Food Adventure Help!
so as a food science student, I have an assignment to choose a food/ingredient that I think my peers will not be very familiar with.. I then have to prepare some type of recipe for my peers, have them taste, and examine the mystery food and then guess what they think it is. Of course, I am turning to my fellow chows for some good suggestions. I have some ideas myself, but would be interested in hearing your ideas. Feel free to supply a recipe to go along with the food if you have a good one! I am basically looking for a food that is a bit more exotic or underused that can be delicious when well prepared. Thanks!
Oh, I remember you from the steamer and bruleed rice pudding threads, how's school going?
Anything with Star Anise:
Star Anise "Braised" chicken breasts, adapted by me from Food & Wine
3 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock
2 carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices
6 scallions including green tops, 5 cut into 4-inch lengths, 1 chopped
6 1/2-inch slices peeled fresh ginger, smashed, plus 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, smashed, or more to taste
1/4 cup brown sugar, preferably dark, or palm sugar
1/4 cup good quality soy sauce
5 whole star anise
3 cinnamon sticks
6 black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dry sherry or shao xing wine
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 pounds in all)
1.In a large saucepan, combine the broth, carrots, the 5 scallions, the smashed ginger, the garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, star anise, cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
2.Add the sherry and chicken and bring back to a simmer over moderately low heat, covered. Turn the chicken and simmer, covered, until the chicken is just done, about 5 minutes.
3.With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, carrots, and star anise to large shallow bowls. Strain the broth and add the minced ginger and 2 tablespoons of the chopped scallion. Ladle the broth over the chicken and top with the remaining chopped scallion.
Serve with plain boiled rice and sauteed fresh spinach with sesame oil and garlic.
It's probably not the right season, but for a future idea...cattail roots/aka Cossack Asparagus. It tastes like asparagus, but looks like leeks. They would NEVER guess.
If your assignment isn't due 'til spring, I would recommend fiddlehead ferns, which taste kind of like asparagus but look very different. If your assignment is due in the next ten minutes, maybe yuca? Unless your peers are Latin American, then that won't work at all. They'd ID it in a heartbeat.
Emme's burdock suggestion is also a good one (I love pickled burdock), and in that vein, perhaps daikon or jicama.
I was considering the salsify choice as well; a very underused, although delicious, vegetable.
4 large salsify
The juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon peppercorns
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon coriander seed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
salt and black pepper, to taste
Peel the salsify, place in saucepan and cover with water; add lemon juice, peppercorns, sprigs of thyme, bay leaf, coriander, and salt to taste.
Bring to a simmer and cook until tender.
Remove salsify from liquid and cool, cut into small pieces of equal size.
Heat skillet over medium heat and add olive oil.
Add salsify and season with salt and pepper.
Cook until golden brown.
Add the butter and the remaining sprigs of thyme and toss until the butter melts.
Or maybe a herb and wine braise with salsify and Jerusalem artichokes, for double the confusion.
Fried Chitterlings, also known as "Chitlins", served on a bed of buttered collard greens wth a red wine vinegar sauce (a reductions of red wine vinegar, a pinch of sugar, and butter)
I bet they'd be hard pressed to identify tongue ... when my mother made it, not one person ever knew what it was.
Batter and deep fry and serve with fries (a la "fish and chips") or braise in a red wine sauce (a la pot roast).
Golden Fried Cardoon
Cardoons With Parmesan
Baked Cardoons, Roman-Style: Cardi Gratinati alla Romana
Soup of Pureed Cardoons
Scuppernongs! aka Muscadines. Yer gonna have to wander the woods of south Georgia to find 'em though.
I would cut off a finger if it would get me a jar of my PaPat's scuppernong jelly.