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Food Splurges - What's Yours?

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Well, there is some extra money in the food budget & you are just dying to get out there & glean the "best of the best". A perfect bottle of wine to go with some of the cheese you tasted a while back or maybe some special ingredients to make one of those "over the top" recipes. Yes, you are thinking about it right now, so share with us.

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  1. I'd like to make artichokes, caviar, and saffron staples, not luxuries. Also Smithfield ham. I'd also like to try fried squash blossoms. If you read the Wine board you already know I'd always sacrifice for great Champagne like a Krug of Billecart-Salmon.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tim irvine

      Ah yes, tim, for a few artichokes, some caviar & saffron...what more does a mere "mortal" desire??

    2. I like to measure my "splurges" in temporal increments as opposed to monetary ones.

      So for me the greatest splurge is making Chinese hand-pulled beef noodle soup ... all from scratch. Between the time it takes to make the dough, to forming it, to pulling it to make noodles, and then to seasoning and slowly nurturing the beef broth, it can easily take a full day's work and time.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Chinese hand-pulled beef noodle soup? Yum, What time is dinner??? ;-)

        1. re: ipsedixit

          My invitation is in the mail, right?

          1. re: EWSflash

            You have a standing invitation.

        2. veggies--they are so doggone expensive. mushrooms, eggplant, squashes. sooo costly but so tasty.

          good seafood as well. can't buy that farmed-foreign stuff. no no.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chrissy1988

            I would like to buy some smoked salmon, the real expensive kind with some kind of fancy cheese to go with it....dream on!

          2. Ordering chocolates on line from LA Burdick or Garrison Confections. Hoping to try some other places this year.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Bob W

              Joseph Schmidt for fancy and good old See's for everyday chocolate munching and I mean it when I say everyday. A side of prime beef, 'cause I'd like to a. have it to eat and b. butcher it out myself. Saffron.

              1. re: mamachef

                Butcher it out yourself....have you ever done that before?? Lotsa hard work.

                1. re: cstout

                  I've not broken down a whole side, no. But I've done plenty of butchering, and I'm really interested in it, philosophically speaking - plus I think that if I want to eat it, and I do, I benefit from having an intrinsic understanding of my food from the ground up. as it were.

                  1. re: mamachef

                    Do you live on a farm...sure hope so..sounds like you are a country girl at heart. I helped process an axis deer one time...freezing cold, feeding all that meat through the grinders & mixers, stuffing, hanging in smokehouse...I never worked so hard for my food before. Washing all those big greasy, yuky pans that was stuck with dried on meat was the hardest. Have at it girl...I will just bypass that part. You just brought back all those memories.

                    1. re: cstout

                      Oh, no ma'am!! The butchering was courtesy of culinary school and work - just something that has to be learned and done. My ex-husband's family hunted, and I've helped process venison from nose to tail, and helped with sausage making and charcuterie. Right there on my bucket list though? "I want to go to Europe and apprentice with old-world butchers in Spain, France, and Italy."

              2. re: Bob W

                try Compartes in LA - terrific chocolate & unique flavors. or check out Chocosphere, which offers a huge variety of options from fantastic chocolatiers like Amedei, El Rey, Dolfin, Domori...okay, now i want chocolate!

                1. re: Bob W

                  Decades ago, I invested in a small chocolate shop in Eastchester and we used to import chocolates from Belgium. I can almost still taste them. My favorite was Manon and I think you could buy them in NYC somewhere. If you're into chocolate, there's little better.

                2. Maine lobster, fresh sea scallops. Zucchini flowers, fennel and asparagus. All are expensive here in Boston in Winter. Good saffron and vanilla too.

                  www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                  1. My splurges are dry aged grass fed beef. It's what I grew up on and today's beef doesn't even taste like beef to me any more. Lamb! But NOT American or New Zealand lamb. Again, it doesn't taste like lamb. I have lived in Turkey and Greece, and lamb there tastes "lambier" and much better, so for a lamb splurge, for me it requires a plane ticket. Beluga caviar as soon as I win the lottery. For sweet a nice box of marrons glace, or some babas au rhum. I can make those, but I don't dare because I can't stop eating them. It's way too much trouble to just make two. For a wine splurge, you just cannot beat (in my book) a really great Sautern. <sigh> When I win the lottery!

