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Gluten Free Glossary of Terms

Gluten Free Glossary

updated September 1 ,2017.

What is a Gluten Free Glossary of Terms?

Have you ever wondered what a foreign sounding word means in a recipe?

Did you know some of these words have multiple meanings and some meanings can be denoted by several words all meaning the same thing?

Understanding the jargon of cooking is an important step to creating delicious award winning foods!

When a quick reference is needed, check out this gluten free glossary to understand culinary terms; it is more precise than a dictionary and focuses on the vocabulary used in gluten-free cooking.

Keep this helpful, easy-to-search reference convenient at hand.

The Gluten Free Glossary of Terms is only one click away.

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Gluten Free Glossary Directory


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A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K  L   M   N   P   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y




A

a la:  a French term meaning, "in the manner of", such as "a la king" or "a la mode".

a la king:  food served in a rich cream sauce usually containing mushrooms, bell peppers, sherry or white wine and perhaps some pimento.

a la mode:  a French term meaning, "according to fashion", such as pie served with ice cream or roast meat served with gravy.

antipasto:  an Italian term meaning, "before the pasta", an appetizer of assorted cheeses, cold cuts, fish, fruits or vegetables.

appetizer:  a small portion of food or drink served before a meal to whet the appetite or to stimulate the gastric response to create a desire for more food.

aspic:  a jelly food dish make by adding gelatin to fruit juice, meat stock or vegetable juice.

au gratin:  a French term for a baked or cooked dish topped with a crust, usually toasted or browned bread crumbs or sometimes with grated cheese, or sometimes with both.


B

bake:  to cook with dry heat inside an oven.

baker's yeast (yeast):  a leavening agent commonly used in bread making and is available in many forms, such as cream yeast, compressed yeast, active dry yeast, instant yeast, rapid-rise yeast and deactivated yeast. For best results use the yeast indicated in the recipe.

baking powder:  GlutenFreeHomemade.com's signature Homemade Gluten-free Baking Powder recipe or other commercially prepared certified gluten-free baking powder; use organic whenever possible.

baking soda (bicarbonate of soda):  a safe natural food additive used for leavening; use organic whenever possible.

CAUTION!

Always check food ingredients to ensure they are sourced from fields secure from gluten cross contamination, and are produced and manufactured in certified gluten-free facilities.


barbecue:  roasted food cooked over open flame or coals, usually basted with a highly seasoned flavorful sauce.

baste:  to apply moisture to food to keep from drying out or to add flavor while cooking.

batter:  gluten-free flour, seasonings or flavorings and liquid combined to create a thin, pourable mixture.

beat:  to make a mixture smooth by using vigorous mixing action with a fork, spoon, wire whisk or rotary beaters.

bicarbonate of soda (baking soda):  a safe natural food additive used for leavening; use organic whenever possible.

bisque:  a rich cream soup or a rich frozen dessert made with crushed macaroons, fruit or nuts.

black pepper:  a seasoning ground from whole peppercorns; use organic whenever possible.

blanch:  to quickly and briefly immerse fresh vegetables into boiling water followed by a quick and immediate cooling in an ice water bath, or to scald by pouring boiling water over a food, such as to loosen the skins of almonds, peaches or tomatoes.

blend:  to thoroughly mix together two or more ingredients.

boil:  to cook a liquid until bubbles break the surface and produce steam.

bouillon:  a French term for a clear soup make from beef.

bouquet garni:  A French term for 3 or 4 fresh herb stems tied together in a bundle, or tied into a cheesecloth or muslin bag, and tossed in with long-cooking food to enhance flavor.

braise:  to simmer a food in a small amount liquid, usually meat or poultry after it has been browned first.

bread:  to dredge food in fine dried gluten-free breadcrumbs.  Other gluten-free crumbs for breading include, cracker crumbs, dried breakfast cereal, pretzels, corn chips or tortilla chips.

brew or steep:  to extract flavor, nutrients, essence, color or other matter from an edible substance by letting it sit for a time in water heated just below the boiling point, for example tea, herbal teas or coffee.

brewer's yeast (nutritional yeast):  a deactivated yeast used to fortify nutrition and as a condiment because of its "cheesy" flavor; a complete protein nutritional supplement providing all 9 essential amino acids,  high in B-complex vitamins.

broil:  to cook under or over direct heat, such as a broiler, grill, open fire or red-hot coals.

broth:  seasoned stock.

brown:  the golden color change of a food product as it finishes cooking.

brown rice flour:  ground whole grain brown rice used as a flour substitute instead of whole wheat flour; use organic whenever possible.

brown rice protein powder:  a nutritional supplement composed of a brown rice protein concentrate, rice brand and perhaps other ingredients.  Used to boost protein of certain recipes; use organic whenever possible.

brush:  to thinly spread using a food safe brush or a finger.

buttermilk or sour milk:  can be used interchangeably.  To sour milk, add 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup, and then add milk to measure 1 cup.


