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Everything you ever wanted to know about cooking, but were afraid to ask; 'D' Daikon to Dye

Updated on June 6, 2015

Daikon

Daikon

Daikon; Japanese radish’s are more like a white carrot; to look at anyway.

They’re a bit hotter than an ordinary radish, which are French radishes I think?

Daikon is also used for decorative purposes.

The Japanese especially seem to take great delight in carving them to intricate shapes.

Deary?

Dairy

Dairy; Deary is what your grandmother calls you.

Dairy represents any milk based product.

In this day & age of food allergies, a lot of people are having trouble digesting dairy products, especially cow based dairy products.

I’ve known of people with this condition who are quite happy consuming goat’s milk for example.

There is a school of thought that says; these food allergies are caused by the treatment & processing of foods. Most especially with dairy; the pasteurisation kills off many bacteria which naturally occur in the environment.

Leaving us with no developed immunity to naturally occurring microbes.

Start me on vaccination why dont'cha!

Lactose is the sugar in milk, therefore in all dairy products.

A'ha I hear you say, Yoghurt bacteria digest Lactose and excrete Lactic acid, which lends that acidic flavour to Yoghurt; therefore Yoghurt should be Lactose free?

Well true in a technical sense, but Yoghurt is thickened with Gums, and has skim milk or milk solids added back to it. True Yoghurt is Lactose free.

Dashi

Dashi

Dashi; is a fish stock of Asian descent, Dashi is made from seaweed and dried fish shavings.

It is available as a convenient powder and significantly adds to the robustness of Asian cuisine.

Danish

Danish Pastries

Danish; Danish Pastries abbreviated to simply ‘Danish’.

It’s generally accepted the Swiss & the French are great bakers; so I’m not sure about the Danes? Perhaps this is another of those racial slights, such as English Custard, or Scotch Fillet?

Perhaps, maybe it’s an in house joke?

As with a lot of things the history is obscured, but the Danes did have input into the origins of the Danish.

Either way; Danish are a puff pastry/ bread hybrid, much the same as Croissant, folded & filled, usually with fruit, or chocolate.

would you like a...

Date

Dates; A dried fruit of a desert palm; or an Americanism that has slipped into everyday use?

Would you like a date?

This is one of my little asides I employ in the kitchen. Find an attractive service staf member, ask them if they would like a date? Have a packet of dates in your hand, in case of rejection, haha just kidding.

Nice Pair, while eating a Pear is a little cheeky also…

Dates are the lifesavers of the desert. God made Date palms to grow in the desert, so passing Bedouins wouldn’t starve. Perhaps Dates were the Manna from heaven?

Decaf

De-caf

Decaf’; De-caffeinated coffee.

What a horrible thing to do, It’s like de-alcohol-ised wine; or perhaps no nicotine cigarettes?

It may just be me, but I associate the taste & aroma of coffee as being a stimulant.

I wouldn’t drink it if it wasn’t for its mood altering affects, The Caffeine being the reason I drink coffee.

I use coffee, I’m a bona fide user, and I take drugs!

Because folks, that’s what it is; think about that the next time you frown on a fellow drug addict, in the gutter perhaps, or on the news...

Have a think about that craving for a full caffeinated coffee; is that craving a sign of addiction?

Switch to decaf’; see if that helps you, but please do it on your day off, or mine!

Demi

Demi glace

Demi glace; as with all things demi, it means half or semi. Don’t ask me why they don’t just say it then?

Demi glace is a sauce base.

It is made by combining a beef stock & a dark roux to make a sauce, which is then reduced by half.

This process gives a concentrated flavour with a thickening capability.

Add a small quantity of demi to pan jus to make a sauce for example.

The gap between a Jus and Demi are closing, watch this space...

Bambi?

Deer

Deer; these animals are good to eat; they may not agree, but who’s asking?

Disney has upped the cute factor with Bambi, but I was personally there when they shot Bambi’s mother. We got some great back steaks off her!

Years ago I had friends that would go out shooting; they would give us a call & tell us where to go to pick up a hindquarter or two. Usually this involved driving out to a remote farm & retrieving the meat ourselves from the farm freezer.

I think the best Venison, (that is the name given to Bambi meat), I ever tried was a frozen leg which we sliced with a wood saw & left in a baby bath with some leftover beer from the previous nights socialising...

Upon our return that evening the meat was well marinated!

Venison is farmed nowadays, but the best meat still is harvested from the wild; therefore it is Game.

The best cut is the back steaks, the Sirloin, or Porterhouse. I’ve tried what they call “Denver Leg” a Sub primal rumps cut, but meh, it’s tough and dry by comparison. I’m spoilt I know, once you’ve had the best, it’s hard to go back…

Once upon a time in a land far far away I was employed as Chef at a boutique restaurant in a semi rural environment. We used to buy whole dressed (skinned & gutted) Deer from hunters, delivered to the back door, boned & portioned in the blink of an eye. The leg and shoulder we would bake and serve to a bus load of tourists, the bones and trimmings would make a nice stock, any trimmings were minced, and the back steaks? Mmm mmm, Chef’s treat.

