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New incarnations of foods?

Please forgive the possible improper use of words. Have you discovered a new way to use or prepare a food that excites you, especially when your previous appreciation of said food was at best ho-hum? Last year I discovered I love raw zucchini cut in matchsticks. This weekend I tried it julienned and barely warmed in a pan with garlic and olive oil. Another winner. How about you?

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  1. Thought of another one. Grilled okra. I love fried okra but hate to deep fry. I find grilling okra gives that intense okra taste that deep frying does, without the fuss plus it's healthier.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MrsJonesey

      I love okra. I like roasting them with olive oil, salt and pepper.

      1. re: MrsJonesey

        Yes to grilled okra! This is my favorite okra preparation and so easy since it is pan roasted in a cast iron skillet:

        http://www.thebittenword.com/thebitte...

        1. re: ferret

          Does she use the tool in the ad? If so, is it easy to clean?

          1. re: MrsJonesey

            Don't think one I have is that particular brand, but have some kinda spiral cutter (yard sale find) that works great. I like to make strings of roasted beets for salads with it.

            1. re: kseiverd

              Thanks. I'll take a look on Amazon. I bought a julienne peeler but it is awkward to use.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            So is this a dessert or a very sweet and thick/tall cornbread?

          2. Fresh figs. I love them dried, but fresh were just ho-hum. And then i had a tagine with chickpeas and fresh figs that had been broiled and drizzled with vinegar. (!!)
            So now i halve them, and drizzle with basalmic, add black pepper and salt and broil til the edges get browned and crispy chewy.
            And i'm vegetarian so odds are i'll never do the wrap in bacon version everyone loves.

            Generally i love all vegetables (except rutabegas!) but even more so when shaved thin on my mandoline. A super thin sliced celery and apple salad with walnuts would not have been as good cut in cubes or chunky shapes.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Ttrockwood

              The broiled figs with balsamic sound wonderful. Your example of super thin sliced celery and apple is much like the zucchini matchsticks. I mean the same dish with sliced zucchini would have me wondering why.

              1. re: Ttrockwood

                A new option - whole frozen figs (from Trader Joes). They can be cut while frozen and eaten that way or with ice cream.

                In Latin America they like to candy unripe figs - simmer them in a raw sugar syrup (dulce de higos).

                1. re: paulj

                  Sadly no Trader Joes around. That would be very convenient though.

                  1. re: MrsJonesey

                    I was going to suggest some other upscale grocery chain, but then checked the TJ package - 'product of Turkey'. So it's their own import.

              2. Eggplant. I used to mainly do ratatouille but didn't always want the production of it all. Then I started cubing or halving really tiny ones and stir frying with chiles, scallions, maybe some ground pork. I love the stuff and eggplants no longer linger in the crisper.

                3 Replies
                1. re: tcamp

                  I bet that is good. I know baby zucchini is so much better than the regular grocery store fare. I tried growing eggplant so that I could harvest it really small, but the bugs were more determined than me that year. I should try again.

                    1. re: tcamp

                      Making a note for next year. Thanks!

                2. Making cheese melty by using stuff like sodium citrate and iota carrageenan instead of making it with a roux. Game changer for a lot of things, I'll never go back to regular cheeses for things like burgers, mac n cheese, grilled cheese etc.

                  1. Today I julienned a zucchini on the mandoline. The strands were too crisp for what I wanted (sub for pasta), so I sprinkled some salt over the mound and let it sit. In a few short minutes, they were soft. Meantime I had already boiled pasta, so just added some black pepper and a little olive oil to the zucchini and ate it as an extra side. I will be doing this again.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: MrsJonesey

                      I've always been neutral about coconut, I didn't much like it in pies or cakes or other desserts. Then I discovered that I love the taste of coconut in savory applications...tom kha, coconut-milk curries. The odd thing is that now I don't mind it in desserts, either. Still not my favorite, but I like it more than I used to. Something similar happened with peanut butter. I liked it well enough with jelly or in a cookie, but I LOVE it as peanut sauce with chicken or pork.

                      1. re: tonifi

                        You know I think my new-ish appreciation of fruit is due in large part to discovering that it's often better in a savory application than dessert.

                        1. re: tonifi

                          I grew up not liking coconut at all but then I got into Asian cuisine and began using coconut milk and then I tried toasting the coconut until golden and grinding it to use as part of spice mixtures. It is in those applications coconut takes on different dimensions that I like. I still don't care for it in sweets and will avoid.

                          1. re: Cherylptw

                            Is the ground toasted coconut a staple in Asian or other cuisines or was this your own idea? What other spices do you use it with? It is very interesting.

                      2. I make ful with avocados these days. To make it even more thrilling, I'd liberally add some Trader Joe's "Everyday Seasoning."

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