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Cooking Dictionary - "G"

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Galangal - A root spice related to ginger, which has a musky flavor reminiscent of saffron. It is found dried whole or in slices, and also in powder.

Galantine - [French] A paté-like dish made of the skin of a small animal, most often chicken or duck, which is stuffed with a forcemeat of this animal. Additional strips of meat, blanched vegetables, and truffles are also layered with the forcemeat. This is then wrapped or tied and poached in broth. Galantine are always served cold with their aspic, whereas ballottines may be hot or cold. These terms are often used interchangeably.

Galette - [French] pancake; usually sweet, made of batters, doughs, or potatoes. Brioche-type dough or puff pastry are often used. Small short butter cookies were once also called galettes. The term has now been stretched to include preparations made of vegetables or fish. Different from a croquette, these cakes are not breaded.

Gallina - [Italian and Spanish] chicken; hen; fowl.

Gandules - [Spanish] pigeon peas.

Gans - [German] goose

Garam Masala - An Indian spice mixture with a more complex flavor and aroma than curry. The mixture is always made fresh by the Indian cook, never purchased pre-ground. The mixture may include cumin, fennel, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, saffron, pepper, chiles, and caraway. Garam Masala is also used as a condiment, being added to a dish at the end of cooking.

Garbanzo beans - Also known as ceci or chickpeas. Very popular legume utilized in Mediterranean and Mexican cuisine.

Garbanzo flour - Flour ground from dried garbanzo beans. Also called ceci flour. Found in delicatessens, Italian specialty shops, health food stores and some supermarkets.

Garbanzos - Chickpeas; originally from Spain; round, beige beans with a nutty flavor.

Garlic - Known as the stinking rose. A member of the onion (and thus of the lily) family is available year round. One of the most important seasonings and a delicious tasting cooked vegetable. Look for hard bulbs that have not sprouted and each clove is firm. Size and color are unimportant.

Garlic, Mexican - Mexican garlic has a dark pink-blue hue to the husk and is sharper than white garlic; usually mashed or roasted for Southwestern cooking.

Garlic and Red Chili Paste - Very hot Chinese sauce made of red peppers and garlic. Good condiment for other Asian cuisines as well. Found in Oriental markets some finer supermarkets or substitute garlic and Tabasco.

Garlic chives  - Light green in color, long thin stalks with a small bud on the tip. Find fresh is some Asian markets.

Garnacha - [Spanish] round antojito of tortilla dough; tartlets of fried masa filled with black bean paste and ground beef, covered with tomato sauce, and sprinkled with cheese; usually served as an appetizer.

Garni - Garnished.

Garnish - You can garnish for appearance, flavor, or both. A sprig of parsley next to a sautéed chicken breast does little. A small handful of parsley sprinkled over the same meat adds great flavor and lends color contrast.

Garnitures - Garnishes

Gâteau - [French] cake

Gazpacho - A cold spicy vegetable soup served throughout all of the Spanish countries. The most common version is one made with a coarse purée of fresh tomatoes flavored with vinegar and olive oil, embellished with diced raw vegetables like onions, cucumbers, and peppers. A light gazpacho is made with a purée of cucumber, and served with an array of garnishes for the diner to choose from. Roasted almonds, avocados, and croutons are common garnishes.

Geflügel - [German] poultry.

Gefüllte - [German] stuffed/

Gehackte - [German] chopped.

Gelati - [Italian] ice cream.

Gelatin, gelatine - A protein produced from animals, used to gel liquids. It is odorless, flavorless, and colorless. It is found in granular and sheet form. It is found available also in fruit flavored form. Fruit flavor gelatin has sugar and flavors added.

Gelato - An Italian frozen dessert made of whole milk and eggs. This gives  richness without flavors becoming masked by the fat from cream. The flavors are very intense and the texture is soft and silky.

Gelé - [French] jellied; iced.

Gem - A muffin.

Gem irons - Cast iron muffin pans.

Gem pan - Muffin pan.

Gemüse - [German] vegetables.

Genevoise - A sauce for fish made from a special white roux.

