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 Post subject: The rare ingredient problem
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:03 am
Posts: 5129
Location: Portland, OR
This ever happen to you?

You're in a store, and you see an ingredient that you know you've heard of and maybe saw in a recipe somewhere which you didn't make because you didn't have the ingredient. So you buy it. And then you get back home, and you can't find any recipe with that ingredient, or you find one or two but you don't want to make them anyway.

No?

This just happened to me because I picked up some rau ram and perilla, before finding out that I have barely any recipes which use either, and none which use both ...

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 Post subject: Re: The rare ingredient problem
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:58 pm
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I have a lot of recipes for those (but not enough to grow them on a regular basis, though I tried both briefly), but most people don't have as many Asian CBs as I do! LOL If it makes you feel any better, I don't recall any that use both herbs, though I'm sure there is something out there.

I used to do that in my early days, when I would go up to NYC every 7 or 8 months to stock up on ingredients - before the internet, and before Philadelphia had what they do now, and for that matter, all the things I can get locally. I would go into Chinatown, and find things every time that I knew I had seen in a recently acquired book, and snatch it up. It would take me a long time to use everything even once! And I think that I still have something I got for something in that Pok Pok book, but haven't used it yet.

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 Post subject: Re: The rare ingredient problem
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:28 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:34 pm
Posts: 2010
Sometimes I even buy things I never heard of. It is a sickness.

Mary


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 Post subject: Re: The rare ingredient problem
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:10 am 
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Yes, I have things in my cabinet that I don't know what I am going to do with. Sumac and Malab among others. And, yes, I bought them because I *knew* had read some recipe with them.

--Lisa


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 Post subject: Re: The rare ingredient problem
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:13 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:45 pm
Posts: 1531
Location: Ottawa, ON
Yup, lots of times. I have a grocery list calls "Crazy Stuff", various things I've wanted for recipes but are difficult/rare to get. I consult the list when I go to an infrequently visited store or new one. Sometimes i get something on the list. It seems I rarely can find WHY, though.

Eat Your Books helps out a whole lot in this regard, though.


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 Post subject: Re: The rare ingredient problem
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:47 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:51 am
Posts: 660
Location: W. Montana
I have the problem with buying ingredients with some recipe in mind and then either forgetting what I was going to make or deciding on something different. Then the special ingredients go to waste. Also, I often buy fresh herbs and they don't last long enough to get used.
Don't have an herb garden this year.


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 Post subject: Re: The rare ingredient problem
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:46 am 
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Location: Portland, OR
Mary:

Sumac is used all over Arabic cuisine. For example, the standard Arabic vinagrette has sumac in it, and if you're faking zatar because you can't get the real stuff, you use a mix of oregano, thyme, and sumac.

Dave:

Any recipes for perilla or rau ram which are vegetarian/fish?

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 Post subject: Re: The rare ingredient problem
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:05 pm
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Location: Chico, CA
I bought sumac for Ottolenghi and find myself using it all the time. Love it.

I do the buy stuff and then make something else all the time. The worst are KAF orders and trips to Cost Plus World Market. Luckily I don't do either often.

Recently I found a bottle of small Torani Hazelnut sugar free syrup I bought for some dessert I never made. I decided to use it in my coffee. I liked the flavor so now I have a large bottle of Monin to use in my coffee (much better than Torani imho), so it did not go to waste. Someday, I'll find the dessert.

My pantry is due for a clean up and I know I'll be throwing away lots of specialty flours.

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 Post subject: Re: The rare ingredient problem
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:58 pm 
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Location: Near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
marygott wrote:
Sometimes I even buy things I never heard of. It is a sickness.

Mary

ditto.

I once spent months searching for mission figs. When I found them I could not find the recipe that I wanted to make.


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 Post subject: Re: The rare ingredient problem
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:00 pm 
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TheFuzzy wrote:
Mary:

Sumac is used all over Arabic cuisine. For example, the standard Arabic vinagrette has sumac in it, and if you're faking zatar because you can't get the real stuff, you use a mix of oregano, thyme, and sumac.

Dave:

Any recipes for perilla or rau ram which are vegetarian/fish?

Looking through 6 or 7 of my Vietnamese CBs I saw what you probably saw - that most of the recipes have meat or poultry. I did see a tofu soup with rau ram, and several rice rolls with perilla and shrimp (mostly veggies), so that could be made into a fish roll. And a classic use of rau ram is the Malaysian soup laska, which can be made into a fish soup (many actually have fish balls, in addition to shrimp). And I seem to remember rau ram in Vietnamese versions of the green papaya salad som tom, which can be made into a vegetarian dish (though I would have to have the fish sauce!).

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