These are an unusual fritter in that they get their consistency from a mash of beans from Brazil called frandinho. Here we use the Southern staple of black-eyed peas.


Interchangeable terms for the small tropical native to the West Indies. Used more for it's striking visual ability to color foods. The seeds are often ground into a paste.


Mexican. From the verb adobar. In English, to season; marinate


When an item is prepared adobada style, it typically has been coated with a chili marinade, then baked, broiled, fried or roasted.


A Japanese seaweed high in natural gelatin content. One can make a warm jelly using this because of its 90F melting temperature.


(AH-GREE-YET) A mayonnaise-like sauce but with a lot of herbs a more vinegar, i.e. champagne vinegar.


Asian word for tuna.


(AH-HEE-YAH-CO) A soup first made by the Taino Indians with tubers. Now more a soup with the addition of meat.


Spanish word for "garlic".


AL AH-HEE-YO): The cooking of food in garlic. This is a mainstay of Latin American cuisines the most famous is the Shrimp al Ajillo.


Refers to cooking or broiling over a bed of hot embers. Parilla means grill.


To cook on a hot plate or a flat metal griddle.


(AL-E-O-LEE) Garlic mayonnaise. Known as "aïoli" in France.


AL AH-HEE-YO): The cooking of food in garlic. This is a mainstay of Latin American cuisines the most famous is the Shrimp al Ajillo.


These small, softly flavored olives originate in Arbeca in the Lérida province of Spain. You can often substitute Niçoise olives instead.


A short grain rice Northern Italian rice. Known for its' ability to absorb a great amount of liquid without disintegrating, resulting in a soft, moist but not sticky, rice. It is the main ingredient for risottos and paellas.


(AH-REP-AHS) A corn bread from Colombian and Venezuelan cookery. They are often topped with the addition of cheese but not necessarily so.


This is the preferred flour for making arepas. Also called harina pan, or by brand names Mas Arepa and Areparina. A processed, precooked cornmeal flour, available in Latin American markets and some supermarkets. The food writer Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz says, "the arepas are unique in the world of bread since they are made with cooked flour. Dried corn kernels are boiled with lime, (to loosen the skin), then the kernels are drained and ground, and, if not for immediate use, are dried and packaged as flour. Though the method of cooking the corn is the same for tortillas and arepas, the result is very different because of the difference in the types of corn used. The corn for arepas has very large kernels, giving a rather starchy flour."


A large, round, greenish yellow pear that is quite firm when ripe. They are very juicy with a slightly sweet flavor and a crunchy texture similar to an apple.


A Puerto Rican descendant of the classic Spanish dish paella, but more 'soupy', as the very sound of the word suggests.


This translates as "A-1, My Way". It is a sauce we make that has similar qualities but more depth as the famous bottled condiment sauce.


Spanish for Salt Cod. Probably one of the most important staple foods in the world. Sides of codfish are salted and air-dried to preserve them. The flesh is soaked for at least 24 hours in several changes to remove all of the curing salt before the bacalao is cooked. Called "saltfish" in the Caribbean and morue in France.


A beverage made with blended tropical fruits, milk and sweetened milk and crushed ice cubes. In the Bahamas, they call their version of this drink a batida.


"Norman's Term." Celery, fennel, red bell peppers, red onion, garlic, poblano chilies, carrots, carrots and bacon are components.


A classical emulsified egg enriched sauce flavored with clarified butter, tarragon, shallots and red or white wine vinegar.


(BONE-E-AH-TOE) Often called the Cuban white sweet potato. It has a thick, brownish peel and slightly sweet white flesh.


A preparation of cooked salt cod and mashed potatoes.


(BREE-OSH) An egg enriched yeast-raised bread.


(KA-BRA-LAYS) A strong Spanish blue cheese.


The seeds of a tropical tree, (Theobroma cacao), that form in large pods. The seeds are harvested, roasted and ground to form the base for chocolate and the hot beverage cocoa. Highly prized in early Indian cultures, the beans were often used as money.


(KA-SHA-SA) Distilled from sugarcane juice rather than molasses (which is used for most rhums.) This style of rhum has been popular in Brazil for over 400 years and makes the drink, "Caipirinha." Cachaça bars serve the drink from small barrels, each flavored differently: ginger, fennel, coconut, cashew, orange, etc.


