Grain Products

Grain Products
Includes flour, noodles, and dough.
cassava flour
cassava flour
Brazilians use this as a thickener for stews. Look for it in Hispanic markets.
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cavatappi
cavatappi
This is a type of Italian pasta shaped like a short, slender corkscrew.
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cavatelli
cavatelli
Cavatelli has two meanings. It usually refers to small pasta shells that resemble tiny hot dog buns and are often served with thick, chunky sauces or in pasta salads. The name is less commonly used for a type of dumpling made with ricotta cheese.
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chapati flour
chapati flour
This is a blend of wheat and malted barley flours used to make chapatis. Look for it in Indian markets.
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chestnut flour
chestnut flour
Italian use chestnut flour to make rich desserts, and sometimes breads and pasta. It also makes terrific pancakes. Don't confuse it with water chestnut flour, which is used in Asian cuisine.
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chickpea flour
chickpea flour
Look for this in Indian markets or health food stores.
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Chinese egg noodles
Chinese egg noodles
These wheat noodles are made with eggs, which adds flavor, color, and body. They're often used to make chow mein (in which the cooked noodles are formed into a pancake and fried on both sides) and lo mein (in which the noodles are stir-fried along with the other ingredients). Chow mein noodles are usually cut a bit thinner than lo mein noodles, but the two can be used interchangeably. Chinese egg noodles are available both fresh and dried; and some are flavored with shrimp. Cook fresh noodles in boiling water for about 3 minutes, dried for about 5 minutes. Don't confuse these with fried chow mein noodles, which are used in Americanized Chinese dishes, particularly Chinese chicken salad. Some brands are labeled "imitation noodles"; these aren't made with eggs, but have yellow food coloring added.
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Chinese noodles
Chinese noodles
The Chinese like their noodles long and slippery, the better to slurp down noisily. They're especially fond of wheat noodles, which they use in soups, and wheat and egg noodles, which they use in stir-fries and chow mein, their famous fried noodle dish. Rice noodles and bean threads are also popular.
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Chinese wheat noodles
Chinese wheat noodles
These delicate noodles are mostly used in soups. They're available fresh, dried, or frozen, and they come in various sizes, some as thin as vermicelli, others as thick and wide as fettuccine. Before using, the Chinese boil the noodles (about 3-4 minutes for fresh, 5-10 for dried) and then rinse them in cold water.
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chitarra
chitarra
These pasta rods resemble spaghetti, only their cross-sections are square instead of round. They're named after the guitar strings that were traditionally used to cut the pasta.
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chow mein noodles
chow mein noodles
These egg and wheat flour noodles are used to make chow mein, in which the cooked noodles are formed into a pancake and fried on both sides.
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chuka soba noodles
chuka soba noodles
These are Japanese ramen noodles that are dyed yellow and usually lower in fat.
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ciriole
ciriole
A specialty of the Umbrian region of Italy, this is a ribbon of pasta that's been twisted and stretched until it's a long, thin rod, roughly twice the diameter of spaghetti.
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ClearJel
This modified cornstarch is the secret ingredient that many commercial bakers use in their fruit pie fillings. Unlike ordinary cornstarch, ClearJel® works well with acidic ingredients, tolerates high temperatures, and doesn't cause pie fillings to weep" during storage. ClearJel® is an especially good choice if you're canning homemade pie fillings, since it doesn't begin thickening until the liquid begins to cool. This allows the heat the be more evenly distributed within the jar during processing. This is such an important safety advantage that ClearJel® is the only thickener the USDA recommends for home canning. You can also use ClearJel® to thicken sauces, stews, and the like, though it's a rather expensive all-purpose thickener. One downside is that products thickened with ClearJel® tend to break down if they're frozen and thawed. If you plan to freeze what you're making, use Instant ClearJel®, arrowroot, or tapioca starch. ClearJel® is available either as pearls or powder from mail-order suppliers, but it's not yet available in grocery stores.
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conchiglie
conchiglie
This Italian pasta resembles conch shells. It's often served with tomato or meat sauces, or in pasta salads. A smaller version for soups is called conchigliette, while larger, stuffable shells are called conchiglioni.
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conchigliette
conchigliette
This is a tiny version of a classic Italian pasta shape: the conchiglie or conch shell. Conchigliette is most often used as a soup pasta.
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conchiglioni
conchiglioni
Pasta shaped like conch shells come in various sizes; this is the largest. It's often stuffed and baked.
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coralli
These tiny tubes of pasta are normally used in soups.
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corn flour
corn flour
To see how to substitute other flours for wheat flours when making yeast breads, see the listing under all-purpose flour.
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corn husks
corn husks
Hispanic cooks use these, both fresh and dried, to wrap tamales before steaming them. Before using, soak the husks in hot water for about 30 minutes to make them more pliable.
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corn pasta
corn pasta
This is made with corn flour instead of the traditional durum wheat. It's popular among people with wheat allergies, but it tends to get mushy.
