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 Post subject: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:34 am 
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boring story even more boring: For my introduction to MoFo, I'd like to try to incorporate and learn how to cook a bunch of new ingredients.

In a feeble attempt to expand my weakling palate, my initial list includes quinoa, artichokes, yuca/cassava, chayote, split black gram/nirav urad, nopales, tamarind, fresh turmeric, and plantains. I'll be heading to a few of our city's fantastic ethnic grocers (Pete's Fruit Market, Asian International Market, Viet Hoa, Indian Groceries & Spices) to look around, ask for advice, and hopefully find some totally delicious food I've never even heard of before. I'm looking for "exotic" (read: non-Midwestern) herbs, spices, and produce. Preferably fresh, but canned/jarred or dried will be OK in a pinch.

So PPK, what are some ingredients you've always wanted to try, but have yet to get around to? Alternately, what are some foods you wish you did more with/cooked more often, but always forget because your pantry is filled with more familiar stuff?

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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:40 am 
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I really want to try cooking with canned jackfruit (like making BBQ pulled "pork.")

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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:46 am 
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I want to start doing more interesting stuff with lentils and bulgur, so far I've stuck with the same route of putting them in soups and just preparing them with some spices.


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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:57 am 
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I would like to try daikon, celeriac, radish and more root vegetables. My palate stops at potatoes so I'm looking to mix it up this fall/winter.


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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:08 am 
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I bought a big jar of tamarind powder that I have no idea what to do with. I've also never cooked with fennel or chard.


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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:14 am 
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Lychees. And there are a lot of types of mushrooms I really haven't worked with at all.

If you're looking for a starting point for recipes or just general techniques, I recommend Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. (There's a chapter on dairy in it that you can just skip, but more or less everything else is either vegan or vegan if you sub oil for ghee.)

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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:15 am 
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name squash but no one i ask knows how to prepare it


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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:15 am 
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Lavender! I'd also like to get my hands on some preserved lemon.

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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:18 am 
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Thanks for the ideas! I would also like to add that if anyone has a favorite way of preparing any of the ingredients in this thread, please post it here.

Daikon: Quickly pickled with carrots, added to bahn mi. So easy, so good.
Tamarind powder: CHUTNEY. Also super-tasty in dals and curries.

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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:33 am 
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Desdemona wrote:
Lavender! I'd also like to get my hands on some preserved lemon.


Preserved lemons are super easy to make (and so much cheaper than what they charge for a tiny jar in the grocery store). This is the basic technique: preserved lemons.

Mine is kohlrabi. I don't think I've ever had it and I remember a thread of kohlrabi recipes a little while ago that piqued my interest.


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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:10 am 
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Agar. I've had an unopened container in my pantry for months and still haven't used it! What should I make?

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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:22 am 
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Pinko wrote:
Desdemona wrote:
Lavender! I'd also like to get my hands on some preserved lemon.


Preserved lemons are super easy to make (and so much cheaper than what they charge for a tiny jar in the grocery store). This is the basic technique: preserved lemons.

Mine is kohlrabi. I don't think I've ever had it and I remember a thread of kohlrabi recipes a little while ago that piqued my interest.

I saw this in the online paper the other day: http://markbittman.com/this-weeks-minim ... ved-lemons if you want to save time


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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:54 am 
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b.vicious wrote:
Agar. I've had an unopened container in my pantry for months and still haven't used it! What should I make?

The only thing I have made with my little jar of agar is vegan jello shots. But I just found this!
SusanV's 3-ingredient naked orange mousse sounds super-delicious, too. Mango mousse, for something slightly fancier.

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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:19 pm 
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My secret shame is that I've never made frosting. I've actually never cooked/baked with EB or any other margarine/shortening.

I just bought chia seeds and miso. This is my first time with both! Exciting! I'd also like to get some masa harina, breadfruit, preserved lemons (pilaf!), and natto.

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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:20 pm 
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may i suggest an avenue for the chayote? in new orleans, chayotes are called mirliton (pronounced mella=tawn), and if you google for that you can find a lot of interesting recipes: stuffed, casseroles, gumbo, etc. there is even a mirliton festival at the end of every summer.

