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Five "Blissful Bites"

If you had to pick only five, what are the top five "first bites" of food that send you to your "happy place" and make you really love life?

I've thought about it, and mine are:

1. Roasted Lebanese Chicken with Garlic Sauce and Pickled Turnips wrapped in warm Lavash Bread. I go heavy on the garlic sauce (equal to the amount of chicken, I'd venture)...... That first bite is magic!

2. Gulf Shrimp Scampi, with bread to sop up the garlicky butter. The sweet shrimp, the rich butter, the garlic (Hey, I'm seeing a trend. ;-).

3. Summer Gazpacho, with tons of fresh garden tomatoes, cucumbers, sherry vinegar, Italian parsley.... There is nothing that says "Summer Fresh"" better than this vibrant soup. (OK, it's a first "slurp" in this case).

4. Wok-seared Chicken or Beef Pad Kee Mao with a dose of chile-vinegar. (The pinnacle was that made by those wizards at the now-long-shutterred Pan-Asian Noodle House on Vermont Avenue in DC).

5. My mama's steaming hot homemade biscuits with butter and fresh home-made strawberry jam. My mom's biscuits were the best, and I loved the middle biscuit (thus, soft on all sides) with the jam we made from strawberries picked from our yard and high meadows in Highlands, NC. This one I have to taste only in my sweet memory.

How about you? What sends you into a food swoon with that first bite?

~~~~~~~~~~
PS. You can have one runner-up... and mine is the Thai Papaya Salad, Som Tam -- especially that incredible --yet utterly simple-- dressing. SCHLUUURP!

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  1. 1) My homemade macaroni and cheese. No gimmicks, just good old bechamel, sharp cheddar, paprika, dry mustard and a shot of hot sauce.

    2) My son's turkey or chicken Piccatta. I don't make it because his is so good.

    3) Homemade vanilla/banana ice cream. So rich...

    4) Shrimp and scallop gratin - just butter, garlic, and fresh bread crumbs, over rice. (this may be number 1)

    5) Anybody's really good carrot cake.

    1. 1) Maryland dirty crabs, jumbo size please
      2) Sweet and sour cabbage, tomato, and meat soup
      3) Perfect combo of fresh bagel, tomato, vidalia onion,Ben's cream cheese,fatty cured salmon
      4) Warm donburi unagi, skin on eel crisp,rice vinegared almost to excess, homemade eel sauce
      5) Gigantic Cotes du Boeuf to serve 3 or 4, just the rare side of medium-rare with thick char crust.
      Runner-up-Grilled cheese sandwich, cheese can vary, but bread must be a jaw breaker and mustard is Maille wholegrain non-pasteurized. Some options for cheese-old Comte, aged Mimolette, aged Gruyere, very flavorful Cheddar.

      7 Replies
        1. re: Tugboat

          Live crabs steamed in seasonings based on celery seed, pepper, salt, cayenne, paprika, and God knows what else. When you are through you have to get powerwashed.

          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

            Oh. I am a Marylander, and I have eaten crabs all my life. Never heard of that term.

            1. re: Tugboat

              sounds like OLD BAY seasoning to me!

              INGREDIENTS

              CELERY SALT (SALT, CELERY SEED), SPICES (INCLUDING MUSTARD, RED PEPPER, BLACK PEPPER, BAY [LAUREL] LEAVES, CLOVES, ALLSPICE [PIMENTO], GINGER, MACE, CARDAMOM, CINNAMON) AND PAPRIKA. http://www.oldbay.com/Products/Old-Ba...

              i never heard of "dirty" crabs either, but i'm in virginia. ;-). i don't mess with whacking the heck out of steamed crabs and picking through the shells for little morsels. give me crab imperial, i say! haha. mmmm mmm, here are some recipes, some using old bay, too: http://www.marylanddelivered.com/crab...

              1. re: alkapal

                Old Bay, while good has a huge % of salt. Obrycki's crab boil has little salt, and Wye River crab boil has no salt, both wonderful.

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  i think that i've bought wye river brand canned chowders before. http://www.wyeriverseasonings.com/ind...

                  as i recall, they were good, but pricey.

        2. re: Delucacheesemonger

          Forgot two backups

          Perfect chewy crusty bread with sweet French butter and fleur de sel, similat to Buttertarts post
          Poitrine fume, French meaty bacon, OMG

        3. 1. Uni. No one is allowed to talk to me while I eat uni.