(KA-CHA-PAH). Corn pancakes native to various counties in South America. The kernels are pureed into the batter.


Also known as Prickly Pear and Tuna, (for its red color). It is the fruit of cactus, actually it is a berry. The juice is beautiful and quite refreshing.


A popular drink made with sugarcane alcohol (cachaça), fresh lime juice, and sugar. If other fruit juice is added, such as pineapple, mango, or passion fruit, the drink is called a Batida. If rum is substituted for sugar cane, the drink is Caipirissima; if vodka, Caipirosca.


A popular dessert not unlike butterscotch. Due to local idiomatic differences cajeta, when not from goat's milk, becomes dulce de leche in Argentina, arequipe in Colombia, and manjar blanco in other Latin American countries.


Also called ahuyama, zapallo, abóbora, and in English, West Indian or green pumpkin, is a winter squash available in Latin American and Caribbean markets. Not to be confused with American pumpkin, it comes in a variety of shapes and sizes but is usually large and either round or oval.


In its truest definition, caldo is the broth or bouillon of a soup, rather than the meaty part. That definition is not always so tightly adhered to, as is the case in Caldo Gallego.


Refers to various tropical green leaves used in Caribbean cookery. It is similar to spinach.


A Peruvian variety of dried corn that is often toasted and served at cevicherías. These ceviche bars are the Latin American answer to sushi bars.


Sweet, hot Mexican cinnamon that you can find in any good Mexican grocery. Canela is softer than the more common cinnamon. If you cannot find it, however, it is usually fine to substitute conventional cinnamon. Canela has another meaning in Spanish: "exquisite thing."


When referring to savory foods it is an extraction of the natural sugars found in many vegetables through hot, but steady, cooking.

When referring to sweet foods it refers to the heating of sugar to the melting point until a very dark amber color is obtained. Most commonly used with cream to make caramel sauce.


Literally "little meats". It is most commonly pork that has been cooked until crisp in a mixture of stock or water and its own fat.


Earthenware cooking vessel widely used in Spain, it is glazed on the inside, unglazed without. Cazuelas come in many sizes. If properly seasoned first, they can be used over direct heat.


Marinated raw fish, which is very popular in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. Fish and shellfish are cut into pieces then essentially cooked in a variety of marinades. Peruvians have mastered this technique, making delicious rustic and sophisticated ceviches alike.


One of nature's finest mushrooms! It has a trumpet shape with colors that range from bright orange to yellow. We had one forager bring us some from the Florida Keys, (amazingly enough), which were light red. The chanterelles is sometimes known as the girolle.


AJÍ: This is what many South Americans call chile peppers.

Ají Amarillo: This is a chile that is native to Peru and is the hot pepper that is most widely used there. Whole, their color ranges from bright yellow to deep orange, but typically one buys them already puréed. Ají amarillo is being made more available in the United States through such purveyors as .and Scotch bonnet or habanero can often serve as substitutes. Legend has it that on the last day before Christopher Columbus returned home to Europe, he happened upon his first chile peppers. Because the Spanish royal court had financed for his voyage on the premise that he come back from the New World with spices, he probably thought hot peppers would put him in good graces with his patrons. He called the chilies ajís.

Anchos: (in Spanish, ancho means wide.) Dried poblano chile, and is the most commonly used dried chile in Mexico. Brick red to dark mahogany, with an orange-red cordovan tint when held up to the light. It is the sweetest of the dried chilies.

Chipotles: A dried smoked jalapeño. You can buy them dried in packages or canned in their smoky red liquid: en adobo. They are available in Latin American markets and good grocery stores.

Habanero: A very hot, lantern shaped, uneven pepper ranging from dark green to orange, orange-red or red when fully ripe. It is estimated to be 30-50 times hotter than the jalapeño

Jalapeño: A medium hot pepper, green in color, one of the best known peppers on the U.S. . When ripe the pepper is red and has a sweeter flavor.

Scotch Bonnet: Closely related to the habanero. Ranging in color from pale yellow-green, to orange to red. Very hot; fruity and smoky flavor. Uneven round shape.

