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Do you have a yearly list of what you want to try? And what is on it?

Durian makes my list for the 3rd time... still trying to get it in Oklahoma. But I have other things on the list I'm kind of ashamed to admit I've never tasted. But I'll throw one of it out there. Raw oyster in the half shell for one. I know... I know....

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  1. Fish eyes. I guess I should say fish face, because I haven't eaten cheeks either. And I have a feeling that, when confronted with the head of a fish, I'll eat the cheeks first. They sound delicious, kind of like pope's nose.

    Kimchee. I don't want to make this myself. I have *one* Korean friend (second gen to the US), and she says that she always fled the house when her mother cooked, because "Korean food smells like a$#". This is my closest link to homemade kimchee. I am not hopeful.

    Cherimoya. I want to taste the custard apple. In fact, this gives me an idea. The boyfriend just reminded me (again) that our anniversary is next week. I think he would love if I requested this as my present for us (I know he's curious as well). Are they even in season? Do things babied in hothouses have seasons?

    Plantains. I almost bought them this summer, but the boyfriend said they were under-ripe. "How can you tell?" I asked. "I don't know," he said. I laughed and resolved to research it, and did not. Again.

    I would add durian, but I've read so many accounts that I can only add it to the 'before I die' list, not the carry-over annual.

    *Raw oysters were the *first* thing I ever tried that was outside of my small town Midwestern menu. I was so happy that I tried them, because I loved them. Two weeks ago, I looked up the oyster bar I first tried them in, in Augusta GA, and was so pleased to see the place still there after twelve years. The memory makes me think that a hot day, cold beer, and an eager crowd is essential to the experience.

    1 Reply
    1. re: onceadaylily

      > Plantains

      You don't want to just buy a plantain and eat it. Yuck. Try going to a latin or carribean restaurant or market and get some plátanos maduros or tostones.

    2. Yep, posted on the fridge. But it is more a list of what we want to try cooking than finding out at a restaurant or at the supermarket.

      This past year's list included the timbale/timpano from 'Big Night' (done), Zuni Cafe's Mock Porchette (done), pate de foie gras that we brought home from France and ate with everything for about 2 weeks, homemade strawberry and blueberry ice cream, with the fruit from our garden (done) and 'somethng Thai with fish sauce' (didn't get around to that).

      This year: made-from-scratch saag ghosh, pastitsio with our own lamb and caprese salad with homemade mozzarella and MUCH more adventurous home-canning (forget applesauce: moose, deer and rabbits, look out!). We are also looking for Maytag Blue Cheese (from Wisconsin?...for some reason it is difficult to find here in Canada, but raved about by Saveur and other mags).

      1. Probably paella - I've never had it. I've had the raw oysters in the half shell and I LOVE them. Hard to get proper ones in the USA SW desert clime but excellent whenever I've had them. I have saffron and get can get the rest of the ingredients but don't have the proper pan. Not sure if I'll make that one or try it at a restaurant.

        SO wants me to try gravy ( again ). Ugh, maybe I will and maybe I won't. I dunno. People wax poetic about how wonderful it is so maybe I'll try it again. I've made it before to rave reviews, so this one I'll probably make.

        Have never had foie gras. That I would like to try and see if I like it. No I won't make it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JerryMe

          Oh, and *paella*. I have a dozen recipes saved. I've never eaten it, much less made it.

        2. I don't have a list of foods I want to try, but I do have a list of restaurants. It is now depressingly large, as I tend to only go to 2 or 3 a year (not 2 or 3 restaurants--just 2 or 3 on my list of destinations).

          1. So many fancy try lists!

            Mine is not all that exciting. I bought these giant tapioca balls while shopping at HMart in Seattle. I only go a few times per year so I load down and always pick up things I do not know what to do with and are not perishable. Hence - giant tapioca balls. I hope they are yummy. I will probably use them in a way that will freak out folks who know what to do with them.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Sal Vanilla

              I haven't had these outside of beverages (smoothies with tapioca balls), but I did a bit of research, and stumbled across this recipe (please also *note* the ingredient name of sabudana (the balls of tapioca), which is what I think you have, and can be googled under that name for many more recipes).