Génoise - A cold mayonnaise sauce made with nuts and cream.

Genoise - [French] a very rich sponge cake made with eggs and butter. This may be eaten as is with whipped cream or fruit, but also used as the foundation for many other cake preparations.

Ghee - [India] cooking fat. Most commonly used is clarified butter made from the milk of buffalos and yaks. In regions where milk is unobtainable, mustard and sesame oil are used.

Gianduia - a classic Italian combination of chocolate and hazelnuts.

Giblets - The cleaned gizzard, liver, and heart (sometimes the neck too) of poultry, generally used to flavor gravy.

Gill - Liquid measure equal to 1/4 pint.

Ginger - A root originally grown in the Asian tropics; Southwestern recipes usually call for ground dried ginger.

Glacé - [French] a highly reduced stock used as an essence in flavoring sauces and enriching soups and stews. Veal glace is used for all meat preparations and stands up the best to the long reduction required. Fish and shellfish glacés are used, but their flavor can become dirty tasting and bitter from too long of a reduction.

Glacé de Viande - [French] Meat glaze or residue in the bottom of a pan after roasting or frying meat; concentrated meat stock.

Glass Noodles - See "Cellophane Noodles"

Glaze - To coat with a food with a thin liquid, such as aspic, jelly, egg wash or chocolate topping, that will be smooth and shiny after setting.

Glucosa - [Spanish] corn syrup.

Gluten - The protein found in wheat flours.

Gluten (also called vital gluten) is one of several components of the wheat berry that is milled to make flour. It is high in protein and contributes to a lighter bread, higher rise, and for those at high altitude, an elastic quality that reduces the likelihood of a rising loaf falling. Gluten gives the dough more stretch.

Developing the gluten is the result of mixing and kneading that results in the elastic properties described above being developed in dough from gluten in it. By hand kneading, or by kneading in an automatic breadmaker, the elasticity develops only to the extent that gluten is present in the flour.

Various flours have more or less gluten present. All flour has some gluten (vital gluten). Bread flour has considerably more gluten than, for example, all-purpose flour. Flour with a more gluten is good for bread making, but should not be used for cake making.

Gluten (vital gluten) can be added to all-purpose flour to give it the amount of gluten already in bread flour. All-purpose flour with gluten added is often cheaper than bread flour. It is added to bread flour to give extra rise and consistency (which is why bakers use it). It is added at high altitudes to provide extra elasticity. The chemical reason has to do with reduced density at high elevations which causes the rising bread to fall if the dough lacks extra elasticity.

Gluten (vital gluten) is available at health food stores. Many health food stores have it in bulk and in boxes.

Gnocchi - [Italian] pronounced "nyo-kee." Soft, delicate Italian dumplings that melt in your mouth. Contrary to what you may often find in the United States, they're not "lead bellies'' and should never be chewy or gummy. Homemade gnocchi are easy to make, and once you get the knack, you can whip up a batch in no time. Because they freeze well, you can double the recipe and have an extra batch on hand for a quick meal. Traditional gnocchi are made from white potatoes; however, creative cooks use ricotta cheese, spinach, sweet potatoes, chopped herbs, semolina, squash and even polenta instead of potatoes. Once the gnocchi are made they are cooked in boiling water, and then sauced or tossed with melted butter. Experiment with your favorite winter squash or organic sweet potatoes and whole-wheat flour for a perfect, healthy food. Finished with a simple sauce of garlic, herbs and olive oil, these tender morsels are irresistible. Gnocchi is also the name of a pasta with a similar shape.

Goat cheese - Also packaged as "chèvre," goat's milk cheese is pure white with a distinctive tart flavor. It can range from creamy and moist to dry and semi-firm, and is packaged in a wide variety of shapes, from cylinders to discs.

Golden beets - Yellow ocher-colored beets. Sweeter vegetable than red beet varieties.

Golden syrup - [Great Britain] Light Karo syrup is the U.S. equivalent.

Gonch - Hook used to lift lids from Dutch ovens.

Gorditas - [Spanish] little fat ones; corn flour patties, usually slit, then stuffed; often found unslit, with the filling served on top or between two of them.

