Foodie Terms

When you start a new job or learn a new hobby, there is a new vocabulary that needs to be learned. In my various jobs throughout the years, even though they have all been in the same field, each one has come with its own list of acronyms and pieces of terminology.

This unique vocabulary is also true with cooking. I will occasionally pull up a recipe (it used to be much more often) where an ingredient or a cooking step includes something that I am not familiar with. A quick internet search later and the problem is solved and my cooking vocabulary has grown just a little bit.

A few years ago, the editors at American Heritage Dictionaries published a book called, 100 Words for Foodies. The intent was to provide foodies, emerging foodies and wanna be foodies a good definition of some of the words they have been seeing. The list is an interesting one, composed up of ethnic dishes and ingredients, and cooking styles. Here are a few from the list:

  • beignet – A New Orleans breakfast staple, it is a pastry similar to a doughnut or sweet fritter. I once spent 40 minutes in line getting one
  • ceviche – Using food acid (typically lime and or lemon juice) to “cook”. Often raw or partially cooked seafood is placed in a bowl with the juice and becomes “cooked” over time. Check out this great shrimp cocktail ceviche.
  • chipotle – Really? Chipotle peppers are so much a part of my cooking that I can’t imagine who is not aware that a smoked jalapeño is a chipotle.
  • gazpacho – I first hard gazpacho (cold tomato and vegetable soup) late in life but love, love, love it. When fresh tomatoes become ripe I cannot wait to make a batch. Check it out here.
  • mandoline – Having just used mine earlier today to thinly slice a dill pickle for a sandwich, the mandolin is in indispensable part of my kitchen.
  • pierogi – Living in Cleveland, this dumpling is ever-present.
  • roux – Learning how to make this simple paste of cooked butter and flour can take a so-so recipe to new heights.

Here is the whole list. How many do you need to look up?

aioli, amaranth, arrabbiata, baba gannouj, bacalao, bain-marie, beignet, bialy, biryani, blanch, bruschetta, bulgogi, cardamom, ceviche, chaat, challah, chayote, chiffonade, chipotle, choucroute, cilantro, couscous, croque-monsieur, dahl, deglaze, dim sum, edamame, emulsify, epazote, falafel, farci, fenugreek, Florentine, focaccia, fufu, gado gado, galangal, ganache, garam masala, garlic, gazpacho, gravlax, gremolata, haggis, hamantasch, hominy, hoppin’ John, induction cooking, injera, julienne, junket, kecap manis, kibbeh, kimchi, lavash, linguiça, lovage, macerate, madeleine, mandoline, mezzaluna, mezze, mole, mouthfeel, nacho, nopal, nuoc mam, orzo, pawpaw, pho, piccata, pierogi, polenta, ponzu, poutine, purslane, quahog, ramekin, rissole, rouille, roux, salsa, sancocho, shawarma, soba, souvlaki, speck, tagine, tamale, tatsoi, teff, tomalley, umami, vindaloo, wasabi, waterzooi, xanthan gum, yakitori, yuca, zabaglione

Photo Jan 26, 6 12 12 PM copy - Featured Size

To make this delicious Mediterranean Turkey Breast with Lemon and Garlic, you will need to deglaze (from the list above) the pan.

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7 ingredients.

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Marinate the turkey.

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In the pan.

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It’s done.

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Deglazing the pan to make the sauce.

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Mediterranean Turkey Breast with Lemon and Garlic

prep 1 hr 10 mins ∙ cook 45 mins ∙ makes 8 ∙ difficulty Easy ∙ source My collection


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 (1 lb) boneless, skinless turkey breast halves
  • 1 1/2 cups lower sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper


1) Combine oil, zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a gallon sized zip close bag. Seal bag and shake to mix. Add turkey, seal bag again, and turn over several times to coat turkey with marinade. Refrigerate for 1 hour, turning the bag frequently to keep turkey coated.

2) Heat oven to 450°. Heat a large cast iron or other oven proof skillet over medium high heat. Add turkey, skinned sides down and cook until browned, about 4-5 minutes. Turn turkey and pour in marinade. Transfer skillet to oven and roast for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375° and continue to roast, brushing occasionally with marinade, until an instant read thermometer inserted into meat registers 165°, 25-30 minutes.

3) Transfer turkey to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Pour juices from skillet into a fat separator or glass measure; skim off fat. Set skillet over medium high heat; return pan juices to skillet and add broth. Bring to boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits (also known as deglazing), and boil until reduced to 1 cup, 3-5 minutes. Add any juices that have accumulated on cutting board. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Slice turkey and serve with sauce.

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Categories: Fruit 2, kosher, Low Carb, Main Dish 3, Recipes, Turkey

Author:The Ranting Chef

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5 Comments on “Foodie Terms”

  1. September 6, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    I didn’t need to look up any. Being married to a professional chef has its advantages; I’ve learned a lot from my husband.


  2. September 6, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

    Reblogged this on Smriti "Simmi" D. Isaac and commented:
    Thoughts for food…


  3. September 7, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

    Baccalao – it was the only one, but I deny being a foodie, and will so till my end days! I’m just a cook, ma’am, just a cook….


  4. February 27, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    I don’t know all those Foodie Terms but I know a good many of them… such as ‘poutine’ because I’ve lived in the province of Quebec two different times. And I sure do miss my poutine !! (Great turkey recipe – pinning it, as I always do!)



  1. Foodie Terms | Rantings of an Amateur Chef - February 27, 2015

    […] I had a post about a book that listed 100 terms that every foodie should know, but that is only the tip of the iceberg of food vocabulary. When I am looking up a term, I can […]


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