Here is a glossary of culinary terms starting with the letter E
Éclair is a French pastry made from Choux pastry dough, which is piped into an elongated shape and baked until it becomes hollow on the inside. It is then filled with flavoured creams or custards, such as chocolate, vanilla, or coffee. The top of the éclair is usually covered with a layer of chocolate ganache or icing. Éclairs are known for their light and airy texture and are commonly enjoyed as a dessert or sweet treat. They are often found in bakeries and patisseries, and their delicious taste makes them a popular choice among pastry lovers.
Effiler is to remove the string from a string bean or to thinly slice almonds.
Eggnog (or Egg nog or Egg milk punch)
Eggnog is a traditional holiday drink made from a mixture of milk, cream, sugar, and beaten eggs, and sometimes flavoured with spices like nutmeg or cinnamon. It is typically served chilled and garnished with a sprinkling of nutmeg on top. Eggnog is often enjoyed during the winter months, especially around Christmas time. It is known for its rich, creamy texture and sweet and indulgent flavour. Many people also like to add alcohol, such as rum or bourbon, to their eggnog for an added kick. Overall, eggnog is a festive and delicious treat that many enjoy.
Eggplant (or Aubergine)
Eggplant is a vegetable fruit with tender, mildly earthy, sweet flesh. The shiny skins of eggplants vary in colour from purple to red, and the interior from yellow to white, and their shapes range from small and oval to long and slender to large and pear-shaped. An Eggplant is a nightshade family member, along with the potato and tomato, making it a fruit (eaten as a vegetable)! It is actually a berry growing on a long vine. There are many varieties grown and consumed around the world. Sizes are 5-30cm/2 to 12 inches.
Egg Roll Skins
Egg Roll Skins are pastry wrappers that encase a savoury filling and make egg rolls. Look for these products in the supermarket’s produce aisle or at Asian markets. Egg roll skins are similar to but larger than, wonton skins.
Egg Wash is a mixture of egg yolks and/or whites, sometimes mixed with another liquid, usually water or milk, which is brushed onto the surface of a pastry before baking. They are also used to brush over bread, cakes and pies to give them colour and a shiny, sealed glaze. Egg washes can also be used on calzones or on fish.
Egg white powder (Dried Egg Whites)
Dried egg whites, also known as egg white powder, are simply egg whites that have been dehydrated. They are often used as a convenient alternative to fresh egg whites. They are commonly used in recipes that require whipping or foaming egg whites, such as meringues, macarons, or angel food cakes. The dried egg whites can be reconstituted by adding water, allowing them to whip up into stiff peaks like fresh egg whites. They offer a longer shelf life and ease of storage, making them a practical choice for many professional and home cooks.
Emballer is a French term meaning to wrap an article of food to be poached or simmered in stock. The food item is usually wrapped in cheesecloth to hold it together. It also refers to filling a mould to be cooked, such as paté.
Émincer is to thinly slice vegetables or herbs into finely shredded strips. It is similar to the julienne style but not as long.
Emulsify is combining two ingredients, typically oil and vinegar, that are usually unmixable, creating a stable mixture. One way to do this is gradually adding one ingredient to the other while whisking rapidly with a fork or wire whisk. This action disperses tiny droplets of one liquid into the other. Mayonnaise and vinaigrettes are emulsions. Use a good whisk for steady, even emulsification.
An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that are normally immiscible (unmixable). In an emulsion, one liquid (the dispersed phase) is dispersed in the other (the continuous phase). Examples of emulsions include vinaigrettes, milk, and mayonnaise.
En croute is a cooking technique where an ingredient, often meat or fish, is wrapped in pastry and baked. The pastry creates a delicious, crispy exterior, sealing in flavours and moisture. This technique is popular for creating elegant and visually appealing dishes, such as beef Wellington or salmon en croute. The pastry can be made from various types, including puff pastry or brioche dough. En croute dishes are commonly served as main courses or as appetizers. It’s a great way to elevate the presentation and taste of a dish.
Endive is a type of vegetable that is commonly used in salads. It has a slightly bitter taste, which adds a unique flavour to dishes. Endive is also packed with nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, and fibre. It can be enjoyed raw or cooked and is often used in various dishes such as soups, stir-fries and even as a substitute for bread in certain recipes.
En papillote is a cooking method where food is placed inside a folded parchment paper or foil packet and baked, allowing it to cook in its own juices.
Entrecôte is a French term meaning “between the ribs.” It is the tender, highly marbled premium cut taken from the boned set of ribs of beef used for steaks.
In America, it’s the main course of a meal, but in Europe, when referred to a full French menu, it is the third course, which refers to the dish served before the meat course during formal dinners. With a trend towards reducing the number of courses, today’s menus usually centre on the main dish preceded by an appetizer course.
Escabeche is a Spanish dish consisting of fish marinated for approximately one day in a sauce of olive oil, vinegar, herbs, vegetables, and spices, and then poached or fried and served cold as an appetizer.
Escalope (or Escallope)
Escalope is a French word meaning a piece of boneless white meat, usually veal, that has been thinned out using a mallet, rolling pin or beaten with the handle of a knife, or merely butterflied. The mallet breaks down the fibres in the meat, making it tenderer, while the thinner meat cooks faster with less moisture loss. The meat is then coated (usually slightly floured or breaded) and fried or sauteed.
Espagnole or Espagnole sauce
Espagnole is a rich brown sauce made from a brown roux and beef stock, typically used as a base for other sauces. Espagnole sauce is one of Auguste Escoffier’s five mother sauces that are the basis of sauce-making in classic French cooking. These types of sauce were already gathered in different Spanish cooking handbooks of the late 19th century. Escoffier popularized the recipe, which is still followed today.
Espresso is a dark strong coffee made by forcing steam through a small amount of finely ground pressed special coffee beans and served in a tiny espresso cup. The addition of heated cream or milk makes this a Cappuccino.
Eviscerate (or Evisceration)
Eviscerate is to remove the viscera (internal organs, especially those in the abdominal cavity) from a carcass.
Extracts and Oils
Extracts are products based on the aromatic essential oils of plant materials distilled by various means. In extracts, the highly concentrated oils are usually suspended in alcohol to make them easier to combine with other foods in cooking and baking. Almond, anise, lemon, mint, orange, peppermint, and vanilla are some commonly available extracts.
Some undiluted oils are also available, usually at pharmacies. These include oil of anise, oil of cinnamon, oil of cloves, oil of peppermint, and oil of wintergreen. Do not try to substitute oils for ground spices in recipes. Oils are so concentrated that they’re measured in drops, not teaspoons. Oil of cinnamon, for example, is 50 times stronger than ground cinnamon.
Extrude is to force a soft dough or mixture through a shaped opening to create specific forms, such as pasta or cookies.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it covers a variety of culinary terms.
Did we leave any out? What would you add to this list of culinary terms?
If you need more terms or have any other questions, please ask in the comments, and we will update our ever-growing list.
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