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Uses - other than rye and kraut - for LOTS of caraway/ NOT aquavit

greygarious Nov 1, 2009 04:46 PM

Last year I was ordering from King Arthur and realized that they sell 4 oz. of caraway seed for less then a tiny jar at the supermarket, so I included it, not realizing how large a volume that is. I included some of it in a package I sent off to a friend. Since I dislike anise-like flavors, I am not hugely fond of caraway other than in rye bread, "everything" seed topping on crackers/bagels/etc/, and in my cabbage and sauerkraut dishes.

Today I was watching a Norwegian cooking show in which the chef added caraway to the whipped cream going on top of pears poached in honey and ginger. He said caraway is used in Norway for desserts.

Any suggestions for sweet or savory uses? Searching online didn't yield anything appealing -but I did learn that caraway is actually tiny dried fruits, not seeds. Who knew?

  1. c
    cheesemaestro Nov 2, 2009 12:05 PM

    Caraway can be added to cheese. (Think Havarti with caraway.) You can make a cheese spread or cheese ball or buy a commercial cheese spread, such as a cheddar spread, and add some seeds to it.

    I wouldn't describe caraway as anise-like, although I'm hard pressed to compare its flavor to anything else. Does anyone besides the OP find that it is reminiscent of anise?

    2 Replies
    1. re: cheesemaestro
      greygarious Nov 2, 2009 12:16 PM

      I don't think it's all that much like anise, but have often read it described that way. I loathe anise and rarely used caraway until the last few years, when I discovered that without it my cabbage and kraut dishes suffered. To me, there is something a little acrid or medicinal about caraway that makes me treat it with caution. Than ks for the cheese ball idea.

      1. re: greygarious
        cheesemaestro Nov 2, 2009 12:28 PM

        Caraway is in the same family of plants as fennel, which I think tastes much more like anise. I agree with you that there's something medicinal in caraway's flavor profile. I also feel that way about rosemary.

    2. blkery Nov 2, 2009 11:28 AM

      Irish soda bread!

      1 Reply
      1. re: blkery
        oakjoan Nov 2, 2009 12:02 PM

        One of the "We Must Always Make This At Thanksgiving" dishes passed down from my mother is a red cabbage dish made with a touch of vinegar, onions, some sliced apples, and carraway seed. It's simmered for hours and is just wonderful. My husband would never speak to any of us ever again if it weren't on the table! We don't have to have pumpkin or mince pie, but ROTKOHl is a must!

      2. k
        katecm Nov 2, 2009 08:46 AM

        The Washington Post food section recently had a pasta dish that I made with very good success. It was mostly sauteed pancetta, cabbage and mushrooms with caraway seeds. It was a lovely autumnal dish that did NOT taste like rye bread. It just brought out some extra flavor.

        1. coll Nov 2, 2009 01:14 AM

          I have one of those big bottles, and slowly using it up via Irish soda bread and Hungarian goulash. They say adding it to any cabbage dish decreases stomach upset too.

          1. goodhealthgourmet Nov 1, 2009 05:42 PM

            crush in a bowl with olive oil, garlic, kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper, and use to coat a pork tenderloin, roast or chops. you can even add some horseradish to the mix for a little extra kick. caraway also pairs really well with carrots and fennel.

            some recipes to look through:

            1 Reply
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
              buttertart Nov 2, 2009 09:32 AM

              That sounds superb. I do a similar thing with pork tenderloin, but with fennel seed (recipe thanks to Ronald Johnson, poet and cook extraordinaire). Caraway sounds great for this too.

            2. shaogo Nov 1, 2009 04:55 PM

              I saw the title of this post and thought immediately of making one's own Aquavit by infusing 100-proof vodka with the crushed caraway (I was tempted to say "seeds," but now you, greygarious, have taught *this* old dawg something new... I, too, did not know that caraway is actually little dried fruits.)

              I saw a demonstration years ago where crushed caraway was boiled in wine, which was then reduced, strained, and used to make a white sauce for sauteed scallops. As I recall the scallops were delicious. Now, you said you dislike anise-like flavors. Would you change your mind if the anise were comingled with the richness of scallops (and white sauce, for that matter)?

              1 Reply
              1. re: shaogo
                greygarious Nov 1, 2009 05:06 PM

                Shaogo, I just read your post and have edited the title to preclude Aquavit - never had it but drank only rarely even before going on anti-coagulant medication that precludes alcohol consumption.

                I do see potential in using caraway in a wine sauce for seafood - and maybe chicken or pork too, especially if I include some other herbs and something in the allium group. Thanks for that idea.

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