Again if you are going to kill an animal, have the respect to use as much of it as you can! Wish that hunter had saved the Liver, I’d find a home for that too…

I had a restaurant once, I was a bit cheeky back then, and called the Venison dish 'Bambi', I thought it was funny, but funny doesn't sell meals. Too many Disney fans?

Devilled

Devilled

Devilled; anything that is devilled is served with a hot condiment.

The logic seemingly being; hell is somewhere hot & this dish is representative of something the Devil may enjoy, or perhaps cook himself, if he is indeed a man.

Funny how we all see the devil as a guy with horns, in a red suit and a long tail, kids dress up as devils, all too cute; but do you’re homework folks, I certainly have. I can emphatically tell you there is a devil, and he’s not your friend.

Apparently he likes Pepper, He’s going to like it a whole lot more at the end of days…

dye it?

Diet

Diet; Our nutritional intake, on a societal level; the western diet.

Or nutritional intake, personally; how much of that western diet do we as westerners partake of?

Either way we need to go on a diet!

Diets are great for people, people like Jenny Craig!

Our bodies are naturally good at conserving energy, if we cut down on our calorific intake, our body is going to react accordingly & refuse to relinquish stored energy, aka fat.

Our smart bodies would rather utilise muscle tissue for energy. We are great savers!

Our bodies are primitive machines, they don’t know there’s Maccers on every street corner, they think there’s a famine, or maybe your throats been cut?

Another funny thing, the more you eat the hungrier you become!

Sometimes you need to eat your way to weight loss, which makes sense really, eat plenty and up your metabolism.

I had an exercise in diets in one of my training jobs, we had to prepare a degustation menu for a diverse group, for all to share, A Vegan, aVegetarian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Jew, someone was Lactose intolerant, another was Diabetic, yet others were Coeliac, and on low cholesterol, and low Sodium diets…

Dietary & Cultural requirements, we produced a range of dishes to share, not individual dishes

You make me feel like...

Dirt

Dirt, dirty words? Dirt gets a bad wrap, but where would we be without dirt? The whole earth is made of dirt!

Thing is we don’t want it in our food.

Problem is it’s near impossible to not eat dirt. The average person eats a bucket full over their average life.

Things grow in dirt, and sometimes it’s impossible to remove all of it.

Can’t explain dirty though, as an activity, dirty is something to avoid. We need to stay clean!

Can’t explain why dirty is a sexual connotation, “don’t be dirty”, “dirty mind” etc, we rarely have sex in the dirt?

Dirt is full of microorganisms, it’s what makes dirt, or soil really. But contact with dirt, is part of growing up, play in the dirt, trow dirt, eat dirt; those organisms are beneficial, exposing you to bacteria in your environment, so you can form your own antibodies.

Kids growing up in bubbles are very likely to have compromised immune systems.

Some dirty words? Mud, mire, muck, guck, goo, filth…

Dripping?

Dripping

Dripping; Another name for rendered beef fat.

People used to use this to fry in, before oils became readily available.

It does have a beefy flavour, but not a high smoking point.

Feel your arteries harden before your eyes!

Dressed?

Dressed

Dressed; is when you have your clothes on, if you're a person.

If you are reading this I presume you are?

If you are an animal ad you are dressed, things are not looking so good for you...

Dressed refers to a carcass, a dead animal that has been gutted and skinned.

Kind of amusing how people like to distance themselves from the death of an animal, we have names like 'meat', Lamb', 'Beef', Pork' etc Dressed instead of slaughtered, gutted etc.

Nothing like having to catch your own food for a reality check, I've shot lots of things, ducks, Turkeys, Rabbits etc. Comes time to gut, skin or pluck them, kinda puts you off eating them, I usually gave them away and had Pizza!

ask my Mom, if you don't believe Her, ask my Dad...

Drugs

Drugs; Drugs are defined as ‘any substance causing a physiological change in the body, i.e. a mood altering substance.

Before you go rushing for the hotline, there are quite a few everyday items that people don’t see as drugs...

Given, these are not narcotics, but nevertheless, they are still drugs.

Sugar is numero Uno; sugar causes a spike in your blood sugar level, makes you feel fine, until the pancreas secretes enough insulin to draw down all that sugar & leave you feeling a little drab. Leaves you craving sweetness again... This is known as the sugar cycle.

This is also how Diabetes is developed.

As a society we’re killing ourselves with sweetness.

Should be illegal...

Coffee would be number two or Caffeine really.

Coke etc is full of Caffeine.

Red Bulls & the like are really just Sugar, Caffeine & Salt. No magic there!

Chocolate is another goodie, pheromones etc, really gives you a lift.

Some say it emulates the feeling of being in love!

Let’s not forget Alcohol, it’s a very potent drug!

Tobacco must be top of the list as addictive & harmful...

There are various other plants & substances you may come across which are mild stimulants etc.

Nutmeg is actually a sedative; grate some onto your hot chocolate for a great night’s sleep!

Personally I find the worse drugs are perfectly legal; Tobacco is a known carcinogen & a guaranteed killer!

