2 cups of… what?

Inevitably when looking for a recipe online you come across ingredients you don’t recognize. Here is a glossary of the less common ingredients I have listed in my recipes.

A couple specifics first: there are a few very basic ingredients I’m particular about

salt – means ‘diamond crystal’ brand Kosher salt. It’s the stuff that’s used in every single restaurant kitchen I’ve ever worked in and has found it’s way into my home.

cooking oil – I usually use grapeseed (occasionally canola and sunflower). It’s stable up to a very high temperature. It’s best to cook with oils that have a high smoke point. Some oils have a very low smoke point and are best used in salads or as a finishing touch.

butter – unsalted. always. Salted butter is for spreading on toast or dinner rolls. Take control over how much salt you’re adding to your cooking by using the unsalted stuff. If your food needs more seasoning, reach for the kosher salt.


Cilantro – An herb commonly used in latin, asian, indian and other cuisines around the world.


Fennel – a unique vegetable originally from the Mediterranean. It’s base is bulbous with layers joining together at the bottom like an onion. It’s top half is more like dill, with large stalks, threadlike leaves, called fronds, and small yellow flowers. All parts are edible and have a pleasant anise flavor. The stalks have a strong flavor and are very fibrous, like celery, and are most often used for making broth. The fronds are used like an herb. The bulb can be used in many ways from raw in salads to grilled or even braised. The plant’s seeds are also edible and are often used whole in breads or ground as a spice.

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Passata – strained tomato puree.


Rapini – Also called broccoli raab. A vegetable that’s in the same family as broccoli. It has long spears with several leaves alternating up towards the tip, where there is a small floret. It has a similar flavor to broccoli but is much more bitter.


Serrano Chile – A flavorful chile pepper with mild heat commonly used in latin cuisines. They are relatively small, about the size of a finger.


Shallot – a member of the onion family. Shallots are small, oblong and have a relatively mild flavor.



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