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under-used treasure or garbage? what ingredient do you think people are wasting?

thew Mar 5, 2008 07:56 AM

2 nights ago i made a really delicious gnocchi dish, with shrimp and leeks served in a lightly spiced shrimp stock, made from the shells of the shrimp and a few aromatics and spices. (so yummmy) I use a similar stock often as a base for sauces when I cook shrimp, whether stir-frying sauteing or whatever. It took maybe 10 minutes to make, and always adds such depth of flavor.

So i would say shrimp shells get my vote for the most under-used treasure in the kitchen, more often just tossed in the garbage, than mined for flavor.

what gets your vote?

  1. g
    grammywheels Mar 8, 2011 02:41 PM

    Glad to see this thread still growing...has anyone touched on the subject of what we call "garbage soup"??? Peels and trimmings of almost any vegetable, preferably organic since pesticides are most often retained in the skin or near the surface. Garbage soup is basically a vegetable broth..simmering almost daily on the slow burner of the stove and into which all veg peelings and scraps of that day, well washed, are added. Refrigerated overnight and restarted the following day, strained, then used as a base for soup at the end of each week... or cooked down to concentrate it and frozen for later use. And dont forget pea pods, slow simmered and then pureed and strained, they make, with the addition of some cream, a soup which is the essence of fresh peas.

    2 Replies
    1. re: grammywheels
      sunshine842 Mar 9, 2011 01:09 AM

      I make stock all the time with the carcass from a rotisserie chicken or two and all the peels, tops, tough parts, etc., from vegetables for the week. I keep a freezer bag just for holding them until I get time to make stock.

      1. re: sunshine842
        hypomyces Mar 10, 2011 11:28 AM

        I do the same thing with the bones from BBQ duck purchased in the Chinese markets. Cook it up with a little ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, salt and green onion and use it for the broth in my wuntun noodle soup.

    2. woodleyparkhound Mar 8, 2011 11:13 AM

      Beet tops...love them as a salad green!

      1 Reply
      1. re: woodleyparkhound
        l
        lgss Mar 8, 2011 02:21 PM

        A "helpful" clerk offered to break them off and discard them for us one day as we checked out. Needless to say, we declined the offer.

      2. hypomyces Mar 6, 2011 03:06 PM

        'So i would say shrimp shells get my vote for the most under-used treasure in the kitchen'...

        I live in a lobster fishing community, and I think that lobster bodies and empty lobster shells are the true under-used treasure in the kitchen.
        1. You feast on lobster ( at 7$/pound, it is cheaper that most cuts of beef)
        2.Save everything
        3. Make a spread with the lobster liver (tomalley) mixed with home-made mayo and toasted sesame oil on top on grilled bread(appetizer with side salade-almost free)
        4.Use the cooked eggs (the red part in the tail, if you have a female Lobster) to add to sauces or other preparations(deviled eggs with lobster eggs added= eggs mimosa, super fancy, again almost free)
        5.Save the bodies (the series of little legs) to make a lobster fumet ( as a base for a variety of sauces) as well as lobster bisque (garnished with the meat from the 'elbows' that not everyone eats)
        5.Use the leftover shells to make lobster oil:
        In a pot, fry the shells in veg oil(until fragrant), add onions, garlic, orange peel, and fresh thyme and continue to fry. After a few minutes, add a touch of water ( about 1/8 inch) and enough flavorless veg oil to cover ( I use canola). Simmer on extreme low for 2 hours. Turn off the heat and leave aside for at leat 8 hrs ( at room temp). Filter through 3 layers of cheesecloth. You should have a flourescent orange oil that is infused with lobster taste. Use in salades, on top of scallops, in salmon tartare.....anything. Great as gifts. Bottles of this stuff are worth a fortune. You've just paid for your lobster with its leftovers!

        1. b
          biglinguist Mar 6, 2011 02:35 PM

          Here in Newfoundland, where money was tight for years (until we found oil) and people know their fish, most supermarkets sell cod cheeks (called "cod tongues", but they're not really the tongues) as a separate -- and not that cheap! -- item.

          But at the same time, people throw away beet greens! I sometimes get a bagful for free from the farm trucks.

          And while I'm here... I totally second the shrimp shells thing! Makes a beautiful buttery stock that improves almost any seafood dish.

          5 Replies
          1. re: biglinguist
            hypomyces Mar 8, 2011 10:02 AM

            Here on the east coast of Quebec, we have cod cheeks AND cod tongues. The cheeks come from A and the tongue comes from B. Cod heads are delish as well.

             
            1. re: hypomyces
              g
              grammywheels Mar 8, 2011 02:20 PM

              here on the coast of New England we also use cod cheeks AND tongues..battered and deep fried they are even better than scallops...and every part of the lobster is used also..tomalley on crackers or crostini or croutons which can be floated on a bowl of lobster stew/chowder for an elegant garnish...shells and miscellaneous parts sauteed in butter, crushed and seived then used as an enrichment to sauces and stocks..those poor inlanders who dont have access to these things have my deepest sympathies.

              1. re: grammywheels
                hypomyces Mar 8, 2011 03:27 PM

                I can't wait until next fishing season when the fresh tongues are available, fresh from the boat. I just can't get enough. Great pan fried, deep fried, stewed..any way.
                If I really want to please my in-laws (mom and pop), I get a hold of a ginormous cod, save the head and stew it with s&p, salted fatback, onion, and a little flour to thicken it all. They'll be slurping in bliss throughout the whole meal. Don't forget the potatoes!

              2. re: hypomyces
                g
                grammywheels Mar 8, 2011 02:21 PM

                And dont forget fish frames/bones for a fumet/broth to add that extra something to chowders and soups.

                1. re: grammywheels
                  hypomyces Mar 10, 2011 11:25 AM

                  Yummy!

            2. vvvindaloo Feb 12, 2011 02:43 PM

              Celery leaves- perfect in a chilled bean salad, tuna salad, yogurt/cucumber dip, in a bruschetta topping, or for a light herbal hint in green salads.

              1. n
                noodlepoodle Feb 11, 2011 09:49 AM

                The other day on TV I heard Jamie Oliver talking about the heart of the celery as he was taking stalks off. He said that was the best part. I usually chuck that away, but I think I won't next time.

                1. t
                  tldmatrix Feb 7, 2011 02:20 AM

                  broccoli stem
                  http://teenchefteddy.blogspot.com/

                  1. algct Jan 20, 2011 03:11 PM

                    FISH HEADS!

                    How many people want the fish gutted & beheaded!

                    I don't know much about fish guts - but I assume the liver is edible. The Chinese do fish-maw.

                    But the head??? The cheeks? Hamachi-kama??

                    Soup stock???

                     
                    1. letsindulge Jan 16, 2011 02:14 PM

                      A big "yes" on cilantro stems but ALSO basil stems. Chopped and added to any Italian-style soup.

                      1. h
                        hscsusiq Aug 14, 2010 06:51 PM

                        Shrimp Shells: A Bait/Beer place years ago sold steamed shrimp... instead of tossing the shells they baked them with garlic butter and served them as bar snacks! I stopped peeling my shrimp then and still eat it with shell on.
                        I tried beet greens, but no one in my family will eat them... such a waste!
                        Thanks for the potato tip; I'm gonna start frying them up!
                        If you get a chance to try honeybee drone brood, do! Many beekeepers take them out, but don't eat them. They're a delicacy in many parts of the world. Sweet when stir fried.
                        If you have leftover cooked oatmeal, add a boullion cube and eat it as Oatmeal Soup!
                        Story: When the Vietnamese refugees arrived in my area they scrounged! They went to the fishing docks when the boats came in and go all the fish parts, they were on roadsides all over, including in NYC, digging plants like dandelions. They worked hard and lived cheaply. Many owned homes within a few years and showed me what frugality could accomplish.

                        1. f
                          freelancer77 Jul 6, 2010 01:08 PM

                          I don't think anyone's mentioned this so far, but I love eating the core from a fresh pineapple. I grew up eating pineapple with the core and all, but when I got older I realized that most people (certainly in America) seem to cut out the core and throw it away. I can't understand why anyone would throw it away -- it's got a milder, sweeter pineapple flavor that's less acidic, and it's got a great chewy texture. These days when I cut up pineapple I cut the core, keep it separately from the other flesh, and happily eat it all myself. As far as other underappreciated ingredients: I also save parmesan rinds obsessively -- I know many people throw them away but they're great for adding richness and flavor to broth, soups, etc.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: freelancer77
                            o
                            ospreycove Jul 6, 2010 01:23 PM

                            Seeing the waste at the dock when we come in after a good day of Grouper fishing; I always have to keep aside the heads and frames. Th head from a 15-20 lb Grouper has plenty of great white flesh. The cheeks are bigger than a half dollar coin, and the "Grouper throat" (local Gulf Coast name) are a superb addition to a Fruta de Mare pasta. The frames make excellent stock as well.

                            1. re: ospreycove
                              alkapal Jul 8, 2010 09:52 PM

                              just saw some grouper cheeks on the menu of the "sandy butler" restaurant in fort myers beach, florida. i love grouper, and fortunately my nephew catches enough to share.

                          2. ChristinaMason May 25, 2010 08:21 AM

                            Kohlrabi greens! I snagged a whole bagful of them from the market today...shoppers just discarded them. Lucky me.

                            1. Bada Bing May 10, 2010 04:56 AM

                              I'm continually amazed that people who buy beets often discard the greens, which I like better than the actual beets. And the greens are, I have read, tremendously nutritious.

                              1. c
                                cathyeats Apr 22, 2010 02:17 PM

                                Swiss chard stems! Had amazing grilled chard stems at Al Di La in Brooklyn, but haven't figured out the ingredients. Anchovies, perhaps?

                                1. Paulustrious Apr 22, 2010 08:53 AM

                                  This is like revealing one's laundry habits.

                                  The oil things come in; in particular anchovies and sardines.
                                  Same goes for some vinegars
                                  The chicken fat from making stock.
                                  Ricotta whey replaces water in bread
                                  Stale bread - makes bread pudding (UK type), bread crumbs, unusual french toast
                                  Lemon rinds - never thrown away until zested.
                                  Weeds - eg dandelions. This is the season in Toronto

                                  I remember a conversation I had during my first TGIF meal. We were imagining the TGIF board of directors discussing waste, in particular potato skins. And then someone had a great idea - why don't we sell them?

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Paulustrious
                                    f
                                    fastermx Apr 26, 2010 03:49 AM

                                    THANK YOU! For the suggestion to use whey as part of the liquid in making bread. So I'll return the favor. Save potato water after boiling potatoes, and use THAT, too, in making bread. For some reason it helps to keep the homemade bread fresh and moist longer. As you probably know, homemade bread gets dry or stale much faster than commercial breads. This is one way to minimize that problem. I've also been told to wrap your homemade bread in foil - after FULLY cooled - and wrap it as if there was no tomorrow - allowing no air pockets at all. That helps keep it fresh longer, too.

                                    I had some extra onions and peelings from potatoes one day when I was making fried chicken. I tossed THEM in the leftover seasoned flour that I'd used for the chicken, and threw them into the oil after the chicken was done. They cooked up kind of loose, but tasted great. Next time, I think I'll use only enough of the leftover seasoned flour to mix with an egg and water (and any additional seasonings I want) into a batter the texture of cream. Then I'd dip clumps of the onions and bacon peels in the batter and fry them in those clumps. A kind of primitive bhaji. I've always hated throwing out potato peels. They taste SO good in baked potatoes and add a lot of goodness to french fries. Many years ago, in the States, a restaurant served up fried potato skins in a kind of loaf. Out of this world. But I can't remember the restaurant. Now, I think, because of what you said, that it might have been a TGI Fridays. Is that how they serve fried potato skins? In a crispy loaf? I'd like to know what they use to hold them together. It didn't seem that they were held together with a batter, but maybe I'm wrong. I'd love to know, if someone's willing to enlighten me.

                                    1. re: fastermx
                                      Paulustrious Apr 26, 2010 10:35 AM

                                      They used to serve them as half-potatoes, partially hollowed out and filled with melted cheese / ground meat / guacogoop etc.

                                  2. j
                                    jo_mama Apr 8, 2010 06:45 PM

                                    Save your whey from cheese-making (especially acid-curdled cheeses) and use it as your cooking liquid in risotto or congee. I saved my whey from the cumin-flavored paneer I made, and then used it in an Indian-inspired risotto. Also in the risotto: jasmine rice, curry leaves, chilies, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, onions, garlic, ginger, and carrots.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: jo_mama
                                      j
                                      jvanderh Apr 11, 2010 03:09 PM

                                      Indian risotto! How interesting. I'm curious how a sweet cardamom one would be. I think it might be even better with a starchy, gluey rice than regular cooked rice.

                                      1. re: jvanderh
                                        r
                                        Rasam Apr 11, 2010 03:36 PM

                                        A sweet cardamom "Indian risotto" is none other than good old kheer, for which there are many recipes on line. :)
                                        The savory "Indian risotto" described by jo_mama seems like humble khichdi, only without the dal component. :)

                                        They would taste great, I am sure....

                                        In general, I very much agree that whey, the liquid from strained yogurt, and other similar liquids, are under used and I can't understand why these are routinely thrown away.... $$ and nutrition down the sink?

                                        1. re: Rasam
                                          d
                                          downtownfoodie Apr 18, 2010 06:10 AM

                                          Mushroom stems - I have a ziploc container in the freezer at all times. I used to save up enough to make stock for risotto (with more fresh mushrooms) but now I often just empty whatever's in there into the stock I am already using (homemade chicken stock usually) and simmer for a bit before I start adding to the risotto. Then when done, I chuck the drained stems right back into the freezer for use the next time. When you fill the container, make actual stock, chuck the stems and start all over.

                                          I do a similar thing with the mire poix veggies you pull out of a braise. Chuck them in the freezer. Next time you're braising something, toss them in a piece of tinfoil, poke some holes with a fork and toss it into the pot like a bouquet garni. If it's something with a lot of connective tissue like oxtails, bone-in shortribs etc, i'll trim a lot of it ahead of time, toss it into the foil as well. That way you get the benefits of it without people having to pull a piece of something stringy out of their teeth (although that's more for dinner party dishes).

                                          Fish cheeks - it kills me to see people grill/roast/poach whole fish, cut off the fillets and chuck the heads/bones. Pull off the cheek for the most tender meat and then use the bones for stock.

                                          And I'm almost embarassed to admit this one, but I drink the tuna water from the can :). I work out a lot and my friend told me there's protein in it. I think he might be making it up as an excuse cause he likes drinking it but what the hell...waste not, want not, right?

                                          Can't wait to start planting carrot tops, scallion bottoms etc

                                          1. re: Rasam
                                            j
                                            jvanderh Apr 18, 2010 06:16 PM

                                            Isn't that usually made with regular rice, and not using the risotto method? That was the difference I was pointing out.

                                            1. re: Rasam
                                              t
                                              theperfectcookie Apr 26, 2010 02:40 AM

                                              Woah the Indian Risotto does sound good. Hahah too bad I don't have much whey from cheese-making since I hardly ever make them.

                                              1. re: Rasam
                                                f
                                                fastermx Apr 26, 2010 03:37 AM

                                                All right - don't stop THERE! Tell us some recipes to use whey in! I usually throw mine out, even though I know I'm tossing away some good nutrition. But I don't know what to make with it. And I know it wouldn't keep long in the fridge, either. So give us some recipes to use it in, PLEASE! I'm not the only one interested in this.

                                                1. re: Rasam
                                                  g
                                                  grammywheels Feb 11, 2011 12:23 PM

                                                  If you happen to run out of culinary uses for whey...it is an excellent supplement for plants...as are various forms of vegetable cooking waters.

                                            2. Davwud Feb 12, 2010 03:43 AM

                                              Good call on the shrimp shells. When we were first married Mrs. Sippi thought I was weird when I was saving shrimp shells and making stock. Then she tried something made with it and was a convert.

                                              Any shells, bones and the like are great for home made stock and home made stock makes a quantum leap in your cooking.

                                              I will say, I've long maintained that chicken thighs are the most under appreciated piece of food going. They never seem to get much love. It's what I look for first.

                                              DT

                                              23 Replies
                                              1. re: Davwud
                                                alkapal Feb 12, 2010 03:48 AM

                                                i'm a thigh girl!
                                                ... best meat to bone ratio. best flavor.

                                                (for some reason, my mom always calls them "short thighs." we always rib her about it!).

                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                  SusanaTheConqueress Feb 12, 2010 04:15 AM

                                                  The "Parson's Nose"! I'd never heard that expression before 2001 ~ It's the tail! Quite the succulent bits to be had there, too!
                                                  And, not to forget chicken backs ~ I used to save them off fryers in the freezer, then make stock with them ~ They've got "The Oyster" on their sides :-)
                                                  If they're "Short Thighs", does that mean she gets both? '-)
                                                  Smart gal, your mom! :-)

                                                  1. re: SusanaTheConqueress
                                                    decolady Feb 12, 2010 05:50 AM

                                                    Oh yes. Chicken backs and tails get saved for stock here, too. Wing tips are also added to those bags in the freezer.

                                                    1. re: SusanaTheConqueress
                                                      t
                                                      tonka11_99 Mar 16, 2010 09:35 PM

                                                      My wife is a country girl. She refers to it as "the part that went over the fence last".

                                                      1. re: SusanaTheConqueress
                                                        thew Mar 17, 2010 05:01 AM

                                                        the technical term is "pupik"

                                                        1. re: thew
                                                          p
                                                          phantomdoc May 10, 2010 11:57 AM

                                                          Pupik

                                                          belly button
                                                          belly
                                                          button
                                                          Navel
                                                          gizzard
                                                          chicken stomach
                                                          chicken
                                                          stomach

                                                          Navel, belly button, gizzard, chicken stomach
                                                          http://www.translationdirectory.com/d...

                                                        2. re: SusanaTheConqueress
                                                          f
                                                          fastermx Apr 26, 2010 03:29 AM

                                                          Thighs are my favorites, too. There is one shop near me in Mexico that cuts thighs to include part of the spine. That brings you the "oyster," the most succulent morsel on any bird, as well as the kidney, tucked into a little cavity of bone. In addition, this lady's thighs are gargantuan! I have a very large frying pan, and can only cook three of them in it at once! I can remember the thighs I used to get at Jewel Food Stores in Illinois - about 8 in a one-pound package! I'm in chicken thigh heaven now. There was a time when I used to buy chicken backs, but now I don't have to - all the good stuff comes with my thighs now.

                                                          1. re: SusanaTheConqueress
                                                            algct Jan 20, 2011 03:07 PM

                                                            Also called "The Pope's Nose" - maybe resembling Pope John XXXIII (23rd??? don't do Roman numerals too often).....

                                                            1. re: algct
                                                              buttertart Jan 21, 2011 04:49 AM

                                                              XXIII. XXXIII is 33.

                                                          2. re: alkapal
                                                            Davwud Feb 12, 2010 04:17 AM

                                                            Ah Alk, I always knew I liked you.

                                                            I keep meaning to stuff the B-S ones and wrap them in bacon. Can't decide to grill or smoke. Perhaps this summer a taste off of both methods.