Personally I think all drugs should either be legal, or illegal.

Narcotics are illegal because of the public health concern;

Really it comes down to personal choice.

The law is there to protect you from harm.

Harm from other

People, not harm from yourself; you are perfectly entitled to jump off of a cliff, but don’t you be trying any drugs!

I think it’s just a public scare campaign, something the politicians use to gain some exposure...

In effect, illegal drugs have been turned into a black market commodity & forced supply & demand underground & into criminal hands.

I’m sure if all drugs were made as available as a packet of cigarettes there would be far more peace on earth & goodwill towards man.

The status quo just isn’t working; because drugs are illegal, they supply of this commodity is pushed underground.

This perpetuates further criminal acts;

Users have to steal money for the inflated value of their desired commodity, causing major social damage.

Also are the health risks of unscrupulous vendors; diluting their product with no regard to the safety, or the well being of their consumer.

This flows on to the health service, illegal drug users may be reluctant to seek medical attention because of the illegal nature of their affliction.

My suggestion is; allow all drugs to be made available legally.

Most of the issues surrounding drug use then could be better monitored.

I don’t think organised crime would agree; for them the status quo is working just fine...

And some unscrupulous people would bolden to say the CIA is behind a lot of drug trafficking, funding black ops, underground shelters etc. I’d like to believe that they ‘taking down the competition’ keeping it illegal, and of course, supply & demand keeps prices up. If they supposedly can put a man on the moon, spy on a grain of sand from space, surely they could win the war against drugs?

dry

Dry

Dry, Dried; Drying is a method of preservation used for millennia.

Drying removes the availability of moisture; one of the prerequisites for bacterial growth, and subsequent food spoilage...

Meat can be dried & eaten as is, i.e. jerky

Fish has been known to be dried, although I suggest reconstituting it, may be an effort eating a dried fish?

Fruit is another popular item, almost every fruit being available dried.

I’m a fan of dried fruit, it can be macerated, that is reconstituted in alcohol.

It also works well with meat; say on a skewer, the dried fruit will soak up the juices the meat loses as it cooks.

Sec is the term given to anything dry.

Wine can be dry, or sec, or is that brut? Oh that’s Champagne…

You may still be able to drown in a dry wine; it’s not that dry you can breathe it!

Dry in a liquid sense, obviously contradictory, means dry in the mouth, like overcooked meat can be dry, hard to swallow kinda dry…

Duck!

Duck

Duck; Another edible animal, available farmed or harvested from the wild.

There’s a fair bit of work involved in the wild harvest of game ducks.

Ducks are a unique bird, unique up on them; that means you have to be where they are while they are still asleep, and they awaken early!

Winter is the best time for harvest, out of the breeding season & nicely fat.

They tend to live around water & it is inevitable the casualties of game hunting will require harvesting, from out of the water itself!

So it is quite an investment self harvesting, then the bird(s) will need plucked & gutted before you even think about cooking them!

Farmed ducks are much more convenient, you can buy them as the cuts you want, Maryland, breast, whole duck, duckling, all oven ready!

Personally I find the farmed ducks a little fatty, but perfect for city folk who don’t know one end of a shotgun from the other...

Duck breasts need to be ‘rendered’, that’s not screeded in cement, but dry fried, skin side down to cook out some of the subcutaneous fat and crisp the skin.

Dukkah

Dukkah

Dukkah; An Egyptian-Arabic spice blend, based on Hazlenuts, with ground spices etc. Technically it’s not Dukkah unless you grind together the nuts and whole spices.

In Arabic Dukkah means to pound.

Traditionally used as an accompaniment, a side dish or dip. I’ve found uses for it as a crust for grilled fish, and boiled eggs rolled in Dukkah are a nice change.

Dump-ling?

Dumpling

Dumpling; Dumplings are something all parts of world cuisine, as we know it, seem to have adopted.

Dumplings, as they are known in the plural; seldom would you be served a Dumpling singularly...

Dumplings mostly are lumps of dough, usually flour, or flour & fat, which are usually boiled in a broth & are served as an accompaniment to a meal.

They may also be sweet and be filled with fruit.

There is an enormous range of dumplings throughout the world, hundreds almost.

Tortellini, Ravioli & Gnocchi are dumplings, so are Wontons & Pot Stickers in Chinese.

I’m concerned at the Americanisation of the term ‘dump’ which has connotations of the final stage of digestion...

I would be afraid to eat ‘Dump’-lings if I were an American!

Dye?

Dye

Dye; scraping the bottom of the ‘D’ barrel?

A dye is a pigment that is absorbed into a material, changing its colour.

A pigment is a substance which merely coats a material, such as paint, without actually incorporating it into the fabric itself.

Beetroot is a very strong pigment which will dye any material.

Saffron doubles as a flavour as well as a dye

Cochineal from Spiders

As well as a whole concoction of Chemical dyes, usually referred to as numbers, look on the back of any prepared food, see what sort of dyes, colours or pigments it contains.

Some even say ‘all natural ingredients’. Most chemicals, base ingredients, are natural…

Doesn’t mean they are safe to eat but!

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