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Food Adventure Help!

hungryabbey Jan 6, 2010 04:44 PM

Hey everyone,
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!

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  1. nofunlatte RE: hungryabbey Jan 6, 2010 05:59 PM

    The goat milk thread might be one to look at. Goat milk is certainly underused.


    1. Emme RE: hungryabbey Jan 6, 2010 06:05 PM

      Burdock Root! (it was an ingredient on the FN show Chopped the other night!)

      3 Replies
      1. re: Emme
        hungryabbey RE: Emme Jan 7, 2010 04:59 PM

        hmm thats a new one.. what can I do with it?

        1. re: hungryabbey
          Emme RE: hungryabbey Jan 7, 2010 08:09 PM


          ...tons of ideas!

          1. re: hungryabbey
            BigSal RE: hungryabbey Jan 9, 2010 02:07 PM

            One of my favorite vegetables! It is known as gobo in Japanese. My favorite dish with it is kinpira gobo.

        2. w
          Whats_For_Dinner RE: hungryabbey Jan 6, 2010 06:50 PM

          Ooh! Celery root! I pimp this recipe every chance I get:

          1. bushwickgirl RE: hungryabbey Jan 6, 2010 11:46 PM

            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.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bushwickgirl
              brooklynkoshereater RE: bushwickgirl Jan 7, 2010 07:16 PM

              That looks delish!

            2. l
              Laralee RE: hungryabbey Jan 7, 2010 06:16 PM

              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.

              1. s
                small h RE: hungryabbey Jan 7, 2010 06:28 PM

                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.

                1. goodhealthgourmet RE: hungryabbey Jan 7, 2010 07:05 PM

                  you've already gotten some great suggestions (like Emme, i thought of burdock root immediately because i watched Chopped last night!) others that come to mind:
                  - salsify
                  - nopales
                  - geoduck clam
                  - umeboshi plum
                  - quince

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                    bushwickgirl RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 8, 2010 01:04 AM

                    I was considering the salsify choice as well; a very underused, although delicious, vegetable.

                    Pan-browned Salsify:
                    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.

                    1. re: bushwickgirl
                      hungryabbey RE: bushwickgirl Jan 8, 2010 04:49 PM

                      wow sounds wonderful. great ideas!!

                  2. todao RE: hungryabbey Jan 7, 2010 07:09 PM

                    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)

                    1. Rmis32 RE: hungryabbey Jan 7, 2010 07:30 PM

                      The Best Vegetable You’ve Never Tried
                      recipe - http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/06/din...

                      1. f
                        foiegras RE: hungryabbey Jan 7, 2010 07:40 PM

                        I bet they'd be hard pressed to identify tongue ... when my mother made it, not one person ever knew what it was.

                        1. ipsedixit RE: hungryabbey Jan 7, 2010 07:55 PM

                          Cow udder.

                          Batter and deep fry and serve with fries (a la "fish and chips") or braise in a red wine sauce (a la pot roast).

                          1. ennuisans RE: hungryabbey Jan 7, 2010 10:51 PM

                            If it hasn't been covered in class already, you might check into epazote. It's a staple of Mexican cooking, perhaps largely because it alleviates the gassy effect of beans. I use it when I make chili, but be warned, it's a strong flavor and a little goes a long long way.

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: ennuisans
                              Prairie Gal RE: ennuisans Jan 7, 2010 10:57 PM

                              Jerusalem artichokes, which actually are the starchy root of a kind of sunflower.

                              1. re: Prairie Gal
                                hungryabbey RE: Prairie Gal Jan 8, 2010 04:45 PM

                                this was my initial thought.. i have a wonderful jerusalem artichoke soup recipe.. and usually when i tell ppl abotu it they say " whats that??"

                                1. re: Prairie Gal
                                  Emme RE: Prairie Gal Jan 8, 2010 06:34 PM

                                  i LOVE Jerusalem artichokes!!

                                  1. re: Prairie Gal
                                    goodhealthgourmet RE: Prairie Gal Jan 8, 2010 07:20 PM

                                    many people experience quite unpleasant gastrointestinal effects after consuming sunchokes, so i figured it wasn't a good idea to suggest them unless the OP really dislikes her classmates ;)

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                      bushwickgirl RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 9, 2010 03:47 AM

                                      Ha, ha, it certainly would be a educational moment.

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                        hungryabbey RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 9, 2010 04:53 PM

                                        hm, well that would be interesting to do some research as to why that is (we are nutrition students)

                                        1. re: hungryabbey
                                          wattacetti RE: hungryabbey Jan 9, 2010 06:30 PM

                                          It's the inulin.

                                          They're already out of season, but crosnes would have been interesting. And if you're seriously considering abats (offal), I'd vote for prairie oysters.

                                          1. re: wattacetti
                                            hungryabbey RE: wattacetti Jan 10, 2010 04:57 PM

                                            Yes, I was thinking about that inulin. But we're all fiber-freaks, so I would think most of us can handle it. I have never had a problem with sunchokes.
                                            Jerusalum Artichokes should still be available in a month right (Im in Canada).

                                            1. re: hungryabbey
                                              ennuisans RE: hungryabbey Jan 10, 2010 06:30 PM

                                              Just to make sure there's no confusion, epazote, my earlier suggestion, is also called Jerusalem Oak. Jerusalem Artichokes are different, but certainly a good suggestion as well.

                                  2. t
                                    toveggiegirl RE: hungryabbey Jan 11, 2010 02:31 PM


                                    Golden Fried Cardoon

                                    Braised Cardoon

                                    Cardoons With Parmesan

                                    Baked Cardoons, Roman-Style: Cardi Gratinati alla Romana

                                    Soup of Pureed Cardoons

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: toveggiegirl
                                      hungryabbey RE: toveggiegirl Jan 11, 2010 04:49 PM

                                      hm this is very nice sounding for sure. I'll look into that

                                    2. jeniyo RE: hungryabbey Jan 11, 2010 03:32 PM

                                      what about lily bulbs or water lilies?

                                      you can slice the roots and make a crunchy salad or braise/cook in a mixture of meat stew and of course, fry them.

                                      lily bulbs and be stir friend and tossed in salads as well...

                                      it is rather inexpensive too.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: jeniyo
                                        hungryabbey RE: jeniyo Jan 11, 2010 04:49 PM

                                        hm also a nice one, I will have to see what I can get at the grocery store. Thanks everyone!

                                      2. s
                                        southern_expat RE: hungryabbey Jan 12, 2010 04:45 AM

                                        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.

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