Serrano: A small tapered pepper with a lean biting heat and pleasantly high acidity. Ranging in color from green to red, with the red being slightly sweeter.

Chilies molidos: "Mixed" chilies. This is used to make a better bowl of chili than is possible with conventional store-bought chili powder. Chilies are native to the New World. Chilies molidos is available in gourmet and Latin American specialty markets.


A Portuguese sauce (similar to a pesto) made with olive oil and herbs. (Italian parsley).


A sort of Argentine pesto made with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and herbs. It is almost always served with grilled steaks but can also be served on seafood and chicken.


(CHORE-EAT-ZO). A Spanish pork sausage with a nice level of spicy heat.


This method, devised by the Incans, was a way to preserve potatoes by freeze-drying them. Over a period of five days, the tubers were frozen in the cold Andean air, stomped on to squeeze out all the moisture in them, and then the frozen mash was thawed in the potent mountain sun. Now a powdery dehydrated product, it could be stored and reconstituted in the hard winter months.


Generically used to describe any steak or similar cut of beef broiled over wood or charcoal embers. It might also be used to refer to a skirt steak first marinated then broiled.


A favorite sweet snack that is similar to a doughnut in taste but usually served in a more stick like shape.


These are small bulbs of the grape hyacinth that taste and look so much like a small onion that we call them onions. The shape is more flat than the closely resemblance of pearl onions.


A technique where a "base" (this could be juice, dairy or any other liquid) is put into a N2O whipped cream apparatus, and used as a cloud or foam. This is the method of foaming infused coconut milk that is presented on top of the conch chowder.


A stew somewhat similar to the classic French pot-au-feu.


A large leafed plant from the Crucifer family. It is related to cabbage and tastes similar to cabbage and kale. We cook ours with bacon as it is done in the American South.


A very large mollusk found in Caribbean waters, which has a sweet, exotic, clam-like flavor. Farm-raised conch is now widely available in the United States; typically, it is ground before cooking.


(CON-FEE) From the French confire, "to preserve" and usually preserved meats, (duck, goose, pork, hen, wild birds, turkey, etc.) that have been lightly salted & then cooked in and ultimately stored in fat, where their flavors deepen. In modern usage we find a much broader definition to include many foods cooked immersed in fat or a type of oil. Example: heads of garlic with herbs covered and slowly roasted in virgin olive oil.


(COOL-EE): This word has morphed over the years. Once it referred to the juices from cooked meats. Now it is a more general term typically referring to sauce with a bit more texture such as a stewed reduction of tomatoes or berries.


The German Creoles of Louisiana developed this sweet-hot variation with vinegar marinated brown mustard seeds. I like it for its notes of sweetness and tang.


African in origin, palm oil extracted from palm kernels is of two types. Red palm oil lends color and a rich, distinctive flavor to Bahian dishes. Light tan palm oil is used less frequently. You can replace palm oil with another vegetable oil and color it with a few achiote (annatto) seeds. It is extremely high in cholesterol and for that reason I typically use annatto oil instead.


Sun-dried, small peeled shrimp used to add an aromatic shellfish flavor to fried rice and Pad Thai. It can be found in Latin and Asian markets. In Spanish these are known as camarones secos.


Means "sweet" in Spanish.


This sweet caramel confection originally was created as a way to preserve milk. In Mexico it is also called cajeta, as well as manjar blanco and arequipe. It can be made with cow or goat's milk. The final product is used as a dipping sauce for fruit or cookies, or for making into a very intense ice cream.


A wide variety of savory and sweet small pastries are known as empanadas, (or empanaditas, when made in smaller versions). Fillings may vary from region to region and they may be baked or deep-fried. The dough encasing the filling is a simple short dough (flour, butter, salt, water.) There are dessert empanadas as well. In Brazil they often would be called empadas.


A sauce formed when one substance is suspended in another. For example, in hollandaise sauce, melted butter is suspended in partially cooked egg yolks. Emulsions are particularly fragile because they are not a true mixture- if not handled properly they can separate, or break.


S-CAH-BEACH-A) The Spanish word for "pickled." It typically means a process of an initial searing of food and then the pickling.


Our spice rub mix of cumin, sugar, black pepper and salt.


