eau de vie
(oh-deuh-VEE) - Translated from the French, eau-de-vie means "water of
life." It is an alcohol distillate that is rich with taste, flavor, and
aroma. The French use the expression "eau-de-vie" as a generic term for all
brandies. It is unlikely, however, that you will hear Cognac and Armagnac
ordered in this manner.
Edam cheese (E-dam) -Edam cheese
was first made in the vicinity of Edam in the Province of North Holland,
Netherlands. It is known in the Netherlands by various local names, such as
manbollen, katzenkopf, and tete de maure. Like gouda, it is a semi-firm to
hard, sweet-curd cheese made from cow's milk. Originally it was made from
whole milk, but now the fat content of the milk is usually reduced to about
2.5%. Edam cheese is also made in the U.S. It is usually shaped like a
flattened ball, but in the U.S., it is made also in a loaf shape. It is
coated in a red wax with a creamy yellow, semi soft to hard interior. It
melts quickly under heat when shredded.
Edible Flowers -
To learn about
Edible Flowers, check out Linda Stradley's web page on
Egg Cream – Despite it name, the Egg
Cream contains no eggs or cream. The basic ingredients are milk, seltzer, and
chocolate syrup. Egg Cream will lose its head and turn flat if not drunk
immediately or within three minutes. It is perfectly proper to “gulp” an Egg
Cream. Soda fountains all over New York City have their own version and the Egg
Cream has become a New York institution. For many years, the Egg Cream remained
a product sold only through New York soda fountains. It is being bottled now by
a couple of small companies. True New Yorkers insist that it is not a classic
Egg Cream without Fox’s U-Bet Chocolate Syrup.
History: Check out history
of New York Egg Cream.
eggnog - A chilled Christmas
beverage that consists of a blend of milk or cream, beaten eggs, sugar,
nutmeg, and usually liquor of some kind (rum, brandy, or whiskey). The
recipe for eggnog has changed very little in the last 150 years.
History: Check out
History of Eggnog.
eggplant, Aubergine - A member of the
nightshade family, the eggplant is related to the potato, tomato, and pepper
and has its origins in India and Southeast Asia. Arab and Asian traders
brought eggplant to the Middle East, North Africa, and finally Europe. The
first eggplants were small, round, egg-shaped and white (that's how this
vegetable got its name). The prime eggplant season is July through October,
but the purple variety is available all year long.
Learn more about the Eggplant.
Italian or Mediterranean eggplant - The teardrop-shaped or pear-shaped
purple eggplant is the standard eggplant.
Japanese eggplant - It is long (6 to 8"), slender and lavender in color.
Chinese eggplant - Follows the slender proportions of the Japanese
Thai and Indian eggplants
- Can be found in shades of green, purple, striated green and white. They
are the size of cherries.
A breakfast or
brunch specialty consisting of two toasted English muffin halves, each
topped with a slice of ham or Canadian bacon, a poached egg, and some
History: Check out
History of Eggs Benedict.
Eggs Sardou (sahr-DOO) - This is
one of New Orleans' grand egg dishes, created, as were so many classic
dishes, at the famous Antoine's Restaurant. It consists of poached eggs,
topped with creamed spinach, artichoke hearts, and hollandaise sauce.
egg wash - A mixture of beaten eggs,
either whole eggs, yolks, or whites) and a liquid, such as milk or water,
that is used to coat baked goods before or during baking to give them a
sheen. It also enhances browning.
elderberry - The purple/black
fruit of the elder tree, elderberries can be eaten raw but are quite sour
and tart. They are better used to make jams, pies, and homemade wine. The
creamy white elderberry flowers can be added to salads or batter-dipped and
fried like fritters.
Election Cake – The cake is
actually a classic English fruitcake or plum cake. The original cakes
included molasses, spice, raisins, and currants were used in this cake.
Later brandy was added.
History: For the history of
Election Cake, check out Linda Stradley's
History of Cakes.
Electric Ice Cream Maker - Learn how
Electric Ice Cream Maker
to make your homemade ice cream, gelatos, and sorbets.
Emrelletes are peeled seedless grapes, which have been tinted green and
flavored with creme de menthe. They are a commercial produce and are used
for garnishing fruit cups, salads, and the like.
emulsion/emulsify - To bind together two
liquid ingredients that normally do not combine smoothly (such as water and
fat). Slowly add one ingredient to the other while mixing rapidly.
en croute - French word that means
baked food encased in a bread or pastry crust.
endive (EN-dyv) - Also known as
Belgaina endive, French endive, and witloof chicory. Endive is the blanched
shoots of the chicory root. To produce blanched (white) shoot, the roots are
dug up and stored in a cool, darkened location or in forcing beds, when they
are covered with sand. They are harvested when they are 4 to 6 inches long
and about 1 1/2 inches wide. It can be eaten raw as a salad green or braised
in butter or cream sauce as a side dish.
History: The local tale around
Brussels, Belgium places a farmer in the period around 1840 that had placed
some chicory roots in a cellar for future transformation into a coffee
substitute. Whether he forgot them in his cellar, or hid them there to avoid
a purported chicory root tax, is not well documented. Nonetheless upon
discovering them in the spring he found that the roots have sprouted in
their dark, damp environs producing a tender, albeit bitter, shoot. Remember
we're talking March or April of 1840 - well before the advent of year-round
fresh produce availability. The inherent bitterness was surely outweighed by
the fact that very few fresh foodstuffs were available at all. Afterwards
the inventive farmers pursued the development of their discovery and an
industry was created around Brussels, Belgium eventually gaining a
widespread presence in Holland and Northern France as well. Today we know
that endive is grown to some extent on virtually every continent.