Gorgonzola - [Italian] cheese made from cow's milk cheese that is white or yellow and streaked with blue. It has a distinct aroma and can have a mellow, strong, or sharp flavor, depending on its degree of maturity. Similar to American blue and French Roquefort cheeses.

Gouda cheese - [Dutch] cheese made from cow's milk with a firm, smooth texture similar to cheddar. Available in both young and aged varieties.

Gougere - A savory pastry made of choux paste flavored with cheese. This may be made in individual puffs or piped into a ring of puffs, which is served with a pool of sauce in the center of the ring.

Goujon - [French] Gudgeons - small fish fried and served as a garnish.

Goulash - A Hungarian soup/stew made with beef and liberally seasoned with paprika. Some versions add gremolata at the very end of cooking or sprinkled over the top.

Granadilla - [Spanish] passion fruit.

Grand Marnier - [French] Orange-flavored, cognac based liqueur produced in France.

Grande - [Spanish] large.

Granita - [Italian] water ice; a coarse fruit ice similar to sorbet, without the meringue, which is often flavored with liqueurs.

Graniti - [French] sorbet, grained and flavored ice.

Grano de elote - [Spanish] corn kernel.

Granola - A combination of assorted toasted grain (oats), dried fruits and nuts usually served as a breakfast cereal. Some blends are sweetened with honey and/or brown sugar.

Granulated Garlic - A dried form of garlic that has been ground into granules rather than powder. Granulated garlic can be used much the same as garlic powder, but has about half the flavoring power as the same measure of garlic powder and like powder, the granules lack in providing the garlic texture of a fresh garlic. 1 teaspoon of granulated garlic equals 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.

Granulated sugar - This is the basic, refined "white sugar" for daily use and most baking.

Grape Leaves - The leaves of the grapevine, often used in Greek and Middle Eastern recipes to wrap food for cooking. Pickled in jars in brine. Find in finer supermarkets and  delicatessens. May use fresh grape leaves, but blanch them first in boiling water for one minute.

Gras - [French] fat.

Grasa - [Spanish] shortening.

Gratin, au - [French] dishes cooked in the oven which form a crust on the surface. This is expedited by placing the dish under the broiler. Bread crumbs and cheese are often sprinkled on top of these dishes to help form the crust.

Gratinados - [Spanish] au gratin.

Gratinée - Served with a bread crumb or cheese topping.

Grav Lax,  Gravad Lax - Whole salmon fillets that have been cured with salt, sugar, and pepper, then flavored with dill. The salmon is then sliced paper thin and served with pumpernickel bread, sour cream, capers, onion, and lemon. Other spellings for this are gravadlax and gravlax.

Gravy - Gravy is simply a sauce made from meat juices. It's usually diluted with water, milk, wine, or stock, and thickened with flour or cornstarch.

Greaseproof paper - wax or waxed paper.

Greasy sack outfit - Used packouts on mules instead of a chuck wagon.

Grecque - Foods that are prepared in the style of Greece. This is usually used for dishes with lemon, garlic, and olive oil. But the addition of tomatoes, peppers, and fennel often allows a dish to be called a la grecque.

Green and red leaf lettuce - These basic salad greens are distinctive, pleasantly biter loose leaf, bunching, or cutting lettuces.

Green beans - These may be one of any number of beans that are eaten fresh, such as string bean, the thin haricot vert, the yard long bean, the wax or yellow bean, and the romano. All can be eaten raw, briefly cooked, so they remain crunchy, or cooked to complete tenderness. Buy beans that snap rather than fold when you bend them.

Green onions - Long green herb, like a large chive. Also known commonly in some parts of the world as a scallions.

Greens - A variety of vegetables are classified as greens, broccoli raab, kale, mustard or turnip greens, spinach, collards, chard, dandelions, escarole, and so on. Look for bright, crisp, firm leaves with no wilting, dry, or yellowing leaves.

Gremolata - A mixture of chopped parsley, garlic, and lemon peel. This is added to stews at the end of their cooking time to add a pungency to the dish. Used in some recipes for osso buco a la Milanese, and Hungarian goulash.

