Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Sep 24, 2009 09:50 AM

Bay leaves--anything interesting you use them for, besides meat dishes and...

some savory sauces?

I ran out of them a few weeks ago, and for some reason I kept forgetting to replace them for a little while. Made me appreciate the subtle depth of flavor Bay adds to things and its lovely fragrance. So that made me ask myself if there are more things I can use them in besides the usual.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Beans and lentils are nice when cooked with a bay leaf or two.
    And many people use them to keep critters at bay (pun intended) by placing them in the flour. I don't do this, because I don't want bay-scented flour.

    3 Replies
    1. re: nofunlatte

      :-) Just noticed that, you punster.

      I do make lentils quite a bit during the winter. I put bay in lentil soup when I make it, but haven't done it in lentils when used as a side. I'll remember that.

      1. re: nofunlatte

        Bay-scented flour - true, especially if you forget they're in there and dump flour into the food processor, and make bread. Beyond nasty.

        1. re: nofunlatte

          I keep a couple of dried bay leaves in the AP flour canister, because I use mostly white whole wheat (refrigerated) so a bag of AP lasts a long time. I don't think they flavor the flour. I leave the stems sticking out on top so I don't forget to remove them before scooping.

        2. Bay leaf is an essential in Italian tomato sauce -- and I don't use oregano.

          Simple boiled potatoes with sauteed leeks are elevated to something higher when a bay leaf's added to the boiling water.

          1 Reply
          1. re: shaogo

            I do use oregano--I *love* oregano, but sometimes I get tired of doing the same thing. Next time I'll skip the oregano for once and try to emphasize the bay.

          2. i put it in my chai (and the usual places; tomato sauce, etc.)

            1. Soups --- Gumbos --- Creole Sauce --- Sauce Piquant --- Red Beans & Rice --- Fricassee --- Etouffee ... Stewfay --- Court Bouillon --- Pot Roast --- Venison Roast ---etc.

              1. Boiled crabs, crawfish and shrimp (along with lots of other seasonings) red beans