                                                            DT

                                                            1. re: Davwud
                                                              SusanaTheConqueress Feb 12, 2010 04:20 AM

                                                              B-S = Boneless-Skinless?

                                                              1. re: SusanaTheConqueress
                                                                Davwud Feb 12, 2010 08:20 AM

                                                                Yes

                                                                DT

                                                              2. re: Davwud
                                                                alkapal Feb 12, 2010 04:24 AM

                                                                smoke 'em! put some minced jalapeño under the bacon as you wrap them. oh, i can taste that right now. love me some smoked chicken.

                                                                would your stuffing be like a big ole chicken popper? cream cheese, garlic, some shredded jalapeño jack, then wrap the whole baby in jalapeño and bacon.

                                                                ~~~
                                                                hey davwud, did you see my thread on what to do with a turkey breast? i made a trick for really upping the seasoning on some fried turkey cutlets -- like schnitzel, but the egg wash was heavily flavored with indian garlic paste and frank's hot sauce, plus some oregano. then seasoned panko plus bread crumbs.

                                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                                  Davwud Feb 12, 2010 08:25 AM

                                                                  Well, I've been toying with the idea of chorizo then the chicken then the bacon.
                                                                  I'm now thinking that jalapeno idea may work. But I'm actually considering a cream cheese and chorizo mix, stuffed into a jalapeno, wrapped with a chicken thigh, wrapped with bacon, sprinkled with BBQ seasoning and smoked.
                                                                  Now that you mention it, perhaps I'll make a jack cheese/jalapeno/chorizo stuffing.

                                                                  DT

                                                                  1. re: Davwud
                                                                    alkapal Feb 12, 2010 01:17 PM

                                                                    a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a conundrum... or something like that.
                                                                    {;^D.

                                                                    jack, jalapeño & chorizo -- that's real nice!

                                                              3. re: alkapal
                                                                buttertart Feb 12, 2010 05:43 AM

                                                                I hope you don't thigh when you hear her say it. Thorry, I had to.

                                                              4. re: Davwud
                                                                decolady Feb 12, 2010 05:40 AM

                                                                The thighs are our favourite part of a chicken. I got that from my spouse. As a matter of fact, to make the gumbo last Sunday, I bought a package of thighs instead of a whole chicken. Right now I have a couple of pork chop recipes in my stack that I want to make with chicken thighs.

                                                                1. re: decolady
                                                                  l
                                                                  LolaP Mar 3, 2010 01:17 PM

                                                                  Thighs are my favorite too. When something calls for a whole chicken I usually get just legs, cause my honey likes drumsticks. We're dark meat people around here!

                                                                  1. re: LolaP
                                                                    g
                                                                    grammywheels Jul 4, 2010 11:35 PM

                                                                    Turkey thighs and wings are the best value I know of..meat from thighs is like veal and can be substituted for it in any braised dish..osso bucco with meat from braised turkey thighs is wonderful!! My children called turkey wings "dinosaur wings" slow cooked on grill or in the oven, glazed with your favorite BBQ sauce and they are a winner!

                                                                    1. re: grammywheels
                                                                      alkapal Jul 8, 2010 09:50 PM

                                                                      are turkey thighs sold by themselves?

                                                                      1. re: alkapal
                                                                        junescook Oct 19, 2010 03:01 PM

                                                                        Oven braised trukey thighs are our favorite meal. They're sold two in a package at probably almost any supermarket here in CT.

                                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                                          RWCFoodie Jan 15, 2011 03:57 PM

                                                                          I believe they are sold separately on a seasonal basis...

                                                                          1. re: RWCFoodie
                                                                            junescook Mar 11, 2011 12:49 PM

                                                                            We get them year-round. We've always gotten them at the Stop and Shop, and now they have carried them continuously since the holidays at a smaller family chain here, LaBonne's Epicure Market. The latter are vac-packed from Plainville Farms.

                                                                2. decolady Feb 10, 2010 12:00 PM

                                                                  We have always used both parts of green onions, celery leaves, broccoli stems, artichoke stems, fennel fronds, beet greens, etc. We also save liquids from cooked veggies to add to soups. My Mom kept a half gallon container in the freezer. Those veggie liquids would get poured in and saved until the container was full. Then she'd make soup. I do the same thing. I am surprised to read that so many people haven't utilised these things.

                                                                  IMO, shrimp shells and crab shells rank highest in under-used kitchen treasures. They make the most wonderful stock to use in gumbo and other dishes.

                                                                  16 Replies
                                                                  1. re: decolady
                                                                    SusanaTheConqueress Feb 10, 2010 09:32 PM

                                                                    Yes!
                                                                    And, the bones of all meats.
                                                                    I wonder if the N. Rockwell families with Father carving at the table's head all enjoyed a soup, or stew, made from the browned and rendered bones of those famous meals' main courses?
                                                                    Once I simmered a chicken carcass to the point of bones turning to pulverized "powder" (like smooth-on eyeshadow with a cream base), I was hooked for life! "-)

                                                                    1. re: SusanaTheConqueress
                                                                      decolady Feb 11, 2010 04:21 AM

                                                                      Well, at my grandparents it was rather N. Rockwell-ish and my grandmother certainly turned carcasses and meat bones into soups and stocks for other uses. Smoked turkey carcass was usually reserved for bean soups, as I recall. Goose fat was rendered and frozen to use for all kinds of things. Added to a lean chicken, it really improved chicken and dumplings. Vegetable trimmings were added to stocks. I think the generation who lived through the Great Depression really were "waste not, want not". We used to tease my grandparents that they were the original recyclers.

                                                                      1. re: decolady
                                                                        j
                                                                        jvanderh Feb 11, 2010 05:33 PM

                                                                        What do people do with giblets?? I do the giblet gravy thing, because my grandma does, but it doesn't smell particularly appealing. Is there a noticeable difference in quality between organs from factory-farm chickens and free range chickens?

                                                                        1. re: jvanderh
                                                                          s
                                                                          serious Feb 12, 2010 12:53 AM

                                                                          I do think that organic smell a lot better. I toss giblets and neck in the soup stock I make with bones of roasted or raw chicken, I fight the dog for the sauteed liver.

                                                                          1. re: serious
                                                                            coll Feb 12, 2010 02:12 AM

                                                                            I save the livers until I have enough for chopped liver, and make dirty rice with the rest (along with one or two of the livers).

                                                                          2. re: jvanderh
                                                                            Sam Fujisaka Feb 12, 2010 02:20 AM

                                                                            I use both factory and organic chickens and their respective giblets. They smell the same. I simmer and then eat the heart, gizzard, and liver and eat with a touch of salt and lots of chile sauce as a treat. I use the head, the skinned neck, and the feet for stock.

                                                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                              SusanaTheConqueress Feb 12, 2010 02:27 AM

                                                                              Do you char and peel the feet first, or add them as-is?
                                                                              Gnawing a well-prepared chicken foot is a real taste treat! :-)

                                                                              1. re: SusanaTheConqueress
                                                                                Sam Fujisaka Feb 12, 2010 03:03 AM

                                                                                Add them as is.

                                                                                To prepare for eating, I'd have to have a large batch of feet and people who like to eat them. I simmer until tender, cook over coals, and add sticky BBQ sauce near the end. Filipino style pulutan.

                                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                  SusanaTheConqueress Feb 12, 2010 03:13 AM

                                                                                  Ah, that's a killer BBQ sauce! :-)
                                                                                  We like them when at the Mexican farm, fresh (father-in-law raises them with 2 other men - no shortage any given day '-)
                                                                                  first peeled of the yellow "scales", which really peels off like the thick skin it is, then, simmered, (like you), then, pan fried or braised with plenty of homemade hot sauce (cooked, not fresh & raw) & corn tortillas - never flour with feet. YUM!
                                                                                  Pan fried with beer makes for great long warm nights! :-)

                                                                              2. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                j
                                                                                jvanderh Feb 12, 2010 12:38 PM

                                                                                Interesting-- thanks for the responses.

                                                                                1. re: jvanderh
                                                                                  Paulustrious Apr 18, 2010 11:53 AM

                                                                                  Since this thread has re-emerged it seems a suitable place to mention the passing of Sam Fujisaka. Jfood started a thread on the appropriate board (Site Talk), but that is one many people do not visit. Home cooking was where I saw most of his postings so if you wish to read how he will be missed...

                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/701461#

                                                                              3. re: jvanderh
                                                                                decolady Feb 12, 2010 05:34 AM

                                                                                To me the organic/free range ones smell better. If chicken and dumplings are being made, and there is a heart in the giblet bag, the heart goes in the pot with the chicken and dumplings. When I was a little girl, my grandmother's chicken and dumplings were my favourite food. She would put the heart in as a treat for me to find. Very few places around here put the hearts in with the giblets anymore. I do not like the other parts, so I use them for stock and then cat food. A lot of times I see Devils on Horseback made with chicken livers.

                                                                                1. re: jvanderh
                                                                                  RWCFoodie Apr 5, 2010 01:30 PM

                                                                                  Chicken or any other fowl giblets get scarfed up as quickly as I can cook them - DH was raised with home made soups with giblets and feet as was I - we both come from frugal families (Italian and Jewish)... The necks and gizzards are his personal fave while I love all them "parts"! Turkey necks are the most favorite for him...

                                                                                  1. re: jvanderh
                                                                                    silkenpaw Oct 19, 2010 02:55 PM

                                                                                    In Poland, we make chicken gizzards with dill sauce (a dill velouté) and mashed potatoes. Delicious. I'll have to make it for my mother when I go to NYC this week.

                                                                                  2. re: decolady
                                                                                    f
                                                                                    fastermx Apr 26, 2010 03:23 AM

                                                                                    That's true, the frugality of the Depression has come in mighty handy in the last couple of years, with so many people strapped, even jobless. Relearning frugality is NOT, however, merely an emergency stop-gap thing; there's real VALUE and BENEFIT to be had from it. You are LESS healthy if much of your nutrition goes down the drain or in the trash.

                                                                                    Frugality may begin with tight budgets, but it should be retained - even expanded on - for the great benefits it brings. And nobody, rich or poor, was ever sorry at spending LESS on food. That's why this thread tickles me down to my bones.

                                                                                    The wisdom of "waste not, want not" has been rediscovered by many Americans lately - let's just hope they don't abandon it all once they become more prosperous - it will be their LOSS if they do. Maybe we need a new word. "Frugality" seems ascetic, almost spartan, and brings only money to mind - or the lack of it. So, while we recognize the value of it, we approach the whole concept of frugality with a kind of revulsion. Real frugality should never cause revulsion, because it encompasses much, much more than money or being in want. It's getting maximum benefit out of everything you have.

                                                                                    There are actually people in major cities - and I'm not talking of the poor, but of middle and upper-middle class folks - who get MOST of their groceries by raiding dumpsters at supermarkets, restaurants, even industries that process foods (bakeries are a favorite) - any place where usable food might be thrown out. It's time-consuming, hard work, and often unpleasantly so, but they feel the rewards are worth it. Just KNOWING that whole families can be fed well out of food people throw away ought to be a jolt to all of us to be more careful about what we toss in the trash, or put down our drains.

                                                                                    1. re: fastermx
                                                                                      g
                                                                                      grammywheels Feb 11, 2011 12:24 PM

                                                                                      Old saying..forgive the sexist bent, but it is old....."A man is only as rich as his wife is frugal"

                                                                              4. c
                                                                                calliope_nh Feb 6, 2010 06:24 PM

                                                                                Not really an ingredient per se, but the branches from my rosemary make great smoke for grilling pork chops. I manage to kill a bunch of plants every year and after I have used the leaves, I save the woody stems for placing on the coals in the grill.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: calliope_nh
                                                                                  SusanaTheConqueress Feb 7, 2010 01:37 AM

                                                                                  Excellence!

                                                                                  1. re: calliope_nh
                                                                                    g
                                                                                    grammywheels Mar 8, 2011 02:33 PM

                                                                                    Try those rosemary branches as skewers also, especially for lamb kebabs!

                                                                                  2. t
                                                                                    tearingmonkey Jan 3, 2010 12:09 PM

                                                                                    I was just reading a soup recipe that used onion skins to give a rich colour to broth (removed before serving), cheaper than saffron and probably a similar colour.

                                                                                    I regularly rub lemon skins (after juiced and zested) and coarse salt to freshen my cutting board. Also, if a recipe calls for juice but not zest I zest the lemon and store it in a jar with vodka. The zest can be used later in cooking or better, in a Martini !

                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: tearingmonkey
                                                                                      f
                                                                                      foiegras Jan 4, 2010 05:18 PM

                                                                                      You reminded me that I use the leftover lemon bits to freshen my disposal ...

                                                                                      1. re: foiegras
                                                                                        cherrylime Jan 5, 2010 08:33 PM

                                                                                        Definitely the Parm Reg rinds..but I've branched from there and put in rinds of all kinds of fancy cheeses to all kinds of soups that need thickening or just a little flavor. I made my 93yr old Grandma's irish vegetable soup(rutabagas and cabbage play a big part) recipe for her couple months ago and threw in a manchego and a gouda rind and she loved it! She said it was the best version of "her soup" she'd ever had.

                                                                                        I also agree with all parts of celery and I have a bone bag in the fridge. I can just take out a bone when I need to flavor a stock or sauce. I love this thread!

                                                                                        1. re: cherrylime
                                                                                          s
                                                                                          southern_expat Jan 12, 2010 05:22 AM

                                                                                          Parm-Reg rinds are the greatest thing for soup. Whole Foods sells them in a little plastic container for about 2 bucks a pound. They always leave a ton of cheese on them, too, and I have gotten four or five cups full of fresh grated cheese from just these rinds. Not too shabby for 2 bucks. (I'll pinch a penny till it screams)

                                                                                          1. re: southern_expat
                                                                                            SusanaTheConqueress Feb 5, 2010 02:09 AM

                                                                                            Yours is my very most favorite tip of all! I am _SO_ going to Whole Foods and grabbing some of those little plastic containers ASAP! Thanks!

                                                                                            I also agree with saving the zest from all the organic citrus we go through. We participate in FreeCycle and at least once a year offer the freezer's contents, to give us a fresh start. Last year a full gallon of glorious zest slipped out the door & the gal contacted me, wanting to know if zest was edible! Only on just about everything from eggs to custard! '-)

                                                                                            Another item I "save with", or, "repurpose" is the vanilla orchid pod, after using the seeds. We slip the seed-free pod into a large "ginger jar" of Florida Crystals Organic Sugar and enjoy the vanilla sugar year-round. I haven't discarded a pod, yet.

                                                                                            Another item that's known to "sprout overnight" on us is: garlic in the garlic cellar. Instead of tediously slitting it open, removing the more bitter green shoot and proceeding from there, this week, for example, I divided the head's sprouted cloves of garlic and planted them from end to end of my front porch flower bed, The greens will blanche nicely for pajeon "Koreans pancakes", providing the 3 decorative & tasty "flower stalks" while a jalapeno cut into think rounds and tidily placed at the end of each will become the "bloom", allowing each pajeon's presentation to become alike 3 flowers "painted" into each serving. Lovely!

                                                                                            Another item set aside from the compost heap this week: The seeds from dried chili pods. (2) 4-ounce bags of Guajillo & New Mexico chilis yeilded us about 1/4 cup of seeds to scatter across the garden's "pepper patch" this spring - for free "-)

                                                                                            Another item - and one we've all surely done: Planting the tops of carrots, like planting the bottoms of green onions (above).

                                                                                            Another item to convert from trash to treasure: Stale corn tortillas. Slice them up, fry them until crisp, or bake until crisp, as I now do. Add to a dutch oven, or stock pot, depending on quantity. Cover with your favorite chilaquile sauce, simmer & serve with sour cream + raw onions + finely grated hard white cheese of choice.

                                                                                            Another item to set aside instead of into the trash: All butter wrappers These "live" in my door "butter bin" where I grab & go, instead of slathering on butter when asked to butter and flour a pan. Perfect everytime!

                                                                                            Another item to save from the drain: Sour Milk
                                                                                            When milk's not drinkable, bake with it. Some great goodness comes from baking with sour milk - chicken and dumplings this week benefitted from sour milk over here! 1 whole chicken + lots of organic baby carrots & organic sweet peas & 4 bay leaves & 7 pepper corns left low & slow over night in stock - no water. Drain, bring to a boil, Bone the chicken while it comes to a boil. Make dumplings. Boil 10 mins uncovered, then, 10 covered - it makes a difference. Add solids back to the pot & serve.

                                                                                            Another item seldom saved: Crepes
                                                                                            When too many are made, save for later in the day. Cut halves into "wide linguinne" and simmer in whole cream-golden mushroom soup. Bliss!

                                                                                            A shocker I never knew: A teacher pal from Mississippi buys the $20 gallon of pickled eggs from Smart & Final and uses those to make a vast quantity of easy deviled eggs for entertaining. Her guests devour them! I haven't made this one, but I did sample the eggs - not as good as mine, (of course), but raved over by all.

                                                                                            1. re: SusanaTheConqueress
                                                                                              thew Feb 5, 2010 03:46 AM

                                                                                              "Another item - and one we've all surely done: Planting the tops of carrots, like planting the bottoms of green onions (above)."

                                                                                              lol - some of us live in cities and may not have surely done this ;)

                                                                                              1. re: thew
                                                                                                SusanaTheConqueress Feb 5, 2010 05:58 AM

                                                                                                OMGosh! I thought that was something school children did with their milk cartons repurposed as "planters" the whole world over.
                                                                                                At the 4 schools in 3 Texas, Washington & Florida I attended we would all be instructed to line the classroom's wall of windows with our projects and observe the results of planted carrot tops / beans / and something that now escapes my memory.
                                                                                                I'm just old enough to rememeber the year we were asked to bring in a potted pie tin for this task '-)
                                                                                                And later, the year we were asked to bring in a plastic sandwich baggie for enclosing our moist paper towels with some dry beans sandwiched between them - the better to observe the sprouting process and root formation, as I recall.
                                                                                                This isn't something all school children experience in the computer-using contemporary world's countries?
                                                                                                I am surprised!
                                                                                                It' s quite low-cost and educational.

                                                                                                1. re: SusanaTheConqueress
                                                                                                  thew Feb 5, 2010 06:12 AM

                                                                                                  i would say all children plant something at some point.

                                                                                                  carrot tops might not be universal

                                                                                                  1. re: thew
                                                                                                    SusanaTheConqueress Feb 5, 2010 06:28 AM

                                                                                                    Point taken.
                                                                                                    Anyone so inclined may easily fill a 2-litre bottle (after slicing off the top at the swell) and filling with soil (obtained one way, or another) & left in a sunny window sill with a carrot (or scallion root end) inserted into the watered soil.
                                                                                                    This Tuesday's early evening, I came across a few pounds of delightfully unsplit organic parsnips and carried them home to roast and enjoy tremendously. You've served to remind me of them - and to provoke me toward pondering if they, too, will sprout like a carrot when I plant their tops, as I've just now decided to do with half of them (Usually, I roast them whole and untrimmed).

