YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Recipe Decoder

November 04, 1998

Key to Times Style

Eggs: large, unless otherwise indicated.

Flour: all-purpose, unless otherwise indicated.

Milk: whole, unless otherwise indicated.

Oil: vegetable oil (canola, peanut, safflower, etc.), unless otherwise indicated.


Deveining: removing dark sand vein from back of shrimp. (It's not always necessary.)

Orzo: rice-shaped pasta.

Zest: the colored part of a citrus peel, without the bitter white pith beneath.


Cleaning Squid: To clean squid, carefully separate the legs from the hollow part of the body, pulling out the thin cellophane-like bone from the center and pulling off the thin membrane that covers the outside of the body. Rinse out the body and remove the wings. Carefully cut the tentacles from the rest of the head and pinch out the tiny beak in the center. Cut the tentacles in half.

Beating Egg Whites: To check beaten egg whites, dip a whisk into them and pull it straight out. If the egg whites form points that fall over, they are called soft peaks. When the points stand up straight, they are called stiff peaks. The egg whites should stay shiny and glossy. If you over-beat them, they will look flat and deflated. If this happens, you can only start over again with fresh egg whites.


Recipe Decoder welcomes suggestions for cooking terms and techniques you'd like defined or explained. Send questions to Recipe Decoder, Food Section, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053 or e-mail

Los Angeles Times Articles