Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Vocabulary of Cooking.....W

And so, we are on the "W's" in our never ending quest to understand culinary terminology.  Today is everything from wafers to woks.

Let's begin:

Wafer - is a thin, sweet biscuit.

A crispy wafer added to ice cream.
Waffle - a light, thin batter cake baked in a special grill called a waffle iron. Basic batter is the same as pancakes. This crisp, quick bread has a honeycombed surface of pockets that ideally hold puddles of butter and syrup.

a waffle with butter and syrup
Wasabi - is a spice that comes from a knobby green root of the Japanese plant wasbia japonica. It has the same warming or stinging nasal sensation as horseradish.

Wasabi plant
Wassail - is a festive drink consisting of wine (or ale) sweetened with sugar and flavoured with spices. This is an excellent holiday beverage for your winter parties.
Wassail at the holidays
Here's what you need:

1 1/2 quarts apple cider 
1 quart unsweetened cranberry juice
4 cinnamon sticks
10 allspice berries
1 small slice of ginger
1 orange, sliced
1/4 cup cranberries
1/2 - 1 cup brandy (optional)

Here's what you do:

Place all ingredients, except the brandy, in a large, non-reactive pot or crockpot and bring to a low boil.  Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover. Simmer for at least 2 hours (may be kept in a crock pot for 4 hours). About 15 minutes before serving, add the brandy and continue to simmer on low.

Strain out the spices and fruit and serve with cinnamon sticks and fresh slices of orange.
Watercress - a delicate leafy green from the mustard family with a peppery flavor.

Fresh watercress
Waterzooi - is a rich Belgian chicken or fish soup made with wine.

Water bath - is a gentle cooking technique in which a container is set in a pan of simmering water.

Water Chestnut - is the fruit of a water plant (genus Trapa) native to Southeast Asia; has a brownish-black skin, ivory to tan flesh, crisp texture and slightly sweet, nutty flavour; used in various Asian cuisine.

Water Chestnuts
Wellington - is a beef tenderloin baked in a rich dough until the meat is slightly rare and the crust is crisp and golden.

Beef Wellington

Welsh rarebit - is melted cheddar cheese, flavored with beer, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce and served very hot over toast.

Welsh Rarebit
Whelk - is a marine snail.
Whip - is to beat a preparation with the goal of introducing air into it. Or, the balloon wire whisk often used to do so.

Whisk - to mix or vigorously move a mixture to aerate it i.e. to mix with a balloon whisk

White button mushrooms - is the most common variety of mushrooms with good earthy flavor. Can be eaten raw or cooked.

White Button Mushrooms
White chocolate - is cocoa butter flavored with sugar and milk solids. Does not contain cocoa solids.
White Chocolate
Wiener Schnitzel - a veal cutlet, breaded and fried.
Wiener Schnitzel
Wild Rice - the grains of a reed-like aquatic plant (Zizania aquatica) unrelated to rice; grown in the United States and Canada. The grains are long, slender and black, with a distinctive earthy, nutty flavor.
Wild Rice

Wok - is a bowl-shaped frying pan used typically in Chinese cooking.


We are very near the end of the alphabet. Just X, Y, and Z to go. Stay tune.

Now go out and make something good.

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