar is used in hamantaschen, Danish pastries, and sweet yeast breads.
Nuoc Mam - See "Fish Sauce."
Nusskuchen - [German] Nutcake.
Nutella - A commercial brand of gianduja. This is a creamy paste
of chocolate and hazelnuts treasured in Italy. This is used in candy making, for
flavored milk drinks, and when thinned out, spread on bread as a quick snack.
Nutmeg - Oval-shaped, brown, wrinkly seed of the nutmeg tree.
In its grated for is primarily utilized in sweet and savory dishes including cakes,
custards, souffles, meatballs and soups.