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The secret is...nutmeg!

Kris in Beijing May 2, 2013 08:46 PM

Into what dishes do you "sneak" nutmeg?

  1. g
    Georgia Strait Jul 12, 2013 04:15 PM

    one of my midwest friend's cake mix cheater recipes calls for yellow cake mix, mix according to directions but instead of the water, add inexpensive cream (sweet) sherry (the alcoholic fortified wine beverage stuff - NOT cooking sherry) - and a tsp of freshly ground nutmeg

    bake in a bundt pan - not angel food pan (reminds me of "my big fat greek wedding" movie! - they put the pot of flowers in the middle of it, didn't they?)

    it is a handy cake to make ahead to serve with fresh summer peaches, apricots, berries, etc.

    1. f
      fara Jul 12, 2013 04:08 PM

      Latkes! In the batter, just a smidge before frying. These are potato and onion, shredded by hand with the coarse side of a cheese grater,egg, flour, salt and pepper. fried in sunflower oil.

      1. Ruthie789 Jul 12, 2013 01:30 AM

        Madame Benoit a well known Canadian cook used to recommend to add a bit of nutmeg and sugar to turnip.

        1. n
          noodlepoodle May 17, 2013 01:24 PM

          Butternut squash
          Greens like spinach, chard, etc.

          1. f
            FriedClamFanatic May 8, 2013 05:13 AM

            Over Rum and Pineapple juice..with ice and a splash of bitters

            1. q
              Querencia May 7, 2013 04:25 PM

              I mix brown sugar with ketchup and nutmeg and smear it on the outside of a meatloaf before baking it. And plenty of nutmeg gets sprinkled on any kind of custard, bread pudding, apple Betty, etc. Also very good sprinkled on hot chocolate.

              1. r
                Roland Parker May 6, 2013 10:12 PM

                I'd forgotten to mention this earlier.

                I love nutmeg added to pound cake and of course there's the old fashioned spice cake which has a nice dose of nutmeg.

                A slice of nutmeg infused cake with a cup of coffee = heaven on earth (well, one of many "heavens on earths" courtesy of good cooking).

                1. monavano May 6, 2013 06:17 PM

                  Deeply flavored and layered braises get a fresh grate of nutmeg on the plate to brighten.

                  1. AntarcticWidow May 6, 2013 06:01 PM

                    vegetarian split pea soup

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: AntarcticWidow
                      sweetTooth Jul 11, 2013 08:42 PM

                      Ooh! Mind sharing your recipe? Thanks!

                      1. re: AntarcticWidow
                        Georgia Strait Jul 12, 2013 04:06 PM

                        yes - please share!

                      2. Thymus May 6, 2013 08:40 AM

                        Rum cake. In the batter.

                        1. b
                          Bryan Pepperseed May 6, 2013 05:02 AM

                          Creamed chicken over rice

                          1. b
                            BuildingMyBento May 4, 2013 09:19 PM

                            Besides on my cereal, I didn't mind the shredded sweetened version at a Chinese sweets store in Kuala Lumpur. Maybe Aji Ichiban sells it in the states.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: BuildingMyBento
                              Kris in Beijing May 5, 2013 05:51 PM

                              Picture? Chinese name?

                              1. re: Kris in Beijing
                                klyeoh May 7, 2013 07:23 AM



                            2. chefj May 4, 2013 08:29 PM

                              Indonesian Potato Soup and Potato Fritters
                              Mash Potatoes
                              Buttermilk Pie
                              Bolognese sauce
                              Apple Pie
                              Cake Doughnuts

                              1. Candy May 4, 2013 12:06 PM

                                I never "sneak" it in to anything. I just boldly grab the nutmeg and grate away. Probably one of my favorite warm spices.

                                1. r
                                  RedTop May 4, 2013 06:44 AM

                                  What a great thread!

                                  I've only included nutmeg when prepping french toast; and as a topping for egg nog drinks. So, I'm learning a lot here.