              Adapted from 356 Days of Eating:
              1 1/2 cup sabudana
              2 large potatoes
              3 green chilies, minced
              1 inch knob of ginger, minced
              1 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped coriander
              1/2 teaspoon sugar
              Salt to taste

              Wash the sabudana in water and soak in leftover water (which should be a few tablespoons) for 2 hours. After one hour, mix so that all the sabudana is soaked equally. Boil, peel, and mash the potatoes. Mix the sabudana, potato, chilies, ginger, coriander, salt and sugar. Taste, and adjust seasoning. Form mixture, packing the balls very firmly into 1 inch balls, and deep fry until golden brown. Serve hot with chutney and curd.

              Note: Always test fry one single ball before making a huge batch. Sometimes frying changes how you taste the heat in the dish.
              I use a fistful of batter as a measurement for making 1 inch balls, if you want to be precise you can measure each ball or use a mould.

                1. re: onceadaylily

                  Thank you for that post. I was hoping someone would reply with something interesting. I am gonna try it. And based on what I find when I cook it and reading this recipe - which is getting my imagination going - I wonder whether it might be a good foil for interesting and delicious tastes in a soup where it acts as a binder for things delicious that you could make into a ball and simmer in soup. I am so excited. Or fried in a patty. I am so easily thrilled.

              1. I have never had a calf fry. I bet you have. Call us even.

                1 Reply
                  1. okay. and can I ask a dumb question here? Paella, what is the right way to eat the shellfish when it is in the shell in your wad o pasta? I don't want to look like a total idiot.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Firegoat

                      Paella shellfish will be on rice. You will pick the meat from the shell with your fork and either set the shell on another plate or to the edge of your personal dish. Do not pre-pick your seafood from the shell and replace it back onto the rice. It is the rough equivalent of pre-cutting your steak.

                      1. re: Firegoat

                        ... and usually the meats (chicken, fish, shrimp) are not cut into bite sized pieces so you have to cut those in your bowl but hopefully they are tender enough you can just use a butter knife.

                      2. I had my first oyster on the half shell in Tulsa. S&J Seafood at 36th & Peoria had a big ol' raw bar that was quite the exciting thing in the '80s.

                        Tulsa has a fairly large Vietnamese community; find the market(s) where they shop for food from "the old country" and I'll bet you can find durian. If not fresh, then frozen or canned. (Warning - I'm not suggesting you eat the stuff, but that's where it's most likely to be found if you want to.)

                        My major resolution for the coming year is to cook more things I've only had in restaurants. Paella (mentioned above), sweetbreads, and tongue come immediately to mind. And home-corned beef.

                        As far as things I've never tried but want to, the current list includes a bunch of fancy / heirloom legumes, from lentils de Puy to ayocotes morados. And Sichuan buttons sound like fun (what other food is described as "like licking a 9-volt battery"?). But the one thing I've never eaten that seems like a major omission is truffles. So this year, yeah. I'm gonna taste me a truffle.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: alanbarnes

                          Oh, a truffle is a good idea. I remember S&J Oyster. Was sad to see that go. I'm sure I could get a decent oyster at Bodean's in Tulsa, just haven't done it yet.

                        2. I'm on a mission to make the perfect rice pudding (actually, two perfect rice puddings, one pudding-like and one custardy). I've been printing or cutting out every recipe I can get my hands on. Haven't gotten it right yet, but I'll keep trying.

                          1. Truffles, for sure after my daughter raved about truffle oil in something. And I want to see what all the hulabaloo is about with Japanese Prime Beef. Sea urchin sushi, Gooey Duck sushi, and fresh King Crab out in the northwest. Rocky mountain oysters. That's all I can think of right now.