Favorite New Food/Ingredient

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Foods follow trends just like anything else we have choices with. I remember last year there was a big deal over the hot new item in Bon Apetit magazine. I haven't seen it if they have listed one for 2011, so I thought I would ask the question here.

    What is your current (not neccessarly new) favorite food or ingredient? Something you absolutely LOVE - whether you keep it for a special treat or it is something you just can NOT live without.

    Last year the Sriracha hot sauce was the big splash. It is a hot sauce that we have ALL come to LOVE! It has heat, though isn't super hot, and it has a lot of flavor. Unlike many of the hot sauces, it isn't just heat. It also doesn't cause the digestive unpleasantness that some of the others cause. Another great thing is that it is so reasonably priced - it is around $3 here for a 17 oz bottle. If you have a hard time finding it, check the asian food section - that is where our Walmarts have it, instead of the mexican food or ketchup areas.

    Anyway, that is our last "fave" food/ingredient. What is YOUR favorite food or ingredient? What is your favorite way to prepare it and/or your favorite food to serve with it?
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    There are a lot - but I love feta cheese, especially.

    It's easy to crumble and put on a salad.
    It adds a flavor zing to meat, chicken, pork and fish.
    It's a main component of spanakopeta, or spinach and feta wrapped in phyllo.
    A tiny amount added to lasagne is awesome.
    It's great on crackers.
    So many possibilities... And I totally ignore blue cheese now.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Krispie Kreme doughnuts :rofl:

    My mother bought me some and now I have them on the brain in a big way. It's an addiction, really. I was doing so well too. It had been years since my last one.........sigh It's probably a very good thing I don't have the money to buy them right now. lol

    Sage and basil (leaves or flakes) are two of my fav spices. They are particularly yummy cooking with beef. I like the leaves for vegetable beef soup but make sure to remove the leaves because you shouldn't eat them.......unpleasant side effects lol

    I don't do hot sauce in any form. I'd be a hermit in a matter of seconds. :p
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I recall needing to remove bay leaves from sauce so you don't eat them, but never heard anything about sage or basil.
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    My latest favorite is a salad I discovered in Target's deli. I am not good at trying new foods - very picky - but lately my taste buds are being adventerous so I am trying new things.

    I have stopped purchasing the salad from Target and started imitating it on my own at home. Now I can have it at anytime.

    Shredded lettuce topped with craisins, feta cheese, walnuts, and poppy seed dressing.

    It is suppose to be goat cheese but I have only found that in Walmart and then they were sold out when I went shopping for Christmas foods so I switched to Feta which is easier to come by.

    I took it to an office Christmas party and got lots of favorable comments. :)

    I have taken away the chicken breast that Target serves with theirs. I am unable to find a chicken breast I like. I don't like cold meat anyway so that is most likely my biggest hangup about having it in the salad though I will eat it when I get the one from Target.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Bay, sage and basil are safe to eat but strongly flavoured. I've bitten into a bay leave a few times, when I missed finding it first. I do use the young leaves finely chopped sometimes. Sage and bay are possibly a bit strong, although some recipes I have seen (veal saltimbocca, for example) use whole sage leaves sandwiched between the veal and the cheese, and you eat the lot. Personally, I think the sage is too strong a flavour, but people WILL keep playing around with veal...

    Basil is perfectly OK to eat, although I do find it is very strongly flavoured also, and needs to be cut up smaller. A lot of modern recipes simply tear huge chunks of basil leaves all through, say, a salad. it looks lively, but they clearly have no intention of ever eating it themselves! Either that, or their tastebuds have been burned out with too many strong flavours!

    Sage in too great a quantity can upset your stomach. A friend of mine years ago was prescribed sage tea for mouth ulcers. Her naturopath warned her to limit herself to one cup a day, because any more can be toxic.

    Our current food fad, is mini-pavlova. Normally, pavlova is made from a circular meringue shell which is them topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit 9especially passionfruit and strawberries). Eat it immediately you have assembled it because the moisture of the ingredients will slowly dissolve the meringue if you let it stand, even the fridge. But instead of whipping egg white and carefully adding the sugar then slowly baking to make the meringue, I do mine in the microwave oven in 30 seconds. The basic meringue mix - egg white mixed with pure powdered icing sugar. Not castor sugar, but the finely powdered stuff. And pure sugar. About one egg white to 200 g icing sugar. Its almost identical to royal icing recipe. It should be the consistency of play doh. Keep the mix in the fridge (for weeks if you want) and to cook, put a sheet of baking paper in the microwave oven. Roll the mixture into small balls about hazelnut sized. Put them at least 3" apart on the baking paper, then microwave for 30-40 seconds. Thee balls should puff up and you shut off the power about 10 seconds after they have reached full size. Longer, and they begin to burn from the inside. Let them cool, then gently peel them off the paper. Put a cooled meringue onto a plate (do not try to pick it up to take a bite, it will fall apart in your mouth). Put on a dollop of whipped cream and then some chopped strawberries. Eat with spoon.

    Our current fad. I'm trying to get mother in law to gain back a bit of the weight she is losing, so I make larger meringues for her and tiny ones for me (she won't eat hers if I don't have one too).

  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Another basil fan here - one of my favs!