ES-KAH-LIVE-AH-DAH). "Escalivar" means to grill over charcoal. Escalivada is a colorful mixture of vegetables that usually includes tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and eggplant.


This is a word we use in conjunction with a salsa I found native to Cuban cooking some years ago. It is a sauce made with almonds, olive oil, herbs and Spanish sherry wine vinegar.


Means sword in Spanish.


Means foam in Spanish. Ferran Adria popularized foams. The benefits of foams are that they allow flavors to be presented in a very "cloud-like" texture and appearance. They can be sweet or savory.


This term with us usually means a very focused or concentrated form of sauce.


(FAH-HEAT-TAS) Originated in Texas, usually a cooked marinated meat (such as flank steak) dish served with roasted peppers, onions & chilies in flour tortillas.


Also called Chinese black beans. They are an ingredient that is older than almost all others. The small soy black beans are preserved in salt and soaked, (usually) before serving.


Tissue-thin layers of pastry dough used in various Greek and Near East sweet and savory preparations. It is packaged fresh and frozen.


A fermented Anchovy sauce (our version) Also known as Nam Pla (Vietnamese) or Nuoc Mam (Thai) (slightly weaker than Nam Pla.)


Sea Salt that is harvested and dried by hand.


Froths have become much more a part of modern menus with the invention of the small immersion blenders. When they are lowered into a warm/hot liquid that has the presence of extra protein or gelatin the liquid is capable of holding bubbles for a somewhat longer period of time. This gives sauces a very airy appeal.


This is a primarily Cuban preparation of boiled mashed plantains in the original recipe. The plantains could have the addition of Chicharrones as well. Here we typically caramelize plantains, mash them and enrich them with some foie gras. When we make a dish such as our classic take on "Chicken Mofongo" this is the way we do it.


Italian for dumplings. Gnocchi can be made from potatoes, flour or farina. They are smallish little balls that are an excellent partner for sauces.


Sugarcane juice.


Unless you live South Florida, the Caribbean, or Asia (or have access to excellent markets that stock foods from these regions), the subtropical fruit you will find is rarely the ripe, perfumed product it should be. For that reason it more often is found in the form of marmalades and jellies. The Aztecs called guavas "sand plums" because of the many small but edible pips found in the fresh fruit. I think guava's appeal comes from its sweet and sour "one-two punch."


The name of a Japanese Amberjack that is 2-3 years old.


The general term "Shimeji" refers to about 20 species of mushrooms, which contributes to a great deal of confusion among both mycologists (mushroom scientists) and chefs. The hon-shimeji is referred to as the true shimeji and is highly esteemed in Japan where cultivation techniques were first developed. In nature, hon-shimeji grows on wood, often on beech trees.


(WHEAT-A-LA-COACH-A) A Mexican corn fungus (call it "corn mushroom") it surrounds and incorporates the kernels of sweet corn it grown on so that the mushroom always has a sweetness to it as well as a dark earthy taste. It also has a rich black glossy color.


Juice, as in only the meat's natural juices originally but here can mean those juices with additional components like wine, herbs, spices etc.."


(kah-BOH-chah) A type of Japanese squash. It is available in the United States now and works well as a substitute for the calabaza squash. (You can use acorn squash as a substitute too.)


A smaller more perfumed lime than the common lime. The leaves are intensely aromatic and used whole or sliced into edible slivers adding a wonderful flower-like fragrance and taste.


The name of a Japanese Amberjack that is 0-2 years old.


A Japanese roasted chili sauce with yuzu & brown sugar.


Shredded Phyllo dough.


Our homemade mustard made with ground mustard seeds, zest of lime, honey, champagne vinegar, Creole mustard, and sour cream.


Fermented Korean pickled cabbage condiment flavored with garlic, ginger, chilies.


Japanese beef from the Kobe region. The beef is suspended above ground (to inhibit exercise), fed a special diet of beer, high quality grains & sake and then the cattle are massaged to help work the "fat" into the animal. Resulting in a highly superior, melt in your mouth beef. The variety of meat is called Wagyu and is now raised in the U.S.A.


The liquid very popular in Japan that is the basis for many soups. The spelling is interchangeable. It is actually a form of seaweed that produces richness comparable to Chicken Stock.