                                                                                      2. re: tearingmonkey
                                                                                        f
                                                                                        fastermx Apr 26, 2010 02:58 AM

                                                                                        Throwing used coffee grounds on top of garbage that is a bit "rank" smelling helps a lot.

                                                                                        About cutting boards. NEVER, EVER, cut meat on a wooden one. Use plastic boards. Wood is a kind of natural "sponge." Very fine grained, so it absorbs liquids slowly, but it DOES absorb them. Meat juices can soak in, and even washing the board can't rid you of all of it. There it can fester, and get onto other foods you prepare on the board. I once had a board that I feared was contaminated, and some wooden spoons that had gotten distinctly greasy-looking, even after washing. I baked them. As long as there are no plastic parts, the baking sterilizes the wood, and you won't BELIEVE how much grease came out of those spoons! I kept wiping it off and putting them back in the oven!

                                                                                        The worst meat for possible infection is poultry - any kind. Almost all non-farm raised poultry will have salmonella. Though it doesn't commonly hit people, there are some things you need to know to be SURE it never does. Never put any food on a board or other surface that has been in contact with raw poultry or its juices. Wash the board or surface first - soap and water. Never put your cooked poultry on the same plate that held the raw poultry. Wash it first, or better, use another plate. Ditto for knives used with the raw poultry. And don't forget your hands. If you've just handled raw poultry, then go and chop up your salad fixings on another board, your HANDS can transfer the infectious microbes to your SALAD. So always be mindful of what has been in contact with raw poultry or its juices, and never allow them to contact any other food until they've been thoroughly washed. Even though it is uncommon for people to get salmonella from poultry, the risk is always there. Besides, if you develop these good habits now, you'll be doubly glad if bird flu ever becomes a genuine threat to our poultry foods. That's when such habits could really save your life.

                                                                                      3. greygarious Dec 14, 2009 05:18 PM

                                                                                        I've begun cooking soaked dried beans in a pressure cooker. Recently, I accidentally overcooked pinto beans and was about to discard the liquid, which was opaque and a little on the thick side, but stopped myself. I added a bit of tomato paste to correct the unappetizing color, then added water, beef base, onions, carrots, mixed vegetables, and some of the cooked beans. I even included the leftover juice from some homemade coleslaw. For a meatier soup, I added chopped up leftover pot roast. I wound up with 2+ quarts of good soup. Between recycling, not buying much processed food, and using ingredients frugally, I rarely generate more than a produce bag's worth of kitchen garbage per week.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: greygarious
                                                                                          Passadumkeg Dec 15, 2009 12:59 AM

                                                                                          We eat tons of pintos. I pour off the excess "juice" into old glass peanutbutter jars and freeze it for stock.
                                                                                          Skimmed fat goes into suet balls for the birds in winter.
                                                                                          We heat w/ wood. Long simmering stock and stews go on top of the wood stove. What's a crock pot? I've never used one.

                                                                                        2. l
                                                                                          LolaP Nov 8, 2009 02:21 PM

                                                                                          I agree with all of these and just wanted to add one more: over-ripe bananas. Everyone has their threshold after which bananas are too ripe, and mine is fairly low--I like them with slightly green tips. Luckily, overripe bananas make the best baked goods. When my bananas pass their peak, I pop them into a bag in my freezer. Whenever I get the urge, I pull out three or four (they will have gone totally black, but no fear) and use them for banana bread. Just let them sit on a plate on the counter for a few hours or submerge in hot water. The peels will slide right off, and you can mash and use in your favorite recipe: banana bread, cake, muffins, whatever. I have actually come to think that the freezing enhances the flavor a bit. Anyway, don't throw away those overripe bananas! I also like to make applesauce with mealy old apples. Add some lemon zest--yummy!

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: LolaP
                                                                                            f
                                                                                            fastermx Apr 26, 2010 02:44 AM

                                                                                            Speaking of bananas! I discovered a variety of banana here in Mexico that makes the classic "Chiquita-type" banana look pale.

                                                                                            They aren't pretty to look at, short, fat, and usually with three flat sides. The banana inside is almost orange in color, and is slightly more acid than the common variety, giving it a mildly pleasant sharpness. But it is meatier, more robust and substantial, and you can use them in any recipe for which you'd use the common type. Other than slightly acid (very pleasantly so), the taste is - banana. Only stronger. In case you are thinking I'm referring to the "plantain" type of banana, no, I am not. The plantain type has to be cooked; these, like ordinary bananas, can be eaten in the hand. They're so substantial you could almost make a MEAL out of one or two! I've never tried it, but that's because I also love other foods, too.

                                                                                            It is my opinion that THIS is the variety of banana which should be most common in the world. It is truly outstanding. A banana with a taste on steroids.

                                                                                            If somebody here knows more about them, I'd love to hear it. I don't even know what name they go by. I only know I find them irresistible whenever I can buy some.

                                                                                            1. re: fastermx
                                                                                              silkenpaw Oct 19, 2010 02:46 PM

                                                                                              I don't know what variety the Mexican bananas are but there are many, many banana cultivars and just about any of them is tastier than the Dwarf Cavendish which bears the usual supermarket bananas. Here in Miami, you can buy tasty little Manzana bananas in most markets. In my garden I have a Dwarf Orinoco, which is not only delicious with a wonderful texture, but can be used as a plantain before it ripens.

                                                                                          2. c
                                                                                            CookieWeasel Nov 5, 2009 02:29 PM

                                                                                            Coffee grounds. Great for tomato plants.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: CookieWeasel
                                                                                              toodie jane Nov 8, 2009 08:05 AM

                                                                                              ...and blueberries, roses, camellias or azaleas, etc that like a slighlty acid soil; epsecially pertinent for us Arid West-ern U.S. gardeners, not so much for Eastern U.S. gardeners.

                                                                                            2. pdxgastro Oct 30, 2009 03:07 PM

                                                                                              I heard a while back that the water you boil your eggs in is full of calcium and what not from their shells. So I let it cool and give it to my plants. Is that crazy or what?

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: pdxgastro
                                                                                                chef chicklet Nov 2, 2009 06:55 AM

                                                                                                We do the same. During the Spring and Summer I crumble the eggs into small bits and scatter them around my plants. I happen to elimated my slug problem, and I hear the shells are great for the soil.

                                                                                                1. re: pdxgastro
                                                                                                  algct Jan 20, 2011 03:00 PM

                                                                                                  Eggshells add needed calcium to prevent tomatoes getting blossom end rot.

                                                                                                  Dump 'em in the tomato patch - preferably below the range of the raccoons & pets smell levels, otherwise they will aerate the soil for you.....

                                                                                                   
                                                                                                2. fmed Oct 30, 2009 02:52 PM

                                                                                                  A new one for me: I was making spinach lasagna a couple of weeks ago and I needed to cook down fresh spinach then squeeze out the excess water. Instead of throwing out this lovely green liquid, I put it into a couple of cups and we drank it like tea (it was already salted). It was great!

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: fmed
                                                                                                    b
                                                                                                    biglinguist Mar 6, 2011 02:22 PM

                                                                                                    ...even better with a couple of drops of sesame oil!

                                                                                                  2. l
                                                                                                    lex clibanus Apr 6, 2008 03:53 PM

                                                                                                    Leek greens. No doubt. Slice across the grain into 1-inch strips and sautee or stir fry like any other green. They take a bit longer than chard/kale/etc, but very tasty, especially as a bed for a roasted meat (pork tenderloin? whole chicken?). I've also used them chopped up in dishes using the white part of the leeks. Toss them in at the end when making braised fennel and leeks for some extra color, and of course, to enhance the leek-y flavor.

                                                                                                    1. p
                                                                                                      phan1 Apr 4, 2008 12:57 AM

                                                                                                      On your comment about shrimp shells, I'd say the same thing about lobster shells. Out of all the crustaceans out there, lobsters are by far the most aromatic! Lobster meat is a bit overrated in my opinion and isn't as good as crab meat. But the flavor and the smell of the shells and stock is what makes lobster so different from the other crustaceans. People are just throwing out the best part of the lobster!

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: phan1
                                                                                                        steinpilz Apr 4, 2008 04:03 PM

                                                                                                        Thanks phan1, I enjoyed the discussion of shrimp shells here and will consider lobster now.

                                                                                                      2. fmed Apr 2, 2008 10:58 AM

                                                                                                        Save the water when reconstituting dried mushrooms like shiitake....natural umami. (Same goes for konbu water.) Use it in whatever dish you are making.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: fmed
                                                                                                          e
                                                                                                          eade Apr 3, 2008 09:05 AM

                                                                                                          Organs have rightly been mentioned, but one has mentioned cartilage or tendon. They are two of my husband's favorite cuts. Unfortunately etiquette prevents him from reaching over to other people's plates and picking up the cartilage and tendon they have left in a pile with the bones.

                                                                                                          Certain areas of the world recognize cartilage and tendon are the tops, and highlight them on the menu. For example, this authentic Japanese yakitori place in NYC serves cartilage on its own (It is translated on the menu as "soft bone" on page 4 right about the items "neck" and "tail", which reminds me, no one has mentioned appendages either. . . ): http://www.torysnyc.com/totto.htm

                                                                                                          Tendon can be sampled in better versions of the Vietnamese soup pho (if tendon is not listed as a pho ingredient on the menu, ask the server if the pho includes tendon).

                                                                                                          P.S. In response to a post way above, not just pregnant women, but also those of childbearing age plus children who should avoid high mercury fish and non-organic produce. The link to the EWG's dirty dozen list is posted above (Although I wonder if the "clean list" took into consideration those fruits and veggies grown abroad and imported to the U.S. which are grown with types and amounts of pesticides that would often be illegal in the U.S., such as those that were the subject of the recent NYTimes article about heavy pesticides used in South America to grow the U.S.'s winter and spring produce titled "Did Your Shopping List Kill A Songbird?": http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/30/opinion/30stutchbury.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=songbird&st=nyt&oref=slogin

                                                                                                          the link to the mercury in fish information is at http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/me...

                                                                                                        2. l
                                                                                                          lgss Apr 1, 2008 06:11 PM

                                                                                                          I used to think one had to peel winter squash, in most cases, not so if organic. I also used to throw out the leaves on a cauliflower. One can just trim the edges, wash them, and cut them up to throw in toward the end of cooking whatever the rest of the cauliflower went into. For those who juice carrots, there are a number of good carrot pulp recipes (carrot bread, carrot cookies, etc).

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: lgss
                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                            SharaMcG Apr 1, 2008 07:42 PM

                                                                                                            What a fascinating thread this is! So much great, practical info here.

                                                                                                            I make all our bread and always chop up the stale bits for croutons or grind them for crumbs.

                                                                                                            We eat turkey every few months (or whenever it's on sale), and I always use the carcass for homemade stock. Same with chicken although the turkey makes a richer tasting stock. Same also with ham or beef bones when we eat those meats. I never thought to use the shrimp shells for stock and will give it a try.

                                                                                                            Ditto never thought to render chicken fat (and I grew up eating schmaltz) for matzoh balls, etc. What a great idea!

                                                                                                            Also use cheese rinds in soup, parm-reggiano being my favorite, I usually take the rind out and eat it before the soup even gets to the table.

                                                                                                            Whenever I buy preserved vegetables (artichokes, roasted peppers), I save the olive oil for salad dressings--it has wonderful flavor.

                                                                                                            Thanks all for these great tips.

                                                                                                          2. Caroline1 Mar 22, 2008 11:51 AM

                                                                                                            Well, with a bow to the esoteric and the arcane, how many of you have been saving your onion skins to dye your Easter eggs? Tomorrow's the day. Unless you don't celebrate Easter until April 27th.

                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                              LizATL Apr 2, 2008 06:49 PM

                                                                                                              We do the onion skin dye every year! A couple of years ago I figured out to boil the onion skins in the water the night before, rather than trying to cook the eggs with the skins. I save the water overnight and the scoop out the skins and cook the eggs in the morning. The resulting dye water is a lot stronger and the eggs don't get over-cooked.

                                                                                                              1. re: LizATL
                                                                                                                Caroline1 Apr 2, 2008 07:37 PM

                                                                                                                Interesting! Thank you. What kind of pan do you use? Stainless, enamel, glass? Curious minds, and all that jazz.

                                                                                                                Also nice to know somebody knows what I was talking about!

                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                                  coll Apr 3, 2008 12:05 AM

                                                                                                                  What color do they come out?

                                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                                    l
                                                                                                                    LizATL Apr 3, 2008 12:56 PM

                                                                                                                    I just use a relatively small stainless pot.

                                                                                                                    I got a kick out of seeing your post too!

                                                                                                                    coll - they come out a lovely rich brown color. Kind of hard to describe, exactly.

                                                                                                                    1. re: LizATL
                                                                                                                      coll Apr 3, 2008 01:26 PM

                                                                                                                      That sounds so much prettier than bright artificial colors, I'll have to try it. I wonder if you do brown eggs, how they come out?

                                                                                                                      1. re: coll
                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                        LizATL Apr 3, 2008 03:17 PM

                                                                                                                        I am not sure how they would come out with brown eggs. The onion skin color is more orangish than brown eggs are. You should try it and let us know!

                                                                                                                        Also, I haven't done it for a couple of years, but my uncle always used to use a pin or a needle to scratch a drawing or design on the dyed eggs. The pin scrapes off the brown, letting the original white of the egg show through. Fun memories.

                                                                                                                        1. re: LizATL
                                                                                                                          Caroline1 Apr 3, 2008 05:01 PM

                                                                                                                          Dying Easter eggs with onion skins and other natural dyes is an old tradition common to many European countries. The red easter eggs baked into Greek Easter bread are traditionally dyed with onion skin. The old way is to tie onion skins around each egg before boiling, but that's a lot of trouble. You can use rubber bands too. In either case you end up with interesting color variations on each egg. Boiling the onion skins and then dying the eggs gives a more uniform color.

                                                                                                                          You can also do interesting "wax resist" designs on an egg before dying it. It's a method similar to batik. It originated in the Ukraine, where it's called Pysanka. You can see some interesting examples here:
                                                                                                                          http://www.tryzub.com/Sofia_Zielyk/
                                                                                                                          You can also use a lot more primative approach by simpy drawing or writing on an egg with wax or a crayon. Even a candle will work. Or you can coat a segment (or even a whole egg) with wax, then scratch designs into it with a sharp tool.

                                                                                                                          Here are a couple of websites with information on coloring eggs naturally using onions skins, among other plant materials If you have the patience (I hardly ever do), you can go beyond the brownish-orangeish-red and reach a deep red with onion skins.

                                                                                                                          http://greekfood.about.com/od/greekcookingtips/ht/redeggs.htm
                                                                                                                          http://www.marthastewart.com/dyeing-e...

                                                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                                            coll Apr 4, 2008 02:58 AM

                                                                                                                            Now I'm psyched to dye Easter eggs, too bad I'll have to wait til next year!

                                                                                                                            1. re: coll
                                                                                                                              Caroline1 Apr 4, 2008 05:15 AM

                                                                                                                              Not really. Blow the eggs hollow and do them now. Next Easter you'll have lots of decorations!

                                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                                                coll Apr 4, 2008 04:01 PM

                                                                                                                                I might just do that, thanks!!!!

                                                                                                                  2. re: LizATL
                                                                                                                    scubadoo97 Oct 30, 2009 02:52 PM

                                                                                                                    My wife is very into fiber arts. We went around the yard picking berries and flowers to use for dyes. I also saved up a bunch of onion skins for her. The onions made the best dye.

                                                                                                                2. m
                                                                                                                  malabargold Mar 21, 2008 06:45 PM

                                                                                                                  pineapple peels

                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: malabargold
                                                                                                                    jpmcd Mar 22, 2008 10:36 AM

                                                                                                                    what do you do with pineapple peels?

                                                                                                                    i've been eating a lot of them recently but can't imagine what to do with all of those spiny peels except maybe squeeze a little bit of of juice

                                                                                                                    1. re: jpmcd
                                                                                                                      m
                                                                                                                      malabargold Mar 22, 2008 05:45 PM

                                                                                                                      Haven't tried it myself, but according to a Dole website, it's good for things like rough heel skin! Then again they haven't been growing pineapples on Lanai for quite some time. In case you're curious
                                                                                                                      http://www.dolenutrition.com/spa_reci...

                                                                                                                      1. re: jpmcd
                                                                                                                        saltwater Mar 22, 2008 09:14 PM

                                                                                                                        You can make pineapple vinegar with them a la Diana Kennedy.

                                                                                                                        1. re: jpmcd
                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                          Sharuf Nov 2, 2009 05:29 AM

                                                                                                                          Tepache is a Mexican drink made from pineapple detritus. I think it has been discussed on chowhound a few times.

                                                                                                                      2. RUNNERFEMME Mar 19, 2008 02:06 PM

                                                                                                                        parm-reg cheese rinds. great for flavoring soups (and then remove them).

                                                                                                                        1. starlady Mar 18, 2008 07:07 PM

                                                                                                                          I have a question!

                                                                                                                          I am trying my hand at growing potatoes this summer and with all this talk of eating beet greens, radish greens, etc. Can you eat Potato greens?

                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: starlady
                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                            soupkitten Mar 18, 2008 07:09 PM

                                                                                                                            i wouldn't eat potato or tomato greens-- nightshade family--greens can be toxic

                                                                                                                            1. re: starlady
                                                                                                                              steinpilz Mar 18, 2008 07:43 PM

                                                                                                                              Green potatoes are poisonous, don't know if this applies to their "greens" though.

                                                                                                                              1. re: steinpilz
                                                                                                                                starlady Mar 19, 2008 01:30 PM

                                                                                                                                well it sounds like I won't be trying it anytime soon then LOL
                                                                                                                                Something I learned about potatoes last year while spending some time on a farm.

                                                                                                                                When harvesting potatoes from the ground, when you go to wash them put them in a sink full of water, the ones that sink aren't edible!
                                                                                                                                They could have been left in the ground from last year or whatever...

                                                                                                                                1. re: starlady
                                                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                                                  tastelikechicken Mar 20, 2008 09:41 PM

                                                                                                                                  Potato leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid, same is true for rhubarb leaves, that's why you rarely see them on the stalks except maybe at a farmers market.

                                                                                                                                  I see alot of the stuff here that I do. Here are a few of my favorite "saves"
                                                                                                                                  Cilantro stems and roots, cleaned well in a pot of black or pinto beans
                                                                                                                                  Broccoli stems use for a broccoli puree soup. When they are soft from cooking run thru a food processor
                                                                                                                                  Rosemary stems, after removing leaves save the woody pieces for skewers for chicken pork etc.
                                                                                                                                  lots more....just can't think at the moment.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: tastelikechicken
                                                                                                                                    l
                                                                                                                                    lgss Apr 1, 2008 06:06 PM

                                                                                                                                    Sweet potato greens however are tasty. We got some at the farmer's market last summer. I think they're primarily used by Asian cultures.

                                                                                                                                2. re: steinpilz
                                                                                                                                  algct Jan 20, 2011 02:54 PM

                                                                                                                                  Potatoes, tomatos, and eggplants are members of the solanine (sic) family. The leaves are toxic!

                                                                                                                                  The fruits are not.