          2. Any type of ssam (Korean bbq wrapped in lettuce with rice, veg, sauce, etc.).
          3. Fried salted mackerel.
          4. Dungeness crab.
          5. I CAN'T DO IT!... My mom's tong galbi with the sauce poured over the rice.

          Runner-up: ham heung naeng myun with lots of the spicy mustard, a bite of the pear, a sliver of cucumber. Oh man.

          1. 1) Otoro nigiri - just the creamiest, richest part of the tuna on a simple bed of vinegared rice.
            2) Goulasch - it should be thick and long-stewed with a perfect combination of flavors and textures: meltingly tender meat, springy little spätzle and rich sauce swirled with a bit of sour cream and dill.
            3) Soft-shell crabs - nothing fancy, just crabs breaded with panko, maybe a little Old Bay if you're feeling adventurous, served with a squirt of lemon and maybe some sauce on the side.
            4) Aloo samosa - the pastry shell should be deceptively sturdy but shatter at the first hint of your teeth into a million buttery flakes, showering onto a filling of pungent and spicy potatoes. The scent of mustard and cumin seed will hurt your nose, followed by the raising alarm of the chilies and cilantro giving way to the sweet and sour of chutney and yogurt.
            5) Empanadas - so similar to the samosa but with the added element of surprise. What will be inside? Sweet and sour pork with raisins and peas? Will I get lucky and hit the jackpot of beef, olives, raisins and chopped eggs with a hint of cumin and chili powder? Don't leave me in suspense!

            Close runner up: Cremeschnittchen/napoleon cake

            1. 1. A nice plump shrimp from a low country boil, I like just a bit more Old Bay than most
              2. A good larb. In Thailand, not the local strip mall. Preferably pork--oniony and packed with chilis and a nice clean kick of lime
              3. Smazeny syr--fried cheese in the Czech Republic. Buttery and rich with a crisp breadcrumb coating. No bun for me, just a little smear of the mayonaise type sauce.
              4. Thai beef jerky spiced just right, dried in the sun and quickly fried in oil. Chili sauce for dipping.
              5. A crab cake done right. Big lump pieces, minimal filler and fried golden without being greasy. A good sqeeze of lemon over it, and mmmmm....

              Better have my cholesterol checked after all that ;)

              1. 1: The first bite of a well made chicken Roti, the roti skin pliable yet filled with a spicy split peas complimenting the hot curried chicken and aloo filling. extra pepper sauce please.
                2: The salty, metallic tang of the first of a dozen Belon oysters. No lemon,no shallots,NO sauce.. just the oyster, the ocean and me.
                3: The First bite of sweet Jersey corn,fresh out of some salted boiling water and slathered with Irish butter.
                4: Marron Glase from Jean Paul Hevin in Paris.
                5: My mom's Rum Cake. Immediately out of the oven the whole house is engulfed in the aroma of fruit,browned sugars,Rum and Brandy.Still hot and heady with residual alcohol, the small slice seems unusually heavy and dark with specks of marinated fruit but still succulent and oh so exotic. Breath deep and stifle a cough but smile with the knowledge that Christmas is just around the corner and there's more rum cake to be eaten.

                1. 1. pata negra jamón iberico

                  2. chuutoro sashimi

                  3. Taiwanese beef noodles; there are a couple of shops in Taipei which come to mind

                  4. foie gras

                  5. shoyu-ramen with a side of gyoza (Motomachi Shokudo's comes to mind)

                  1. - A tomato sandwich on soft white bread, with Hellmann's, and a little salt and pepper.

                    - Filet mignon, rare, buttered while on the grill, please, with a tiny bit of salt.

                    - The apple ice cream we used to buy when I was a kid. I have never found another one like it: they all taste like cinnamon first, and then, maybe, faintly, like cheap applesauce. This one tasted *exactly* like a perfectly mingled bite of tart apple pie and vanilla ice cream, and was so creamy.

                    - Oysters, with a bit of hot sauce and horseradish, but only if it is a really warm day, and I'm outside, if there is a beer waiting at my elbow. And I have a view of the ocean. Hey, you said *bliss*.