                                  1. Bratticus May 4, 2013 05:25 AM

                                    Empanadas, Mac n cheese, cream soups and creamed spinach.

                                    1. r
                                      Roland Parker May 4, 2013 04:06 AM

                                      I don't know if it's "sneaking" but classic creme brulee often has a dash of nutmeg in it.

                                      I also add it to my apple pies.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Roland Parker
                                        c oliver May 4, 2013 07:56 AM

                                        Oh, yes. I'd forgotten about that.

                                      2. j
                                        JudiAU May 3, 2013 03:12 PM

                                        Most creamed vegetables
                                        potatoes gratin
                                        anything bechemel
                                        macaroni and cheese

                                        Nutmeg is the last spice I would ever by ground. I've been known to hand out whole nutmegs at parties when complemented on a dish

                                        1. pinehurst May 3, 2013 02:44 PM

                                          (I also sneak in unsweetened cocoa).

                                          1. splatgirl May 3, 2013 02:38 PM

                                            Donut dough

                                            1. Ruthie789 May 3, 2013 02:29 PM

                                              Rice pudding.

                                              1. n
                                                Nanzi May 3, 2013 09:20 AM

                                                My cauliflower soup. Rib rub. Creamed spinach, and others I can't remember right now. I keep whole nutmegs in a grinder ready for use.

                                                1. s
                                                  sparrowgrass May 3, 2013 09:17 AM

                                                  A little sprinkle on my bowl of chicken noodle soup.

                                                  1. m
                                                    mike0989 May 3, 2013 09:07 AM

                                                    Beef Stroganoff

                                                    1. iL Divo May 3, 2013 07:47 AM

                                                      not exactly an answer to the question....... BUT ........
                                                      I can tell you one thing you shouldn't sneak nutmeg into >
                                                      Bolognese sauce

                                                      the RK in Boston does and it wasn't a flavor I wanted in there

                                                      when making warm spiced cookies or desserts like pumpkin pie or baked apple sliced or molasses treats, anything close, I use nutmeg but not tons, it's very aggressive

                                                      23 Replies
                                                      1. re: iL Divo
                                                        ttoommyy May 3, 2013 07:56 AM

                                                        "not exactly an answer to the question....... BUT ........
                                                        I can tell you one thing you shouldn't sneak nutmeg into >
                                                        Bolognese sauce"

                                                        Interesting. Marcella Hazan, who many people on this board praise up and down as THE authority on Italian food, uses it in her Bolognese sauce.

                                                        1. re: ttoommyy
                                                          iL Divo May 3, 2013 08:13 AM

                                                          give me a minute ttoommyy, I'll check out my "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking".
                                                          yep page 204 and I'll quote
                                                          "Add a tiny grating-about 1/8 teaspoon-of nutmeg, and stir."
                                                          I've made hers a dozen times and you're correct, but 1/8 tsp isn't being assertive or aggressive. I don't think a predoniment flavor in there should be nutmeg, a subtle note, very subtle but not predominent.
                                                          I consider one of her batches being a large pot of sauce too.

                                                          The RK's you may consider very good. Different taste buds.

                                                          1. re: iL Divo
                                                            ttoommyy May 3, 2013 08:31 AM

                                                            But that is the beauty of nutmeg; it should never be a predominant flavor, it should just blend into the background notes of a dish. 1/8 teaspoon is a common measure for such an assertive spice.

                                                            1. re: ttoommyy
                                                              c oliver May 3, 2013 08:35 AM

                                                              Yeah, I don't recall any recipe that calls for a whole bunch of nutmeg.

                                                            2. re: iL Divo
                                                              c oliver May 3, 2013 08:32 AM

                                                              There's NOTHING about her Bolognese sauce that is a "predominant flavor" IMO. That's what make it perfect.

                                                              I don't understand "I consider one of her batches being a large pot of sauce too."