                                                                                                                                  Europe had a major problem when these plants were brought back to the Old World from the New.

                                                                                                                                  If you note, only the poor countries at the time were eating potatoes (Ireland), tomatoes) and eggplant (Italy and the rest of the Mediterranean region) whilst the more northern countries watched.

                                                                                                                                  Green tomatoes - OK! Green leaves - good luck!

                                                                                                                                3. re: starlady
                                                                                                                                  chef chicklet Nov 2, 2009 07:01 AM

                                                                                                                                  Growing up in Oregon we had the most wonderful huge garden. I remember that my Dad planted potatoes. We harvested small red and baby potatoes. But I do recall after he used the fork to pull them out of the dirt, he layed the potatoes on burlap to dry for some time. How much I don't remember.

                                                                                                                                  This year, as an experiment we cut up a couple of russets with some eyes and planted them. The greenery was huge and grew quickly, but after 4-5 months we were so impatient abd dug them up. There were perfect little potatoes on all the roots. About 6 potatoes per plant. I think it's defintely doable but ever so important to learn the facts about toxins and eating green potatoes. I have never heard that the plant part of the potato is edible.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: starlady
                                                                                                                                    f
                                                                                                                                    fastermx Apr 26, 2010 02:25 AM

                                                                                                                                    That's what I've heard, too, that they're - if not poisonous, very close to it.

                                                                                                                                    Here in Mexico, people use mostly what Americans call "new potatoes." Thin, pale tan skins, and much moister inside. They're good, but getting a truly fine russet potato here has been touch and go. These potatoes I get do have green under the skin - or on it. I realize that the green contains the same "poison," so I cut it off. Not to stay alive, because you'd have to consume an astonishing amount before the green could kill you - but because it adds bitterness. I think the green in the leaves is more toxic than the green on the spuds themselves.

                                                                                                                                    I would take the advice and NOT eat the greens of tomatoes, potatoes or any other plant in the nightshade family. We may want to think that all leaves should be edible and good for humans, but that's not - quite - how it turned out. A note in Mother Nature's "suggestion box" might help, but I wouldn't hold my breath. There ARE some plant leaves that really CAN kill you, so don't get too fast and loose with eating just any kind of greens.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                      Paulustrious Apr 26, 2010 10:18 AM

                                                                                                                                      The leaves etc are not good for you. They stems are not even used as animal feed. (At least they weren't in my part of the world)

                                                                                                                                  2. s
                                                                                                                                    shallots Mar 14, 2008 05:45 PM

                                                                                                                                    The inedible poured off fat from ham, turkey,whatever for making soap.

                                                                                                                                    1. RWCFoodie Mar 13, 2008 04:47 PM

                                                                                                                                      I just recently read that the young tender tops of fava bean plants are edible... wish I had a place to grow them...

                                                                                                                                      I do just about all of the things mentioned in this thread - always have - started the shrimp shell/head thing many years ago when I saw Jacques Pepin do it!

                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: RWCFoodie
                                                                                                                                        fruglescot Mar 14, 2008 08:23 AM

                                                                                                                                        Well then RWCFoodie, you are now in company with a better informed group of chowhounds.
                                                                                                                                        Are you sure you don't have a crumb or two of new information that you could toss us?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: fruglescot
                                                                                                                                          RWCFoodie Mar 19, 2008 10:45 AM

                                                                                                                                          Hey fruglescot, I thought the info re fava bean tops was pretty good - had never heard that until just recently... I'll put on my thinking cap and see if I can remember any others. These things are so ingrained that they are not even conscious any more - I just do them as a routine. And you're right, I am in better company with a better informed group of Chowhounds - I've learned much about many things over the past 4-5 years from CH!

                                                                                                                                        2. re: RWCFoodie
                                                                                                                                          scuzzo Mar 19, 2008 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                                          This reminded me that onion and garlic tops can be harvested once or twice before allowing them to grow and finish their job. Use the tops in cooking. Garlic greens are really nice to cook with!

                                                                                                                                        3. r
                                                                                                                                          Rhee Mar 13, 2008 02:01 PM

                                                                                                                                          Olive brine from green olives and even canned black olives. There's a lot of flavor in the brine. I add the brine from green olives to potato salad dressing, sauces and marinades. Its like adding olive flavored salt. Can you tell I love salt? As an extra treat, I drink the brine.

                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rhee
                                                                                                                                            soypower Mar 13, 2008 02:28 PM

                                                                                                                                            i do the same thing...also use the brine from pepperoncini peppers and the marinade from artichokes. they are great splashed on a salad or slaw...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Rhee
                                                                                                                                              fruglescot Mar 14, 2008 08:16 AM

                                                                                                                                              Try adding a little bit o gin with the brine for a pseudo martini.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rhee
                                                                                                                                                jennywinker Mar 17, 2008 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                It's usually a race to see which runs out first - the green olives or the brine. Both go into our Bloody Marys. Same with dill pickles.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: jennywinker
                                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                                  Mellicita Oct 5, 2008 08:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Along the lines of using leftover brine... I have been taking the brine from dill pickles, and adding thinly sliced zucchini. Let it soak for a day or more, and you get a delicious pickled zucchini! Obviously, other veggies would work as well.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Rhee
                                                                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                                                                  tonka11_99 Mar 16, 2010 09:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I suppose you could use olive brine to help brine pork or chicken add some brown sugar to it.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rhee
                                                                                                                                                    f
                                                                                                                                                    fastermx Apr 26, 2010 02:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                    You could also prepare some of the same veg as you had in the brine, boil them up together and refill the jar. You might need to add a bit of vinegar or other ingredients, but I've never had to. Pickles, olives - anything pickled can be treated this way. I've even short-cutted the boiling up part, and shoved some sliced cukes into an empty, but juice-filled pickle jar. Works.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                      eclecticsynergy Aug 16, 2010 05:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Brine, yep. Can make new pickles from old brine, even the sweet & sour kind, or use dill pickle brine to pickle just about anything you care to. If you keep the jar in the fridge your new pickled stuff wil even stay a bit crunchy.

                                                                                                                                                      One of my favorites is to use the brine from jalapeños on pizza crust instead of tomato sauce. Add cheese and toppings, bake as usual. Gives a wonderful peppery, vinegary savor without a whole lot of heat. Unique and very tasty!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                        alkapal Aug 19, 2010 05:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                        i've put quartered onions into dill brine in the pickle jar. good and crunchy!

                                                                                                                                                    2. Scargod Mar 13, 2008 08:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Jacques Pepin believes there is hardly anything that should get thrown out before wringing out all the flavor first. I take pieces of hard asparagus, outer onion layers, broccoli stalks, herb stalks, etc. and make vegetable broth (or soup base) with them. I make chicken broth with remnants before and after cooking a chicken. The carcass always goes into a pot for stock or soup. Bones may be the most under-utilized items.
                                                                                                                                                      For me, because I do a lot of cooking (and because I have two refrigerators and a freezer) I can save and use all these things that many people feel they must throw out. Since I have a vegetable and herb garden I usually don't have to worry about pesticides and chemicals. When I'm done with veggies they go into my compost heap.
                                                                                                                                                      I use good bacon for salads and as flavoring for bean dishes, etc. I save the rendered fat and use a little to flavor food or add a little of it to the oil when I cook cornbread.

                                                                                                                                                      13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Scargod
                                                                                                                                                        Caroline1 Mar 20, 2008 01:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                        The great advantage of old fashioned French stove (a la Aga) that stayed on 24/7 was that French cooks always had a stockpot simmering on the back of the stove, and any and all peelings, parings, and trimmings went into the pot. More water was added as needed. Whenever stock was called for, it came from the pot. And the pot was never emptied. Well, wait a minute. Maybe every five years. Now that I think about it, I have never heard a French cook brag that their stock is older than that. Guess hygiene has to raise its head some time or another.

                                                                                                                                                        There was a time when I used to keep my own stock pot simmering, but at today's gas and/or electric prices? Hey, pass the box of organic chicken broth! '-)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                                                                          Gooseberry Mar 20, 2008 03:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Whenever I see a recipe which says "simmer for four hours" I think the cook clearly wasn't dealing with an old, inefficient stove or my electricity prices. While I understand the benefits of a good, slow simmer, I usually make stock in 1hr30, tops. All the gelatine's been extracted from the bones, and it tastes good.
                                                                                                                                                          Although I sometimes dream of having a big fireplace, and just putting a cast iron pot on it, and letting the fire do the work for hours at a time...

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gooseberry
                                                                                                                                                            Caroline1 Mar 20, 2008 05:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Tote them ashes! Chop them logs! Of course, if you have a staff... '-)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                                                                              Gooseberry Mar 24, 2008 02:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                              no staff, except a boyfriend to chop the logs! Although he complains he is overqualified as fireplace-manner, being an automotive engineer....!

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Gooseberry
                                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                                              mateo21 Oct 30, 2009 06:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Stock in 1 hr and 30 mins? All the gelatin has been extracted? WHAT?!?!?!

                                                                                                                                                              Next time you make stock, pick up a bone and try to crumble it -- bones have a lot more tissue to dissolve. If they don't crumble, you aren't finished. What does your stock look like in the fridge? Or at room temp? Shouldn't have the viscosity of water... hell, when I braise chicken I usually give it two hours!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mateo21
                                                                                                                                                                Gooseberry Nov 4, 2009 11:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Mateo, perhaps I should rephrase it: enough gelatine's been extracted, enough to make the chilled stock stronger than jello in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                I also tend to use chicken wings, which have a greater surface area so I feel cook quickly (and tend to have a lot of gelatine, in my experience).

                                                                                                                                                                I've tasted stock cooked for 3 hours, and for 1h30 - I can't tell enough of a difference to justify the extra time, so I'd say that most of the flavour (to my taste buds, at least) gets extracted in the first 1h30.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gooseberry
                                                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                                                  mateo21 Nov 5, 2009 02:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  When I do stock it bare-simmers for 8 hours... I've never done a test through this period but I have done a 1-2 hr stock and the difference between that and 7-8 hours is substantial, in the opinion of my tastebuds!

                                                                                                                                                            3. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                                                                              tonka11_99 Mar 14, 2010 03:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                              I have to admit that I have not done this but I think with today's crock pots or slow cookers, you could maintain on all week and keep throwing scraps in. At the end of the week strain it and use it for a soup base. They are not hot to the touch so you wouldn't have to worry abut leaving them on. The low setting is the perfect simmering temperature.

                                                                                                                                                              My father in law used to be an old army cook, he used to maintain a pot on the back of the stove but I always thought it wouldn't be worth putting in the fridge at night.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tonka11_99
                                                                                                                                                                d
                                                                                                                                                                DollySundstrom Aug 15, 2010 10:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I read that it is extremely frugal to use your crock pot, compared to any other type of cooking...perhaps I should be making my stock in that? Then I could start it in the morning and finish it at night--would that work? ...however, the water added at first should probably be boiling...

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                                                                                f
                                                                                                                                                                fastermx Apr 26, 2010 02:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                You know what MIGHT substitute somewhat for an Aga? It'd be out of doors, though, not right handy in the kitchen. And it DOES sound a bit weird, but it really DOES work.

                                                                                                                                                                I read a cool article about how you can make an oven out of 5 bucks of materials: cardboard, aluminum foil, black spray paint and a thick sheet of clear acrylic that can withstand temps up to, say, 250 F.

                                                                                                                                                                And yes! CARDBOARD BOXES. It's catching on to help poor people in other countries, but works best where there are a lot of days of full sunshine.

                                                                                                                                                                Since I live in Mexico, I know a number of people who are - shall we say, "impecunious." I.e., poor. I'm trying to get some of them to work together to make these ovens. They can cook their ubiquitous frijoles in it, and pay nothing for the cooking fuel. You can even make bread, unless you want it browned. The sun does the cooking. It can cook soups and stews, and keep that kettle of broth simmering all day - as long as the sun shines. But if it rains...goodbye oven.

                                                                                                                                                                BTW, if you love beans, and don't like all the fuel - and time - it takes to cook them, try this. Pick them over, then pour boiling water over them, to cover. Put a lid on it and let it sit overnight. Next day, they'll cook up in half the time. You can even extend it one more day by draining off the water, then pouring fresh boiling water to cover, and cooking them up the next day. After the 2-day treatment, they'll cook up very quickly. I've been spreading this to the Mexican people I bump into, because poor or not, they all love their beans, and nobody likes to waste gas, even if they're not poor.

                                                                                                                                                                So I pass it on. You can do it, too.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                                  alkapal May 13, 2010 04:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  fastermx, i'm going to try your bean soak method. don't the beans get gassy (i.e., you can see the bubbles on top of the water?)

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                                                                                  Paulustrious Apr 26, 2010 09:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  It was called a pot-au-feu. A pot-au-feu was also a colloquial term for a stay-at-home.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                                                                                    algct Jan 20, 2011 02:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    The Chinese have an equivalent called "loo" (I think).

                                                                                                                                                                    When you red cook (soy sauce) or white cook items, the cooking liquid is skimmed of fat & kept till the next time. Naturally, over time, the cooking broth becomes more complex.

                                                                                                                                                                    There are some older cookbooks which cover this - to mind is the 1000 Chinese Recipe Cookbook.

                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                3. Bunnyfood Mar 12, 2008 08:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Citrus peels- I save enough every month(yes, in the freezer) to make enough marmalade to keep my neighbors friendly...I prefer to keep them seperate, because nothing, I mean nothing, beats grapefruit marmalade... but a mix of clementine, lemon, meyer lemon, orange, tangerine etc is pretty tasty too...

                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bunnyfood
                                                                                                                                                                    algct Jan 20, 2011 02:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    You can use squeezed out lemon halves (after juicing them) & add them to your ongoing preserved lemon jar - great for Mediterranean cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                    This may work for limes too, I'm not sure, but maybe I'll try to prove the concept.

                                                                                                                                                                    Anybody hear of preserved limes????

                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                  2. steinpilz Mar 12, 2008 06:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    I agree about stale bread, duck/chicken/bacon fat, and broccoli stems, disagree about shrimp shells (see above), I'll add cheese ends (great for soups), and radish peels (recently read about this on a Japanese cooking blog).

                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steinpilz
                                                                                                                                                                      yamalam Mar 13, 2008 07:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      What do you use the radish peels for?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: yamalam
                                                                                                                                                                        steinpilz Mar 14, 2008 05:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Here are two radish peel recipes (and one udo peel recipe, don't really know what udo is) from that japanese site -- there are many more recipes and the lady also blogs what she cooks daily, it's pretty interesting:

                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.nsknet.or.jp/~tomi-yasu/recipe/068_e.html
                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.nsknet.or.jp/~tomi-yasu/recipe/082_e.html
                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.nsknet.or.jp/~tomi-yasu/re...

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: steinpilz
                                                                                                                                                                          Gio Mar 14, 2008 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Udo is a tall leafy plant which grows on the banks of streams in Japan.
                                                                                                                                                                          The stems are cut and used in soups, or the shoots are cooked like asparagus.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                                            steinpilz Mar 14, 2008 03:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                                              fruglescot Mar 14, 2008 09:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              You really are knowledgeable Gio.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. m
                                                                                                                                                                        misplacedamerican Mar 12, 2008 11:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I use my veg water to water my plants in the summer - it has good nutrients in it and is organic (if that is what you buy). Also helps reduce my water consumption a bit. Every drop helps!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. fruglescot Mar 11, 2008 10:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          THE CRUST OF THOSE GUYS
                                                                                                                                                                          Often the bread you leave in the restaurant bread basket will become dessert for the following day. Successful (read profitable) restaurant management includes providing uses for kitchen leftovers. Ever eat "Bread Pudding"?

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fruglescot
                                                                                                                                                                            jennywinker Mar 12, 2008 01:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Not anymore!

                                                                                                                                                                          2. a
                                                                                                                                                                            Abby B Mar 10, 2008 07:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Chicken skins. Whenever I cut up a whole chicken for pieces, I render fat from the skin and save it to make crust for savory pies and tarts. Especially good with whole wheat. (To render the fat, just put the skin in a pan and cook it at medium-ish heat until the fat all comes out as liquid. Give the cripsy skins to the dog as a treat and pour the fat into a jar.)

                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Abby B
                                                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                                                              moh Mar 10, 2008 07:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              The dog? Give the crispy skin to the dog???? The dog can fend for itself! I'm keeping the crispy skins for myself!!!!! The dog??????

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: moh
                                                                                                                                                                                Cheflambo Mar 10, 2008 07:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Woof! Sitting up and BEGGING here......

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cheflambo
                                                                                                                                                                                  n
                                                                                                                                                                                  notgreg Mar 11, 2008 07:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I have to agree with the stale bread post, it seems that its almost always thrown out, and yet it is so easy to turn into breadcrumbs. I don't know if anyone has mentioned cheese rinds, such as those from a block of parmesan, yet. thrown into a soup, or even some roasts and braises they add amazing flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: notgreg
                                                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                                                    soupkitten Mar 11, 2008 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    oh yeah (parm rind). that's an old trick and a very good one!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: notgreg
                                                                                                                                                                                      monkeyrotica Mar 12, 2008 05:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Cheese rinds are an ESSENTIAL part of a good minestrone.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: notgreg
                                                                                                                                                                                        Tonka Mar 22, 2008 06:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Cheese rinds is a new one to me. Do they dissolve into the recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tonka
                                                                                                                                                                                          coll Mar 23, 2008 02:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          They can burn onto the bottom of the pot if you're not careful, but if you get them out in time (after an hour or so) they make a nice pre-meal treat. I cut them into bite size pieces before I put them in, and sometimes when I'm lucky they soften up just right and I leave them in when serving.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Abby B
                                                                                                                                                                                    f
                                                                                                                                                                                    fastermx Apr 26, 2010 01:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I tend to agree with moh here - the dog? When I fry chicken skins, it's to get those crispy rendered skins to munch - if you render virtually all the fat out of them, they're even tastier than pork rinds - and you pay MONEY to have those. These skin rinds taste exactly like the skin of fried chicken. If you don't chow down on them with a touch of salt, as fast as they hit the paper towels, you can use them on sandwiches, in salads, as a topper for almost any vegetable dish - the uses are endless. I wrote to some other posting about this - find it if you want to know how to make them the best way possible.

                                                                                                                                                                                    To me, the rendered fat is a biproduct - very useful, but I don't use it all that often. But those skin rinds? I can never get enough. Nobody who loves the crispy skin of fried chicken can resist them! And they have a LOT less fat than on the fried chicken, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I've always loved my dogs - not one died before the age of 16 - but sorry, chum, those chicken skin rinds are MINE, all MINE!

                                                                                                                                                                                    Never throw out chicken skins! Send them to ME! I'll know how to pay them due homage.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Abby B
                                                                                                                                                                                      algct Jan 20, 2011 02:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      While you do that, just add in some sliced onion when rendering the fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                      When the skins are crisp and the onions golden, you can strain the fat off.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Use the fat for chopped liver & the "gribines" like fried pork rinds.