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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:00 pm 
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monkeytoes wrote:
I really want to try cooking with canned jackfruit (like making BBQ pulled "pork.")


Me too! I have 2 cans of it in my pantry-sitting there, making me feel guilty for not using them.


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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:01 pm 
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b.vicious wrote:
Agar. I've had an unopened container in my pantry for months and still haven't used it! What should I make?

I haven't used the agar I purchased either- I bought it for VCIYCJ's lemon bars, though (I think?) So I vote for lemon bars!

monkeytoes wrote:
I really want to try cooking with canned jackfruit (like making BBQ pulled "pork.")

I do, too- where does one purchase it, typically?


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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:04 pm 
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stephanie wrote:
b.vicious wrote:
Agar. I've had an unopened container in my pantry for months and still haven't used it! What should I make?

The only thing I have made with my little jar of agar is vegan jello shots. But I just found this!
SusanV's 3-ingredient naked orange mousse sounds super-delicious, too. Mango mousse, for something slightly fancier.


Why haven't you two made Vcon lemon bars?

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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:09 pm 
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seriously. lemon bars need to be made.

Whoever said name squash, can you tell me more?

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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:11 pm 
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Alina wrote:
I want to start doing more interesting stuff with lentils and bulgur, so far I've stuck with the same route of putting them in soups and just preparing them with some spices.

I think bulgur is great in chili.


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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:31 pm 
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chickpea35 wrote:
monkeytoes wrote:
I really want to try cooking with canned jackfruit (like making BBQ pulled "pork.")


Me too! I have 2 cans of it in my pantry-sitting there, making me feel guilty for not using them.


i'm with you all - i really want to cook with jackfruit, although i'm kinda intimidated.

i also want to cook with:
- yucca
- seaweeds (i have used nori before, but nothing beyond that)
- coconut flour


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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:37 pm 
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Melisser's recipe for jackfruit carnitas are great. You can also add bbq sauce and cook it in the crock pot to make a bbq sandwich.


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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:09 pm 
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Lavender, tamarind, saffron, artichokes, kohlrabi, fennel, tempeh, seitan... there are a lot of things I've never cooked with before, but it would be a lot of fun to try them!

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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:27 pm 
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kittee wrote:
may i suggest an avenue for the chayote? in new orleans, chayotes are called mirliton (pronounced mella=tawn), and if you google for that you can find a lot of interesting recipes: stuffed, casseroles, gumbo, etc.
Your recipe for stuffed mirliton was the 5th Google result when I searched for mirliton. Looks amaaaaaazing, thank you! Plus, it gives me an excuse to make CORNBREAD MMMMM. <3

Meggs wrote:
monkeytoes wrote:
I really want to try cooking with canned jackfruit (like making BBQ pulled "pork.")
I do, too- where does one purchase it, typically?
I just saw some canned at my local Indian grocer, and it's always been stocked fresh and canned at my local Vietnamese grocer, so (at least in MKE) it isn't too hard to find. I am TOTALLY intimidated by it, but it's a great idea for this project!

lavawitch wrote:
Why haven't you two made Vcon lemon bars?
I haven't made them because I'm not a huge lemon bar fan (the texture kinda bugs me), but seeing as it comes so highly recommended, I'll have to give it a shot.

PS, lavender cooking wannabes -- I've used chopped lavender leaves in place of rosemary on roasted potatoes. Delicious and not at all perfume-y, as I'd feared. Lavender salt sounds good, too, though I've never tried it.

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 Post subject: Re: ingredients you've never cooked with, but would like to
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:34 pm 
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stephanie wrote:
Meggs wrote:
monkeytoes wrote:
I really want to try cooking with canned jackfruit (like making BBQ pulled "pork.")
I do, too- where does one purchase it, typically?
I just saw some canned at my local Indian grocer, and it's always been stocked fresh and canned at my local Vietnamese grocer, so (at least in MKE) it isn't too hard to find. I am TOTALLY intimidated by it, but it's a great idea for this project!


I don't have specialty groceries like that in my town or right near it... google time! I want to try this BBQ "pork," especially if its as easy as cooking it in the crock pot like Lubi suggested!


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