Cooking Glossary - G
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
Galantine - [French] A patй-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
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
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 sautйed chicken breast does little. A small handful of
parsley sprinkled over the same meat adds great flavor and lends color contrast.
Garnitures - Garnishes
Gвteau - [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 purйe 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
purйe of cucumber, and served with an array of garnishes for the diner to
choose from. Roasted almonds, avocados, and croutons are common garnishes.
Geflьgel - [German] poultry.
Gefьllte - [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.
Gelй - [French] jellied; iced.
Gem - A muffin.
Gem irons - Cast iron muffin pans.
Gem pan - Muffin pan.
Gemьse - [German] vegetables.
Genevoise - A sauce for fish made from a special white roux.
Gйnoise - 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.
Glacй - [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 glacйs
are used, but their flavor can become dirty tasting and bitter from too long of
Glacй 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
Goat cheese - Also packaged as "chиvre," 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
Golden syrup - [Great Britain] Light Karo syrup is the U.S.
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 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.
Gratinйe - 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
Greaseproof paper - wax or waxed paper.
Greasy sack outfit - Used packouts on mules instead of a chuck
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
Grenouilles - [French] frogs, frogs' legs.
Griddle - A flat metal surface with a handle, for making pancakes,
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
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
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
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.
Gьero 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
Guiche - [French] Alsatian open tart with savoury filling on top of
cream and eggs. Equivalent to quiche.
Guineнtos - [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, filй 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.