                    - Shrimp. It doesn't matter how it is prepared, or served with. I love it all. I am embarrassed by how much shrimp I can consume in a sitting. I have to give myself a stern talking to about 'sharing' and 'moderation' when it is served at parties. When there was shrimp cocktail leftover at our family Christmas this year, my mother was puzzled. Ignoring the rest of the family, she turned to me, and asked, "Didn't you get any shrimp, honey?" When I answered that I had eaten some, she remained puzzled, and then said, "Well, do you want . . . *more*?" No one knows you like your mom. Shrimp should probably be number one on my list.

                    1. i'm happy to read these.

                      and once a day lily, have you seen my "hog" thread? http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/573626

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: alkapal

                        Haha, I flashed back on the image of the mountain of shrimp while I was typing, but couldn't remember who said it.

                      2. Like Delucacheesemonger, jumbo Maryland Crabs top my list. Next, in no particular order:

                        2) Curry Chicken - extra spicy
                        3) Linguine Bolognese - extra sauce
                        4) Lobster - dripping with melted butter
                        5) Baked Ham with Mashed Potatoes - mixed together in one bite

                        My runner up is hot, gooey, cheesy, saucy, thin crust pizza - preferably eaten on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore

                        1. Wow - there are some really good responses here!

                          1 - the first forkfull of Thanksgiving dinner - a little dark meat, a little hamburger & rice stuffing, a little gravy, a little cranberry - BLISS

                          2 - my carrot cake - got the recipe from an old boyfriend - still working on the frosting

                          3 - perfect fried scallop with a little tartar sauce and lemon

                          4 - Portuguese custard tart - the crisp, flaky shell with the soft custard filling - heaven

                          5 - perfect fried chicken - preferably savored in an outdoor location

                          There are just so many options going through my head right now, but this is my list for today. I am sure it would be different if I came up with a list tomorrow - or even tonight.

                          1. 1. A perfect Malpeque oyster, so fresh it winces when you squirt a little lemon juice on it, with a few threads of fresh horseradish.
                            2. Corner bite of a meat samosa dipped in sour cream and liberally salted.
                            3. A marron glacé.
                            4. Bite of really crisp French bread crust with coolish salted butter and plenty of it.
                            5. The tablespoon bit of avocado just above the pit scooped out, salted, and scarfed while making guacamole.

                            The above in no particular order.
                            Wild cards: The first big bite of perfect peach of the summer, fresh litchi ditto.

                            5 Replies
                              1. re: buttertart

                                Samosas and sour cream? Two of my favorite foods that I have never put together. I am trying this soon!

                                1. re: JungMann

                                  Seriously good, first had at the Rajput in Toronto ages ago.

                                2. re: buttertart

                                  Your number four does hit home, would have replaced one of mine for that. Only difference l use sweet butter with a sprinkle of fleur de sel.

                                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                    That's see me and raise me one, the crunch of the salt would be very nice.

                                3. Let me preface this by saying that while food cupid Alkapal has allowed us only five first blissful "bites," I would have to pull from deep within to limit myself to just one bite of each.

                                  1) An oyster just pulled from Tomales Bay with just a little mignonette sauce. Seems like oysters are a popular bite here - nice way to start off this blissful bites fest.

                                  2) Panzanella. But I make it with cubes of bread that are prepared more like giant softish croutons - lots of garlic, butter, olive oil, salt and pepper and parsley. LIke many of my fellow hounds, bright flavorful tomatoes are one of nature's wonders that can't be missed. Panzanella has fresh lush herbiful bites that sing summer.

                                  3) Roti Canai fresh from the hot iron griddle of a hawker stall in Singapore or Malaysia. Wiki describes the roti as "...composed of dough containing copious amounts of fat, egg, flour and water...The form of fat used is usually ghee (clarified butter). Some people add sweetened condensed milk to the mix." Always served with a side of curry sauce - usually chicken - and sometimes (for sure in this case), there's actually a few generous pieces of chicken to pinch with the bread as I dip it into the curry sauce. I envy eaters in this part of the world who can take this kind of treat for granted.

                                  4) Buta no Kakuni - Japanese braised pork belly. Big generous cubes of unctuous pork belly braised in a soy sauce based liquid. The key component for me is being generous on the star anise. One quivering generous cube sitting in its liquid and garnished with sliced spring onions is perfect with freshly steamed rice. Throw in kabocha or potatoes into the braising and life is complete.

                                  5) Strawberries and peaches tossed with a little sugar, Grand Marnier and served with a simple vanilla cake - wouldn't hurt if it was a whipped cream frosted layer cake!