                                                            3. re: ttoommyy
                                                              kengk May 3, 2013 08:44 AM

                                                              I have made Hazan's Bolognese sauce several times, following her recipe more closely than I normally would any recipe, and left out the nutmeg. It was exceptionally good to me, don't feel compelled to see if it would be better with nutmeg.

                                                              1. re: kengk
                                                                ttoommyy May 3, 2013 09:03 AM

                                                                I'm not saying it would be. I was simply pointing out to IL Divo that Marcella Hazan lists it as an ingredient in her sauce.

                                                                1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                  Roland Parker May 4, 2013 04:04 AM

                                                                  Marcella isn't the only one.

                                                                  My bolognese recipe, given to me by a friend's Italian mother who is an excellent cook, also calls for a small grating of nutmeg. It's more commonly done in Italy than one might imagine.

                                                                  1. re: Roland Parker
                                                                    ferventfoodie Jul 11, 2013 02:34 PM

                                                                    Yes, I had the opportunity to take some classes at a
                                                                    school for chefs in Piedmont and they taught us to include
                                                                    nutmeg in the Bolognese. I'd never had it that way before,
                                                                    but now I definitely miss the nutmeg if it's not there.

                                                                  2. re: ttoommyy
                                                                    iL Divo May 6, 2013 05:31 PM

                                                                    ........and point it out you did...........touchee or is it toupee........sorry, must be my mood

                                                              2. re: iL Divo
                                                                lynnlato May 6, 2013 05:57 PM

                                                                "I can tell you one thing you shouldn't sneak nutmeg into >
                                                                Bolognese sauce" - I completely agree with you. Bleck.

                                                                Aggressive is a good way to describe it.

                                                                1. re: lynnlato
                                                                  c oliver May 6, 2013 06:19 PM

                                                                  It's gotta be one of those cilantro-type taste thingies. I love everything about it and have gotten loads of savory ideas.

                                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                                    lynnlato May 7, 2013 09:01 AM

                                                                    I like it, just not in my Italian food and mostly in sweet dishes (although in Indian it totally makes sense to me). It's not how my mother and her family prepared sauces and I never encountered it until I moved South and went into an Italian restaurant here and ordered a red sauce dish and it was in the sauce. I couldn't figure out why. Ha!

                                                                    I may try it with asparagus and maybe even w/ my brussel sprouts since many folks mentioned that. I'm not a hater, c oliver, I swear it! ;-)

                                                                    1. re: lynnlato
                                                                      lynnlato May 9, 2013 04:34 AM

                                                                      Okay, I tried it with roasted asparagus and it was, hands down, not a good flavor comb for me personally. My family of 4 gave it a thumbs down and we're pretty open-minded about new things and flavors. Oh well, we don't have to like everything.

                                                                      1. re: lynnlato
                                                                        iL Divo May 10, 2013 04:14 PM

                                                                        agree again lynn

                                                                        just because others say it's a good thing or a must, doesn't mean I have to agree with them. especially when my taste buds dictate what makes me smile :)

                                                                        1. re: lynnlato
                                                                          iL Divo May 10, 2013 04:20 PM

                                                                          lynn, our DD dislikes cilantro.
                                                                          always has always will.
                                                                          she has very definite taste buds that say no thank you to it.
                                                                          it's a sudsy taste to her, me l love it.
                                                                          there aren't many things I really can't stand.
                                                                          and I love nutmeg, in the right things though :;-/

                                                                          1. re: iL Divo
                                                                            lynnlato May 11, 2013 08:12 AM

                                                                            Funny, I used to despise cilantro for the same reason as your DD. - soapy taste. I kept exposing myself to it and now I love it. I have managed to expand my "likes" with many, many things that I wanted to like. For instance, I am warming up to salmon. Never liked it before as I always found it to be too strong & "fishy". I came to like it smoked and sometimes raw in sushi and just recently had some really fresh baked wild salmon that I absolutely loved. The secret (which is not so secret), I learned, is fresh and wild baby. ;-)

                                                                            1. re: lynnlato
                                                                              c oliver May 11, 2013 08:41 AM

                                                                              lynn, I think that's a really good point. I have pretty much the same experiences with salmon. I should try some "wild baby" (LOVE that!) and see. My food-like list has certainly gotten bigger and bigger.