I have been using this tea as an ingredient in my cooking for over 20 years. I treat it somewhat like an herb. It is a black tea from the Fujian province of China. It has a woodsy-smoky flavor, which is obtained by withering and slowly drying the leaves over open pine fires.


A bamboo shoot-like plant that originated as a spice in Asian cuisines but has found interest in western cuisine. Lemony, cleansing flavors.


A "house" term for a marinade made with citrus, olive oil, and soy sauce, red onions, bay leaf, fennel, garlic & black peppercorns.


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.


A tuber found in good produce markets among the potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and yuca. It is shaggy-looking and should be firm to the touch, and is best stored in a cool, dry place. Avoid refrigerating. Its flavor is less sweet than a sweet potato. Malangas are most commonly made into chips and fritters. The tuber may have come to Cuba with Nigerian slaves. Also known as yautía in Puerto Rico.


A somewhat cheddar-like cheese, which is made in the plains area of Spain, made famous by Cervantes "Don Quixote," "La Mancha." It is Spain's most famous cheese and is typically sold at three ages: fresco, the youngest variety; curado, which is the most common; and añejo, which is aged from 6 months to a year and sometimes sold packed in olive oil. Archeological discoveries tell us that sheep-rearing and cheese-making date back to the Iron Age in La Mancha.


(mah-sah hah-REEN-ah): Finely ground dried corn used in preparing tortillas and tamales. Masa means "dough" in Spanish.


A highly prized Japanese variety of Mushroom. Sometimes called "the Pine Mushroom". They are harvested in pine forests in the fall and have a piney fragrance.


A sweet wine made from glutinous rice. It is available in any Japanese market.


A fermented soy bean paste used in Japanese cooking for making soups, sauces, and dressings. Three types of miso are available at most supermarkets: red, yellow, and white. The three types are very distinct in flavor and should not be substituted for one another.


Latin American. A caramelized, mashed plantain mixture which often has pork bits in it (NOT the typical case with us, in that we use foie gras.)


(mo-ho): From the Spanish word "mojar" which means, "to wet." Cubans use a recipe that comes from Canary Islands and invariably employs olive oil, garlic, chile peppers, cumin seeds, and some type of vinegar or citrus juice. It is most commonly enjoyed with yuca. It is important to note that in Puerto Rico "mojo" means a different sauce, one that is made with tomatoes and olives. Puertorriqueños would use the more descriptive "mojo de ajo" when referring to the ubiquitous Cuban garlic mojo.


A mojo marinade made from a Guarapo reduction (sugar cane juice) then made into a mojo with an acidic balancing agent like key lime juice.


(mo-lay): The word used to describe a whole collection of uniquely Mexican sauces. Ranging from red chile sauces, sauces thick with nuts and seeds, or sauces redolent with herbs and spices. A misconception about mole is that it always contains chocolate. Mole poblano, a Pueblan specialty, and mole de olores or "fragrant mole," does use chocolate. We call ours "21st Century" in that we use the modern conveniences of blenders! This is one of the most frequently asked questions by the guests to our servers at Norman's.


Molhos are an equivalent word for salsas in some countries, especially Portugal. It is a word that has just a broad an application as "sauces" does in English.


Peanuts, sriracha, hoisin, cilantro, plum, honey, soy, ginger, garlic, sherry vinegar & sesame oil. The reason that this is called "Mongolian" has to do with the empire, which once connected Europe to Asia during the Middle Ages. (See page 160 of Norman's New World Cuisine for the full story). The ingredients include; garlic, ginger, cilantro, sherry vinegar, hoisin, soy, sesame oil, plum sauce and peanuts.


An egg, olive, butter, herb & vinegar semi-emulsion sauce not capable of staying in emulsion or "whole" when in contact with much heat.


The vast world of mushrooms can be confusing but these are worth focusing in on. They are noteworthy for the web-like conical shape that defines their caps. Chanterelles and Porcinis are but of the few that are in this rarefied level for flavors. Like the truffle, it belongs to the category of fungus known as the ascomycetes. They are never eaten raw. They must be allowed to float in bowl of water briefly to remove any mites that love to hold up in the tiny catacomb structure of these mushrooms. The Latin name is Morchella Esculenta.