                                  It's funny that I'm a chocoholic who will hopelessly never recover, but as much as I love chocolate, it didn't crack into my top five bites. Maybe it's the fact that the top five are either seasonal, not within arm's reach, or just take some thought and preparation. I still love you deeply, chocolate - you are safe in my heart... :)

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: bulavinaka

                                    oh, beautiful, bulavinaka. nice, appetizing writing.

                                    it is strange, too, that *i* was thinking of the things i also LOVE that didn't make it into the top five blissful bites -- and one for me is coconut. i love coconut pie, coconut curries, coconut in sambols, piña coladas, you name it (except, oddly, coconut shrimp -- *don't* mess with my shrimp!). another is almonds -- i'm a nut for amaretti, marzipan, frangipane, etc.

                                    your panzanella was at once a surprise and not a surprise.... it is almost like my gazpacho plus some yeasty, pillowy bread-goodness together. summer, indeed!

                                    as to how much, well you can eat as much of them as you like -- i was just after the "first bite bliss" concept. believe me, i could really embarrass myself with hogitude on any of my items -- and several items mentioned by others. (fun fact: spell check doesn't recognize the word "hogitude." how quaint! ;^D).

                                    finally, i am inspired to seek out the items mentioned in others' lists, too. i want a roti canai! (and i was in kuala lumpur a while back, and didn't have a clue -- but that was pre-chowhound days)!

                                    1. re: alkapal

                                      I've found myself drawn to your topics and writing many times, and we seem to "feed" off each other's words...

                                      Malaysia is one of those food-oriented countries that spills over with many diverse food opportunities. To spend a week or two there would probably allow the average eater to take in a fair amount of dishes, but of course only scratch the proverbial surface. I've spent about a cumulative month or so there and still don't feel I have a solid grasp on the multicultural cuisines there.

                                      It's funny how certain words seem to spring up out of our food-inspired psyches yet are not spell check-approved. But then again, we are human, and spell checks, well they're just digitized gatekeepers for dry vocabulary that are the poorer for never having enjoyed simple yet remarkable things like smelling the perfume of the zest while peeling an orange, breaking a fresh loaf of bread with friends, or relishing the multiple sensations that a fresh briny oyster sacrifices itself just for us.

                                  2. Homemade pudding and it's all about the creamy cold whether it's rice, butterscotch, dark chocolate, lemon-ginger..pudding is home and comfort and the perfect bday gift to myself.

                                    Strawberries -the first 10 picked right off the NJ farms.

                                    Grilled tomato & swiss cheese sandwiches-big fat juicy red, sour dough toast and Jarlsberg swiss grilled with mustard not butter.

                                    Banana foster over salted caramel gelato-just 3 spoonfuls and I'm good for weeks.

                                    Fresh caught salmon on a fishing boat in AK; grilled within hours. Thank you AK.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      bananas foster over salted caramel gelato sound like it definitely would be on my list of bites to seek.

                                    2. 1. Homemade chocolate cake
                                      2. My vegetable curry
                                      3. Mango
                                      4. Prosciutto and cantaloupe
                                      5. Gorgonzola Dolce on a water cracker

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                        i am a huge gorgonzola dolce fan, and just had a great frisee salad with the cheese, roasted sliced beets, dried cranberries, sliced apples and candied walnuts. i've written the restaurant (old ebbitt grill in dc) for the recipe for the vinaigrette. truly an outstanding salad.

                                        i also bought some of the cheese yesterday, in anticipation of making the salad tomorrow.

                                        ~~~~~~
                                        a good silky slice of mango really takes one away to a beautiful tropical place, doesn't it?

                                      2. As soon as I list my 5, I will think of something even better but here goes:

                                        Goat cheese that my grandmother in France used to mail to the US. It was aged in caves. Now I adore a good brie cheese on crusty chewy warm artisan bread.

                                        A co-worker brought in a soft, moist brownie cake with a cream cheese filling...oh my, it was amazing.

                                        Any seafood dunked in garlic butter that has a lot of pressed fresh garlic. And anything else on the plate that can be dunked in the garlic butter.

                                        Med-rare filet mignon, grilled.

                                        Rhubarb pie, warmed up just a bit.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: eatswjoy

                                          Oh, rhubarb pie. My grandmother made the best rhubarb-strawberry pie. That could be a whole other thread, though, those bites of childhood food that you might never have again, but can still taste.

                                          Probably been done though . . .