                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                lynnlato May 11, 2013 12:10 PM

                                                                                Ohmygosh, I have expanded mine dramatically. I remember an old thread about why would you "try" to like something. And I just thought to myself "why wouldn't you"? I mean I want to eat salmon because it's so good for me. So, i'll continue to seek out salmon that I like. I'm not at the point where I can order it at any restaurant, but there is one restaurant near me that does it perfectly - barely cooked in the center and baked on a cedar plank and there isn't even a hint of fishy.

                                                                                Years ago I never ate any fish or seafood. Today, I slurp oysters, eat just about anything out of the sea and I'm working on freshwater fish. Something about freshwater fish and fishy-ness that I struggle with. But I keep trying! Good luck c oliver!

                                                                    2. re: lynnlato
                                                                      iL Divo May 10, 2013 04:13 PM

                                                                      lynnlato- aggressive or assertive yep

                                                                      thankful someone agrees with me.
                                                                      1/8 tsp isn't even worth mentioning in a recipe if it's a sauce that makes as much as MH's does. as I stated I've made it many a time. nutmeg > sticking to my guns, not a necessary ingredient.

                                                                    3. re: iL Divo
                                                                      tim irvine May 10, 2013 04:47 PM

                                                                      Personally I like a smidge of it, grated and toasted, with a little crushed and toasted fennel seed in my Bolognese.

                                                                      1. re: tim irvine
                                                                        iL Divo May 10, 2013 05:06 PM

                                                                        but see tim, I can not stand fennel any which way so you're no doubt a bird of a different feather :)

                                                                        1. re: iL Divo
                                                                          c oliver May 10, 2013 05:18 PM

                                                                          I don't get the impression here that anyone thinks you should be eating things that you don't like. @tim, that combo and prep sound terrific to me :)

                                                                    4. m
                                                                      Maggie19 May 3, 2013 07:17 AM

                                                                      Swedish meatballs ...

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Maggie19
                                                                        HillJ May 3, 2013 07:23 AM

                                                                        Ok, there's an exception I forgot about. Swedish meatballs!

                                                                      2. coll May 3, 2013 07:15 AM

                                                                        Anything Italian. My husband's grandmother's secret.

                                                                        Anything that calls for cinnamon.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: coll
                                                                          Kris in Beijing May 3, 2013 07:22 AM

                                                                          Nutmeg + dishes with cream. Check
                                                                          Nutmeg + dishes with pasta. Check
                                                                          Nutmeg + dishes with beef. Check
                                                                          Nutmeg + dishes with pork. Check
                                                                          Nutmeg + dishes with veal. Check
                                                                          Nutmeg + dishes with cheese. Check
                                                                          Nutmeg + dishes with eggplant. Check

                                                                          Nutmeg + dishes with tomato. Not sure. Examples?
                                                                          Nutmeg + dishes with heavy EVOO. Not sure. Examples?
                                                                          Nutmeg + dishes with heavy basil. Not sure. Example
                                                                          Nutmeg + dishes with "loud" fish. Not sure. Examples?

                                                                          1. re: Kris in Beijing
                                                                            ttoommyy May 3, 2013 07:37 AM

                                                                            "Nutmeg + dishes with heavy EVOO. Not sure. Examples?"

                                                                            Fresh ricotta, a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, S&P and a dash of freshly grated nutmeg. I could eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert!

                                                                            "Nutmeg + dishes with tomato. Not sure. Examples?"


