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  • Gorgonzola

    A cow's milk blue cheese from Italy, Gorgonzola comes in two varieties. Gorgonzola Dolce (sweet), which is mild with a rich, creamy interior that makes it an excellent choice for cooking. It has an ivory-colored interior that can be lightly or thickly streaked with bluish-green veins in layers. Mountain Gorgonzola (also called naturale) has a crumbly, dry texture and a potent blue flavor that

  • dried apricots
    dried apricots

    Dried apricots are pitted, unpeeled apricot halves that have been mostly dehydrated. There are two main types of dried apricots: Turkish and California.

  • dried cranberries
    dried cranberries

    Dried cranberries are cranberries that have been dehydrated and sweetened, and some commercial brands are coated in vegetable oil so that they do not stick together. Cranberries add a tart kick to a...

  • dry red wine

    Delicious for drinking with food, dry red wines (dry meaning they have less sugar) are also useful in cooking. As with white wines, the acidity in red wine will punch up other flavors in the dish, provided there's not too much tannin or oak flavors to overshadow the food.

  • dry white wine

    White wine is a pantry staple for most cooks, and it's really versatile. Use it to deglaze the brown bits for a pan sauce for sautéed fish, chicken, pork, or mushrooms. Use it in risotto for a good touch of acidity. Add it to a pot of shellfish just before you put the lid on for steaming.

  • Dungeness crab

    The Dungeness crab has white-tipped claws and a brownish shell, and boasts an average shell width of about 7 inches.

  • Dutch-processed cocoa powder

    In the mid-nineteenth century, a Dutch chocolate manufacturer came up with a process by which he could better control and standardize the color and flavor of cocoa.

  • eggs

    Eggs are such as basic, everyday ingredient that it's easy to overlook their powerful and diverse functions in cooking and baking. Eggs give structure to baked goods (cakes, muffins, pancakes) as well as savory foods like meatloaf. They work as a leavener, thickener and binder in sauces like hollandaise and mayonnaise and give smoothness to everything from custards to truffles. The whites have a drying ability that can help crisp waffles, meringues, and cream puffs, and their proteins can clarify soups. All this and eggs are nutritious and delicious on their own whether poached, fried, scrambled, or made into an omelet or frittata. Though salmonella is rare in eggs, people at risk should not consume raw or undercooked eggs. Pasteurized eggs, available at many markets, are a good alternative in such cases.

  • egg whites

    Egg white is a mixture of protein (10%) and water. In baked goods, they help dry out and crisp. In deep -fry batters, whites help repel grease making a lighter product. But egg whites are best known for how they whip up to lofty heights to be used in soufflés, meringues, angel food cakes, and chiffon pies.

  • egg yolks

    Egg yolk is the glorious yellow center of an egg, containing most of the nutrients as well as the fat and the cholesterol.

  • English cucumbers

    Also known as greenhouse, European, or seedless cucumbers, English cucumbers are 10 to 12 inches long and slender and are usually sold in plastic sleeves. With their thin skins, undeveloped seeds...

  • escarole

    Escarole, a member of the chicory family, has wide, succulent stems and leaves that look more crumpled than curly. Like other chicories, it has a bitter flavor, though somewhat less so than curly endive. Though it can be eaten raw in salads, its hearty leaves benefit from cooking and is delicious with bacon, sausage, and added to white bean soups.

  • tofu

    Tofu is made from soybeans, water, and a coagulant, such as calcium sulfate, nigari (a natural sea salt extract), magnesium chloride (also an extract of sea salt), calcium chloride (derived from a mineral ore), vinegar, or lemon or lime juice.

  • farmer's cheese

    Farmer's cheese is pressed cottage cheese, and as a result is drier and holds a shape (often rectangular) but is still spreadable.

  • fennel

    The general name "fennel" applies to two varieties of the plant: Florence fennel, or finocchio, and common fennel. Florence fennel has a bulbous base, long celery-like stalks, and delicate bright green fronds. Common fennel is the variety of the plant from which fennel seeds are harvested.

  • fenugreek

    A grassy, slightly bitter herb used in Indian cuisine (the seeds are also used).

  • fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds come from common fennel. These oblong, greenish-brown seeds are often confused with aniseeds, which are similar in flavor and appearance, but smaller.

  • fenugreek seeds

    Tan, squarish fenugreek seeds are an important ingredient in Indian cuisine (as are fenugreek leaves). They're used in many spice blends, including South Indian sambhar powder. The flavor is bitter...

  • feta

    Feta is a rindless, white cheese aged in brine originally from Greece.

  • fettuccine

    Fettuccine, Italian for "little ribbons," is a kind of pasta. These wide, flat noodles can stand up to cream sauces and ragùs, and are good for soaking up juicier sauces.

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