                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                            Strawberry-rhubarb pie on homemade pie crust - the best w/ the comments of childhood. Our addition was hand-cranked vanilla ice cream. OMG delicious. Now, I'm going to have to think about adding my top five.

                                        2. A bite of fresh, fluffy soft tamal.

                                          A spoonful of stewed, brothy beans.

                                          A fresh, soft corn tortilla.

                                          A crawfish boiled in spicy broth, tail first then slurping from the head.

                                          A bite of hot waffle soaking in syrup.

                                          I think I am feeling very Texas right now, and these are the bites of my childhood and they send me to that special happy place.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: luckyfatima

                                            lucky fatima, thank you! i can almost see you next to me reaching into your mind to answer.

                                          2. So many of my favorites soar though this thread
                                            I can only conjure one that has not yet been said:

                                            Softly whipped cream... high butterfat... fresh
                                            and sliced ripe strawberries
                                            Strategically placed
                                            on places of flesh.

                                            From there roar the rudiments
                                            of "Most blissful bite".

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: FoodFuser

                                              DH says " Bra-vo".
                                              (and wants to run out and get strawberries)

                                              1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                In times of a hurry for last Blissfull Bite:
                                                Frozen berries and a handheld can of Rediwhip.

                                                Take care that the nozzle has pressure and hiss

                                            2. Very difficult question to answer. I'll just put the first five that pop into my head, leaving out SO many others, equally great...

                                              orange cake at this amazing restaurant in Rome we frequented when I lived there in the 80's

                                              my grandmother's biscuits - her recipe and method went to her grave with her in 1970

                                              my first experience with biscotti and vin santo at a tiny, family run place in Umbria in the 80's

                                              bistecca fiorentina at a restaurant 30 mins. outside of Florence that specialized in it - that is the single best steak I've ever had...

                                              piping hot peach cobbler with a scoop of top quality vanilla ice cream melting on it (apple crumble, berry crisp, etc. comes in just behind it - but it needs to be homemade, right out of the oven, with vanilla ice cream!)

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                nice list! my mouth always waters when i see the huge steaks they make in northern italy -- florence, venice.... and they just barely cook them right?

                                                are they all huge or is that just done for todd english? ;-).

                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                  It's been a while, but I remember it as large, but not massive. The main thing I remember is the taste - fantastic meat, cooked flawlessly (for my taste), with a lemony / cracked peppery crusty thing going on.

                                                  1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                    ah, that's right, LOTS of cracked pepper -- cracked with the back of a big cast iron skillet or something manly like that. no wimpy grinders for the italians. ;-0. well, that is how one does the proper steak au poivre, now isn't it -- though don't call it that in front of the italians. eek! but the lemon does distinguish it.

                                                    interesting to see how the french treat a steak vs. the italians. same pepper technique, but the "extra" bits are different. in italy, it is lemon, as you have said -- maybe some rosemary in the fire underneath? and the french, how do they "finish" steak au poivre?

                                              2. This is such a cool thread! I've really enjoyed reading the responses.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                  I'm sure we could invent some kind of game out of this... pick one reply at random and a number from 1-5, is it on your top ten list?

                                                  You know, like, this:

                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7740...

                                                  #3

                                                  Ah, Mango. Yes, how about a refreshing Mango Lassi?

                                                2. I'm also having a hard time picking only 5 (well 6 with runner-up). Here they are in no particular order. Please note this is subject to change at any given time & mood :)

                                                  1. Burrito filled with housemade refried beans & cheese, smothered with a hot pork green
                                                  chile from Su Casa, Sinclair, Wyoming

                                                  2. Buratta Cheese spread on grilled crostini topped with a slice of Proscuitto

                                                  3. Panna Cotta with a smooth Berry Coulis (no seeds)

                                                  4. Home fried potatoes topped with a poached egg and Sambal Oelek

                                                  5. Perfectly cooked Beef Wllington with a Red Wine Pan Reduction

                                                  Runner up- GRAVY!!! or pan sauce: any kind, by itself or topping something.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: jcattles

                                                    This thread is indeed getting interesting - Have had the #1 - It actually makes you stop and pause. It's that good - I put my fork down and stared at the plate for a while.

                                                    1. re: JerryMe

                                                      Yes, it is. We live about an hour & a half from there & when we get the craving we'll get in the car & take a road trip. We usually end bringing a couple quarts of green chile home & I make heuevos rancheros with it.