                                                                        2. law_doc89 May 3, 2013 07:14 AM

                                                                          ANY Cruciferous vegetable. Brussels sprouts especially. Old, old French tradition. People ooh and ahh over some restaurant Brussels sprouts only to discover it is due to a pinch of nutmeg.

                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                          1. re: law_doc89
                                                                            JudiAU May 3, 2013 03:10 PM

                                                                            Very, very interesting. Never heard of this before. Must try.

                                                                            1. re: law_doc89
                                                                              khh1138 May 4, 2013 12:02 PM

                                                                              Yes! For me it's roasted cauliflower, chopped rather fine. I prefer to do my Brussels sprouts spicy, with red pepper and lemon.

                                                                              1. re: law_doc89
                                                                                fldhkybnva May 7, 2013 04:01 PM

                                                                                Good to know, I'm trying to learn to like Brussels sprouts. I think we could be dear friends, I just need to figure out the best way to prepare them to my liking.

                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                  lynnlato May 7, 2013 06:23 PM

                                                                                  A chef friend of mine has a recipe for roasted brussel sprouts that has converted many of my friends and family members. It's very easy...

                                                                                  Halve sprouts and toss in olive oil & s&p. Roast in a 450 degree oven for 8-10 mins. tossing in some minced garlic during the last minute of roasting (roast until browned in spots). Make a vinaigrette of sherry vinegar & red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, grade A maple syrup and olive oil. Season w/ s&p. Toss sprouts in vinaigrette. Add chopped bacon, pancetta &/or nuts for added deliciousness. Bon Appetit! ;-)

                                                                                  1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                    fldhkybnva May 7, 2013 06:30 PM

                                                                                    Ahh, this recipe includes 2 of my favorite foods pork belly (bacon or pancetta) and vinegar. I am a vinegar freak so I'm sure I'd love this recipe. I have actually been eyeing a Brussels sprouts salad with warm bacon vinaigrette and this sounds quite similar.

                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                      lynnlato May 8, 2013 04:59 AM

                                                                                      I love, love, love brussel sprout salads too. I do a raw kale and brussel sprout salad and the sprouts are sliced very thin and they just add a nice crunch. Of course then you add in all the many salad accoutrements like nuts & bacon. ;-)


                                                                                  2. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                    law_doc89 May 7, 2013 08:01 PM

                                                                                    Oh so simple. Chop up some bacon and cook. Slice a bunch of cleaned Brussels sprouts and add to the bacon when the bacon is crisp. Cover and let sweat. Pinch of salt, pepper, nutmeg at 4 to five minutes. Very traditional French dish. Vary ingredients according to your tastes with some vinegar, or pancetta etc. But must have the nutmeg.

                                                                                2. ttoommyy May 3, 2013 07:07 AM

                                                                                  I love nutmeg in any dish with ricotta in it, savory or sweet. The two were meant for one another.

                                                                                  1. C. Hamster May 3, 2013 05:36 AM

                                                                                    Nothing savory.

                                                                                    Nutmeg in spinach and Mac and cheese and the like literally makes me angry since IMO it ruins it.

                                                                                    I like it in all kinds of sweet things though

                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                      Chowshok May 3, 2013 06:54 AM

                                                                                      Guess its an acquired taste, but in India spices like Nutmeg, Cinnamon, etc., are added mostly to the savoury dishes, especially to make the basic garam masala more exotic or the dish specific. For sweet dishes, Indians use spices like cardamom. Also each individual's personal taste and likings is a big factor. Nothing to be angry about :-)

                                                                                      1. re: Chowshok
                                                                                        HillJ May 3, 2013 07:07 AM

                                                                                        I wouldn't hate on a spice just needs the right application. Cinnamon is already smokey; in savory dishes I enjoy it. Nutmeg in a savory dish/bake seems to interrupt the flavor somehow when I taste it, something about the brighter note that is a distinct part of nutmeg. So I stick with a light hand of nutmeg grate when I do use it and prefer it in dishes/baking we attribute to sweeter flavors.