(moon-YEH-tah) Pureed black beans.


Fen rice noodles: Fen are made from a mixture of rice flour, wheat starch, (not flour), oil and water. The pasta dough is steamed in sheets, then either cut into broad noodles or dumpling wrappers. Ramen: Asian instant style deep fried noodles. They are Chinese based and ramen simply means noodle. They are beloved for their simplicity and nourishing qualities. Shanghai: These noodles are the fat, ropy somewhat spaghetti shaped noodle one sees often in soups and stir-fries. They are pale in color Soba: Thin and somewhat flat shaped buckwheat and wheat flour mixed noodles. They are said to represent the very epitome of the best in noodles. They are protein rich and light brownish in color. They taste good hot or cold. Somen: Fine, elegantly thin white wheat noodles that have been moistened with either sesame oil or cottonseed oil. Traditionally they are eaten cold as they are in our Vietnamese Soft Spring Rolls. Udon: Sometimes considered the "workingman's hero" of noodles. They are large, filling, white and soul satisfying. They have an ample girth and a slippery texture that makes them excellent for soups, braises and even cold dishes.


Paper-thin sheets of dried seaweed. The color can range from dark green to black. It is generally used for wrapping sushi. When finely cut it serves as a seasoning or garnish.


Japanese the apex of thoughtfulness and dedication to ones guests.


Though once actually obtained from oxen they are now from mature beef or veal. Though the section of the animal is bony and the meat is initially tough it yields some of the most flavorful and tender meat of all when properly cooked.


The national dish of Spain.


Japanese bread crumbs. Excellent to make food crisper.


Spanish for "duck".


A Caribbean term for papaya.


A purée of toasted Spanish peanuts, brown sugar, soy, balsamic vinegar, mirin, garlic, ginger, jalapeños, and sriracha.


Literally means the "beak of a rooster". It is a simple salsa that features tomatoes, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice and onion.


(pee-KEE-yo) peppers: These deep red, sweet peppers typically are found in Latin markets in jars and cans. If you are using fresh ones you will most likely be roasting and peeling them.


A flat griddle.


In Spanish they are called Plátanos (PLAH-tah-nos). There are various types of plantains: plátanos verdes, or green plantains; plátanos pintones, green plantains which are just beginning to turn black and are often boiled; plátanos maduros, which are almost totally black and very ripe and sweet; plátanos burros, which hail from Hawaii (where they are called hua moa) and are much fatter than the Latin varieties. Plantains are always eaten cooked. They are extremely durable to ship while still in their green phase. Bananas are not a good substitute for plantains. Green Plantains: Unripe, used to make tostones. Maduros: Almost black; very ripe and sweet. Mariquitas: Little fried plantain chips. Pintones: Green plantains which are just beginning to turn black, with only spots. They are usually boiled (traditional in Puerto Rico) Sometimes soaked in salt water before boiling, and served with mojo. Tostones: Twice cooked plantains.


A mixture of cornmeal and a liquid (water, stock or milk and seasonings, which is cooked to a very thick consistency) or it can be molded, left to set, then sliced and reheated by grilling or sautéing.


This member of the berry family is also a symbol of fertility because it has so many seeds. The juice is luscious and deeply garnet in color.


(PON-ZOO) The juice of acidic citrus fruits such as daidai, sudachi, kabosu, or lemon. Most commonly, Ponzu is also an abbreviation for a mixture of such juice and soy sauce, used as a dip for mizutaki and chirinabe.


One of the most noble ingredients to cook with. The porcini goes by various names. Pig mushroom, boletus edulis, King Bolete and Cèpes are four of them. They are pale brown with fat stems and sloping caps. They can weigh up to half a pound for particularly prodigious specimens. Deep almost truffle like flavors.


There is a great deal of confusion in this term and some of it is the purposeful confusion of marketers that want to deceive. The prawn is closer to a lobster or a langoustine. Some folks wrongly called a merely big shrimp a prawn. Big shrimp are big shrimps and that is nice but they are not prawns. The true prawn is related to the lobster and includes those crustaceans variously called langoustine, Langostino and Dublin Bay prawns.


Yogurt based dipping sauce.


A mayonnaise based sauce with the addition of mustard, capers, gherkins etc.


