Food Dictionary

Quahog
The American Indian name for the East Coast hard shell clam. It is also used to describe the largest of these hard shell clams. Other names used are chowder clam or large clam.
Quail
A small game bird of the partridge family that resembles a small, plump chicken. Known also as "bobwhites" and "partridges." The flesh is white and delicately flavored. Most quail today are raised on bird farms.
Quatre-epices
A French spice mixture containing ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and pepper. This mixture is used to season stews and pates.
Quenches
Light savory dumplings made of meat or fish and used as a garnish or in a delicate sauce.
Quenelle
A round or oval dumpling of pounded, seasoned meat or fish usually poached in stock, eg chicken, salmon or pike quenelles.
Quesadilla
Flour tortilla turnover which is usually stuffed with cheese, then toasted, fried or baked. Originally a corn masa empanada filled with meat then deep fried. Modern versions found throughout restaurants in the US are made with flour tortillas that are filled with cheese and perhaps beans, meat, salsa or vegetables, and folded over when cooked. Usually pan-fried or cooked under a broiler.
Queso anejo
Aged cheese; salty white cheese slightly similar to feta in flavor, but since it is not brined, its flavor is somewhat milder; a good substitute is grated feta cheese.
Queso asadero
A rubbery-textured cheese that is pulled and twisted into strands; traditionally used in fillings where it becomes stringy when heated; whole-milk mozzarella, Monterey jack or Muenster may be substituted.
Queso Blanco Cheese (Mexican)
This creamy white cheese is made from skimmed cow's milk. When it is heated, it becomes soft and creamy but doesn't melt. It is ideal for stuffing burritos and enchiladas.
Queso cotija Cheese (Mexican)
Sharp, firm and good for grating. Simply sprinkle it on top of beans, chili or other dishes to enhance their flavor.
Queso fresco
Cheese which has a texture similar to farmer's cheese; crumbly white cheese made from partially skimmed milk; lightly tangy and very subtle; usually sold in small round cakes; used for fillings and crumbled into soups and over sauces; often called queso blanco; white Cheddar or a mixture of farmer's and feta cheese are fairly good substitutes.
Queso Oaxaca Cheese (Mexican)
Also known as quesillo, this soft, mild cheese is perfect for quesadillas. It is similar in texture to string cheese, and should e pulled apart into thin strings before being put on the tortilla.
Queso panela Cheese (Mexican)
This soft white cheese often is served as part of an appetizer or snack tray. It absorbs other flavors easily. Like queso blanco, it doesn't melt.
Quiche
An open flan or tart with a savoury filling usually of egg and milk with other ingredients added to taste. Originally from Lorraine, the quiche has become a classic of French cuisine.
Quick bread
A bread made with a leavening agent, such as baking powder, that expands during baking and requires no leavening period beforehand.
Quick rising yeast
Quick rising yeast causes a dough to rise in half the the time. Be sure to follow manufacturer's instructions for best results. Find in any supermarket.
Quince
When fully ripe, the quince has a wonderful perfume. It belongs to the apple family with much the same shape as an apple but a furry skin. Quince should not be eaten raw because it is very hard and bitter but it makes excellent preserves, especially marmalade.
Quinoa
Dating back to the Incas, this grain is still grown in Bolivia and Peru. It is regarded as a 'superfood' as it is extremely rich in complete protein, so is excellent for vegetarians. The small round grains look similar to millet but are pale brown in colour. The taste is mild, and the texture firm and slightly chewy. It can be cooked like millet and absorbs twice its volume in liquid. When cooked, the grains sweeten and become translucent, ringed with white. It makes a good pilaf, but requires a lot of seasoning. Try as a porridge, served hot with cream, dried fruit and brown sugar.