Words Beginning with the Letter E



Alcoholic drink made by distil­ling wine. The best-known is from the wines of the Charente, called Cognac (see also Brandy). Many liqueurs also have an eau-de-vie base.


Eccles cake

A pastry made of two rounds of flaky pastry filled with a rich mixture of dried fruit, mainly currants and candied peel, slashed across the top and glazed with egg white and sugar before being baked. The Eccles cake is kept in a round shape. The Banbury cake is made similarly, but whereas the Eccles cake has filling between two layers of pastry, the Banbury has only one layer of pastry, which is wrapped round the filling and the whole made into an oval shape.



A 3-4 in length of choux pastry piped from a forcing bag and baked until crisp and hollow inside. The éclair is then filled with vanilla, coffee or chocolate pastry cream and a similarly flavoured fondant or glacé icing finishes the top. Pastry cream is the traditional filling, but fresh cream may be used.



French name for crayfish.



A long thin fish with a rich, delicate flesh, average weight 1½-2 lb, caught in fresh or salt water, the former being better known. Many are imported into England from Holland either fresh or smoked, the latter being a delicacy and an excellent hors d'oeuvre when sliced thinly. The giant or Conger eel, which may be anything up to 20 feet long, once figured prominently in English fish and chip shops and is a must in the French bouillabaisse.



The egg is not only one of the most extensively used but also one of the most valuable kitchen ingredients, its low price and high protein content providing an economical and well-balanced meal. The egg is an essential ingredient in many cakes and puddings and can be prepared in dozens of different ways.

Hen eggs Average weight is about 2 oz. 'New Laid' should mean not more than one week old, after which they should be used for cooking. Duck and goose eggs are available in spring and summer, duck eggs now are used mainly in cakes, partly because of their size (average weight of a duck egg is 2½ oz, a goose egg up to 4 oz) and partly because they have possible unpleasant effects unless really fresh. Goose eggs are useful for omelets or scrambled eggs, one being enough for two helpings.

To tell a fresh egg, break it and inspect the white: if it clings to the yolk it is fresh; the more liquid the yolk the less fresh the egg.


Eggplant [see Aubergine]



A small black berry used to make wine, syrup or jelly; comes from the elder tree (Sambucus) and is picked in September.



The flower of the elder which, when incorporated into a jelly or syrup, imparts a delicious flavour like that of muscat grapes. A few flowers tied in muslin and stewed with gooseberries gives a flavour that goes extremely well with that fruit. A few gooseberries will also give the right amount of sharpness to elderflower syrup, made by infusing the leaves in a syrup, adding the gooseberries, straining, bottling and sterilising. It may be kept in bottled form and used sparingly to give added flavour to strawberries, fruit salads, etc. The flowers as well as the berries may be used for wine-making.


Emmenthal [see Gruyère]


Endive [see Chicory]



The French name for the cut of beef, full of flavour and tender, which comes from the top part of the ribs of beef or sirloin. May be served as steaks or a small roast.



The dish which used to follow the fish course and precede the roast, but in modern menus is more likely to appear as the main course. It is a dish which calls for some culinary expertise and is complete in itself, like a meat dish with a vegetable garnish.



Something served as a separate course after the main dish (French, meaning 'between dishes') and before the dessert, possibly a dressed vegetable like asparagus or globe artichoke.



Small pieces of lamb taken from the breast or best end of neck, simmered, and when tender boned and pressed. When cold they are dipped in egg and breadcrumbs and fried or grilled, then served with a piquant sauce.



A thin slice of meat cut from a fillet or from the leg, usually veal. Can be cooked in numerous ways.


Escargot [see Snail]


Escarole (chicorée scarole)

The Batavian endive, smooth and green-leaved, as distinct from the curly variety or chicorée frisée (see Chicory). It is used as a winter salad.



One of the basic sauces or sauces mères. It is rich and brown and made with a mirepoix and a fonds brun. A glass of sherry and some strong tomato pulp is added after the sauce has been skimmed and strained.



A clear but strong broth (see Fonds Brun). The name is also given to a beef stew.


Evaporated milk [see Condensed Milk]