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I'll Never Say Never Again Again, 'Cause Here I am in Love Again

What ingredients have you used lately that you said you'd NEVER use?

Mine were anchovy paste and capers. I found a link on this site for Grilled Tuna Salad Nicoise:

I've never cared much for anchovies and I hated capers when I first tried them (years ago) so I hesitated to use them. But the rave reviews for this recipe, including one from someone else who's no anchovy advocate, convinced me to follow it to the letter. I still don't know about capers but a teesney dab of anchovy paste made all the difference in the dressing. I'm convinced.

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  1. Cilantro.

    I thought I'd never like it but kept on trying it in recipies that called for it. I'm good with Cilantro now.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Infomaniac

      I'm the same. Except I still don't like cilantro. I have just learn to accept it.

    2. Well, nothing I can think of but then my NEVER list is very short. On the top is marshmellow fluff. Still haven't come across a compelling reason to use it.

      Your dish sounds lovely, though.

      2 Replies
      1. re: tcamp

        OMG....many uses for Fluff.
        Woopie pie filling is what I mostly use it for but here is Fulff's recipe page.

        1. re: tcamp

          The Salade Nichoise was delicious. I made a mistake with presentation, though. The recipe calls for a bed of torn lettuce leaves, although you don't see that in the picture that accompanies the recipe. I very artfully arranged the tuna, potatoes and so on atop the lettuce on a large platter but my dinner guests must have felt as though they were on an Easter egg hunt in a badly overgrown lawn. It was difficult even to see what was there, much less fish it out. Next time: no lettuce or only a few big leaves for garnish.

        2. Tumeric, never liked it, but have found a compelling reason to cook with it recently, aside from just coloring the food yellow.

          tcamp, does using marshmallow fluff instead of marshmallows for topping hot chocolate give you a starter reason? Melts better than marshmallows.

          1. Dried shiitake mushrooms. My mom used to make japchae with them and it would permeate the entire thing and I couldn't stand it. But a friend and I were making a vegetarian ddukboki with just shiitakes, napa, and onions. I'm not sure if it was because they were large and then sliced and dried, but now I can't get enough of them.

            1 Reply
            1. re: soypower

              I totally relate! My Korean mother always kept a jar of dried shiitake mushrooms and my sister and I hated the smell and would be really grossed out when they would make appearances in dishes. As much as I like mushrooms, I couldn't deal with the shiitakes. I think I'm okay now though.

            2. If you now like anchovy paste and capers you should make tapenade by adding a clove of garlic, Kalamata olives, and olive oil, Buzz through a food processor and you are done. Layer with fresh sliced tomatoes and goat cheese. Your tastebuds will thank you.

              1. Turnips.

                Mom made the most disgusting puree for Christmas every year and made all the kids work through a small serving. Had the worst texture and it really brought out that bitterness and overcooked cabbage flavor and smell.

                Then I learned to roast them in butter and they became one of my favorite vegetables. Now I eat them every way imaginable----except pureed.

                1. Coconut; I never liked it really except when I was a kid, Drake's made a coconut cookie that I liked. My thing was, if I could taste the coconut as in the texture of the coconut, I'd purge. Somehow, I didn't get that with those cookies so they were bearable. My aunt, an awesome cook used to ruin her delicious sweet potato pie and chocolate cake (which is my ultimate joy) with coconut...I'd ask her...why, why!!!

                  As I got older, my palate changed somewhat when I began exploring different cuisines. I adore Caribbean food and a lot of it uses coconut in one form or another, especially coconut milk. I discovered I couldn't taste the texture of coconut milk and now I keep it in my pantry to use in all types of food. I also discovered if I toast the coconut and grind it up before adding to a recipe, I can hardly tell it's there except for a subtle sweetness.

                  1. I have been meaning to try the anchovies. just haven't done a recipe with them yet.

                    I would rather turn this around. Is there an ingredient you don't like, never liked and still don't? Several qualify:

                    Curry don't care how fashionable it is. add Indian cuisine in general to the list
                    Pickled pig's feet used to be a treat when I was a kid... what were we thinking?
                    Cumin everybody raves about it... tastes pretty nasty to me sorry rachel ray
                    Firehouse chili... super hot anything.. I like spicy but not hot for heats sake
                    sauerkraut .. Oh yeah, I can live without that.
                    collard greens, boiled spinach
                    Emerils essence... That stuff is just foul!
                    vinaigrette.. I can take it or leave it...not necessarily in that order.