C

canapé:  an appetizer made of a small piece of bread or pastry, such as a cracker, topped with cheese, fish, meat or poultry.

candy:  to cook in sugar syrup as a method of food preservation or to cook as a sweet treat or garnish; can also mean a sweet confection.

caramel:  a candy flavored burnt sugar syrup used for flavoring and coloring foods.

caramelize:  to melt sugar until it turns into golden brown syrup with "caramel" flavor.

casserole:  a kind of baking dish usually made of glass or pottery and often includes a cover; a food mixture cooked in a casserole dish; the action of baking or cooking a food in a casserole dish.

cayenne:  a sharp, very hot seasoning ground from whole cayenne red pepper pods; use in small amounts; use organic whenever possible.

cheddar cheese:  an aged cheese most commonly used in the United States.  The flavor develops with age and it is graded accordingly:  curds, mild, medium, sharp and extra sharp.  Cheddar color varies from milky white to dark orange.  Historic recipes sometimes refer to cheddar as American Cheese, however modern American Cheese is a highly processed cheese food product with no resemblance to Cheddar.  Use medium cheddar, unless otherwise noted in recipe.

cheese:  a milk product made by separating the whey from the curds, and then curing, fermenting or ripening the curds.  Some cheeses intentionally remain fresh or unripened, such as cottage cheese, cream cheese or fresh mozzarella.

chill:  to allow ingredient to become completely cold through, but not frozen.

chocolate:  unsweetened baking chocolate, sometimes known as bitter chocolate; use organic whenever possible.

chop:  to use a sharp knife or chopper to cut ingredients into fine, medium or coarse pieces.

chow:  Chinese term for pan-fry, sauté or stir-fry, meaning to cook in a small amount of fat or oil.

clarify:  to make clear by skimming, straining or by adding egg white.

coat:  to cover with a thin film.

cocoa:  a rich, dark unsweetened chocolate powder made from roasted ground cacao seeds; use organic whenever possible.

coconut:  organic shredded or flaked, unless otherwise noted in recipe.

coffee:  Medaglia D'Oro Instant Espresso Coffee, unless otherwise noted in recipe.

combine:  to mix together dissimilar ingredients.

compote:  a dessert, garnish or topping of fruits stewed in syrup.

condensed milk:  canned whole milk, which has been concentrated by removing some of its water content through evaporation; use organic whenever possible.

condiment:  a middle European term meaning, to enhance with a pungent or spicy substance, for example chutney, ketchup, prepared mustard, or relish.

confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar):  white sugar ground into a powder and mixed with a small amount of anti-caking agent, usually cornstarch.  Corn-free versions use other anti-caking agents, such as tapioca starch; use organic whenever possible.

consommé:  a French term for a clear soup light in color made from meat, usually veal.

cook: a method of preparing food by applying direct, dry, indirect or moist heat.

cool:  to allow to come to room temperature.

cornmeal:  a coarsely ground meal made of ground white or yellow dried corn kernels; use organic whenever possible.

cream cheese:  a full fat spreadable cheese with mild flavor.  Neuchâtel is a low fat version of cream cheese; use organic whenever possible. 

cream together:  to blend together two or more ingredients until mixture is fluffy and light, such as fat with sugar or eggs with sugar.

crisp:  to make brittle or firm by placing food in an ice water bath or very cold water, such as leafy greens, or in a moderate oven, such as crackers. 

crush:  to smash food with a rolling pin or mallet.

cube:  to cut up solid foods into 6 equal sides, usually about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in size.

curry:  cooked or stewed food seasoned with a curry, an ethnic seasoning mixture.

cut in:  to combine a chilled or solid fat into dry ingredients using a fork, knives, pastry cutter or a food processor with a sharp blade.

cutlet:  a small piece of meat or meat substitute, such as tofu, used for frying for broiling.