An edible, translucent food made not with rice exactly but from a dough made with water and the pith of an Asian shrub called the rice paper plant, (of course…). Rice flour is also sometimes used.


Meat, usually pork, that is slowly cooked in fat and then mashed into a bit of a softer texture and preserved in small pots and covered with some fat for a few weeks to develop flavor. This can be done with fatty fish like salmon but they would be served very quickly.


One Spain's most important viticultural regions.


Classic Cuban dish of shredded slow cooked beef.


Seared & sliced fish or meat.


Japanese for fatty tuna belly. We use the fatty belly of the Blue fin tuna from the Japanese market. The part of the belly with the highest fat content is called Otoro, then the second fattiest area is known as Chotoro, finally the bright red part (working your way to the loin) is called Maguro.


(keh-so BLAHN-co): This is a Latin American white farmer's-style cheese that generally has a slightly bouncy, slightly salty character.


(KEEN-wah) A natural whole grain, (actually the seed) grown in South America. Originally used by the Incas, it can be substituted for rice in most recipes. It is a unique grain in that it serves as a complete protein containing essential amino acids.


(RAH-HAHS) Name used to describe strips of dried or fresh chilies.


A hot chile infused dark sesame oil.


To cook a liquid, such as stocks or broths, until the volume reduces due to evaporation. This process thickens the liquid and intensifies the flavors.


Heating of a liquid to minimize its liquidity and maximize its intensity.


(ray-YAY-no) Spanish for "stuffed," as in Chiles Rellenos


A Spanish style of ricotta cheese.


A reduced mixture of light rhum, black pepper, cloves, lemon juice, sugar and lemon zest.


(ROME-ES-KO) A Catalonian sauce including roasted garlic, roasted red pepper, tomato, ground almonds and olive oil.


(roh-tee): This is a West Indian staple, unleavened flatbread found especially in Guyana, Trinidad, and Tobago. Typically roti are served stuffed in a fashion similar to a Mexican burrito. One type of roti I love for its name alone is called "buss-up shut" roti. It is named so because its frayed appearance resembles a "busted-up shirt."


(RUE-E) Translated as "rust" due to its color. Roasted red pepper and garlic emulsion, or mayonnaise-like sauce usually used on fish soups, and stew such as Bouillabaisse. (This is the one easy to confuse with aïoli. Rouille has red pepper as a key difference.)


A very light emulsion sauce, consisting of egg yolk whisked with a bit of water, wine, or spirits and whisked over gentle heat until thick. Whipped heavy cream & some type of acid are added.


The dried stigma and usually part of the styles of the flower of Crocus Sativus. They are painstakingly hand picked. It takes 100,000 fresh flowers to produce 5 kilos of fresh stigmas, which dry down to one kilo of saffron.


Can refer not only to a finely cut mixture of vegetables, oil and acid as in Salsa Cruda, but to the broad numbers of sauces in Spanish, Mexican and Cuban cookery.


Refers to the raw fish in Sushi cuisine. Sushi encompasses the entire range of fish, meat, vinegar rice, etc.


A sherry wine & sherry vinegar stock fortified with chicken stock. This is a Norman's kitchens short hand of sorts I culled from the teaching of Paula Wolfert's amazing book, "The Cooking of South-West France". Get one!


Larger & greener Japanese mint leaf from the perilla tree. It has a touch of spiciness.


Japanese term for soy.


(soh-FREE-to) This is similar to the French mirepoix in that it is used extensively at the beginning of the cooking of stews, sauces, and soups and more. Typically, a sofrito is made from garlic, onions, peppers and sometimes tomatoes, cooked with olive oil, butter, lard, or bacon.


In Spanish these are called naranja agría. The sour orange is believed to be the ancestor of all oranges. It is a large fruit with a bumpy skin. The interior is not eaten unprepared because it is far too sour; hence the name. The primary use is as a marinade or a component in a larger recipe such as the Cuban mojo de ajo.


(Illicium verum) Although this is not related to anise spice, its flavors licorice-like. The star-shaped spice is probably native to China. A licorice-orange like flavor predominates in the seeds of this small Chinese evergreen tree.


A delicacy that is most often the thymus gland of veal. Usually the glands are poached and then lightly weighted to create a nice texture.


