Welcome to the Schwartz glossary, an A to Z guide to cookery terms. Whether it's herbs and spices, names of dishes or cooking techniques, you'll find them here, along with suggested recipes and links to more information.
- Refers to any dried grape, for example, sultana is actually a variety of raisin. The best raisins are made from Muscat grapes and come from Spain or California. They are large, tender and sweet and are delicious eaten on their own, or with cheese, or stirred through couscous or rice. Smaller black raisins are useful for home-baking. Readily available in supermarkets. (See also Sultana)
- A deep, straight-sided, small round dish ideal for soufflés and individual recipe dishes, both sweet and savoury. The underside of a ramekin is unglazed, allowing heat to penetrate quickly and evenly, making them ideal for cooking and serving dishes. An essential piece of equipment for all kitchens.
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Vinegar made from red wine, the quality depending on the red wine used in the first place to make it. Great for salad dressings and marinades, and to flavour some sauces and stews. Readily available in supermarkets. (See also Vinegar).
- Redcurrant Jelly
- A clear, set jelly, made from redcurrants, water, sugar and sometimes port. Delicious served with lamb and venison or added to dishes during cooking to add a tangy sweetness. Readily available in supermarkets, sold in small jars.
- Rice Wine
- An alcoholic drink made from rice, resulting from the fermentation of rice starch converting to sugars. Aged for more than 10 years, rice wine is used for drinking and cooking in Asian cuisine. Shaoxing is a Chinese rice wine with a rich, yet mellow flavour. Sake is a Japanese variety of rice wine, with a different flavour. Both are available in Asian stores or some large supermarkets. If you can’t find it, try sherry. (See also Sherry)
- Ricotta Cheese
- A soft, creamy Italian cheese, usually made these days from whole or skimmed cow’s or ewe’s milk. It is widely used in both savoury and sweet dishes. Ricotta is Italian for ‘re-cooked’, a reference to the way the cheese is made.
- Risotto Rice
- A nutty short-grain rice grown in Italy, used to make the dish Risotto. Different varieties available, and graded by size, include Arborio (large), Carnaroli (large) and Vialone (short and stubby). (See also Arborio and Carnaroli Rice)
- Rose Water
- A by-product of the production of rose oil for use in perfume, rose water is used to flavour food, especially in Iranian cuisine for sweets, such as ice-cream, cookies and even tea. In India it is sometimes used to flavour milk for rice puddings and is an essential ingredient in the drink lassi, made from yoghurt, sugar and fruit juice. Available in Asian stores and some large supermarkets.
- Originating from the French word ‘rouler’ meaning ‘to roll’. Roulades can be savoury, but are more commonly known as sweet desserts in the UK. It consists of a sponge cake baked in a flat tray, which is then layered with a sweet filling and rolled, Swiss Roll being a typical form of a roulade.
- Equal amounts of flour and butter cooked together and used to thicken sauces and soups.
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