                    1. Organic beef marrow, Frankies 457 Unfiltered EVOO, Amy's sourdough bread & a few trays of uni. Roast the bones., toast the bread, drizzle the EVOO on the toast, and spread the rest on top.

                      1. French St. Andrea cheese...makes Brie feel like it's lowfat.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: cavandre

                          I think I have a lot of them, more than my budget feels comfortable with. I like to roast a beast, a standing rib roast or leg of lamb, grill scallops, big wild ocean-water shrimp, lobster. Once I saw a whole prosciutto ham for sale at Costco and damn near bought that. I regularly keep La Tourangelle oils in the house, especially walnut, truffle, and pumpkin seed for flavor, and grape seed for general use. Cherry Republic dried montmorency cherries- AND Cherry republic cherry concentrate, macadamia nuts. Good tequila, scotch, and some of the foofier liquors, like violet liqueur, Napoleon mandarin and bailey's.

                          I'd also buy only organically and humanely-raised and slaughtered meat if I could afford that all the time. In fact I should do that all the time anyway, but i'd probably have to say adieu to the standing rib roasts unless I won the lottery.

                          1. re: EWSflash

                            EWSflash, by all means, do not reveal where you live, you have a gold mine of food in there, forget the jewels & what not, I will raid the kitchen & stuff myself & be out of there with the rest so fast you won't know what happened!. Trouble is, I wouldn't know what to do with most of it, sorta like casting pearls before the swine. Oh well, you just go ahead & splurge & this mere mortal will dream of how all that stuff tastes.

                          2. re: cavandre

                            St Andre is @ 70% fat
                            Brie is @ 45% fat
                            Thus it is lowfat comparatively

                            My splurge is Caspian Osetra caviar

                            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                              You fly, I'll buy. See you in 2 weeks. Love me some eggs.

                          3. At a weak and hungry moment this cheese mouse dropped $171 in my wine and cheese shop yesterday. I had a tinge of buyers' remorse this morning, but you should see all this cheese! In 2 weeks I'll be back in Florida and my budget for fin fish and shellfish - clams, mussels, oysters, conch, lobsters, shrimp, stone crabs - the heavenly seven - is... I'm not tellin'.

                            1. Back in the 80s, when my dad got his Christmas bonus, we'd have a tremendous feast of Alaskan king crab legs with garlic butter.

                              1. My wife and I once had a pizza delivered from Candela in Trenton, New Jersey...

                                to Lubbock, Texas!

                                It came packed in dry ice. Suffice it to say we could have bought a few Totino's for what we spent on that Jersey pie.

                                1. when i'm feeling particularly flush, a blowout sashimi dinner is always at the top of my list. i also love the occasional splurge on a pricey bottle of wine or aged scotch or port, and i've been known to treat myself to coffee beans that cost more than the average person is probably willing to pay (though i'm not talking Kopi Luwak prices).

                                  1. My food splurge is to gift myself, family members and close frends with a 3-lb. box of Mr. Spear Asparagus. The spears are huge, but cook like they were pencil thin. Absolutely the best
                                    asparagus around. It's costly, but delicious and the best gift I can give to those I love.

                                    1. Gold label Aceto balsamico tradizionale de Modena. Yes, it is incredibly expensive, but it is worth it to me.

                                      Fresh white truffles. When we go to Croatia each fall we go truffle hunting and attend truffle festivals where we purchase a couple of small white truffles.

                                      1. Pistachios. Not astronomically expensive but my husband and I can easily kill a pound (which bottoms out at $6 around here) in one sitting. So expensive for the pocketbook and healthwise as well.

                                        The quality of my balsamic vinegar and EVOO go up pretty rapidly with my feeling of flushness. Prosciutto and a few cheeses are also high on the list. Fresh shiitakes. Wild caught salmon.