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corn starch
corn starch
One tablespoon (1/4 ounce) thickens one cup of liquid. Notes: This silky powder is used to thicken sauces, gravies, and puddings. Like other starch thickeners, cornstarch should be mixed into a slurry with an equal amount of cold water before it's added to the hot liquid you're trying to thicken. You then need to simmer the liquid, stirring constantly, for a minute or so until it thickens. Cornstarch doesn't stand up to freezing or prolonged cooking, and it doesn't thicken well when mixed with acidic liquids. Cornstarch is called cornflour or maize cornflour in Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. Don't confuse cornstarch with the finely ground cornmeal that Americans call corn flour
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cornmeal
cornmeal
Cornmeal comes in different colors: white, yellow, and blue. Yellow cornmeal has more beta carotene than the others, while blue cornmeal has more protein and turns baked goods purple. Larger supermarkets also carry stone-ground cornmeal = water-ground cornmeal, which is more tasty and nutritious than regular cornmeal, but doesn't keep as long. See also self-rising cornmeal.
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cornstarch noodles
cornstarch noodles
These Filipino noodles are made with cornstarch. Before using, soak them in hot water until they're soft.
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couscous
couscous
Includes pre-cooked couscous = instant couscous, which is the most common form, and traditional couscous, which takes longer to cook. Many cooks think traditional couscous is worth the extra trouble.
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creste di galli
creste di galli
This version of Italian pasta is shaped like creste di galli ("cockscomb" in Italian).
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crispy chow mein noodles
crispy chow mein noodles
These fried noodles add crunch to Chinese chicken salad. They're also used, improbably enough, to make chocolate haystack cookies. Don't confuse this with Chinese wheat noodles, which are also sometimes called chow mein noodles.
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csiga noodles
csiga noodles
These tiny Hungarian egg noodles are shaped like screws.
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dal flour
dal flour
This is flour ground from Indian legumes. Varieties include besan flour (made from channa dal), urad dal flour, and mung dal flour.
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dhokra flour
dhokra flour
This Indian flour is made from a blend of rice, urad dal, and chickpeas. It's used to make cakes that look like squares of cornbread, which Indians steam and garnish with grated coconut, tamarind sauces, and other seasonings.
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ditali
ditali
These are small tubes of pasta, well suited for vegetable soups. It's also one of the shapes used to make Spaghetti-Os.
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ditalini
ditalini
This is a small version of ditali, a tubular pasta shape. Tiny ditalini are usually served in a broth or vegetable soup, and is one of the shapes used to make Spaghetti-Os.
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dried pasta
dried pasta
Dried pasta is sturdier than fresh pasta, and is the best choice for heavy sauces, pasta salads, and casseroles.
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dumpling wrappers
dumpling wrappers
These thin round wrappers are used to make the delicate dumplings that are so popular at dim sum restaurants. They're made to be stuffed and steamed, but they're not sturdy enough to be fried. While assembling the dumplings, keep the stack of wrappers moist by covering them with a damp towel. You can seal the dumplings with a "glue" made with cornstarch and water. Look for fresh or frozen wrappers in Asian markets. Store them in the refrigerator or freezer, but let them come to room temperature before using.
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e-fu noodles
e-fu noodles
These are flat Chinese egg noodles that are formed into round 8"-diameter patties, fried and then dried. Before using, cook them in boiling water briefly, then drain. The noodles can then be added to stir-fries, soups, or salads.
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egg barley
egg barley
These Hungarian dumplings are made of flour, eggs, and water. To prepare them, fry them in butter or lard, then add water to cover. Simmer for about 30 minutes, adding more water if necessary, until the dumplings are soft. Look for packages of them in Hungarian or German markets.
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egg pasta
egg pasta
These have a lovely yellow color, and softer texture. Egg pasta tends to turn mushy after it's cooked, so it doesn't work well in pasta salads or casseroles.
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egg roll wrapers
egg roll wrapers
The Chinese use these dough squares to make deep-fried egg rolls. While assembling the egg rolls, keep the stack of wrappers moist by covering them with a damp towel. You can seal the rolls with a "glue" made with cornstarch and water. Look for fresh wrappers in Asian markets and many supermarkets. Store them in the refrigerator or freezer, but let them come to room temperature before using.
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egg yolks
egg yolks
Higher in fat, but increasing the egg yolks in a baked good often makes it moister and more flavorful. Egg yolks make wonderful thickeners--imparting both a rich flavor and velvety smooth texture--but they're tricky to use. You can't just whisk them into a simmering sauce--they'd curdle on contact. Instead, you need to "temper" them by adding some of the hot liquid to the egg yolks, whisking the mixture together, and then adding it to the sauce. To prevent the yolks from coagulating, you need to keep the sauce below 190°, although this rule can be broken if the sauce has a lot of flour in it. Finally, never cook sauces with egg yolks in aluminum pans or they'll turn gray.
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elicoidali
elicoidali
This Italian pasta consists of medium-sized, flat-cut tubes with spiraling ridges on the outside (elicoidali is Italian for "helix").
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empanada wrappers
empanada wrappers
Hispanic cooks wrap these six-inch diameter rounds of dough around sweet or savory fillings, and then bake or fry them. Look for them among the frozen foods in Hispanic markets.
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farfalle
farfalle
This Italian pasta resembles bow ties or butterflies. It's often served with chunky sauces or in pasta salads. A smaller version is called farfallini, while a larger version is called farfallone.
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farfalline
farfalline
This Italian pasta is a small version of farfalle, or bow-tie pasta. Farfalline is usually served in a broth or very light soup.
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farina
farina
Cream of Wheat is a popular brand.
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