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Clearing out my pantry...

In anticipation of moving house sometime in September I'm trying to put a dent in my various staples so we don't have to shift or throw too many things away. I have plans for golden raisins (carrot cake), candied ginger (muffins and cookies) and will probably throw in the almonds into most baked goods. We have three huge bags of rice (brown, basmati, etc)...so we'll be eating more rice, I guess!

I need some inspiration or ideas for some tahini (not hummus, though) - I'm making a tomato and chickpea salad with a tahini dressing. Another delicious salad idea with a tahini dressing would be welcomed!

There's a bottle of sesame oil as well. Haven't used it to fry things in but use a few drops here and there because it's strong. Any ideas which will use some up?

Spices: celery seed and fennel seed are two I'm not sure how to use up, even just generally (ie not apropos of moving).

I have a jar of preserved lemons as well.

There's a bag of malted milk powder (the sweet drinking kind) I bought on impulse. Can't see myself drinking much in the summer - any tried-and-beloved baked good (or other) ideas?

Ed to add: also cornstarch/cornflour and icing sugar, but I guess shortbread is possible there!

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  1. Lots of challenges for us, limoen!

    For another salad using tahini, maybe this one from epicurious...spinach salad with grilled red onion and tahini vinaigrette--we've made it twice and love it! If you are not a radicchio fan, red pepper strips work nicely

    I always use celery seed in creamy-style coleslaws, if that helps at all. Also Epi has a damn-fabulous recipe for Moroccan Chicken with Eggplant that uses 1 teaspoon of the FENNEL seed but I always add more (you crush it up a little or well, I do for more fennel flavor)...that recipe drives me wild...pretty much in these hot days of summer I don't even use the chicken in that recipe...just love the spicy eggplant and tomato mixture over brown rice.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Val

      I LOVE eggplant, the recipe sounds amazing! I'll defiitely look that one up.

      1. re: Val

        When you do the Moroccan chicken and Eggplant without the chicken, do you use the same proportion of spices and other stuff, and double or triple the amount of eggplant? I want to try that!

        1. re: MazDee

          MazDee, I just use 1 medium (around 1 pound) eggplant...diced and roast in oven as directed (leave the peel on for more color and nutrition)...then saute the onions, garlic and spices together...add tomatoes and then the roasted eggplant and let that all simmer together for about 20 - 30 minutes...the hit of lemon juice towards the end is fabulous, too. I keep the spice measurements the same as in the recipe except I like increasing the fennel to about 2 teaspoons. Also, last time I made it with just the eggplant, I used a regular 15 ounce container of tomatoes NOT drained...recipe calls for them to be drained which seems silly--you want those juices!

      2. Short reply off the top of my head: Think weight and need to refrigerate.
        Tahini - use instead of Peanuts..pad Thai?
        Sesame oil - Move with it if it is new and pretty full. It is a flavoring to me, not a frying medium.
        Pretty much, the decision to me would be "how much did this cost me? vs. How much would the cost/pain /hassle to me to move it and not toss it?" Also think can friends use it?

        I DO hate moving.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Quine

          +1 for Quine on the sesame oil (oh and on the I DO hate moving)..for me, it's really an embellishment at the end of cooking a nice Asian dish...but not something to cook in.

          1. re: Val

            I agree - but sometimes recipes/people will suggest frying in sesame oil which seems a bit like using walnut oil or hazelnut to cook...

            1. re: Val

              I uncovered a recipe for Hainanese chicken rice which uses sesame oil, so might spend the next few weeks cross-referencing recipes and making my 'perfect' chicken rice (aka claypot chicke rice, which is similar enough, though I never ate a chicken rice with mushrooms)

          2. Cornstarch - pastry cream, my recipe calls for like 1/2 cup of the stuff

            1 Reply
            1. re: AndrewK512

              Love this idea - pate a choux time!

            2. Sorry that it's another chick pea salad, but this warm butternut squash, chick pea and tahini salad from smittenkitchen's blog is quite wonderful. I subbed some cumin for the recommended allspice, which she left out anyway. The cumin worked quite nicely.


