FOOD GLOSSARY - Lard to Let Rise

LARD:  A term not only used to describe the rendered fat of the hog, but also to indicate the process of inserting strips of fat (salt pork, for example) through lean meat with what is known as a larding needle. These strips are called lardoons. It also refers to the placing of fat on top of uncooked lean meat or fish for flavor, or to prevent dryness. See also Fats.

LASAGNA:  A wide ribbon-shaped flat macaroni product, about 1½ inches wide. It is usually prepared somewhat like macaroni with a cheese sauce. In one favorite dish, cooked lasagne is layered in a baking dish with a tomato meat sauce, and Italian cheese such as ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan, then baked.

LATKES:  A Jewish term for pancakes, especially made of grated raw potato or of matzo meal.

LAUREL:  The same as bay leaf. The leaves of the tree are dried and used for seasoning.

LEAVENING AGENTS:  To leaven means "to make dough rise." Leavening agents are substances that form bubbles of gas (carbon dioxide) which expand when a batter or dough is heated. They make a batter or dough rise, increase in volume or bulk, and become light and porous during preparation and subsequent baking. Three common sources of carbon dioxide gas are yeast, baking powder and baking soda plus food acid. Physical leavenings such as steam and air also make products rise. Steam is formed in any batter or dough as it is heated. It is the principal leavening agent in products such as popovers and cream puffs. Air is beaten or folded into mixtures or introduced into ingredients by beating, creaming, and sifting. Air leavens by expansion during heating. Bacteria of certain species, under suitable conditions of temperature and moisture, grow rapidly and produce gases from sugar. Salt-rising bread is made from dough leavened in this manner. See Baking Powder; Baking Soda; Yeast.

LEBKUCHEN:  A frosted spicy rectangular German cooky, frequently served during the Christmas season.

LEEK:  A plant of the onion family. It looks like an oversize green onion with "whiskers," but is very mild in flavor. Used mainly in soups. It is a prime ingredient in Vichyssoise.

LEGUMES:  The fruit or seed of leguminous plants, the bean family, including dried beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, etc.

LEMON BALM:  Herb with fragrant leaves prized for herb teas, flavoring other beverages, soups, salads, sauces, stuffings.

LEMON OIL:  An oil obtained from the rind of lemons.

LEMON VERBENA:  Aromatic herb with delicate flavor resembling lime or lemon. Fresh leaves flavor fruit salads, fruit cups, jellies, cold drinks. Herb tea may be made from the leaves.

LENTILS:  Dried seeds, round and convex in shape, from a plant of the pea family. They are purplish green to red in color. Delicious cooked and have been used since Biblical times.

LET RISE:  This applies to yeast dough. Put dough in a warm place (about 85°F.) so yeast can "grow" and cause dough to expand and get "light." It has risen enough if the dent remains when you press the surface lightly with your fingers.


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