Grenadine - Syrup flavored with pomegranates, used as flavoring and sauce.

Grenouilles - [French] frogs, frogs' legs.

Griddle - A flat metal surface with a handle, for making pancakes, etc.

Grill - To broil.

Grillade - An individual serving of round steak, usually top round, and usually broiled.

Grissini - [Italian] bread sticks.

Grits - The dried kernels of white hominy (made from corn); eaten as a cereal that is similar in texture to pudding.

Groats - The dried kernels of wheat or oats.

Ground beef - Simply beef that has been finely chopped, ground beef is sold fresh or frozen. The USDA recommends cooking to the well done stage (165°F).

Ground red chiles - When finely ground from dried red chiles, it is pure chile powder, which is different from blended chili powder.

Ground red pepper (cayenne pepper) - made from ground dried cayenne chiles.

Grouper - There are hundreds of varieties of this excellent all-purpose fish with delicious, meaty, lobster-like texture. Has white, tender, mildly flavored flesh that pulls off the bones easily. Fillets are great for grilling or deep-frying. Can also be "kababed."

Grubpile - A call from the cook to "come 'n' get it."

Grunt - Ranch term for dough pudding.

Grunt and cluck - In cowboy lingo, ham and eggs.

Gruyere - A moderate-fat cow milk cheese with a rich, sweet, nutty flavor that is prized for both out-of-hand eating and cooking. It is usually aged for 10 to 12 months and has a golden brown rind and a firm, pale-yellow interior with well-spaced medium-size holes.

Guacamole - [Spanish] a dip made of mashed avocadoes seasoned with onions, tomatoes, garlic, chiles, and cilantro. This is mostly eaten as a dip for fried corn chips, but it is also very good with raw vegetables and as a topping for various dishes.. You may also use it as a filling for burritos and tacos.

Guajillo chiles - Also known as chili gauque; fresh guajillo chiles are known as mirasol chiles; medium-hot Mexican orange-red chiles; skinny and about four to six inches long; used in stews, soups, sauces; go well with chicken and pork dishes, blackberry and apple flavors, and grassy herbs such as marjoram and thyme; New Mexico chiles may be substituted.

Guajalote - [Spanish] turkey; wild turkey.

Guava - A fruit cultivated in Peru and Brazil for over 500 years; it is very sweet but has a strong odor and many abrasive seeds; it is acid when unripe and ripens at room temperature, at which time it has a sweet aroma; bright yellow to hot pink flesh; best in sorbets, beverages and sauces because of the abundance of pithy seeds.

Guayaba - [Spanish] guava; a yellow-green fruit with pale, faintly pink flesh, about the size of a plum; extremely fragrant when ripe; Guava paste is often served with cream cheese as dessert; the fruit is cooked with sugar until thick, then canned or shaped into blocks.

Güero chiles - A fresh chile; blond or light skinned; a generic term applied to a variety of yellow chiles; generally refers to long tapered varieties such as banana peppers, Hungarian wax chiles and Santa Fe grandes; mildly sweet to slightly hot, with a waxy but tart texture; used in yellow moles, salads, salsas and escabeches.

Gugelhopf - [German] a sweetened yeast coffee cake baked in a fluted ring mold.

Guiche - [French] Alsatian open tart with savoury filling on top of cream and eggs. Equivalent to quiche.

Guineítos - [Spanish] green bananas.

Guiso - [Spanish] stew.

Gumbo - A thick Southern style soup/stew made with meat, poultry, fish, shellfish or vegetables. Served over plain white rice. Okra, filé powder, and roux. All methods are acceptable, and all are considered traditional.

Gut robber - In Western United States lingo, the cook; also known as bean master or biscuit roller.

Gyros - [Grecian] a sandwich; pronounced "YEAR-os." A blend of lamb, beef and seasonings, seared and stuffed in a pita topped with diced tomatoes, onions and tzatziki (pronounced "za-ZEE-kee"), a savory yogurt sauce loaded with garlic and cucumbers.