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Help me savor the vanilla bean...

c
Carb Lover Dec 22, 2004 07:41 PM

Just read an article today about a French chef who likes to use vanilla bean in savory dishes. He picked this up from his mentor in France.

If you read my reply on the GT board about vanilla ice cream, then you'd know that I'm a vanilla fanatic. Although vanilla beans may be more expensive in the US these days, I would really like to try to incorporate them in a savory dish, preferably an entree. Because I'd want the vanilla to stand out, seems like using it w/ chicken breast or whitefish might work, but I have never tasted a savory dish w/ vanilla beans so have no prior schema for this, what flavor combos work, etc. Does anyone have any recipe they can refer me to or any ideas from a dish they've tried at a restaurant?

Thanks for helping me to bring this intriguing concept to life!

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  1. p
    PayOrPlay RE: Carb Lover Dec 22, 2004 09:00 PM

    IMHO, vanilla goes especially well with pork. I just googled the words "vanilla pork" (but leave out the quotes) and came up with a number of interesting recipes such as Vanilla and Bourbon Marinated Pork Loin (an Emeril recipe) and Roast Fillet of Pork with Orange, Vanilla and Red Wine Sauce and Vanilla Cider Pork. And a vanilla brine for pork.

    5 Replies
    1. re: PayOrPlay
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      snackish RE: PayOrPlay Dec 22, 2004 09:19 PM

      I have a recipe I like for what is basically cauliflower baked in a vanilla bechamel.

      1. re: snackish
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        PayOrPlay RE: snackish Dec 22, 2004 11:37 PM

        And, after my initial post, I came across this in the very interesting brand-new Los Angeles Magazine profile of Ludovic Lefebvre (the new and controversial chef at Bastide): when he first arrived in L.A. (at L'Orangerie), "A proponent of using vanilla in savory dishes--a trademark of Guy Martin--Lefebvre combined it with ahi tuna."

        1. re: PayOrPlay
          c
          Carb Lover RE: PayOrPlay Dec 22, 2004 11:40 PM

          Yes, that's the article that prompted my post...wish I could try some of his vanilla-accented food.

        2. re: snackish
          c
          Carb Lover RE: snackish Dec 22, 2004 11:44 PM

          Like a cauliflower gratin? Would be most grateful if you could pass along the recipe. I usually work by instinct anyway and have made gratins and bechamel numerous times, so an ingredient list would be sufficient if you don't have time to spell it all out. Thanks!

          1. re: Carb Lover
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            snackish RE: Carb Lover Dec 23, 2004 02:53 PM

            This is originally from Bon Appetit years ago

            3 Tbsp butter
            3 Tbsp flour
            2 cups stock - chicken or veg
            2 egg yolks
            1/2 cup whipping or manufacturing cream
            1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley fresh
            2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
            1 tsp lemon juice pref fresh
            Salt, pep
            1 head cauliflower

            Melt butter add flour, cook 3 mins until nutty smelling. Add stock, whisk til smooth. Increase heat, boil, stirring, until thick, 1 minute.

            Whisk yolks n cream in a bowl. Slowly whisk in stock mix. Return to pan & boil 1 min, stirring constantly. Mix in parsley, vanilla, lemon juice, salt pep.

            Steam cauliflour whole or in pieces. Pour sauce over.

      2. l
        Limster RE: Carb Lover Dec 22, 2004 11:44 PM

        Vanilla goes really well with lobster and shrimp. Lobster with madagascar vanilla sauce is a signature dish at Lucas Carton in Paris, had it a few years ago.

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          rudeboy RE: Carb Lover Dec 23, 2004 09:55 AM

          You know that there are different types of vanilla, right?

          1 Reply
          1. re: rudeboy
            c
            Carb Lover RE: rudeboy Dec 23, 2004 11:42 AM

            Yes, although I've only used beans from Tahiti or Madagascar for baking. I believe that Tahitian beans are more floral. Hmmm...this adds another layer of complexity to my objective.

            If you have any advice on which beans to use w/ which dishes, please offer. Thanks.

          2. s
            Shmingrid RE: Carb Lover Dec 23, 2004 12:27 PM

            An absolute favorite of mine is skin-on chix parts rubbed with vanilla seeds, salt, black pepper and then grilled. Amazing.

            1. f
              fatcat RE: Carb Lover Dec 23, 2004 12:30 PM

              There is a new book out all about vanilla. I don't have it yet so I can't comment on it directly. But I have visited the author's website and it is quite good. I think the NY Times did a review of the book this weekend. The author is Patricia Rain and the book is called The Vanilla Chef.

              Link: http://www.vanilla.com/store/products...

              1. t
                TP RE: Carb Lover Dec 24, 2004 03:32 PM

                My husband has put it into mashed potatoes. He makes the smoothest, silkiest potatoes. I believed he steeped the vanilla beans with the cream, and then also added some fresh when mixing it. It's very subtle, yet pleasant. Different, weird, and delicious. :)

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                  Timowitz RE: Carb Lover Dec 25, 2004 11:23 PM

                  Two of jean-Georges Vongerichten's cookbooks include savory dishes that use vanilla. Simple Cuisine (his first, which might be out of print) has a scallop dish that uses vanilla. Jean Georges: Cooking at Home with a Four Star Chef has a recipe for roast chicken that uses vanilla.

                  A few years ago, the NY Times also printed a recipe for sweet potato puree that incorporates butter, cream, and vanilla. It was very good and very rich. It was part of a Dining In Dining Out column (probably before it became a freestanding section in the national edition) about pheasant hunting in Scotland (with the bulk of the pheasants subsequently being sold commercially in the U.K. and the U.S.)

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