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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dining Out - Menu Navigation

Dining out can be a daunting task at the beginning and that first glance at the menu can become an overwhelming nightmare.  Being armed with information and education is the easiest way to tame those fears and the quickest way to becoming your own advocate.  Culinary terms are tricky so beginning to navigate those terms will help you stay safe when ordering off a menu especially if the waitstaff doesn't understand your specific needs.

Absolutely NOT safe:

Americaine: tomato sauce commonly thickened with flour.
Au gratin: any combination of things in a flour based cheese sauce.
Bechamel: one of the 5 traditional French sauces - flour based.
Beef Wellington: a cut of meat wrapped in pastry crust.
Beignet: a Cajun dessert fritter.
Blanquette: a veal or chicken ragout/stew with a roux base.
Bisque: a thick soup or puree thickened with flour.
Bouchee: bite-sized puff pastries.
Bourguignonne: stew base of roux and Burgundy wine.
Couscous: North African durham wheat grain.
Crepinette: sausage encased in bread crumbs.
Escabeche: a Spanish dish of floured and fried smelts, mackerels, and red mullets.
Focaccia: Italian bread.
Fricassee: stew with a roux base and poultry.
Gnocchi: potato pasta but always has traces of flour.
Matelote: fish stew thickened with flour.
Milanaise: veal or chicken crusted with bread crumbs.
Moussaka: a Greek eggplant casserole with a bechamel sauce.
Navarin: ragout of mutton or lamb thickened with a roux.
Pasticcio: mixture of meat, vegetables, bechamel sauce, and topped with bread crumbs.
Polonaise: cauliflower preparation topped with bread crumbs.
Posole: Mexican corn stew thickened with flour.
Quiche: savory egg tart with pastry crust.
Roux: combination of flour and fat to thicken sauces.
Semolina: wheat flour.
Spelt: another form of wheat flour.
Stroganoff: ragout of beef thickened with a dark roux.

This is not a complete list but should be a great starting place!

Blue Orchid in Lincoln, Ne - One of my very absolute favorite restaurants and a very easy place to eat gluten free!

*Adapted from a list in the Gluten Free Bible.