                                                                                                                                                                                      The dog can live on the smell!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                    2. amymsmom Mar 9, 2008 09:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      I drink the water from cooked veggies - my family thinks I'm nuts, but it's tasty and surely healthy.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Almost all fruit/veggie scraps. Though we live in an upscale suburb where people turn up their noses at dirt or saving scraps, we save it all (as long as it's warm enough to go out/break down. I also add coffee grounds & filters, tea bags and egg shells. The only fruit/veggie scraps I won't add are avocado peels/seeds, mango pits and other large stuff that doesn't break down easily.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Every spring my husband mixes the whole thing together and spreads it over our veggy garden - we have great crops!

                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: amymsmom
                                                                                                                                                                                        starlady Mar 9, 2008 10:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I always save the water from the veggies to use the next day in pasta water or risotto or just to cook more veggies in, and in the summer sometimes to slightly thin gazpacho. never thought of drinking it, though I put soup in a mug often enough why not, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: starlady
                                                                                                                                                                                          q
                                                                                                                                                                                          quirkybeijing Mar 12, 2008 10:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I do this too! I often use the boiled water to add to pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I also save the water from boiling dumplings, it's goes quite nicely as a drink with dumplings. I can't take credit for this though, I learned this from a dumpling restaurant chain here in China.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: quirkybeijing
                                                                                                                                                                                            m
                                                                                                                                                                                            moh Mar 12, 2008 10:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Also the water from rehydrating Dried shitake mushrooms. We throw this into broths, and also use it as a base for soba noodle broth.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: amymsmom
                                                                                                                                                                                          oakjoan Mar 10, 2008 01:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          My mother made and drank something she called "Gunk" every day. She simmered vegetable leaves, onion scraps, etc. for hours, cooled them, refrigerated the liquid and drank a glass a day. She learned it from a Dutch friend of hers whose mother drank it her whole life as well. Friend's mother lived to be very, very old. My mother died when she was in her late 70s. So who knows if either of them benefited from it. She was always trying to get me to drink it. I tried it once and that was enough. No salt even!!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                                                            greygarious Oct 30, 2009 06:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Mine made vegetables in the pressure cooker and drank that liquid - under a cup per day, until she was in her 70's. She lived to 91.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: amymsmom
                                                                                                                                                                                            f
                                                                                                                                                                                            fastermx Apr 26, 2010 01:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            You're right, it is healthy. But most people just throw out the cooking water from veggies. You CAN save them and use them in soups and stews, but many people wouldn't take the time or trouble.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Instead, I am a strong proponent of steaming. That way those nutrients remain in the food. They cook up faster in steam, too, which saves fuel. If you know what cooked veggies you'd want to serve for the next week or few days, you can steam them all up at once - again saving fuel. Then you have fully cooked veggies for those meals - which is a time saver. I often steam up a variety of veggies all at once - each in a little packet of foil, to keep them from "sharing" flavors that you don't want them to, and also to have a container to use to remove them. Some will cook faster than others, so you can just lift out the foil packages as they finish steaming.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Before I'd use veggie scraps as compost, though, I'd be more inclined to find ways to get them into people - or at least the flavors they still have to offer. THEN into the compost heap!

                                                                                                                                                                                            If I were able I'd love to have a garden. There's enough land here at my new house, but I have a severe and painful spinal disability - no gardening for this kid. I do grow my own cilantro, because I use it a lot, and it spoils so fast when bought fresh. Since this is the tropics, the soil is loaded with intestinal parasites, and cilantro is almost ALWAYS loaded with them. These nasty puppies can actually crawl right UP on herbs or veggies that grow close to the ground - cabbage is another perennial problem. Make coleslaw without purifying it, and you WILL get sick. Cabbage, celery, lettuce and cilantro - and strawberries - are some of the best ways for tourists to get "the revenge" in Mexico. All of it avoidable if the food gets purified first. We have to purify most of the veggies and fruits that don't have peels and are eaten raw, but most particularly those which grow close to the soil. One day, I'll fill my pot with a sterile soil, so I can grow cilantro that I won't have to purify. Then just pluck the amount I need for that day, and the rest won't go bad on me.

                                                                                                                                                                                          3. fruglescot Mar 9, 2008 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            GOOD TILL THE LAST DROP
                                                                                                                                                                                            On another thread there is a discussion under the heading of "Cooking with Coffee"
                                                                                                                                                                                            where several uses for left over coffee come to light. My favourite use for the brown brew is to add it to gravy for colour and flavour.

                                                                                                                                                                                            < http://www.chowhound.com/topics/497225 >

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. fruglescot Mar 9, 2008 05:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              DONT THROW A WHEY!
                                                                                                                                                                                              When pressing yogurt (straining) to make Labneh the liquid whey makes an excellent marinade. The high quality bacteria breaks down and tenderizes the meat. Apparently there is a kind of cheese that you can make from it as well. I heard about it somewhere here on Chowhound.It's called panir.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Out of the range of food use, whey is good for chapped skin as well.Rub it on.

                                                                                                                                                                                              17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fruglescot
                                                                                                                                                                                                dani_k Mar 10, 2008 05:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                good thought. i usually toss the yogurt whey.
                                                                                                                                                                                                panir the same as paneer? if so, you make it more along the lines of labneh, i believe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fruglescot
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gio Mar 13, 2008 08:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Imagine, something I didn't know about. LOL Thanks FS.... I usually drain about half a large container of plain fat free yogurt...now I can use the whey too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                                                                    fruglescot Mar 14, 2008 08:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    IS FAT FREE YOGURT, REALLY YOGURT
                                                                                                                                                                                                    So Gio you're a pressed yogurt lover as well. Much less expensive than purchasing the labn-eh, eh? You are, very well informed by my observations so I'm pleased that I was able to pass on some useful information.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Here is a bit more. I would recommend that you consider natural yogurt over the fat reduced types. Michael Pollan brought the point to my attention at his recent lecture by questioning what exactly is in, 'fat free' yogurt.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't mean to pontificate of course. You will be the ultimate decision maker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fruglescot
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gio Mar 14, 2008 12:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Frugle.... My yogurt of choice is Stoneyfield Plain Fat Free. Here's a list of the ingredients:
                                                                                                                                                                                                      CULTURED PASTEURIZED ORGANIC NONFAT MILK, PECTIN, VITAMIN D3. CONTAINS OUR EXCLUSIVE BLEND OF SIX LIVE ACTIVE CULTURES INCLUDING L. ACIDOPHILUS, BIFIDUS, L. CASEI AND L. RHAMNOSUS. (I apologize for the caps - I copied & pasted from their site). I'm pretty satisfied with that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fruglescot
                                                                                                                                                                                                        dani_k Mar 14, 2008 05:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        i make my own yogurt at home, with skim [aka non-fat] milk. nothing in there but milk!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dani_k
                                                                                                                                                                                                          j
                                                                                                                                                                                                          jsaimd Mar 14, 2008 05:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Same here. Homemade. Just milk and bacteria - definitely yogurt...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jsaimd
                                                                                                                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Old Gal Oct 5, 2008 08:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            question for you both.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you use pasturized milk and just milk are you not missing the active bacteria which is, in my mind anyway, the purpose of consuming the yogurt? Should you not add a tablespoon or so of acidophilus?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Old Gal
                                                                                                                                                                                                              b
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Basiorana Jan 15, 2011 03:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I add a small amount of old yogurt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: fruglescot
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gooseberry Mar 17, 2008 02:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Italian ricotta is traditionally made from whey, too. The milk is first used to make traditional firm cheeses, the whey is then used to make ricotta, and then the left over liquid from that is fed to pigs. Nothing goes to waste, and those pigs taste really good too...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gooseberry
                                                                                                                                                                                                        f
                                                                                                                                                                                                        fastermx Apr 26, 2010 01:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't see how whey alone can make any cheese. The solids of the milk are already gone. You're not the first person who said a cheese is made from whey, but I think these are inaccurate assumptions. I looked up panir, which supposedly was made from whey, too, and it is NOT made from whey; it is made from milk, and creates whey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've already done this checking for panir; maybe someone else will do it for ricotta? I've never heard of whey that contained enough solids to make cheese out of. Whey is a liquid - the part of milk that isn't fats and solids. If I'm wrong, I'd love to be set right about this, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Paulustrious Apr 26, 2010 09:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I make my own ricottta, yoghurt and paneer. There are two ways to cause the proteins to coagulate. One is to use rennet and the other is to use acid. Ricotta and paneer use an acid based method and that takes almost all of the proteins out - provided you use enough acid. The remaining whey cannot be used in making any 'cheesey' stuff. However, it can be used in cooking. I use it to make bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Paulustrious
                                                                                                                                                                                                            g
                                                                                                                                                                                                            glyph250 Feb 7, 2011 12:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't know about yoghurt or acid-curdled whey, but if you use the rennet method only the less soluble milk solids are removed. I have personally made ricotta from the proteins in whey left over after making a batch of mozzarella.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Boiling the whey denatures the highly soluble proteins (ricotta means "recooked" in Italian), resulting in a cheese made mostly of albumin, according to Wikipedia. Albumin is the shiny white stuff in eggs, and the goopy stuff that covers fish that's been cooked sous vide. That actually explains a lot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Wiki has more info on it if you like:

                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricotta

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: fruglescot
                                                                                                                                                                                                        starlady Mar 18, 2008 07:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        OK a Whey question:
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Can you freeze the whey to then reuse as a marinade later or does the freezing make the marinading qualities moot?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cause when I drain off Yoghurt I only do a little at a time as I live alone....

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: starlady
                                                                                                                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                                                                                                                          fastermx Apr 26, 2010 01:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          How about refrigerating it and adding it to the next soup or stew you make? I haven't tried it, though, so I don't know what the result would be. Could you maybe mix it in small amounts with fruit juices and drink it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Or maybe time making yoghurt to coincide with a meat dish you want to make that same day that requires a marinade. That way, you make the whey and promptly put it over marinating meat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I live alone, too. But particularly because I'm very disabled, I won't make any dish that takes some time and effort without making enough to give me between 2-4 meals, frozen, for later on. After all, it's only a little more effort to make a larger amount, and the payback in meals you only need to reheat is worth it. Whether a large amount or a small one, I'm going to get mighty lame from any labor-intensive recipe. So I make the dish, eat my portion for today, then bag up the cooled leftovers in one-meal portions and freeze them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I got my start doing this with spaghetti. That got me hooked! There are often days when I hurt too much to cook, and those bags of ready-cooked main dishes are things of beauty in my freezer at such times.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I wouldn't try freezing whey. Any of those beneficial microbes it contains would likely be killed. Murphy's law says that only the ones that can make you sick can easily survive freezing. Very likely, whey would spoil in a day or two in the fridge, too. So unless someone knows better, I'd say to use it or lose it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          You know what I ADORE with yoghurt? I mix it with finely-chopped nuts (not quite powdery crumbs), a good dollop of honey, maybe some wheat germ or sesame seeds. Then mix it well and enjoy. Loaded with nutrition, and a joy to anyone's sweet tooth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: fruglescot
                                                                                                                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                                                                                                                          fastermx Apr 26, 2010 01:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love to make my own cottage cheese. I've always hated having to throw out the whey, because I know there's a lot of food value in it. But I knew of no way to utilize it. In a marinade to tenderize meat? Sounds wonderful. For chapped skin, I'd be glad to try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I looked up panir, but it isn't made from whey; it is made from milk. The whey is still a biproduct of making the cheese. Mexico has a similar cheese, called "queso fresco," meaning it is fresh and unaged. I don't care for it much, especially because it isn't real good at melting as a well-behaved cheese should! But it's also acidy. Feta cheese is similar in some ways, but by being too salty rather than too acidy. I'm no particular fan of either, but I'm definitely in a minority.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Got any great recipes that can use whey? I'd make enough with one batch of cottage cheese to marinate a whole side of beef, it seems. What can I do with the rest of it? I'd prefer edible ones, naturally, to avail myself of the nutrients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I DO know that many people will feed their whey to their pets, and it's very good for them. But I can't seem to make myself just pour a glassful and quaff it. I need a recipe!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fruglescot
                                                                                                                                                                                                            algct Jan 20, 2011 02:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            At least if you have a dog - they do enjoy whey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: algct
                                                                                                                                                                                                              k
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Krislady Feb 12, 2011 05:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes - every morning I feed the dog, then go make my own breakfast - usually either yogurt and granola or a smoothie. And the dog sits in the kitchen doorway patiently waiting for his daily allotment of "yogurt juice." :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. scubadoo97 Mar 9, 2008 04:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Completly agree about the shrimp shells. I keep a bag in the freezer. When peeling shrimp, if I'm not going to be using the shells that night they go into the freezer bag. When there is a full bag then I have the makings for some fantastic shrimp stock.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                                                                                                                                                              starlady Mar 9, 2008 04:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I do that too!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                              I also keep crab shells in a bag in the freezer so after I eat the crab in the summer I can make crab bisque in the winter!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love the West Coast!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. soypower Mar 8, 2008 07:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              i love the brown, crunchy rice left on the bottom of a non-stick pot after making steamed rice. add a little barley tea, and somehow it just tastes like heaven...you could also use it to make sizzling rice soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              chili pepper leaves...great stir fried/stewed in soy sauce, garlic and sugar or made into kimchi...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: soypower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                toodie jane Mar 8, 2008 08:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                what do they taste like? (seeing as how it's winter and I can't run out to the garden) are they hot?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: soypower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Egg Mar 9, 2008 07:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Do you mean leaves of peppers from the capsicum family? I would be hesitant to eat these--capsicum is in the nightshade family, and relatives such as tomatoes have poisonous leaves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Egg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    soypower Mar 10, 2008 10:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    as far as chili leaves being poisonous, i believe you have to eat large quantities to achieve a toxic level of capsaicin...also, the 'poison' is in both the pepper and the leaves...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/co...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: soypower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      JungMann Mar 10, 2008 11:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chili leaves are definitely eaten in Southeast Asia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Egg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      fmed Mar 10, 2008 11:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I should be dead by now then! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Don't worry about chili leaves. Great in stir fries and my favorite: Corn soup (chicken broth) and Fresh Chili Leaves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: soypower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sam Fujisaka Mar 10, 2008 10:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Young/newly emerged leaves of mango, coffee, and avocado are edible--the two former can be served with Lao food in rural areas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        pikawicca Apr 10, 2010 08:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I just had my first avocado leaves last week. I've been eaten chokes since childhood, but never tried the leaves until a local grower offered me some. (She's growing them in a green house.) I chopped them up and added to a salad. Very tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4. Pat Hammond Mar 7, 2008 03:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The crowd that gathers here most likely wouldn't do this. But I've been to lobster fests where so many people ate only the claws and the tail, leaving the bodies for the gulls. I've been known to pan-handle around for leftover lobster bodies, much to the embarrassment of my family. There's lots of good stuff in those bodies!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Pat Hammond
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        KRS Mar 7, 2008 04:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The tenderest, sweetest lobster meat is in the body above the tops of the legs. Once you learn lobster anatomy, you can bend the interior piece and push the meat out with a fingertip. Don't put on any butter or lemon juice. It's too good to do anything but eat it just as it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ditto for crabs, by the way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: KRS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pat Hammond Mar 8, 2008 04:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree. For me the real treasure is the lobster's liver, i.e. tomalley. I don't turn up my nose at lobster roe, either! It sounds like we get our money's worth from a lobster, KRS!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pat Hammond
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Passadumkeg Mar 12, 2008 05:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bumper sticker in Maine: Vote for Tomalley, the Greenstuff Party.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We fry Maine shrimp with the shells on in hot olive oil until chrunchy and eat, shells and all.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Great roughage!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              fastermx Apr 26, 2010 12:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Don't you kinda need stainless steel teeth? If I were smallhearted, I would HATE you people in Maine - ALL THAT LOBSTER! ALL THOSE CLAMS! And I can't get ANY. That's okay, enjoy them and appreciate your good fortune.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I, on the other hand, can eat guacamole in huge portions, whereas most Americans pay a premium for avocados. There are times of the year when people with avocado trees can't give enough of them away! A tree that hung over my last house had avocados as big as FOOTBALLS! One could make guacamole for a whole family. But you had to catch them before they fell off the tree and went splat. There's also a purple avocado here, small as a pear, and the skin is very thin - you can eat it right out of your hand, skin and all. Great on the road.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              When I lived in South Texas, I discovered something that was kind of a biproduct of shrimping. They were called "rock shrimp." They were smaller than a medium shrimp, but with a hard shell like a lobster. A LOT of work needs to be done to remove them from the shells, but once done, you're only minutes away from eating them. I just piled them in a buttered baking dish, drizzled more butter over the top, a sprinkle of garlic powder, S&P, and they would cook up in about 10 minutes in the oven. The taste was something like a cross between shrimp and lobster. They were dirt cheap, too - the shrimpers at one time just threw them out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I live in Mexico now, and don't think they're available here. So sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Pat Hammond
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          jhuston Jul 25, 2010 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Whenever I have dinner at our local seafood restaurant, I ask the server to pack up the leftover shrimp/lobster/crab shells in a doggie bag. If I'm with my family I throw theirs in, too, though this sort of mortifies my sons (my parents, on the other hand, regard this with approval, as they regard all things thrifty). The folks at the restaurant have always been very nice about it. I hope I'm not being inappropriate or rude, but ever since making the wonderful shellfish stock from the Simply Recipes site, I cannot bear to see those gorgeous shells go to waste. I store them in the freezer bags until I have enough, then roast them briefly (to intensify the flavor) before making the stock.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jhuston
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            alkapal Jul 26, 2010 05:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            shrimp shells? broken crab shells? i hope you give the server an extra tip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              jhuston Jul 31, 2010 11:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              oh of course! generous tips are good karma no matter what. plus i worked briefly as a server and it was one of the most eye-opening and demanding jobs ever, so i'm appreciative of extra service. it's the crab, lobster, and shrimp shells that I hoard for stock.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Paul Weller Mar 7, 2008 03:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          One time I went to a pig farm and had them butcher a pig for a hawaiian style pit roasting. There was a group of asian men that were asking everyone for the organs and blood. They had a huge cooler full of them they had gotten for free because people were throwing them away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            phoenikia Mar 6, 2008 06:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love my beet greens. In the spring, when the beets are too small to be picked, but the row needs to be thinned, I bring home the greens and cook them up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Are tough, thick stems/stalks from Kale an underutilized treasure? No one has mentioned using them yet. They are much tougher than chard stems, so I'm not sure I'd be inclined to use them the same way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            How would you use them if you had them on hand? I snapped the leafy parts of my Kale last night, but I have a couple dozen tough stems left over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for any suggestions;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: phoenikia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              abud Mar 6, 2008 09:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              veg stock?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: phoenikia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                jennywinker Mar 7, 2008 10:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes! The beet greens! I'm disappointed if I have to buy beets with no greens. Fortunately, my garden and my CSA usually supply me with plenty. I was thinking about the kale, too. That's one thing I do toss, but would be interested to hear "uses" for them. Would they be too bitter for stock?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: phoenikia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  soupkitten Mar 7, 2008 10:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  if you are stir-frying your kale, or using in soup, or whatever, cut the leaves off of the stems, chop the stems small, fry the stems with other veggies, add the leaves later. exactly as if it was chard, just need a bit longer to cook if the stems are huge. adds some celery-esque texture to the dish or side veg and you use the whole vegetable. i don't use kale in stock, but would add chopped stems to a soup's mirepoix and finely chopped/shredded leaves at the end, just before serving, as if it was fresh spinach (but will need a few more minutes to cook than spinach). i would leave kale leaves out of any soup i was freezing or making in advance-- when a soup with kale is reheated it can seem "muddy" so it's better to add the leaves shortly before serving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    phoenikia Mar 7, 2008 11:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for your suggestions re: the kale stems. I'll give it a try tonight;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      erica Mar 7, 2008 02:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What a fabulous thread..I learned so much! Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        phoenikia Mar 8, 2008 08:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just wanted to thank you for your suggestion to fry the kale stems first. I just made a Coconut and Kale soup that used up all my stems. I fried the chopped stems with some other veggies (onion, garlic, carrot and jalapeno) in olive oil until softened, then added the other ingredients. Just before serving, I blended the soup with my hand blender. Turned out great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: phoenikia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Val Mar 9, 2008 04:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          !!! Coconut & Kale soup???!!! Can you please post recipe??? Sounds so intriguing! Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Val
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            phoenikia Mar 9, 2008 06:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Coconut & Kale soup- this was based on http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/is...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ingredients
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 tablespoons olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 onion, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 cup chopped carrots
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 clove garlic, minced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 bunch kale, tough stems finely chopped (I had about 1 1/2 cups of chopped stems), leaves washed well and chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 cup cooked rice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 cups water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 chicken bouillon cube
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Limes, cut into slices to serve with the soup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            directions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion, carrots, kale stems, jalapeno, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent and other vegetables have started to soften, about 5 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stir in water, kale leaves and bouillon, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered about 20 minutes. Use a handblender to puree to desired consistency. Add the coconut milk and cooked rice and heat through.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I had cooked rice on hand, but you could easily add uncooked rice when you add the water, and bouillon, but you should then also increase the amount of water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I served the soup with slices of lime on the side. Found a squeeze of fresh lime juice really brightened it up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: phoenikia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            soupkitten Mar 10, 2008 06:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            awesome--glad it worked for you :) the soup sounds delicious btw & i'll print a copy of it, so thanks back at you

