Au gratin is one of many fancy-sounding French culinary terms to enter English during the 19th century, when a taste for French food, especially among the wealthy, developed in America. When you cook something au gratin or simply gratin, you are not, in reality, doing anything fancy at all. In fact, the verb "to gratinée," as used today, means simply to give a dish a golden brown top.
One of my favorite mom dishes growing up was Swiss Steak. It was a simple affair of round steak, tomatoes, onions, and celery cooked together. My mom would cook it in the oven, but she could just as well have finished it on the stovetop. Although thin cuts of round steak were used, it was more a pot roast than a steak, pure comfort food, served with mashed potatoes. It was also regularly featured in our high school cafeteria, and we had some good school lunches! I have a feeling most of those who read this article will be my age, having remembered the dish from their childhood, but never eating it since!
Burgoo, also known as Kentucky burgoo is a thick multi-meat and vegetable stew which is a specialty of Kentucky.
A bit like Kentucky's version of Louisiana gumbo, burgoo can contain any number of meats, such as pork, veal, beef, lamb, poultry, and vegetables such as potatoes, onions, cabbage, carrots, green peppers, okra, lima beans, and okra. Original versions of the stew tended to use small game meats such as squirrel, rabbit, or fowl; basically whatever a hunter could get.
Lobster Thermidor is a classic French lobster preparation that was very popular in upscale restaurants during the early to mid-1920's.
In the dish, cooked pieces of lobster are mixed into a rich béchamel or heavy cream based sauce to which Dijon mustard, white wine, shallots, tarragon, lobster stock (for fish stock), and cheese, such as Gruyere or Parmesan. Mushrooms, truffles, or spinach are sometimes used, and there are many variations.
Copycat restaurant recipes, or "restaurant recipe clones," are very easy to find on the internet, at least if you are looking for recipes from your favorite chain restaurants. However, there are copycat recipes then there are vaguely similar recipes. Many online recipes try to either improve the recipes from restaurants, substitute ingredients, or make them more healthy rather than to meticulously recreate every flavor and detail. You cannot know how reliable they are until you cook them. In some cases, you may be able to tell a lot from any accompanying photos. A good recipe clone should look the same as well as taste the same.
Beggar's purse is the name for an appetizer dish consisting of a mini crepe topped with teaspoon of high-quality caviar and a dollop of Crème fraîche. The edges of the crepe are pulled up into pleats and tied with strips of chive so that the bite resembles a little purse.
Duchess (or duchesse) potatoes are mashed potatoes pureed with egg yolks, whole eggs, or a combination of whole eggs and egg yolks, and butter.
Cheese, seasonings, and other flavorings are sometimes added.
The fluffy pureed mixture is served as a side dish, formed into small shapes or piped from a pastry bag for a decorative accompaniment, or formed into borders for serving other dishes inside. The amount of egg and other ingredient varies per individual recipe.
Dishes garnished with duchess potatoes are called à la duchesse. The French term for duchess potatoes is pommes duchesse.
You may see upscale Italian restaurants in the United States offering "crudos" or dishes referred to as "a crudo." These are often dishes of raw fish or shellfish served as sashimi, carpaccio, or tartare. The term "a crudo" as you will often hear on Food TV, in English, is somewhat nonsensical since it would translate into "a raw" but in this case it means "an uncooked dish."
Anything that consists of primarily uncooked ingredients can be called a crudo or just crudo. They are typically dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh herbs and aromatics, and other Mediterranean ingredients.
Shirred eggs are whole eggs baked in individual dishes, such as ramekins. The eggs can be baked until the white and yolk is completely cooked through, or until the white is softly set and the yolk is still runny.
Albóndigas are the Spanish version of meatballs. The name comes from Arabic word al-bunduq, which derives from the Greek word for hazelnut, suggesting that the meatballs are of the same shape and size.
You may see various dishes labeled Bang-Bang Chicken in many restaurants, often offered as appetizers. Bang-bang shrimp is also popular. Many semi-causal restaurant chains, including The Cheesecake Factory, and Bonefish Grill, offer some version of the dish.
A dish that is bound to show up at Hawaiian luaus, salmon lomi-lomi, has a curious name. If you are on vacation in Hawaii and attend a spa, you might get a lomi-lomi massage. In fact, lomi-lomi massage is available in many spas throughout the world. Later, if you attend a luau and find lomi-lomi salmon, you might be a bit confused. Is this the part where they massage you with a salmon? Or, do you get a free massage while eating salmon?
Bibimbap, sometimes spelled beebimbap and pronounced bee-bim-BOP, is a popular Korean dish of rice topped with fresh and cooked vegetables and a red chili paste called gochujang. Seasoned raw or grilled beef may also be added, and a fried egg is often plopped on top.
The presentation of the dish varies, but most often the separate vegetables and meat are arranged on top of the rice and everything is mixed together before eating. Korean barbecue may be a favorite in the U.S. right now, but bibimbap is sure to become one of the most popular Korean dishes.
Black rice pudding, as the name implies, is a pudding made with black rice. The black rice that is used is black rice from China and other parts of Asia, which is a glutenous, or "sticky" rice. It is often made with coconut milk, instead of dairy milk, the way rice pudding is usually made in the United States.
Persillade, pronounced pear-see-yahd is a mixture of chopped parsley and garlic that is added to dishes at the end of the cooking time. It is similar to gremolata, but without the lemon zest.