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Cooking Terms - F

Farmer Cheese - A form of cottage cheese, pressed to remove most of the liquid. Dry farmer cheese is firm enough to slice or crumble, and may be eaten as is or used in cooking.
Recipe: Honey Cake With Farmer's Cheese

Fatback - Fat from the back of a pig. Fatback is often confused with salt pork, which comes from the belly or sides of a pig. Fatback may be used to make lard or cracklings, as well as for seasoning. Fresh fatback may be refrigerated for up to a week, or up to a month if cured.

Filé Powder - A seasoning made of sassafras leaves. Filé is traditionally used to flavor and thicken Creole dishes, such as gumbo.
Recipe: Chicken Gumbo

Fillet - A boneless piece of meat or fish. Also spelled filet (French).

Fines Herbes - A mixture of finely chopped herbs, usually including (but not limited to) chervil, chives, parsley, and tarragon.

Five Spice Powder - A Chinese seasoning. Five spice powder contains equal amounts of cinnamon, cloves, ground star anise, fennel, and Szechuan peppercorns.
Recipe: Mountain Trout with Ginger

Flake - To use a fork or other utensil to break off pieces or layers of food.

Flan - A round pastry tart with sweet or savory filling, or a Spanish baked custard.
Recipe: Recita de Flan Antigua

Flank Steak - A long, fibrous cut of beef which comes from an animal's lower hindquarters. Flank steak is usually tenderized by marinating, then broiled or grilled and cut thinly across the grain.
Recipe: Grilled Flank Steak with Onions

Flauta - A corn tortilla wrapped around a savory filling and fried.

Florentine - A butter, cream, and fruit cookie, one side is often coated with chocolate. Also may refer to dishes presented on a spinach and topped with Mornay sauce.
Recipe: Florentines

Flour - (verb) To lightly sprinkle or coat with flour.

Flute - To press a scalloped or decorative design into the edge of a pie crust.

Fold - To incorporate a light mixture with a heavy mixture, such as beaten egg whites into batter or custard. The lighter mixture is placed on the heavier mixture, and a spatula is used to gently cut down and through the lighter mixture to the bottom of the bowl then up again. This procedure gently turns the mixtures over on top of each other, and is repeated until the two mixtures are combined.
Recipe: Macaroon Soufflé

Fondant - A mixture of sugar, water, and cream of tartar, cooked to the soft-ball stage, then beaten and kneaded. Fondant is used as a filling for candy or for decorating cakes.

Formaggio - Italian word for cheese.
Recipe: Zuppa di Formaggio

Freezer Burn - A loss of moisture in foods when improperly wrapped before freezing. Freezer burn affects both the texture and flavor of food, and is evidenced by dry patches which may be whitish or grayish in color.

French Fry - To deep-fry food, such as strips of potatoes.

Fricassee - To cook or stew pieces of sauteed meat in a sauce, usually with vegetables. Wine is often used as a flavoring.
Recipe: Chicken Fricassee with Vegetables

Frijoles - Mexican word for beans.
Recipe: Frijoles

Frittata - An Italian dish made of eggs and other ingredients. Similar to an omelet, but the ingredients are combined with the eggs rather than folded into the center.
Recipe: Frittata con gli Spinaci

Fritter - A sweet or savory deep-fried cake. A fritter may incorporate food into the batter or single pieces of food may be dipped in batter.
Recipes: Recipes for Fritters

Frizzle - To fry thin slices of meat or other food until the edges curl.

Fromage - French word for cheese.
Recipe: Soufflé au Fromage

Frost - To apply sugar, frosting, glaze, or icing to fruit, cake, or other food.

Frosting - A sugar mixture used on cakes, cookies, pastries, and other baked foods. Also called icing.
Recipe: Creamy Butter Frosting
Chocolate Butter Frosting

Fry - To cook food in fat over moderate to high heat.

Fry Bread - A thin, fried bread made from flour, water or milk, and salt. Fry bread is a traditional bread of many Southwest Native Americans.

Fryer - A size classification for chicken. A fryer is from 9 to 12 weeks old and weighs from 3 to 4 pounds.
Recipe: Baked Chicken Halves with Rice

Fudge - A semisoft candy usually made with sugar, butter, milk or cream, corn syrup, and flavorings.
Recipe: Fudge Recipe Index

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