              3 Replies
              1. re: bear

                Another thought. My son toasted some fennel seed, crushed it in a mortar and pestle, and added it to a basic vinaigrette of shallots, garlic, dijon, thyme, evoo, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper. We marinated some flank steak for a couple of hours and then grilled it. The fennel added a wonderful level of flavor, and was just different enough to make the dish special. I was sad we didn't have any fresh fennel to grill or shave to serve on the side. Would have been a great complement.

                1. re: bear

                  sounds great!!! might try that with chicken soon! thanks for the idea, bear!

                  1. re: Val

                    Seconded...this sounds sweet and sharp and lovely, and marinating meat in vinegar makes it so tender. Will definitely try this

              2. The malted milk powder could be used for ice cream--either on it or in it-- (David Leibovitz has an online recipe.) I once saw this ice cream flavor scooped into spheres and covered with chocolate (of a sort that would harden and make a shell) to become giant "malted milk balls".

                1 Reply
                1. re: blue room


                  For the malt powder. I've made this cake as cupcakes and people LOVE it. I "only" used 2 sticks of butter for the icing, and next time I will try with cream cheese. You will use almost a whole jar if it's the carnation kind of malt powder that I have.

                2. Tahini + toasted sesame oil + soy sauce makes a good salad dressing or dip for dumplings. All ingredients to taste; you can throw in something sweet and/or sour if you'd like.

                  As for malt . . . I haven't tried the recipe, but this caught my eye when Chow posted it a little while ago: http://www.chow.com/recipes/12230-tri...
                  That could probably use some of your sugar, too.

                  I like celery seed on many savory foods--in fact, I kind of like it on salad . . . though maybe not with the above dressing.

                  Good luck with your move!

                  1. Celery seed is good in stewed tomatoes and tuna or chicken salad, and vegetable soup. Fennel seed is nice added to red sauce, in cabbage dishes, fish stews. Preserved lemons are so versatile - use where ever lemon or olive flavors are needed. Very nice with fish, in a tartar sauce, added to a gremolata or tapenade.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: meatn3

                      Hmm...that's inspired me to attempt stuffed cabbage rolls in tomato sauce with a bit of celery seed in. If anyone has a good recipe, feel free to let me know!

                      1. re: limoen

                        I love 2nd Ave. Deli's recipe. I don't recall if I use cinnamon in it though...


                        1. re: meatn3

                          I don't mind the cinnamon, but are they serious about that much sugar?

                          1. re: limoen

                            I'll have to check my notes once I'm home - I generally modify most recipes. I like the citrus in this one, also the double layer of cabbage leaves makes a difference in the flavor of the meat.

                    2. You could make a pancake batter using the malted milk powder and leave out sugar from the recipe (CI had one with half AP flour and half cake flour that uses malted milk powder).

                      1. Spices weigh next to nothing (I buy in bulk so no glass) so I'd move them.

                        1. tahini mixed with half as much miso and chopped onions makes a great spread for whole grain toast.

                          celery seeds go in cole slaw or any other cabbage dish and always in bloody marys here. also good in hot wing sauce.

                          1. I use celery seed in potato salad, deviled eggs, vegetable soup and braised potatoes & cabbage to name a few dishes. Pretty much anything you use regular celery in you can use the seed but keep in mind that celery seed is stronger.

                            I have a bottle of sesame oil that I've had at least 2 years; I only use it to accentuate a dish and have never cooked with it but I do know that it lasts a very long time so if you can't use it all before the move, take it with you. In the meantime, you can add a little to tempura batter for fish, veggies & veggies. Use it for stir fry in an orange sesame sauce or rub a little on pork before breading in panko and frying in a veg or canola oil or baking.