                    I'd say horseradish but they use it in shrimp cocktail sauce and Arby's uses it in their horsey sauce so I guess I like it.

                    I can pretty much leave squash alone
                    ricotta cheese... I like cheese but I can live without ricotta... sorry guida

                    Ok I'm through. What don't you like... testify!

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Hank Hanover

                      One of the very few things I disliked about my grandmother's cooking when we visited them in Alabama was collard greens. I now know there are alternate cooking methods besides drowning them in a sea of water and hog fat and cooking them until they're battleship grey. But I still can't stand the smell or the thought. There I'm with you.

                      1. re: Hank Hanover

                        How does mandycat feel about the intent of her thread being changed?

                        1. re: souschef

                          I'm good. My mind is more a stream of consciousness novel than an owner's manual, so I frequently veer off in some other direction myself.

                          1. re: mandycat

                            Okay, stuff I hate/detest/despise:

                            - spicy-hot food. Hate it with a passion.
                            - cinnamon. Can't stand the smell or taste
                            - peanut butter. How do you unglue it from your mouth?

                            1. re: souschef

                              You can unglue it by adding even more fat. I know a lady that puts a thin layer of butter over the peanut butter on a sandwich and it doesn't stick to the roof of your mouth.

                              Most people love peanut butter but I don't know very many people that just think it is ok. They either love it or hate it.

                          2. re: souschef

                            I don't see why someone can't respond either way. I do feel like I hijacked her thread.

                            Oh I have one. As a kid, I hated turkey. It was dry and tasteless. As a grown up, I found out that my mother simply didn't know how to cook turkey. She wanted to make sure it was good and done. Put simply, it was dry as a powder makers behind.

                        2. The simple onion looms large in my mind. I could not choke them down as a child, even if they were cooked. They overwhelmed any dish. It was my food bugaboo. As a young adult, I scrutinized every menu, shooting, "No Onion!" at the wait-person whenever I even suspected they might trouble me in a dish. After I discovered that I actually liked to *cook*, and felt I had a more skillful measure of control over what I ate, I bought an onion, and I cooked an onion--to death. I cooked the hell out of that onion. And I discovered that they sweetened. I bought another onion, and another, and now them as lightly as the recipe requires. I still don't eat them raw, but I think I might appreciate them one day.

                          Green bell peppers are another one, same deal, but I actually love raw green pepper now. If these two hatreds had persisted in tandem, I would have missed out on some wonderful meals.

                          I am determined to give sauerkraut another try, someday. It's my lone food hold-out, besides liver that hasn't been minced and cooked down in gravy . . . but sauerkraut will definitely be last on the list.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: onceadaylily

                            Don't mean to hijack the thread, but I beg you to give sauerkraut a try. I'm a sauerkraut champion, having grown up in an Italian-Irish-German family, with a fair amount of German and Italian cooking going on. Not as the same time, of course.

                            There are wonderful ways to prepare sauerkraut rather then just heated up straight out of the bag or can. If you like sour things, vinegar, pickles, you'll like sauerkraut, and there are preparation styles that mellow the sour flavor. Just to start with it's geboten with Bratwurst or pork ribs; as a hot dog topping, a standard in NY, and as a filling for pierogies.

                            I hated liver as a kid, what kid doesn't. Later in life I discovered the delight of liverish forms other than beef.

                            1. re: bushwickgirl

                              I loved liver as a kid. Like yourself I also later discovered the delights of foie gras, lamb liver, and lobster liver.

                              1. re: souschef

                                "I loved liver as a kid."

                                That must have made your mother happy. My mother felt that we needed to eat liver (that and kidney, gak) at least once a month for the iron, and that she wasn't caring for us properly or our health would fail or another terrible thing would happen if we didn't. Her good intentions didn't matter a wit to me; my portion got fed surreptitiously to the liver-loving dog sitting under my chair.

                                1. re: bushwickgirl

                                  Kidney! Now that's something else I loved. My mother never had a problem feeding me as I ate everything. I even liked cake !