D

deep fry:  to cook foods in deep fat or to cook foods by completely immersing in hot fat until cooked through and crispy.

dice:  to cut solid foods into pieces or cubes about 1/4 inch or less in size.

dissolve:  to cause a dry substance to blend into a solution, for example combining sugar with water to make simple syrup.

dot:  to strew small bits across the top of a food, such as bits of butter over the surface of dessert filling before topping with pastry or crumb crust.

dough:  a malleable pasty mass made of food ingredients for baking, such as cookies or bread.

drain:  to remove liquid from a food, such as lifting food from liquid with a slotted spoon or separating the liquid from a food using a strainer or colander.

dredge:  to cover with a powdered or fine crumb substance, such as flour or cracker crumbs.

drippings:  meat juices and fat dripped from roasted meats.

dry mustard:  mustard seed ground into a powder to serve as an herb seasoning; the base for prepared mustard; use organic whenever possible.

dust:  to sprinkle or lightly coat with gluten-free flour, salt, sugar or powdered (confectioner's) sugar.


E

eggs:  fresh large whole eggs or equivalent amounts from other size eggs, unless otherwise noted in recipe; use organic free-range whenever possible.

entreé:  modern day usage of this French term means, a main course or a main dish of a meal; historical usage refers to a small dish served between heavy courses at a formal dinner.

evaporated milk:  canned whole milk, which has been concentrated by removing 60% of its water content through evaporation; use organic whenever possible.


F

fillet: a piece of fish, poultry or other meat, without the bone.

flake:  to break certain solid foods into pieces using a fork.

flavorings:  always certified gluten-free and high quality from a dependable source; organic whenever possible.

flour:  GlutenFreeHomemade.com's signature Whole Grain Gluten Free Flour Blend recipe or White Gluten Free Flour Blend Recipe.  Commercially prepared gluten-free flour blends may be used, but may affect a given recipe's resulting food product.

fold or fold in:  to mix ingredients together using a very gentle cutting through and folding over motion to prevent loss of leavening in a fragile foam based batter or dough.

fricassee:  French term meaning, to cook meat by braising or stewing and serving it in its own stock or sauce. Sometimes the meat is lightly browned before braising or stewing.

frizzle:  to cook a food in a small amount of hot fat until the edges curl and crisp.

frosting (icing):  a spreadable confection made of sugar and other ingredients used to garnish, coat or fill cakes and other desserts.

fry/French fry:  to cook in hot fat or oil deep enough to float the food.


G

garnish:  to decorate with tiny amounts of colorful foods.

gelatin:  used to give body to sauces, soups and stews, and to thicken liquids into a stable gel.  Use unflavored gelatin, unless otherwise noted in recipe.

glaze:  to coat with a thin layer of an edible glossy substance, such as melted flavored gelatin, jelly or sugar syrup cooked to the "crack" stage.

grate:  to slide ingredient over a grater to shred ingredient into fine, medium or coarse bits.o

grill:  to cook a food by applying direct heat, such as broiling, cooking over hot coals or a gas flame, or on a hot griddle.

grind:  to reduce or crush solid food into coarse or fine particles using a food grinder.

guar gum:  a natural gum produced from a plant in the legume family; stabilizer and thickener in foods; a safe food additive used to add elasticity in gluten-free foods.


H

herbs:  fresh, dried, ground or powdered, as noted in the recipe; use organic whenever possible.

hors d'oeuvre:  A French term meaning, "appetizer".


I

icing (frosting):  a spreadable confection made of sugar and other ingredients, either cooked or uncooked, used to garnish, coat or fill cookies and other pastries.

ice cream:  a frozen dessert made of cream, sugar, flavoring and a stabilizer such as eggs, gelatin or other ingredient.


J

julienne:  to cut food into small thin strips or match-stick size pieces.


K

knead:  to work dough by repeatedly stretching, folding over and pressing with the "heel" of the hand until dough is smooth and pliable.


L

lard:  rendered pork fat; historically used as "shortening" in baked goods prior to the invention of vegetable shortening; use organic whenever possible.

leavening:  the action of certain ingredients added together to purposely react under certain conditions to produce a gas, such as air, carbon dioxide or steam, in order to cause certain foods to increase in volume or raise and become light and porous.  Common leavening ingredients include baking powder, baking soda, meringue, or yeast.

leftovers:  uneaten food remaining at the end of a meal that is set aside, stored, chilled or preserved for later use.

legumes:  seeds, such as lentils, peas or beans, from a seed bearing vegetable pod, typically of the same name; use organic whenever possible.


