Edible Dictionary: Holiday Cooking from A to Z
Artisanal [ahr-tuh-zuh n al] a.
Handmade or small-batch goods suggestive of old-fashioned craftsmanship
Bénédictine [ben-i-dik-teen] n.
An herbal liqueur produced in France from a highly guarded secret recipe
Bitters [bit-erz] n.
A potent botanical liquid made from a variety of herbs, bark, roots, and fruit; originally developed as medicine, now used in creative cocktails and to help alleviate hangovers
Blood Orange [bluhd] [awr-inj] n.
A variety of orange with distinctly crimson-colored flesh produced by antioxidants in the fruit due to cooler growing conditions; a holiday-time treat
Brining [brahyn-ing] v.
Soaking meat in a salty solution for hours or days, imparting flavor and tenderizing the meat; turkey aficionados swear by this technique
Buttermilk [buht-er-milk] n.
Raditionally, the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cream; adds tangy flavor to mashed potatoes and tenderness to baked goods
Caramelize [kahr-muh l ayz] v.
To brown the sugars in food; you’re looking for a rich golden brown color on vegetables, and a crispy crust on meats
Cardamom [kahr-duh-muh m] n.
A potent, very aromatic spice with sweet notes from the ginger family; the world’s third most expensive spice
Cast-Iron Skillet [kast-ahy-ern] [skil-it] n.
The original nonstick pan, good for anything from sautéing to baking; a great Christmas gift
Champagne [sham-peyn] n.
sparkling wine traditionally made from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France; can’t go wrong pairing with turkey
Crema [crem-uh] n.
A variation of sour cream popular in Mexico and an impressive addition to any meal
Deglaze [dee-gleyz] v.
Cooking technique used to dissolve residue (or fond) accumulated on the bottom of a pan while browning food; typically a flavorful liquid is added to the hot pan as bits are scraped up with a wooden spoon
Fryer Rabbit [frahy-er] [rab-it] n.
A young rabbit between 4 and 5 pounds with tender and fine-grained meat; the flavor of domesticated rabbit meat is compared to that of chicken
Grenadine [gren-uh-deen] n.
A very sweet and brilliant red cocktail syrup originally made of sweetened pomegranate juice
Heirloom [air-loom] a.
Produce grown from non-hybridized seeds often passed down from one farming family generation to the next; typically unique in color, shape, and flavor
Herbs de Provence [urbs] [de] [praw-vahns] n.
A fragrant mixture of dried herbs traditionally used in southern France cooking; typically containing marjoram, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and sometimes lavender
Heritage Turkey [her-i-tij] [tur-kee] n.
A variety of domestic turkey raised like wild turkeys; prized for their flavor by turkey connoisseurs
Microplane [mahy-kroh pleyn] n.
A brand of sharp, fine-hole graters ideal for zesting citrus and finely grating hard cheeses; another great Christmas gift
Naked Cake [ney-kid] [keyk] n.
The latest bohemian trend in presenting layered cakes; the outer layer of frosting is omitted so that the interior layers and textures are displayed
Orange Blossom Honey [awr-inj] blos-uhm] [huhn-ee] n.
A fragrant variety of honey produced by placing beehives in citrus groves during the orange blossom blooming period
Orange Blossom Water [awr-inj] [blos-uhm] [waw-ter] n.
The perfumed byproduct of distilling fresh orange blossoms for their essential oils; traditionally used in Mediterranean cuisine
Sauté [soh-tey] v.
Cooked quickly, while stirring, in a small amount of fat; French for jumped or bounced
Spatchcock [spach-kok] v.
A method of butchering poultry by removing the backbone and breaking the chest bone to flatten the bird for crispier skin and more even cooking
Sufganiyah [soof-gahn-ya] n.
A deep-fried donut filled with jelly or custard traditionally eaten during Hanukkah
Sugar Pumpkin [shoo g-er] [puhmp-kin] n.
Variety of pumpkin most commonly used for edible treats, also called pie pumpkin
Truffle [truhf-uh l] n.
The fruiting body of a species of fungus with a very unique aroma and flavor prized in the kitchen by gourmands
Turducken [tur-duhk-uh n] n.
A deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck, in turn stuffed into a deboned turkey between layers of stuffing; dedicated carnivores rejoice
Venison [ven-uh-suh n] n.
The meat of various species of deer; gamey and richer than beef
Yule Log [yool] [lawg] n.
A log-shaped Christmas cake representing the log burned as part of traditional Christmas or winter solstice celebrations in many European cultures
Zest [zest] n.
The fragrant and colored peel of citrus fruits; avoid the bitter, white pith just below