                            I use cornstarch in a lot of things; pastry cream, gravies & sauces; thicken soups etc. Dust some thinly sliced or shaved onion in cornstarch then quickly fry and top a burger or a grilled sausage. Use it in tempura batter. The preserved lemons can be used in a vinaigrette. I'd use the malted milk powder in smoothies, make ice cream or frozen yogurt, add to sweet rolls or danish, pancakes or waffles, puddings, pie crust, etc.

                            1. i'd do Cumin Scented Baba Ghanouj with the tahini.

                              the fennel seed - i'd toss sliced scallions, whole garlic cloves, cooked garbanzo beans, a couple of bay leaves and some fennel seeds together with a dash of olive oil, then roast at 350 til the beans are crispy. serve over wilted swiss chard.

                              malted milk powder - make dirty blondies...

                              icing sugar - macarons!

                              cornstarch - cornstarch gelato!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Emme

                                Love the sound of the dirty blondies...Google has thrown up a couple of recipes from 'Baked: New Frontiers in Baking' which I might play around with

                                1. re: limoen

                                  here's my go at them...

                                  2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
                                  1 ½ tsp baking powder
                                  1 tsp kosher salt, or just shy if you opt to sprinkle some
                                  4-5 Tbsp malted milk powder
                                  14 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1-inch cubes
                                  1 ¾ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
                                  2 large eggs
                                  1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
                                  1 ½ cups coarsely chopped malted milk balls
                                  8 oz semisweet chocolate chips or 4 oz semisweet and 4 oz white

                                  mix dry ingredients, except mix-ins. beat sugar with butter. mix in eggs and vanilla. fold in dry ingredients in a few turns, carefully so as not to overmix. stir in mix-ins. spread in a pan, then optionally, sprinkle a little fleur de sel over the top. bake til set, but err on the side of underbaking, so as to retain chewiness. bake at 350 for about 30 min, but i start checking at 25. let cool for 20 minutes then cut.

                              2. I need the malted milk powder so you don't have to use it up at all. :)
                                About the lemons, I watched Paula Deen do a recipe yesterday for Moroccan chicken using preserved lemons, so that's an idea at least for one thing to do with them.
                                Celery seed, chuck it, we don't care for the stuff or make your own Lawry's season all.
                                Tahini, can't help cause don't like the stuff either and not sure what I'll even do with mine.
                                For the ginger and raisins and almonds, I'd use them in home made granola.

                                1. For the malted milk powder, I'd make Pioneer Woman's malted milk chocolate chip cookies--they're delicious. The malt flavor is best when they're very fresh, so eat them quickly or freeze soon after baking.

                                    1. Use your toasted sesame oil in this sauce. It's delicious with broad noodles or with grilled chicken and snow peas but equally delicious as a dip or a dressing for a spinach salad.

                                      Spicy Peanut Sauce

                                      • 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
                                      • 3 green onions (white and green parts), chopped fine
                                      • 1 clove garlic, chopped fine
                                      • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
                                      • 1 cup water
                                      • 1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky
                                      • 1/4 cup soy sauce
                                      • 1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
                                      • 3 tablespoon brown sugar, firmly packed
                                      • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

                                      In a saucepan heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook green onions, garlic, and ginger, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer, stirring. Simmer sauce, stirring, until smooth and cool to room temperature.

                                      NOTE: Sauce may be made up to 3 days ahead and chilled, covered. If sauce is too thick after chilling, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons hot water until sauce reaches desired consistency.

                                      Makes 2 cups

                                      1. By all means, use your cornstarch to make pudding, preferably chocolate.
                                        Or you could make lemon filling for pie.

                                        1. do you keep your sesame oil in the frig? I do cause it goes rancid so fast if left out

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. Celery seed (a small amount) is good in beef dishes, long simmered, like stew or beef roasts. Also good in things like chicken salad.

                                            Sesame oil - vinaigrettes.

                                            Preserved lemons - also vinaigrettes, but also in lamb stews/tagines, with sauteed vegetables, tossed in with an Israeli couscous and finely diced sauteed vegetables. You might be able to make a lemon-herb butter with a small bit of it?