Ingredient Glossary
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Ingredient Description Recipes
Saffron Threads The dried orange stigmas of the purple crocus . Approximately a quarter of a million stigmas must be handpicked to make one pound of saffron. At $2000 a pound it is the most expensive spice in the world. Saffron imparts its characteristic flavor to Bouillabaisse Paella and is an integral part of Northern Indian Cuisine.
Sage This grayishgreen herb from the Mediterranean has a pungent robust flavor which is traditionally combined with pork rosemary thyme and other assertive flavors in stuffing and sausages. Sage possesses many medicinal properties: It has been used against colds and other maladies as a decongestant antimicrobial and muscle relaxant. Sage tea works to lessen lactation and hot flashes associated with menopause.
Sake A rice wine with a mildly sweet flavor sake is a cornerstone of Japanese cooking. In addition to providing flavor it helps to decrease fishy flavors tenderize food and provide balance to saltiness. Sake is the national alcoholic beverage of Japan.
Savory There are two types of this Mediterranean herb winter savory and summer savory. Both have a peppery thyme/mintlike flavor although summer savory is milder and used more extensively than the winter variety. Savory is often combined with fatty and/or acidic foods as it aids in their digestion.
Sea Salt Made by the process of solar evaporation whereby salt crystals are harvested from sea water which has been evaporated and thus concentrated over a period of many years. While primarily sodium chloride sundried sea salt is a source of all the trace elements found in sea water.
Sesame Oil The unrefined variety has a nutty aroma and contains compounds that render it resistant to oxidation. Sesame oil is 50 percent monounsaturated and 50 percent polyunsaturated containing the omega 6 essential fatty acid linoleic acid. It may be used in cooking as long as temperatures do not exceed 325F.
Sesame Seeds Widely used in Asia Africa and the Mediterranean these tasty seeds are an abundant source of protein vitamin E and calcium the latter being concentrated in the hull. Unfortunately the calcium is bound up with oxalic acid rendering it unavailable for use in the body. Soaking the seeds overnight in salted water and then lightly roasting them will lessen the oxalic acid content.
Shiitake Mushrooms Available both dried and fresh shiitakes have a rich meaty flavor and texture. The fresh ones are wonderful sauteed grilled or broiled. Dried shiitakes work best in stocks due to their tough chewy texture. Shiitakes contain substances proven to stimulate the immune system and lower high cholesterol.
Soba A Japanese noodle made from buckwheat or a combination of buckwheat and wheat flour. Other varieties contain wild mountain yam green tea or green mugwort herb. Soba is available in health food stores as well as Japanese food stores.
Soy Mayonnaise A vegan version of the classic sauce containing tofu (instead of eggs) oil sweetener acid (vinegar and/or lemon juice) mustard spices and various processed gums. While eggless mayonnaise is widely available in health food stores the commercial varieties all use refined oils; it is best to make your own using an unrefined oil and no gums.
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