Rack - a rib section of meat. Rib ends may be decorated with papillotes.
Raclette - a cheese dish related to fondue, and perhaps it’s earliest form. A chunk of cheese that melts smoothly and easily is brought to the table melting under a broiler or in one of the raclette stoves for making the dish. It is served with a boiled potato for each diner and side dishes of tiny cocktail onions, dilled pickles, and gherkins. Diners scrape the melting portion of the cheese onto a bit of mashed potato, and add a spicy relish to each bite. The word racler means to scrape.
Radish - a member of the mustard family grown for its root (Raphanus sativus); generally, the crisp white flesh has a mild to peppery flavor and is usually eaten raw.
Ragoèt - a stew made with meat, poultry, or fish, cooked simply with or without vegetables.
Ramekin - a small dish designed to both bake and serve individual portions. Also, a cheese dish with bread crumbs or pastry.
Rarebit - melted cheese poured onto toast. It is one of a group of dishes called ‘savory’ sometimes served after the sweet at a formal English meal.
Rasher - British. The word “rash” means to slice. A rasher is a slice of bacon or raw ham, cut in any thickness.
Raisin - a sweet dried grape.
Raspberry - a small ovoid or conical-shaped berry (Rubus idaeus) composed of many connecting drupelets (tiny individual sections of fruit, each with its own seed) surrounding a central core; has a sweet, slightly acidic flavor; the three principal varieties are black, golden and red.
Raspings - very finely grated stale bread.
Ratatouille - a southern French dish of vegetables cooked together. Usually included are diced onion, sautéed in oil, eggplant, garlic, green peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, flavored with oregano, thyme, rosemary and basil.
Ravioli - Italian for little wraps; used to describe small squares or rounds of pasta stuffed with meat, cheese or vegetables.
Recipe - a set of written instructions for producing a specific food or beverage; also known as a formula (especially with regards to baked goods).
Reduce - to rapidly boil or simmer a liquid until the volume is decreased through evaporation. This process thickens the liquid and intensifies the flavor.
Refresh - to immerse hot vegetables in ice water to set the color and flavor. The food is then drained and reheated in butter or sauce.
Relish - a cooked or pickled sauce usually made with vegetables or fruits and often used as a condiment; can be smooth or chunky, sweet or savory and hot or mild.
Remoulade - a rich mayonnaise-based sauce containing anchovy paste, capers, herbs, and mustard.
Render - to melt fat away from surrounding meat.
Rennet - a substance used to coagulate milk for cheese-making, or to set certain puddings, such as junket.
Rhubarb - A member of the buckwheat family, its thick, celerylike stalks of can reach up to 2 feet long, which are the only edible portion of the plant — the leaves contain oxalic acid and can therefore be toxic. Though rhubarb is generally eaten as a fruit, it's botanically a vegetable. There are many varieties of this plant, most of which fall into two basic types, hothouse and field grown. Hothouse rhubarb is distinguished by its pink to pale red stalks and yellow-green leaves, whereas field or garden-grown plants (which are more pronounced in flavor) have cherry red stalks and green leaves. Because of its intense tartness, rhubarb is usually combined with a considerable amount of sugar. It makes delicious sauces, jams and desserts and in some regions is also known as pieplant because of its popularity for that purpose. In America, a traditional flavor combination is rhubarb and strawberries; in Britain, rhubarb and ginger. Rhubarb contains a fair amount of vitamin A.
Rice - the starch seed of a semiaquatic grass (Oryza sativa), probably originating in Southeast Asia and now part of most cuisines; divided into three types based on seed size; long-grain, medium-grain and short-grain, each of which is available in different processed forms such as white rice and brown rice.
Ricer - a colander like utensil that forces food through tiny holes, giving potatoes, for instance, the texture of cooked rice.
Rice Vinegar - a mild white vinegar good for salads and used in Chinese cuisine.
Rigatoni - Italian for large groove and used to describe large grooved, slightly curved pasta tubes.
Rillettes - a pâté of pork that is somewhat coarser than liver pâtés.
Rind - outer shell or peel of fruit.
Risotto - Italian rice dishes. A risotto is rather like a pilaf, and may have any number of flavorings.
Roast, to - to cook by dry heat, usually in an oven.
Roe - fish eggs. Caviar is the most famous use of roe.
Rollmop - a herring, particularly when marinated for a long period with gherkins or other pickles.
Rose Water - a liquid flavored with the oil of rose petals. It is used to flavor desserts in Balkan, Indian and Middle Eastern cooking.
Rosemary - an herb (Rosmarinus officinalis) with silver-green, needle-shaped leaves, a strong flavor reminiscent of lemon and pine and a strong, sharp camphor-like aroma; available fresh and dried.
Roulade - a food rolled around a stuffing. Paupiettes is one example. Peach roulade and a stuffed genoese s another.
Roux - is a paste of butter and flour that is used to thicken almost everything in Western cooking. A white roux is the base for white, or cream sauces, such as sauce béchamel, used with chicken, vegetables and fish. A brown roux is the base for much cajun creole cooking and for many rich casseroles. The time allowed for the cooking determines the color of the roux.
Royale - a thin custard cooled and cut into decorative shapes. Used to garnish soups primarily.
Rump Roast - a boneless cut from the leg.
Rusks - twice-toasted bread or cake.
Rutabaga - also called Swede, this is a yellow winter turnip, more strongly flavored than the white and purple turnips of spring. It is excellent with turkey and duck, and in soups and stews.