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: phoenikia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Aromatherapy Mar 8, 2008 05:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When I'm boiling/steaming large, curly kale with thick stalks, I chop the stalks crosswise and add first, cook 5 minutes, then add the leaves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: phoenikia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            oakjoan Mar 10, 2008 01:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ditto on the beet greens. I use them for a salad borrowed from A-16 Restaurant in SF. I bake the beets ala Alice Waters (foil-covered baking dish, a bit of water, beets. Bake at 350 for (she says 1 hour but I don't like them that squishy - which they get if they're not huge) for 30-40 minutes (start checking at 30 mins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cool, slice and dress with vinegar, olive oil and crushed garlic. I sometimes put the greens in with the beets and bake/steam them all together. Other times I steam them separately. Chop beet tops into salad-size pieces and mix into the salad. Outstanding!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kagey Mar 6, 2008 12:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stale bread. I put it in the food processor and make crumbs. These go into meatballs, meatloaf, treacle tart, and any other recipes that call for crumbs. I keep them in bags in the freezer for when I need them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Kagey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              scuzzo Mar 6, 2008 03:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Toast bread crumbs in a pan with a bit of butter and top pasta!!! I like it best on a white sauce type pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: scuzzo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kagey Mar 6, 2008 11:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Great idea. And I think there was a recipe not too long ago in the NY Times for pasta with breadcrumbs and chorizo, and I think chickpeas, if I remember correctly. Must dig that up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: scuzzo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  starlady Mar 9, 2008 04:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Buzz up some dried mushrooms in the food processor add it to the breadcrumbs, toast it all up and toss over braised leeks. YUM!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: scuzzo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    silkenpaw Oct 19, 2010 01:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My mother used breadcrumbs instead of flour to line cakepans. She even made a lovely walnut cake that uses breadcrumbs instead of flour. And of course she made her own breadcrumbs, as do I.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Kagey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cheflambo Mar 8, 2008 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My grandmother (and later my mom) used to save the heels of loaves of bread and freeze them. When she had "enough" they came out and were thawed, then spread with butter or margarine and some garlic salt and baked in the oven to go with spaghetti or chili. Each slice was cut into about 3 strips, and we always called these "gramma specials". Since we were 5 kids who ate a LOT of sandwiches, there was no shortage of these. Im sure if I looked in my mom's freezer today (she now lives alone) I would certainly find a ziplock bag with at least a few of these bread slices in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Kagey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Smileelisa Apr 6, 2008 04:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      stale bread is also good for making french toast. The bread doesn't fall apart when you soak it in the egg mixture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Smileelisa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        tastesgoodwhatisit May 10, 2010 03:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stale bread is good for bread soup (with stock, tomatoes and lots of herbs) and bread pudding (try with a sweet coffee-brandy sauce). Stale baguettes make great French toast - crispy outside, almost custardy inside, and can also be sliced and toasted for bruschetta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My only problem is that in my climate bread goes moldy before stale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          coll May 10, 2010 05:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If you left it open in the fridge, it would probably dry out with no mold? Or just toast it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. dani_k Mar 5, 2008 02:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      wow, reading the responses, i kept thinking "me too! me too!" except maybe the shrimp shells, as i rarely cook with fresh shrimp (paste or dried tends to happen more often). i spent my learning-how-to-cook-from-your-mom years on a farm with a low budget and lots of mouths to feed. we didn't use as much as someone raised with depression-era cooking, but a far sight more than your average joe nowadays. i'd have to say the most common thing i run into is poultry bones and organs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      like many here, i tend to use most of a veggie. green onion tops are used as garnishes, green leek tops are used to flavour light stocks, broccoli stems are used in a variety of ways, celery centres for stock, chard stems in stir fries, carrot tops/bottoms in stock, onion skins left on onions for stock (nice color), etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dani_k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        saltwater Mar 5, 2008 04:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pot Licker and other flavored liquid items. Also, I'd like to collect all those turkey frames and ham bones that get tossed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: saltwater
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          livetocook Mar 5, 2008 06:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, I was a little surprised at my first thx giving meal with the In laws. My MIL threw out her turkey carcass. My mom, grandma, aunt etc always froze theirs and made soup later. I thought everyone did that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (Now that I know her better it doesn't surprise me. She makes little to nothing out of scratch. This is a woman that would choose low cal cool whip over real whipping cream. She thinks it tastes better)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: livetocook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            JudiAU Mar 9, 2008 09:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Argh. MIL does the same thing. I mourn the loss ever year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: livetocook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              RWCFoodie Mar 13, 2008 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've always made soup from the turkey carcass, and as I'm the one who roasts the birds, etc., the carcass always comes home with me - my husband's family still think I'm incredibly weird but they sure like it when I send some of the resulting soup up to them!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And they like cool whip too! Just no accounting for some folks' tastes... :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I just remembered that another thing they think is weird that I do is save the bone(s) from the ham to use in beans or bean soup! I just don't get them...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: saltwater
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LolaP Nov 8, 2009 01:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Me too! I actually found myself asking for the chicken carcass after my first passover with my bf's sister. They both looked at me like I was nuts...until they had a bowl of the soup!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LolaP
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                saltwater Dec 14, 2009 11:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A roasted chicken makes great stock! I make stock every time I roast a chicken. I keep the back, neck, wingtips, and frame and set it to simmer on the stove for the evening. Then I freeze it into 2T ice cubes and put them in a good freezer bag. Those cubes are great for stir-fries where you need a little stock. (I melt them first in the microwave, of course).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: dani_k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              steinpilz Mar 12, 2008 06:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've read a lot about using shrimp shells for stock, my experience is that I get a sort of ugly dirty smelling soup. Lately I've thought this was due to using farmed shrimp, but it will take some time for me to use shrimp shells for flavouring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steinpilz
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                thew Mar 13, 2008 05:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                maybe you're cooking it too long? I find you can extract a nice delicate flavor in 10 to 15 minutes. I usually put some garlic and a few other flavors in there as well

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: thew
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  steinpilz Mar 13, 2008 06:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks very much, I'll keep this in mind. If you don't mind, what other flavours do you add?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steinpilz
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    thew Mar 13, 2008 12:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i never work from a recipe, so its always fairly ad hoc, dependent on what i'm making it for, and what i have in the house.a bay leaf, a lemon peel, fennel seed, lemongrass, salt and pepper (natch), garlic, a dried chile pepper, keffir lime, konbu, carrot, and many others have all found their way on there one time or another.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    this is a case where less is definitely more, as the shrimp flavor is both delicate and easily overwhelmed, as well as distinct and easy to clash with

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: thew
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      steinpilz Mar 14, 2008 05:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks very much Thew!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: steinpilz
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      lilingenue Mar 13, 2008 07:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My mum uses shrimp shells and heads to make stock for certain Chinese noodle soup dishes...she also adds pork ribs to give it a richer flavor. She actually starts with a few pork ribs, a few cloves of crushed skinless garlic and a pot of water. Bring it to a boil, reduce to a simmer and skim all the gross stuff that floats to the top. After the first half hour of consistent skimming is generally when all the prawn shells/heads go in, and it's simmered for another hour. To get a better looking stock, strain it through a cheesecloth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My favorite way of using this stock is in prawn noodles - yellow chinese noodles boiled (separately), with thin pork slices, boiled prawns on top, served with a generous helping of the above stock and shallot oil, a sprinkling of fried shallots and chopped green onion. A dash of white pepper and fiery little red chilis on the side and you're good to go!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lilingenue
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        steinpilz Mar 14, 2008 05:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the recipe!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: steinpilz
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    torty Mar 13, 2008 02:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I had the same experience when I used the shells from farmed shrimp. I try to avoid the farmed stuff but sometimes the craving has to be fed and there are no nice wild ones around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: torty
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      fastermx Apr 26, 2010 12:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I see absolutely no reason why you should feel that farmed shrimp would be in any way inferior. I have none available here in Mexico, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy it if it were. If anything, farming can avoid things which can contaminate seafood, like mercury. It's a lot less likely to use semi-slave labor, too. And since it is well known what shrimp love to eat and what's best for them, I'd think farmed shrimp ought to be superb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But I speak from reason, not experience. If anyone has unpleasant knowledge or experience with farmed shrimp to offer, I have no standing to say they're right or wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        alkapal May 13, 2010 04:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        farmed shrimp? everyone who has eaten farmed shrimp has "unpleasant knowledge and experience"!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        wild-caught gulf shrimp! yay team!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        as to "It's a lot less likely to use semi-slave labor, too." what the heck is that supposed to mean?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          milkyway4679 May 19, 2010 08:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm not fastermx, but a lot of shrimp sold by major US retailers has been tied to sweatshops in other countries (in the past). Maybe that is what is being referred to? I wish I had access to wild-caught gulf shrimp! Just the thought makes me drool!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: milkyway4679
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            alkapal May 19, 2010 02:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            look for them in your freezer-case! it will say so on the packaging.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: milkyway4679
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              hillsbilly Jun 21, 2010 09:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There's a lot of exploitation in Asian shrimp processing plants. Shrimp are hand peeled with little safety equipment. Shifts are long, pay is meagre, conditions and job security dismal. That's how we get our frozen product so cheap. But this kind of thing is not just confined to shrimp processing, unfortunately it's how the developing world is developing...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Also, this kind of crowded monoculture actually increases exposure to disease, mainly water-borne viruses, but I guess if it wipes out a whole tank or pond, it doesn't end up in our shops. Maybe in our waterways though... Mercury is only really an issue with big fish higher up on teh food chain, things that consume lots of other things over their lifespan, like tuna and swordfish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And you have to remember the issue of bycatch when you eat wild.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ever feel like we're not allowed to eat anything anymore?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sorry for the wet blanket. I love prawns.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: dani_k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      PEGinAZ Mar 7, 2011 09:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yep, whenever I "groom" veggies for a dish, anything left over goes into a bag into the fridge and becomes a stock of some sort. Can't stand to waste food!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      missfunkysoul Mar 5, 2008 02:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chard stems/stalks, I love to chop + toss in w/stir-fries... or sautee with a little butter and onion, and add to scrambles eggs... so many uses!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: missfunkysoul
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        jennywinker Mar 7, 2008 10:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I never knew you weren't "supposed" to eat the stems. I always just saute them up first, then add the greens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: missfunkysoul
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          danna Nov 10, 2009 06:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The very last Gourmet (Nov) has a nice recipe for chard that includes the stems.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You fold up the chard, "stuff" it in a pot, fill 1/3 full w/ water, boil /simmer until the stalks are tender, rinse , drain, chop. To the pot add a bit of olive oil and some chopped bacon, (the recipe didn't call for it, but I rendered most of the fat and then drained it) add chard and garlic and cook 3-4 minutes. I over cooked mine a bit, but it was still quite good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: missfunkysoul
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            hillsbilly Jun 21, 2010 08:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A favourite side dish of mine is to dice the stems and boil until nearly tender, then add leaves until everything is cooked. Drain, mix with caramelised onion, bechamel/white sauce, top with nutmeg and bake til the top is a little brown. Cheese on top optional. I think danna's bacon mixed in would be nice too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I always serve thsi as a side but yeah, I can eat it on its own too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. chef chicklet Mar 5, 2008 12:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think that herbs before you toss need to be looked at for pesto or pistou.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Along with fresh herbs, scallions, leeks, shallots, garlic are aromatics that I buy every week (if I need them). What I'm doing lately is if they are looking a little old, I'm tossing these along with leftover parsley, basil, mint and cilantro into a blender with oil and salt and pepper. Give it a whirl, to a nice thickness with olive oil, and then you mix it with cream cheese or mascarpone. It makes a pretty decent herbal spread for breads. Or you could hide it inside dough for a nice herbal bread or focaccia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Or without the cream cheese, a nice dollop to soup and eggs is perfect. At times you can drop it in to pasta, rice or potatoes the only problem is the herb/aromatic ratio will vary so I never can give an exact recipe, but I'm finding that its sure worth it to save it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Almost forgot, makes great run for lamb chops, chicken, or beef. (especially lamb!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              yamalam Mar 5, 2008 02:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I do this too and I love it! The pesto/pistou ia great with everything...in addition to what ou mentioned, it makes great rub or stuffing for roast chicken, is great with white beans, either whole or mashed. I've started throwing arugala and spinach bits in mine too, with good results.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. o
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh Robin Mar 5, 2008 12:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chicken Fat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Your matzo balls will thank you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              23 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Oh Robin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Miss Needle Mar 5, 2008 12:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh yes. I save the rendered chicken fat from a chicken and roast my potatoes in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MMRuth Mar 5, 2008 12:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have all sorts of little bags in my freezer labelled "chicken fat" and "duck fat" - for the same purpose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    thew Mar 5, 2008 12:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    yea potatoes get all lacey crispy in duck fat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ldkelley Mar 5, 2008 01:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, you mean it isn't just me?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        steinpilz Mar 12, 2008 06:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        me too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          danna Nov 10, 2009 06:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I froze some chicken fat for the first time Sunday. I felt really guilty, 'cause my cooking life generally revovles around getting RID of fat, not adding it...but DAMN potatoes are good roasted with a chicken. Now I'm planning to make some even when I don't have the benefit of a chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: danna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            maplesugar Nov 11, 2009 06:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Along the same lines - I just read a recipe in one of the Barefoot Contessa books for make-ahead gravy where Garten says she freezes roast drippings for use in gravy later. Brilliant idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            fastermx Apr 25, 2010 11:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What?!! No goose grease? Sorry, but I just couldn't resist throwing in a giggle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The only time to throw those away is if you've accumulated so many of those little bags that there's no room for the glorious salmon you just bought, or the ambrosial ice cream you just made. Then, maybe... But you should know that, as long as your "fat" bags contain absolutely NO meat juices, you can boil them, let them cool a bit, and pour into sterilized jars. My chicken fat comes from rendering chicken skins, and I save it in jars. It has the flavor of fried chicken to lend to any use I put it to. Even when opened, it keeps almost indefinitely. If there are any meat juices in it, though, it'll spoil - and fast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Boy, I wish I could even GET duck, much less have bags of duck fat handy. Here in Mexico, it seems not to be offered in too many places - in none near to me. I want to try my hand with a nice fat goose one day, too, but - same problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My mom once put a goose on the griddle. She almost had to call the fire department as the dripping grease made a rather BIG fire. One lives and learns!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Don't know who said it, but I've known this since high school (you don't WANT to know how long ago that was!): "Ve get zo zoon alt, und zo late schmart."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sigh. All too true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              betsydiver Aug 14, 2010 04:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I believe that's an old Pennsylvania Dutch saying....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sunshine842 Feb 11, 2011 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                it may be Swiss-German, too -- I have a ceramic vinegar just with that carved into the clay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  n
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  NanH Mar 9, 2011 09:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have an old German 78 record and it's in one of the songs!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                hillsbilly Jun 21, 2010 08:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                me three!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                duck fat, pork fat, bacon/ham fat (skimmed off the top of ham/bacon stocks), beef dripping (rendered from fat cut off beef) and yes, of course, chicken fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Oh Robin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              foxy fairy Oct 5, 2008 07:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Saving a bunch of chicken fat, first time, after making a big pot of stock. Can I just save it in a can?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foxy fairy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                SusanaTheConqueress Feb 5, 2010 01:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For decades cooks have saved their fat in a can without worries. Some catalogs even offer "special cans" for this purpose, instead of relying on the repurposed soup or coffee can of yore - some even have inserts for catching the random solids.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That said, why not let your fat cool a bit, then add to glass and refrigerate, or freeze it?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                NOTE: The stove-side can o' fat was as often dipped into, to fry some eggs, or grease the cornbread skillet as it was added to, for draining pork belly, or bacon, or chops - a very bi-directional thing almost constantly in service. I'm not sure your (and know my own) daily cooking wouldn't keep that pace. Though I was raised with the stoveside can and continued the practice until the mid 80s, I now refrigerate & freeze - and now use glass.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: SusanaTheConqueress
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  fastermx Apr 26, 2010 12:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My mom always had a big stoveside coffee can for fats and oils - but NOT for use; it was collected till full, then thrown out. Because some of it may not be pure fat, and spoilage could occur. Also, it was a mixture of many fats and oils, not usually compatible for cooking purposes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    algct Jan 20, 2011 02:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You took the fat from those cans, added lye, heated the mixture and made soap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not good for bathing [have to add glycerin & fragrances], but acceptable for the kitchen and washing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: SusanaTheConqueress
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Amy Mintzer Jan 15, 2011 01:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My wonderful mother-in-law claims the proper name for this receptacle is Mama's Fat Can!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: foxy fairy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    fastermx Apr 25, 2010 11:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Be ABSOLUTELY sure it's pure fat, without a trace of meat solids or juices. This is easily done by boiling it. When there's no more steam, keep boiling a while longer. Strain it, to remove ALL solids. It should get very hot, and emit no steam at all. Let it cool till it's at a normal "boiling water" temperature, then pour it into a sterilized jar and seal. Even after you open it, though, it should keep almost indefinitely, as long as you keep the lid on. Mine does, anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If it's too hot when you pour it into the jar, the jar may break. You want to put it in the jar very hot, but not as hot as oil and fat are able to get. So be careful. I wouldn't use a can, if I were you. Glass is ALWAYS better. Fats easily absorb odors and flavors - including unpleasant ones that a can may have. You may have noticed this attribute of fats when you had to throw out butter that had NOT spoiled, but had picked up the "taste of the refrigerator," making it totally inedible. The REASON we love our fats and oils so much is because of their function as "flavor carriers." That's why the same dish with no fat at all tastes blah, whereas with at least SOME fat or oils, it suddenly becomes delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You can remove the paper inside a glass mayo jar, sterilize it and the lid - if the lid fits on quite tightly, it should work. For canning fruits or veggies, I wouldn't use this, but pure fat is a pretty good "keeper," even in unsterilized conditions. Just keep the lid on. I keep mine on a shelf - and haven't had any of it spoil, even over months of sitting there, unsealed, but with the top on. I can buy lard - or a mixture or lard and solid vegetable fat, that is sold in plastic bags, and keeps months on the shelf. You don't have to freeze or refrigerate Crisco, do you? There you go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Paulustrious Apr 26, 2010 09:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You can also do it with a thermometer. Once it reaches 260F the water has all gone. Fat is damaged by oxidation, heat and sunlight. Without these it will last a long time without refrigeration before going rancid. I keep it in the fridge. If you have a large container of it in Summer it's an awful lot of fat to clean off the floor. I boil up chicken carcases 40 at a time and get about 3lbs of fat. ( That's a guess as I have never measured it)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In Winter I poach duck and chicken to 145 and store it under fat in the garage ready to be used as a confit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Paulustrious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        PEGinAZ Mar 7, 2011 09:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Every southern cook has a jar of bacon fat in the fridge--my jar is an antique, but I use the bacon fat for a few specific purposes. I tried bacon mayo, but just couldn't stand the taste. Now I use a combo of olive and coconut oil. At Christmas, my children look forward to the beef tenderloin roast I make, basting with bacon fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PEGinAZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          sunshine842 Mar 8, 2011 07:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          duuuuuck faaaat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (I keep two jars in my fridge at all times)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            buttertart Mar 8, 2011 08:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Goose fat is even better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              sunshine842 Mar 8, 2011 08:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (but duck fat is cheaper and easier to come by -- it's hard to buy goose parts, even in France...and I maintain a good supply of duck fat as a byproduct of my own cooking, so it's more or less free)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  lhb78 Mar 5, 2008 10:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the green tops of scallions- lovely in salads, soup and on tacos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  51 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lhb78
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    linguafood Mar 5, 2008 11:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Whoa. I've never heard of anyone throwing out the green top of scallions. I only know people (myself included) who throw out the white stump on the bottom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The green stuff is what you're supposed to use ----