– A round (about 3 inches in diameter) muffin that is made from soft yeast
dough and baked on a griddle.
The origin of the English Muffin can be dated back to the 10th
century in Wales. A yeast-leavened cake called Bara Maen was baked on hot
stones in 10th century Wales. A similar cake or muffin baked on hot griddles
was popular in 19th century England, where the hot, fresh muffins were
peddled door to door by the "muffin man.” The prominence of the muffin men
in English society even became a popular children’s nursery rhyme and song,
“Have you seen the muffin man, the muffin man, the muffin man? Have you
seen the muffin man, that lives in Drury Lane?"
en papillote (ahn pah-pee-yoa or
ohn pa-pee-YOTE) - A French word meaning "in a paper bag." En papilotte is a
cooking process that cooks foods in their own juices in a bag (sealing foods
to cook in their own juices, rather than adding water as in steaming,
re-enforces flavors rather than diluting them). Traditionally the food is
enclosed with parchment paper, but today is also cooked enclosed in
aluminum-foil bags. Pastry is also used in the same way, such as pasties.
The bag is slit open tableside so that the diner can enjoy the escaping
- The Spanish word for salad.
entrecote (ahn-treh-KOHT) - It
is a beefsteak, which is cut from between the animal's ribs. It is often
placed between sheets of oil paper and pounded until it is thinned. It is
then grilled or sautéed in butter for about one minute. A common name for
entrecote is minute steak.
entree (ON-tray) - In America,
it is the main course of a meal. In parts of Europe, it is a dish served
between two chief courses during formal dinners. In French the word means
entremets (AHN-truh-may) - A
French word that means "between dishes." Today, when one finds the term on a
French menu, it refers to "desserts."
History: The word originally once
referred to foods or small side dishes that were served between courses of a
grand dinner. Entrements were customarily served to royalty during the early
18th century when sometimes as many as thirty-two different courses were
epicure (EHP-ih-kyoor) - A
person who enjoys and has a discriminating taste and appreciation for all
fine food and drink.
History: Term was named after the
famous Greek philosopher Epicurus (342-270 B.C.).
escargot (ehs-kahr-GOH) - The
French word for "snail." They can be terrestrial, freshwater, or marine.
Escargot is the common name for the land gastropod mollusk. The edible
snails of France have a single shell that is tan and white, and 1 to 2
escarole (EHS-kuh-rohl) - See
Espagnole or brown sauce (demi-glace)
- Traditionally made from beef stock, aromatics, herbs and, sometimes,
tomato paste. Brown sauce is the basis from which many other sauces are
made. Brown sauce consists of a liquid thickened with a cooked mixture of
butter and flour called a roux. The difference is that for a brown sauce,
the roux is cooked much longer; it must be stirred over low heat until it
acquires a nut-brown cast that intensifies the color and flavor of the
sauce. This lengthier cooking diminishes the thickening power of the starch,
a factor that should be taken into consideration before you start cooking.
To make a brown sauce of medium thickness, allow two tablespoons of both
butter and flour for each cup of liquid.
espresso - Espresso is a process
of extracting flavor from coffee beans. Served in very small cups, this is a
dark, strong coffee made by forcing steam through finely ground,
Italian-roast coffee. The literal meaning of the word espresso is, made on
the spur of the moment or fast.
In 1901, Italian Luigi Bezzera invented and espresso and the first espresso
machine that contained a boiler and four divisions. Each could take varying
sized filters that contained the coffee. He patented his espresso machine on
September 1, 1902, which he called the "Espresso Coffee Machine.” According
to historians, he was not happy because his employees were taking too long
for their coffee breaks! If only he could shorten the brewing process used
to make traditional coffee, his employees would take shorter breaks. Bezzera
had an idea to introduce pressure to the coffee brewing process, reducing
the time needed to brew. His marketing efforts were unsuccessful, and he became
Desidero Pavoni purchased Bezzera’s patent and began
manufacturing machines based on the Bezzera style machine.
In 1906 the original Espresso Coffee was presented to the world at an
exhibition in Milano, Italy.
They mass produced these machines and in 1927 the first espresso machine was
installed in the United States at Regio's in New York. Regio’s still
displays the machine.
Learn how to use different types of
etouffee (ay-too-fay) - The term
literally means, "smothered." It is a cooking method of cooking something
smothered in a blanket of chopped vegetables over a low flame in a tightly
covered pan. Crawfish and shrimp etoufees are delicious New Orleans
evaporated milk - Evaporated
milk is pure cow's milk which has been concentrated to double richness.
Nothing has been added to the original milk and nothing taken away except
some of the water (60% of which has been removed by evaporation).
In 1899, grocer E.A. Stuart and a fellow business partner founded the
Pacific Coast Condensed Milk Company in Kent, Washington. It was based
solely on the little-understood, relatively new process of evaporation.
Evaporated milk even went to war over the years, as American soldiers
carried cans of condensed milk into battle during World War I, World War II,
and the Korean War. The inhospitable conditions in which these brave men and
women often found themselves made a versatile food product like evaporated
milk standard issue.