                                                      I love when that first bite is so good. I actually get giddy! I close my eyes & sometimes I start giggling. Kinda silly, but I don't care, it just tastes so good!!!!!

                                                  2. 1. A bright, briney raw Island Creek Oyster

                                                    2. A BLT. Slab bacon, summer tomato, artisan sourdough, homemade Mayo--this is best. Oscar Mayer on toasted Wonderbread with Hellmans also works.

                                                    3. Really good bread spread with really good butter, sprinkled with a bit of salt

                                                    4. A pie from Patsy's Pizzeria in Spanish Harlem. My favorite pizza ever.

                                                    5. Fried whole belly clams, eaten out of a red-and-white-striped cardboard box, either on a deck overlooking the water or on the hood of a car.

                                                    1. Mine, in no order:
                                                      Whitefish, shrimp & scallop cannelle w/cream sauce
                                                      Steak tartare, (liberally seasoned with hot sauce). topped w/quail egg with potato baton
                                                      Bone marrow a la Ad Hoc in Yountville
                                                      Ahi tuna sashimi served on the deck of the boat right after the hook was removed
                                                      Pho ga with lots of basil on a cold winter's day
                                                      Runner up: Easter Eggs not the dyed ones--At our house it was Osetra caviar with creme fraishe & blini, Champagne optional.

                                                      14 Replies
                                                      1. re: KatoK

                                                        please describe your cannelle dish. you didn't mean "quenelles" i guess, because you seem to know your way around fine food. i goggled it, but found "cinnamon" and so i'm in the dark. help enlighten me.

                                                        as to quenelles, that would have to be on my "next" top list -- i fell in love with "quenelles de brochet au sauce americaine" at a little french place here in d.c. alas, le gaulois has been gone for a while. the owners returned to france to retire.

                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                          Suspect KatoK meant quenelles as cannelles are a drum shaped pastry from St Emilion in Bordeaux that are smooshy inside and have a sugar crisp exterior. Almost a holdable creme brulee.

                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                              But still delicious when amazingly unattractive, even having used the molds.

                                                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                You saw all the byplay on these on Home Cooking I presume? It's the end product coming out correctly that seems to elude the home baker.

                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                  Sorry no, do not watch TV. Mine still tasted great. Made them in Paris last year and got raves if not on appearance. Outside was not dark enough. Baked too low a temp for outside dark fast.

                                                            2. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                              why i ruled out a pastry from kato's post is that it was with whitefish, shrimp & scallop! (because a ton of pastry shops named canelle come up with a google search of the term).

                                                            3. re: alkapal

                                                              Alkapal, thanks for the compliment, I do generally know my way around food, but not apparently with my French spelling! Sorry to mislead you, I did mean quennelles, football shaped dumplings of pureed and poached seafood. My mom painstakingly made them for fancy holiday occaisions when I was young. The result was something so light and the flavors so delicate, it was like eating clouds. I tried making them myself a few years back and was very pleased with what you can create with a Cuisinart.
                                                              Great thread!

                                                              1. re: KatoK

                                                                oh, you know, kato, i''ve never been brave enough to try making quenelles. that combo you mentioned sounds divine -- er, "blissful" -- indeed! what was in the cream sauce for spicing?

                                                                your comment about "like eating clouds" suddenly made that song pop in my head, "swingin' on a star." i don't know why! but there ya go. actually, that is a weird song. http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/son...

                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                  You know, I'll have to review the recipe, but I don't think it was strongly flavored at all, more like a creamy white sauce, perhaps using shrimp stock made from the shells?

                                                                  1. re: KatoK

                                                                    in my case, the sauce americaine was a creamy sauce made with lobster shell stock,....and cognac! yeah buddy! i could drink that stuff. of course the pike ("brochet") quenelles weren't half bad, either.

                                                                    this little excerpt will give you a flavor --ahem -- of the sauce:

                                                                    """This recipe was created in the 1860s by Pierre Fraise, a French cook from Sète (note of the translator : south of France, on the sea coast, close to Montpellier, between Marseille and the Spanish boarder).
                                                                    Back to France after a long stay in the USA, he settled his own business in Paris. ....[In a rush to feed some diners with little in the fridge] he cuts the lobsters alive, sauté[s] them quickly in... olive oil, flambé[s] them with .... Cognac ...and throw[s] .....[in] chopped shallots, fresh tomatoes [and] [c]hopped garlic[.] [T]hen he pours one bottle of white wine [Muscadet according to another recipe site], seasons with salt and black pepper and cook[s] the whole very quickly.
