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Great recipes using vanilla beans?

GrillNextDoor Mar 12, 2007 10:32 AM

Just got some and this is my first time using real beans. Not such a baker, so I'd appreciate both baking and cooking recipes, if possible! Thanks

  1. thunderbug84 Mar 12, 2007 10:52 AM

    Try bougatsa. Its a terrific greek dessert that combines philo dough and a sweet, vanilla custard. My favorite recipe is from the cookbook, "The Real Greek at Home." You'll love it.

    1. c
      Cheesy Oysters Mar 12, 2007 11:06 AM

      Boy I like to take a bean and stick it in some Balsamic vinegar and let is flavor the vinegar. I just keep it in the bottle until it's gone and then I start over with a new bean and bottle. It has a wonderful fragrance and rounds out the vinegar. I always think of doing this for Christmas presents but never get around to it. I got the idea from David Paul's in Maui.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Cheesy Oysters
        thunderbug84 Mar 12, 2007 11:10 AM

        That sounds really interesting. I'll have to try it. What type of balsamic vinegar do you use? (what is the acidity?)

        1. re: Cheesy Oysters
          sgwood415 Mar 12, 2007 06:11 PM

          We like to make a dessert with these flavors too. I think the recipe came from Sunset magazine, but we changed it a little. We sautee pear slices in unslated butter and then scrape in some vanilla bean, balsamic vinegar, and fresh rosemary. You have to vary the cooking time and proportions based on the flavor of the pear, but as a general rule you should go light on the ingredients, they're pretty bold flavors. Serve immediately with a dollop of whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or creme fraiche.

        2. c
          Cheesy Oysters Mar 12, 2007 02:45 PM

          I've done it with a few types--nothing too expensive. When I used to go to Costco, it would be the one that they sold. I just loved the vanilla flavored vinegar--love that sweet and savory combination.

          1. QueenB Mar 12, 2007 02:53 PM

            Creme brulee or creme caramel.

            1. foodiegrl Mar 12, 2007 02:59 PM

              Slice a bean in half & put it in an airtight container of sugar. The flavor will permeate the sugar in a matter of days, and you can keep the bean in the container for months. Use the sugar for baking, cookie sprinkles or in your coffee. It's great sprinkled on french toast, and makes your classic cinnamon-sugar condiment even tastier.

              Not sure if you're a lobster fan, but vanilla is also wonderful with lobster. You can find all sorts of recipes online. Here's a good start:

              1 Reply
              1. re: foodiegrl
                SunnysideUp Mar 13, 2007 01:39 AM

                Another idea for vanilla sugar is to dry out a used bean after you have scraped the insides for a another recipe. You then process the dry pod and mix it in a container of sugar. It's an economical way to get the most out of the bean.

              2. nyufoodie Mar 12, 2007 03:02 PM

                use it to flavor a panna cotta instead of using vanilla in liquid form. i use two beans per quart.

                1. s
                  sugarbuzz Mar 12, 2007 05:30 PM

                  You can drop 2-3 pods in a bottle of rum..let sit for a week to 10 days & use that instead of vanilla extract.

                  Make some vanilla syrup for your pancakes..make some simple syrup(equal amounts of sugar & water). Use 1 vanilla bean for every 2 cups of simple syrup. Take the simple syrup, vanilla bean & some whole star anise & bring to a boil. Let simmer & reduce to half the original amount..until thick & syrupy.

                  1. pepper_mil Mar 13, 2007 01:25 AM

                    Ice cream made with real vanilla beans has no comparison. Also look for Amanda Hesser's vanilla loaf recipe.

                    1. thunderbug84 Mar 13, 2007 07:52 AM

                      What is the best alcohol to use for making Vanilla extract? I saw that someone on a much earlier post used Frangelico and really liked it. Does anyone else have any suggestions?

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