                                                                                        For instance, I've tried nutmeg in spinach and spicy roasted chickpea and I didn't enjoy it. In rice pudding, it elevated the batch.

                                                                                        1. re: Chowshok
                                                                                          hotoynoodle May 4, 2013 09:01 AM

                                                                                          i use brown spices like cinnamon and cardamom in savory dishes, but i do not like nutmeg. it's not even in my pantry.

                                                                                          agree with c.ham: when it turns up someplace i'm not expecting it, or is too strog (which is almost always), i am totes bummed. ruins the dish for me.

                                                                                          1. re: Chowshok
                                                                                            sweetTooth Jul 12, 2013 03:10 PM

                                                                                            Just wanted to point out that nutmeg is used in many many Indian desserts. Especially those from Maharashtra. Shreekhand, puran poli, kheer, basundi. It is often used along with other flavorings such as cardamom and saffron. In Ayurveda, nutmeg is known to aid in digestion. The desserts I mention above are all pretty rich and possibly that is why traditional recipes for them include nutmeg.

                                                                                          2. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                            kengk May 3, 2013 07:27 AM

                                                                                            I don't like it in savory dishes either. I've never noticed it in curries which is fine. If I can taste it in something I'm not happy. In particular I've had greek food that was ruined (for me) by nutmeg.

                                                                                            1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                              lynnlato May 6, 2013 05:54 PM

                                                                                              +3 or 4 for not in savory dishes. I am angry when I detect it in tomato/marinara sauce or in any Italian dishes. I am not a fan. But it's fine in desserts.

                                                                                              Oh and Chowshok, I love garam masala on pumpkin and sweet potato pie - yum!

                                                                                            2. ipsedixit May 3, 2013 04:33 AM

                                                                                              Chinese egg tarts

                                                                                              1. Yank May 3, 2013 01:58 AM

                                                                                                carrot cake

                                                                                                1. m
                                                                                                  modthyrth May 2, 2013 11:36 PM

                                                                                                  roasted asparagus. A little olive oil, a little salt, and nutmeg. It's amazing!

                                                                                                  1. j
                                                                                                    Jerseygirl111 May 2, 2013 11:18 PM

                                                                                                    Creamed Spinach
                                                                                                    Eggs, esp. Quiche
                                                                                                    Mac & Cheese

                                                                                                    1. klyeoh May 2, 2013 10:53 PM

                                                                                                      Chinese double-boiled soups.

                                                                                                      1. linguafood May 2, 2013 10:39 PM

                                                                                                        Spinach, along with cumin.
                                                                                                        Mashed potatoes. I thought that was a rule :-)

                                                                                                        It's not my favorite spice, so that about covers it.

                                                                                                        1. DiningDiva May 2, 2013 10:23 PM

                                                                                                          Hot chocolate

                                                                                                          1. s
                                                                                                            sueatmo May 2, 2013 09:44 PM

                                                                                                            I have cooked unpeeled apple slices in apple juice and wine with nutmeg and pepper. Very good.

                                                                                                            1. m
                                                                                                              maxie May 2, 2013 09:24 PM

                                                                                                              Potato leek soup, bechamel

                                                                                                              1. e
                                                                                                                ellabee May 2, 2013 09:05 PM

                                                                                                                Almost anything with spinach.

                                                                                                                Into egg & cream going into quiche.

                                                                                                                Potato gratins.

                                                                                                                1. HillJ May 2, 2013 08:56 PM

                                                                                                                  French toast, pancakes & waffles
                                                                                                                  Ground coffee
                                                                                                                  White sauce
                                                                                                                  Scones, sticky buns and some whole wheat bread recipes
                                                                                                                  Whipped cream

                                                                                                                  1. juliejulez May 2, 2013 08:51 PM

                                                                                                                    Mac and Cheese

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