Tabasco pepper; Tabasco Sauce - A very hot, small red pepper originally from the Mexican state of Tabasco. The word itself means "damp earth." Though these peppers are now grown in parts of Louisiana, they're not widely commercially available. Instead, they're used specifically to make Tabasco Sauce, a trademarked name held by the McIlhenny family since the mid-1800s. Produced since Civil War times, this fiery sauce is made from tabasco peppers, vinegar and salt. The peppers are fermented in barrels for 3 years before being processed into the sauce.
Table D’Hôte - a complete meal of specific courses offered at one set price.
Tablespoon - a measure of volume in the U.S. system; 1 tablespoon (T.) = 3 teaspoons or 1/2 fluid ounce.
Tabooli / Taboule - a Middle Eastern mint salad made with cracked wheat, tomatoes, parsley, lemon juice, onion and olive oil.
Taco - a Mexican-style sandwich consisting of a fried or soft tortilla folded around a filling such as beef, pork, chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, onion, refried beans and salsa.
Tagiatelle - wide egg noodles.
Tahini - a paste made from crushed sesame seeds and used to flavor Middle Eastern dishes. When combined with a little oil, it is used as a spread on bread.
Tamale - a cornhusk spread with cornmeal and filled with chili-seasoned chicken, beef, or cheese, then rolled and steamed.
Tamari - a type of soy sauce.
Tangelo - a fruit that is a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine.
Taro - a tropical food plant whose potato-like root is the basis for poi, a staple of Polynesian cooking.
Tarragon - an herb (Artemisia dracunculus) native to Siberia with narrow, pointed, dark green leaves, tiny gray flowers, a distinctive anise-like flavor with undertones of sage and a strong aroma; available fresh and dried.
Tempura - Japanese dish of vegetables and fish, including shrimp, dipped in batter, deep fried and served with a sauce.
Terrine - an earthenware covered dish often decorative or in animal shapes, used for cooking meatloaf or pâté of minced meat, poultry or liver. A dish that is often used to serve soup.
Thermometer - a device designed to measure temperatures; can be calibrated in Fahrenheit and/or Celsius and can be a column of mercury with temperatures indicated on a glass tube or a stem-type thermometer in which temperatures are noted by an arrow on a dial or a digital readout.
Thicken - the process of making a liquid substance dense by adding a thickening agent (ex. flour, gelatin) or by cooking to evaporate some of the liquid.
Thimbleberry - 1. A wild raspberry. 2. Any of several thimble-shaped American raspberries, especially the black raspberry
Thyme - a low-growing herb (Thymus vulgaris) with small purple flowers and tiny, gray-green leaves; the leaves have a strong, slightly lemony flavor and aroma; used fresh or dried.
To taste - to add an ingredient, such as salt and pepper, to a recipe in an amount which indicates the personal preference of the cook.
Toad in the Hole - an English name for meat, sausage or lamb cutlets baked in batter. Also, an egg, sautéed in a hole cut from a piece of bread.
Toast - to lightly brown the surface of a food using dry heat, such as baking or broiling in a hot oven or in a dry skillet on top of the stove.
Tortilla - a round, thin, unleavened Mexican flatbread made from masa or wheat flour and baked on a griddle, eaten plain or wrapped around various fillings.
Toss - to combine ingredients quickly and gently with a lifting motion using two utensils.
Tournedo - a small thick slice of beef fillet, considered of the choicest quality; often served with a sauce.
Treacle - the British word for molasses.
Trifle - Originally from England, a dessert made in layers with sponge cake or ladyfingers moistened with spirits, covered with jam and custard, topped with whipped cream and garnished with candied or fresh fruits, nuts and/or grated chocolate and refrigerated for several hours before serving. A footed trifle dish shows this colorful dessert at its best with straight sides and clear glass.
Trim - to remove undesirable portions of a food item (ex. external fat from a cut of beef or stems from grapes) before further preparation or service.
Triple Sec - a clear, orange-flavored liqueur. Used to make the alcohol drink, Margarita.
Truffle - any of the subterranean edible fungi of the genus tuber. Prized in French cooking for its aroma, and used in luxury dishes, particularly pates of goose liver.
Truffle, Chocolate - a sweet chocolate specialty from Flanders made with hot melted bittersweet chocolate, mixed with beaten egg yolks, butter, rum and cream. The mixture is cooled then rolled in cocoa powder.
Tuile - French for "tile," a tuile is a thin, crisp cookie that is placed over a rounded object (like a rolling pin) while still hot from the oven. (a tuile mold can be purchased) Once cooled and stiff, the cookie resembles a curved roof tile. The classic tuile is made with crushed almonds but the cookie can also be flavored with orange, lemon, vanilla or other nuts.
Truss, to - to tie or secure with string or skewers the legs and wings of poultry or game in order to make the bird easier to manage during cooking.
Tureen - a large, deep bowl with a lid, used to serve soup.
Turmeric - a spice derived from the root of a tropical plant related to ginger. It has a bitter, pungent flavor and an intense yellow-orange color. In Biblical times, turmeric was often used to make perfume, a comment on its rather exotic fragrance. Today it's used mainly to add both flavor and color to food. Turmeric is very popular in East Indian cooking and is almost always used in curry preparations. It's also a primary ingredient in mustard and is what gives American-style prepared mustard its bright yellow color.
Turnover - Pastry-dough circles or squares that are covered with a sweet or savory filling, then folded in half to create a pastry in the shape of a triangle or semicircle. The edges are usually pinched or crimped to prevent the filling from leaking. Turnovers may be baked or deep-fried. They can range from bite-size to about 6 inches across and can be served as appetizers, luncheon entrées or desserts.
Tutti-Frutti - An Italian term meaning "all fruits" that refers to a preserve made with various diced fruits mixed with sugar and brandy. It's since been used to describe the flavor of ice cream or other desserts that contain a variety of minced, candied fruits.
Tzimmes - traditionally served on Rosh Hashana, this sweet Jewish dish consists of various combinations of fruits, meat and vegetables. Tzimmes may include brisket of beef, sweet potatoes, potatoes, farfel, prunes and other dried fruit, carrots or apple flavored with honey and often cinnamon. This casserole-style dish is cooked at very low heat so the flavors have a chance to blend.