M

marinade:  an acid-oil mixture used to infuse foods with flavor, usually meats; can also be used to help tenderize tough cuts of meat.

marinate:  to soak in marinade.

mashed potatoes:  boiled, drained hot potatoes mashed with no added milk, butter or seasonings.

melt:  to liquefy an ingredient by heating.

meringue:  a stiff foam produced from egg whites whipped with a stabilizer, such as sugar, syrup or cream of tartar; often used to cover tops of pies or formed in various shapes and dried at low temperatures in the oven to make as candy, cookies, cake fillings and frostings, and for specialty desserts.

milk:  fresh organic sweet whole milk, unless otherwise noted in recipe.

mince:  to cut or chop into very fine pieces.

mix:  to stir together two or more ingredients.

mocha:  a rich flavor infusion produced from combining coffee and chocolate.

molasses:  dark unsulphured molasses for rich flavor and color or light molasses for more subtle flavor and lighter color (NOT blackstrap molasses).

mushrooms:  fresh portabella, button or shiitake mushrooms, unless otherwise noted in recipe; use organic whenever possible.


N

nutritional yeast (brewer's yeast):  a deactivated yeast used to fortify nutrition and as a condiment, because of its "cheesy" flavor; a complete protein nutritional supplement providing all 9 essential amino acids, high in B-complex vitamins.


P

pan broil:  to cook in a dry skillet or frying pan with no fat, oil or liquid, pouring off fat and juices as they accumulate.

pan fry:  an American term for chow, sauté or stir-fry meaning, to cook in a small amount of fat or oil.

paprika:  a mild, pungent seasoning ground from whole paprika red pepper pods; use organic whenever possible.

parboil:  to partially cook food in boiling water.

pare:  To cut off the outer covering of a food, such as a potato or carrot.

paste:  a smooth mixture of flour or starch and liquid used to thicken.

peel:  the outer covering of a fruit or vegetable; also means to remove the outer covering using a peeler utensil.

pit: to remove the "pit", "stone" or "large seed" from stone fruits, such as dates, peaches or plums.

pitted:  fruit from which the stone has been removed.

poach:  to cook food in shallow simmering water or liquid.

potato starch:  extracted from potatoes and dried into a powder.  Used as a substitute for cornstarch to thicken liquids, such as sauces, soups and stews and is a common ingredient in gluten free flour blends;  use organic whenever possible.

potato water:  water in which potatoes have been boiled.

powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar):  white sugar ground into a powder and mixed with a small amount of anti-caking agent, usually cornstarch.  Corn-free versions use other anti-caking agents, such as tapioca starch; use organic whenever possible.

preheat:  to turn on the oven and set the temperature to allow the oven to heat up to temperature prior to putting food inside to cook.

prepared mustard:  a paste made with dry mustard, vinegar and sometimes other seasonings, spices or flavorings; use organic whenever possible.

pulses (legumes):  seeds, such as lentils, peas or beans, from a seed bearing vegetable pod, typically of the same name; use organic whenever possible.

purée:  to press food through a fine mesh sieve or ricer, grind through a food mill, blend or process in a food processor with the cutting blade, to make a very thick fine textured substance, for example applesauce.


R

red pepper:  a sharp, warm seasoning with mild heat ground from whole red pepper pods; use organic whenever possible.

render:  to melt the fat to separate it from connective tissue, such as lard or tallow.

roast:  to cook using dry heat, usually in an oven.

roll:  to place food on a smooth level surface, such as a counter top or cutting board, and to spread it out into a thin layer using a rolling pin, such as creating a small shape made from dough like pie crust or cookie dough for shaped cookie cutouts.

rolled oats:  gluten-free uncooked regular or old fashioned rolled oats, unless otherwise noted in recipe:  use organic whenever possible.

roux:  A French term for a cooked mixture of fat, usually butter, flour or starch and perhaps seasonings, used to thicken liquid based foods, such as gravies, sauces, soups or stews.