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      thew Mar 5, 2008 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      supposed? supposed?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      thats a funny concept. supposed to by whose rules?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the white part and the green part arent the same but both parts have uses

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thew
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        linguafood Mar 5, 2008 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Let me put it this way :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        *Suppose* a recipe mentions the use of scallion, it is generally the green part that's used. At least in the recipes I know, or have seen. I tend to chop down fairly low, including some of the white stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But throwing all the green stuff out? What's the point? Buy a shallot or regular onion if that's what you need.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MMRuth Mar 5, 2008 12:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Huh - most of the recipes I have call for the white part, and throwing the green part out. But I notice in Dunlop that she uses both.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gio Mar 5, 2008 05:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I use both the white & green part of scallions - whether I'm cooking or adding them to a salad. The only part I throw into the compost heap is the root end and maybe the very tip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              linguafood Mar 5, 2008 06:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well, yeah -- I guess that's what I do, too. But to throw out all of the green part just sounds ridiculous to me... I don't care what recipe you're using (in response to lhb78).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                g
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                GSDlove Mar 7, 2008 11:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Don't throw out those root ends! Plant them in your garden or even in a pot and they will grow. When ever you need them, just cut them above the white part and the green tops keep growing back - you will never run out or have to buy them again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GSDlove
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  linguafood Mar 7, 2008 02:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ha. That would be the first plant EVER to survive my gardening "skills" (including pre-potted basil, and the occasional palm tree).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GSDlove
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    starlady Mar 9, 2008 04:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Seriously?? OMG I never knew!!!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That will be added to my balcony garden this summer that's for damn sure! How well do they do inside? (runs to plant some in a pot she justs happens to have!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And to add my 2 cents, my brother nad Dad both just toss the green part away, so whenever they come to my house I precut the white parts and hide the green parts in the fridge!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: starlady
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      soleado123 Mar 20, 2008 03:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I stuck some from the Asian market in the ground... They are the best growing thing in the garden. Cut and come again... they grow back so quickly... :O).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: soleado123
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        starlady Mar 21, 2008 09:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The ones I planted just last week are already growing really well. Not tall enough to eat yet but they are poking out of the ground etc.. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: GSDlove
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      steinpilz Mar 12, 2008 06:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      thanks for a great tip, my holiday narcissus is getting a bit ragged now -- I'll just plant the ends of those scallions in my fridge!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GSDlove
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Old Gal Oct 5, 2008 08:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It works with leeks, also. You need about an inch of white above the root. Also, I save the tough part of the green on leeks and use that when I make stock. After it is cooked I toss it, but still have the flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        bastet212 Mar 7, 2008 11:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I dont think most people throw out the whole green top- but most recipes DO call for the "white and tender green parts" only. Depending on what im making, ill use more or less of the green tops.... Ive never seen a recipe call for tossing the white part.... ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bastet212
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          lex clibanus Apr 6, 2008 03:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          hmmm. not sure about this. I've definitely seen lots of recipes calling only for the white/pale green part of leeks, but rarely for scallions. I definitely fall in the "generally only use the green part" camp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bastet212
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            honey2emmylace Feb 4, 2010 07:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't know if it's a southern thing or maybe a black thing, but my grandmother only used the green part, and the group of black women I work with only use the green part. I love all of it... to me the white part has the flavor and the green part has the color.. so I use it all. And can't wait to try planting the root end.... do I need to plant a whole white bulb or just the root after I use the white?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: honey2emmylace
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              chef chicklet Apr 10, 2010 06:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Interesting, I'm French and German, my mom used the white and green.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              to where it was too tough. I too do, and have made many fine soups with it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's a little green but delicious none the same.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Braised Leeks in wine and butter are so so good. And a friend not too long ago made a dish with the eggs and leeks, talk about comfort food..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                alkapal May 13, 2010 04:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                hi chef c! wasn't there an entire thread on leeks a while back? have you ever grown them? the warmer weather is telling me to get a garden in the ground!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                an english friend introduced me to leeks years ago -- grilling the white section wrapped in the wonder food: bacon, of course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: honey2emmylace
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cherylptw Apr 18, 2010 07:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My family are southern blacks and we use the entire scallion; I think it's a preference thing...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: bastet212
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                AnotherMother Jun 18, 2010 01:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This thread really surprised me. Here in Australia no-one would ever dream of throwing out the white part.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Every recipe I have ever seen calls for the white part and the 'better' parts of the green tops. Some asian recipes call for both parts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                hillsbilly Jun 21, 2010 08:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've only ever seen people use the white/chuck the green when they do discard any of it too.... I was shocked the first time I saw it happen. I was in my first year of high school, it was in Home Ec, of all the misnomers in my cooking life. Before that I had only seen what my mother did with them, which was to use the whole lot, green and white, always mixed in whatever she was cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love knowing I can plants the ends now!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                (I LOVE this thread)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Patrincia Apr 1, 2008 04:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Funny story - when I got married my MIL thought you were supposed to throw away the green tops, and I thought you were supposed to throw away the white bottoms.... so glad we both know better now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Patrincia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          linguafood Apr 2, 2008 09:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yea, because it sounds like if the two of you were working together on those, you'd be left with nothin'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          buttertart Apr 18, 2010 08:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In Chinese food often the white part is used in the cooking of the dish and the green as garnish. Nothing much if anything is wasted in Chinese cooking!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            fastermx Apr 25, 2010 11:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whoa - back! BOTH parts are precious. I use the whiter parts in stir-fries, and feel deprived when I have none to use. I usually cut off the root, and 2", 3" max of the white part, including some of the green, for the stir fry, and usually split them lengthwise if the globes are large. The middle parts, white/green, are perfect for most recipes calling for scallions. The tops of the green are fairly fibrous, but what does that have to do with extracting their taste in making a superb sauce or broth? The only parts to throw out are those that are - unlovely, like spoiled or something.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Have you ever tried roasting a chicken with scallions and mushrooms pushed UNDER the skin? You have to pinch the skin all over, loosen it, then use a hand under the skin to get it separated from the meat where it's stubbornly attached. The skin will now be loose all over the bird. Split the scallion segments lengthwise, and pack them as liberally as you can, along with mushroom caps, under the skin of the whole bird. You could include some split garlic cloves, too, if you like. Toothpick closed the opening your hand made. (If making a turkey, you might want to include some small knobs of butter under the skin, too, to keep it moist.) Then roast. I've even done this with just a chicken breast or thigh I was going to make into fried chicken. Pack in the goodies, toothpick the opening closed, then bread and fry as usual.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Try not to make the opening for your hand too large, to conserve juices when roasting. Then toothpick them closed. This is a MOST unusual way to roast a chicken, stuffed or otherwise. And people WILL notice, count on it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Antithesisofpop May 9, 2010 04:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've never done that with scallions and mushrooms, but I've done it with lemon slices and sprigs of lemon thyme. I'll have to try the mushroom/scallion combo next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                linguafood Jun 22, 2010 10:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That mushroom scallion chicken skin thingee sounds.... awesome. I'll have to try that soon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  eclecticsynergy Aug 16, 2010 05:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Spiogs of fresh rosemary are great stuffed under a chicken skin too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: lhb78
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Miss Needle Mar 5, 2008 12:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Koreans use the green parts of scallions in cooking. When I was a kid I would read recipes about where you just use the white part of a "green" onion. Had no idea that a green onion was a scallion as we always used the whole thing. I couldn't even fathom at that point that some people threw them out. Same with leeks as well. My mom would save the green parts of the leeks, shred them up into yuk gae jang (spicy Korean soup with green onions).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                livetocook Mar 5, 2008 06:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LOL funny, just last year I figured out that scallions were green onions. I grew up with them being called green onion. In fact, I don't know anyone who uses the word scallion. And we usually used the whole thing too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: livetocook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  kiwiFRUIT Mar 5, 2008 10:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In some places green onions/scallions are called spring onions. Just to add to the confusion...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kiwiFRUIT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    linguafood Mar 6, 2008 08:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, that's what they're called in Germany. And I have honestly never heard of anyone who tosses out the green. Again, what's the point? Any Stir fry "recipe" that asks for green onion is talking about the green stalk finely chopped. Notice the green little rings in a stir fry, or fried rice. Not white little rings ---

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      thew Mar 6, 2008 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i see both used
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and use both

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: kiwiFRUIT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      aletnes Mar 7, 2008 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Actually.. Spring onions and scallions are different.. both are just called "Green Onions" colloquially. Spring onions are usually slightly bigger, with more of a knob at the bottom (white) end. Scallions are almost perfectly straight. Here is a link to an article on it: http://archives.record-eagle.com/2007...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: aletnes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        thew Mar 8, 2008 03:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i believe that is, to some degree regional
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        from the cooks thesaurus site:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        green onion = scallion = bunching onion = shallot (in Australia) = spring onion (in Britain) = Chinese onion = stone leek = cibol Equivalents: 1 bunch = 1/4 pound = 1/2 cup sliced Notes: These are onions that have small bulbs and long green stalks. They're usually eaten raw, but you can also grill or sauté them. Some people also use the term green onions to refer to onion tops, shallot tops and young leeks. Substitutes: spring onions OR leeks OR shallots OR chives (if used raw)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: thew
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          AnotherMother Jun 18, 2010 01:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Er, in Australia a shallot is a small round bulb a little like a very small onion. (Usually golden, sometimes red.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The long green things are known as spring onions.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The fresh onion with a small bulb and green tops is a salad onion.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have them all growing in my garden right now... and they are all delish!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AnotherMother
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jojo9 Feb 11, 2011 02:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            AnotherMother, you have all the names correct.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It irritates me to no end when I see spring onions sold here in Australia as shallots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What is (correctly) known as shallots is sometimes sold as eshallots or golden shallots. I've also seen different names for the red shallots in asian markets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think the name used also depends on which state you live in. But no matter what they're called, they are indispensible!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: aletnes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          fastermx Apr 25, 2010 11:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Since coming to live in Mexico, I have discovered these bunching-type onions with the larger globes than scallions usually have. In fact, it's HARD to get the small-globed ones sometimes. I have to ask my domicilia (cleaning lady) to get me the cebollas with the small globes, using hand gestures - I don't know what they're called here. BTW, I'm no snob; I'd literally die without this woman, because I'm profoundly disabled. I even have to sit down when preparing foods to cook. Bummer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          These large globed onions are perfect for many onion dishes, which call for small, but not tiny, onions. A particular favorite is the kind baked slowly in a sweet and spicy broth - Monte Carlo onions, I think it's called. Down here, they're simply washed thoroughly (especially the root, which is not cut off), and plunked on a grill along with other delights you're grilling. The dry skin protects the inner part, and becomes somewhat charred - but you can still eat it, if you want to. They say a little carbon helps clean out the internal plumbing, so why not?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Small-globed or large, this kind of onion is a treasure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: aletnes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            hillsbilly Jun 21, 2010 08:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was going to say the same thing; sometimes we get "spring onions" here which are green on top with a small white round onion on the bottom, like size of a golf ball or bit bigger sometimes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In Chinese the word for the skinny things with no bulbous bit on the end, just white then roots, is "choong", which means spring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: hillsbilly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              buttertart Jun 22, 2010 06:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Beg to differ, 蔥cong1 is (green) onion, 春 chun1 is spring, they may be pronounced similarly in some dialects but the characters are different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                alkapal Jul 8, 2010 09:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                buttertart, you are very talented!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: livetocook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          fastermx Apr 25, 2010 11:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Scallion really is the best term to use. My mom always called them "shallots"! Until I learned that a shallot was a very different thing from what my mom meant. Still, she kept calling them shallots, but I have updated my vocabulary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've noticed a lot of people mix up the words cilantro and coriander, too. I've seen people using either word for either one. Cilantro is the herb, the plant, while coriander is the SEED of the cilantro. But confusion reigns online, so be sure you know what they MEAN when they use those words, because cilantro and coriander have VERY different flavors and uses. Nor are they remotely interchangeable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            MMRuth Apr 26, 2010 04:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Actually, in many parts of the world outside the U.S., coriander does also mean the herb, versus coriander seed, which, as you say, is the seed of the coriander/cilantro plant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              thew Apr 26, 2010 04:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              in australia they call scallions "shallots"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              then also what mmruth said

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                buttertart Apr 26, 2010 05:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My family (in SW Ontario) called them "green onions".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  just_M Apr 27, 2010 09:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My mother always called green onions "scallions", no idea why.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: just_M
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    pikawicca May 9, 2010 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lots of people do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      linguafood Jun 22, 2010 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      in germany, we call them frühlingszwiebeln = spring onions. more often than not, the white bulb is much larger than what you get in the US. they can get almost as large as leeks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: lhb78
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Emme Mar 5, 2008 09:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              charring them on the grill... so tasty!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ...and if i'm really lazy, i take a whole scallion, toss it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds til it chars... yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lhb78
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                foiegras Dec 14, 2009 07:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Speaking of top parts ... I use a lot of the green part of leeks and quite like it. Not the dark outer wilted part, but the inner green part, quite high up. Really my favorite part of the leek ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: foiegras
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Earlc2 Jun 22, 2010 10:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I haven't seen green garlic mentioned! It looks like green onions, tastes like garlic cloves but is milder/mellow, more sutle tasting. Grow your own. Just plant a head of garlic from the grocery [or cloves an inch apart] about 4 inches deep in rich soil or a pot. Harvest when at 8-12 inches or so. So don't toss that garlic that's sprouting, plant it!!! Lot's of green garlic recipes, do a google search.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Brandon Nelson Mar 5, 2008 10:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bones, shells, fat, giblets and old bread. All backbones of fabulous cuisine bougeoise recipes that affluence has forgotten.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Brandon Nelson
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  fastermx Apr 25, 2010 11:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So many recipes call for bread crumbs - sometimes dry, sometimes moist. Leftover bread is perfect for that - if you only bother to get out the food processor, make them, and then leave them to dry completely before putting in a lidded container (I use large coffee cans).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So let me share my family's classic bread stuffing for poultry or stuffed pork chops. Old bread works beautifully. Shred by hand a BIG bowlful of bread into crouton-sized chunks, or thereabouts. (I use a loaf, or close to it) Chop a goodly amount of onions and mushrooms. Sautee the onions in BUTTER till browned, and dump on the bread. Sautee the shrooms in more butter, and dump. Add beef consomme (I'd use it over my homemade broth because consomme is very concentrated) and mix well until the bread mixture is moist. Add S&P, some finely-minced or granulated garlic, and you're done. This is not exotic. It is not fancy or even gourmet. It just happens to be utterly delicious - so much so that I always make extra and bake it up separately dotted with butter. And no matter how much I'd make for my family, it never seemed to be enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sometimes I just make it to enjoy as a side dish - even without pork or burd. There ARE times when something simple can outshine the glamorous. And nobody has ever failed to adore this stuffing, simple as it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  BTW, where is it written that you HAVE to stuff a bird you roast whole, anyway? I used to think so, and so I didn't roast "burd" very often. Now I do. Without the muss and fuss of making stuffing, stuffing the burd, trussing, etc., I just pop it in the oven with some lemon juice poured over it, and let 'er rip. I often chop some potatoes, carrots and onion, and add them to the pan with the bird, basting them with the pan juices as they cook with the poultry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And where is it written that only thick, pre-pocketed (and expensive) pork chops can be baked with dressing? Use ANY kind of pork, put it in an oiled pan, cover it with this dressing, dot with some butter and bake till the pork is thoroughly cooked and tender. If the meat is thick, bake under a foil seal till it is done through, then remove the foil to crisp things up nicely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ALL those years when I didn't roast chickens because of my assumption that they HAD to be stuffed! Habit can make slaves of us all. Nowadays, I live alone, with only myself to feed, but I will still roast up a bird any time I have a yen for it. I have tons of ways to use the leftovers. One favorite is warmed up succulent, moist chicken breast meat, fitted into a very slightly dry-toasted flour tortilla, along with a thick piece of avocado and a dollop or two of picante sauce. Talk about heavenly!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So the old wisdom is correct - NEVER neglect the simple and the thrifty. They do NOT equate to inferiority, but often lead to magnificence, when used well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Good eats to you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. NYCkaren Mar 5, 2008 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Radish greens. I used to throw them away, then it occurred to me that I could cook them just like any other greens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  32 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NYCkaren
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    chef chicklet Mar 5, 2008 12:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good one, I keep these as well! A while back, I read a recipe using them, I never knew they were edible!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gio Mar 5, 2008 05:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I use radish leaves in salads. They add a bit of peppery bite when arugula is unavailable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: NYCkaren
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      livetocook Mar 5, 2008 06:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ohh I didn't know that! I'll will so do that now. Thanks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: livetocook
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        marcharry Mar 7, 2008 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ya - why do i throw them out??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: NYCkaren
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        g
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        garfish Mar 7, 2008 03:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Beet greens too. IMHO the best tasting cooked green.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: garfish
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          CookieWeasel Nov 5, 2009 02:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Absolutely! I LOVE beet greens! My favorite cooked green as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: CookieWeasel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            toodie jane Nov 8, 2009 07:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ladies past menopause should not go overboard on beet greens, spinach or chard, though--it ties up the calcium and makes it unavailable. We need our bone food!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: toodie jane
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              moh Nov 11, 2009 11:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, but they are so good for the eyes - beet greens, kale, spinach, chard... Really good for slowing progression of macular degeneration. Is it possible to eat the greens separate from calcium sources to try to get benefits of both? Cause Caucasian ladies past menopause are higher risk for macular degen...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: moh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bada Bing Apr 18, 2010 06:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A further boost for beet greens. I always keep my eye out for opportunities at my local supermarket to get a produce person to cut off the greens and sell me them apart from the beets. I seldom have time or inclination to cook beets, but I am always ready for the greens. The supermarket staff are not always sure how to price them, but I get to profit from the fact that most people who buy beets simply throw the greens away. They are one of the most nutritious (and delicious) things imaginable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bada Bing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cherylptw Apr 18, 2010 07:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They wouldn't do that where I live.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bada Bing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    kazhound Apr 22, 2010 03:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    so many people don't want the tops of their beets that you can get a giant bag of greens for free at the NYC farmers' markets! They usually have a big box of them. yum! I've used them in curries, just stir fried with garlic, in borscht and other soups, plus the stalks alone and raw are a pretty good substitute for celery with hummus!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: toodie jane
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  fastermx Apr 25, 2010 10:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As I understand it, spinach (and probably other greens) contain calcium. How is it they can inhibit absorption of calcium? I'd want to check on that further before relying on it. You're right, though, we DO need our bone food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  While I can't exactly recommend this, my way of insuring enough calcium each day is met by also satisfying my craving for a sweet before bedtime - I make close to a quart of chocolate milk. Yeah, calories, and other objections, but it's what I've come to love. So I make my own chocolate syrup - it's much cheaper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When I was young, milk was my "favorite swill." I drank it at meals all the time. In my later 50's, I got off the milk habit - at JUST the time when I shouldn't have! So the chocolate milk works for me - and I seem unable to get tired of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    just_M Apr 27, 2010 09:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    << "So I make my own chocolate syrup - it's much cheaper." >>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Please do tell! I rarely buy chocolate syrup and would love a delicious recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: just_M
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      AnotherMother Jun 18, 2010 12:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      One cup cocoa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Two cups sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      One cup water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pinch salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mix and simmer for five minutes, make sure it doesn't scorch or boil over.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You can add vanilla after you turn off the heat, but I don't find it is necessary.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bottle when cool - it is thick but not quite as thick as some of the bought ones.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Very occasionally this turns crystalline (some of the sugar precipitates) after a week or so, but even then it still tastes fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Better than fine, it is flat out *delicious* and much better than bought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AnotherMother
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        just_M Jun 18, 2010 10:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks AM - can't wait to try this. I'm sure I won't have to worry about crystallizing between the kids and the Mr., I'll need to taste it right away just to get any!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AnotherMother
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          PEGinAZ Mar 7, 2011 09:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I always add a bit of vanilla as well, any time I make a chocolate sauce. My son won't tolerate it out of the bottle anymore. Has to be homemade!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        alkapal May 13, 2010 04:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the word is that the nutrients of raw spinach are less bioavailable than those in cooked spinach.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MsRetro Jun 20, 2010 05:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Spinach contains oxalic acid, which can leach calcium. I think you'd have to eat an awful lot of it for it to have that affect, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MsRetro
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            EWSflash Jun 21, 2010 08:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A warning to people who are prone to renal calculi(kidney stones)- oxalates are voodoo for you so act accordingly. Otherwise, party on