                                                                    He presents the lobster pieces and the sauce ... and proudly (sic) announces, still under the influence of his US trip : "ladies and gentlemen, here is my most recent creation ; I called it "Lobster à l'américaine". It was the first time such recipe name was worded.""""" http://www.aftouch-cuisine.com/news/n...

                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                      Great story and the sauce sounds like it has similar components. So rich yet so light. No tomato in my blissful memory though. I'll have to get the recipe out again and give it a go.

                                                          1. 5 "Blissful Bites" okay let me think, I honestly hate to commit myself to 5 but okay, I'l try.

                                                            1. My Chicken Piccata- with the chicken pounded just right into scallop sized pieces. So tender and sauteed to a golden brown, drenched in a lemony, white wine and caper sauce. Creamy but not really, just enought sauce but it always leaves me saying, "I wish I'd made more."

                                                            2. Another shrimp fan, I too love them and get angry when I can't find wild shrimp! I'm not a fan of farmed shrimp, sorry folks. They lack that familiar sweetness and crunchiness to the tooth I grew up on. I could eat pounds of them. But they're especially good in Camarones ala Diabla. Probably spelled that wrong and I don't care. The smokey red diabla sauce that surrounds the shimp, is there chipotle in the sauce, probably. Along the far side of the huge plate is the crunchiest freshest lettuce to drag through the delicous sauce, and then a cool avocado rest near by. Oh yes, I need a bite to cool my mouth down. How can anything that hurts so bad taste so good. Perhaps a buttered flour handmade tortilla to dip in the sauce? Will that ease the burn? I think not, but man does it ever taste goooooood.

                                                            3. Thai Shrimp Basil with Jasmine rice. Another shrimp dish I know. The spicy sauce that screams in your mouth, so many flavors at once - delicous. The rice cools the sauce down a bit the gentle scent of the jasmine rice makes this a perfect bite.

                                                            4.A crunchy salad Kai, with apple and spicy grilled chicken. The crunchy crispy lettuce, the sauce, sweet and creamy yet spicy, I've tried and tried to figure this one out. I can't but when I do...

                                                            5, My cast iron fried chicken, creamy mashed potatoes with milk and black pepper gravy and fresh just picked out to the field, sweet white corn on the cob with a pound of butter.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: chef chicklet

                                                              Oooh, chicken picatta! That would be my runner-up. In fact, your whole list sounds fantastic.

                                                            2. OK, this is difficult, but here goes, in no particular order:

                                                              1. Foie gras, seared and with something fruity (roasted figs are wonderful)
                                                              2. Vinha d'alhos, served with poached eggs and fried rice
                                                              3. Goose egg en cocotte, with a lovely soft yolk, ideally with, say, fiddleheads and confit duck hearts underneath and goat cheese and fresh chives on top.
                                                              4. Chawan mushi. As with #3, there are any number of goodies that can hide in the bottom.
                                                              5. BBQ tuna cheekbone.
                                                              6 (technically runner up, but might be better than all the above) Caprese salad, but ONLY if it is made with tomatoes and basil fresh from the garden, still warm from the sun, and really gorgeous mozzarella, olive oil and balsamic. I've stopped ordering Caprese salads in restaurants, because of the almost inevitable disappointment.

                                                              Even more runners up: one perfect oyster, uni, blue cheese topped t-bone...

                                                              Hm, reading my list, I realize I'm awfully fond of eggs and umami...

                                                              1. Five blissful bites I've discovered this summer
                                                                in defernce/defiance to this gol' durned heatwave.

                                                                (This list would be different
                                                                were the temps more inclement).

                                                                1) First blissful bite would cupfull of crushed ice.
                                                                2). Second, raw oysters, as long as one ice.
                                                                3) Cold ceviche, again upon ice.
                                                                4) Sweet crunchy coleslaw, again upon ice.
                                                                5) Any any any kind of ice cream.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                  The weather and seasons definitely plays a huge part in placing priorities on our food list. It must be blazin' where you're at right now...

                                                                  1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                    I can 2nd that list Fuser, - you're in Oklahoma right? I'm in Mid-MO and the heat's not nearly as bad here, I've got my eye on that bag of shelled pistachios and the ice cream maker in the pantry. I'm thinking gelato.