S

salt:  fine granulated table salt, kosher salt or common iodized salt, unless otherwise noted in recipe; to apply salt to; to cure or season with salt.

sauté:  French term for chow, pan-fry or stir-fry, meaning to cook in a small amount of fat or oil.

scald:  to heat food just below the boiling point.

scallion:  small green onions, bulbless; use organic whenever possible.

scallop:  to bake in a casserole dish, food cut into pieces and mixed with a sauce.

score:  to slash or slice through in shallow small narrow grooves.

sear:  to brown the surface quickly with very high heat.

seasonings:  always certified gluten-free and high quality from a dependable source; use organic whenever possible.

set:  to allow a food to come together, such as allowing custards, gelatins or puddings to congeal, allowing a baked good to cool enough so it holds together when removed from a pan, such as a cake or cookie, or for a cooked meat to come to full temperature when removed from heat so the inner juices with redistribute for best flavor and texture.

shallot:  large green onions, bulbless; use organic whenever possible.

shortening or butter:  can be used interchangeably.  Use non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, organic whenever possible.

shred:  to cut or tear ingredient into long, narrow pieces, small in size.

sift:  to pass ingredient through a fine mesh screen sieve.

simmer:  to cook in liquid or water just below the boiling point in a pan on a cook top.

skewer:  a long thin piece of bamboo, wood, or metal used to lance and secure food so the food will retain its shape while cooking.

skim:  to remove foam, fat, oil or a solid substance from the surface of a cooked or cooking mixture.

slice:  to cut food into slices using a sharp knife or other kitchen tool, such as a mandolin or food processor with a slicing blade.

sliver:  to cut or shred ingredient into long, slim pieces.

soak:  to cover food with liquid for a time.

soufflé:  A light foam dish created by folding meringue into a custard sauce or other thickened sauce, often with other ingredients added, including flavorings, seasonings, bits of fruit, vegetables, fish, seafood, meats or cheeses.

sour milk or buttermilk: can be used interchangeably.  To sour milk, add 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup, and then add milk to measure 1 cup.

spices:  high quality from a dependable sources; use organic whenever possible.

steam:  to cook food in steam arising from boiling liquid or water in a pot or pan on a cooktop.

steep:  to extract flavor, nutrients, essence, color or other matter from an edible substance by letting it sit for a time in water heated just below the boiling point, for example tea, herbal teas or coffee.

stew:  to cook for a long period of time (hours) in a small amount of liquid.

stir:  to agitate one or more ingredient with a spoon using circular motions.

stir-fry:  an American term for chow, pan-fry or sauté, meaning to cook in a small amount of fat or oil.

stock:  the liquid fish meats, poultry, seafood or vegetables have been cooked in.

stuff:  to fill a cavity with a seasoned or spiced food mixture.

sugar:  fine granulated white sugar, unless otherwise noted in recipe; use organic whenever possible.

sweetened condensed milk:  canned whole milk, which has been concentrated by removing some of its water content through evaporation, and then sweetened; use organic whenever possible.


T

tallow:  rendered beef fat; historically used for making minced meat foods, suet and in candle-making; still highly prized for cooking steaks in the Western United States.

tapioca flour (tapioca starch):  extracted from cassava root and dried into a powder.  Used as a substitute for cornstarch to thicken liquids, such as sauces, soups and stews and is especially good for thickening dessert fillings, such as pie filling; a common ingredient in gluten free flour blends;  use organic whenever possible.

tenderize:  to make a food tender, usually fish, meat or poultry, by marinating or pounding or using an ingredient or mixture that tenderizes foods.

toast/toasted:  to brown by direct heat on the stove top, in the oven or in a toaster.

toss:  to lightly combine ingredients together, for example tossed salad.

truss:  to tie up a food so it holds together while cooking.


U

until set:  until a liquid or soft food becomes firm, for example as in a custard, gelatin or pudding.


V

vinegar:  an acidic fermented liquid used for a variety of purposes, usually as a food ingredient.  Varieties of vinegar include apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, distilled white vinegar, herb vinegar, malt vinegar and wine vinegar.


W

whip:  To beat a food in order to incorporate air into a food thus expanding volume, for example sweetened whipped cream; a means of leavening, for example meringue, angel food cake or soufflé.

white pepper:  a seasoning ground from the outer bark of whole peppercorns; use organic whenever possible.

white rice flour:  ground white rice used as a flour substitute instead of all-purpose wheat based flour; use organic whenever possible.


X

xanthan gum:  a natural gum produced by the culture fermentation of glucose; used as a binder, extender, stabilizer or thickener in foods; a safe food additive.


Y

yeast (baker's yeast):  a leavening agent commonly used in bread making and is available in many forms, such as cream yeast, compressed yeast, active dry yeast, instant yeast, rapid-rise yeast and deactivated yeast. For best results use the yeast indicated in the recipe.



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