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Old 03-16-2017, 01:04 AM   #11
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Janet, I use bay leaves in beef dishes if they simmer a while. Same goes for some bean dishes.

I also have ground bay. If I'm making a seasoning blend for a rub, I add the ground bay to the other ingredients. I also used it when I would fully season a hunk of beef before searing the meat. That was what my Mom would do when she cooked beef, so I did the same...except that every time I seasoned THEN seared, the fumes coming up off the hot pan would catch in my throat. I now just salt and pepper the meat before searing, then add the rest of the ground seasonings afterwards. Saves me from coughing up a lung.


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...I once bought a pkg of fresh bay leaves at the store, paid an arm and half a leg. Couldn't tell any difference in whatever I cooked. Dried the remainder of the package for future uses, so that part worked out...
Same thing for me, except the "arm and semi-leg" part. The fresh bay leaves were the same price as the other packaged fresh herbs.
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:21 AM   #12
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Never heard of people choking on bayleaf.
I had talk talk with American friend about this and Swedish woolly socks ( yeah stuck on a 5 minutes train for 20 minutes, sigh).
She is trained chef and she knows she has to pick the leafs out because of the risk of choking, but she thinks it more how people eat. Where she lived people tend to shovel in the food, eat much as possible and not look at it, while where she lives in Sweden, people eat slower ( which annoys her) and they look more at their food then the people around them. Maybe that true, maybe not.
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:15 PM   #13
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My first thought reading the title was who cooks with 
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But then I'm old and figured you just forgot to add "old" into the title.

Being as I'm from place where Old Bay seasoning is part of the DNA and I'm sure my mother put it in my formula I really suggest you all try it on many different things.

I use Bay leaves in many dishes. Beef and tomato sauces are the most prevalent among them.

Dried are what I use most as with most herbs. I find the flavor is enhanced or intensified with a few exception like Basil.
Something about "fresh" herbs makes me taste a grass like flavor. I guess I want a more intensified flavor once the water is evaporated.

And as to choking on a leaf?
Darwin just might have something to that concern.
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:44 PM   #14
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I use bay leaves occasionally, but always grind them up first. It seemed a bit wasteful to me to discard the leaves, so now I don't have to worry about it.

Incidentally, I bought a 4 oz. bag of bay leaves about 3 years ago, which is actually a gallon size containing hundreds of leaves, and I still have plenty left.
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:43 AM   #15
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I love fresh bay leaves so much that I figured I'd try to grow it. Turns out it's a tree or shrub called Laurus nobilis.

Unfortunately, it doesn't grow well in NJ. But I did get a lot of tasty leaves until it died.
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:14 AM   #16
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Not many Cajun savory dishes don't call for bay leaves. I prefer fresh, then frozen and last choice is dry. Many seafood stews and soups call for them as well. We are never without them in some form.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:01 AM   #17
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You get a stronger flavour with ground bay then you do with the leaf and sometimes you need that. It would be too much in a Swedish stew but perfect in some curries.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
I cam across this interesting article about bay leaves.. Do Bay Leaves Even Do Anything?

and have to say that it sounded like a page from my cookbook...
The take away was that fresh bay leaves are the way to go (if you are going to use bay). Does anyone use fresh bay leaves? I'm not sure I've ever seen them except on holiday wreaths....
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Hard do find in Sweden so I go for dry and yes I notice when I forget to add it. Some curries just fall flat without bay leaf and beef stews and boiling sausages..
Note the link right at the end of that article. That is how I do jerk chicken now. The chicken is cooked on a bed of damp, bay leaves, and packets of bay leaf and allspice berries are used to provide smoke. The bay/allspice combo is used in place of the pimento wood branches that the better Jamaican jerk pits use for a grate to cook the chicken on.
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:25 PM   #19
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I make my own pickling/Corning spice mix. I add dry bay leaves to the mix. I only use this mix for making corned beef. I add some to a large tea ball and add to pot while it's cooking.
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:45 PM   #20
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For years, I had a bay tree houseplant. I have to say, I miss my bay plant here in MN. Fresh bay is definitely the way to go.
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