                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                      Yep, Oklahoma. We've blown the lid off by breaking six records, dating back to the 1870's

                                                                      Suggested tools to deal with these temperatures are a Big ice cream spoon in one hand and an ice pick firmly clenched in the other. My local grocer has begun padlocking the ten-pound bagged ice freezer.

                                                                      I appreciate gelato, but that's just too slow this week. I'll let Breyers crank out the quarts for me.

                                                                      It also occurs to me that dentists will love aftermath of this season, with lots of cracked teeth from chomping large cubes.

                                                                      Did 4 of the five blissful bites today when I pulled in for oysters. After the slurping, they helped my way home, with two pounds of crushed ice.

                                                                      I can wait on ceviche.

                                                                  2. for christmas, we had chicken with the lebanese garlic sauce "toum". even before i ate the chicken, i licked some sauce off the spoon, and actually noticed my eyes going back and up into my head. i've never noticed this as an unconsicous move. it really is awesome stuff, that garlic sauce!

                                                                    ~~~~~
                                                                    my newest swoon food is a special lao sausage crispy rice salad from bangkok golden restaurant in falls church, va. like this, but with additional ingredient of lao sausage, ground. http://nyenoona.wordpress.com/2012/01...

                                                                    1. Like others have said, I hesitate to commit to 5.

                                                                      In no order

                                                                      Fresh Peach Pie at Marie Callenders (seasonal, August mostly)
                                                                      Rare Prime Rib w/horseradish @ House of Prime Rib on Van Ness in San Francisco
                                                                      The first shattering bite of a good creme brulee
                                                                      Thin Slice pepperoni pizza from Barbato's in Erie PA (what I was raised on)
                                                                      Fresh Shrimp Cocktail w/cocktail sauce and fresh lemon squeezed on each shrimp

                                                                      1. @al kapal, When you mention garlic sauce for #1, are you talking about the gossamer-light (texture-wise, at least) toum?

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                          yes, indeedy! yummmmmmmmm. i adore it.

                                                                        2. Love life? Hmm...I'll stick with the first half of your question:

                                                                          *) Cakalang pampis- (from Manado, Indonesia) dried and smoked skipjack tuna, torn into pieces, mixed with bird's eye chili (cabe rawit), tomato, onion, garlic, and ginger. Manadonese cuisine is one of my favorites, it's a shame I've only ever seen it in Indonesia.

                                                                          #) Künefe, particularly from a restaurant in Lefkoşa.

                                                                          ^) Negitoro avocado. Choosing from the long list of possible sushi items is tough (presumably they could fill a couple more slots for this thread), but the other thankful bit is that only one bite is usually required. I'd say unagi, but all too often it's either microwaved or out of season (come late July though...) Don't forget the straight-from-Japan soy sauce.

                                                                          %) 擂辣椒茄子 lei lajiao qiezi- I've mentioned it in a couple of other threads, but it's mashed eggplant with green chilies. Hunan for me is another source of quality eats.

                                                                          ") Ful medames, without skimping on the olive oil.

                                                                          Runner-up (but still in no order?) ) Something Mexican and with avocado. Probably a torta, so I can get Oaxacan cheese, beans, and the rest of the good stuff.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                            Oops, didn't mean to forget burrata. Might as well place that on the same fork as the ful...

                                                                          2. In no particular order:

                                                                            A cold and briny Wellfleet oyster with well- horseradished cocktail sauce
                                                                            A perfectly seared U-10 sea scallop
                                                                            A bite of extra rare filet mignon dipped in sizzling clarified butter
                                                                            A bite of lobster knuckle meat dipped in clarified butter
                                                                            A bite of dense, cream cheese cheesecake

                                                                            runner up:
                                                                            a bite of well- buttered lumpy mashed potatoes mixed with a little corn

                                                                            and a liberal sprinkling of salt on everything but the oyster and the cheesecake

                                                                            1. Not in any particular order:

                                                                              1. Crispy duck (with skin)

                                                                              2. Uni

                                                                              3. Cuttlefish ink risotto

                                                                              4. White truffles

                                                                              5. Aged aceto balsamico tradzitionale de Modena drizzled over wild strawberries with a liberal grinding of black pepper

                                                                              Runner up: barely seared foie gras with peaches

                                                                              So sorry but I must add rabbit terrine.