A dark soy sauce, somewhat thicker and stronger than other soy sauces. It is cultured and fermented like miso. Used in Asian cooking. In Japanese cuisine it is used as a dipping or basting sauce.


Tamarindus indica. A tropical tree that originates in India produces a large brown bean pod. The seeds inside the brittle shell are enclosed in a sticky, brown pulp with a tart flavor."


These terms are interchangeable. An open pastry shell with a filling either sweet or savory. The French lean toward "tart" while the English toward "Flan". To further confuse the issue; in Spanish cultures the Flan is a baked flavored custard, usually with a caramel.


(tim-BALL) A small deep round mold. Also applies to the food prepared in such a mold.


This is simply a cross between sashimi and ceviche. The fish is treated with the same respect as "sushi" grade fish, sliced thinly, (typically) and marinated very briefly.


A small green husk-wrapped fruit that looks like a small tomato but is not one. It is particularly important in Mexican and Central American cooking. Tomatillos are almost always at least slightly cooked.


For a longer and more thorough version I urge you to do some study on this fascinating phenomenon of nature. But in short I want you to understand some fundamentals. Truffles are not simply "mushrooms". They are a "god-like" elevation of the sense of truffles perhaps. They are still only discovered in the wild and have not been cultivated by man. There have been recent developments but none that I have experienced are in the same league yet. There are a few noteworthy kinds of truffles. The two most important are somewhat simplistically labled white or black truffles. That leads to some purposeful obfuscation by some scammers in the market. It's best to know the Latin terms. The more prevalent black truffles from places like Périgourd, Provence etc. are called tuber malanosporum. They are, like their white cousins, harvest by men with dogs, (rarely does one trust a pig for this task in that the pig eats the truffles!). The black exterior typically needs to be scrubbed of some dirt. The interior is firm and the uses are broader than for the whites. They can handle more 'company' than the ethereal whites. The whites come most famously from the Piedmont area. Their Latin name is tuber magnatum. Their price tag is much higher than any other and their magical aroma is the reason why. The whites are typically added to a dish at the last moment in that overheating them dissipates their qualities.


A "house preparation" layering of "Tropical Tubers" (Yuca, Boniato, Sweet Potato, Idaho Potato, and sometimes Malanga) in a hotel pan with an egg custard, onions, etc. and slowly cooked until the starches are tender.


French. A thin, crispy wafer. They are often molded around a curved surface immediately after they come out of the oven, which gives them a shape resembling a curved tile. Tuiles can also be prepared as flat disks and used for layering foods.


These are the islands in the Caribbean where we obtain our fresh, farm-raised conch.


The delicate ovarian roe sacs of the sea urchin. We use the Pacific Ocean variety because of its sweet flavor.


Refers to items from the Valencian region of Spain. Valencia is justly famous for their rice and their oranges.


Mexican. This refers to a preparation of fish, (usually snapper.) It includes olives, onions, capers with a cumin/sherry & cilantro.


(See Kobe Beef).


A pungent, green Japanese horseradish. Fresh and powdered forms exist.


A Brazilian preparation. See "New World Kitchen".


A mixture of dried Scallops and Shrimp, Soy, Sugar, Fish Sauce, Garlic, Chilies, and Olive Oil. Very esteemed in Asia.


Yuca (YOO-kah): Cuba's native Siboneyes Indians were the first to cultivate this filling tuber. It is called cassava, casabe, caçabi, and manioc in various parts of the Caribbean. Yuca is cooked in many of the ways a potato is prepared. I find its flavor to be like that of a baking potato crossed with chestnuts. It has a tough, nearly bark-like skin that must be removed. Cut the yuca down the center lengthwise and remove any woody or fibrous core. It is often sold frozen already peeled, cleaned, and ready to boil.


Japanese citrus fruit (used for its aromatic dried skin and juice/ juice has a very sour tangerine sort of flavor.)

About Stephan Oppenhagen

Stephan is able to combine his amazing talent with a sound knowledge of the business side of running a successful restaurant, whether as a stand alone operation, or as part of a 5 Star International Luxury Resort/Business Hotel.
Stephan also has a proven track record of managing a large team of Chefs and catering personnel.

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