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Old 12-09-2010, 12:24 PM   #1
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Tasty Ingredients I've never tried

Hello,

I'm setting myself a challenge in the new year to try a new ingredient every week. Something I haven't cooked with before and that is unusal, interesting and possibly hard to get hold of.

I'm hoping to start with Salsify (Having been inspired by Masterchef Professionals)

I'm aiming to end with Truffles next winter!

I'd really appreciate your thoughts on what other ingredients would be interesting for this challenge!!

I look forward to your thoughts!



Cheers!

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Old 12-09-2010, 01:11 PM   #2
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hi, welcome to d.c.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:16 PM   #3
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I remember my aunt making a great salsify casserole every Thanksgiving. I was a kid and didn't care for it until I got a bit older (around teens) then we stopped going to Grandma's for Thanksgiving and I haven't had it since. Just reading about your adventure has made my mouth water for some! I have no idea what was in it but it had a saltine cracker crumb topping.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:53 PM   #4
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go to etnic stores, there you'd find a lot of interesting stuff.
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:43 PM   #5
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hi, welcome to d.c.
Thank you! I look forward to it, especially as I'm starting out on this adventure!
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:44 PM   #6
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I remember my aunt making a great salsify casserole every Thanksgiving. I was a kid and didn't care for it until I got a bit older (around teens) then we stopped going to Grandma's for Thanksgiving and I haven't had it since. Just reading about your adventure has made my mouth water for some! I have no idea what was in it but it had a saltine cracker crumb topping.
I'm looking forward to it immensely, it's really wierd to be getting ready to cook something with no idea what you expect it to taste like!

Are there any other ingredients you can recommend!?

Cheers,

Hugo
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:46 PM   #7
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go to etnic stores, there you'd find a lot of interesting stuff.
Great idea, but the problem is I won't know what anything is - mind you thinking about it I suppose I could ask....
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:40 PM   #8
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Hugo, the only thing besides the cracker topping that I remember is that it had kind of an oyster stew aroma and flavor. I don't think there were oysters in it but that is what I remember it tasting similar to at the time.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:16 PM   #9
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Not typical of the American table but very tastey:

Creton
Birria-Goat in chili sauce
Tongue of any kind
Beef cheeks
Sweetbreads
Brains-sesos tacos
corn fungus
Asian Greens
Crown or King mushrooms
enoki mushrooms
wood ear fungus
black fungus
Aloe as a drink
basil seed drinks
Rice sticks
Moon cakes
Mochi-The pounded rice ones.
jellyfish
Sea cucumber
Sea urchin
Zucchini Blossoms
Round Asian eggplants the size of golfballs
Kimchee
Wakame
Poke
Quinoa
Multi-grain rice
Spelt
Fava beans
cheese curds
Horchata
Hibiscus drink or tea
Pho
Shmaltz
Latkes
Bialy's
Baccala


These are all pretty available in my area
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:35 PM   #10
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cooks.come has a salsify casserole recipe that uses crackers. i have never seen this veggie in my store.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:58 PM   #11
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hi, welcome to d.c.
just avoid the hail stones!
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:43 PM   #12
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Why not try a bunch of cool spices, too, such as ajwain, grains of paradise, kala jeera, black limes, etc.? In addition to the above recommendations I would suggest geoduck. Looks quite intimidating (like an elephant tusk) but is tasty. Or foie gras, sweetbreads, offal, prairie oysters...

Truffles are wonderful. My husband and I have a house in truffle country in Europe and have gone truffle hunting - so fantastic if you get the chance. White generally come with a steeper price than black and I prefer their flavour as well. They, however, can run to $1500 per kg (and more for best quality).
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:21 PM   #13
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dear Fricasse, have tried the foie gras, sweetbread, but what are prairie oysters? We have oysters from the sea from all coastlines of Australia - so good, particularly with sour cream and caviar and a touch of vodka (only for us for special occasions). We have a large tree stump of unknown origin and ever time it rains and the sun comes out, there is white and black fungus (like little mushrooms) around the base. Decided there just might be truffles, so did a bit of digging - no luck!
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:28 PM   #14
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Ah...so you have not tried prairie oysters! Before I tell you what they are, they can actually be very good. Now for the hard part - they are ... um... bull's testicles. They are usually fried. You could potentially have lots of fun with them on your menu with your friends and family!

Too bad about the truffles. They only grow in the perimeter of certain trees and are grown mainly in Italy, France and Croatia. A truffle hunter friend in Croatia actually sells his to Italy, who in turn, sell them to Italian restaurants. They are soooo good!
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:41 PM   #15
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How funny how differently we all think. I've had truffles several times, and even put out the big bucks to buy a couple. As far as I'm concerned, over-rated. Not that they didn't taste good, they did. Just that they cost more than gold, and simply are not worth that price (fyi: I've had them in omelets and pate a couple times in restaurants, the pate purchased at a high end gourmet store), and I'll be darned if I can remember what I did with the two I forked over the big bucks for, so that tells you how memorable they were.
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:45 PM   #16
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By the way, how many from 4me's list have you tried (any of you)? I counted 30. The cheese curds are a staple here (I live in cheese-land) and I send several bags to my father (whose father was a Quebecoise cheese-maker) every winter, since he can't get them where he lives.
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:49 PM   #17
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I know - it is funny! My husband likes them but certainly does not love them as I do. Part of the reason I am passionate about them is that we've gone truffle hunting and I understand what goes into it. You only go at night as the dogs can focus on their task when it is dark rather than be distracted by visual stuff. Plus we are blindfolded to keep the location a secret. We would have no clue where to go ourselves. Our truffle hunter friend in gives us the small ones or those that are nicked or broken as they would no longer qualify for the highest grade. That certainly does not bother us any! Fresh from the ground white truffles scarcely minutes old are divine (in my opinion). Unfortunately my tastes often seem to be the expensive ones...
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:51 PM   #18
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By the way, how many from 4me's list have you tried (any of you)? I counted 30. The cheese curds are a staple here (I live in cheese-land) and I send several bags to my father (whose father was a Quebecoise cheese-maker) every winter, since he can't get them where he lives.
31 thus far but I am by no means finished! I must do some more traveling...
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