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Chipotle rolls off tongue, heats up palate


Q: What does chipotle mean and how is it pronounced?

A: A chipotle, pronounced (chih-pot-lay) is a smoked chili pepper (often a jalapeno) that retains its heat and has a smoky flavor. The chipotle may be purchased in the dried form, canned, pickled or bottled in liquid.

Q: I often see the word "taramasalata" in delis. What is it?

A: Taramasalata, or tarama, is a Greek specialty served as an hors d'oeuvre. It is a smooth, creamy, pink paste made from fish roe (which is red or pale orange) and milk-soaked bread crumbs, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper bound with emulsified olive oil.

Q: What is the definition of hash? I now see so many combinations called hash that contain such things as salmon or chili peppers.

A: The traditional or most common version of hash is a combination of finely chopped meat (or poultry) from a leftover beef roast, corned beef, chicken or turkey carcass, mixed together with potatoes, seasonings and often onions and green bell peppers. Hash originally was a mixture of the meat and gravy, and not necessarily potatoes. At trendy restaurants today, however, you'll new adaptations of the dish that combine all different kinds of food, including seafood with potatoes, vegetables and seasonings.

Q: I have been reading a book where everyone drank pastis. What is it?

A: Pastis is an anise-flavored alcohol that becomes cloudy when water is added. Pernod is a brand name for a pastis.

Tip: Boneless cuts of fresh pork provide three to four servings per pound, so they are a better value than ribs, which are fun to eat but short on meat.

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