For the love of Produce...

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  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 7,663 Member
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    Som Tam with julienned carrot, daikon and pink lady apple as a substitute from green papaya. Happy to finally try to imitate some of the food we ate on our vacation in Thailand at Christmas. Probably a half and half substitution of julienned daikon and granny smith apple would best represent the flavour profile of green papaya or green mango which are hard to find in London.
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  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 7,663 Member
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    In the spirit of trying to reproduce stuff we ate in Thailand when we went on holiday in December. Pomelo salad was great. Must make it again before they are out of season.
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  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 13,371 Member
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    The only challenge for jicama is peeling it. So I just cut a flat spot on one end, and then slice off two or three slabs. Then I take a paring knife and cut around the perimeter to remove the outer layer. If you cut about 1/8 inch in from the peel, you're right where the meat starts, and it just cuts like... well, not butter.

    From that it's easy to just cut julienne shapes or buttons or whatever I want that day.

    Is this just jicama? I'd think it would be too brittle for a wrap. Very interesting. I'll just keep buying them whole and cutting them for salads. If I really want a taco - I'll just get a taco.
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 7,663 Member
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    Ideas on how to cook broccoli for a broccoli hater?

    My husband only likes broccoli with Bagna Cauda, the warm Piedmontese dip of garlic, anchovy, olive oil, butter for raw veg. That's because broccoli is a very efficient means of transporting the dip (which he likes) as the florets hold onto tons of the sauce. He came home yesterday with purple sprouting broccoli because I was making Nam Prik Ong, a Thai dish in the same spirit, being a warm spicy funky pork mince and tomato sauce for dipping raw veg into.

    There is quite a lot of the purple sprouting broccoli left over. I like broccoli but I am trying to think of how to make it so that the hubby finds it acceptable. The only thing I can think of is Bagna Cauda or maybe another strongly flavoured dip.

  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 13,371 Member
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    Break into large-ish stalks/florets.

    Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and other spices of your choosing. I like garlic powder and some kind of chile and at least one other flavor.

    Place on parchment paper lined tray in a 425F convection oven, ideally on a preheated baking stone. Roast for 20 minutes. Turn once. Continue roasting until they are almost black on the outside.

    Crispy and delicious.
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 13,371 Member
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    @SafariGalNYC

    I will try to start hating broccoli if it means you will make that for me.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,496 Member
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    @SafariGalNYC,

    I think I need to unsee that so I don't make a giant sheet pan of it and eat the whoooole thing.

    Parmesan crisps up the nicest. Browned-up broccoli is high on my yum list. The recipe is easy.

    This looks like trouble. Delicious, delicious trouble. :D


  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 7,663 Member
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    Thanks for the broccoli tips.

    Lately I have been trying to reproduce some of the stuff I ate on vacation in Thailand in December. Have been trying the green mango and green papaya salads with substitutions such as spiralized root veg mixed with julienned sour apple instead of unripe tropical fruit.

    So this week I finally saw a green papaya and a green mango in an Asian supermarket here in London. The papaya was £14.50 (it was bigger) and the mango was £13. Wow. That's like $17-$18. I guess I will stick to my experiments with substitutions.

    That said, pomelo salad can be made cheaply at home. They are still in season now, and a whole pomelo costing £2-£3 in London makes 4-6 servings of salad.
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 7,663 Member
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    So I tried a tiny sampler of both the roasted broccoli and cheese heavy broccoli chips in the air fryer. Unfortunately the purple sprouting broccoli is not ideal for roasting. Although the florets were lovely, the thin stems got leathery. I think I will try roasting when I have regular broccoli.

    I am using 100g of cheddar cheese to 115g of purple sprouting broccoli.
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 7,663 Member
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    The broccoli chips were very salty from the cheddar. Next time I will use a much lighter sprinkle of cheese so it is just a lattice tuile that barely holds the broccoli together.
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 13,371 Member
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    After a couple days, the salt had drawn a lot of moisture out of the cherry blossoms. I took out the blossoms and tried to recover as much salt as I could. What once filled a gallon jar now is in a small glass bowl. I added one cup of rice vinegar and put the lid on the bowl "upside down" so the lid holds the blossoms under the liquid level.

    In three days I'll strain off the vinegar and keep it for other uses, and I'll then let the blossoms air dry or put them in the dehydrator. I'm looking forward to finding ways to use them.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,496 Member
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    @mtaratoot, I'll be interested to hear how those turn out for you. Initially, the idea is a little off-putting to me: I don't like most flowery flavors (lavender, rose water, that sort of thing). I'm having difficulty imagining what the flavors will be for your cherry blossom experiments.

    (I do like nasturtium leaves/flowers, some herb flowers.)
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 13,371 Member
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    I made a lavender tincture years ago. One or two drops (no more!) in a martini was actually really delicious. A good friend suggested I use the rest to clean floors....

    I am also very curious. Suggested use is to float a flower or two on broth or as a garnish. I think it would be good with sweet things, but I don't make many of those. The vinegar might be a neat alternative to seasoned rice vinegar for making sushi rice. Worst case scenario is it's a failure, and I wasted a cup of rice vinegar and some salt. I have so far enjoyed the process; fun stuff.

    Squash blossoms are tasty too. Nasturtium flowers have a nice peppery flavor.

    I also have a jar of dried candy cap mushrooms - another interesting flavored thing that is quite unusual. Tastes like maple syrup. Put one or two of them in your car, and you'll enjoy the aroma for several months. Reminds me - I need to put one in my truck.

    If nothing else, when I eat them maybe the memory will transport me back to where I am right this very moment - sitting under the tree on a warm, sunny spring afternoon sipping very good sake and having the blossoms snow down on me and soaking up the amazing aroma all around and talking to the birds and.... Spring in a jar!
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,496 Member
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    I forgot about squash blossoms: It's been a while since I had enough squash to spare some. Tasty, though.

    I made marigold liqueur once. I don't need to make it again. Not ever.
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 13,371 Member
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    I made dandelion wine. Very tasty, but the amount of work was... type three fun. This is on my mind because I was talking a friend today about my experiment and he mentioned making dandelion jam once. He said it was the best jam he ever had, and he'll never make it again.

    Figs are actually specialized flower clusters. I won't even mention the fact that there's often insects in there.... Broccoli is an inflorescence. Garlic scapes are flower buds, and they will be available soon. Asparagus is a whole other deal.

    But yeah - I'm really not sure what these will turn into. Sometimes it is just fun to mess around with interesting ingredients. That's how I started making kimche and sauerkraut and then fermenting other things like carrots and such. People also eat cherry LEAVES. I haven't done that, but dolmas for sure. I wonder if I could make cherry leaf dolmas this year. Hey - thanks for the idea!
  • Athijade
    Athijade Posts: 3,261 Member
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    The large local Farmer's Market is opening up for the season on Saturday!

    I find I eat so much better during the weeks I go to the Farmer's Market. So I am super excited for the season to start!