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Cooking Terms - T

Tabasco Sauce - A brand of sauce made from small, hot, red tabasco peppers, vinegar, and salt. Tabasco Sauce is used in a wide variety of dishes.
Recipe: Chicken Louisiana

Taco - A Mexican "sandwich," tacos are filled corn tortillas. Typical fillings may include meat, poultry, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, onion, guacamole, refried beans and salsa. Recipes: Taco Recipe

Tahini - A paste of ground sesame seeds and a flavor similar to peanut butter.
Recipe: Eggplant Dip - Baba Ghanoush

Tamale - Tamales are filled softened corn husks. The filling may contain a wide variety of ingredients, which are wrapped in a masa dough then placed within a softened corn husk. The husks are then tied and steamed until the filling is cooked. Only the filling (not the husk) is eaten. See: Tamale Dough and Fillings

Tapioca - A starch from the root of the cassava plant, tapioca comes in several forms including granules, pellets (pearl tapioca), and flour. The pellets--also called pearl tapioca--are used mainly to make puddings. Instant tapioca and tapioca flour are often used to thicken dishes such as fruit fillings, glazes, soups, and stews.
Recipe: Tapioca Pudding with Apples - 1894 Style

Tarragon - An aromatic herb with dark green leaves and an anise-like flavor. Tarragon is used in a variety of dishes, including chicken, vegetables, fish, and sauces.
Recipe: Chicken Breasts with Tarragon and Cream

Tasso - A lean and highly-seasoned piece of cured pork or beef, tasso is hard to find outside of Louisiana. It's used like ham or salt pork to flavor pastas, beans, and other dishes.

Terrine - A deep covered baking dish, a terrine is often made of earthenware.

Thicken - To make a liquid more thick by reducing or adding a roux, starch, or eggs.

Thin - To dilute a mixture by adding more liquid.

Thyme - A grayish green herb, thyme has minty, light flavor.
Recipe: Roast Beef with Garlic and Thyme

Toffee - A chewy candy made with water, sugar or cream and butter, and sometimes nuts or chocolate. Toffee is cooked to 260° to 310° depending on the recipe.
Recipe: Toffee Bars

Tofu - A cake made of bean curd, which is made from soybeans. High in protein, tofu is often used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes.
Recipe: Pina Colada Tofu Shake
Japanese Tofu Salad

Torte - A decorated cake with several layers. The layers of a torte are often made with ground nuts or breadcrumbs, and very little flour.
Recipe: Orange Date Torte

Tortilla - An unleavened Mexican bread, tortillas are flat and round. They may be made with flour or masa (corn flour).
Recipe: Corn Tortillas

Truss - To hold a food together so it will retain its shape. Poultry and some roasts are often tied with twine or held together with skewers.

Turmeric - A yellow spice with a warm and mellow flavor, turmeric is related to ginger. Turmeric is used in prepared mustard and curry powder, and it's a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking.
Recipe: Bread and Butter Pickles

Turnip Greens - A strong-flavored green, turnip greens have long been popular in the South. Turnip greens may be boiled, steamed, or stir-fried. In the South, they're often cooked with salt pork or ham hocks and are almost always served with cornbread.
Recipe: Basic Southern-Style Greens

Turtle Bean - A small black bean, also known as "black bean." The beans have long been popular in Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Southern U.S..
See: Black Bean Soup

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