    I love shopping at one of our local oriental markets. I really love stir fry and curries. You can find wonderful fresh, hard to find, and reasonably priced vegetables as well as wonderful hot sauces and really, really reasonable red and green curry paste. I also love the pad prik paste as well. Just add to a saute pan and toss with veggies. You can add any protein you wish or just have it with veggies. Really light would be adding chicken stock, a little more calories (and sugar) would be adding light coconut milk and water (just a little an go a long way if you are watching sugar) - love, love, love it served with brown rice! I also enjoy making my own curry powders. Add some fresh basil leaves, especially to the dish with the coconut milk - DELISH! I usually make Indian or Thai curry dishes three times a week.

    I also love basil in anything with tomato.

  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Basil is fabulous with tomato.

    I make my own pesto sauce, using cashews instead of pine nuts. Then for a salad sandwich I sometimes spread the bread with pesto instead of butter. Another thing - get a slice of bread, spread it with pesto and then maybe some tomato (sugo) sauce, then build a mini-pizza onto the slice of bread. people can customise their own, it is a fast way to feed people exactly what they want. Finish them off under the grill.

  9. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    This is the South and we tend to make fried foods a lot, but I'm probably the last one to discover Panko bread crumbs! I've gotten hooked on them now. They're bigger and chunkier than regular bread crumbs and made just from the white part of the bread. They're really good for baking things like chicken too. Foods breaded with the Panko bread crumbs get a lot crispier than with the regular bread crumbs and now I make sure that I never run out.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I simply cannot do anything with heat to it so spicy is out. I made the mistake of thinking I was getting some shrimp in butter sauce at a chinese/japanese restaurant the other night and it was really something called Rainbow Shrimp and boy was it HOT!!!! I couldnt eat anything else after that except some bread and some vanilla pudding. My tongue was actually scorched. Tony kept telling me he couldnt taste anything but some mild black pepper. Well I sure could...lol.

    Im getting worse in my old age. I dont know if you can develop Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) to food as you get old but I am sure getting picky. Tomato sauce pizza is really icky to me now. I am so not a fan of spaghetti anymore. I would be thrilled if I never ate it again. Creamy stuff has to be just right and I have to be in the right mood. I want mayo in just the right amount...not globs of it. ick. No mayo on my eggs please!

    I love spinach, egg, cheese quiche. Yummy. No one else does...lol. Love chicken tenders.

    My weakness is candy. I have to have something sweet to munch on at night while watching tv. Right now its either Skittles or Circus Peanuts. I also love chocolate covered raspberry sticks. It used to be jelly beans or M&M's. I loved these Lifesaver jelly things that were squirty but I cant find them anymore.
  11. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    The best salad dressing and/or marinade on earth is "Gazebo Room Greek Salad Dressing & Marinade."

    It's made locally. The Gazebo Room used to be a very popular restaurant for many years. This is their dressing that was so popular they started manufacturing it in bulk and it was so successful they were able to close the restaurant and sell the dressing. It is good on just about everything...........chicken, pork, salad (of course), veggies, even as a fish marinade, too ( salmon- YUMMY!).

    I always have a bottle or two around. I don't know if it's sold outside of PA but for your sakes, I sure hope so! :)

  12. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Peach jalapeno jam on cream cheese, with big wheat thins. OMG it's so good.
  13. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    My favorite is Watkins Seasoning for dips and spreads. So many flavors. I usually pick up a hefty supply at the county fair - and if I run out order it on line.

  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Ever since I started liking honey mustard (specific versions, anyway) I look for anything to try it on. I tossed my leftover ham, green olives, shredded mozzarella cheese, some cayenne and turmeric in the blender with egg beaters and used wonton wraps to make a weird breakfast-y lasagna, which I've been dunking in honey mustard. Not too bad, really. Odd, but not bad. I'm in my protein-craving part of my cycle right now, so I got through a lot of eggs or egg beaters and make a huge batch of something like that or a quiche that I can warm up fast.
  15. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I'm really into fresh herbs lately. I made sage cookies with apricot filling that were to die for. Also a rosemary apple pie. It is cold here so I have to bring the rosemary into the house for the winter and I've really been using a lot of it lately.
  16. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    You do have to be careful with bay leaf. A colleague of husband once got called out on an emergency. A famous, now deceased, Italian tenor known for his girth, swallowed one whole and it lodged sideways in his lower intestine. doctor had to remove it so the show could go on!

    I wasn't aware that sriracha had become popular. We've been eating it for years because of my family's connection with Viet Nam. It used to be hard to find.

    I'm an other one who loves curries and hot foods. It's a great way to jazz up leftovers, but my favorite food in the whole wide world is any fresh veggie and herb that I pick from my garden. I live for the growing season!
  17. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Marcie, I like the Watkins mixes too - I usually get them at a local holiday show here every year. My favorite is the Ragin Cajun! Mixed with fat free sour cream, it's a great way to get tons of flavor with your dipping veggies!
  18. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Raspberry Habenero sauce over cream cheese on crackers.

    Frank's hot sauce on many things.

    Salpico olive salsa
  19. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LOVE Feta Cheese!
    LOVE Panko Bread Crumbs!

    But, my favorite additional ingredient that has been added over the last year is Roasted Red Peppers. OMG - we LOVE them! We decided they should be a staple and a jar should be kept in the pantry. We put it over chicken the other night with some artichoke hearts - yum! We put the RRP in sandwiches & in pasta dishes.
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I learned how to make my own honey mustard and it is better than anything off the shelves.
    basically its
    1 part mayo
    1 part honey
    2 parts regular yellow mustard

    that could be a 1/4 cup each then a half cup of mustard to make a full cup.

    Just make sure you blend the mayo into the mustard well before adding the honey.