Daikon - a Japanese radish.
Damson - a type of plum best used in cooking or for jams and jellies.
Dash - a seasoning measure indicating a scant 1/8 teaspoon or less.
Dashi - a clear fish stock which is the basis of Japanese dishes.
Date - the fruit of a palm tree (phoenix dactylifera) native to the Middle East and Mediterranean region; most varieties are long and ovoid (some are more spherical) with a thin papery skin that is green, becoming yellow, golden brown, black or mahogany red when ripe, extremely sweet flesh with a light brown color, chewy texture and a single, long, narrow seed; eaten fresh or dried.
Daubiere - a cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid used for braising.
Decant - to pour a liquid, generally wine, from one container to another. Red wine is decanted to remove the sediment deposited during the aging process.
Deep-Fat-Frying - to cook in hot fat (about 360 degrees) that is deep enough for food to float - usually a minimum of 3 inches..
Deglaze - to pour hot stock, wine, or water on the degreased sediment left in the roasting or frying pan in which meat has cooked. The purpose of deglazing is to dissolve the caramelized juices of meats dropped during the cooking process. This process is the secret of rich gravies, and a vital step in making good casseroles and soups.
Degrease - to skim the fat from the top of a liquid such as a sauce or stock.
Dehydration - a process that removes the water content from food
Demi-Glaze - a rich brown sauce or gravy made by reducing meat stock.
Demijohn - a large glass wine container which can hold up to 10 gallons.
Demi-Sec - a distinctive type of sweet champagne.
Demitasse - a small cup of coffee served after dinner.
Dessert wine - any sweet wine, or a wine that has been fortified by the addition of brandy.
Devein - to remove the gritty, grey-black vein running down the curved top of the shelled shrimp by slitting the top of the shrimp open and pulling it out.
Devil, to - to prepare with spicy seasoning or sauce, for instance mustard and cayenne.
Devonshire Cream - a smooth English clotted cream, akin to crème fraîche.
Dhal - the Indian name for lentils.
Dice - to cut food into tiny cubes, usually about 1/4 inch.
Digester - the pressure cooker of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Digestives - liquids or cordials often made with herbs and said to aid digestion. Usually drunk at the end of a meal.
Dijon - a French prepared mustard made in the Dijon region from black or brown mustard seeds, blended with salt, spices and white wine or verjuice; has a clean sharp, medium-hot flavor, yellow-gray color and creamy texture.
Dill - an annual plant and a member of the parsley family (Anethum graveolens); the feathery leaves have a parsley-like flavor with overtones of anise and are used fresh or dried as an herb; the flat, oval, brown seeds have a slightly bitter caraway-like flavor, also with overtones of anise, and are used as a spice.
Dilute - to make a food less concentrated or strong by adding liquid.
Dip - a thick creamy sauce or condiment, served hot or cold, to accompany raw vegetables, crackers, processed snack foods such as potato chips or the like, especially as an hors d'oeuvre; usually made with a mayonnaise, sour cream or cream cheese base and flavorings.
Dissolve - to mix a dry substance with liquid until the dry substance becomes a part of the solution.
Distilled Water - water from which all gases and minerals have been removed.
Divinities - fudge, made with brown or white sugar.
Dobos Torte - a layer cake rich with chocolate cream and caramel.
Dogfish - a common name for a species of small shark valuable for vitamin C in its liver oil.
Dolci - Italian for sweet dishes.
Dot - to randomly distribute small bits of one food (usually butter) on the surface of another food.
Dough - a mixture of flour and other ingredients used in baking and often stiff enough to cut into shapes; has a low moisture content and gluten forms the continuous medium into which other ingredients are embedded; generally has less fat, sugar and liquid than a batter.
Doughnuts - a sweet cake fried in deep fat, and made of yeast-leavened or baking powder-raised dough.
Double Boiler - two saucepans, one of which fits into the top of the other. The lower pan is partially filled with water kept boiling or near boiling to keep the food in the upper pan cooking without excessive or uneven heat.
Dragée - colored sugar-coated nuts or candies.
Drain - to allow a liquid to withdraw from, pour out of, or pour off an item, sometimes with the use of a strainer or colander.
Draw - to remove the entrails of poultry, game.
Drawn Butter - melted butter, sometimes clarified butter.
Dredge - to coat lightly with a dry ingredient, for instance, flour, sugar, bread crumbs, or cornmeal.
Dress - to draw and clean a fowl for cooking. Also, to add dressing to a salad; to garnish.
Drippings - the fat, juices, and other residues separated from meat during cooking and left in the pan, or crusted onto the bottom of the pan. What actually happens is that the substance in the animal juices caramelizes, just as sugar does, on the bottom of a hot pan. Diluting and scraping these up, the cook created the basis for the flavor of the best stews and soups and gravies. Drippings from roasts or sautéed meats in cast iron utensils caramelize exceptionally well, and make possible tastier casseroles and gravies.
Dry Ice - used for refrigeration, this crystallized carbon dioxide is ice that does not produce water when melted. Don’t touch with bare hands and avoid prolonged breathing in an atmosphere saturated by melting dry ice.
Duchesse - a term for potatoes pureed with milk and butter.
Dumpling - a small ball of dough or bread or potatoes, steamed, or simmered in a stew or soup. Sweet dumplings are usually baked and contain fruit.
Dundee Cake - a rich fruitcake covered with blanched almonds.
Durum Wheat - a variety of hard wheat used for making pasta.
Dust - to lightly sprinkle with a dry ingredient, such as flour.
Dutch Oven - a cast iron pot with a tightly fitting lid used to braise and sometimes to bake.
Duxelles - a hash of minced mushroom, shallots and herbs simmered in butter, used to flavor soups, sauces, and stuffings or to garnish.
Dredge - to coat with something, usually flour or sugar.
Drippings - fat and liquid resulting from cooking meat.
Drizzle - to sprinkle drops of liquid lightly or pour a very fine stream of liquid over food.
Duck - one of the principal USDA-recognized kinds of poultry; any of several varieties of domesticated web-footed swimming birds used for food; has a high percentage of bone and fat to meat, fatty skin, no light meat and a rich flavor; significant varieties include the Long Island duck and muscovy duck.