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              eclecticsynergy Aug 16, 2010 05:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yah, my Dad had an awful time with kidney stones and was told to avoid consuming excessive amounts of spinach or chocolate, and to switch from iced tea to half tea/half lemonade...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: eclecticsynergy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                coll Aug 17, 2010 03:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Liver is bad too, I once ate a bunch of chopped chicken liver at the same time that the local spinach was available, and soon after it was kidney stone time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  PEGinAZ Mar 7, 2011 09:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, the liver is the organ that filters all toxins. I love froi graux (sp?), but restrain myself because I know I'm eating every awful thing that bird ate--and unless you know the person who raised the bird, you don't know what they ate. Same as deep sea fish--or shell fish--I am slowly reverting to vegetarianism (I'll never give up milk products), as I'm always questioning how safe it is to eat another animal, unless you know what they ate. I wish I could have my own little farm with my own garden and a few chickens and a goat or two--I could be happy--though I would miss the fish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: PEGinAZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    thew Mar 8, 2011 03:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    but then you also need to know what's in the soil and water of any plant you eat. we have had many more plant based food disease incidents than meat based lately - or so it seems to me

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PEGinAZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      sunshine842 Mar 8, 2011 07:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Foie gras comes from birds that have been (over) fed corn. They're not eating bugs/worms/plant shoots/anything else, because they're kept full of corn, so if anything, their liver is probably 'cleaner' than yours, especially if you find an organic producer (and they do exist).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is true whether you're raising one duck/goose for foie gras, or 1000.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A large proportion of vegetarians eat dairy products and eggs -- thus the term lacto-ovo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: eclecticsynergy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    alkapal Aug 19, 2010 05:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    just learned that citric acid helps with stones....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    so crystal light, lemonade, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chowrin Jan 15, 2011 02:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                too much oxalic acid is bad for yas. one serving of greens a day won't hurt ya.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: toodie jane
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chowrin Jan 15, 2011 01:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                if you've been good to your body (read haven't done a celery diet), you don't need HALF the calcium that the USDA recommends (look up the WHO regs if you don't believe me). Milk also kills bioavailability of calcium.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One serving of greens a day, no more, will do you just fine...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You want bone food, YOU WALK. a mile a day will do your bones better than doubling the calcium (thank nasa for the research!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chowrin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  coll Jan 16, 2011 02:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Weight lifting is even better for your bones.....it works for me anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chowrin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    alkapal Jan 16, 2011 03:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i just read that whole milk makes calcium more bioavailable than skim. (i have to post the article on chowhound, as it involved some "good news" about food "fat.").

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    how can milk kill calcium availability if it provides calcium?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    calcium requirements are different for men & women, and differ according to age -- esp. as women age (and aren't getting estrogen in the same amounts).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: NYCkaren
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              serious Feb 11, 2010 12:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you grow radishes in your garden, let a few go to seed, those peppery pods are delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: serious
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                grammywheels Jul 4, 2010 10:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                radish pods/old term=radish cods....make a delicious treat when pickled in vinegar with garlic and herbs...many other seed pods were done this way also. The ultimate frugal recipe..for details check out chronicles of recipes from 17th/18th century

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: NYCkaren
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DollySundstrom Aug 15, 2010 09:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                An Iranian friend told me they always eat radish greens in Persia...but the radishes we grow have such spiky leaves that I just used them in stir fries and soups!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. scuzzo Mar 5, 2008 09:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                All good suggestions so far. I would add the stem of brocolli! Peel the thick skin and savor the fresh, crispy inside! The BEST! My dog loves veggies, and I've found she digs the lettuce core, diced, so I never toss that now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                41 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: scuzzo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MplsM ary Mar 5, 2008 10:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Amen! When my mom and I used to cook dinner it was understood how broccoli division went - she got the florets and I got the stalks. Better to me than artichoke hearts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: scuzzo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    chef chicklet Mar 5, 2008 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The stems make the best broccoli slaw! Just peel and slice super thin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: scuzzo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      TorontoJo Mar 7, 2008 11:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Agreed! My mom always peeled the stalks, sliced them and included them in her stir-fried broccoli. When I grew up, I never understood why I never saw anyone else cook the stalks. The first time I cooked the stalks for my husband, he was so surprised at how good they were. He had always just thrown them out. Such a waste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: scuzzo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        soypower Mar 7, 2008 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        my mom's favorite part of a cabbage is the core...she steams it and dips in soy sauce, sesame oil, green onions and red pepper flakes. yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: soypower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Emme Mar 11, 2008 09:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mine too... i make sweet n sour cabbage and love the core pieces... in fact, i covet them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: soypower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            FoodieKat Mar 20, 2008 09:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I use broccoli stalks in my stir frys. It has a pleasant crunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: FoodieKat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Caroline1 Mar 20, 2008 10:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They also make a good cream of broccoli soup. I've also diced them fairly small, saute in butter until tender, then use them with cheddar cheese as an omlette filling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                saltwater Mar 21, 2008 11:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Diced broccoli stems has never occurred to me. Hmmm. I could probably put that into fried rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: saltwater
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Patrincia Apr 1, 2008 04:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've always peeled them and sliced them into coins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Patrincia
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    lgss Apr 1, 2008 06:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We take the "bark" off and then just cut them up and use them in whatever we're having the florets in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: saltwater
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ebelgian Oct 30, 2009 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    peeled and shredded broccoli stalks make brocco-slaw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: FoodieKat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  foxy fairy Oct 5, 2008 07:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have made a really yummy broccoli slaw from the stalks... very pretty too

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: soypower
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bookwich Jul 13, 2010 10:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We loved cabbage cores as kids! Just raw crunchy snacks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bookwich
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    buttertart Jul 14, 2010 05:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cauliflower core is good too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Paulustrious Jul 14, 2010 08:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You don't get the collywobbles?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Paulustrious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        buttertart Jul 14, 2010 08:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No sir, I'm made of sterner stock than that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Bookwich
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      RWCFoodie Jan 15, 2011 03:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And I like fresh pineapple cores too...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: scuzzo
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    jenniesue Mar 19, 2008 10:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    yuumm the stalks are so good for soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jenniesue
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      powella Mar 27, 2008 11:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      steamed and chopped broccoli stalks are one of my favorite ways to stealthily get veg into my preschooler.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jenniesue
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        somervilleoldtimer Nov 11, 2009 06:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hmm. I never put broccoli in my soups, because I'm afraid the flavor will take over. Fine if it's something like broccoli/cheddar/potato soup, not so fine if it's something like chicken broth, or a minestrone. You don't have this problem?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: somervilleoldtimer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Passadumkeg Dec 15, 2009 12:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I precook the broccoli and add it as a garnish to soups; adds flavor w/out overpowering the broth. For diet reasons, we will also use brocholi instead of pasta for Italian sauces, cabbage too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: somervilleoldtimer
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            fastermx Apr 25, 2010 10:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In my personal lexicon of cookery, it's almost impossible to have too big a variety of veggies in a stew, but even in a soup. I live alone, but always make this stew in my biggest kettle. Then I bag up and freeze the leftovers for future meals where I don't want to cook - or can't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you've been behaving yourself and saved some beef bones and vegetable trimmings, start making a broth out of them, right NOW. Then make the stew tomorrow. You can even get a head start by steaming the meat, cleaning, preparing and chopping most veggies (except maybe potatoes), so you'll have most of it ready to go the next day - with the hardest part already done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't believe in always giving precise amounts in recipes; it often inhibits innovation. A soup or stew only sometimes needs that kind of precision.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So I'm gonna make a bit of a speech here - my own world's finest stew! It takes time and effort, but it's worth it. Here goes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            World's best beef stew (can make it chicken or pork, too)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Get a pound or more of lean beef - or remove the fat yourself; it will have a use later to render for sauteeing any veggies you want sauteed..
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This steaming process applies also to pork, but not to chicken. It can be cut up and just plunked in the pot, or sauteed first.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cut the meat into manageable chunks, wrap TIGHTLY in foil, and steam it till tender. The foil is vital, because it will save those precious juices! And without it, the meat will dry up.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pour off the juices and reserve for stock.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Shred the meat, using fingers or a fork
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, you're getting the drift - this is not a fast meal! Conscript help from others in the family, if you can.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Heat some oil very hot and fry the meat shreds in small batches till browned. Into the pot they go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Some people would probably love adding a favorite sausage - cut into bitesized pieces, fried brown and lovely, and added to the pot. Unless there are anti-sausage police in your neighborhood, I don't see why you shouldn't, if you want to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Veggies:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Use any - or all - of these, but try to use at least 8. The onion must be one of them, and if you love shrooms, ditto for them. So this dish is also a wonderful way to use up that one last zucchini or bell pepper, etc. It's always delicious, but each time you make it it's slightly different, depending on the veggies you have on hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Onion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Carrot
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tomato
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Potato (small pasta or some favorite kind of rice works, too)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Shrooms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bell peppers (I prefer red)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chayote (peel and chop, including the edible seed)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Spinach (or kale, romano, beet greens - any dark green leaf)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cilantro
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Celery
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Broccoli and/or cauliflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cabbage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Zucchini
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Corn and/or peas, if desired
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chinese (baby) peapods
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Any other chinese-style veggie, like bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There are others, and you can probably think of a few.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you like, you can pre-sautee any of the veggies - it's up to you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The more veggies you use, the LESS you'll need of each. I find with 8-10 veggies, I'm only using about a cup, more or less, of each one - but a lot more of onion and shrooms, and more, too, of my favorites. Together with, at a minimum, a pound of meat - usually more - my kettle gets pretty darned full.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I won't go into how to prepare each one here, since I'll presume you already know how. The size of the pieces is a matter of taste preference. BUT DO use a goodly amount of onion and DO sautee the onions till they carmelize (brown), but save some raw to add to the soup when it is served. You can chop and prepare any of these the way you prefer for soups and stews. Chunky or small pieces - it's your choice, but the small ones deliver more flavor punch to the dish. Use more of your favorites, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The fried meat shreds, the juices from steaming, the veggies, all get dumped into the pot, then broth is added (preferably homemade) until the solids are covered. Simmer this well covered slowly, for a couple of hours, checking every half hour and adding broth if needed. What you want is enough broth, but the vast bulk of the dish is solids, with broth rising no more than a couple of inches max above the solids. If you have no homemade broth and what you DO use isn't very richly flavored, only THEN use some bullion cubes to make it rich flavored.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The broth can be augmented with some tomato puree, maybe a few glugs of the appropriate kind of wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            NOW add seasonings, when the cooking is done, or almost done. I always use a couple tbs of liquid smoke, and regard it as mandatory - fantastic stuff! Add the S&P now, so when you adjust seasonings later, you won't be led astray because it isn't salty enough. My favorite seasonings are the liquid smoke, ample amounts of garlic (always!), oregano, S&P, and maybe some comino. But you can spice it up to suit your own preferences. Just don't do it too early, or the cooking flattens out the flavors. Don't cook more than another half hour after seasonings are added. An exception is brown or wild rice - there must be at least TWICE the amount of broth as the rice (more if you want broth at ALL!), and both rices need 45 minutes of cooking. Add rice or pasta too early and they get mushy, so add them with seasonings or just a few minutes before. Remember that pasta and rice will reduce the amount of free broth, so add more if needed. You can use seasonings that are from regional cuisines, like Mexican, Chinese, etc. Add seasonings in conservative amounts, mixing in, tasting and adjusting the amounts till it's just right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My brother used to love what he called "garbage pizza," because it had just about everything on it that CAN be put on a pizza. This stew is sort of like that. None of the flavors conflict, and they ALL contribute to the overall deliciocity of this stew. It tends to have a wonderful flavor that is uniquely its own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You can thicken it, if you like. The best way is to use about 1 TB of flour or cornstarch (cornstarch is best, and makes it glossy, not cloudy) for every cup of broth you think you've got. Mix the starch with water and stir till it is free of lumps, then pour into the pot and mix in immediately, stirring until the whole thing thickens nicely. You can use buerre marie, too, which is merely flour hand-worked into butter - knobs of it are thrown in until the right amount of thickening occurs. When fully thickened, serve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But you're not done yet! There are the "toppers," too. These are usually things like shredded cabbage, onion, chopped tomato, pickled jalapeno peppers, sliced radish, croutons, (and you can probably think up more), served in separate bowls to accompany the meal. And ALWAYS have wedges of lime or lemon, served with each bowl of the stew, to squeeze right into it for added flavor. These toppers are in common use in Mexico, where I live, and it's your loss if you've never tried it! It's like the toppers often served with chutneys along with a curry meal. Each person picks his own and plunks it into his own bowl of stew. But the lemon or lime wedge is always given to each person.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As a bread, hot, very slightly dry-toasted corn and flour tortillas are ubiquitous - and rightly so! - in Mexico, but any good bread will do. A garlic or herbed bread particularly. With all those veggies, a salad would be a bit of overkill, unless it's a fruit salad. If there's room for dessert in anyone after all this, try - uh - jello.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I know I'll remember something I forgot to tell you, but it'll come to me AFTER I post this! Murphy, y'know. Try it and enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fastermx
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              alkapal May 13, 2010 04:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              you use broccoli in a stew? doesn't it turn to mush or do you add it near the end? broccoli seems like it would not do well in a stew (sorta smelly, too). convince me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Paulustrious May 13, 2010 06:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I only add the Brassica foliage near the end - with the possible exception of cauliflower. If you want to stop broccoli from going soft the only way I know is to have a tomato based stew / soup. It still won't accept a long cook. The broccoli stems will last cut in biggish chunks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Edit: My spell-checker doesn't like the word brassica and suggested brassiere as an alternative. I don't know about soup, but that's another way to get in hot water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Paulustrious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  alkapal May 13, 2010 06:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  that's interesting about the tomato-based soup's retardation of broccoli's cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  brassica, brassiere. now that's a mental image!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Paulustrious May 13, 2010 07:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There are other methods so stop softening. Quick jump into one of my favourite books, my culinary bible, "On Food and Cooking" by McGee...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "[...] in certain vegetables and fruits - including potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, beans, cauliflower, tomatoes, cherries, apples - the usual softening during cooking can be reduced by a low temperature pre-cooking step. If pre-heated to 130-140F, 55-60C for 20-30 minutes these foods will develop a permanent firmness that survives prolonged final cooking."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My way to achieve this is to put everything in a warm cast iron pot in the oven, put the oven on minimum (170F) and cook for an hour. It is particularly noticeable with the carrots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Potatoes / root vegetables keep their texture better if gradually heated from cold rather than plunged into boiling water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    However, I am having problems finding documentary proof to back up my tomato-sauce-keeps-vegetables-harder statement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I also forgot to mention that the reason I add brassicas at the end is that there are sulphur-based flavours and as you cook they will accumulate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Paulustrious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      alkapal May 13, 2010 08:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      >>"""However, I am having problems finding documentary proof to back up my tomato-sauce-keeps-vegetables-harder statement."""<<<

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i think the acidity from the tomatoes affects the cooking. cooking beans is analogous.